by Kathi Szabo

A number of years ago I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions or even Intentions. I simply decided to choose a word and apply that to my life for the year. Choosing the word is done somewhat randomly each year. In 2020, I was at a NY meditation practice and the word Zest was spoken.  I had been thinking about that word as it’s also one of the 24 VIA Character Strengths and one that I did not use often enough. I decided that word showing up was a sign for it to be my word for the year. Imagine, focusing on Zest in my life in 2020. The Universe gave me a challenge and I obliged.

Trust the Universe

In 2021, Mark and I were in the midst of bankruptcy and legal issues regarding the closing of our Yoga studio. I wanted it all to be over and just move on, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I had to trust the process. Lawsuits and bankruptcy take time, and patience was needed.

We had also just launched Eclectic Well-Being and were venturing into the unknown of not just owning our coaching business but creating it together. We had owned the Yoga studio together, but being a franchise, we were more like operators. Eclectic Well-Being was our creation. We were doing it together! I had to trust that we could do this and more: work together, play together, create together, make a living together and keep our marriage strong. Trust was the obvious word for 2021.

Learning to Surrender

A few months before New Year’s 2022, I made a decision to move to Michigan and open a small retreat center. A place that guests could come to relax, as well as be coached or practice Yoga or meditation or forest bathing. When I first told Mark of this decision, he was not interested. I loved him, but I knew in my heart I needed to create this space. I put it out there and kept talking about it, trusting he would come around. And finally, during a mindset retreat in Costa Rica, he did! Trust was working.

Then we announced our move to Michigan to our kids, and my daughter, was not happy to say the least. It felt as if I would break her heart leaving her home in New Jersey. I started having second thoughts. Unsure if my decision was the right one.

As I was working on my vision board, the word Surrender jumped off the page of a magazine and I somehow, I just knew, that was my word!

It showed up time and time again.

Looking at properties up and down the east coast, but always something just not quite right, surrendering that one will come along. Finding the right one on a gut feeling, in Michigan, just when I was about to give up! Selling our house soon after finding Eclectic Sanctuary. My daughter coming around and seeing the beauty and synchronicity in the property now called Eclectic Sanctuary.

Surrendering when we were dragged back into legal issues I had no control over.

Surrender even showed up at our annual Mindset Retreat!

The word was everywhere! What a year! But I am finally able to let go of the things I cannot change and Surrender that the Universe always has my back.

Signs are Everywhere

In December I started thinking about what word would be my word for this new year. A year once again filled with changes. Living in Michigan. Getting Eclectic Sanctuary up and running. Navigating life without my New Jersey Tribe, but reconnecting with friends and family back in the Midwest.

I haven’t been reading much and one evening decided to find a book I could read at my leisure. No self-help book, but something inspiring. Opening up an unpacked box of books, Becoming by Michelle Obama was on top. Hana, my daughter recommended it years ago. I bought it and it sat on my bookshelf until being packed for the move to Michigan. Why not? It seemed to be calling to me.

In the preface, Michelle talks about her aspirations and how they have changed throughout her life. How we ask children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and expect an answer to this pointless question “As if growing up is finite,” Michelles states. “As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”

These words connected with me. Afterall, I’ve been reinventing myself my entire life. I am always becoming.

Then, a day or two later, I began researching quotes about failure for my digital 7 Day MindShift Course and found this one from Fredrick Lenz.

“There is no such thing as completion. These are only stages in an endless progression. There are no final outcomes or decisions, since nothing ever stays the same.”

We are always Becoming.

I knew then that no matter how unoriginal it seems to use Michelle Obama’s book title, my word for 2023 had to be Becoming.

This year, and every year, I am Becoming. I have never grown up. I continue to become who I am meant to be.

My life has no destination other than death, and I am no hurry to get there.

Rather my life is a journey of endless progression. An endless process of Becoming.

This year I am becoming an owner of Eclectic Sanctuary. I am becoming an herb farmer. I will become a caretaker for a flock of chickens in the spring. Mark is becoming a ________ ­­­­­(it’s still a secret, but hopefully soon we can share!).

I am becoming stronger. Becoming more patient. I’m becoming calmer. And becoming more compassionate.

I am becoming more of who I am meant to be!

Who are you Becoming this year?

What word will guide you in 2023?

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Watch as I continue to Become.