A theme for the year?
At the start of the new year, I sometimes like to choose a word or theme for the year. Is this something that you’ve also tried?
The word or theme is ideally aspirational and inspirational. It represents a quality or way of being that we value. And by keeping the theme in mind, we can re-orient towards it as the year progresses.
As an alternative to a new year resolution that we may or may not keep, a theme is something that we can return to as we go through the year, to inform our choices and shape our experience. It reinforces a value or quality that we want to see more of in our lives.
Last year I chose creativity as one of my words and I wrote a book during the year. The choice of theme felt like it made a difference, and I’ve been enjoying reflecting on a theme for 2022.
Generosity as a theme
The word that has come up for me as a possible theme is Generosity. There are many ways in which generosity can show up in the way we live our lives. We can be generous with our time, and with our attention. We can be generous with our money. We can be generous when we share our ideas. And we can also be generous when we choose to hold back, to allow others to have the limelight and explore their ideas.
Some synonyms for generous include bountiful, ungrudging, kind, big-hearted. All words that feel good, and that generosity is a quality worth cultivated.
And there’s something important here for me about generosity being a natural desire to give. It’s not about feeling forced, or giving with a sense of sacrifice or resentment. There is a link with a sense of gratitude. When we are grateful for the good things we have in our life, that can lead to a sense of abundance. We feel that we have enough, indeed that we have more than enough in our lives. And this enough-ness overflows, so that we want to give more.
Giving and receiving
It’s as if we’re like a cup, a beautiful vessel that is filled the brim, and then overflowing. So we have plenty to give, without feeling a lack.
So the questions this quality brings about are around how we can give generously, in a way that feels joyful?
And although generosity is around giving, there’s also an aspect of being open to receiving. I have experienced great generosity in my life, from friends and family. There is joy is receiving that isn’t about expectation, just a flow of giving and receiving; a quality that benefits all. So yes, generosity is a force for good in the world and something that I’d like to aspire to this year.
What does generosity mean to you?