For the past several years, I have participated in a collective ritual in which I choose 3 words as a structure to guide my year. Typically I share these words in the first few days of January. This year, I’m still contemplating my words; I will share them here when I’m ready.
What’s Driving Your Desire?
As I’ve been considering my words and my direction for the year, I’ve reflected back on how I’ve come up with my vision and my 3 guiding words in previous years, and how others come up with their visions and words.
For over a decade, I’ve had the privilege of helping clients create visions for their futures, whether it’s their vision for a new home, or a vision for their year. I also have facilitated and participated in a wide range of year-end-review processes.
From all those experiences, I’ve noticed that often people choose what they want as a reaction to what they had, or more specifically, what they felt they lacked.
Last year I participated in a year-end review/year planning workshop. One participant expressed his disappointment that he didn’t reach his goal of reading 80 books in a year. He said that in the coming year, his goal was to read 120 books.
I couldn’t wrap my head around that. He failed to read 80, so he was increasing his goal by 50%? Why?
This is a quantifiable example of something that happens even with non-quantifiable desires.
Think about what you want for this coming year. Whether you set intentions, goals, or define outcomes; whether you make detailed plans, or choose a theme or use 3 words to guide you:
What’s driving that choice?
Maybe you want more balance or harmony because you feel in disarray. Maybe you long for calm because the world right now is a shit-show. Maybe you felt stuck last year, so you think the antidote is to move more this year.
Whatever it is for you, I invite you to consider:
What if you already have it?
Case Study: Finding Harmony in Dissonance
Let’s say that this year you want greater balance or harmony among the elements of your life.
(Personally, I like the concept of harmony better than balance, because balance brings to mind an image of a see-saw. When it’s balanced, nothing is moving. Also, balance implies only two elements weighed against each other, and life has more than two moving parts.)
Consider: what if your life is already in harmony, just as it is?
Maybe it doesn’t feel harmonious because you expect harmony to feel (or sound) different than your life does in this moment.
What if you can look at your life and see — or at least trust — that it is in perfect harmony with Divine intention? That it’s exactly as designed? There’s no need to change or adjust anything.
True, you may be in a moment of dissonance, but think of your life as a song: it’s the whole song, not just one or two measures. A piece of music may have notes that create dissonance — this is part of the richness of the piece of music. The chord eventually resolves.
The dissonance doesn’t mean the piece lacks harmony. It’s just a moment in the composition.
Resolving the Polarities
We live in a world that sees polarities everywhere. Especially in our current climate. Left/Right. Progressive/Conservative. Slow/Fast. Structure/Flow. Movement/Stuckness. Chaos/Calm.
It’s no surprise, given this environment, that many of us approach our vision for what we want in the same way, swinging from one extreme to the other. We go from breakthrough to burnout; high to low; chaos to calm; tax cuts to tax increases. Always living life at the extremes.
It’s no wonder we long for centering and grounding.
This is a pattern that has shown up in my own life in many areas, from the way I use my body to how I approach my work. When I paused to consider that everything was in perfect harmony as it was, I found a freedom I didn’t know I was missing.
Creating From Sufficiency Instead of Lack
So often we create a vision or a plan that has as its underpinnings a desire to overcome our feelings of lack.
What we create as a reaction to what exists is never as strong as what we create from a place of sufficiency.
As I consider my 2020 vision and the words that will guide me through, I am holding these inquiries:
- What would you want for this coming year if you believed that where you are now is perfect and what you have now is enough?
- What would you desire if you believed that you are enough, just as you are?
Whether you made your plan for 2020 last year or have yet to fully consider it, I invite you to pose these questions to yourself. What changes for you if you approach this year from a place of enoughness?