A Rare Word with a Beautiful Meaning
As the new year approaches, many of us are thinking about our goals and resolutions for the upcoming year. While setting goals and making resolutions can be a great way to focus our efforts and make positive changes in our lives, you know that’s not something I put my energy toward. Personally, I’ve found it helpful to consider setting an intention for the year instead.
An intention is a guiding principle or mindset that helps to shape our actions and choices. It can be a single word or a phrase that encapsulates the energy and focus that we want to bring to our lives in the coming year.
For example, an intention might be to cultivate more gratitude, to focus on self-care, or to foster more compassion and understanding toward others. An intention can be something as simple as "joy" or "peace," or it can be a more complex concept like "empathy" or "resilience."
Setting intentions helps you to focus on what's important to you: When you set an intention, you're essentially saying, "This is what I want to focus on or bring into my life." This can help you to stay on track and make choices that are aligned with your values and priorities.
They’re also more flexible than goals. Sometimes, goals can be hard to reach, or they may change over time, and it's easy to get discouraged if we don't meet them. An intention, on the other hand, is something that you can return to and remind yourself of throughout the year, no matter what happens. This can help you to stay grounded and focused, even if things don't go exactly as planned.
Intentions help us to stay present. When you set an intention, you're not necessarily focused on achieving a specific outcome. Instead, you're focusing on bringing a certain quality or mindset to your present moment. You're focusing on how you want to be in the world, which feels more purposeful and can lead to greater fulfillment and happiness.
You can set intentions personally or professionally or both. Hopefully, you’re considering both but it’s totally fine if one is calling your attention more than the other. Have fun finding the word that speaks to your soul.
Overall, setting intentions can be a powerful way to focus your efforts and bring positive energy and direction to your life.
This year, I prayed and meditated on what my intention, my word, should be for 2023. Nothing came to mind.
I thought about it some more…and more…and more. Still, nothing was jumping out to me. “How can I write a blog post about intentions when I don’t even have one myself?!” definitely ran through my mind more than a handful of times.
But I stayed open because, even though it wasn’t crystal clear yet, I knew something was definitely brewing.
At first, I sat with the word metanoia.
Although it sounds closely related to paranoia, I assure you it is not. LOL
Metanoia is a fancy word that means changing your mind or your way of thinking. It's like when you learn something new and it changes the way you see the world, or when you have a new idea that makes you think about things in a different way.
This is precisely how I felt when I learned about the power of mindfulness, positive psychology, and neuroplasticity! Practicing these mental skills made a monumental impact on how I manage stressors of any size so I can stay in a positive state of flow. The deeper my understanding of how sophisticated the brain is, the more hopeful and empowered I felt to teach others this information.
Metanoia can happen in big or small ways, and it can be about anything – your beliefs, your values, or even your habits. It's like when you decide to try something new, or when you change your opinion about something. It can be a really positive and exciting process because it means that you're open to learning and growing.
To sum it up, metanoia is all about changing your mind and your way of thinking, and it can lead to positive changes in your life. Clearly a word that’s very much aligned with the work I love to do.
But then I found eunoia.
It’s a term that comes from the Greek word εὔνοια, which means "well mind" or "good will." In today’s world, it often refers to a state of positive, harmonious thoughts and feelings toward others. It can also refer to a state of mental clarity and focused attention.
This is totally my vibe! It sounds perfect, right?
Eunoia is often considered to be a desirable state of mind, as it is thought to be conducive to clear thinking and positive relationships with others. Some people may strive to cultivate eunoia in their own lives through practices such as meditation, mindfulness, or positive affirmations.
Without even knowing this word before finding it in a random Google search, it felt made for me.
But then, I stumbled on a word that brought everything I was feeling into one verb.
To elucidate means to make something clear or easy to understand, often by explaining or providing more information about it. It can be used to describe the process of making complex or abstract ideas more accessible or understandable to others.
Elucidation can take many forms, such as providing examples, breaking down complex concepts into simpler terms, or using visual aids or other tools to help convey information more effectively. The goal of elucidation is often to help others grasp the meaning or significance of something more easily, and to remove any confusion or ambiguity about it.
The funny thing is, the day I found this word, I’d had a conversation with my best friend earlier that afternoon. During that chat she said to me, “Your gift is being able to simplify the complex information or techniques in a way that makes it really simple and easy to understand AND to practice building these mental skills.”
To hear her say that was confirmation, and then a couple of hours later to discover this word that perfectly encapsulates my heart-based service to the world. Friend, you don’t understand what a #GodHug that was for me. Because that’s been my goal all along.
I experienced a metanoia (a profound new way of thinking) that helped me find a sense of eunoia (mental clarity and harmony) and maintain it on a regular basis. But more importantly, my ultimate goal is to elucidate what I’ve learned (and continue learning) about mindfulness, positive psychology, and neuroplasticity to help you tap into this power within you.
I found my word on this cool blog post: 126 Rare Words with Beautiful Meanings
So as you start to think about the new year and what you want to accomplish, consider setting an intention rather than (or in addition to) specific goals and resolutions. Take some time to reflect on what qualities you want to cultivate and bring into your life, and choose a word or phrase that captures the energy and focus you want to bring to your endeavors in the coming year.
Wishing you a happy and intentional new year!