What are my ways of being? A few tips to help you find more alignment in 2017

Jan 24, 2017

I’ve always been inclined to take stock of my life around this time of year, and to make some plans for the New Year.  Although I generally eschew all things resolution-related, the New Year is indeed when I do all my dreaming and scheming for what I want to invite into my life next.

One of my favourite ways to do this is to decide on a word of the year and my “ways of being” for the year.

I like this because it helps to “theme” my intentions and goals for the year ahead to make sure they’re aligned with my priorities, but also because it’s an easy barometer for my alignment: when the majority of one’s endeavours over the course of the year can be categorized under one of three or five “ways of being” or an overarching theme for the year, it’s easy to know whether or not you’re on track to make the shifts toward greater alignment that you want to make.

Last year, my word for the year was Seachange.  To me, Seachange meant that 2016 was going to be the year everything shifted – like the tides, my entire life was going to do a 180.  But like Seachange itself, those changes were going to come rhythmically, in a feminine, intuitive, natural way.

Looking back now, Seachange was the perfect word for 2016.

This year, my word for the year is actually a phrase:

Root to Rise.


The last two years have been hugely transformative for me, and while I still have great big ambitions for the “rise” of my business this year, I am craving rootedness.  It’s time for me to rediscover my roots, to pay close attention to and nourish my relationships, my community and myself.

My ways of being are:


EMBODYING. I feel like a floating head sometimes. I have a deep discomfort with and denial of my postpartum body. I’m sore and I’m tired and I am not interested in “shoulds” and “not enoughs” anymore. I want something more like acceptance. Something more like health, confidence, and ability. Being embodied means being my WHOLE self.

CONNECTING. I have a story on repeat in my mind: I have no support. I have few close friends, and no family in close proximity. And yet, I suddenly realized that I have been living in my city for 17 years and haven’t really, truly, deeply put down roots. It’s time to change my story of support and deeply connect with the people around me. To create a family away from my birth family, and to also connect with my husband, and with my sweet bod (see above).

TENDING. It is time to tend to myself. This is about meaningful self-care, nourishing myself, and generally being a damn goddess.

reWILDING. 2017 will be a year spent outdoors. In the woods, by the ocean, getting in touch with my wild self. There will be solo retreats, adventures, and learning how to cook gourmet meals over hot coals.

ACTUALIZING. While I’m doing all this rooting, I’ve still got massive dreams to accomplish. While most of those centre around my business goals, there are shifts in my personal life that can help me actualize. Among these are some serious abundance planning and perhaps even a downsize.

How about you?  Do you have a theme word for the year or have you uncovered some ways of being?  If not, here are some questions that might help you delve deeper into considering what words will guide you this year:

What three things did you learn or experience in 2016 that you want to bring with you into 2017?

Thinking back over the past year, what areas of your life did you nourish the most? What areas did not receive as much of your attention?
(think family, relationship, career, physical health, mental health, emotional health, physical environment, finances, spirituality etc…)

What happened last year that you want MORE of? What do you want LESS of?

What are you craving this year?

What accomplishment in 2017 would make you most proud?

What is it time for?

What desire do you have for your life that feels both scary and exciting?

How do you want to feel this time next year? What will be different in your life?

Are you noticing any themes arising out of your responses to these questions?  These might be a hint as to your word and ways of being!


Another favourite thing of mine to do is to create a vision board out of Pinterest pins to help guide my year.  I post it on the wall in front of my desk and it’s also my desktop background, so I always see it.  I’m convinced it’s a constant visual reminder of my goals, and that it helps me accomplish what I want to accomplish!  Here is this year’s vision board:

2017 Vision Board | www.nalumana.com

If you’d like to know how to make a vision board like this, check out this blog post – everything is explained there!

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!