F or a decade now, I’ve been using the process of choosing one to three words to serve as a focus and theme for Edwin Georgi (4)my year. Like life, some years are easier to stay on point than others, but it never fails to amaze me at the end of the year how my choice has focused, shifted, and transformed me.

Declaring a Theme for the year is like a powerful prayer to God (and our unconscious) to guide us and usher our desires into our life.

It’s why I create an eBook for subscribers each year to help them ferret out a word (or three) to serve them for the year. I see the words as a Compass or a Touchstone.

Most of the time, I choose my word before the Winter Solstice. I’m a big time planner and I know that getting clear on my focus allows me to create better (and more realistic) plans. Twice now, the Winter Solstice and New Year’s Day have passed me by, and I was undecided.

2010 was one of those years. Yet I chose Faith in March and by December, my entire world has turned 180 degrees. I lost my mother that year. I risked my heart. I sold my 22 year old home and left Texas. I began the creation of this life here with JB that has ushered into existence the kind of daily life I dreamed about as a little girl.

When 2015 arrived and my Word had not, I didn’t panic. Our heavy travel schedule didn’t leave me time to think or dream or contemplate what I needed or wanted in my world. I had left behind “Passionate Amazonian Faith” firmly in 2014, but knew that one of the eight words I had narrowed it down to would rise like cream to the top. I went about the normal course of life and business in the meantime. I cleared clutter and did laundry. I coached clients and cooked dinner. I brainstormed article ideas and began a new art class.

Then a word that wasn’t on my narrowed down list emerged as I was setting my intention for my art class: Custodian.

I looked it up in the Thesaurus seeking something similar because Custodian sure isn’t glamorous. I had loved the sexy Amazonian part of 2014. I played with Steward, Curator and Protector, yet nothing felt quite right. Then, during a conversation with my Director over at YourTango, I saw the stark beauty and simplicity in the concept of being a Custodian to myself. I also understood how shining that light upon my own life would serve others.

There is a glamor and sexiness to choosing to tend and protect yourself, so despite my initial reaction, Custodian it is.

Curious about my choice and the logic behind it? Want to know how it plays out? Here are some of the facets why 2015’s Main Touchstone is Custodian.

I need to be a better Custodian of my time. I need to apply more compassionate discipline to how I spend my time, and this includes saying No and setting boundaries. I know that there are ways to be more productive – by doing things like planning, meditating, and reviewing.

I want to be a better Custodian of my focus and attention. There is so many delicious ways to become distracted (like Facebook and Email), yet I know that it distracts me from my writing. I also need to continue to stay on top of clutter and keep my spaces organized, because messy spaces distract me, too. And focus is also about choosing what to stop focusing on, like the number on the scale or how I don’t quite measure up to others’ ideals for my life.

It’s my responsibility to be a Custodian of my talents. God granted me with the ability to write, connect, create, love, and so much more, that to not give my gifts attention and time and to nurture the development is like thumbing my nose at God.

It’s also my responsibility to be a Custodian of my mind and soul. To make time for prayer and meditation. To tend my soul with nourishing words. To tantalize my mind with fresh knowledge. To challenge myself to do things outside my comfort zone (like that art class!) To stretch who I am so that I can continue to become who I am meant to be. This includes getting out in nature and sometimes laying on the couch to read a seemingly frivolous book. That includes reducing stresses and stressors.

It’s up to me to be a Custodian of my relationships. To nurture the important ones. To lavish attention on my precious time with them. It’s also important to walk away from relationships that are one-sided or hurtful.

It’s important to be a Custodian to my blessings. I am the first to admit that I am more blessed than I ever dreamed possible. I also know how easy it can be to complain or drift away from gratitude. This is also about being a good custodian of money.

It’s critical that I am a good Custodian of my business. This includes the care and love I give my clients, the writings and products I put out in the world, and the cultivation of my public image. It’s important that I am strategic, especially about what I write and where I choose to share my work.

It’s my duty to be a Custodian of my body. I only have this one body to house my soul and I want it to be healthy. That means to place importance on what I put in my body (aka food). To ensure that I get adequate sleep and adequate movement. It also means to protect it with sunscreen and regular check-ups.

Speaking of body, it doesn’t end with flesh and bone. It’s important to be a Custodian to my spaces. My home. My office. My on-line spaces like my websites, my Facebook page and my Instagram feed. It’s about how they are all maintained and what I allow within them.

And because I know that being a Custodian of all of these things doesn’t come easily to me, my word Custodian needs support, too.

It will find support in my other two words for 2015: Receive and Grace.

I am a pro at giving, but I struggle with my ability to Receive. To be a good Custodian of all my blessings, I need to be reminded that it is also my duty to receive what I desire and what I am given.

And, then comes Grace. My Inner Critic can be quick to berate me for all my past failures, especially the ways I have neglected any of these areas – like time and focus and relationships and my body. I need to offer myself Grace so that I can be a Custodian in 2015.

So, tell me, darling: what about you? Have you chosen a Touchstone or Word for 2015? Don’t forget my FREE Guide to doing so.  Are you in the process of doing so? And how can I inspire you to be a Custodian of all the goodness in your world?

The next few weeks here in the blog will be devoted to ways you can be a better Custodian in your life, especially of your time and attention.

And, if you are looking for a way to stay on track – and be devoted to whatever Word you choose in 2015, don’t forget about Become Besotted. It’s a Monthly Review + Dream Tracker rolled into one big hunk of LOVE.

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Debra is a life coach, writer, and tarnished southern belle. She resides in Dayton, OH.
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