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Word of the Year

My boss sent us a group text: "What's your WOTY? Bring it with you or share it."

She then sent a follow up text: "Word of the Year. A word you will focus on for yourself this year."

I sat in my car a block away from my old apartment considering the question, sliding my fingers to the safari icon to google "list of words for what I need this year" when it came to me. I set my phone down and thought longer, trying to get another word to surface. I indexed powerful words of manifestation in my head but kept returning to the same one.

Before you read on, I encourage you to think of your WOTY.







What a fantastic question, boss and group of coworkers. Seeing their words appear on the screen made me so proud of them and happy to be a part of such an intelligent and introspective group of women.

While words like "success" "abundance" "sincere" "wholehearted" "dream" were on the top of my mind, I couldn't ignore the eruption I felt when this word presented itself to me.

My word?


I loosened my grip on the wheel. Release. I looked at the storefronts I'd driven past hundreds of times, so unfamiliar to me now. Release. I remembered my old life where I'd walk to teach yoga and get coffee at this same spot. Release. I considered a place I used to think of as home. Release. I imagined the next city I will move to. Release. What it will feel like to uproot once more. Release. The job I will have, the friends, experiences, yoga classes and coffee shops. Release. My goals for the new year. Release. The goals I have yet to accomplish. Release. My attachment to the physical. Release. My worries of the future. Release. My expectations. Release. My control. Release. My doubt. Release.

Yes, yes. As it flooded me, I knew it was my word of the year. It instantly reminds me of the eight limbs of yoga. And more specifically, aparigraha or "non-attachment." Not to physical world or body, resources or "things." In order to continue to grow, I need to practice releasing. Releasing into emotions that I haven't let myself feel quite yet. Releasing the idea of control over anything/everything. Releasing the expectation of the way things will unfold.

Buddha's teaches that desires are of the wanting mind. If we do not have any unfulfilled desire, we will not suffer. That expectation, too, is the root of suffering.

For example, we expect (based on the time of year) that we will get a raise but we don't. We then suffer. We expect that our partner will do the dishes but they didn't. We then suffer. This of course doesn't mean to settle for less, if you deserve a raise and a partner who does the dishes, don't anticipate it ...make it so.

Finally, it reminded me of the Power of Now (Ekhart Tolle). That our mind dwells on the past and creates trouble in the future, but the present is the only thing that matters. We cannot live and experience life if we are in a world that no longer exists. If i continue to look at the storefronts and long to crunch leaves along my walk - I am living in the past. If I concern myself with how I will make friends at a new job - I am too far into the future. Release it all and come here, now.

It will be a daily practice, not unfailing, challenging and enlightening. There will be no mastery but I will bring it with me. I will focus on it for myself for the rest of the year.

Thanks for being here,


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