Once a month, many of us in Bloglandia share updates about our "words" for the year. (Honoré hosts, check it out.) It's a really helpful way to reflect back on the month-just-ended . . . to see how our "words" have popped up in our worlds. It's especially fascinating to me to see how these words connect - all year - for so many of us. There is some mysterious power in having a word, that's for sure.
"If you are quiet enough, you will hear the flow of the universe. You will feel its rhythm. Go with this flow. Happiness lies ahead."
--- Buddha Gautama
Well. I surely never imagined a year quite like this one . . . when I chose my word last January! (Hoo boy. Talk about an understatement.) But, at this point in the year, I can see that . . . these weird times have actually enhanced the entire "relationship" with my word.
The pandemic forced me to abandon my "old" life (or much of it), leaving me with a blank slate for so many things -- including my word. A kind of . . . Now what? situation. How could this word - flow - fit into my life now that my life was so . . . different? I'd be writing a very different blog post right now, had the pandemic not come along and interrupted everything. And I'm pretty sure I'd be challenged by that quote from the Buddha (above). While I know I'd WANT TO be quiet enough to "hear the flow of the universe," I know I'd struggle with the actual DOING IT.
In a really interesting way, this forced pause in life-as-we-knew-it actually opened me up to understanding flow in a wholly different "life" -- in a new context altogether.
My best example? Well, before the pandemic, the rhythm of my days really came from the calendar. If I wanted to know what was up, I just looked at my planner! It held all the answers - what I was doing, where I was going, who I was meeting. My "flow" was really defined by boxes and grids and lists on monthly and weekly calendars.
Don't get me wrong. I still keep my calendar up to date, and I use my planner regularly. There's just a whole lot less ON it. I don't need to consult it so often. And I use it in entirely different ways now. (I have even, on occasion, gone for a couple of days without checking it at all. This would have been shocking in the Before Times.)
As the pandemic months tick by, though, I'm finding that I'm not so driven by the flow of dates and events in my planner. I've tuned into . . . other rhythms. That "flow of the universe" the Buddha talked about! My own daily circadian rhythms, for example: day and night, darkness and light, waking and sleeping. My biologic rhythms: breath, heartbeat, hunger, digestion. Universal rhythms: the moon cycle, changing seasons, sunrise and sunset.
I'm so much more tuned in . . . to the flow around me. IN me. And this is a gift I doubt I'd have discovered if life had continued as before.
I know I'd have learned different things about myself, other lessons, of course, if the pandemic hadn't stepped in. But I'm grateful to have had an opportunity to . . . scrap my calendar and planner (or at least loosen things up significantly) and allow the rhythms of the universe to flow through me!
How about you? What did you learn from your word last month?
(If you're interested in reading my other monthly "word" posts, you can find them here.)