I’ve never been one of those people who picks a word for the upcoming year. The idea that a single word could encompass the efforts of a 12 month period just didn’t ring true for me.
Then, about three weeks ago, a word starting knocking on the edges of my consciousness. When I would take a moment to quiet my brain before digging into work, it was there. Each time I thought about how I want to be in relationship to my life, I heard it echoing in my thoughts. Laying in bed at night, it moved along with my breathing.
For so long I’ve related to life with effort. I’ve believed that anything of value I had or could create needed to be born out of great toil and strain. It was a teeth-clenching, vein-popping, drenched with sweat way of being alive and productive.
There was no gentleness. There was no sense of flow or movement. It was laborious, joyless, and exhausting.
Over the last several years, it’s all felt so hard. I’ve accomplished a lot over this time, but every inch of professional ground I’ve claimed feels like it has been born in struggle. It has left me exhausted and dreaming of a means of escape from the endless efforting.
This awareness has been building for a long time. Both of my existing belief in effort, and my hope that there’s another way to approach all this.
And so, I am working hard to not work so hard. To maintain my production (and with seven weeks until my next book deadline, continuing to move forward is imperative) without feeling like I am pushing and straining with every muscle and nerve-ending.
I will continue to practice allowing the work to come rather than forcing it into being. I will keep you posted.