2022: Present

To be honest with you, this is a very difficult time to be present. I live in Toronto, so lately it’s been very cold, dark, damp, grey, snowy and dreary. The roads are covered in salt, which makes walking the puppy a total nightmare. Bruno is in the middle of his teenage months, which means that some days he’s great on his leash, and other days he’s a wild thing and flat-out refuses to listen to me. The temperatures in January were routinely -15C (5F) before windchill for days on end. And, in our nation’s capital, a large group of people are currently violently protesting mandates that are literally designed to help us protect each other, ease the strain on our healthcare workers, and help us get through this pandemic with the fewest possible deaths.

Or maybe it’s actually a great time to be present. Because the truth is that no matter how disturbing I find it that people I respect and admire are moving closer to radical conspiracy theories every day, no matter how awful it is to hear about the awful harassment and racism at these protests, no matter how divided the world feels: this present moment is actually okay. My apartment is very quiet. My puppy is sleeping in the hallway, damp after a big romp in a snowy field. I am in the middle of a good book that my sweet boyfriend gave me to read. There’s a warm desk lamp guiding my way as I find these words. In this moment I am healthy, safe, warm (except my fingertips) and wearing very cozy slippers.

That’s the trick about being present: it usually forces you to admit that you’re more okay than you think. Many of the things you’re afraid of have not happened yet, and may actually never happen. The things you’re reading about in those comment sections are upsetting, but not literally happening to you in this moment. The worst fears you have for yourself and your family are most likely unfounded.

Of course, this is not always true. Sometimes, even in this present moment, you are very much in pain. You are losing feeling in your fingers in subzero temperatures waiting for your dog to poop. You are grieving a deep loss with your whole body. You are holding someone’s hand while they cry. You are holding an entire baby while it cries. You are talking to your grandparent on a computer screen because you haven’t seen them in two months.

It is in these times that I’m trying hardest to be present. Can I relax into the moment? Can I be with what is? Can I remember that this hard moment won’t last forever? Can I breathe, because my breath is always with me? 

Not always, no. But I’m trying, because if there’s one thing that the past two years of this pandemic have taught me, it’s that there is so much we cannot control. There are bigger forces at play that will affect our lives & our well-being. But we can control whether we get the sunshine on our faces, whether we stop to enjoy a cup of delicious coffee, whether we light a candle, whether we take a few minutes to read a book, or pet the dog, or cuddle in the mornings. We can’t always plan for the future, but we can pamper this moment.

present

  • a moment in time between past and future
  • being, existing, or occurring now
  • something that you give or are given
  • to be in attendance
  • to bring to one’s attention
  • to bring something before the public

Synonyms: existing, current, give, contemporary, available, now, today, the time being, show, immediate, here.

Guidelines

I’m not in the mood lately to set a lot of goals for myself, but I have some ideas that I’m planning to try to incorporate to help me live with the intention of more presence:

morning pages

I used to do these so consistently a few years ago, and they really helped me clear out the stressful thoughts and keep a clear mind. So I’m trying to bring them back! Since the beginning of January, most mornings I’ve been writing two pages longhand of my thoughts, and a short list of things I’m grateful for. I’m doing this alongside my morning coffee (a ritual I now crave & look forward to) and it’s the teeny-tiniest morning routine.

Evening meditation

Another habit that I used to find so supportive, and then all of a sudden quit cold-turkey. Sigh. I always forget about meditation until it’s “too late” and I’m anxious, overthinking and spiralling. This year I really hope to re-instate it as a practice before bedtime. So far my track record in 2022 has not been great (I’ve only done it four times) but I’m going to use Elise Joy’s tracker and try to make it a habit.

Little Presents

I am a severe underbuyer, which means it’s difficult for me to spend money on things unless I absolutely need them. This means that my everyday life is full of tiny little things that either don’t work or are super annoying to use. My goal for 2022 (we’ll see if I stick to it!) is to get myself little presents: if it costs less than $25 and will make my life easier, I should just buy it right away without overthinking it.

No Score-keeping

I have a very bad habit of ‘keeping score’ in my life & relationships – Gretchen Rubin talks more about this concept here and here. In an attempt to give more ‘presents’ in 2022, both tangible and intangible, I want to practice giving more freely & generously, without worrying about fairness or making things perfectly even. It all always comes out in the wash.

