In 2011 and 2012 I chose words of the year. Then, in 2013, 2014, and 2015, I struggled to do so. The struggle made me realize that I hadn’t chosen words in 2011 and 2012 so much as been chosen by words. Trust and light just bubbled up in my consciousness, made themselves known as themes and priorities and metaphors.
This year that happened again. My 2016 word of the year presented itself to me over and over in the last few weeks.
I’ve written about ease before. The word “ease” is part of a loving kindness meditation I have repeated to myself many, many times. In June 2012 I wrote of ease:
That’s what I want. Everything else I say I want can be folded into this single thing. I want to live with ease. To let the clouds of my emotions and reactions skid across the sky of my spirit without overly attaching to them. To let the weights of sorrow and joy, which are part of my life in near-equal measure, slide off my shoulders rather than staggering under them.
And yes. That’s what I want. Everything I wrote then, three and a half years ago, resonates now, even more brightly, with the undeniable urgency of something I need to acknowledge, embrace, and own. This is what I want.
I’ve mused many times on the invisible calculus that brings certain quotes and poems to mind at certain times. It’s similar to the way I can’t forget the case of my oft-abandoned novel, the fact that my default tense in writing is present, the strange timing that causes me to look out the window at the moment of sunset more days than not. All of these are glimpses of the vast design, as far as I’m concerned. The subconscious mind brings things to us without us logically understanding how or why, but their importance cannot be denied. I love these experiences, these ways that something beyond our comprehension glints through the fabric of our lives, this reminder that there’s something out there larger and more complex than we can possibly imagine.
I believe that is at work in my sensing of the word ease wherever I turn. And ease is inextricably linked, for me, to another phrase that I think and write about often: let go
. It has to do with releasing my white knuckle grip on my own experience, with continuing to relinquish my attachment to how I thought it would be, with accepting the ways that my particular wiring and wide-open heart predisposes me to both heartache and joy.
So, with wide open eyes, arms, and hearts, and a deep wish for ease, here we go, into 2016.
Do you have a word? What is it?