Explore: OLW Wrap-Up

Explore. My one little word for 2018.

I explored local parks and paths preparing for my walk in Spain. I explored with a small backpack and then the official one I took with me. I explored with Denali by my side as I emptied out water bottles when my pack started to feel too heavy. I explored with a new pair of hiking shoes and then with the shoes that took me through the towns, hamlets, and woods of northern Spain. I explored what socks to wear and what clothes to bring. I explored water bottles and websites. I explored my need for answers and my difficulty with trusting that it will all be okay. I explored letting go and discovering how beautiful it can be. I explored not being in charge and taking the lead when the moment called for it.

I explored old friendships, reigniting them into new ones. I explored what it’s like to step into something that feels so familiar but isn’t quite the same. I explored taking risks by sending a text out of the blue. I explored saying “yes” to an invitation and trusting that the moment was right. I explored forgiveness — mostly of myself. I explored my choices and honoring that I can only do my best with what’s in front of me in that very moment.

I explored churches and faith communities. I explored my desires and where those desires are born from. I explored immersion and discovered I needed more space than that. I explored going home, and once again discovering that while it feels familiar in many ways, it isn’t quite the same. I explored what church, God, faith means to me. I explored how I might fulfill those needs in other places, with other people.

I explored hard things — holding a pose a breath or two longer than I wanted, living with an unfinished project for months longer than we wanted, raising a puppy with a disgruntled older dog, trying to walk said puppy. I explored why infertility is a never ending part of my life — painful cramps, very light but consistent periods, pregnant women everywhere. I explored stepping back from some relationships, by choice or not.

I explored my small, yet steady quilting business. I tried some new products and explored deeper connections with clients. I continue to explore what it would mean to grow my business — would I need to increase my fees and if so, would that reduce interest in my work? Would I want to work by myself day in and day out? I also explored my retreat work — I wrote and lead a full weekend retreat for a group of women I’d never met and it was quite successful! And so, I continue to explore what it would mean to become a retreat leader on a more consistent basis — am I willing to sacrifice my free time outside of work in order to grow this business? Could this one day become something more? Can I provide similar income and benefits to our family if I tried stepping out on my own? I explored my fears and hesitations and lack of taking the next steps toward something I call my dream.

I explored writing. I made a stronger connection with Bookwifery and explored the ongoing struggle with the name, and at the same time, explored the beautiful analogy and how that might be a gift to me one day. I explored naming my message and started to think more seriously about how that message might find its way into a book someday. I explored memoirs, reading them with an eye for plot, structure and style, wondering if someday my name might be on a cover.

I explored new poses and although I didn’t master any head- or handstand in 2018, I’m getting closer! I explored taking a break from something that shaped my days, weeks and months, and found a new appreciation for it when I returned. I explored practicing with new teachers and formats. I explored being okay with gentle flows and slower movements.

Through all of these explorations I encountered many people. Each one with a purpose, with a specific role. Patience, laughter, coaching, mentoring, listening, holding, crying, moving, trusting, loving. I could pair each word with a different person — some with multiple people. As I think through the faces I encountered with this time of exploring, I’m amazed. Amazed at the people who are still present in my life. Amazed at the new faces — faces I couldn’t have imagined a year ago today. Amazed — in awe, really — of the people I’ve gotten to meet.

In 2017 my word was Gratitude. I still list at least three moments of gratitude before I fall asleep at night. I wonder how Explore will carry over into 2019 in similar ways. I don’t want to abandon my desire for exploration — we’ve been at this together for a year now. I can’t just shut it off. Just like Gratitude didn’t leave me, Explore won’t either. I imagine myself, ten, twenty years from now with all of these beautiful words adorning my body, clinging to my soul, each offering something a little different. I walk into 2019 with Gratitude and Explore… tomorrow I start a new year with Open.


2 thoughts on “Explore: OLW Wrap-Up”

  1. I love this! And your wall hanging could become a pillow after the year is up 🙂 Also, did you make the rug? So cute!
    I know you don’t know me at all, maybe just my name, but I have enjoyed reading your musings this year. We (husband Jordan and our two adult children, Andrew, who lives in Seattle, and Emily, who lives in NYC) just got back from Ireland on Monday so we had the word “explore” for our family this year, too!
    I hope you have a wonderful time exploring all that “open” can mean for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading along! What a trip! I’d like to go to Ireland some day!
      We may have met when I was young…it’s hard to keep track of all of my dad’s relations! 😉


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