2017 Intention: Lighting the Creative Fire

Photo Credit: Sheri Hall

This year, as compared to last, my holiday season was back to the normal crazy. I much prefer it the way we did it last year — a 5 day escape to the winter wonderland that is Whistler, BC. Instead, we hosted family in our new home this year, which was its own kind of special. Especially with the flu hitting us hard the week of Christmas. So, I didn’t have time to do my traditional solstice ritual and meditation. And yet it still came to me, as soon as I was nestled in bed on Solstice night. Whispered by the voice deep within, which I’ve admittedly been remiss at listening to lately.

The intention I set on the Winter Solstice (the new year of the sun, when we step out of the darkness and the days start to grow longer again) usually comes to me in the form of a single word. I don’t make resolutions anymore. I just concentrate on 1 word to frame everything I do for the next year. The last two years, my words were freedom, and then balance. Both of those were easy for me to accept. They were what my heart was longing for at the time. This year, not so much. This year, I wanted to reject the word that came. I wanted to hand it in and pick another word out of the hat. But that internal voice was strong and steady.

The word was… productivity.

To me, this has become almost a bad word. It summons thoughts of the rat race, the constant push for results at all costs, the protection of bottom lines. It makes my eye twitch. But the universe (and that little voice) were insistent. That was my word. No do-overs. So I had to sit with that for a while, or in this case, sleep on it. Still I grumbled to myself in the shower the next morning that I didn’t even have time to think about it, because Christmas was in 3 days and guests were arriving in 2. I had a house to clean, groceries to buy, gifts to wrap, and décor to finish. Flash forward to me lighting the very last candle to set the mood as our long-expected guests arrived, and another whisper caught me.

“See, you’ve been very productive. Doesn’t that feel good?”

It did feel good. Damn good. And in that instant, I realized I had been crafting and cleaning and cooking and shopping and decorating for almost a month non-stop, and I had felt energized and happy about it. I had been producing. In other words, creating, making, moving, doing. Once the stigma of the word was no longer tripping me up, I could finally see the all-encompassing genius of it as my intention. And the necessity.

I had to admit how perfectly correct the universe was, yet again. Because in my quest for balance in the past year, I had set out on a journey of self-care. I learned to put myself first before others. Practiced holding firm on my own boundaries and not over-extending my energy. I learned to not put heavy expectations on myself, to release my quest for perfection. To not push so hard all the time, to do the opposite of “lean in” and to exist in my feminine energy effortlessly. To let go and go with the flow, and all that jazz. And I am pretty frickin good at it now.

But there comes a point when self-care crosses the line into self-indulgence and not pushing yourself becomes stagnation. Neither of those things are what I want. And I had been internally complaining to myself for months that motivation was what I lacked the most. I asked what I needed to focus on, and the universe didn’t pull any punches in answering me. I need to quit planning, dreaming, and lamenting and to get off my butt and do some stuff.

Looking at it that way also helped me to really focus my creative energy too, because my intention is literally to produce product. That is the first and most important step to getting this writing thing to take off – building inventory, i.e., WRITING. Creating content. I want to release 3 books this year, and it won’t happen unless I write them. So I’m going to practice my “letting go” and apply it to business plans and marketing strategies and social media, and put all my effort toward my product.

So, that is the story of how I came to humbly and joyfully embrace my intention of PRODUCTIVITY for this year! 🙂 It’s not scary. It’s forward motion. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to yield instant results. It just has to be steady progress. Because there is absolutely nothing wrong with a dash of hustle or the spark of drive, and a little pressure never hurt anyone. In fact, it’s when we’re moving, doing, reaching beyond our boundaries and feeling our way through that the real magic happens. That’s right, look out – it’s #GIRLBOSS time.

Wishing you a bright and productive New Year!

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