Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A New Word

Last year was the first year I chose a word for my year. Amy of the Creative Mom Podcast talked about it in one of the January shows and in it she was referencing Alie Edward's inspiring post about one little word.

It's surprising what a challenge it can be to come up with one word that might encapsulate your coming year. Well, at first it's a challenge. And then, with a little thought and some mulling over, you find one that seems to fit.

Last year my word was CREATE. I didn't think that word was too clever at the time. I don't know what I was expecting or thinking I could come up with, but "create" didn't exactly seem like the most original word. But then, as I moved through the year, I realized that the fact that it wasn't original didn't matter. What mattered is that it was appropriate for me in that time and space and, oh my, it really was powerful.

When I think of the things I achieved for myself with this word as a guiding theme of my year - a touchstone to remember in the midst of the everyday what I really want to do, what I want to be and how I want to live intentionally in my life - I am thrilled with the changes that have taken place.

As this new year approached, I began to think again of what I wanted for myself and the world around me. I still want to create, but that word and action has become a part of who I am and no longer needs to be a sign so clearly "posted" for me to see. This year, another word seems to be emerging in a few things I have been reading and hearing and to which I have been drawn.

I find it here in this quote by a writer at the ashram blog I posted a couple of weeks ago and it is one that remains with me:

In this final week of Advent, almost upon the inbreaking of Christmas, we conceive of reality in which the Messiah is right here. Imagine the coming of Messiah. Break out of cynicism and pessimism. Challenge yourself and others with the presumption that God is acting and that creation is being drawn into redemption - conceive the re:creation that starts with Jesus and continues with us. Conceive of a love as genuine, as tangible, and as pervasive as the struggle which we more readily perceive. Let that conception be birthed in your actions.


I find it here in an archived story on the Speaking of Faith podcast called An Architecture of Decency. Auburn University's architecture school in Alabama has a program in which the students work together designing and creating sustainable homes in some of the area's poorest communities. One of the interviewees says:

"...for western Alabama, we're incredibly optimistic. We want people to dream about having a better world."

My word for this year is IMAGINE. I have my own, deep-seeded desires for a stronger, creative, and vibrant community. I don't want to be limited by what I see. I want to be inspired and motivated and moved to action by what I dream. I think there are going to be numerous ways in which these ideas can become manifest. I look forward to the ways in which they may unfold. Mostly I just want to remind myself not to look at what is, but continue to think about what can be.

Do you have resolutions or goals for this year? Do you ever select words or images to motivate and inspire you? If you do, or want to try, go ahead; pick a word! You never know what might come of it in one wonderful year!
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