Sunday, January 4, 2015

About The Word...

Did you have "a Word" for the year, last year?  I did -- last year was the 2nd time I participated actively in this practice.  I have written (and written, and written) about my disdain for the notion of Resolution(s) for the new year. I feel that, alternately, having a set Word (or intention) does indeed have an impact.  My word was "Question" and it provided ample opportunity to up my mindfulness quotient!

...as my bracelet appears to be in hiding,
this piece (also by Amy Smith) is a perfect illustration!

I think it helps *if like me, you have not done this regularly* to have extra reinforcement at the beginning.  For me, it came in the form of a customized piece of jewelry from fellow artist and friend Amy Smith.  For the first portion of last year, I wore my Word almost daily.  It was always near by or directly in my line of sight.  I was reminded *beautifully...  colorfully...  artfully...* of this desire, and I feel that it helped the notion 'take hold.'
  
Painted & Stitched
Canvas Cuff by Amy Smith

At times, to Question was simple and straightforward:  "WHY!?"  alternately, "Why NOT?"  However, when applied most rightfully, in more difficult situations (i.e. moments of frustration, anger, sadness, regret, etc.) it proved an effective tool in dealing with less pleasant matters in the moment.  It served as a virtual "Pause" button, inviting me to step back, for just a minute, and look more closely at the "Why... ?" of the things that were itching my mind or pulling on my heart.  Which, in turn, allowed me to quite regularly lay down pointless burdens before they taxed my finite resources.  Unlike the noble Oyster, we mere mortals do not produce fine treasures when we fester over the grains of sand that sometimes rub us the wrong way.  We produce irritated bellies and unquiet minds.  We sometimes produce a snapping, snarling presence that can appear to be overreacting to the situation at hand.  Hardly moments to treasure, eh?

Having embraced the notion/intent of Question for a year, I feel that I have come away more aware of things that can be troublesome for me.  I feel lighter in spirit for having taken the time to question my responses and answer for them honestly, even if I answer to no one but myself.  I would like to think that there has also been a benefit to others of my Questioning -- that I have emerged more fully present in the various roles I fulfill from day to day.  Perhaps this is so, or maybe this is yet to be seen...


This year, my word/intention is to Observe.  On first glance, this may seem a passive intention.  That is not my take on it, though...  In the spirit of mindfulness, I desire to Observe more fully -- to actively receive more random moments of beauty and tenderness -- to note *and to propagate* more of that which fosters joy and bliss, and less of that which weighs the mind with useless worry -- to see opportunities as they present themselves, and scoop them up like the gifts that they are rather than to relegate them to the dustbin of "one day..." -- to mindfully revel in the daily blessings that are heaped upon me, and take not for granted that I bear a responsibility to nurture and maintain them.
  
observe \əb-ˈzərv\
: to watch and sometimes also listen to
(someone or something) carefully
: to see and notice (someone or something)
: to make a comment about something you notice

What about you?  Do you have a Word for the year?  Is this a practice that you find beneficial, or is there something else that works for you?  I'd love to hear about it!  Leave me a comment, and we can continue the discussion.  There's always this:



Onward & Upward!





Words of wisdom for today:
"Be glad today.  Tomorrow may bring tears.
Be brave today.  The darkest night will pass.
And golden rays will usher in the dawn
."
                                      - Sarah Knowles Bolton

Image Credits:
   Clearer Focus:  Taken w/ Samsung Galaxy S4, standard camera app

   Painted & Stitched Canvas Cuff:  Amy Smith Designs  
   Bespectacled & Observe:  The Graphics Fairy

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

I wish for you -- for us all -- a New Year full of health, happiness, and creativity!  ...as I stand here, on the threshold of this vast New Year, I am bolstered by the wonderments and accomplishments and failures of the year just passed.

Wait!  What!?  Did I just say I was bolstered by the FAILURES?!?  ...yep, Yep, YEP!

You see, while I am most thankful and immensely grateful for the successes of 2014 -- and they were many (!) -- I am begrudgingly thankful and nearly as grateful for the failures of '14 as well.  Without them, how would I set new goals?  How would I know that "No." is often just another way of saying "Not yet."?  How do I grow stronger without the occasional set-back to increase my versatility?  ...my resilience?  ...my sheer, incontrovertible desire to make/be/do/create more?

So...  I will embrace this bright, shiny New Year and all it holds in store:  the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, the desired, the unexpected.  I welcome all of it, and I look forward to sharing it with you!
 

Over the course of this month, I will gear up for the rapidly unfolding new year, and savor the flavors of the year that has just slipped over the horizon line.  I very much like the idea of moving forward while looking back, just like old Janus -- his youthful visage full of the promise of things to come, and his aged one a reminder of that which has been enjoyed, overcome, and moved to the past.

Onward & Upward!





Words of wisdom for today:

"The highest form of human intelligence
is to observe yourself without judgement.
"

                                    - Jiddu Krishnamurti