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