My 2020 Word: Stillness

Over the past few months, I’ve felt a pull toward quiet. Toward rest. Toward increased presence.

I’ve noticed a shift in what I view as success. In what I view as fulfillment. In what I view as enough.

I should mention, quiet and rest are two things I don’t tend to do very well (historically, at least). In fact, they often make me very uncomfortable. After all, how can you be productive if you’re not in constant motion? (That’s the enneagram 3 in me talking, for sure.) I will say, though, I feel far less “3” lately — in a good way. Yes, I still have goals for myself. I still want to achieve things. It’s just that…the intense pull I used to feel toward always pushing as hard as possible in all things has lessened its grip on me — and I’m trying to listen to what that means. I also know that the fact that this quiet makes me feel uncomfortable is exactly the reason I need to lean into it.

That’s why my 2020 word of the year is STILLNESS.

I want to find more stillness physically as well as mentally. Within that stillness, I want to find more unstructured, creative thought. I want to find increased presence. I want to find rest and calm. I want to read more. I want to listen better. I want to find comfort in the uncomfortable. I want to push against both cultural expectations and my own nature and carve out a new norm for myself.

I used to feel a need to accomplish as much as possible or I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I would feel moments of almost panic, thinking I wasn’t going to leave a dynamic legacy behind. But that changed (thanks to becoming a parent, in large part), and I shared about that shift in a blog post last spring.

That change has continued to root itself deeply in me, and I truly feel different as a result. It’s interesting to realize that these two things that once seemed so separate to me can absolutely coexist: I can have goals and I can work hard AND I can find success on my own terms and be intentional about, well, stillness.

This shift feels SO GOOD. I feel like I can breathe more fully, and like I’m not in “tornado mode” anymore. It feels like I’m uncovering more and more who I’m truly meant to be. (Isn’t it amazing how we continue to evolve and get to know ourselves? I love being a human.)

What about you? What word rises to the top for you when you think about the year ahead? Is it something surprising, or is it in line with what you might have assigned to 2019? I’d love to hear about it, and to hear how you plan to put it into action!

Oh, and if you’d like to read other New Year posts of mine from years past, you can find those here:


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