Presence, Timelessness, and Creating a Year that Matters

I like to pick a theme or word for the year as a guiding light. I used to write lists and lists of resolutions, hoping that this would finally be the year that I had everything together, did everything that I wanted to, ate perfectly, exercised perfectly, lost the last 10 pounds I was determined I would be happier without, tracked every penny I spent, read all the books I wanted to read, and basically became non-human.

But ever since I got pregnant the first time, as 2014 turned to 2015 my body said no to my lists of what being a perfect human might consist of. And instead she asked me to do less. In fact, she made me.

I do have a few goals for the year, but most of all I have a word to remind me what matters most this year.

This year my word is presence.

Last year it was do less. (Two words, yes, but it counts.)

The year before it was spaciousness.

I don’t try to come up with my word. Instead I wait for it to arrive. My word for 2018 arrived a few weeks ago during a session with my coach when I had my eyes closed and was filling my body with the silver light of wonder, which she calls the “quantum glow.” (Yep. We’re not focused on revenue goals or strategic action plans. Those are valuable, yes, but not when they don’t stem from a place of deep connection.)

The word “presence” plopped into my lap like a wriggly puppy, beckoning me to be with it and play.

In about 3 months I’ll be a mother of two. I can’t fathom what that’s going to be like, and I’m not really trying to. If I learned anything from my first go-round at ushering a baby into this world it’s that there’s nothing I could have done to get ready for it, and there would have been no way anyone could have described what I was in for.

So I sit in anticipation of what will come, knowing that the best way to prepare myself for anything is with presence.

I want to be present with my first daughter before the second one arrives. And to be present with both of them after.

I want to be present with my husband.

I want to be present with my family.

I want to be present with all of the people I love.

I want to be present with myself, especially when I’d rather pick up my phone.

I want to be present so that I notice my life.

A noticed life is a life that matters.

Everyone says that the days are long but the years are short when we’re raising kids. And while the first year felt agonizingly long, I can feel time begin to compress with every passing month of motherhood.

The only sure way to experience timelessness, that I know of, is to fully inhabit the moment. 

(Want to learn more about becoming a time-bender and having more than enough time to do the things that truly matter to you? Get on the waitlist for Origin™, my membership about reimagining motherhood and entrepreneurship…which includes teaching you how to bend time… so you’ll be the first to know when the doors open again!)

I have a 5-month maternity leave planned starting in April, and between now and then I’m batching as many blogs and podcasts and Origin™ content as possible so I can be present with our new baby and the sweet girl who’s about to become a big sister.

Yet I also am keenly aware that the way I go about front-loading the year so that I can have more presence later also matters. And I want to be present for it. To create from a place of savoring, not pushing. To write and teach things that are a joy to write and teach.

I don’t want to put my head down and power through so that in April when the baby comes (or before – because I’m deeply aware that she has her own timeline and agenda), I can finally be present.

So much of our lives are lived in the future.

I’ll be happy when…

…this book is done.

…my house is clean.

…I get my to do list completed.

…I meet my man.

…I have the baby.

…I get the house.

…I land the gig.

…I make six-figures.

I haven’t lived that long, but I’ve lived long enough to know that if I’m not really here in my life today, it’s not going to be any better tomorrow.

I’m going to fill my body with the silver light of wonder as I batch 5 months’ worth of blogs, podcasts, Maven Masterclasses, and How To’s between now and April. I will fill my body with the silver light of wonder as I push my next baby girl out and spend the next chunk of time having her home with me.

This year my intention is to inhabit my life, to witness it, and to fill it with my presence – when it feels really good to be in it and especially when it doesn’t.

No matter what else happens all year, no matter what goals are reached or missed, I know for sure that if presence is the bottom line, it’s going to be one for the books.

P.S. In our Origin™ membership I share all of my best practices and tools for being present, so that as mothers and entrepreneurs we don’t feel like we’re missing our precious lives. Join the waitlist to make sure you’re the first to know when we open the doors again!


Do you pick a word or theme for the year? What is it? Do you have any other intention or goal-setting practices at the beginning of the year? Tell me in the comments!


  • Lindsey Barr

    This is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing and inspiring. xo

  • This was an amazing post and ties in beautifully with my journaling session I just had. At the beginning of the year, I don’t make resolutions. Life continues to be and so I take a look at where I’m at, what projects I’m involved in, what places I’ll be visiting and I allow myself to be present with the times (aware of time and where the energy is taking people), but focused in where my energy wants to take me next. I just wrote about life coming in waves, where there is a beginning, a peak, and a crash (with every project/goal). When we crash, we often get stuck, focusing on the end of the momentum. The practice I like to take with every crash of the wave is expecting the new wave to come, and what the wave will bring (new ideas, new things to learn, growth, etc.) I’ll feel for my word of the year…thanks for amazing and inspiring content! 😊💖🙌

  • juanita

    Great post Kate! This is completely true. To truly live, one must be completely present.

  • Kristine Moysey

    Presence is my word as well. It was something that I felt as though would speak to all aspects of my life and something that I will endeavour to model for my 6 month old son. He is actually one of my teachers of presence as he already shines with it. My hope is that with my presence becoming a stronger part of my life I will help him to keep his finger on the pulse of his own presence as he grows and his own life journey takes him down whatever pathways that are in his future.

