Don places a small table in front of the family room fireplace. I pull out a beautiful tablecloth, champagne goblets, good china and silverware. He brings his harmonicas to have handy. Sometimes he accompanies our celebration by playing along with favorite tunes. This is our New Year’s ritual.

We love celebrating in the quiet of our home. There was a time when New Year’s Eve was all about new clothes, parties, and dancing. Maybe the shift came because we’re now in our late seventies. More than anything, those festivities lost their allure.

Don and I do just that. A journal is an important part of our ceremony. We record memories and thoughts from the previous year, along with special moments from Christmas. That’s the looking back part. Looking forward, we each form an intention for the coming year.

Now we sit with each other and take a cue from the Roman god Janus. God of doorways. Janus is depicted looking in two directions. He instructs us how to make transitions. His message; Look back to the past and forward to the future.

Intentions are not the same as resolutions. You know those things that usually last until mid-February. Resolutions are about achieving something in the future. Intentions are about how we want to be in the present moment. Each have their benefits.

Intentions are possibilities that invite our souls to unfold. A one-word intention is powerful. We are also more likely to remember it and return to it throughout the year. Recalling our word lets us reflect on how our daily choices embody them. In that way, they guide us and allow us to ask: Am I a reflection of my intention? Some days I am. Some days I am not.

This year I choose “kindness.” I love the quote, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” That includes kindness in all directions, to others, and ourselves. I long for more kindness in the world. I want to learn to be the kindness I seek. My intention is now a guide for my daily interactions.

In our Circles of Women, January is the month of setting intentions. We take a sacred pause and consider a quality we wish to focus on for the coming year. A consciously stated intention is a part of each woman’s work in her circle. It helps us support each other on our shared journey. Intentions do not determine what happens. They do guide our responses.

Don and I will continue to savor this sacred pause as we look backward and forward. We will once again pack the journal away with our Christmas decorations. On December 31st, 2022, we will read what we wrote. It’s always interesting and sometimes shocking to see what is written from the previous year.

I hope you will pause and explore the opening between your known past and unknown future. There is possibility waiting in that space. Forming an intention informs how you want to be. What do you want more of in your life? The answer to this question can be the way to discover your intention.

What’s your word? Courage? Strength? Compassion?

PS: I am always looking for ways to keep my attention on my intention. Angeli, from a women’s circle, buys a bracelet with her word. I did the same this year. I am including links of where to buy her bracelet or mine.

Choose a word that inspires you, let it guide you in 2022.