Tuesday, April 30, 2013

#OneWord365: On the Harmony of Growth & Contentment

Well, this GROW year has gotten away from me, and my plan of writing a grow post each month this year got a bit sidetracked by other things.

Still, I was reminded recently that perhaps the most important step toward achieving any goal is the all-important act of simply showing up. So here I am again, showing up (albeit, a little late) with reflections on growth from the first quarter of this year.

There's no image that embodies contentment
quite so much as a happy cat
There has been a recurring theme so far in my year of grow, and it seems only right to explore it a bit here in my first update on this year's word.

The concept that has been coming up over and over in different contexts for me is the idea that in order to be open to growth or change, one must first be dissatisfied—or downright unhappy—with her current state of being.

I have a lot of trouble with this idea. It implies that in order to want to change, I must first be unhappy; I must first not like who I am today. In order to desire growth, progress, and, ultimately, an outcome different than my current state, I can't be content with how things are right now, in this moment. I've tried to simply reject this concept outright, but it keeps popping up and invading my hard earned sense of contentment with the state of my life and (perhaps more importantly) myself.

So I've been thinking a lot about how one can continue on a path of growth and change while simultaneously being completely content with each day, each moment, each state of being along that journey. To desire positive movement in some direction, while simultaneously feeling happy with the place you're in right now.

The answer I've come up with for me is about framing: rather than pinpointing a particular goal or achievement (an outcome or destination), I've got to think about growth and change as a journey, a daily choice, and (if I'm going to be really honest with myself) a never-ending process. If I can truly enjoy all the steps along the way, it becomes less about trying to be or do something else, and more about choosing each day to focus on things that are important to me, and that make me feel good.

None of us really knows exactly where we're going, anyway, right? I say you might as well choose the path that most appeals to you for the long and exciting journey ahead. And know that where you are right now has the potential to be just as valuable, enjoyable, and desirable as where you're headed.


  1. Hi Amy,
    I noticed your twitter post on the "Pick Your Word" site. I love the word you picked to focus on! Growing is something I'm very passionate about. I dedicated my whole blog to this topic. I look forward to following what God is teaching you about growing both emotionally and spiritually!
    Many Blessings,

  2. I like this. I agree with you that change doesn't have to mean we are unhappy. There's nothing wrong with wanting better and more for ourselves. I think that growth is a very good thing. We learn so much about ourselves. What we can and can't live without, etc.

  3. I agree! I also like the idea of having a family/personal theme for the year.


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