My Word of the Year 2017: Glide

Slowly but surely, I’ve been shedding my belief in straining.

I believe it is part of the Japanese work ethic that’s imprinted in me.  Americans have it, too, though Japanese are more extreme.  That culture of valuing hard work.  The idea that if you’re not challenged, gritting your teeth, or persevering using your willpower, then you’re not working hard enough.  To view busyness and toil as virtue.

Yes, that was me.  I was all about showing off how hard I was working, how strenously I was trying.  I wanted to prove how worthy I was.  I was giving my all and then some.  I was suffering and having difficult experiences.  That’s what made me worthy of the results I desired.

I’m not saying that hard work is meaningless for everyone.  For some people the experience of exerting and challenging themselves is beneficial.

But the deeper lesson I need to learn is to stop over-relying solely on my grit to make something happen.

I encountered a vision of a glider, harnessing the power of the wind to effortlessly soar the big blue sky.  Also of a sail boat, where you apply your skill and knowledge to adjust the sail so that whichever way the wind is blowing, you can redirect it to help you go in the direction you intend.

This feels very powerful to me.  It requires mastery, and that does require practice and more importantly, learning through experience.  It requires faith, in the power and presence of the wind and my ability to detect and work with it.  It requires clarity, in knowing or deciding which direction to go.

I can see how this may be the next step, the deeper lesson to learn after learning the value of hard work and perseverance.  Those rely on proactivity, ownership, and self-reliance.  But once you learn how to rely on yourself, then you expand to work with the other energies.  I am not alone in the world.  From the forces of nature to life energy of people to guidance of the divine community, there are so many more elements at play.  I intend to learn how to work with them, to co-create realities that bring benefits to everyone and everything.

I am really excited about exploring this new idea.  I’ll share with you what I learn along the way.