My word of 2023 is gentle. I have told everyone in my life that this is my word, because I knew I was going to need help and reminders coming from lots of people! Gentle is not my natural state. By that, I mean that I know I am often too fast, sometimes too loud, and way to quick to judge [in my head]. I also know that I can be calm and professional and a good listener who can slow down and tap into empathy. So, how gentle was January?
Let’s just say I am grateful to my friends who helped remind me about gentle when I was having a rough day. For instance, I texted a good friend something about a frustration with another person in my life and her response was, “Remember to be gentle”. I wanted to throw my phone across the room and simultaneously hug her for this necessary reminder! Recently I received a hand written note at work and my friend and boss thanked me for my gentle leadership in a challenging meeting. I appreciated that she knows I am working on gentle and she helped me remember this by pointing it out in a positive way.
One month in and I am also reminding myself. I, like most of us, will vent to friends and family about my day-to-day annoyances. Lately I have heard myself say, after a venting session, “But I’m reminding myself to be gentle. I’m venting to you so that I can be more gentle with this person in our next interaction”. This post is a reminder to myself to keep working on it all and a huge thank you to my family, friends, and colleagues who are helping remind me what gentle can look and sound like for me in 2023.
How is your word of the year going so far?
I love your word! It encourages me to be more gentle, too!
AndrÃ©e Grey, Ed.D.