my "one little word" of 2013 is stretch.
2012 was one of the best years of my life. i felt loved, secure, in control and with much credit to my focus on my 2012 one little word, "core," i felt at peace. while i recognize how lucky i was for a year of such contentment, i also know that in order to grow, in order to really be better or more than i currently am, i’m going to need to push beyond those cozy boundaries.
yoga was recommended for my pregnancy and i loved when a book described one of the benefits (beyond increased flexibility and it being a safe, low-impact form of exercise) as it teaching pregnant women to move into the pain. in yoga, when you feel a burn, you don't change positions to reduce the pain. instead, you're guided to take a deep breath and push into it further. that's my goal with stretch this year: to use discomfort not as a signal of what should be avoided, but instead, to take a deep breath and move into it.
this year i will stretch...
:: in childbirth then motherhood.
stretch will be top of mind as i complete the last 9 weeks of my pregnancy. my body is stretching, my capacity to love is stretching and obviously in birthing there will be a whole lot of other stretching goin' on. i just want to remember that a stretch is not a snap, a break or a tear - it's just a stretch - and that physically i am fully capable of what is to come.
in motherhood, i will use my word to help me embrace the discomfort of shifting life pieces. i hope stretch will make my breaking points feel like starting points.
as i learn what it means to be a mom, i'll also learn what it means to be a wife and worker with a child in my life. scott and i will have to stretch our energy, stretch our limited free time, stretch our finances and even stretch our physical space as much as possible as we make room for the addition to our family. during this transition, i hope stretch will mean calm over uncertainty and flexibility instead of resistance.
i carry stress in my shoulders and think being more in tune with my muscles could help me stay more in tune with my emotional life. i'd like to challenge myself to integrate a stretching routine into my daily life and keep with it, every single day. i've been taking pregnancy yoga and hope make that a sustained practice in 2013.
many of my choices over the past few years, such as going vegan and choosing a home birth, opened me up to criticism and what felt like constant questioning. i feel like in order to hold on to those beliefs, i had to become really rigid with them. i gripped tight to them with mental walls up as a way of coping with the feelings of judgement and in doing so, i realize i've become close minded to a lot which isn't familiar to me or for choices i wouldn't make myself. stretch will help me be less rigid and judgmental. how i'll get there, i'm not quite sure, but this word choice alone helps me put focus in this area.
:: in my marriage.
after the birth of our first child, my marriage will undoubtedly change. scott and i have been just scott and i for over eight years now. with the arrival of baby o, we'll never be just a couple again. i need to be willing to allow this change to imbue our relationship with a new spirit. stretch will help me see these changes as a challenge to conquer together, instead of a threat to what we have.
:: in my career.
i need to push through discomfort in order to advance my career. i need to pitch bigger ideas. i need to ask stars in my industry for informational interviews. i need to continue to demand what i'm worth. i need to move on to new positions if they're right for me, even though it feels safer to stay put. i need to reach further than i may be initially comfortable with. stretch will be the force that drives me in those actions.
:: in a life lived fully.
this word doesn’t have to be all serious. i also want to stretch myself to explore life on a broader scale. last year, "core" was very narrowing. i used it to hone in on the most essential people and things that mattered most in my life. at that time, that was just what i needed, but stretch will reopen me. it will turn me outward to new experiences. stretch could be the push to sign up for surf lessons or accept a speaking engagement invitation or move to a new city.
this year i will stretch.
note: yesterday i posted my one little word as "brave." while i loved the thoughts associated with it, it just wasn't clicking for me and i unpublished that post. stretch comes from similar goals and has a lot of the same spirit, but was just a better fit for me, so i made the switch. some of the post above is word for word from my brave post, but with "stretch" inserted into the paragraph, it just feels so much more me. so happy i made the change, because i'm now insanely excited about this year-long focus, just as i was last year. thank you for following along.