CHOOSING MY WORD OF THE YEAR - EQUANIMITY

Finding the perfect Word of 2024 - Equanimity - a sense of being calm and centred within myself. Not buffeted by the storms of life.

CHOOSING A NEW WORD OF THE YEAR

I've chosen a Word of the Year every January since 2015. At first it was easy and words just popped up that were simple and a part of the process of redefining myself into Midlife (Release, Embrace, Enough). As time has gone on, I've found that the words have become more complex and so has the desire behind choosing them (Rise,  Symphony, Cultivate.)

In the lead up to this year's Word I knew what I wanted to convey, but couldn't quite find the right word to encompass the concept....

FEELING LIKE GOLDILOCKS

I was looking for a word that described being settled in myself and whole, not vacillating and being buffeted by the whims of the world and the people around me. Each word I came up with seemed like it was too big, or too small, or not quite right - a bit like the furniture in the three bears' house when Goldilocks called in for a visit.

Some of the words that almost made it were - centred (it nearly won but it gets tied in with self-centred and that was definitely not what I was looking for), heart-centred (a close contender), grounded, self-assured, self-aware, calm.....so many choices, but none quite nailed it.

USING MY RESOURCES

I felt like I'd hit a wall, so I threw the challenge to my daughter, the English teacher - I figured she might have a word up her sleeve that I hadn't come across, and lo and behold, she fired back with "Equanimity". Now that's a word you don't hear every day... And she followed up with the Wiki definition:

Equanimity is a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by the experience of, or exposure to, emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose their balance.

Man! that summed things up perfectly! I'm finding that I'm gradually settling into being a person who is stable and composed, unswayed and undaunted by life's challenges. I'm feeling calmer, more centred, grounded through life's storms, at peace with life, and content in who I am. 

It's a tricky word, and not a common one, but I love the sound of it and I like the idea of using a word that has some complexity and gravitus to it.

MY WORD OF THE YEAR FOR 2024

So, there it is, my Word of the Year for 2024.... Equanimity...... a big word that encompasses some big feelings for me. What I love about being in my 60's is the sense of knowing who I am, and being happy within myself. I want to rest in that stability and sureness within myself and not be impacted by the attitudes or actions of others, or by the craziness that regularly happens in our world. I'm still a work in progress and can be swayed by upsets, so I intend to remind myself of this great word regularly - especially when I fall back into old patterns.

There's a hymn that goes:

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

Refrain:
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!

I love the idea that no matter what's going on around me, I'm calm and steady inside because I'm anchored firm and deep to the rock which cannot move, grounded through the storms of life, and steadfast and sure while the billows roll. I'm approaching the year ahead with a calm spirit, centred in what really matters, grounded in grace, love, faith, loyalty, and being my authentic self.

Yesterday a fantastic quote appeared in my Facebook feed and I just had to share it. It speaks so eloquently of leaning into who you really are - and that's what Equanimity really comes back to:
Equanimity - leaning into who you always were - not trying to be someone you're not
via: https://www.facebook.com/powerofwordz
This second half of life is so much deeper and more heart-felt than the first half has been - I have more time to figure out who I am and what matters to me. I don't want to waste time on shallow, meaningless living (well not too much time!) but rather, spend the years I have left living wisely and well. The billows will roll, there will be storms, but being calm and keeping my balance during them is what brings me safely to shore.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Did you choose a Word of the Year? If you did, I'd love you to share it with me in the comments - and if you didn't, do you have any practices that inspire you to grow and embrace the year ahead?

A FINAL NOTE ABOUT THE  YEAR AHEAD

I'm slowing my blogging down a little bit further in 2024 - I'll be posting every second Monday (rather than weekly) and doing an end of season round-up on what's been happening in my life (rather than at the end of each month). I may pick up momentum down the track, but for now it feels like a good balance to be going forward with into the new year. I hope you'll be here to visit and share the journey - because that makes it all so worthwhile. 

RELATED POSTS


Finding the perfect Word of 2024 - Equanimity - a sense of being calm and centred within myself. Not buffeted by the storms of life.

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Finding the perfect Word of 2024 - Equanimity - a sense of being calm and centred within myself. Not buffeted by the storms of life.

44 comments

  1. Now, that is a big word! I look forward to exploring it with you...

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    1. Hi Jo - it was a doozy! I'm very inspired by it though and ready to see where it takes me :)

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  2. Dear Leanne, You always prompt the thinking needed. I have not yet chosen a word but am moving toward Forgiveness. There are 2 major challenges for me right now and both are pushing me to consider my need to forgive, not only others but me, myself. I know very clearly that my life will be empty of hurt if I do so. So yes, I will choose forgiveness. Love your chosen word and look forward to your exploring.

