My Word of 2023

It’s just gone 10am here in North Shields and I sit sipping a white mocha and the light is bright for this time of year. January. Grey is resting today as a low golden light picks up the blue in the sky and illuminates.

The wind still howls through the cracks in the windows as the birds gather to migrant to warmer climes. They honk their departure. Does that sound like a warning or exclamation of joy?

What does it mean to listen? What does it mean in practice, in our every day lives?

[LISTEN]. My word of the year is [LISTEN].

My word for 2023 has been with me for a few months now. At the back end of 2022, I knew what I was going to carry with me into the next year after being/ following Open, my word of 2022.

I’ve been feeling my way into this practice of listening for the past few weeks, attempting to figure out what adopting this word for this year means to me, my {being} and practice.

Of course, I don’t have the answers as it’s early days. But I know it means paying attention, {being} in the moment, {being} present for myself and others. This means I need to slow down even more to give myself a fighting chance of listening.

We listen to our environment or do we? We listen to others or do we? We want others to listen to us but do they?

I know I’ve been developing the practice of listening to my instincts, my gut and heart more readily that my head as I trust their guidance more than ever now after decades of blocking out their messages and guidance.

I think what I want to embody, through adopting the word as a guide, is the ability to listen more closely. To allow myself to stop and pay attention as in that moment I create not just a connection with my surroundings, others and self but I make/ take back time. Presence. Joy.

I want to listen more carefully without judgment or impatience or offering advice. I want to practice listening on a much deeper level. In deeper ways. To gain clarity and connection but also to find my way home. To heal.

My intention is to listen as within this practice alone my listening can only deepen for the better, for all.

Today me!

When I consider where I was this time last year, I was knee deep in hospital visits and worry. My daughter was in hospital fighting an unknown infection, not getting any better. The hospital had reintroduced one parent one patient rule. I thought it best for her father to stay in hospital with her instead of me. I wasn’t coping well within a system set up to ignore the Black body.

I also wasn’t prepared to handle her father’s anxieties and worries if he wasn’t by her side. It also made sense as I had the car so I could come and go and bring in what was needed. Everything was centred towards my daughter getting better. It was like time stood still and all other things paled into insignificance. It helped me sort out my priorities.

Thinking about where I want to be a year from now, I want to be in a better relationship with my body. Yes, lost weight but more so made peace with her. I want to be knee deep in self-love and no longer considering or settling for being second best. I’ll no longer be satisfied with accepting someone else’s scraps. I know my worth and do not accept anything less

I’m in a state of constantly becoming and at the heart of this journey is my own healing and well-being. I’ve got a toolkit of practices which I use to support my health and well-being and protect my mental and emotional health also.

I might be dating and I might not. But that isn’t my life or will be taking over my life. I am my life and what I choose to be and do is my life.

A year from now, I’ve also completed a major writing project which I’m super proud of. I’m ready to launch it into the world and accept the increased exposure it will bring. Good or bad. Because I am in a secure, loving and trustful relationship with myself.

I am invincible. I am awesome. I am me.

Mending & Tending

There are so many different ways

to honor my process.

  I am leaning into the slow practice

of mending.

  There’s no reason to rush getting

it “right.”

Excerpt from: “After the Rain: Gentle Reminders for Healing, Courage, and Self-Love” by Alexandra Elle.

I don’t remember when I lost my most important treasure

The Goddess Series, 2023

I don’t remember when I started to hurt.

I don’t remember when I gave up on myself being enough, being worthy.

I don’t remember when I gave myself away to others at the expense of not keeping any goodness for me.

I don’t remember when I started to hate on myself and wishing myself away, wishing myself into something or someone else. Anything else but this. Anything other than who I really am.

I don’t remember when I started to hide myself away became secretive and dishonest as a means of protection and advancement.

I don’t remember when I stopped being my own best friend and started to seek this relationship, this love and attention elsewhere.

I don’t remember when I betrayed myself by thinking that I was someone who didn’t deserve to be here, as someone worthy of love and happiness and joy.

I don’t remember when I started to listen to others, the outside world and stopped listening to my heart, to my own wisdom.

I don’t remember when I stopped just {being} instead of doing. When {being} was enough.

I don’t remember when I stoped paying attention to what lights me up, my wants and needs, what makes me smile.

I don’t remember when I stopped being a child and took the burdens of the world on to my little shoulders like they belonged there.

I don’t remember when I stopped being in love with myself and gave this love to others who were not deserving of my love, who could not see me as me.

I don’t remember when I began to think I needed other people to love me instead of me just loving on me.

I don’t remember when or how or why all this happened, I just feel it. And now, here I am trying to get back to me, to me loving on me, the most important treasure, lost.