I love reading all of the #OneWord themes for 2016. For many it’s an alternative to New Year’s Resolutions. Personally, I like choosing just one word to focus on and set the tone for the New Year. It’s not something I have to accomplish in one year. It’s like choosing an intention during yoga: it’s something I want to sit and hold and contemplate for a while.
I’ve had my word for 2016 chosen for months, and at first I tried to come up with one concrete definition. But there just isn’t one.
So I’m using Brene Brown’s definition as a starting point:
Authenticity is a daily practice.
Choosing authenticity means: cultivating the COURAGE to be emotionally honest, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; exercising the COMPASSION that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle and connected to each other through a loving and resilient human spirit; nurturing the CONNECTION and sense of belonging that can only happen when we let go of what we’re supposed to be and embrace who we are.
Authenticity demands WHOLE-HEARTED living and loving—even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it.
Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite GRACE, JOY, and GRATITUDE into our lives.
What I love about this definition is that it’s messy and full of qualifiers and not succinct. It captures a mindset I want to have toward myself and others. There are so many words in here that could be my “one word”, and each is in itself so complex that there’s no way I could put them on a checklist and tick them off one by one. That’s kind of the point this year: That I don’t know what’s coming. I don’t know how I’ll feel in any given moment. I don’t know what others will do or how they’ll think of me. I can’t control those things. But I can meet them head on.
It’s not a passive acceptance that gives up agency. Look at all of the active words in Brene’s definition. Authenticity is not sitting back and letting life happen; it’s about meeting life with 100% of your effort and attention, it’s about showing up and engaging. One of my favorite blog posts I’ve ever read is from Alexandra Franzen: “Your life is a hot date. Show up.” That’s the attitude I want to have this year.
I also have a few fun goals for this year:
- I will be able to do a full tripod headstand!
- I will read more
- I will blog more
2016 will be a hot date. Let’s show up!