My dear friend Laura Lavigne is the founder of the Center for Happiness in Anacortes, Washington. I was extremely blessed to spend six weeks near the end of 2018 living with her in Anacortes and helping out in small ways at the Center. One of the first things Laura taught me was about Essence. You can learn more about Essence here.
While living in Washington, I often found myself and my friends declaring an Essence for the day like “playfulness” or “connection” or “adventure.” The idea of beginning a morning with an intention not of what I wanted to accomplish, but of the things I wanted to feel was new and exciting.
A mutual friend of Laura and I was chatting with us about Essences when he mentioned wanting to focus on an Essence each month of 2019. Enchanted with the idea, I asked Laura to share with me a list of Essences. These are my reflections.
Essence of February:
When I briefly moved back to the Pittsburgh area post-Washington and pre-going back to New York City, I wasn’t sure what came next. Suddenly all the plans I thought I had didn’t make as much sense. I was evaluating things with a new rubric.
Because of that, one night, I grabbed a handful of dark chocolate and marched upstairs, declaring to my parents and aunt that I was going to take a bubble bath and eat chocolate every night until I could figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
Settling back into my New York City apartment a few days after that announcement, I realized “discernment” was my perfect Essence for January. On January 16th, I posted my Essence of the Month blog and was determined that with some added focus, I would gain more clarity by the month’s end.
With February nearly upon us, I was feeling dejected. Maybe I hadn’t done it right. Maybe I should pick a new experiment for 2019 since I obviously wasn’t living into my Essences. It was the end of the month and I still felt a little lost – okay, a lot – lost.
I was looking over the list of Essences for February, when my eyes settled on Trust.
I feel a little lost because I have no idea where I want to be or what I want to do. To feel uncertain in every aspect of my life is new and disorienting. I spent a lot of time in January thinking about what I wanted to do, being torn between cities and people I love, and wondering what the heck the “right move” is.
In February, I’m laying that burden down. In February, I am going to trust the process. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring and that is exciting. All I can do is take things one day at a time and trust that I am where I need to be.
This doesn’t mean giving up or bowing out. This means giving myself permission to find peace. All things in time.
Essence of January: Discernment
Essence of February: Trust