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.
(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!
OVER TO YOU:
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!