These are the days

I want to remember too that this is not my practice life, and this is not my temporary life, this is my actual life. These are the days. These are the days I’ll inevitably look back on with nostalgia and love. Yes, even though it’s winter and a pandemic. Not because I am ignoring all the bad in the world, but because I’m noticing all the good. These are the days that I first had Bruno and was falling more in love with Mike every day. These are the days I lived alone in a sunny apartment with a million windows and made soup and cried a lot and took the world’s hottest showers. THESE are the days. Be here now.

Make more rituals

As I mentioned above, my tiny, precarious, coffee & writing ritual is becoming such a cozy spot in my day. I am also now looking forward to my evening Coke Zero with ice and lime, as a way to end the work day. Maybe I’ll add reading a novel to that time, to make it even more ritualized. And I want to keep finding more moments like these to bring in more intentionality & joy.


I am looking forward to seeing what Present will teach me this year. I have felt so scattered and anxious lately, and I know that more presence will be a balm for my fractured attention and heavy heart. The goodness is all to be found in this moment, this one right here! Not out there. Stay here. 

Sending you lots of love and joy and presence for your 2022.

You can read more about my words from the last few years below:

2013: Reach | 2014: Abundance | 2015: Grace | 2016: Light | 2017: Embrace | 2018: Flow | 2019: Energy | 2020: Devoted | 2021: Soften

2021: Soften

2021: Soften >> Life In Limbo

This is my ninth time choosing a word to help guide me through the year ahead. I love this practice: it is intentional, it is simple, and it is meaningful. Every time I think of my word, it connects me back to my values and my hopes for myself. It helps guide my decisions! It can literally affect my mood, because it helps me think about things differently and reframe my negative experiences. In short, it’s a way to add more whimsy and intentionality into my daily life! (I am looking forward to being 90 and having 69 words to look back on with fondness and gratitude.)

As you may recall, my word for 2020 was Devoted, and it was the perfect word for the moment we were living through. You can read more of my reflections on it in this post, but the short version is that 2020 asked a lot from all of us, and the word Devoted really helped me to stay connected to myself and continue to show up for my physical and mental health, my budding romantic relationship, and my amazing clients, despite everything else going on. 

As we move into 2021, I actually want to keep up the fierceness and deep love that Devoted reminds me to embody. It is not done with me! (My words never are.) And, I want to embrace a new energy for myself, one of softening. One of pleasure, of enjoyment, of inner calm.

2021: Soften >> Life In Limbo

This year, my word of the year is Soften. I chose the verb, rather than the noun “Soft”, because it will remind me that to soften is a choice. Over the past couple years as I’ve moved to running my own business full-time, I’ve had to take on a lot of responsibility. It’s become harder to relax after work, or take breaks throughout the day, because I know that everything rests on my shoulders. Throw in a global pandemic, and you have a perfect recipe for anxiety, overstimulation, and dissatisfaction.

No thanks! In 2021, I choose to soften. To give in, when my wonderful partner lures me back to bed for a long cuddly nap, even though I have “so much to do”. To let go of my arbitrary timeline of launching my group program, because it just feels too forced and crunchy. To relax in the evening, rather than cramming in yet another online course, podcast, or some other such opportunity for personal development. To take more baths.

Already I know this will not be an easy word for me. As I’ve learned over the past few years, choosing a word instantly shows you all the places where you are struggling with its opposite. This word is bound to show me where I am hard, rigid, unyielding, unpleasant. That’s not going to be nice, but it will be nice to have more softness calm, and lightness in my days. Heck, as I write this I have taken the morning off of work to ease into my day! It’s working already.

So here’s to 2021! May it soften me.

2021: Soften >> Life In Limbo

soften

  • to become less hard, to become softer
  • to become, or to make something seem, less severe or unpleasant
  • to make something less forceful, less harsh
  • to become much more gentle and friendly
  • to make something smooth and pleasant to touch

Synonyms: ease, relieve, soothe, assuage, cushion, allay, mellow, lighten, relax, relent, thaw, melt, tenderize, calm, gentle, loosen, sweeten

Goals & Intentions

As you can imagine, the word Soften does not really inspire me to set a whole bunch of rigid metrics to meet for the year ahead! Still, there are some things I’m thinking about trying to incorporate more of. So in true Soften fashion, I’m thinking of these ideas as mere suggestions, fun things to try if I feel like it, and to let fall away if I don’t.

