In my last blog, I mentioned my annual tradition of carefully choosing a word each year as a sort of mantra to help shape my goals and values. Mine for 2023 is bittersweet. It is so eloquently said by Susan Cain, who authored the book by the same name, “Bittersweetness is a tendency to states of longing, poignancy, and sorrow; an acute awareness of passing time; and a curiously piercing joy at the beauty of the world. It recognizes that light and dark, birth and death – bitter and sweet – are forever paired.”

That book moved me, made me feel seen, and opened me up to embracing some difficult transitions I face this year. The word felt right. Appropriate for this time in my life. And powerful.

            Typical of my go-with-gusto personality, I make a real “thing” of choosing a word of the year. I even have all the clinicians in my practice paint rocks at our holiday luncheon and each proclaim their word. We talk about what they chose, why they chose it, and how they are hoping to use the word to light their upcoming journey. We are always writing our life’s narrative, why not do it with purpose?

In hopes that some of my friends and coworkers’ words would get your creative juices flowing, I am going to share their mantras and how they define them to create more meaning in their lives.

  AnnLee’s word for 2023 is FREEDOM. To her that means freedom from patterns of behavior that don’t serve her, freedom to create boundaries and hold them, freedom to express herself, and to strive towards creating financial freedom.

Michael chose EARTH because it is the element of presence and being fully aware of where you are rather than where you’re going. 2022 his word was fire, which is about drive and commitment, and earth balances that energy.

 Amy picked GROWTH. She aims to add growth in her counseling knowledge and experience, personal growth in her well-being, and growth in her ability to create boundaries and ask for help and guidance.

Grace also chose GROWTH for her word, both personally and professionally. Personally, she hopes to reveal unhealthy personal patterns to unlearn and learn new, healthy habits. Professionally, she hopes to learn more therapeutic methods and techniques to continue to help her clients meet their goals.

Angela decided on the word HEALING intended in a holistic way. Not just mental health but physical, emotional, and spiritual. She wants to honor the idea of always being open to new perspectives and self-care practices.

Brittany’s word of the year is CARE. She reminds us that you can’t pour from an empty cup, so finding ways to pour into herself, which can be anything from an enjoyable activity to setting boundaries within relationships. She hopes to focus more on her individual needs to avoid feeling drained.

Jess chose INTENTIONAL. She aims to know her value and worth and create time for herself, be intentional with relationships, communicate her intentions and foster better communication. She will be intentional about being present for those she loves.

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