Earlier this year, I chose a word that would follow me through 2014: Radiate. When I chose this word – radiate – I knew it was time for me to shine. I’d spent two years working on two very hard things: being patient and having courage. I certainly haven’t mastered either yet, but I’ve gotten much better. And I figured it was time to radiate those practices in 2014.
For whatever reason, “radiate” hasn’t followed me closely like the other words. I almost forgot it was my word until the other day. I started reflecting on what I’ve accomplished this year and what is still on the horizon. I became grateful for all the things that have transpired and hopeful for the future. Since I moved, I’ve been able to find a confidence I didn’t have before. Of course it’s still a work in progress, but I’m letting go of some of my old expectations. And when you feel that confidence, you can’t help but radiate it to others.
In the past, I always focused on my goals to see my through the days. And I’d keep checking things off that list. It was always, always about the list. But honestly, it’s hard to radiate when you’re just trying to meet a quota.
This year has been all about being still in my heart and mind. How to be alone with myself. How to be at peace with the quiet and comfortable with my decisions. Now I need to work hard at NOT just checking things off the list. In order to radiate, I can’t be so bogged down by deadlines and goals and progress. I find that the less list-making I make, the more attentive and aware I am. You’d be surprised at how empty my planner is.
My word for the year was simple: I wanted to shine bright, emit positive energy and light into the world. I wanted to love my every days and step into myself.
And I am doing all of those things. Without even trying, they are unfolding. The mindfulness part is hard — it doesn’t come easy. But through my daily choices, I am figuring out how to radiate. Here are just a few things I’m doing that help:
- I exercise daily, and I’ve been working on fitness that’s not just related to weight loss.
- I attend a monthly book club at my yoga studio.
- I write and help run literary journal.
- I practice yoga once a week.
- I spend time in a spiritual house.
- I have craft nights with an awesome group of women.
- I’m part of a fit community where we inspire each other to lead healthy lives.
- I spend uninterrupted time with my friends — and we go on adventures.
Of course, it also helps to have a stable and strong partner in this world. M has this way of helping me see the world in a way I hadn’t quite experienced before. The details – the stress, the mess, whatever you want to call – just seems to melt away when we talk. And that’s huge.
All of these things. They are so simple, really. Before, they used to be goals. Things I needed to accomplish. Now I approach them more as mental and physical healing. The list above? Those are all things I need on a monthly basis in order to feel whole. They aren’t things I have to do because of the outcome. They are things I want to do because of the process.
Here’s to radiating throughout the rest of this year.