Endings, Beginnings And Something Different
January 04, 2023

 

It’s the time of the year when recap posts are written, followed by drafting of resolution lists. It requires time for reflection and space for clarity to emerge. I wanted to do it too but I couldn’t.

Not for lack of motivation, but because I fell sick.

Life intervenes when you least expect it

It was annoying to be in bed nursing a cold, coughing incessantly when there were things to do, people to meet and plans to compile. Yet, illness can be a trigger for change, and a harbinger of clarity in a world that seems to be on steroids trying to do more, climb faster, be more successful.

What is it I want to do in 2023?

Asking myself this question gave me a headache. It was a question I ask myself every year. There are years when the answer is clear, like back in 2021 when I knew that I wanted to write my memoir. And years when I knew I need to scale back, like a year ago, when I was recovering from burnout.

I deliberately chose ‘savor’ as my word of the year for 2022. It was an easy reminder to gently breathe into each experience as I interacted with the world around me. I wasn’t sure what the word would bring into my life but I was open to seeing things more deeply, vividly, and holistically while staying in the present moment.

I sat eating a piece of cake outside the library one afternoon. And sat by the lake for a few extra minutes each time I went there. I enjoyed the feeling of walking barefoot on grass and on acupuncture stones and noticed how the same view each morning can still be stunning and refreshing.

It was a wise choice that helped me register many moments that otherwise might have escaped my notice. 

Choosing a word of the year

As I lay in bed, frustrated at my lack of energy to do everyday things, leave alone make plans for the coming year, I mentally went over random words in my head. I read sentences slowly, pausing at words that seemed to jump out. In the past I have used action words like emerge, focus, create etc to inject momentum into each year. But now such words didn’t hold any appeal. 

I was drawn to words like gratitude, serenity, peace but they were not actions I could take. These would be desired outcomes, hopefully, but would not provide any guidance on a regular basis, which is what the word of the year was supposed to do, serve as a touchstone when life got confusing.

What then? Should I wait and see if a word revealed itself to me? Or should I just drop the idea this year? 

Perhaps I could just cut myself some slack. Chasing a word in itself seemed like an unnecessary burden to carry around when the first priority was to restore my health.

It wasn’t as if I could act on any action word from my bed.

I decided to let things be and allow myself some space to figure things out.

And lo and behold, the word showed up!

But is it an action word?

The word? 

ALLOW!

A simple five-letter word that was attractive in a non-threatening way. Of course, it was a verb (action word) and it felt just right.

Instead of figuring things out at the start of the year, I would let myself be guided this year. In 2023, I want to ‘allow’ things to fall in place in my life. All I need to do is hold the space for ideas to emerge and inspiration to arise and hold on to my confidence that everything will unfold as it should.

I know that the younger me would have scoffed at such a passive choice, but there are things I have learned that have shaped my current thinking.

If all I have to do is ‘allow”, what exactly am I doing on a day to day basis? Holding my breath? Waiting for a miracle.

No. I can “quietly do the next and most necessary thing”. 

This piece of advice by Carl Jung was shared by Oliver Burkeman in Four Thousand Weeks, a book that had a significant impact on my life in 2022

So I will continue to read more books, write sparingly but hopefully with greater insight, seek to make a positive impact even if it is on a smaller scale. Perhaps more direct communication with readers who want to connect and less presence on social media? Who knows?

Plans are brewing but I am also waiting to see what I allow into this glorious year that has begun. 

How are you planning to launch into 2023?

 

You may also like:

On Setting And Quitting Goals

On Setting And Quitting Goals

Instead of chasing the same goals as everyone else, figure out how you want to feel and add meaning to your life this new year

Comments

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

My Book

Podcast

Categories

Are you ready to rewrite your happily ever after?

Sign up to receive a gentle reminder that it is possible to joyfully claim your authentic life today. Stay inspired with personal stories, resources and tips delivered to your inbox every two weeks. And receive a free chapter from my new book - Rewriting My Happily Ever After!

Thank you. Please confirm your subscription to receive your gift!