Turning Inward
A Wild and Crazy Summer Coming Up

Maybe the Most Perfect Word

At the beginning of the year (you know . . . back when it all seemed so fresh and inviting and full of possibility?), I chose FLOW as my word for 2020. But it wasn't an obvious word choice. It was more that I had a . . . concept. . . in mind long before I had a word.

My concept? Well, I'd just spent a year on "intention" -- and I'd done a lot of work developing my personal values and understanding how important alignment is when it comes to intention, and - here is the biggie - coming to grips with reality-meeting-intentions. I really wanted to continue that work, but with a little more energy and some action -- and much more thinking.

I knew from the start that I wanted to focus more on mindfulness, and I wanted to explore how mindfulness could apply to my work flow and my creative flow. I wanted to do some very specific, flowing kind of movements -- more frequent yoga flows, for example, and spending more time on the water kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. I had been wanting to get away from calendar-time and tune in more to the lunar phases. And, mostly, I wanted to accept how to just . . . let that shit go . . . in my life.

One word just kept popping up as I thought about my concept: FLOW. So I went with it! It felt right to me. I decided to just kind of . . . see where the word took me. I didn't want to establish any set plans or specific goals, though. Not really. Because . . . that just seemed to be the antithesis of FLOW. Right?


How could I have known then . . . what 2020 would throw my way!?!

Because, yeah. A global pandemic will kind of upend Every. Single. Thing.
Requiring . . . that you go with the flow!

FLOW . . . because no other alternative, really.

Things I'm learning these days (about living through a pandemic AND about going with the flow):

  • Mindfulness . . . is the key to getting me through my days.
  • Calendar? What calendar? I'll pay attention to the moon instead!
  • Stay rooted  . . . but flow! Change is everywhere.
  • Solitary time . . . brings clarity. And resourcefulness.
  • Getting into flow (through exercise or creative pursuits) . . . invites release, escape, and peace.
  • Let go of control . . . to see what emerges.

"Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing."
        --- Jon Kabat-Zinn


How about YOU? What are you learning from your word this year?


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Carolyn Seymour Thomas

I don't know if you'd call it serendipitous, or what--but going in to this year and your word with so much openness & w/o preconceived notions was really where it's at! Like your title says. And not just with your word itself, but how you held it from the beginning. If you're ever inclined to write about it, I'd be very inclined to read about your Letting Shit Go. Because there's never a time when that's not a good muscle to work!


Maybe that is why I have been in such a funk lately. All I want to do is meditate and knit F*** 2020 dishcloths, but food has to be procured, prepared, clothes washed, bills paid, problems solved, etc. I may need to throw out the calendar, accept change, and go with the flow instead of trying to fight my way upstream.


Going with the flow is an understatement. The beginning of summer causes so much expectation but this current situation is changing it to something else. Yes, we all could flow along with more introspection.
Your thoughts today are just right, thanks so much.


I find it so interesting to see how many of us ended up with the perfect word for the year in spite of the world being turned upside down. We didn't choose our words expecting a global pandemic, but in spite of it (or even because of it?), those words seem to be doing us good. I think your idea of flow as in "going with the flow" is something that is so useful right now, when we don't know what to expect. I am someone who really gets stressed out if she is not in control, so I could use more flow in my life right now! My word is definitely helping me because it's enabling me to focus on what I have and to be grateful for it, which leads to less focus on what I can't control.


Oy, the flow these days! I hear you... some days (most days?) I feel like I am wrestling with intention - the struggle is real.

I can tell you this... the quote that I randomly found way back in January has carried me through each month - and surprisingly well!

kathy b

Letting go ....... that is tough for me to do. But I will try!


Each day I’m trying to accept what is given me on that day. I plan but allow myself to relish the simple things that may crop up. I also allow in those times of sadness but move on. Going with the flow. So important!


Letting go of Control. One of the hardest things for us humans to do. We just want what we want. I am working on Joy to supplant Control. Not always easy, either. I think I may also need to go with the Flow.


I think there could not be a more perfect word for 2020 than flow. Oh, the lessons we are learning! (some I could do without, frankly)


The hardest part of this pandemic has been being alone so much of the time, but it's forced me to do more crafting, cleaning, and organizing (if only Goodwill were open-I'd sure like to get rid of this stuff). I still miss my friends and our impromptu and serendipitous meetups. Texting just isn't fulfilling. Oh well, must go with the (quiet) flow. xo


Catching up. John Sandford has three mystery series that are intelligent and accurate and good (he was a crime reporter before he started writing books): The Prey series (#30 just came out), the Virgil Flowers series (11 so far), the Kidd series (4 books); all set primarily in the Twin Cities. William Kent Kruger's Cork O'Connor series, set in northern MN: 17 books and counting. Anne Cleves' Shetland series, 7 books.

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