At the start of the year, inspired by Lisa Burgess, I thought I’d create a monthly theme for my word of the year. For February, I chose ‘Grow With The Flow’. But my circumstances and an inner sense were guiding me to put off this theme for another month, or abandon it altogether. What did appeal to was the word ‘slow’ and thus the theme ‘Flow Slow’.
Why Flow Slow?
From my January update on my Word of The Year, you would know that I was constantly exhausted. Also my shoulder was causing a lot of pain. So by creating a calendar of things I wanted to do, I was just putting pressure on myself. The pressure was compounded by guilt when I didn’t achieve what I wanted to.
Pulling Back From Things
I decided to review what was important, pull back on some things and take things slow. Only two or three blog posts a month, and a lot less active on Facebook and Instagram. I’m not following any schedule with social media as I had planned at the start of the year – just posting when I feel like it. I’ve also stopped signing up for blog tours and anything that requires me to commit a lot of time with not much reward. I also stopped trying to create content on Medium.
The one social media platform I’m struggling to be less active on is Twitter. This is not helped by my strong anti-establishment (the current fascist Government in India) views, crucial elections in our country and now the war situation in Ukraine. I’m trying to be more mindful here, but it’s taking a lot. Will keep you posted on progress.
What Am I Doing?
I spent a lot more time in reflection and decided that for the next few months my focus would be on learning and growing.
I’m learning to create a writing routine that works for me and including the three practices that give so much meaning to my days: Scripture reading and reflection. Morning Pages. Gratitude check in.
My reflection led me to realise that I mainly need to work on two are areas of my life – being more honest and authentic and ridding myself of comparison with others. Both inauthenticity and comparison flow from my insecurities and fears from past experiences that I must continue to work on and pray through.
I also stopped being apologetic for taking time to rest, relax and play. For me, play means taking more photographs, dabbling with paints and colours, reading and catching a movie/ documentary. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading books by Amanda Prowse and Catherine Ryan Hyde, I’ve also started reading Aundi Kolber‘s ‘Try Softer’. I can see how it helps me to align with the changes I’m already making and allows me to truly ‘flow‘.
The Thread That Flows Through
The thread that I see running through my days is me giving up on the ‘must-dos’ and the ‘should-dos’ and setting a pace that works for me. This takes courage and determination and I’m ever grateful for the encouragement from José and the inspiration from people like Brené Brown. In Brené’s words : “It takes courage to say ‘yes’ to rest and play, in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.”
Choosing to pull back is easier said than done. It also makes it more difficult not to compare myself to more productive and energetic people I know. But I’m getting there through prayer, reflection, reading and learning.
Linking in to Lisa Burgess’ One Word 2022 February Linkup