A tremendous power seems to unleash itself when I place my attention gently but wholeheartedly on one designation, one destination.
You’ll find creative ideas for discovering your own perfect word and tips on how to bring it to life in my previous articles on the one word alternative to New Year’s resolutions.
But here’s a secret I haven’t yet shared. One that I just realized for myself.
My one perfect word works like magic because I choose a guiding principle that is so deeply and profoundly congruent with the most essential and important change I would like to occur in the coming year. Often, the word seems to choose me instead of the other way around.
This requires the willingness to listen, be receptive and wait patiently. Your word may not fall out of the sky like a meteor the first time you engage with this approach. In fact, my word usually creeps up on me and then finally congeals in a burst of clarity. On the other hand, your word might pop up right away. You may still want to let it percolate to be sure it’s a good fit.
The emphasis is on allowing the deepest part of yourself to express the next phase of your destiny. When a word resonates so profoundly, the lessons and transformation unfold almost seamlessly though not necessarily without bumps.
A Constellation of Compassion
My 2013 word is “nying jé” – a Tibetan word often translated as “compassion”, which actually represents a constellation of qualities including:
- generosity of spirit
The practice of compassion erodes away self-cherishing and self-grasping, which cause suffering for ourselves and others and diminish our happiness.
Self-cherishing means being overly self-centered. When you think of yourself too much there’s no end to problems. There’s always something to worry about, protect, anger over or fear.
Self-grasping means holding onto the notion of a permanent, existent self when, in actual fact, we are a flowing stream of awareness. The “self” is just a label for an entity that you can never actually pinpoint. That doesn’t mean we don’t exist. We exist, but not in the solid, ever-lasting way that usually dominates our day-to-day experience.
Compassion is a powerful antidote for overcoming self-cherishing and self-grasping, recognizing our interdependence with all living beings, and ultimately realizing our true essence.
Along with aiming toward greater openheartedness, I’m looking at where I go when a situation gets tight: impatience, judgment, defensiveness, criticism, and even occasional forays into anger. I’m committing to greater vigilance, to catching those dark emotions before they boil over and harm myself and others.
“In my every action, I will watch my mind,
And the moment destructive emotions arise,
I will confront them strongly and avert them,
Since they will hurt both me and others.”
~ Verse 3 of The Eight Verses of Mind Training by Geshe Langri Thangpa
This is a tall order and it’s a bit intimidating to say this out loud. I know I’m bound to fail sometimes. But I also see what the world needs now is love and compassion and it begins with me.
This year my word has morphed into an entire constellation brightly lighting my way.
Will you chose one word to guide you in 2013? What might it be?
If you would like help uncovering your deepest intentions you might enjoy reading How to Do an Intention and Reflection Process for the New Year by Maia Duerr.
Thank you so much for reading and sharing! If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe for free updates by email. With love, Sandra