So I chose two:
And the two are related to me. The more I simplify - my thoughts, my possessions, my home, my involvements - the greater capacity and time I have to connect with others - my family, friends, earth, self, and God. The more time I have for surprises, spontaneity, and play to enter too. Connecting can take other forms too - like this blog.
I've been reading The Call by Oriah (HarperOne, 2003). In this book, Oriah encourages us to find and embody the one word we are each called to live/teach/be/share with the world. A tall order. But it intrigues me. A quote from the book:
She says we should give ourselves completely to this word - or to our struggle with this word. Oriah's word is "rest" - and she finds it VERY hard to do that. She writes:Remember - there is one word you are here to say with your whole being. When it finds you, give your life to it.
Living your word means opening the door that fear has closed.It was hard for me to choose one word for the year, let alone finding one word for my life. What would I choose? Create? Collaborate? Communicate? All things I love to do, so they don't have that "edge" that she refers to. Things that I find hard to do: fail, finish what I've started, resist thrift store deals, clean up around the house, say no to interesting-sounding-projects, act out of courage instead of fear, and rest. But all of those feel a bit heavy to take on as my "word."
Perhaps "voice." For years, I've wondered if I had one. I participated in a 7-month study tour to India, Indonesia, and North American native communities way back when. We studied issues of peace and conflict in the various places we visited. It was truly fascinating and life-changing. One native elder in Canada met with our group near the end of our 7 months together and said, "Sound your voice. You have been given a gift. The gift is not for you to keep to yourselves; it is for the people."
Those words have stayed with me. How often I can think of my life as boring, average, with no words to offer. But I'm beginning to hope that I can offer something. And I know that I love to give voice to others' stories too. So there. Voice. I'll sit with that for awhile and see how it feels as my "life" word.
someone who's not afraid to sound her voice
(or at least her fashion sense)
And you? What words are you embodying for this year? For your life?