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    1. Hi Judith - forgiveness is a huge one, and after seeing what unforgiveness and resentment can do to someone, it's really impressed upon me how important it is to let things go and move on - for our own sake. The bitterness of unforgiveness is corrosive and can last a lifetime. This may end up being the year you save yourself xx

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  3. I have always loved equanimity but have not achieved it with ease. It's used a lot in my mindfulness practices and reading. I so wish you well in 2024. Reading about slowing down is an excellent reminder "we" choose to do this, no-one is making us! I have struggled, in a good way, to come up with guiding word(s) for me in 2024 and am not ready to post yet. Happy New Year to you, R and the family. Denyse

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    1. Hi Denyse - yes, I saw that it's mentioned in several areas of mindfulness and meditation - that inner settledness and peace that a lot of us are seeking. I've also realized that I have to tune out the opinions of others if I want to truly achieve equanimity - otherwise I second guess myself and try to "measure up" to things that are no longer my priorities. I love this quieter and more intentional life that I've chosen - and I think I've earnt it after all the decades of focusing on everyone else's needs.... I hope your 2024 is a happy one and I look forward to seeing what guiding word/s you come up with. x

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  4. Hi Leanne, that's a great word and I like it more because it isn't a word you hear every day. I haven't chosen a WOTY but I recently started meditating and heard a phrase during a session - changing the soundtrack of your life. While I was listening, it struck me that I need to filter out the negative aspects of life and focus on the positives and the 'soundtrack of my life' would become more positive. I'm going to try to remind myself of this phrase when I become caught in the less joyous moments in life.

    I look forward to reading along during 2024.

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    1. Hi Elizabeth - I really like "changing the soundtrack of your life" - when we do that non-metaphorically it can brighten our day, so I can imagine how much of a difference it could make if we retune our thinking intentionally each time we notice ourselves sliding into negativity etc. I'm a huge fan of choosing our attitude and looking for our blessings - life doesn't change, but our approach to it does - and the sun always comes out to shine a bit brighter.

      Happy new year and I'm so glad you're going to join me for the year ahead. xx

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  5. I love it! I have similar sentiments and while I decided not to officially set a theme for my year anymore, I have just posted something similar! https://timeunbound.substack.com/p/2024-inviting-what-truly-matters

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    1. Hi Stella - I just popped over and read your post, and I could hear similar sentiments all the way through what you wrote. The need to quiet the outside noise, to not be buffeted by the opinions of others, and to live more intentionally - it all resonated with me too. Life is what we make it, and the biggest step for me is to own who I am and to stay true to my beliefs and values - that's equanimit for me. x

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  6. Hi Leanne, I am familiar with the word Equanimity as I meditate daily. It's a beautiful word and I wish to attain that state one day., even just moments of it here and there. I will miss your weekly post but I understand that you need to do what 's best for you at this time. Wishing you a Blessed New Year! I appreciate you and your post. You're my Cup of Sunshine.đź’›

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    1. Hi Yvonne - you are just the kindest person (I love being a "cup of sunshine"!) and I find it interesting that those who meditate or are following a mindfulness path are familiar with equanimity - it certainly captures a lot of the intention of calm and serenity that is inherent in those practices. I may return to weekly posting - I just don't want to post for the sake of it - only when I have something on my heart to share. I've thought of stopping, but there's always thoughts buzzing around that I like having an outlet for - and I love the connections with people like yourself.

      I hope your 2024 is a calm and peaceful one and that the sun comes through the clouds for you more often. xx

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  7. Hi Leanne - Equanimity is a lovely word. In fact it was a favourite of my father, who was a chemistry teacher, and someone who was liked a lot by his school students.
    Collins Dictionary defines equanimity as a calm state of mind and attitude to life, so that you never lose your temper or become upset.
    This is something I have always try to be; and I am fairly successful in it.
    This is a state of mind that a lot of people need to have, something that will make this world much peaceful place.
    Wish you and everyone near and dear to you a wonderful 2024. :-)

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    1. Hi Pradeep - you definitely come across as a calm and settled person - I can hear it in your blog and in your comments. I feel like I'm growing in that direction and if I'm more intentional about it, I can become a gentler soul and one who is more centred within myself. Once we master self-acceptance, we begin to really settle and are less affected by all the noise around us - that's my goal. Happy 2024 to you and your family too :)

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  8. Happy New Year, Leanne. Equanimity is a brilliant word of the year and fits you and your writing perfectly. Your daughter is very wise. Again this year, I have gone with a Pocket WOTY. I look forward to seeing its influence over the following 366 days (leap year). Like you, I have also slowed my blogging down -- and Wordpress stats has definitely noticed!
    Wishing you a happy, healthy and peaceful year ahead!

