My word for 2020 is…

Posted by Kat Bowling

December 31, 2019

Dear Friends,

December is one of the most magical times of the year. The days are at their shortest, but we are – many of us – at our most hopeful. The new year, following on the heels of a busy holiday season, brings new intention and energy, new commitments. And this year especially, the new decade about to begin holds so much promise.

It’s at this liminal space in the year that, like many, I traditionally sit down for some periods of reflection, and I let new ideas about how I would like to shape the coming year germinate. I don’t set a new year’s resolution – I haven’t for many years now. Instead, I like to thoughtfully select a word (or phrase) that I feel will shape the coming year and form the basis of intention and inspiration throughout the year. For 2019, ‘Grow’ felt like the right word (especially with following on the heels of ‘Create’ for 2018). And wow, was it ever spot on!

2019 inspired me to grow my massage practice into a wellness center of my own, something I had set down on paper about four years ago as being my five-year plan. It always amazes me how these things manifest. It probably shouldn’t, but it does! I selected Maitri Holistic Arts as the name of this wellness center, because Maitri (pronounced MY-tree) translates from Sanskrit as “unconditional friendship with oneself” and self-care is such a cornerstone of my practice. We take gentle, loving care of those we feel closest to and having that same sense of compassion for the self goes hand-in-hand with taking care of ourselves. It goes beyond simply putting on your oxygen mask first to better care for others. Care for the self is vital for a happy, fulfilled life.

And here we are, on the cusp of 2020. Where do I want to go next? Maybe I should ask instead, “where do I need to go next?”

My dear friend Marci Moore writes about ways to “Show Up with Love” – I have so enjoyed reading her and Mary Anne Radmacher’s Love Letters from Your Life. And I have often used the phrase “Be the Light” when I talk about how we might do our part to help others along our life’s journey. For this reason, I was drawn to words like Compassion and Kindness. Compassion and Kindness are both things we desperately need more of today.

“We’re all just walking each other home.”

– Ram Dass

This year has provided me with many opportunities to observe this in action, and inaction. And to learn more about my own imperfect practices of Kindness and Compassion. It can be incredibly difficult at times to walk in that state of grace as we encounter the world each day, wouldn’t you agree? I worry that these words have been tossed around so much (much like ‘self-care’) that many simply tune it out. They are trendy buzzwords in some respects, and they mean so many different things to each person. I think what we are seeing in the world today is symptomatic of a deeper need – a need for Healing.

That’s just it, isn’t it? What we all need right now is Healing.

What do you need to heal in your life? What one action can you do today to work towards that? What one thing can you do tomorrow that keeps you on the path to Healing?

Compassion and Kindness are just two small parts of Healing, in a holistic sense. There’s also Love and Connection. And Forgiveness and Grace – just to name but a few. Many of these elements reside in the heart. And the heart is what’s needed for Healing. It all seems to cascade outward from there, to the mind, and to the body. The heart is the center of it all.

Heart-Centered Healing is what we practice at Maitri Holistic Arts, from acupuncture to holistic psychotherapy, to massage therapy (and more!). In the new year, as you re-commit to health and wellness, don’t forget that we – myself, Tony, Danette, David, and Nancy – are all here to help with a wide array of healing modalities.

For those of us who are struggling at this time of year this year (and I do mean “we” – we are truly in that together, my friends), may there be an extra cup of kindness and compassion for you, and opportunities to heal whatever brings you sadness and distress. May you all find Healing in this coming year, as we begin a new decade in strength and vitality.

Be Love and Be Light,


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