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  • Writer's pictureJen Greenway

My Spiritual Theme for 2022 and How To Choose Yours

The New Year is the time of year when everyone is most excited for a fresh start. So many of us save our big goals for the infectious energy boost that comes with the beginning of a new calendar. What if I told you this year that you don’t need New Year’s goals? What if I told you there’s a better way to guide your year and your Spirit? Let’s talk about it...

I remember growing up, every year my friends and family would ask me what my New Year's goals or resolutions were and I always replied that I didn’t have any. That’s not fully true, of course, because I always have aspirations and habit resolutions, but none of them were ever linked to New Years Day. Though, while I admit I don’t do New Year's goals in a traditional sense, it doesn’t mean that I don’t still take advantage of the high energy and the buzz of a clean slate that comes with a fresh calendar year. One way that I ride the wave is by setting a spiritual theme for each year.

I’m sure many of you have heard of spiritual themes or words of the year. These affirmation-style mindfulness techniques have been growing in popularity for a long time as more and more people realize the power of cultivating their energy and experience during the work towards their goals. Instead of focusing solely on a goal and whether or not they accomplish it, or the endpoint of an overarching behaviour change like “being more patient,” giving each year a spiritual theme or a guiding word helps individuals move through their days, weeks and months in a way that mindfully aligns with their Spirit or not. In this way, everyone has the ability to add and remove goals as they serve their Spirit and their Spirit’s growth.

My theme for 2021 was “Lead with Love,” and I took that mantra into every difficult situation — of which there were many. 2021 was a year of long, hard growth for me. From caring for my sick husband through spring, summer and fall to being abused by an academic system that still seeks the erasure of my people’s Knowledge, I was exhausted. Then, to cap the year off, my family lost one of our three eldest Matriarchs, my Grandma Violet.

Day after day, my strength was tested as I was always asked to give just a little more than I thought I could. My patience was tested as I was consistently pressed to step up and in more than I was ready to. Obviously, my strength gave and my patience failed throughout the year but there wasn’t a time when I didn’t assess or reassess my actions and my words for the opportunity to keep them in line with my Spirit. For every difficult conversation I knew I was about to enter, I prepared myself to lead with love. For every decision I struggled with, I looked at each option to decide which were based on love and which were based on fear. After that, it was easy to see which option was the appropriate one for me. Saying that my spiritual theme got me through 2021 is a bit much, but I truly believe it got me through 2021 while creating the least amount of damage when I was in pain.

Of course, I could continue the same theme into 2022 as I plan to always continue leading with love, but after the year that I’ve had, I know that I need a year dedicated to spiritual healing. Because of that, I had the easiest time choosing my spiritual theme for 2022:

“Is this healing me”?

2022 is going to be a year of honouring my Spirit for the resilience it showed in 2021 and giving myself permission to say no to the things that I know aren’t healing me. Will I be able to avoid everything? No, absolutely not. However, my hope with this theme is to be able to bring mindfulness deeper into my life and to be able to change course day-to-day.

I’ve been known to be a headstrong person who prefers to push through pain instead of yielding to it, but this year I’ve learned that pain is an opportunity for growth only if we give ourselves time to rest. While setting goals is exciting, I tend to get myself wrapped up in the competition of those goals, even if that competition is only with myself. It helps me achieve things, but it also puts me in a position where I continue to run myself into the ground long after my Spirit has asked me to stop. Luckily for me, choosing a theme based on being mindful of my healing has already helped me out of many ego-driven situations and we just started 2022.

If you want to learn how to choose the best spiritual theme for your year, I have a few questions you can ask yourself.

  1. What sort of energy and feelings am I carrying into the new year? Are they the type of energy and feelings I want more of or less of?

  2. Have I been cultivating a healthy relationship with my Spirit this past year, or have I been running myself down and neglecting my self-care?

  3. How are my relationships with my heart, mind and body?

  4. How well do I handle stillness or quiet?

  5. Are my relationships with other Beings healthy? (Am I dependent, co-dependent, avoidant, etc.)

  6. Do I feel grounded in all areas of my life, or are there areas that I intuitively feel need attention?

  7. How is my intuition? Do I even trust my intuition?

These are just a few questions that I would use to approach what theme is most appropriate for what your Spirit needs this year. I find that as soon as I begin to ask myself these questions, I can pretty quickly identify what my Spirit needs from me. Maybe after reading those you instantly had a theme idea pop into your head too, maybe you didn’t, but it’s important that we ask ourselves mindful questions like these every so often. Otherwise, how else do we cultivate our intuition and a strong relationship with our Spirit?

If you’re reading this and you’re still stuck on a theme, or maybe you can’t settle on a mantra or question like I did, you always have the option of choosing your words of the year. Similarly to when you place a few keywords on your resume (i.e.: visionary. creative. etc.), some people find choosing 1-3 words of the year helps to set their tone and guide their actions. For example, someone who is looking to cultivate a healthier relationship with their body this year might theme the year “Movement, Love, Energy” or “Flow, Patience, Growth.” It’s important to choose words that are specific enough to the energy you’re bringing into your year, but general enough that they don’t only apply to one area of your life. Both of those word triplets might just as easily apply to your relationship with the Land if you are mindful in how you use your words!

Both versions of the spiritual themes, phrases/mantras and words of the year, allow you as the user to apply your spiritual growth and spiritual needs to many areas of your life. It also gives you the option to mindfully put down any goals throughout the year that are no longer serving you spiritually.

Whatever your aspirations are for the new year, I hope that you give spiritual themes a try and that you give yourself permission to walk away from any New Year’s goals that no longer align with what your Spirit needs!




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