Tuesday, January 16, 2007

one little word


Ali Edwards had a post on her blog about choosing a word to focus on in the new year:

"A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow.

"Today I want to introduce you to the idea that a single word can be a catalyst for enriching your life... Last year I began a tradition of choosing one word for myself each January - a word that I can focus on, meditate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life - something I wanted to bring into my life in a more tangible way.

"Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2007?"

I thought it was an intriguing challenge, and I have been thinking about it for a week or so. Words kept coming to mind, so I made a whole list of them, then I turned each one over in my mind to see how it fit with what I want to have happen this year.

This morning I finally decided what my word will be:

free

and here are some ways I would like to manifest it in my life during the upcoming year...

free of negative self-talk
free of stuff I don't need or use
free of clutter
free of anger and resentment
free of unrealistic expectations
free of excess weight
free of unnecessary stress
free of my tendencies to hold on to everything
free of the constraints I put on myself

I was talking to Marc some time ago about how much I wanted to lose weight this year and how much I want to get our house organized and get clutter under control. He came back to me later and said that he thought the two goals might be more intertwined than I thought. He speculated that working on purging my surroundings of unnecessary stuff might just reinforce my efforts at losing weight, and vice versa. Interesting food for thought. It sounds a little new-agey, but who knows? There might be something to it.

In any case, I am going to focus my energies on doing whatever I can to help myself to feel free.
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible...
We are the miraculous, the true wonders of this world
Free to choose our ends, and our new beginnings
That is when, and only when...
We come to it

Maya Angelou, from her poem, 'A Brave And Startling Truth'

27 comments:

Amy said...

Oohh. I like your word. Very good. I love that Marc found the common thread through your seemingly unrelated goals. I caught up on AE's blog the other day, and loved the idea. I'll have to give mine some thought and decide what I want the focus of my year to be.

Jill said...

I totally think the household clutter and weight issues are related (for all of us) so that's an interesting thing to think about.

I love the word free and think it will be a great one to focus on this year. What else was on your list?

Julia said...

What a great idea! I love your word and the reasons you chose it.

You got me thinking about finding one word for me-- but I'm not sure if I can do it.

Jessica said...

i love it. i was reading over your list of what you specifically want to be free of this year, and i was nodding my head right along to almost all of them.

what a fantastic idea. doesn't having your "word" make you that much more motivated to achieve it? thanks so much for posting about this.

melanie said...

I definitely think those two things are intertwined. They are in my life thats for sure. I move from one thing to the next, never conquering one single one.

I love your word, it works for everything. I'm going to find a word too. I'm making changes this year and I know I can't do it without some focus!

jenn said...

I love what you say Michelle, and how you say it! You are a deep thinker my friend!!

I'm not a deep thinker, but I am still going to think of a word for me for 2007. peaceful, relaxed, and happy all come to mind for a start!

Kristy said...

I also saw that challenge on Ali Edwards website but I haven't been able to choose "my" word yet. I think I will take your advice and write some words down that have come to mind and then go through and figure out which word I'll stick with. Thanks for the reminder to do this!

Jordan said...

I love that idea, I'm going to think of my word tonight.

Elisa said...

So inspiring!

Tasha said...

I love the idea of choosing 1 word to meditate on. I also think that our internal and external stuff are related. When I get real chaotic in my head and emotionally, look at my car or my house, and you will see it there too. As I clean up one, the other follows. I swear it.

Love your list!

Kelly said...

This is a really interesting concept. I'll have to think about it for myself. I like your word -- I think it has lots of wonderful connotations, and love the Maya Angelou poem you shared.

amy m said...

I think "free" is an awesome word. I love how you explained it...So beautifully.

I thought this idea of Ali's was brilliant and I chose the word "Do" after reading her post. I find myself thinking about it all the time. I know I'm the only one that can make my dreams come true.

Syd said...

What a great word. You've got me thinking now. I didn't feel I was in a good enough place to make goals this year, but I think I can do a word. I'll have to take a while and come up with a good one. Thanks for this post!! I also enjoyed your MLK post. His efforts are close to my heart, so thank you.

Liz said...

I get her newsletter too, and I've been thinking about a word too. I like your choice. I also think the idea Marc has is interesting. I would be interested to see what comes of this. The Maya Angelo poem is great too!

rebecca said...

What an inspiring post to read this morning! You chose wisely, and Marc's analysis seems right on. I love the idea of your little powerful mantra propelling you forward.

Free.

Jenny said...

What a great idea. I love the idea of using one little word. And Free is such a great choice.

annalisa said...

That Marc is a smart one :).
Looking back on 2006, honesty would have been my aim. Seeking to honest instead of afraid, able to communicate my feelings when upset, and seeking honest friends. But I realize brutal honesty is not always good. I think I have become a little too snippy at times. So this year I want to focus on being more true to my optimistic self: seeing good in everything, looking on the bright side, complimenting people. So my word for the year is Positive.

cjw said...

I like that idea of choosing a word and then emulating that word throughout the year. I don't know what my word would be. I'll have to think about that one! Also, that picture is really cool!

Amie said...

Fabulous. I think everything is intertwined too. I always think if I could begin by getting control of one aspect of my life the rest would begin falling into place.

You are such a good writer.

Laurie said...

I love the idea of one word to be more effective and focused. Thank you for sharing.

ShawnaB. said...

Wonderful idea! Wonderful word. Perfect word, actually, for all the reasons you chose it. Michelle, I wish you a great big year of FREE.

What is my word .... ?

Kristi Brooke said...

oh my michelle... this is amazing

stefanie said...

I think the fact that you have put so much thought into the positive changes you want into your life is a good sign.

I am choosing the word 'plan' for this year. I have so many goals and no plans for how to get there. A friend of mine from work has a quote on her desk that says "A goal without a plan is just a wish".

I have thought about that over and over and I want to start making plans for how to accomplish my goals this year.

pam said...

I love your list and FREE is such a good word, you can see the ripple effects much like when you toss a rock into a lake, such a visual, thank you. When you first put out there the challenge to come up with a word for the year, I thought peace, but I want more, so I'm going to have to think on this awhile.

mom said...

So many good comments, so many good friends. I love your word and everything you and your friends and Marc had to say too. I love you. You are too awesome in your writing and your expressions and your thinking. I want to be more like that. Good luck, my darling daughter.

TX Girl said...

What a great word. It seems ridiculously hard to come up with one word, but I you really came up with something that exemplifies what you desire this year. How long did it take you? I love the idea, but I'm terrible at abstract thought.

I really enjoyed your post today.

Crystalyn said...

michelle, i am so "behind" on blogging but i just have to let you know i love this thought and i love your word. it is such a good one i might have to use it for myself. what a great way to look at the year ahead. thanks for sharing!

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