Soft mornings, soft nights

I’m tired of feeling like I’m rushing into my days without having time to myself to pause, or reflect, or enjoy myself. In 2020 I also developed a bad habit of bringing my phone to bed and getting sucked down the rabbit hole of YouTube, or TikTok or phone games instead of truly unwinding.

So in 2021, I would like to have softer mornings and softer nights. I am still figuring out what this means for me, but so far I’ve added in morning pages and meditation, both of which I do in bed. That feels very soft and cozy! More to come, but this has been a great start.

To me, softer mornings also mean feeling rested, so finding a good, consistent sleep schedule this year is also a priority.

Soften up

Towards the end of last year, I suddenly realized that I was suffering from perfectionism in a few areas of my life. I’ve obviously known about the concept of perfectionism for years, but never resonated with it – I’ve always been good at shipping imperfect work and not making perfect the enemy of the good. But last year, I noticed that perfectionism was creeping in around the edges in weird ways. I was over-planning fun excursions, overthinking simple decisions, and wanting everything to work out perfectly. If it didn’t, I felt anxious or unsatisfied with my choices. NO! No.

This year, I want to embrace more spontaneity. I want to remember that life is long, and there is so much time to have all the experiences I want to have. I don’t have to cram things in, or force them if they’re not flowing. On the whole, I want to plan less and live more.

2021: Soften >> Life In Limbo

Soft Shoulders

I mean this both literally and metaphorically. I love the idea of softening my shoulders – not getting my hackles up! – over small things. Relaxing into the moment & accepting what is. Lightening up.

I also want to find ways to literally soften my shoulders and back. I carry so much tension in my back and it has been giving me pain for y

ears. I’d love to do more stretching and strengthening to reduce that pain, and maybe get more massages to loosen up the tense muscles there. And as always, I want to work on my posture, especially when sitting or standing at my desk!

Soft eyes

This one is simple, but not easy. I want to look upon others with love, softness, compassion and affection. I want to be more gentle in my relationships. I want to be less judgemental. 

I’ll be honest: watching the actions of the world and the people around me during the pandemic was hard. I felt stressed and upset to see people flouting the rules and carrying on like everything was normal. But here’s the thing: judging them doesn’t hurt them, it only hurts me.

So in ways big and small this year, I want to have soft eyes: for my partner, for my friends, for my family, for myself.

Seek Softness

This is a fun one! I want to literally be surrounded by soft things this year. Cozy, soft, gentle fabrics in the form of clothes, blankets, sheets, pyjamas, pillows. Comfier furniture: my couch especially is so uncomfortable and hard. Spending lots of time around super-soft cats and dogs, and hopefully getting a very soft, fluffy pet of my own. Softness in all things! I want to be comfortable & cozy in 2021.

2021: Soften >> Life In Limbo

Softer Skin

I can’t be the only one who struggles with my feet, right? It seems like no matter what I do, I can’t seem to make my heels as baby soft as I might want them to be! I hope that 2021 is the year that will change. When I can safely go in person again for a pedicure, I will, and until then I’ll do my research and do my best at home. This also extends to my hands, lips, and body. I want to use lovely lotions and potions that smell good and make my skin nice and soft.

Softer Self

Last but not least, I want to be softer with myself. My self-talk can get pretty brutal sometimes, especially when it comes to my body, and my choices. I want that to soften. I want to learn to speak to myself with positivity and kindness and love. This may also mean finding a good therapist who can teach me more tools for self-compassion & self-love!

Being softer with myself also means scheduling in way more self-care. Over the past few years I have not been great about scheduling vacations or taking time off, so that changes this year. I’d love to give myself more time away from the computer and doing what I love: being creative, writing, taking photos, cooking delicious meals, and reading great books. 


Ironically, I know that having Soften as my word might be hard for me. But that’s okay! It’s a growth edge, and I know that this word has a lot to teach me. I’m looking forward to taking more opportunities to relax, breathe, and trust that everything is going to be okay. 

