Mine is Kindness

Those of you who read my blog will know that I regularly publish a ‘Word of the Week’. It is usually tied to an anecdote from our work and my hope is that it is a bit inspirational, a “food for thought” type thing.

At an end of year celebration with friends, one of the people challenged us all to come up with one word that captures what we want for ourselves for 2023.

The criteria were broad – basically any value, principle, state of being or doing – that we felt was right for us as an individual. It could be something we were aiming for, something we wanted more of, something we were working on, hoping for…

It’s quite tricky to think of one word for a whole year but we all managed to do it. We had health, balance, joy, opportunity, flow, consistency, freedom, spark, love, gratitude and – my word – kindness.

The best part of the exercise was listening to why each person chose the word that they did and what they were planning on doing to achieve their word.

There are a few reasons I chose this special word. Firstly, like many people, I am my own harshest critic. I would never speak to my friends, family, colleagues or clients the way I allow my inner voice to speak to me. So, I decided to be kinder to myself.

Secondly, in the words of Brené Brown, “clear is kind”. In the past, I have found those difficult to have conversations…well, difficult to have. So, I decided to be clearer.

And thirdly, that bit of judgement that creeps in every now and again, is not kind. So I decided to stop myself and reflect on why I am being judgemental and what is that saying about me.

The irony in this for me is that horses teach us about self-care, clarity and non-judgement. So it’s like with our programs I’m teaching what I need to learn. As the proverb goes, “Physician, heal thyself”.

What’s your word for 2023?

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