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    1. Hi Donna - you and your sneaky little Pocket Words! I do like the idea of having secret words and checking in on them regularly. When I stop blogging I'll be keeping my word in my pocket too, but in the meantime it's out there for inspiration and I'll probably throw out a related blog post here and there as inspiration strikes. I like the intentionality of this word and how it sums up who I'm trying to be in this second half of life. x

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  9. Whoa, that's an intriguing word of the year! It was very abstract to me in your first description of it but it makes sense and seems it would fit you perfectly, like a sibling to your living lightly.
    After the horrible year that was 2023, I've chosen ENJOY as my word of the year, and it will include gratitude for what I have, seek joy, going with the flow and enjoying all the good things in life. I'll continue to keep jävlaranamma/grit, which was my previous word of the year, with me through life.
    I haven't been able to comment on your blog for some time (some technical problems but I can't remember anymore what happened) so I hope it works now!

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    1. Hi Susanne - it's lovely to have you back. Those who use Safari or Firefox or Iphones often have trouble commenting (Google doesn't play well with them for some unknown reason). I love your word and how you describe it ties in well with my Living Lightly theme from last year. I think we sometimes need to give ourselves permission to take life a little more lightly and to be grateful and joyful - we really are blessed, and the more we look for those blessings, the more we find them. I'll be checking in with you to see how you go :)

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  10. What a unique WOTY! It really does like it was exactly what you were looking for though. I can't wait to see how it guides your year.

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    1. Hi Joanne - I was so grateful that my daughter found it for me. I was tossing around so many words that "almost got it" and this one was different enough to inspire me to think about it more and then to see how to apply it. I love a good challenge! :)

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  11. Leanne, I love the definition of your WOTY you shared. I am definitely working on that - not being disturbed by others actions/words. As I looked back at 2023, I noticed how often I did react to outside stimulus with negative spirals. So I'll be watching your posts for insights on living with equanimity! I've not settled on a WOTY quite yet... yes it's Jan 1, I know. I have not had one for a few years now, but maybe one will settle in over the next week. It's not that I have not thought about it! More thinking planned this afternoon also.
    Thanks for letting us know you're pulling back a bit on blogging... so I'm not looking for your post and wondering. May you have a year full of equanimity!

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    1. Hi Pat - I find that my WOTY tends to evolve over several weeks leading towards the end of the year. I love the concept so much that I want to find one, but it's so tricky getting one word to sum up a lot of thoughts and undercurrents. I know exactly what you mean about outside voices (in my case I can imagine them as well!) and it's so important to me to surround myself with good people who cheer me on, not those who subtly criticize or undermine me. I've gotten a lot better at drifting away from those people and having less friends - just keeping the kind ones!

      I hope you find a word and it inspires you to continue in your journey of self-discovery, we're at such a great stage of life and we're learning so much about ourselves. It's never too late to be who we truly are. x

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  12. I believe my word or perhaps theme for 2024 is FOCUS. There’s so many distractions! And I get distracted rather easily. I want to focus on being present, not worrying unnecessarily, setting small goals that are attainable, adding depth and meaning to relationships, and much more. Can others relate to this theme and season of FOCUS?

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    1. I think Focus is a great word - it's about intentionality (a big focus for me!) and narrowing down the things you want to have in your world. Presence, depth, meaning and concentrating on the things that really matter is a wonderful set of goals for the year. :)

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  13. That is a word you don't hear often but so apt for you Leanne. Good for you in making decisions like changing your blogging schedule to work for you so you can still enjoy the experience rather than coming to resent it. Happy New Year!

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    1. Hi Sue - I love the word and the centredness of it. I'm getting so much better at tuning out the dischord and only allowing pleasantness to stick these days. The noise will always be there, but it doesn't have to be the soundtrack I listen to. Finding what works for me and allowing that to set the pace is also proving to be a restful approach to life these days. Here's to another year of blogging at our own pace :)

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    2. That's the key 'finding what works for you'. x

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  14. I like everything about this word, the meaning behind it and how it is perfect for you, Leanne. I have been reading back issues of “Psychologies” magazine (I believe a U.K. publication). I had made myself a note to refer back to the September 2020 issue page 46 for the beginning of an article. Scroll down towards the end a subheading “It’s not all down to me.” I found I had goosebumps reading this paragraph about “equanimity.” (I borrow publications from around the world through my elibrary Libby app - if too tedious to access I can copy/paste the paragraph, although the entire article is filled with gems.

