Just like that, the calendar has turned to July and, with that, we mark the half-year. Everywhere around us, people are commenting on where the year went. When I was a girl, I thought, “what in the world are you talking about? It has taken FOREVER to get to July.” Now, I know that time really does move faster as you age (at least figuratively).
So, given that it is A. the half-year point and B. I actually noticed it is the half-year point, I thought I would actually reflect on the year so far in light of my word, my vision boards, and my wellness prescription.
Here we go:
My choice for this year’s intention (where I choose one word to set the intention I want to work to embrace throughout the year) was:
whole·heart·ed adj. \ˈhōl-ˈhär-təd\
Related to WHOLEHEARTED
At the beginning of the year, here is how I described why I had chosen whole-hearted and what I wanted from its guidance:
While the definition for wholehearted is important, what might be even more important to me is the antonym. One reason why wholehearted really resonates with me is because it is so rooted in being authentic. Too often, I do things to be nice or helpful and while I value being nice and helpful, doing things just to be nice or helpful means I end up not doing them well and doing them inauthentically, and that doesn’t do anyone any good. Yes, I do some things out of a sense of responsibility (the laundry, the insurance paperwork for Circle de Luz, tax paperwork) and so they don’t make me authentically happy but the experience behind those responsibilities- having a family that brings me joy, being partnered with such amazing women in an effort to empower really amazing, inspiring young Latinas to choose futures of their own imaginings, and being employed in a way that allows me to give my gifts to the world- do make me authentically happy and so doing that less satisfying work makes the satisfying part possible. What I don’t want for 2012 is me doing things in a half-hearted, tepid, grudging, lukewarm way. And I want to create enough time and space in my life to really savor the days rather than run to the next responsibility that I’ve taken on in order to JUST be nice or helpful.
Back to today: As I consider this intention that I set for the year, I can definitely see it at play in the things that I have said yes to and the things I have said no, too and even the plan I created for Summer of Intentionality. Moreover, I can see how the word is informing plans I am making in upcoming professional and personal decisions. I do think that the biggest lesson to me has been in differentiating what I do wholeheartedly and what I don’t do wholeheartedly and trying to discern if there are ways to diminish the stuff that doesn’t light my fire. I don’t imagine that there will ever be a world that is completely void of the stuff I do grudgingly (see: dishes, laundry, taking out trash, traveling in a car rather than teleporting wherever I want to go) but I do see a world that doesn’t have me creating so much stuff I do grudgingly because I just want to so helpful to everyone else that I forget to consider myself. And that’s an awesome outcome from my intention!
The second thing that I do to at the beginning of a new year is create a vision board.
What is a vision board exactly? It’s a tangible way to capture what you hope to see happen in your year ahead. I love vision boards because they are a beautiful work of personalized art that consciously and subconsciously inspire you over time. I’ve kept my vision boards from the last few years and I love looking back at them and seeing how hopes from two or three years ago are still being manifested today. It is so powerful to watch intention materialize, even if it takes more time than I had originally though or hoped.
This year, I took a new approach to my vision board and I made two: one that really captured what I wanted to see happen in my personal life and another that captured what I wanted to see happen in my professional like. I did two boards because I really wanted to evoke a professional shift this year (doing more work directly with women and girls outside of my college classes and writing) and I felt a board focused on that would be helpful. I am not sure if I’ll repeat that approach in future years when I am not building anew so significantly but it was a good approach for this year.
On my professional vision board, there are more words than images. Phrases and words like time to shine, inspired, to boldly go, make it happen, celebrating women, inspired retreats, inspire creativity, beautifully focused, be vibrant, everyone has a calling, on a mission, be a force of beauty, charisma, reflect, ease, pure, real, you are beauty full, live big, this is the year, core values, courage, happiness, spark a breakthrough, passionate, bold, “I’m a firm believer that anyone can have a breakthrough right in her own backyard” and “learn to hear what your inner voice is telling you, and your whole world changes” capture my imagination and were meant to inspire me.
My mission is to empower women to embrace their authentic selves so that they can live their passion and purpose and give their gifts to the world. While this has long been my focus, my mission this year was to really bring that mission to life by offering mission-based writing and experiences (read: virtual and in person retreats and workshops) to the women in my world (that, as it turns out, is the gift I have to give to the world). Already this year, I’ve offered 5 workshops and have just loved them and feel as if I have offered the participants who attended some valuable insight to apply in their daily lives. That gives me clarity that my mission for this year was the right one. Right now, I am in the midst of executing what’s already on the docket for the summer and fall, planning some new things, and even coming up with some virtual options that will launch this fall and continue next year. I am really excited and energized about the possibilities.
On my personal vision board, you see images like a woman and child gardening, a hand stroking a horse’s nose, a woman doing yoga, a little boy with curls, a woman running with an expanse of natural lushness behind her, a tranquil dock, women stand up paddling, a villa over the ocean, a peaceful nook in a home. Some of the words and phrases read, “fresh, thinking outside the box, clarity and simplicity, real, pure, natural beauty, raise a bookworm, serenity, whole life, cozy retreat, art, self-awareness, artful escape, play to your strength, let it flow, Ethiopia, oasis, find your balance, and beautiful simplicity.”
I look at this vision board and I see very concrete things: my desire to really develop my horsemanship skills, my desire to get outside more and to move my body in ways that bring me joy, a desire for peace and tranquility, a desire to make my home even more of an oasis for me and my family, a desire to grow more of our food and to teach Happy the power and peace of that work, a desire to relax and not make so much work, a desire to share my sparkle, a desire to realign my personal style so that how I project myself is a more accurate representation of who and how I am, a desire to facilitate peace within myself and around me, too.
So far, on this vision board, some of the concrete dreams have been realized like redoing the house so it is reflective of who we are (we had never painted the inside of the house after moving in), planting a vibrant garden and involving Happy in it, relaxing, working on my personal style, etc. There is still a lot of room for growth in terms of the personal board- my horse skills aren’t much more developed, I haven’t moved as much I would like, we’re still in limbo with what’s next for our family, but everyday, something aligns with that personal vision board and there is a lot to be said for that.
Finally, the last piece of my new year trifecta is writing my wellness prescription. Because my wellness prescription for this year was long, I thought I’d just celebrate five things I feel are going well and five places where I can concentrate more effort.
5 Things Going Well:
- Cooking thoughtful meals at home for me and my family because it is nurturing, contemplative, pleasurable, creative, and delicious!
- Moving my body every day.
- Seeing my physician for an annual visit that includes labwork so I know how I am doing in terms of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. Based on what I learn after talking to my doc (and getting any lab results), I adjust my behaviors to support obtaining my optimal health. Also, making a commitment to all of my follow-up visits and suggested behaviors (like taking my B12 and D3 vitamins).
- Getting massage a couple times a month to work through hip and shoulder tightness and to encourage stress reduction.
- Choosing my life.
5 Places Where I Can Concentrate More Effort:
- Trying new physical challenges that change up how I use my body while giving my mind a run for its money. Stand up paddling is one example. Partnering with a friend to swim or take a cycle class regularly is another.
- Doing Pilates at least weekly.
- Pleasure reading every day, if even for just ten minutes.
- Practicing a good stretchy yoga each week
- Sleeping at least 7 hours per night, and ideally more.
How has the first half of your year gone? How has it met your hopes or expectations, exceeded them, changed course?