2020 – Embracing the Wild

Unlike last year, my word came early to me this year. Sometime in the summer. It came and it wouldn’t let go. I kept trying to shed the word and hoping that something else would come along. I even worked on my spreadsheet from last year to see if any other word would stand out.

Here are all the words I considered:

  • Joy
  • full
  • alive
  • ease
  • open
  • adventure
  • connect
  • fresh
  • wonder
  • go!
  • lush
  • clear
  • delight
  • begin
  • open
  • fly
  • leap
  • calm
  • wander
  • expand
  • surrender
  • explore
  • create
  • soft
  • wild
  • air
  • slow

No matter what I did, wild wouldn’t let me go. The thing is, there are many words I might associate with myself but wild is never one of them. I am boring, predictable, reliable, consistent. I am not wild.

And yet the word made me think of: excited, adventure, growth, free, open, connected to something bigger, energy.

This is going into the wild. Being in nature. Drinking the wild air. Camping, hiking, climbing more. Letting nature soothe my soul. Letting water calm my fears. Surrendering to nature and also coming alive with it. Like last year’s magic, which was one of my favorite words ever, wild feels both active and passive. A little more active but I still connect to the wildnerness and being in it part as well.

Here are the three major parts of the word wild for me:

Call of the Wild: Going out into the wild more. Being near the water. Hiking, climbing, breathing fresh air more. Swimming. Going on adventures. Trying new things. Being brave. Getting stronger. This part is about being physically in the wild as much as possible this year.

Silence of the Wilderness: This is the passive part. Listening to the quiet noises of my soul. Connecting to my breath, to my calm nature. Feeling the earth, sand, water. Grounding myself in what is. Embracing the ephemeral nature of life and remembering the inconsequential nature of my daily problems.

Wildcard: This is for embracing the unpredictable nature of life. Surrendering and also leaping. Taking the days as they come. Also figuring out what a slightly wilder me looks like. What does it mean? How can I take some of my long held mis-beliefs and turn them on their head. How can I be open to what might come? How can I hold on to beginner’s mind. How can embrace the unknown?

So these are the reasons I let wild be my word (it wouldn’t let go anyway.)

I really liked the list I made last year so here are a few other aspects of wild for me:

  1. Go Out This is rule #1: You must go outside. Hike. Touch the dirt. Climb those mountains and breathe that fresh air. Take walks. Sit on the earth. Be outside.
  2. Listen to the Whispers: Wildness is inside you, listen to what your soul is yearning for. Give yourself permission to go wild. It’s ok.
  3. Leap: Take chances. Say yes to things. Go on adventures. Meet new people. Take risks. Assume yes yes yes.
  4. Create Space: Let go and go silent. Make room for others. Expand. Tell them why they are amazing. Praise. Donate. Be generous. Nothing is ever too much trouble and there’s always time.
  5. Embrace Joy: Let all the available light flow through you. Dance. Live in the sunshine. Reflect the light of others. Choose the light again and again and again.
  6. Surrender and Release: Let go and let it be. Choose peace. Choose what is. Let it all go. Remember what matters most.
  7. Stronger: You have what it takes. You are getting stronger every single day and I am so proud of you. Just keep at it. Give yourself grace and keep going. Try a tiny bit harder. 
  8. Yes You Can: You are amazing. You have proven again and again that you can do anything you set your mind to. So have faith in yourself. Work hard. Work smart. Do it for you. Do what you decide you want to. Keep at it. You can do it. Yes you can.
  • And then here are some notes I took as I was picking this word:
    • wild@work: be bolder, state things, have opinions, ask for things.
    • wild@travel: go on hikes, alaska, whitney, into the wild
    • wild@fitness: try 3 new classes, go out walk daily outside
    • wild@food: eat veggies + wild food, try new things.
    • wild@mental health: go to the sea, meditate
    • wild@rest: take days off, 1 day a month fully
    • wild@art: draw the wilderness
    • wild@hobbies: pick up an outside hobby
    • wild@school: learn to make fires, learn one new thing.
    • wild@friendship: make new friends, go out/host 1/month
    • wild@romance: go on dates, learn to dance
    • wild@parenting: say yes, drive the kids around, adventure
    • wild@causes: find things and go after them, join
    • wild@inner peace: release

So there we go. Here’s to a wilder 2020!

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