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 March:
I pulled up the Essence list and read through some of them, expecting one to jump out at me the way “Trust” had for February. A few felt timely and important but I couldn’t avoid the one that I kept hesitantly glancing back at: Expansiveness.
That felt like a fun choice, but the problem, I realized came from my not fully knowing what the word meant and not at all knowing how to write about a thing I didn’t understand. Thank goodness for online dictionaries.
Expansiveness, Google tells me, comes from having a wide range or extent; comprehensive; extensive, effusive; unrestrained, free, or open.
My initial draw to this word was – admittedly – to make a joke about how after 2 ½ years in my normal-sized bedroom in my apartment, I was switching rooms with my cousin, taking the tiny room we affectionately dubbed “The Closet.” The Closet is prime simple living. Big enough to fit a twin bed and small nightstand, The Closet is a great teacher for a Minimalist in training and I was quite content to cozy up in my new home.
To take on such a word as expansiveness, especially as I found myself physically downsizing this month felt fun in a child-like way. But perhaps it’s deeper than that.
Perhaps my desire to be unrestrained, free, and open is a gift I owe to my heart. Perhaps being open to growth in all its forms is the best thing one can do, standing on the threshold of a new season and new possibility.
Essence of January: Discernment
Essence of February: Trust
Essence of March: Expansiveness