Whew, January has already chewed me up and spit me out and we are just halfway through! I feel like I have lived months in these two short weeks and it has been hard to cultivate the time to set some intentions for this coming year. In the past I would set my intentions by making large, sprawling vision boards. I would spread out the magazines sometimes sitting with friends, sometimes alone sometimes and often with my children. Scissors and glue sticks and cut up images and inspiring quotes from magazines saved from the past year scattered over the floor. I would tape the finished masterpieces up on my bedroom wall so I would see it every morning when I awoke and be inspired for the day.
At first they really were magical for me. Unexpected things would happen through my year and at the end, I would look back at my vision board and be like, WOW! That’s what that meant when I put that picture or quote on my board but then, something shifted for me in that process. My vision boards were feeling more and more forced. I was always looking for that inspiring quote or a perfect picture to set lofty and high goals. They were becoming a little too perfect and I found that I was trying too hard. And at the end of the year when I did look at them I feel disappointed that all those things didn’t really happen. These manifestations I thought I wanted, but the words and pictures were forced, fake and not really what universe had in store for me.
But I really like setting visual intentions! A couple years ago my friend told me about just picking one word for the year. She went to a workshop and the focus was a process of finding just one word that you sit with to inspire your whole year. And I see now, that this has gained momentum out there in the world and I really love it! There is something to be said about working and creating simply. I found my vision boards were too complicated, too busy, too many words, too many pictures and they felt scattered.
This January is inspiring me to slow down and simplify. In this world where I’m already overloaded with information and images to be my better self, choosing one word is refreshing and uncomplicated. Sitting into this word with No distractions of cut out pictures and sentence fillers. Getting to the juice of the fruit. This one small word could be big enough to explore for a whole year. I could feel it, turn it over in my heart and hands. This sounded like a balm for my weary and overworked soul.
And I thought about this not just me personally, but the extension of myself which is my company and I wondered if I chose a word for Homegrown Babies what would it be this year? Through this meditation, there was one word that kept popping up in my readings or through social media feeds and it was the word Fierce. Being fierce is a really important part of the social justice work that I do personally and in Homegrown Babies. Fierce to me is being brave and bold and pushing through constructed systems and boundaries that are no longer serving us as humanity. As a lover of the emotion anger, I love that it lives inside the word fierce. However, fierce can be off putting and I don’t find that it drives connection which is a core value of mine. So I searched some more. I realized that I wanted something that simultaneously cultivated bravery or fierceness but also the emotion joy. Not happiness, I’m actually not a huge fan of happiness but I am a lover of Joy. Those sweet moments where it bubbles up inside of myself and others around me. Joy drives connection and those are my favorite times in my life.
Now I was sitting with the attributes of fierceness and joy. I waited for a word to come that could be strong enough to encompass those opposing emotions, and it came to me!!! I wanted Homegrown Babies to be Feisty. When I sit with the word feisty, even the sound of it as it comes off my tongue, it is what joy and anger sound like at the same time. It is fierceness plus joy and that’s what I was excited about. I want Homegrown to bring joy into families lives while simultaneously being fierce and pushing boundaries. I want to nudge new families into places and spaces of unexpected growth while simultaneously feeling safe and strong and laughing. The definition of feisty is lively, determined and courageous. The synonyms are spirited, spunky, plucky, gutsy. Yes, having a spirited business that was gutsy about speaking the truth that leans into the courageous aspects of parenting and being in relationships, this is what I envision for 2018.
So now I am curious on how do you set your intentions? Have you or will you choose a word for your year with no expectations of the outcome? Choosing a word is not a quick fix way to change your life, but what it does do is give you focus. It gives you room to grow. It simplifies all of the white noise out there in the world. It can give you Hope for your future rather than swearing off your past.
How do you go about picking a word? Well there’s lots of advice out there but here are my thoughts. Take your time, and write down anything that comes to mind anytime of day. Lean back into your past and think of where you are strong. Begin with attributes that you appreciate in yourself and others, virtues that move you. Is it gentleness or generosity? Is it a good listener? Do you appreciate being patient or that confidence you have seen in someone else? Are you on the journey to find more balance?
I don’t believe that we can move forward in our lives without steeping ourselves in the history of who we are and how we have gotten to be. From there, what’s missing? What do you want to add, build onto, merge? I’m genuinely interested and curious about your journey! Send me a line and share your experience of intention setting for your New Year. And when you unexpectedly come into my mind or when we cross paths, I will remember and think of you and your words. There is something to be said about that collective consciousness of holding you in the container of your intentions that will magnify and increase its potential.
I deeply care about you and I hope and pray that 2018 will be a year of growth, health and also hold those precious moments of joy. As I personally contemplate the unknown possibilities of 2018, I want you to know that Homegrown Babies is going to be a feisty presence in our community and I am so looking forward to being a solid resource and continued support for you and your family.