Business Sorority turns ten years old in 2019 and it’s time for her to have a word of the year.
Many of us intentionally choose a word or theme for the year rather than getting tied up in resolutions. In fact, even the act of selecting a word or theme for the year is embracing “allowing” by letting go of what the details will look like.
So for 2019 (Happy New Year!!!!) the Business Sorority word of the year is: Allow.
I could literally take this post in a million directions but I do want to focus on a few key points from my own life experience. See what any of this or the word itself sparks for you and go with it.
Allow Vulnerability. This human experience is messy. Not a single one of us gets through it without at some point needing support. Allowing those closest to us to see our vulnerability, perceived weakness or actual mess takes such immense strength. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable can actually deepen our relationships. Weird I know, and counter-intuitive to what society tells us. Reference The Illusion of the Highlight Reel as well as Boundaries and Barricades for additional info on determining who is a safe place to be vulnerable.
Allow Support. Intertwined with vulnerability is allowing ourselves to receive support. This one is REALLY effing hard for me. But if 2018 (and 2015, 16, 17) taught me anything it’s that I can’t carry it all on my own. The beautiful thing? I don’t have to. Regardless of what I’m experiencing, in the moments I’m overwhelmed, reaching out to my most trusted connections feels like (and is) relief. Even when my only answer to what do I need is “I don’t know” or “I just need you to listen”.
Allow room for synchronicity. I have been on the receiving end of synchronicity more times than I can count. People, experiences, connections, situations have arrived and stunned me because I wasn’t looking for them but they just felt so absolutely right. Allowing room for synchronicity means letting go of expectations and control (also really hard for me!) and needing things to look, feel or arrive in specific ways. Allowing for this innately involves trusting in the unfolding and in ourselves to recognize the next right step.
Allow people to be themselves. This also includes YOU. Allowing ourselves to simply be our weird, quirky, messy, unapologetic selves is brilliance in action. Allowing others to do the same is powerful. Not everyone will become a close connection and that’s not just ok, it’s really important to recognize and allow. Even within close connections you won’t always agree and that’s totally fine, allowing one another to simply be themselves is a gift in itself.
Allow yourself to be challenged. True, genuine, authentic partnership isn’t stagnant or idle. The absolute BEST relationships in my life are those that routinely challenge me. And that challenge is mutual and reciprocal. We challenge one another from a foundation of love, trust, respect and growth. Being called out on your bs is ridiculously uncomfortable. It’s also where our greatest expansions and growth originate. In my experience those challengers are also the ones who are the first to cheer one another on, and that is a beautiful thing to witness.
Allow emotions. If you deny having emotions I’ll be running away right now because that places you in the psychopath category. We all experience emotions and sometimes those are joyful, sometimes they’re exhausting and overwhelmingly incomprehensible. I’ve collapsed onto my kitchen floor crying and reached for my phone to text a friend who wrote right back with loving witness and words I needed to hear. We can’t predict when an emotion may arise but when the overwhelming ones threaten to overtake us it helps to allow ourselves to simply feel, experience and let it be. Allowing our closest people to witness those moments is also powerful and healing.
Allow your story to be shared. Brené Brown says that when we deny our story it defines us, when we own our story we get to write the ending. I deeply believe this to be true. The fires we have navigated and are walking through aren’t meant to remain hidden and locked away. Sharing and owning our stories invites others to lean into their own stories. It is also a brilliant example of showing up as our truest and most complete selves. None of us gets through this life without scars. The things that threaten to shatter us can turn into incredibly powerful messages of light to those walking just a bit behind us. Your life experience isn’t a source of shame, it’s your credibility. Own it.
So what will you allow yourself to lean into in 2019? Allowing on a surface level may seem passive but it’s actually not passive at all. It’s a level of authenticity we sometimes forget to recognize. Allowing implies an innate strength and surrender while at the same time expecting and noticing the beauty that does truly exist in this human experience. Honoring and embracing the genuine and heartfelt connections with those we choose to love.
It is hard to witness those we love struggling. It is hard to ask for help and risk being truly seen. It’s so damn hard to not be able to fix, and to not have all or any of the answers. Maybe allowing ourselves to be human and navigating this messy, sometimes brutal, also often beautiful life is more badass than we’ve ever realized.
Wishing you a beautifully brilliant 2019 full of allowing new experiences!
By: Diane McDermott