Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

The Power of Being Willing

I haven’t had a word of the year for a decade. In an illustration of cosmic humor of the universe, my last word of the year was in 2013 and my word was “wait.” But as 2013 came to a close, no new word came for 2014. Now, ten years later, as 2023 drew to a close, the word “willing” kept coming into my awareness.

Another word after all this time of waiting? We’ll see. Word of the year or not, “willing” seems to be my guiding principle these days – willing to accept, willing to stay open, willing to embrace, willing to question, willing to consider, willing to trust, willing to not know, willing to allow, willing to listen, willing to love, willing to be willing, even just a little bit.

The last year taught me a lot about being willing in all these ways and more. And I found that it didn’t take much willingness for amazing things to happen. Just a mustard seed of willingness could shift my experience from resistance, fear, and judgment, to curiosity, openness, and gratitude. Instead of fighting with life, I was fully living my life. And loving it. As the Bud Lite commercial says, “It’s like magic, only real.”

Odd, I thought, that willing might be my word of the year since in the past, my word was always a verb. Willing is an adjective, a descriptive word rather than a doing word. Maybe there is some significance there as well. Willingness is an attitude rather than an action. I need do nothing, I need exert no energy, nor make any effort to be willing. I need only relax, letting my breath breathe courage into my heart, trust into my spirit, and peace into my soul. Then, as a friend is fond of saying, “let’s see what happens.” Life unfolds as it will – naturally, perfectly, beautifully.

All you ever longed for is before you in this moment, if you dare draw in a breath and whisper “yes.” ~Danna Faulds

10 thoughts on “The Power of Being Willing”

    1. Thanks, Brian. This was a big shift for me, from action to attitude. I’m glad it resonated for you too.

  1. 09 Jan

    It’s inspiring to see how ‘willing’ has transformed your perspective and experience of life. I’m intrigued to see how this word will continue to shape your journey in the coming year.

  2. Christopher Martin

    They had one of those MerriamWebster deals where you click and a flashing board stops at “your” word. I got “wanton”. Twice.

    1. Hmm, that is interesting. I looked up the definition of “wanton” and discovered that in addition to its more common meanings, there is an archaic meaning of play or frolic. Perhaps that is a meaning you can embrace and enjoy.

  3. Kathy Valentine

    I want to learn to be more willing! Very good choice! I have semi selected authentic as my word. They kind of go together and sound/seem more workable than last years word of ‘regal’ which was just a nice idea. Thinking of you often these days, with love. Kathy

    1. Regal — that was in interesting word, Kathy! One of my martial arts teachers, in speaking of proper alignment, suggests an image of regal bearing. Not in a haughty or arrogant sense, but in the sense of having an upright vertical line, calm and confident. I’m curious about how you experienced that word last year.

      Perhaps being regal leads us into greater authenticity as we take responsibility for our lives and our own inner power. Let’s see how “authentic” unfolds for you this year.

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