Surrender | January 2022

It’s time to talk about my One Little Word for 2022. Picking this year’s word has been a journey. I had my 2021 word picked out well in advance and was so excited to get started. My 2022 word has been much more elusive and has changed a few times, including just a week or two ago. But if you read the title, then you know that I’ve settled on Surrender.

I considered Surrender last November but decided against it because it felt defeatist and negative. I moved on to a few different ideas and started the year with a great word. I had a whole big plan and a really pretty blog banner all ready to go. And then in mid-January, surrender reappeared.

On Day 13 of Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Journey, she said “see how quickly you can surrender.” I was so surprised to hear her say surrender. It had my mind spinning. As we settled into shavasana on Day 14 she said, “see how quickly you can surrender to stillness.” I caught my breath. She really had my attention when she paired stillness (my word last year) with surrender. I sat right up and said, “well, sh*it.” (pardon my language.) There was no chance for a chill shavasana after that!

I spent some time trying to decide if it made sense to switch words and eventually decided to, well, surrender. The idea of practicing surrender alongside stillness is too good to pass up and I’m going to give it a go in 2022.

What do I mean by Surrender?

It doesn’t mean I’ll just give up and let life run roughshod over me. It boils down to surrendering to the fact that most things are a struggle. And the quicker I can surrender to that and let my soul return to a place of stillness, the quicker I can move on with things.

I surrender to the fact that my house will always be a little messy, despite the fact that I feel like I’m constantly cleaning and coaching my kids to tidy up.

I surrender to understanding that clutter just might always be a factor in my life.

I surrender to knowing that things are difficult in my life and everyone has their own challenges that I’ll never know anything about.

And on and on. I’m sure it will be surprising to begin noticing all the things that aren’t worth fighting — that are better suited for surrendering. And wow – I’m getting more and and more excited about finding things I can release, just a little at a time.

One Tiny Example to Start the Year Off:

The easiest example from the month was surrendering to the idea of starting over with a new word. Like I said earlier – I had big plans for the word I began the year with. I have a whole spread in my notebook that’s full of wonderful ideas that I still want to implement into my life this year. While dithering this month, I held on tightly to that vision of the year.

Instead: I surrender.

Why spend so much time fighting it? Surrendering to stillness is such an intriguing idea and it showed up in a serendipitous way. And all those big plans in my notebook? I was already feeling stressed out about them. It was likely another manic effort at finding “my best life.” Dude – I surrender in the most wholehearted way.

And my heart has lifted just the tiniest bit by writing that. I’m looking forward to finding ways to surrender in the most positive and heart-lifting ways possible in 2022, as well as continuing my Stillness journey from last year.


A great big thank you to Carolyn at Your One Word for hosting this gathering every month. Please visit her and the other bloggers participating in 2022. There are so many great words this year and I can’t wait to follow along!

19 thoughts on “Surrender | January 2022

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  1. That’s beautiful, thank you! I know I struggle with feeling like life is a series of crises. Interesting way to approach that.

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  2. What wonderful thoughts, Katie! Yes, yes! I wholeheartedly love this focus. Recently someone was talking to me about something I was struggling with and they said to me, “Come on in, and sit down.” Meaning just rest. Be still. Be in this moment you’re in. I’m still chewing on my focus for the year Eve though January is slipping through our fingers. ♥️🌿

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  3. Surrender is such a compliment to stillness, Wow! I had to pause and re think! That could so much have been my word as well, 2021 brought me to my knees in so many ways and made me yearn for Calm which is my chosen word for this year.
    After so many life lessons learned over the years… I realized that I was back to trying to control things that were not in my control…once surrendered a calmness began to surface.

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  4. This is a such a different word but such a great follow-up to Stillness! I totally see how Surrender for you isn’t about giving up or giving in but rather about acceptance, and I can also see how accepting things as they are is a great way to remove pressure from yourself to do all the “shoulds.”

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  5. I love your word choice and how it meshes with last years word. I’ve often viewed the word surrender as a form of acceptance and I’m happy to see you feel that way too. Such a wonderful and thoughtful post Katie!

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  6. So very glad you have chosen this word. Lovely to how it wouldn’t leave you alone. The trouble with mess is it just keeps returning. Good luck, and I look forward to reading about it next month.

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  7. Oh, man. The TINGLES I got here, when Adriene paired Surrender with Stillness! And I had to laugh at that moment on your mat. What an absolutely beautiful tribute not only to the word, but to following that still small voice (or not so still! not so small!). I have a hunch you’d have felt a pull to Surrender throughout ’22 had you not followed your gut. And I’ll bet there’s something liberating to abandoning a big, gorgeous spread and a fine new banner! (Those pink petunias are a January DELIGHT, by the way.) I’m looking so forward to following your year.

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  8. I love this word. I need practice with this as well. I’ve got a book recommendation for you, I just finished it. It’s Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. I really think you’d identify with a lot in it. Basically he says you can’t really manage time at all; that the present is all we have and even if we think we’re doing a poor job “being present” we can’t help but actually BE present in each moment. I just loved it and parts of it blew my mind. It makes me feel a lot better about my “to do” list and lots of other things. Anyway, I thought of you while I was reading it. I wish you the best luck with surrender – I think it’s a great sign that Adriene said it and that it feels so good to you to practice it.

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  9. I, like Carolyn, have a bit of the tingles reading this as well! I think this is an incredibly smart word! (and eons ago, before “picking a word” for a year was ever a thing… a very wise and much older friend shared some wisdom with me as I was tearing my hair out with 3 young children… including a baby who cried all.the.time. She told me that mastery of things was not the best move, sometimes you need to just surrender and go with the flow. Toss out the list. Welcome the new path… it was simply the best advice anyone has ever given me. She saved my sanity… and while life was not suddenly perfect, I discovered that many of the problems were caused by my wanting life to be “perfect”… and in letting go and surrendering to the new opportunities around me, I found the perfect life!)

    I wish you much joy in this journey, Katie! XO

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  10. Sometimes we choose our words, and sometimes they choose us. and sometimes a lightning bolt on the yoga mat just … strikes! I’m thinking you’re going to find more things to surrender, and I hope all of that creates space for you … to just be YOU!

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  11. I keep hearing about Adriene’s yoga! Maybe I should just “surrender” to it and give it a try. 🙂 I’ve got a hunch your word surrender and my word release will have a LOT in common this year!

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