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 November: Worthiness & Fun
Am I allowed to pick two Essences for a month? One fun thing about running The Smile Project blog is that I can decide the answer to that question and after staring at my salt lamp and quietly running the two Essences over and over in my head, I decided I yes.
All year, I have been focusing my attention on one Essence per month. With just two months left in the year (I know, right?) I found myself again, staring at my Essence list and wondering what was the most pressing and urgent thing to devote my energy to.
At first, I was drawn to Depth. I was ready to view November as a time to deepen my commitments to myself and to The Smile Project while deepening my relationships with those I hold most dear. But I still felt like I could seek more.
That’s when my eyes fell on Worthiness. I was ready to ignore it like it was algebra homework and I was sixteen again. Surely Worthiness was too big of a topic to try to explore in one month and after all, I’m not sure I’m ready so spend the month publicly analyzing my own deeply rooted fears and insecurities.
But, like my 16-year-old, straight-A, goody two shoes self, I kept going back to Worthiness. Maybe it’s the things that make us the most uncomfortable that are the things most worth doing.
So then why Fun? If I already thought I had my work cut out for me with Worthiness, why would I add Fun and what could that possibly mean to me?
I have a very dear friend whose core value is Fun. While they are brilliant, driven, kind, and talented in so many ways, if you ask them, they will tell you that their life revolves around Fun. As I’ve grown older, I’ve met more and more people who embody Fun in every way, people who bring Fun to everything, instead of waiting for traditionally “Fun” activities like parties or reunions.
Fun like dancing to James Taylor’s music while you do the dishes. Fun like seeing who can make the farthest shot on the basketball court. Fun like spontaneous and unplanned road trips. Fun like turning grocery shopping into a scavenger hunt. Fun like seeing who can hop on one foot down the street the fastest for no good reason. Fun like blasting the music you listened to in middle school just to see if you remember all the words. Fun like picking a random book from the library and hoping for the best. Fun like Halloween costumes in May. Fun like socks that don’t match. Fun like making a friend on the city bus. Fun like mixing breakfast cereals. Fun like counting stars. Fun like snow angels. Fun like long hugs. Fun like a new notebook. Fun like counting your blessings. Fun like life.
This month, I want to tap into that energy. I want to create Fun moments and know that I am Worthy of them. This month, I have a lot to think about.
Essence of January: Discernment
Essence of February: Trust
Essence of March: Expansiveness
Essence of April: Vision
Essence of May: Freedom
Essence of June: Connection
Essence of July: Creativity
Essence of August: Adventure
Essence of September: Acceptance
Essence of October: Intention
Essence of November: Worthiness & Fun