It fascinates me how something so arbitrary as the Gregorian calendar can still hold such energy. I much prefer living my life and aligning my decisions to the wheel of the year, with its energetics planted firmly in the seasons and ancestral traditions. The reverence for the land we live on and the awareness of the effects of her shifts and changes on our inner world resonate deeply with me, as I’m sure you’d agree.
However, living in the Western world in this day and age, we cannot deny the impact that the sound of the church bells on January 1st at 12:00AM have on us. And as they do so this time around, I find myself not just looking forward to the new year with fresh intentions and excitement for all that is to come, but also in deep reflection over the year that has now come to a close.
These past two years have been, ehrm, well, unprecedented to say the least. Personally, I almost naively trusted that 2021 would feel more open than 2020. It would feel a little sturdier. I trusted that with all the knowledge acquired over the course of 2020, as soon as we stepped out of our national lockdown in Spring 2021, we would never go back. And of course, one never truly goes back – not in terms of time, or energy, or experience gained – but as the end of 2021 saw the Netherlands step back into a full closure of shops and cafes, I found myself reflecting on that craved sturdiness and the whole concept of moving forward.
Don’t worry, this is not going to be a rant about the pandemic, but of course it has been weaving its way into my personal life since 2020, as it has done for everyones. It’s also one of the reasons I had ‘belonging’ as my 2021 word of the year. Partially inspired by the beautiful book by the same name, written by Toko-pa Turner, at the start of the past year I was hoping that ‘belonging’ would give me that same sense of sturdiness from the inside out that was lacking so heavily in my external world.
As I quote from Turner’s inspiring book:
As always, the slight danger with the initial excitement about a word of the year is that one overlooks the many yet-unknown ways in which the word will serve them deeply. This was true for ‘flow’ in 2020 (Goddess knows that year showed me flow alright!) and is true for belonging in 2021. I learned that growing roots sometimes has to do with the comfort of a home or the laughter of a person you start to love deeply, but more often, it has to do with growing through discomfort and committing to trust when everything seems to be slipping through your fingers.
2021 was an incredible year in many ways. I found true, deep, romantic love – something I definitely put on my vision board but was apprehensive to believe I was worthy of until I started to receive it. I financially supported myself through my business the entire year. I wrote a large book proposal. Took myself for a few nights away. Settled on expansive plans for the new year.
But it was also a very hard year. One where many patterns had to be released, where the mirror kept being shoved in my face, where anxiety, self doubt and grief kept popping up in unexpected ways. A year of deep breaths and tears at 3AM. A year in which I saw less of my friends, due to no fault of our own, just ‘life’ and a casual pandemic.
A year in which growing roots meant opening my chest and crown and letting the soil pour through like a sieve.
I thought belonging would serve me because at the start of 2021 I was frantically looking for a sense of groundedness and connection with my external world.
But belonging served me so much deeper this year. It showed me that growing roots is an inside job. It also showed me that it is safe to have other roots wrapping around yours and that this does not have to mean you’re toppling over. It showed me that ‘belong’ is something you innately are, rather than something you need to seek. And it showed me that uprootedness, ungroundedness and being unsure is just as important as feeling rooted.
Belonging isn’t stagnant. It isn’t placing your flag into the ground, looking around and say ‘this is where I will put down my roots and that’s that’.
Belonging is just as dynamic as flow. It’s a constant dance between the present moment and dreams of the future. A push and pull between tears and laughter. Healing and rising. Past me and future me, all wrapped up in one thick layer of bark that is the tree of my life, right here, right now.
And it is with these reflections that I look forward to 2022 and invite in a sense of uplevelling from that deep foundation I’ve been working so hard on this past year.
Where 2021 was the year of the root and sacral chakra – focusing on grounding in my feminine energy and feeling safe – 2022 is going to be the year of the solar plexus. Of the next frequency. The next level Self that is so so so ready to come out.
As you probably know, one of my deepest spiritual beliefs is that we are all energetically interconnected. It’s what I base my energy healings on and what makes me aware of signs and synchronicities. It’s what helps me to surrender to the larger plan that the Universe has in store for me, even (or especially) when I don’t see what will come next.
And yet, my word for 2022 is going to be ‘unbound’.
Not unbound to the people I love, the sense of Self I have built and my deep, intuitive connection to the Universe. but…
Unbound to the limiting expectations I have internalised (still).
Unbound to my inner good girl, trying to play it safe.
Unbound to the fears and anxieties that ruled a large part of 2021.
A part of me is almost afraid of choosing this word. If the past is anything to go by, choosing to work with the energetics of a word over the course of a year has a tendency of coming back to you like a boomerang in full force. (‘Oh you wanted flow? Here you are, with a pandemic, getting sick whilst you’re at the other side of the world and figuring out your life from the ground up again, you’re welcome!’) And unbound is the strongest word I’ve ever chosen.
Previously, I chose words that gave me a sense of comfort and direction. However, I currently find myself being rather fed up with choosing that path. It’s served me well in ways and I carry deep gratitude for that. But in other ways, it’s kept me smaller than necessary. And now the divine timing is there to step into a new year with unapologetic energy, embracing divine masculine energy as well as feminine, to come at the world in full force and the deepest commitment to release limiting beliefs and internalised conditionings on an even deeper level than before.
And yes, this feels every bit as grand as I make it seem now.
From my innate sense of belonging to myself, I am ready to step out into the world and share the light from my solar plexus more than ever before.
And even though not all of my nervous system feels quite as ready as my energy does, I am committing to it anyway – without forgetting the divine timing of the seasons. I give myself the time and space to finish my vision board and expand on my dreaming this winter, before I fully step out and start planting those seeds come spring.
The words of Mary Oliver, as always, deeply reminded me of this timing, as well as the importance of humility within the process of self empowerment:
And so it is. I am committed to starting to pay more attention than ever before. I am here. I have arrived. Let’s start the year of being unbound.
What is your word of the year? And do you have any intentions for 2022?
If you’d like to immerse yourself in the process of calling in aligned intentions, a word of the year and manifesting with the energetics of the seasons, the Winter Writing Sanctuary is there for you! Three immersive workshops filled with guidance and reflections on how to set yourself up for intuitive success in 2022. Check it out and get access here.
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