I finally decided on my "Year of___" for 2012. I had declared last year to be my "Year of Trusting" and the year was chock full of opportunities to learn to trust: myself, a Higher Power, my friends and family...to trust that life has wonderful surprises in store for me...always.
So, here's to 2012, my "Year of Loving". I had made my decision to choose this focus for 2012 before the New Year rolled in, but it seems apropos to share it now, in February, the month of Valentine's Day and love.
First off, I chose the year of loving rather than the year of love because loving is an active verb. It implies that I will be actively involved in this: I will be thinking, feeling, acting...from my heart, as opposed to a year of passive exploration of the concept of love.
My first activity involving "loving" was to brainstorm (with myself) all the ways I could imagine myself interacting with others, with myself, with life generally, in a loving manner. Here is what I came up with:
- Eating well and exercising to keep myself in good health (self-love).
- Checking in with myself when I am unsure of what I want...asking, "Am I choosing the way I can best love myself?"
- In loving others, I will chose to be conscious that my words and actions are coming from that most loving part of me...my Divine Spark.
- "Generic loving"...sending a blessing to a reckless driver, to a homeless person, or to someone who looks unhappy.... perhaps even to those elected officials who hold radically different viewpoints from my own.
- Being in a loving romantic relationship? Definitely part of the "Year of Loving"!
- Learning to accept others as they are (my biggest challenge). I want to stop judging others...to know that they don't need to be "wrong" so I can be "right". We are a lovely mixture of complex beings: here to serve a purpose, to learn a life lesson, to live a dream. Instead of having my mind-set on "judgment track" I will look for all the good I can see in another.
- I can create art on the topic of love.
- I can re-do my home with a Feng Shui focus on loving....clean and clutter-clear...making room for love to enter.
- As I Spring-clean my backyard labyrinth, I can rededicate it to the "Year of Loving" and walk it as a moving meditation on loving/ loving-kindness (a Buddhist principal...see *Loving kindness prayers below)
- I can create love "spells, potions"...OK, really, special foods, décor, etc. with a conscious infusion of loving thoughts.
- I can finish writing my guided meditation on loving.
- I could create "What if...? Cards' for love, loving, lovers?!!!
- When I plant my garden, I can bless the seeds and plants with love...use lots of warm reds, pinks, all plants with lovely scents.
- I'd love to find a large heart-shaped rock for my front yard to paint my house number on.
- I had an epiphany a few days later in the car...I could focus on loving money! That was a shocking idea for me...that I could create a different relationship with money...loving it and appreciating it for all it does for me. Wow...no more thoughts of "dirty money" or "money is the root of all evil". No more wanting someone else to deal with money for me...I can embrace all the potential good of money. Its "one size fits all" nature...the comfort, security, and beauty it offers to me. We will see where this takes me...
That's it so far. The best part of this year-long focus is that the list can always be added to as new thoughts occur. I love having an entire year to explore! Please feel free to share your ideas...I'd LOVE the help!
Happy Valentine's Day to you and to all your loved ones!