happiness

the year of: presence.

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Three years ago, my word of 2013 was light.
Two years ago, my word of 2014 was release.
Last year, my word of 2015 was nourish.
This year? My word for 2016 will be PRESENCE.

To me, PRESENCE is

  1. the state of being present
  2. the area that is close to someone
  3. something felt or believed to be present (for me, this is God)

PRESENCE. Just be.

My goal is to have no goals. The sounds unambitious and lazy, but for me, it’s a way to recharge, embrace, rest, let go of rules and self-expectations. To enjoy each moment. Eat all the things. Work out if I want to, or not. Of course I will strive to eat well, keep my body moving, work on writing projects, and so forth, — but with no rules or deadlines. If I don’t want to do something, I won’t. Last year was really stressful. This year will bring some stress and concerns, no doubt, but if I don’t set any expectations, then I won’t be disappointed or rushed (this makes sense in my head). I do have things I want to accomplish this year, but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.

Along with that, I want to be more present in moments. Being available for people. Being there for people. Being active in church and community. Putting my phone down when I’m with others (Have you ever gathered with people only to realize everyone is looking at their phone but yourself? Happens to me all the time.), listening, stop thinking about the past or the future, but enjoy today. Today is all we have.

So, let go of rules and schedules and deadlines and just be there for people.

I’ve also been thinking about one of my favorite bible verses:

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalm 46:10 NLT

Be still. And know that He is God. I know this…. but oftentimes I don’t pause long enough to understand. To be still. To notice. To be in His presence. This is something else I’d like to focus more on this year, too — and all the years going forward.

As for social media? Stepping back from that, too. I won’t be closing any my accounts but I’ve deleted apps off my phone and limited my log-ons (I have a limited phone data plan and no internet at home anyway). I’d like to have a Pinterest/Instagram-free year. I loooove seeing all the photos and posts from my friends on these sites, and I enjoy sharing my own too, but I’m always left feeling unsatisfied. Like I’m not doing well enough. I think we’ve all experienced this, and there are plenty of articles out there about people comparing their worse selves to other’s best. I’m guilty of this too, and need to step away so I can stop comparing. So I  can stop feeling like I need to acquire some item to make it all better. So I can stop feeling like I haven’t accomplished anything. So I  can stop feeling like I’m not good enough. So I can fully embrace all the wonderful people and ‘things’ I do have.

Time to be present.

Do you have a word for 2016? Please share.

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