By: Dr. Erica Wollerman
So, my title is a bit in jest but also a reflection of the turbulent times we are in yet again as we start 2022. Honestly, it has been a whirlwind of a start for our family in 2022. We had a Covid scare that really shook me up and while everyone is okay (and testing negative), the steep rise in cases feels reminiscent of 2020 for me. It feels strange to just continue with life and making plans but it also would feel strange not to make plans for this year as I am also tired of just getting by!
So here I am, writing my annual blog about setting an intention for this year, wondering if it is a good idea at all since everything feels so uncertain yet again. Obviously, since I am still writing, I think it is a good idea but I also understand if anyone wants to take this year off from planning. I mean, we are all exhausted from plans, canceled plans, dashed hopes, and the struggle of managing our lives in light of a pandemic that seems to upend everything just when you get comfortable. So, dear reader, you have my full permission to just stop reading and stop planning and to cautiously enter into this year with the hopes that we make it through as unscathed as possible.
For those of you who want to set an intention, I fully encourage you to consider going easy with your plans. As I said last year, we need pandemic goals, not normal goals! I believe that it is important to counteract hustle and grind culture with some ease and grace. This is why last year, I set the intention of Grace. Interestingly, I had almost forgotten that but when I reflect on the year, I feel I held grace to just get through and to rest, read, recharge, and recover as much as I could. Now, I feel ready for something else but if you have not yet been able to rest, recharge, process, recover, etc. please consider setting your goals around this!
My word this year is “Queen.” While that might sound super bold and ambitious, the meaning is slightly different for me. You see, my name, Erica, actually means Queen (or at least I was told that by all the things I read as a kid and now it seems to refer to “Eternal Ruler” from all my google searching). I still remember how awful I felt about the idea of being a ruler or queen. See, I’ve always played kind of small and thought of myself as wanting to be small, unnoticeable, and not a Queen but something dainty like a princess. For some reason, even as a child, the word Queen was something that scared me and the power of it was not something I wanted to claim. Now I understand that this is likely due to systemic factors like misogyny and patriarchy but also my personality and being more of a people pleasing person.
As I’ve aged (gracefully I hope), I have realized that my fear of my own strength, power, and abilities has only hindered me both personally and professionally. My self-doubt and humble nature at times make me a better mom, wife, therapist, leader but also at times also means that I am not clear in my expectations and communicating them. It can mean that I do not lead with the confidence I would like to or that I play small in terms of my goals and ideas. It can mean that I avoid taking up space, having hard conversations that need to happen, or asserting myself and my vision.
My goal of setting my word as “Queen” is to embrace my inner leader, my confidence, my self-assuredness, and to really work towards going BIG. Last year, I worked hard to keep my life slowed down and to not take on too much and now I am feeling ready to really challenge myself to lean in and embrace my inner queen and power.
Professionally, we are expanding our office space (even though we are still telehealth) and this is something that I want to stop doubting and to just own the choice and the risk. I tend to only do things that I fully believe in and I want to communicate in a more bold way to others around me rather than expressing all my doubts. I want to embrace my role as a boss mom and a leader and to embrace my belief in my ability to lead. I want to play big and stop trying to be small. That is what the word and intention of “Queen” means to me.
One of the things I engaged in during 2020 and 2021 was a deeper dive into reflecting on our society and why I, like so many women, play small, try to be small (literally in my physical body and in life), and avoid owning our power. The books, Untamed by Glennon Doyle, The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor, and Burnout by Amelia Nagoski and Emily Nagoski were the foundation of my interest and ability to work to claim my power and confidence. I can’t recommend them enough and would encourage you to check them out if anything I am saying resonates with you as well :)
So here we are starting 2022. I am going to bravely hope that I am setting a bold enough intention to challenge me and help me grow this year and that I can go easy on myself when I need it. You see, I try hard to use the lessons of each year’s intention that I have set so that I can use them all. I will be going into 2022 with the themes of Balance, Strength, Faith, Gratitude, Abundance, Nurture, Enough, Grace, and Queen.
If you would like to read more about my blog posts about setting intentions - check them out below!
2021 Blog Post (My word is not included, this is a reflection of trying to ease into 2021)
2020 Blog Post - Nurture
2019 Blog Post - Enough
2018 Blog Post - Abundance
2017 Blog Post - Gratitude
3 Questions to Help You Choose an Intention
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