If you choose a word for the year, I would love to hear about it! And if you see any resources, books or posts about the idea of softening, send them my way. Happy 2021, everyone!

You can read more about my words from the last few years below:

2013: Reach | 2014: Abundance | 2015: Grace | 2016: Light | 2017: Embrace | 2018: Flow | 2019: Energy | 2020: Devoted

2020 In Review

2020 In Review >> Life In Limbo

Well. We did that, somehow. We lived through 2020, the (hopefully!?) hardest year of our collective lives.

The pandemic hit different people differently, and everyone has a different personal code of ethics and risk tolerance. But for me, the lockdowns here in Canada meant that I saw very few places outside of my apartment and immediate neighbourhood this year. I interacted with very few people besides my boyfriend, outdoor time with a couple friends who live within walking distance, and occasionally, with precautions taken, my immediate family. And even those visits were few and far between!

I live alone, and I don’t have a car or any animals, so it’s been a bit of a hard year. There has still been joy and I still have so much to be grateful for, but I’ll admit that it’s been painful and lonely too. I’ve had very little energy for anything outside of work, which I really had to focus on in order to actually make money and support myself during such an uncertain year! So a lot fell by the wayside. Some of my friendships have weakened. I had less time for my favourite hobbies, like reading and writing this blog. My self-care and sleep schedule were intermittent at best. (Caveat: I know I’ve had it so easy compared to so many others.)

And yet we made it through! A few days into January and while nothing really feels any different than it did all of last year (same apartment, same schedule, same same same), I feel somewhat hopeful about what this year might hold. Maybe I can take a trip. Maybe I can hug my friends again. Maybe I can host another in-person retreat. We will see. All of us will see.

Until then, I still wanted to take some time to reflect 2020. As weird as it was, there was so much beauty too, and I want to remember those parts. So here we go! 2020 in review, such as it was.


January

The year started off on such a positive note! I was coaching a lot, making new connections, and prepping to host my first-ever business retreat the following month. I remember life feeling full and vibrant and fun. I started doing food prep and was really excited about that new development! I was taking great care of myself, having coworking dates in beautiful spaces, going to fun concerts, and generally having a very good time. But the most exciting thing that happened in January was meeting my now-partner Mike, who has been my steady, hilarious, generous, cuddly person throughout this wild, ridiculous year.

February

Another juggernaut of a month! I hosted my retreat and it was an absolute delight. I have thought of it often in the months since: how cozy we all were snuggled together in that farmhouse, how delicious the food was, how connected we felt. It’s almost haunting to know how much life changed right after that experience. In February I also gave a workshop to a big corporate client alongside The Birds Papaya, which was a fairly surprising (and cool) development. I also got a really great haircut…and haven’t had one since 😂

March

As you know, the world (as we knew it) ended. The day I was meant to take a beautiful snowy weekend getaway with four close friends, I got a cold. I personally put myself into lockdown, and my province quickly followed suit a couple of days later. I remember almost nothing from March, but a look at my calendar shows that I was still busy. I had a lot of coaching calls previously scheduled, and somehow, I still managed to show up for them fully. But I lost a major client and a major project pretty much as soon as COVID hit. I worried about money. I did not bake bread. I did not do puzzles. I DID get on TikTok and try to cheer myself up by learning a bunch of dances. I did go for a lot of walks, and read Untamed, which I adored. But mostly, I laid on my floor and cried, then got up and tried to serve my (also panicking!) clients.

April

 

I was supposed to go to see my favourite musical Hamilton on my birthday this year!!! Did not happen. But, I’m lucky enough that instead, my friends Sonja and Stirling came to my house with their guitars and sang to me, 6 feet apart, and my mom stopped by and waved at me from across the parking lot. Also that month, we moved NurtureNurture (our beloved twice-annual life retreat!) online and it was as powerful and fun as ever, despite the distance. I did eventually bake a banana bread, but I had a lot of trouble sleeping and didn’t touch a book for basically the entire month. I have no idea WHAT I was doing with my time, besides surviving. My camera roll shows only photos of walks, stress cleaning, and a lot of photos of me in my romper.

