Well, this isn’t how I expected to be writing my first blog post of the year. Normally I would be sitting on the sofa with Bronte curled up next me, laptop on my knee and cup of tea in hand, enjoying the peace and quiet that always falls once my husband and son have gone back to work and school. Instead we are back in full lockdown and I’m writing this at 10.30pm, making the most of the quiet while everyone else is asleep.
Normally at the beginning of January I share with you my intention for the year but this year it has taken a little longer to discover. When thinking about my new intention I often sit and read last year’s blog post to help me see how far I’ve come, or to try and work out why it didn’t turn out as I had hoped. For many, I imagine that the later is a fairly obvious one. Little did we know in those cold days of early January 2020 how hard our small intentions would have to work, or how quickly our dreams would seem unimportant.
My aim for last year was to slow down and make things simpler, with ‘Keep It Simple’ quickly becoming my mantra for 2020. But still, about half way through December, my mind began to turn towards what I would like to achieve in 2021, both personally and professionally. Last year’s intention had done so much and now I wanted to find something that would work just as well. But how could I possible find another intention to fill such large, now comfy, shoes?
Of course I could have kept it simple by carrying on with the same intention, but I’ve tried that before and found it quickly becomes stale and loses its sparkle. After doing a lot of work on myself and my business over the last few months I knew the feeling that I wanted to create, all I needed to do was put it in to words. Which is where the difficulties began.
The feeling I wanted to create centred around pushing myself more, regaining my self-confidence and becoming my best self. Not to be confused with all the ‘New year, new you’ advertising you get at this time of year, but an intentional shift to connecting with what is true and important to me. None of these are feelings that I am used to, being much more at home out of the way in the shadows rather than taking up space in the world. It also didn’t sit well with all the other words of the year that people were sharing over on Instagram. Comparing myself to others who wanted ‘Nourish’, ‘Rest’ or ‘Ease’ made me feel like there was something wrong with wanting more for myself, and comparison can be a very dangerous rabbit hole to go down.
But why shouldn’t I want more for myself? I spent last year considering simplicity, and the year before that about avoiding wasting everything from time to resources. Why couldn’t now be a time for more? Both were important to me at that moment and they both slowly weaved their way through every aspect of my life and got me that little bit closer to my goal. My intuition hadn’t failed me yet and if I felt this strongly about pushing myself to step out of my comfort it should be worth listening to.
The real problem I had was finding a suitable word or phrase to help define this feeling. Different words kept popping up, some being immediately cast aside, some coming back for a second chance. All I knew was that it needed to be robust enough to withstand whatever Covid was going to throw my way, and that I’d know it when I found it.
One word I kept coming back to for a while was ‘Strive’, but this felt too direct, too hard, too narrow. Not things that I felt when thinking about this elusive feeling. Then the other day we were talking about spring and I began circling around the word ‘Growth’. Immediately it felt more expansive, full of possibility and new beginnings and, more importantly, connected to how I’m feeling right now. It fits nicely with my wanting to grow as a person and grow my business. It also invites a lot of questions which is how I use my intention the most, to question my feelings or situation in order to find my next right step. ‘Growth’ is both broad and able to fulfil a specific task. It feels like a good fit!
I understand that this way of thinking isn’t for everyone right now, but if you can take anything away from my story I hope it’s the importance of getting to know yourself a little better, honouring your feelings, trusting your intuition and having faith that it will all come together in the end. Because if the past year has taught us anything it’s that life’s too short, and if not now, when?