    Ha, ha, feeling like Goldilocks…I think Dave Chappelle also used the word “equanimity” in one of his comedy specials … therefore always up to interpretation and how it fits in our life.

    I can see how your life has evolved to now encompass “equanimity.” Your post blew me away last night, since again, I am in awe how we often travel a similar road (i.e. I looked back on my notes to find the location and description of the article) When a coincidence happens I believe I need to pay attention to the message and what is happening around me.

    Happy New Year, Leanne! xx Erica


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    1. Hi Erica - I think we both want to simplify our lives and focus on what's truly important. To drown out the outside noise and to focus on family and true friends, to have peace and a sense of abundance from a gentler way of life. I found that the word Equanimity had a good "feel" to it, and when I read the comments about it being part of meditation and mindfulness practices, I can see why it appealed to me.

      I think we've developed a strong inner core (shame about my outer one!) and respecting our gut feelings, going down pleasant paths, choosing who and what we allow into our lives - it's all a part of being more intentional (I think I hear a blog post in there somewhere...) with how we live this second half of life.

      I hope your year ahead is a pleasant one filled with a happy, healthy family, and so much joy - you deserve every moment of joy that comes your way. Thank you for being such and encouragement to me throughout the years. xx

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  15. Hi again xx. Responding to your above comment: Interesting how you and I are often on similar paths, and like you point out, ‘choosing who and what we allow into our lives.’ A lump in my throat when you mentioned second half of life…a pervasive feeling for me is how time is running out…especially with certain members of my family. Of course, I have plans of sticking around for a long time. lol. Yes, much fodder for future posts, Leanne. xx

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    1. Hi Erica - I also heard another expression recently - "the 3rd Third of life" and I'm definitely writing about that because it woke me up to how quickly time is passing xx

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  16. Leanne,
    OMG!! I LOVE this post ! And I adore your word....I did chuckle when I read the definition and it mentioned Balance...which is my Theme for 2024.....Yes, I am picking a Theme for the year and a Word for the Year....I did do this once before....Still looking for the right Word for the year...I also absolutely LOVE this quote too! Thanks so much for sharing!!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

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    1. Hi Deb - I like the idea of a theme and a word - the word part is always so tricky because it has to encompass so much. I know you're on a similar journey to be more mindful and less "busy" so equanimity would definitely resonate with you - happy new year! xx

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    1. Thanks Hena - I decided that it was time to "go big or go home" and to inspire myself to dig deeper into grounding myself and being truly centred and at peace within.

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  18. I love the word Equanimity, Leanne. I was first exposed to it when I attended a Buddhist sangha gathering with my daughter. It resonated with me then, and I have been using it as a guidepost for life since then. Funny, I never thought to use it as my WOTY. It seems like a perfect match for what you described as your desire for this year.

    As you know from my recent blog post, I have chosen monthly goals centered around my core values for 2024.

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    1. Hi Christie - it's a word that doesn't seem to pop up much in our busy Western culture.....until you start diving into mindfulness and other practices. It just resonated with me when my daughter suggested it because I want that soul deep quiet that seems to be missing so often in our world. This year is going to be a calm one for me...

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  19. This is such a great word Leanne and I'm so glad you persevered with finding just the right one for the year ahead! Wishing you all the best as you navigate the year in your own way :). Love the word you'd chosen and as you know I've picked Thrive for my word. x

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    1. Hi Deb - Thrive has been on my radar as a WOTY for several years - along with Flourish. I love them both and the organic growth that they embody. I always see you as bright and thriving, so it's a great word for you. I'll be digging deeper and going to ground a little this year - so I'll be the roots while you're the flower :)

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  20. Equanimity seems such a natural choice for the way your life has been flowing in the last few years, Leanne. I first came across the word when a friend was telling me about her experience with Vipasanna. She told me how the meditation helped to let feelings and triggers come and go and treat them with equanimity. I wish you all you need to have a very meaningful and peaceful year ahead. Hugs.

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    1. Hi Corinne - it definitely seems to be a word that others who have experience with meditation, yoga, mindfulness etc are familiar with. It's a new one for me, but it embodies a lot of the principles I'm trying to centre my life around. Disconnecting from the 'busy' culture that we're so swamped by is something I'm very invested in, and I think it's a great word - as is your "Intentional" choice. :)

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  21. Wishing you a wonderful journey into 2024 with your chosen word. As others have noted, it really fits with the mindful pursuits of inner growth you write about so beautifully.

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    1. Thanks so much Linda - I'm hoping that it centres me and reminds me to not let the external things in life have too big an impact on me. It's so easy to be bombarded and brought low - I want to be more resilient than that these days :)

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Thanks so much for your comment - it's where the connection begins.