Focus words have become the rage and I imagine the reasoning behind choosing one varies, but for me, my focus word represents strength, hope and most importantly, purpose. It fuels every goal, dream and wish that I have for this year and beyond. Many good, strong words were considered, like love, abundance, joy, creativity, freedom, fierce, fearlessness and so on. Their spirit resonated with me, but none felt quite right; the connection or kinship wasn’t there. They were too bold, almost overwhelming in scope. So I did what one of my mentors taught me to do when facing a choice: I got quiet and listened.
It was in that moment of quietness and reflection that I realized what I most needed to do this year was listen. I didn’t need to be strong. Or fierce or fearless. Or even be creative, which I considered to be my business and calling. I tried being all those things before and always ended up feeling like a bit of a fraud or a pretender. What I truly needed to do this year was to listen. To listen to my heart, mind and body and let them be my guide. To trust my intuition and gut. In return, they would make me strong, fierce, fearless and creative, if I would only listen.
The problem is I don’t always listen.
Instead, there are times I argue, ignore and disrespect what they tell me, even when I know they might be right; I just don’t want to hear it. And now I do.
3 Ways I’m Choosing to Listen This Year
I chose listen as my focus word for A Mindful Migration because I want to live a more intentional life and listening to my heart, mind and body versus all the outside noise will help me succeed. This is only a part of me; however, so I have chosen a second focus word around my intention to get healthy, which you can learn more about at Eat Laugh Purr today for those working towards good health. We are in it together, my friends!
While picking a focus word is a good start, it is only part of the battle. For it to be more than just a random word, you need to respond to it and take action. This is how I plan to listen to my heart, mind and body this year.
1. To Stop Resisting and Seek to Understand
There is a battle going on inside of me and in all likelihood, you too. Every. Single. Day. This battle between complacency and passion rages on in all of us. Everyone has dreams, but only a few will be fortunate enough to see their dreams come true. But is it really just luck? Or did they fight to make their dreams come true? My money is on them fighting. Sure, good fortune may have helped, but it only made a difference because they were already doing the necessary work.
I’m not proud to admit this but sometimes I choose to do nothing, rather than pursue my dreams, because I’m scared. Or don’t think I’m worthy. Or whatever. Even after a stern “talking to”, I still do nothing. I resist. And lose the battle. It stops now. When I find myself resisting, I’m not going to whine or crawl back into bed and hide under the covers. Nope. I’m going to stop — and do nothing but listen. What is my resistance trying to tell me? It’s there for a reason. Only by listening can I understand how to win the battle and move on.
2. To Meditate or Get Quiet Versus Panic
Even in our very civilized world today, we are still bound by our fight or flight nature. When I get distressed over real or exaggerated problems, my adrenaline starts pumping. While I consider myself to be a problem solver, which is not a bad thing at all, but not all of life’s problems require an immediate solution. In fact, many don’t and applying the wrong solution may actually do more damage. So instead of getting stressed, wallowing over problems or eating a copious amount of carbs, I need to step back. Get quiet. And listen and trust that the answer will present itself.
3. To Identify and Listen to the “Right” Voice
There is so much noise in our lives vying for our attention and distracting us from our purpose and goals. From the devil on our shoulders who encourages us to do things we shouldn’t, like shop because we had a bad day or eat to fill our loneliness, or our well-meaning friends and family who tell us to either consume more or be more frugal, it can be migraine-inducing. Because I am a people pleaser and also the Queen of Justification (really, it’s a place and I’m the Queen, so bow down, people), I need to be even more diligent and aware of whom I’m listening too. There are times I make the wrong choice, sometimes even knowingly.
But when I peel back the layers, I know my true voice and wisdom. The one who truly has my best interests at heart and wants me to succeed. The one who is not afraid. This is the voice I need to seek out amongst all the others clamoring for my attention. The more I listen, the stronger my true voice becomes, making it easier and easier for me to forge my own path.
A Focus Word is Meaningless Without Action
I’ve chosen focus words before. Good ones, I think. Honestly, I can no longer remember what they were, which is the issue. A focus word means very little if you don’t utilize it. They are meant to be a rallying cry to help you stay focused and to guide you to make good decisions. They are not meant to be set, then forgotten.
Listening to my mind, heart and body can have a huge impact on what I accomplish next year and beyond, but only if I actually listen, then follow through. My gut is telling me that I can do this, if I keep paying attention and focusing on the work.
I hear you, loud and clear.
Do you believe in focus words? Why or why not? If you do, have you chosen one for this year? Please share!