• Jodi Austin

What's the Word?




Seven years ago, I was introduced to the ritual of selecting a word as a symbol of crossing into a new year. This is no ordinary word, you see. This word serves as a guiding intention for the year ahead.


I was attending graduate school when I selected my first word. There I was, in an evening class, answering questions, that at the time, seemed unconnected. While I don’t remember the exact series of questions, I remember the instructions created the conditions to arrive at 1 word. I was unsure of what to make of my word. There before me on the paper I saw in bold letters, as if a command was being shouted by Spirit straight to me in the physical realm – HEALING. I spent the remainder of the class turning over in my mind how this simple word would manifest. No amount of ruminating could adequately prepare me for the journey to come.


I did not have to contrive experiences with HEALING; because acts of being restored to health (mental, physical, and spiritual) were finding me. I began to notice shifts in my mind, body, and spirit. My awareness to these occurring’s was illuminated just enough that I became curious why my previous attempts at new year’s resolutions never worked. Every year I would intend on orchestrating changes in my life, yet each year my lack of self-discipline disrupted any hope of being successful.


Soon my mind was overcome with the task of finding the root of the difference between my ritual of new year’s resolution versus this new ritual of selecting a word. What arrived for me after many months was that I surrendered control. My propensity to be in control was creating a self-sabotaging cycle. What an epiphany!


Once I got out of my own way, I began to see ever so subtle shifts in both my inner and outer worlds. I had to do nothing but wake up each day and go about my normal activities and somehow HEALING seemed to find me. Looking back on my initiation I acknowledge this ritual of selecting a word ushered me away from fate and on the path to destiny.


More to follow…

Symbology: The symbol above is an Adinkra symbol called Sunsum. It used by the Ashanti and Akan people of Africa. According to tradition Sunsum is one’s Spirit or what connects the body to the soul.


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