  • A phrase of sorts came to me – self love – self care. After doing too much for too long I am quieting the voice of the critic, turning some love inward and getting in touch with my essence. I am an origin member – so that is part of my self love – self care plan and among a few other carefully chosen programs I am working through the book you suggested in one origin video – The Art of Extreme Self Care. All that plus being a mom, business owner, wellness Chiropractor, wife, friend and life long learner…. I am approaching it all from a self love – self care perspective. I am super excited too!

  • Enrika

    My word for this year is ‘simplicity’. I want to bring this into every aspect of my life from my home to my mind & really embody it. I don’t want it to be just lip service though or a nice idea & am thinking of practical ways to make it happen. After the past two very complicated & difficult years of my life, the concept of simple pleasures, simple living & simple expectations appeal greatly to me. I started the year with simplifying my digital world by having a social media ban, by reading only far less of the emails arriving into my inbox & only those that aligned with my immediate priorities & by indulging in more reading for pleasure rather than for the sake of learning or ‘bettering myself’. Sounds easy but slowing down & doing less is far more unnatural to me than putting myself under pressure to do it all. However, through some very painful experiences, I have been granted insight & the word ‘simplify’ is echoing in my head. To this end, I have identified other areas of my life to declutter for this coming year, both physically & mentally so that I can focus on my marriage & my children, so that I can become the warrior Mother & business woman I know I am! Thanks for your guidance Kate

  • Liz

    My word(s) – Be still (and know that I am God). By “being still” I will listen to God, to my heart and have “presence” with family and friends. Thanks Kate. Have a great new year and enjoy your little ones. They grow quickly, enjoy each day with them and your husband.

  • Loved this post and my word for this year is TRUST. My husband, daughter, and I moved in with my parents so he can quit his job and be at home with her full-time while I start a business. I want to serve women who aren’t yet mothers to establish healthy foundational habits for self-care, accountability, and introspection so they can lean on those habits after becoming mamas and their energy priorities shift! I just joined ORIGIN and Kate, I am SO. FREAKING. EXCITED. Thank you!!! xo Nic

  • Hi Kate! Thanks for sharing this! My word is flow because I want to let things flow in my life and trust in the process. Have a fabulous new year!

  • Kathleen Theresa Carr

    Dear Kate and Family

    Happy New Year!!!
    So happy you are having another little one. My son and his with Ina are having their second child March 9, 2018. Yeah! Grandmother x3 boy, girl, and girl
    My word this year is Awareness! I actually try to remind my boyfriend to be aware of all that is around. This can happen if you remember your 6 Senses
    Love being #6. I would love to speak with you about starting a business called “Love Medicine” I love your word – pre sense, present

  • I love it, Kate. I feel like just reading this brought me back to the presence I intended to have in the New Year (and kind of lost in the mix of my “first day back” on January 2nd).

  • Shirley Snow

    Supportive , it’s very positive and strong! I intend to be supportive towards myself and others. I intend to be better off financially and to be in a house of my own this year. I will be easier on myself and do things that make me feel better like Yoga, meet like minded people cut people out of my life who no longer serve me in a positive manner. If I am focused and Happy I will have more to give others.

  • Alicia St Rose

    What a wonderful idea: Picking a word to theme the year. And as I read that passage above, it immediately came to me. FEARLESS. Yes, I even heard it in the chorus of TWO songs this morning and I’m feeling that this year is the year to fearlessly embrace the unknown and know deep down, I can handle it and mold it into something fantastic!

  • Mary

    I too have been choosing a word for the year. Some of my past words have been joy, believe, love.
    This year I was guided to a similar word to your word this year. Mindfulness is my word. I am calling myself to be mindfully present with each person and each situation. This for me also represents moving out of fear since fear prevents me from being mindful in all I do. Moving to love always for mindfulness and moves me to action in experiences. Many Blessings to you as Your motherhood journey continues I have 3 sons and now 1 granddaughter. Today I had my granddaughter for the day while her parents worked I am blessed to be Amma to Zoe.

  • Sondra

    Surrendering allowing the universe to guide me in the now. Now is all there is .

  • I’m also a huge fan of having a word or theme for the year and I’m still awaitingmy perfect word to land. I just love your word of presence and love what you shared in this post!

  • Hi Kate

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been meaning to choose a word every year now for the last four years and today it came to me as I was reading your inspirational post and the wonderful comments.


    The latin origin means STRETCHING as well as PURPOSE. But what is really fascinating for me is that in medical terms INTENTION means the healing process of a wound.

    I love that!

  • Laura

    My theme for the year is discipline. Last year I took a big hit and it made me realize that I needed to move forward. Even when that move won’t happen this year, in order for it to happen next year, this year needs to be the year of discipline. A discipline that feels good and expansive and not tight or suffocating because its meant to help me move forward which I deeply deserve. Thank you for your blog, congratulations on your new baby and happy new year to you and your loved ones.

  • Patricia Moore

    Thank you, Kate! My word for 2018 (as of today) is IMPECCABLE. This word has been picked up by motivational speakers in recent decades, yet its meaning for me goes beyond the usual interpretations of “keeping one’s word” or simply “being on time.” I first encountered “impeccable” while researching literature for my masters thesis in English. Carlos Castaneda is a much-misunderstood author who introduced this word to me as a spiritual practice. For me, “impeccable” means a constant re-alignment with spiritual truth —a practice that translates into concrete actions in everyday life.

  • amber

    Hi Kate,
    My word is Focus. I´m telling myself to focus on what I want. I´m researching starting a business, and different types of business partners, which is a bit daunting. Focusing on where I want to go, may help me make better long-term decisions than fast money decisions. Thanks as always for your writing and inspiration.

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