May

I decided to launch “Productivity Parties”, collective work sprints that could bring people together to get their work done in a supportive community. Those were so fun, and a real hit – people were really craving that togetherness, myself included. In May I also visited my mom’s property for some socially distanced quality time on the trails and it was so good for my soul. I walked around the city bloom-spotting and the flowers brought me so much joy. Sonja and I started having regular weekly outdoor dates, and thank goodness. And I got an unexpected job offer which felt exciting and cool, though I ultimately declined it for many reasons. Life got warmer, and life got better.

June

The job offer started to go sour, and I made the executive decision to decline it and continue to do my own thing instead. I decided to re-launch my group coaching program to see what would happen, and enrolled two amazing groups that I adored working with for the rest of 2020. I gave a great online workshop about productivity. I planned a fun COVID-safe adventure day complete with strawberry picking, hiking, and a drive-in double feature (SO fun). I also got a big wake-up call about my complacency and inaction around anti-racism after the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests, and started trying to be more vocal and active in the fight for an anti-racist world.

July

As mentioned, I started running two new simultaneous cohorts of my group program, which was such a joy, a delight, and a relief from a business perspective. I also started running my monthly Transparency Tuesday updates, to share my action steps to become a more anti-racist business and person. I tried to take advantage of the beautiful weather by hiking to waterfalls, camping out at my mom’s backyard, reading on the grass at the park, and walking down by the lake. I even ventured to a few patios for a couple of dinners! I love July and though it was different than usual, I still loved soaking up the sunshine and seeing my friends at a safe distance.

August

This was a fun month too! Beautiful weather and much better vibes. I dogsat at a friend’s house which was a very welcome change of scenery after several months stuck in my own apartment. I surprised Mike for his birthday with a park gathering with several of his friends, then took him to an indoor obstacle course which was so much fun (albeit less fun with masks on, lol!). I took a Mental Health Crisis Response course online, went to a few apartment open houses (nothing panned out), and even tried out text banking for the American election. Meanwhile, I was hard at work building out the infrastructure for my online business community!

September

Said business community, The Profoundery, launched! I had actually been working on it, on and off, for most of the year, so it was so rewarding to actually see it come to fruition. And the members who joined (and who have continued to join!) are so incredibly inspiring and thoughtful. The other super fun thing that happened this month was that Mike & I took a camping trip! Such a delight to spend a couple days away from it all, cooking over a fire, taking photos, and exploring. Also in September I carefully visited my grandparents for the first time since Christmas, celebrated a friend’s birthday on blankets at the park, took some excellent workshops through SURJ, and finally got back to reading a little bit more. See also: tried to soak up every moment of the good weather before it got cold again.

October

It got cold again. Sonja and I tried to drag our weekly outdoor hangs out until it was too cold to sit outside anymore, so we switched to walks. October was the month that I really started to feel panicky again about the impending winter. I wanted to move, I wanted a dog, I wanted the pandemic to be OVER, I wanted a break. Nothing really changed, but I definitely felt agitated about it. On the positive side, I started running monthly calls in The Profoundery and it was SO much fun, I was immediately so glad I had created it, and still am. The only other good thing that happened in October was the second NurtureNurture of the year, which again was so fun and delightful. A serious bright spot in an otherwise challenging month.

November

More of the same: work, walk, sleep, repeat. It was hard to stay motivated and hard to stay positive when life just felt cold and dreary almost all the time. There were some dark days in November, for sure. The positive things: I finished the Duolingo Romanian course I’d started in March, I “went to see” a virtual Donovan Woods concert online, and my best friend got engaged! I also launched my first online retreat, which is happening in a week as I write this. I also visited my mom for her birthday, which was a delight.

December

Which brings us to December. We had some pretty snowfalls, which I appreciated more than in previous years because they were at least something visually interesting and a bit different than the grey sameness that Toronto was otherwise bringing! I got my first (tiny) Christmas tree to have at home, and decorated it with my favourite ornaments from years past. I tried to lean into the festivities by making snowflakes, buying Christmas candles, and knitting a festive tree skirt. Mike and I had a dress-up date night at home, just for fun. And I took a full two weeks off for a break, which was wonderful, even if I didn’t get to see as many of my loved ones as I would have liked. It was a cold break thanks to all the standing outside we did, but I was so grateful that we could make those memories. It was special, in its own way.


