I’ve shared often about how I don’t really believe in setting New Year’s resolutions. I do, however, tend to choose a word or phrase to help guide me over the coming year. In 2015, I chose the word home. 2016 was grow. 2017 was querencia, and the following year was well. 2019’s word was enough, and 2020 was rooted. This past year, I focused on the word embodied, and while I sense that I’m not completely done with that particular word yet, it was time for me to start thinking ahead about where God and life have been leading me.
Which brought me to this year’s word: mindfulness.
Let me tell you: I fought against it a bit. Mindfulness seems terribly unexciting, to be honest. But it also feels very right and very true for the season that I am currently in. I’ve been working to consider the environmental impact of my choices which is, in essence, being mindful. Whether it’s downsizing to one car, shopping second-hand and avoiding fast fashion, or choosing reusable or even biodegradable products, I have felt it very important to be conscious of taking care of the earth and our global community and I want to continue this mindset in the new year.
I’m also embarking on a No-Buy year as a way to enhance my life value of slow living, reject capitalism, and become more mindful of how and where I spend money. As I continue my seminary studies, I am being mindful of where I perhaps may be called to ministry. I am committing to be mindful of my health, eating a variety of foods that make my body feel vibrant, moving in ways that are joyful for me, and making sure I stay hydrated and rested. I want to be mindful of how I choose to spend my time, especially surrounding social media and the tension between how I use it vs how it can use me. Mindfulness is reading more books, and embracing the early mornings, and the discipline of prayer, and study. It means healthy boundaries, and living in community, and remembering we all belong to one another, and choosing to live as if the kingdom is here on earth just as it is in heaven. Being made well means having accountability, and learning to say no, and exchanging what might make me feel better in the moment for what will sustain me in the future. It means, as Jonathan Martin would say, learning to be both vigilant and tender; to see hard things and sometimes say hard things–and yet, not allow my heart to be hardened. It means fresh air, and singing more, and writing, and taking care of my skin. It means wearing clothes in the size I actually am and not the size I want to be, because ain’t nobody got time to be suffocated by what doesn’t free you, and it means recognizing that’s a metaphor for living an authentic actual life, too.
Mindfulness might mean hard work, but it’s also holy work, and it’s where I feel called as we walk into this new year.
Do you make resolutions or choose a word or intention? What’s your focus for 2022? I’d love to hear from you; simply leave a comment below!