Flourish.

Flourish.

When I woke up on Saturday, I looked at my calendar and couldn’t believe it. July 1.

It was the first day of the second half of the year.

I immediately felt a tightness in my gut. How did this happen already? How could the first half of the year already be gone? How had I let so much time slip by without doing ALL the things?

I decided to take some time in the afternoon sitting in my hammock swing to reflect on the year so far. I wrote down my highlights and lowlights. Made lists of places I’d gone and books I’d read. Looked back at goals I had set for myself.

***

I realized that in many ways, I was already having an amazing year! I reflected on the challenges that I’m still facing, but they didn’t seem as daunting when I remembered how far I’ve come in many ways.

I thought about my word of the year.

What was it again? 

Oh, yeah….

Flourish.

When that word came to me in early January, it felt vague. What did it really mean? I wasn’t sure, but I liked the sound of it. And so, without much contemplation, I claimed it as my word of the year.

It’s a word I could easily picture in my mind visually, but I had struggled to define it in a tangible way.

I love hand lettering. When I’ve finished writing a word, my favorite part is creating a swirl at the beginning or end. Crossing my “t”s with an exaggerated swoop. Extending the circle at the bottom of a “y”.

I love the flourishes.

I like to add a flourish to my physical presence in many ways.

  • The brightly colored kimonos that have become a staple of my wardrobe.
  • The big curved teal velvet sofa in my office.
  • Taking notes with colored markers instead of a ballpoint pen.

But when I chose the word “flourish,” it felt more like a one-word sentence with a period at the end.

Flourish.

An action.

A command.

An imperative.

I went for a walk this morning in the light drizzling rain and thought about what it would look like to actually flourish in each area of my life. What would it be like to flourish spiritually, in my marriage, in my relationships, in my health, in my work life? (I slowed down to take these photos and appreciate the beauty of the rainy day.)

I envisioned the difference between a flat line and the zigzag of an EKG. The straight line is safe and predictable. But our hearts were made to beat with highs and lows. The joy and sorrow, big laughs and hard cries, fun experiences and suffering are all the things that make us fully alive.

As I was thinking about all of this, I noticed another walker on the trail coming toward me. He was carrying a large umbrella to protect him from the rain. I wanted to say something to him about how he was missing the best part of this day. It’s one thing to hide beneath an umbrella during a cold, pelting rain in spring or fall. But it was already getting hot and muggy. It’s barely rained for a month.

How often do you get to ENJOY walking in the rain? The drizzle in my hair and mist of water on my arms was refreshing! Instead of hiding from it, I wanted to twirl or jump in a puddle!

***

I’m glad I saw that man under his big umbrella. I know he was just trying to stay dry, but he helped me think through what it might look like to flourish. Websters says it means to thrive. To be in a vigorous state.

What are some tangible ways I could live that way? 

  • Pursuing relationships without worrying about rejection.
  • Taking the first steps of a passion project despite my fear of failure.
  • Letting go of past experiences that convince me I don’t have hope for success in certain areas of my life.
  • Pursuing a vibrant spiritual life that isn’t boring and mundane.
  • Chasing a dream that seems impossible.

Or maybe it’s just the small daily decisions that add up to something bigger:

walking in the rain,

giving a hard hug,

wearing something bright,

adding a swirl.

Flourish.

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I’m Emily

Storyteller. Photographer. Creative.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. This is a space where I share my life through words, photos and projects. I’m so thankful that you’re here.

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