A year to STRETCH in every way…
…in work, love, physical pursuits, kindness, bigness, emotional bravery & more!
I must admit that I started this new year disoriented and disinterested in setting goals for 2018. My Dad had just died (Dec. 2017) and, of course, it has left me in grief mode — feeling sad, lost, depleted, uninterested in goal setting, unsure of what next, and more.
Honestly, I was clear on only one thing at the end of 2017 and that was that I wanted 2018 to be different. I needed and wanted to shake things up in my life — to open myself up to the Universe in new and challenging ways, and I didn’t want to have to think too hard immediately about how. (If you’ve ever been in this place, you get it.)
For this In-the-equation girl who has been living brave, saying YES! and constantly growing and changing during the past 7.5 years — just the realization that I needed a “time out” to regroup and recharge is hugely important.
In late January, I was on a morning walk with a close friend when I realized that what I really wanted in 2018 (besides a change of scenery and routine) was to STRETCH — personally and professionally. So I decided STRETCH was my word theme for 2018. What that means in practice, well, that’s a work in progress. And that’s how I believe it needs to be.
STRETCH – Living into the answers
It is uncharacteristic for me to start the new year without a clear intention, supported by specific goals. But I think that’s exactly why the word STRETCH is perfect. The idea is that in stretching in my work/career, love, physical pursuits and emotional bravery – it will take me out of my comfort zone, and challenge me to be more open to what the Universe brings. Broadly, I aim to STRETCH in ways that have me challenged both on the outside (physical pursuits and my work/career focus…) and on the inside (in love, emotional bravery, bigness…).
This means allowing myself the time and space to explore new experiences, new opportunities, out of the ordinary thinking, doing and being. What I do know is that it likely means life will be scarier, less predictable and comfortable — and that’s the point. I’m fully aware that this may mean falls or failures along the way. But, isn’t being willing to risk everything and challenge yourself exactly how you open yourself up to greatness? Isn’t this how we grow, expand and evolve to be better humans? I think so.
If you’re thinking — ‘Wow, that’s scary’ or ‘Who does that in their 50’s?!’ Yep, I get it. Many of my closest friends and family who are becoming aware of this path are secretly thinking that, too. Even I have moments where I wake up and think – “Girl, what the he _ _ are you doing?!”
It’s important to note that while I’m embarking on a goal to shake things up, I’m not doing so merely for the act of the shaking, but rather to EXPAND my thinking, being and ultimately my life and life contribution. That’s what I love about this quote from Cheryl Strayed — I want to STRETCH in the direction of goodness, bigness, emotional bravery, physical bravery, and truly be a warrior of LOVE.
Not only do I feel ready for yet another personal change and challenge, I believe that it is through this “growth mindset” of constantly pushing ourselves to learn and expand (to stretch), that we reach our greatest potential and find ways to let our best selves shine a light on the world. I’m thinking my light is so bright that it will provide a spark not just for me, but for others. In fact, I believe I have a spark inside me with torch potential!
I am excited, energized and scared all at the same time. And with this blog, I am putting it out into the world and setting the idea free to take hold. I believe my Dad will be cheering me on and guiding me, even if he might not have understand it.
What does this have to do with living healthy, happy and whole? In my view…everything!
What next? Well, it’s the year of STRETCHING and EXPANDING life so I’m not sure — anything can happen. I do know this — Lori will definitely be in the equation! There is no other way.
P.S. If you are reading this and have encouragement, advice from a similar experience, or a desire to share YOUR word of the year or focus…I’d love to hear from you here, on Facebook, or in a private message.
P.S.S. Some of my favorite reads are making it back on the reading list right now. They are:
- A Year By The Sea, Joan Anderson
- Wild, Cheryl Strayed
- Eat, Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
- Grit, Angela Duckworth