Okay, truthfully, I don’t have one word. Last year, LIGHT came to me very easily. I knew it was a theme that would carry me through the dark times I had just experienced and the darkness that was to come. After the word came to me, I felt the need to supplement it with some Core Desired Feelings – four themes, using a couple words or phrases for each one. (I never did the whole CDF thing correctly, but I think Danielle would understand!) I also had a couple symbols that came to me along with my word and CDFs of 2015 – lanterns and stars, primarily, but also open hands and a few others.

As December 2015 came to a close, I found myself a little dismayed. Why wasn’t a word coming to me? Where were my symbols?

When a word finally did start asking me to pay attention – I rebelled. Mightily. The word was SURRENDER. Ha! That’s the last thing I wanted to do. My life had already taken some detours that I wasn’t happy about and I have been fighting reality for about a year now.

I know, spiritually, that surrender is an important and necessary part of life. But my lower, earthly self is afraid that surrendering means accepting things I don’t like about my life right now – and getting stuck in those places forever.

The resistance that I felt about this word made me wonder if I should use this as my word for 2016. When resistance gets that intense, there’s something asking for attention.

As I was trying to decide whether or not to choose this word, I kept wondering why a symbol hadn’t come to me yet.  I went for a walk and saw a feather on the ground. And realized my symbol had come to me, months before, and I hadn’t even realized it.

Copyright C. Martin 2015

Copyright C. Martin 2015

My home situation because unsustainable in May of 2015, and at the time, while trying to figure out what to do and where to go, I decided to make a game out of the stressful situation. I called it Operation Fly Home and chose the feather as the symbol. Over the summer, I found dozens of feathers – I couldn’t believe it. I’d never found so many before! Hawk feathers, flicker feathers, magpie feathers, dove feathers…they were everywhere. In fact, one day, while out walking and feeling extremely anxious about the move I was about to make, a feather flew through the air, out of nowhere, and hit me in the face. I couldn’t help but smile.

That symbol began to turn into more than the symbol of the flight of freedom. It also made me think of the angels carrying me, lighting my way. When I saw that feather on the ground just before New Year’s Day, I realized it was also a symbol of…surrender and letting go.

Oh dear.

I couldn’t ignore that. So I decided to take feather as my 2016 symbol and explore the idea of surrender with a more joyful outlook on it. Not “giving up.” Not “accepting the unacceptable.” Instead, I decided to think of it more like a swoon, letting go of control and seeing what those angels bring my way.

But I knew that shouldn’t be the only theme of 2016 – very different than the feeling that LIGHT would guide my way in 2015, more than anything else. This time, I knew I needed to stick to the CDFs, giving me a few important touchstones to stay connected to throughout the year. Also, I suspected that LIGHT still has a strong part to play in 2016.

So, at long last, here are my CDFs, my guiding themes for 2016:

surrender, let go, release

prayer, communion

rooted, present

held, supported

What is guiding you this year?

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