Firsts of 2020

  • First global pandemic (and ideally also my last)
  • First time running a business retreat
  • First time not hugging my mom on my birthday
  • First time singing Christmas carols to my grandma on her balcony
  • First time camping with Mike
  • First time cooking over a fire for the weekend without a stove
  • First time launching an online business community!
  • First time doing my coaching program fully online
  • First virtual bachelorette party (would not necessarily recommend)
  • First time doing night sky photography
  • First time wearing a mask to the grocery store (and everywhere else)
  • First time making homemade margaritas
  • First time eating outside in the rain under a haphazardly constructed tarp tent to stay socially distanced
  • First time getting TikTok and posting dance videos on the internet
  • First time giving a workshop to a large private corporation
  • First time having a virtual movie night date
  • First time having a virtual retreat
  • First time attending a virtual concert
  • First time learning how to speak Romanian
  • First time trying dance-based workouts
  • First time trying Weber’s burgers
  • First time having white shoes

2020 By The Numbers

  • 70 books read
  • 45 blog posts written
  • 44 Instagram posts
  • 5.25 hours of meditation (or 43 sessions)

GOALS & INTENTIONS

You can see my full post of goals & intentions for 2020 right here! Here are my updates.

WELLNESS

  • Don’t drink alone: HAHAHAHAHA. Let’s put it this way: I literally forgot this was a resolution of mine
  • Walk for 20 for 2020 outsideI did pretty well with this! I don’t have an official count of days, but I did this more often than not.
  • Set up my Alexa morning & evening routines: I did set them up! Then eventually I turned them off and never turned them on again.

HOME & COMMUNITY

  • Explore one new star per week: Again, this is hilarious considering that we could not explore ANY new shops or restaurants for large swaths of this year. So no, this did not happen.
  • Do an Energy Exchange at Yoga Village: This also did not happen! They actually never answered my email.
  • Capture 1SE: This I did do, and I am so grateful that I did! I will be sharing the video very soon.

REST & RELAXATION

  • Read 111 books this year: I did not read this many books, since the pandemic destroyed my ability to concentrate for a few months there. I did however read 70 books! Which is wonderful.
  • Create a shut-down ritual for work: Did not do, did not even attempt.
  • Take a vacation: I think that my camping trip counts as a vacation! It wasn’t what I had perhaps envisioned when I wrote this, but it was restful and fun all the same.

SELF-CARE

  • Try acupuncture: Indeed yes! I snuck this one in right before the pandemic happened. I liked it, and would probably go again after COVID life is over.
  • Get quarterly massages: This (perhaps obviously) did not happen.
  • Find a great therapist: This could have happened! But didn’t. I really lost sight of my goals for much of this year and this was among the ones that got totally forgotten. I hope to do it in 2021.

WHIMSY

  • Celebrate minor holidays: Not really.
  • Do monthly surprise dates: This started off strong! And quickly deteriorated as the year went on and we had fewer places to go.
  • Buy something that sparks joy each month: This, I actually stuck to! I purchased some very joy-sparking things throughout the year. Here are some highlights: my Always pan, my Airpods, my Smash + Tess romper.

My Word of The Year: Devoted

Funnily enough, this was actually the perfect year to have the word Devoted. This year was hard, and it required a lot of devotion: to my health, to my relationship, to my clients, to my business. I was very grateful to have such an intentional and forceful word guiding me through the year, to remind me to SHOW UP and CONTINUE SHOWING UP, no matter what might be thrown my way.

As I said in last year’s post, there was a fierceness to this word that I was craving, and which I definitely needed to embody. Starting a relationship during a global pandemic, when all of your raw emotions are exposed and on display all the time? Not easy. Very triggering. Requires devotion. Taking care of your body and mind, eating well and exercising and getting outside while you’re in lockdown? Requires devotion. Trying to keep your business going and actually being able to support your clients despite the turbulent conditions? Requires devotion. It all required a lot of me, and while some things certainly fell by the wayside as a result, overall I’m so glad I had this word guiding me through.

And bonus! I also bought a beautiful ring engraved with the word devotion which was the perfect talisman to remind me of my intention. Yes.


