Meeting Vitality

The first question for me, when I meet a new word, of the 12 Words, is: What is it?

February’s word is Vitality.

I have the sense that I know more about what Vitality isn’t, than what it is:

  • Going through life distracted and preoccupied
  • Just putting one foot in front of the other
  • Walking through the day with a sense of obligation rather than purpose
  • Stoic forebearance

But, what is it?

I know it when I see it.

We have all seen people who are very challenged physically, or quite elderly, and who light up a room with their sense of radiating energy of aliveness and Yes to life. What is that quality of being that they are tapped into, radiating, choosing, or allowing?

Having seen and known people like that, I believe that Vitality is different than being an outstanding specimen of physical health. It is a quality of being.

And, I know it’s an inside job.

What is that quality or essence?

How do we “be” Vitality?

 

12 Words Now

Yesterday, I wrote about what curiosity, my January Word of the Month, has taught me.

I am a month into my 2018 12 Words adventure of holding a word a month in my awareness, exploring what it means to me, embodying it in the way that I live, and learning what it has to teach me.

What has it meant so far, to live with a word for the month?

I have loved living with a word for a month, and I’m already looking forward to my adventure with embodying Vitality, in February.

For me, it was like having an amiable companion in my walk through life.

When I was feeling good, curiosity felt like a playmate, showing me things that I would have otherwise missed. I saw things as if for the first time. I discovered many surprises.

When I was feeling a bit of a wobble, curiosity nudged its way in, as if to say “What if?”:

  • What if I’m not seeing the whole picture?
  • What if something else is also possible?
  • What if I look at this another way?
  • What might also be true?
  • What is my deeper truth?

When I remembered my commitment to curiosity, these questions emerged quite naturally and spontaneously, as if to ask them was to show respect to curiosity.

When I forgot about my word, I felt like I missed some of the richness and depth of my world.

I love having a word to companion me, and to inform me in my journey.

I’m very much looking forward to what I discover with vitality as my new companion, in February.

Curiosity is Awakening

This post is part of a series on 12 Words. Curiosity is my word for January.

I am understanding now that to me, Curiosity is awakening:

  • to things in a different way
  • to my senses, in a fuller way
  • to new possibilities
  • to things I haven’t seen before
  • to things I didn’t know about
  • to new perspectives and new paths

Curiosity is being with the unknown, with positive expectation.

What Curiosity Has Taught Me

My January Word for the Month, Curiosity, has taught me:

  • To embrace what is and to be curious about it, rather than fighting it.
  • That life is way more fun and interesting when I am actively curious, and when I see life as an adventure.
  • To use “What if?” even more often.
  • That getting curious about something immediately causes me to be more playful and light, around circumstances and beliefs. For me, this is a good thing.

To embrace curiosity, for me, is to embrace living with an expectant spirit, eager to discover.

It is an invitation to see even the most challenging circumstances in life as an adventure, and an opportunity, to express my creativity and love, from the deepest levels of my being. I won’t always “be there”, but to live with curiosity is something I want to aspire to.

I definitely want to be more curious, more of the time.

Curiosity is a wise and playful companion to have in my life.

 

 

Intentional Curiosity

This post is part of a series on 12 Words. Curiosity is my word for January.

As a coach, I’m very familiar with Curiosity. Curiosity is a hallmark of being a coach. As a coach, I know that the client has their own wisdom and perspective, and that it is not helpful for me to come to our coaching conversation with an overlay of my own perspectives and assumptions.

A whole chapter is devoted to Curiosity in the book “Co-Active Coaching: New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and Life.”

What is it to intentionally bring the energy of Curiosity into the living of my life?

It means being not only open and receptive but free – as much as humanly possible – of assumptions and preconceived perspectives, for myself, not just for my clients.

Additionally, to me, it means showing up to my life with a spirit of possibility, rather than limitation.

And, it always means that I’m committed to presence, being like a fertile field of awareness and “awake-ness.”

Fresh seems to be the sister of Curiosity. Being Curious is like standing at the edge of an unknown territory. This, I am committed to practice in my life. It seeing with news eyes.

How do you live with a Curious nature in your life?

What is it to be Curious?

This post is part of a series on 12 Words. Curiosity is my word for January.

How do I start to explore the word for the month?

A logical place to start seems to be the dictionary.

The first dictionary definition of Curious that I came across surprised me, in its negative connotation: “Interested in what is not one’s own business.” That was enough to make me give up dictionaries as a starting place in this process.

Curiosity has always been a very positive concept for me.

There we other definitions of course, but I realized that what matters with the 12 Words is that I cultivate my own understanding of the word, and what it means to “be” that energy in the world.

So I thanked the dictionary and went on my way, committed to discovering my own personal meaning and value of Curiosity.

For me, Curiosity is opening myself to wonder. It is an invitation to clear decks and look at something in a completely new way.

It’s also with a positive expectation that I look at something with Curiosity. I’m expecting to find something surprising and wonderful.

Curiosity is about being alive and awake, so there’s a vitality about it, a new-ness of life.

But most of all it is about presence: attention and eager anticipation. It is welcoming of life.

What is Curiosity for you?

My 12 Words for 2018

There are a lot of people who find value in having a word (or words) to guide them throughout the year. They see it as a guiding light, or an intention, or a mantra to help them stay focused on what matters.

They discover their word by remaining open and listening to their inner guidance. It is something that comes to them, rather than something that they figure out.

In November, when I opened to the possibility of a word or words for 2018, twelve words flowed out from within. This has never happened to me, so I paid attention to it.

What came to me about this was that these words are qualities of being that I would like to embody. They are how I want to be in the world, the spirit or energy that I want to bring through my presence, or how I want to “show up,” during the next phase of my life.

As I explored this possibility, I felt as if a gift had been bestowed upon me. What a fun thing to explore in 2018!

Throughout November and December, my understanding of this idea deepened.

These are the questions I would hold as I explored each word:

  • What is it, for me?
  • How do I embody the energy of it?
  • How do I live it, in the world?
  • How will I keep it alive, in my life?

It was certainly convenient that there were 12 words, one for each month of the year.

The words changed during December. Four words “left” and four new ones came in.

They spread themselves into the months, and their order changed three times before January.

Here are the words and how they have now settled into the months (subject to change, of course):

  • January: Curiosity
  • February: Vitality
  • March: Eagerness
  • April: Receptivity
  • May: Engagement
  • June: Expansion
  • July: Flow
  • August: Intention
  • September: Generosity
  • October: Renewal
  • November: Whole-heartedness
  • December: Love

I’m really excited about this idea. It feels like a delightful adventure.

What is your word (or words) for 2018?

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