Updated: May 13, 2021
2018: The year of strong.
At the start of 2018 I decided that I wanted to have a word, or intention, for the year to focus my attention, goals and efforts. After much deliberation I selected the word strong and stuck with it for a full 365 days. I committed to getting out of my comfort zone, leveraging my strengths, developing my weaknesses, borrowing strength when I needed it, and lending strength to others when I could. “Strong” has of course led me to an embarrassing number of gym selfies, a brand new job, and a rock solid relationship as i muscled through the ups and downs of 2018.
2019: The year of being.
As 2018 came to a close I began to feel that 2019 needed to bring balance to the year of strong. In 2018 I muscled through things physically and emotionally – sort of a stiff upper lip style. I felt strong and independent and I liked those feelings but knew I wanted to challenge myself to tap into those opposite characteristics, like, I don’t know…feelings?
So I googled antonyms for the word strong: weak, flimsy, puny….that search was a dead end. I brainstormed my own: what was the opposite of strong? Vulnerable, soft, gentle….that list was uninspired. Each word I found had one negative connotation after another and I certainly did not want the word of 2019 to be flimsy….
So I thought about stillness about being. In a yoga class at Home Power Yoga, while holding a challenging pose, arms and legs shaking, sweat pouring down my face, unsure of whether to pass out or throw up, I was prompted by the instructor with the question: what if you just stayed in this pose a little longer? I stayed. What would it look like if you didn’t bail? I didn’t. What if you sit with the discomfort? I did, and I left the class both exhausted and elated. So instead of reaching for your coping mechanism when things got uncomfortable: quitting, mindlessly scrolling through your phone, binging netflix…or cheese doodles, or ice cream, or running, or cleaning the whole house. (In case you missed it we’re not talking about yoga anymore!) What if instead you just decided to be?
To be. To exist. To be present in this moment. To sit with whatever that discomfort looks like. And while we are being we can still be strong, brave, and confident while being patient, mindful, and still. We can feel every part of what it means to be our most authentic selves. So in 2019 that’s what I am aiming to do.
Here are some ways I am going to practice being this month:
A great deal at Yoga Dear. Practicing at a studio instead of at home – leaving my comfort zone. If you’re local, please join me!
Cleaning up my morning and evening routines – less phone time. More before bed reading.
Writing and coloring as creative mindfulness activities.
Walking to work.
Here’s to being in 2019. Cheers!
What I’m Reading:
A Life in Parts Bryan Cranston. Thanks, Tom.
The Marshmallow Test Walter Mischel.
What I’m Watching:
Law and Order SVU Season 20
Really want to see: Bird Box, Mary Poppins, Boy Erased, and RBG.
What I’m Listening to:
In the Dark Season 1
Just finished: Believed