Starting Things Off
"Flow doesn't come to those who try to do things well. It comes to those who try to do things freely."
--- Barry Michaels
Each year, I always begin to think about and work with my "one little word" the same way: by inviting the word into my life.
I start with tangible things:
- I find quotes that inspire.
- I put the word in front of me.
- I start a word-inspired playlist.
- I identify books I want to read.
- I create a dedicated word journal.
- I search for a poem.
This kind of "stuff" helps me get my word firmly in my head, and sets the tone for the thinking-work ahead.
Next, I come up with a list of . . . things? activities? themes? . . . that might help me link up with my word through the year. Of course, this kind of list - put together at the beginning of the year - will change and evolve as the year goes on, but it does give me a place to begin.
On my list this year:
- Pay attention to things that flow (lunar cycles, my attention span, water . . . ).
- Give myself space (in my life, in my days, in my closet . . . ) to let ideas and thoughts flow more freely.
- Practice flow, especially related to my own creative activities.
- Analyze my own work flow -- figuring out how to give my days the structure I need while still allowing flow to happen.
- Show up in the "now" with intentional work on mindfulness and presence.
- Explore the work of Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi, the founder of the "flow state" concept in psychology.
- Bring more yoga-flow to my life by doing . . . even more yoga.
- Let love flow by more intentionally practicing kindness.
I have no clever conclusions or meaningful progress or life changes to report yet. Just forward movement -- and a whole lot of ideas!
If you choose a word, what are some things you do as the year begins?
Don't you love the starting process? It is full of so many possibilities!
Posted by: Kat | 02/26/2020 at 08:36 AM
I'm off to a slow, stuttering start with my word, but I do all those same things!
Posted by: Bonny | 02/26/2020 at 08:44 AM
I like that quote and the idea of doing things "freely." I also like the idea of paying attention to things that flow. I can relate to that as I often picture in my mind a certain river in Vermont and "watch" it as it flows. Very relaxing.
Posted by: Vera | 02/26/2020 at 09:07 AM
I try to pay attention to where my word is showing up in the world. I am often surprised that a word I had not noticed before suddenly seems to be everywhere
Posted by: Juliann | 02/26/2020 at 09:15 AM
I love beginnings. They are so full of promise! I always begin my OLW journeys by paying attention to the word. Noticing where it shows up and how. I'm still in that phase right now with mine. ...with no clear idea where it's gonna take me!
Posted by: Mary | 02/26/2020 at 01:30 PM
I've been journaling a bit (who am I???!!!) with my word - next. I'm figuring out it's kinda scary to think about!
Posted by: Patty | 02/26/2020 at 02:23 PM
This is my first year having a word as a theme, so I haven't yet developed a ritual for starting out the year -- so I very much appreciate your sharing what you do!
Posted by: Sarah | 02/27/2020 at 06:46 AM
I do some of those things as well but I haven't made a playlist yet - thanks for the reminder to do that. I was talking with my therapist about my word open and she told me that she thought I also needed to consider the word flow as part of being open. I immediately thought of you and the connection of our two words, it literally stopped me in my tracks. XOXO
Posted by: Carole | 02/27/2020 at 07:12 AM
Your word has so much visual imagery. I think, also, of the contrast within the word. Slow, rapid. Smooth, rough. Your word speaks to me at so many levels and the possibilities seem endless. Good choice! I look forward to seeing where and how this word unfurls for you.
Posted by: Margene | 02/27/2020 at 10:35 AM
Posted by: Vicki | 02/27/2020 at 11:40 AM