Two weeks ago I shared my word (phrase) for 2014: sink in. Apparently I’m not the only one with a word for 2014. Whether they’ve chosen the word or allowed the word to choose them, people all over the blogosphere have been sharing their words for 2014. This is my first year to determine a word, and I love the idea. Already it’s serving as a North Star as I navigate daily life and make plans for things to come (and also as I learn to plan a little less—all a part of sinking in for this wanderer who is always ready for what’s next). Additionally, as I said to Dan in the comments of my 2014 word post, I’m hoping that my word will not only continue guide me this year, but also be a promise of things to come.
However, as much as I am grateful for my 2014 word, I was intrigued last week when I stumbled upon this invitation from The Nester last week: choose an un-word for the year—a word you’d like to leave behind.
Already totally in love with my word for the year, sink in, I began to wonder what word I’d like to leave behind—to say “no” to, at least for a little while. It didn’t take too long to realize the little word wrapped up in big expectations that had driven me crazy all of 2013: success.
I’ve already shared with you how difficult it’s been to find my way over this past year with A Sacred Journey—to follow my path, to find my voice, to determine what I have to give. I spent a portion of the year caught up in the sizzling world of online entrepreneurs, influenced by posts about “My First Five Figure Launch” and courses claiming to teach me “How to Get 1,000 subscribers in 30 days.” I learned a lot of valuable things about running a blog and using Social Media during that season, certainly. But I was also left with a great sense of lack.
When I finally realized my goal wasn’t really to have a five figure launch and that I was only feeling the need to grow my subscriber list because that’s what they were telling me to do, I left my unnecessary (and unhelpful) number-oriented ambitions behind and began to focus more on the content that I wanted to offer. I started writing my first e-course, Pilgrim Principles (which you won’t find anywhere in this form because it doesn’t exist), and made plans for a library of other courses and offerings related to the 10 types of pilgrimage, because that’s what people I admired were doing.
But when I finished my first draft of Pilgrim Principles, the thought of selling it as an e-course felt constricting, and I wasn’t excited about any of the other offerings I’d dutifully added to my list of “shoulds” and “to-dos.” Even though I was told that high-priced courses would solidify the value of my work and be the path to success, it wasn’t a path I felt comfortable taking. It is a great direction for many, but it wasn’t mine—at least not yet.
And so I turned the material I’d written for my Pilgrim Principles e-course into my first book, and made changes to A Sacred Journey that were less oriented toward offerings and more oriented toward what I love: regular posts on the topics of spirituality and intention in travels and everyday life. I decided to slow down on my drive toward stability and certainly and decided to instead enjoy and be present for the journey.
And most important, I decided to leave success behind.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t want my book to sell well (you can buy your copy on amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com), and that doesn’t mean I don’t want to grow my audience, either. I’m passionate about viewing travels and daily life through the lenses of pilgrimage and journey and am so eager to have conversations about spirituality and intention. But I’m not going to let numbers determine the worth of my words anymore. And I’m not going to let money or missed milestones define the value of what I have to offer.
And so, in 2014, I’m saying “no” to striving for success, letting go of ideals that so often distract me from staying in the present and delighting in my questions, my passions, and my desires. Call my un-word “unsuccess,” if you’d like, but I have no plans for sabotage. Instead, this year I’m releasing my preoccupation with success, letting A Sacred Journey guide me wherever it leads, and learning more and more to sink in.
What about you? What’s your “un-word” for the year ahead?
Read the rest of the posts in the
“Un-Word of the Year” linkup