Photo by Sincerely Media
I found my word for the New Year. I’ve been seeing this trend the last few weeks online – of choosing a word for the year – and it wasn’t really resonating with me. I thought maybe because this last year has been such a ride, I thought maybe I’m just a little burned out or something? But my word for the year found me this morning.
It felt like singing bowls feel when you sit with them, allowing the sound to hum through you like a spirit. Whispering to me with bubbly giggles and raising goosebumps on my skin. And I wondered what brought this on? Why now? And I think it has been this extended period of silence I’ve been in. I’ve made an intentional effort to get my head out of my business and read more over the last couple of weeks. And I haven’t been entirely successful. I love what I do. I really do! I love helping the women I partner with. Hearing the passion they have for their own work. And it just sucks me in sometimes. But nevertheless, I have managed to keep my head away from business more often than not and the quiet has massaged a soothing balm into my soul. And I think it was from that space that I was able to hear. Truly hear. Not just the rain on the roof and the sound of vehicles in the distance, but me. My own thoughts and dreams and longings and passions. I have so much I want to write! And it all came flooding in – WHOOSH. Filling me up. What took it so long? This epiphany? Having this time off has been like a meditation practice. Meditating is so hard for me ya’ll! My mind wanders off constantly into other thoughts. The last two weeks have been very similar. I spent most mornings working – I thought if I did some work in the morning each day and got it out of the way, I could tell myself it was done for the day and whatever cropped up in the afternoons, I had the next morning to take care of. And most days I stuck to that. It was like I was afraid to face the void, the space of nothing planned. I did better on days I knew I had something planned later that day; a family gathering, someone to see, a lunch with a friend, a place to be. Gradually over the last couple of weeks, as I’ve spent time facing this void of no plans, I’ve gotten better at it. It no longer creates that squeezing anxiousness in my chest or the edging of nervous energy in the pit of my stomach. Can anyone else relate? I’ve refamiliarized myself with silence. With quiet. With stillness.
A friend and someone I admire so very much, Debbie Burns, recently posed a question to me I didn’t have an answer for at first. Now I do. I do!
I have to laugh because it is a process, right? There are layers and I’m still pulling back some of the layers. I had this inner voice, very oafish, saying, “YOU NEED WRITE.” But another voice would say, “Not today ya big oaf – I got other plans.” And that’s the voice I tend to listen to. I go and I do the ‘planned’ things. The safe things. The things expected of me. The things that give me a feeling of satisfaction and fulfilment. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think any of these are bad things! They aren’t. And I would go to bed, exhausted in one way or another; mentally, emotionally, physically or some combination thereof. And that voice was there the next morning, “YOU NEED WRITE.” I’d roll my eyes and off I would go into my ‘planned’ day. Because the writing I perceived I needed to do was for my business, it had become another to do, another item to check off the list, another means to an end. Instead of the joy I had experienced with my writing in the past. Instead of the inspired, creative thing I looked forward to doing. My brain knew I needed to write; a blog, copy for emails, a newsletter, whatever. So, it was readily reminding me, each and every day, ‘YOU NEED WRITE.’ And I will be honest, I feel as if my days are less inspired and mostly planned. I thrive on structure and time blocking and lists, but I also thrive on freedom and autonomy. This space, this time of quiet and stillness has allowed me to see that I am off kilter a bit. I’ve leaned on my structured, time-blocking, list-making side these last 18 months far more than my hippy-dippy, free-spirit, creative artist side.
I have three full days ahead of me to write and read and to play in this renovated space in my life where I’m giving myself permission to focus on something other than my business. I’ve learned these last two weeks that I need space. I need to clear the stones and weeds of tasks and appointments to make space in the field for my creativity to come out and play. To quiet the noise of to-do lists and plans to hear the laughing-call of the bird-muse. Starting my business was a dream and the majority of the last 18 months my brain has been laser focused on that. I feel like it is time to realign a bit. Not away from my business by any means, but just a slight realignment of my time and energies and focus. To practice having the courage to spend time lingering with intuition and ambiguity and honoring the creativity that is birthed from it.
Oh! My word for the year is generosity. To be generous with myself and others. Generous in how I live. Generous in my business. Generous in my breathing. Generous in my giving – oh how I love to give! I could go on and on, but this has gotten much longer than I intended.
Here is to a Generous New Year!