Whew!! What a year this was. Reflecting on it in this way is actually quite rewarding, because it forces me to see how much goodness I got to experience this year. I was lucky: my business stayed afloat, I found love, I played with dogs, I spent time in beautiful parts of nature, I helped my clients. I have so much to be grateful for, even if this year was nothing that I could have expected or would have chosen. I tried my best, and my best was good enough to get me through, and for that I am so grateful. I know others were not as lucky as me, and my heart goes out to them.

So as we end this historic year, I am sending you love and positivity and hope. Hope for the vaccines. Hope for the future. Hope for our loved ones and our families and our health. Hope that we can get through these next few months and come out into a bit more light on the other side of this very dark tunnel.

All my love,

Steph

PS. If you’re curious, you can see more of my year-end reviews here:

2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

2020: Devoted

2020: Devoted >> Life In Limbo

This will be my eighth (!) year choosing a word to keep in mind as I move through the months ahead. I love choosing a word for the year, because even if I completely forget about it, it still adds some whimsy and an extra dimension to the year. It guides my thinking, nudges me to make more aligned decisions, and helps me interpret things that happen to me through a new lens.

This year, my word feels just a teensy little bit confronting. Devoted. DEVOTED. That feels serious! It feels important. It feels real.

As we approached the end of 2019, I was feeling like I needed to have my own back more. I was tired of being tired all the time. I wanted to be able to set firmer boundaries and have confidence in myself and advocate for myself when needed. At Nurture, I wrote a poem with a line that says “You have your own gravity,” which I absolutely love. I initially thought that my word might be Gravity.

Then I realized that the bigger feeling I wanted to cultivate was a sense of commitment: to myself, to my life, to my relationships, to my integrity, to my clients. I wanted more of my own gravity as a way to stay anchored, grounded, firmly rooted in what I want more of, without distraction. So then I thought maybe Commit might be a better word.

Finally, after clicking around through a bunch of synonym pages for Gravity and Commit, I saw the word Devotion and my ears perked up. Devotion. Devoted. Devote.

2020: Devoted >> Life In Limbo

There is such a quiet beauty to this word, a humility, a steadfastness. It implies being unshakeable. It evokes romance and love. There is a fierceness to it that I am craving for myself. When I compare “self-care” to “being devoted to myself”, the difference rings like a bell in my head.

So my word is Devoted. I am devoted. I am devoted to myself and maintaining my boundaries. I am devoted to my health, wellness and wellbeing. I am devoted to making sure I give myself what I need. I am devoted to my family and my friends. I am devoted to my future romantic relationship. I am devoted to my rest, my downtime, my relaxation. I am devoted to creating more richness in my life, more whimsy, more playfulness, more delight. I am devoted to my home, my community, my neighbourhood. I am devoted to my life.

Devoted

  • the fact or state of being ardently dedicated, loving and loyal
  • loyalty and love or care for someone or something
  • to give all or a large part of one’s time or resources to (a person, activity, or cause)
  • an act of prayer or private worship

Synonyms: adoring, affectionate, fond, loving, tender, tenderhearted, dedicated, committed

 

Goals & Intentions

I went in a bit of a different direction this year with my goals. I thought about what feelings I’d like to cultivate, then set goals & intentions to help me get closer to those feelings. My hope is that my word keeps me devoted to these goals!

In 2020, I will be devoted to:

Wellness

  • Don’t drink alone
  • Walk for 20 for 2020 outside
  • Set up my Alexa morning & evening routines

Home & Community

  • Explore one new star per week
  • Do an Energy Exchange at Yoga Village
  • Capture 1SE

Rest & Relaxation

  • Read 111 books this year
  • Create a shut-down ritual for work
  • Take a vacation

Self-Care

  • Try acupuncture
  • Get quarterly massages
  • Find a great therapist

Whimsy

  • Celebrate minor holidays
  • Do monthly surprise dates
  • Buy something that sparks joy each month

I have a good feeling about 2020! It feels like I have some momentum behind me as I move into it in a way I haven’t before. I’m so proud of what I accomplished in 2019 and I can’t wait to put down more roots & deepen my relationships in 2020.

If you choose a word for the year, I would love to hear about it! And if you see any resources, books or posts about the idea of devotion, send them my way. Happy 2020, everyone!

You can read more about my words from the last few years below:

2013: Reach | 2014: Abundance | 2015: Grace | 2016: Light | 2017: Embrace | 2018: Flow | 2019: Energy