Measuring A Year: That One Little Word
Bet you thought I'd finished "measuring my year" last week, huh?
I still have one thing to wrap up: that one little word . . .
Flow. (n.) a steady, continuous stream of something
(Were truer words ever spoken? Because oh my yes, 2020 certainly was just that: a continuous stream of . . . something!)
Last January, I explained that I had chosen the word flow as my one little word for 2020 because I wanted a word that would "get me moving;" a word with some "energy." I wanted to "find my flow" and "be the flow" . . . so I could "live my best life for the rest of my life." I set up some intentions and goals for myself, and I eagerly set off . . . flowing.
Until I wasn't.
(To be fair, nothing was flowing for a while.)
It took me a while to find my footing after our "normal lives" became the Before Times. When I look back at my journal and my blog posts from March and April last year, it's really clear that I was struggling. In shock, I suppose. Trying to come to terms with what was happening. Certainly more scrambling than flowing.
Gradually, slowly, though . . . I started to adapt.
My lifelong mantra -- Don't push the river, it flows by itself (Frederick S. Perls) -- showed up often to remind me that I needed to stop trying to control what I couldn't control; that I needed to stop worrying stressing, struggling. It was time for me to stop "pushing the river." It was time to flow. (Of course, that's easier said than done. But a helpful reminder nonetheless.)
And a new mantra - Be like water, my friend (Bruce Lee) - showed up to teach me that the properties of water offer us great examples of how to "be," how to adapt, how to live. (Bruce Lee's words became my personal mantra for the rest of the year. I wear them on a tiny charm around my neck every day.) I became determined to keep moving, to tumble and rush over rocks, to move smoothly around the obstacles in the way, to rest quietly behind the log jams, to flow. (Did it work? Some days.)
2020 - my year of flow - taught me that our lives . . . are really kind of like a river. And as my fisherman husband would explain . . . you may think you know a river, but it's always changing.
Sometimes a river flows gently.
Sometimes it rushes over rapids.
Sometimes it dries to a trickle.
Sometimes it overflows its banks.
I was flowing along at the beginning of the year, thinking I knew exactly how my river would move.
I went over a waterfall I didn't even see coming!
But I survived.
I figured out how to keep moving.
I'm catching the flow again.
(Until it changes.)
"Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. If you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be like water, my friend."
--- Bruce Lee
Yes - let’s just flow along and expect change to come.
Posted by: Juliann | 01/05/2021 at 08:44 AM
Change is the one constant, and I think your journey with flow is helping me realize that. (Also Bruce Lee's words may have sparked something in me for a word this year.) Thank you!
Posted by: Bonny | 01/05/2021 at 09:13 AM
I like the quote from Bruce Lee, but also the one from Frederick Perls (it flows by itself - good to remember!!). I also love the way Tom reminded you (and us) that a river is ALWAYS changing. Good things to remember. I'm curious to read what your word is for 2021. PS Just ordered my Yoga Jellies!! More extreme pain today as I tried to practice...so really, really looking forward to having these.
Posted by: Vera | 01/05/2021 at 11:37 AM
This post is filled with so much beautiful language and imagery, reminders and truths! Are you wearing the charm in that picture?
Posted by: Carolyn | 01/05/2021 at 12:30 PM
Honestly, flow was perfect for the year that was, even if you never saw it coming. I'm sorry you struggled in March and April and I appreciate you sharing those struggles with us. You went over the waterfall but you landed in a life raft! XOXO
Posted by: Carole | 01/05/2021 at 01:04 PM
Bonny is so right... change is the only constant and fighting it is so futile. It is just amazing how this word impacted you this year! Thank you for sharing!
Posted by: Kat | 01/05/2021 at 05:10 PM
What a perfect word for this past year. I agree with Bonny, change is a constant and we are better off if we go along with it. If only it weren't so dang hard at times? This is a very thoughtful post. thank you.
Posted by: Jane | 01/05/2021 at 08:54 PM
Who knew that Bruce Lee was such a philosopher? But truly I think his words are wise, and I am glad that they served you well in a very difficult year.
Posted by: Sarah | 01/06/2021 at 07:56 AM
The Brice Lee quote is so suited for this year. This post is giving me something to think about , thank you !
Posted by: Gale | 01/06/2021 at 08:10 AM
This is beautiful, Kym. Learning to flow, to be like water, to understand who we are in the moment is the only way to survive in any time, but this year it is especially important to wellbeing. Thank you for sharing your journey.
Posted by: Margene | 01/07/2021 at 09:19 AM