“What we focus on expands.”
We are surrounded by talk of resolutions this time of year. Crisp, new calendars are bright and shiny with opportunity. We fill them with big plans and lofty goals. January is for hoping and dreaming.
I am choosing a different route this year - a paradigm shift. If I create the right mindset, then I believe that other benefits will trickle down into the diverse aspects of my identity. I can become a better version of myself as a woman, mom, wife, teacher, friend, coach, coworker, athlete, writer, etc., through intentionally and responsibly curating my thoughts.
My plan for the year can be summed up in one word. A verb. An action word. It is not passive or dependent upon others. The choice is mine.
In its simplest form, the word create means to bring something into existence. The beauty is in making something out of nothing. And the something does not have to be tangible.
“I choose to create my environment, responses, memories, actions and reactions. I can choose to create a specific environment anywhere I step. Being intentional helps me to create more than just tangible things. I think the highest forms of creativity are not tangible at all.” -Carolyn Twietmeyer
Twietmeyer captures how this word’s definition has expanded for me. Living a creative life is not restricted to producing tangible things that can be displayed, touched or even sold (gasp!). I can aim to create a feeling. As Maya Angelou says, “People will never forget how you made them feel.” I can be intentional about the feelings and energy I radiate within my three feet of influence.
I can create quality time for connecting with loved ones, space for self-care and growth, and opportunities to find beauty in the ordinary. None of these things are tangible, but they matter to me, and I feel them down deep in my soul. Read, write, sing, dance, give, lift, connect, help, hike, and laugh locally. This is what it means to be the change I want to see in the world.
The word create also reminds me that I have an active role to play. Life and happiness are not things that just happen to me. I create them. Nothing is served on a silver platter. There is no blue ribbon for participation. I am the most important project I will ever get to work on, so I best get started.
Danielle LaPorte suggests that instead of asking ourselves what we want to accomplish in a day, we should ask, “How do I want to feel today?” The truth is that running myself ragged to get it all done rarely leaves me feeling anything but exhausted and underappreciated. But actively creating opportunities to feed my soul and share my light invites others to pull back the curtains of their own hearts and let the light pour out. I want to create a chain reaction (yet another intangible thing).
Along the way, I do hope to produce some writing and art that inspires others. I write to know who I am and what I am thinking. My vulnerability leads to the greatest connection with myself and my surroundings. Ultimately, the tangible creations further the cause of the intangible. In this cycle, it is nearly impossible to give more than we receive.
Without further adieu, I will get started creating 2018.