Have you picked a word for the year?
My word for 2018 is flow.
I didn’t intend to pick a word for 2018, but this word kept popping into my mind, demanding to be heard. So, I listened.
Here’s why I’m choosing to flow:
Self-employment involves a lot of swimming against the tide. Especially in the early years, when you jump in the deep end and you feel you have a lot to prove. There’s a time to swim against the current, and there’s a time to float. This year, I choose flow - something I touched on last year when I wrote about choosing health over hustle.
The word ‘flow’ gives me permission to approach each day with flexibility. The energy is “let’s see what this day brings and flow appropriately”. I still set goals and intentions for each day, and write epic to-do lists, but I aim to flow through each task rather than follow a rigid schedule.
Flow is the opposite of rigid, set, fixed. It’s gentle and malleable. It offers room to breathe.
Writing is a form of flow. The flow of words, ideas, feelings. The hardest part about being a writer is waiting patiently for the words to flow through me and onto the page.
I have a baby girl who is a big fan of flow. She likes to flow through her day at a relaxed pace. She has zero regard for the clock, my to-do list, or words like ‘productivity’ or ‘hustle’.
Flow makes me think of yoga, prayer, meditation, and acceptance. It invokes a sense of peace and comfort.
Imagine a river flowing. A river changes speed, encounters obstacles, has areas of intensity and acceleration, as well as areas of slowness. It’s always moving, but the pace varies.
Flow implies that I surrender to something larger than myself, like divine energy or fate.
To go with the flow is to be open to new opportunities, to embrace change, to pivot when necessary, to trust in the bigger picture. To enjoy life as it unfolds, instead of trying to control life.
And finally, I think this quote from Lao Tzu sums it up nicely: “Life is a series of natural and sponetaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things naturally flow forward in whatever way they like.”
Do you have a word for the year? I’d love to know!