What's the Good Word?

happy new year.jpg

There are a lot of habits and traditions that come with a new year, as varied as our heritage. The Times Square ball drop. The champagne toast. The setting of resolutions. A kiss at midnight. A meal of black-eyed peas and rice. Tossing a bucket of water out the back door.

One tradition dhyana Center founder DeAnna Batdorff holds is the choice of a word that will thread through the warp of her year. A period of meditation precedes this choice so as to allow the right intention to shine through. And 2019’s word is movement.

What a profound word this is. At first blush, it’s a challenge to keep active. After all, the lymphatic system thrives on muscle contractions, voluntary movement. Whether it’s a morning hike through the redwoods or bouncing between treatment rooms during a clinic, DeAnna’s day is typically full of movement.

Physical movement is one of the best and easiest methods of self-care you can perform. It is well known that continual movement throughout the day is even better than infrequent, intense exercise.

There are also small movements you can make to improve your body systems. Pick up a gua sha and you can create movement of lymph fluid, detoxifying organs, reducing bloating. Receive the movement that comes from bodywork. Engage in the sweet dance of the self-care sanctuary, moving from soak to steam to cold plunge.

Movement also calls to mind fluidity, the inspiration to skirt stagnation, cultivating the stuff of life and growth. Movement can be as minute as the quiver of a blood cell or as large as a global voyage. Our body’s movements define us both as living creatures and those who make choices.

Then there are ideological waves — change has historically come from activist movements. There is the desire to define purpose and values, join with others, make one’s voice heard, and set forth on meaningful action.

In choosing a word that may define the year, you are calling upon influence, surrendering to what may be, agreeing to observe and notice connections. You also agree to see where this word is lacking and decide what then to do. It’s a contract you establish with yourself to check in, to hold awareness, to shine a light upon coming days.

DeAnna challenges you to take on this task, possibly alongside other dreams and goals you have for yourself for 2019. Allow one word to whisper insistently. Greet it and take it as your companion. May it point out new gifts to you as your year unfolds.

Andrea Foster