Immersion in 2017


I love the mindful and intentional traditions I see so many of you doing at the transition of each new year. This year, I have decided on my guiding word for 2017 and I’ve chosen IMMERSION.

Here is the etymology of “immerse”:

immerse (v.)

“to plunge into (a fluid),” early 15c. (implied in immersed), from Latin immersus, past participle of immergere “to plunge in, dip into, sink, submerge” (see immersion). Figuratively, of study, work, passion, etc., from 1660s. Related: Immersedimmersingimmersive.

For this next year, I plan to plunge in, dip into, sink, and submerge into everything I care deeply about. Here are some of those things:

human rights and social  justice

racial equality and justice

environmental justice

LGBTQ+ and women’s rights

inclusive (intersectional) feminism

animal advocacy

immigrant rights

native rights


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives this phrase for the word immersion: “absorbing involvement.” So I also add to my 2017 immersion goals these activities of creative submersion:





digital photography editing

short film making


Implied in “immersion” is some risk. I’m up to the challenge. While in Hawaii over the holidays, I found myself entering the Pacific ocean with mindfulness. I knew that the surf was strong. I knew, while warmer than the ocean off the mainland PNW, the water would feel cool. But I did it anyway. I immersed myself. I let the ocean envelop me and jostle me about, but I stayed strong. I surrendered to being in it — to being part of it. That’s the level of commitment I want to feel this year.

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