About Me

My photo
Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The "C" word

This photograph is the property of Dionne Randolph. May not be reprinted without permission.

"To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing." -Leo Buscaglia

I mentioned in my blog post last week (Deepening the Vision) that I am taking part in a course called Pathfinder, which is intended to help participants find their path in life. Every day I am sent activities to engage in to help me progress towards greater clarity about my chosen career path. Last week I made a vision board, which i posted a photo of here. Since I wrote that post however, I was told to add a few more things to my board. One was my word of the year.

A word of the year is a word that seems to best encapsulate one's goals for the year ahead. I love tasks, so when I got this assignment, I got straight to work looking over the images on my board and trying to come up with one word that best encapsulates what I am hoping to accomplish this year. I grabbed my journal and opened it to a fresh page, and got my pen out, and wrote "Joy" at the top of the page.

I sat there looking at it, and I thought --yeah, that is great, but that is not everything.

I wrote "gratitude" beneath that.

Better, but still not quite it.

I kept going:
let go

I pondered over my list all day, and went to bed that night still uncertain which one felt right. The instructor for the course, Karen Walrond, said that we would *know* when we had the right word. We would be able to *feel* it. I lay in bed that night staring at the ceiling and wondering why no one word seemed right.

When I woke up in the morning I looked at my list again. My eye kept stopping on commit, but surely, I told myself, that could not be my word for the year.

I mean...really?

Karen had instructed us, once we had chosen a word, to write it in large letters across our board, so I got out my whiteout and started scrolling it across my board. Half way into writing the word I started having doubts. I wasn't sure about this word. I tried rubbing the first three letters off of my board, but I couldn't wipe them away. I tried a wet sponge. No luck. I stared at the word, wishing it off my board, but there was no taking it back.

So I finished writing it, in fine white letters. When I was done I stood back and looked at my board. I compared it with the example Karen had given us of her board, with its big chunky green ABUNDANCE blazened across the board. I looked back at my scrawny letters. I began to realize that commit was definitely my word. I was so uncomfortable with the word that even writing it in the middle of my vision board was giving me heartburn. Yeah. I *felt* it alright.

I made the letters bigger and thicker, and I found a few quotes that had to do with commitment and added them also. COMMIT. It looks better now. More visible from a distance. Yes. I definitely need to work on commitment this year -- no question about it! Commitment in my work -- with my writing, my research and my agricultural work. Commitment to my goal of increasing my salary. Commitment to finding myself a new home somewhere. To strengthening my relationship with God. And to opening myself to the possibility of love again. The word really sits rather snugly right at the centre of everything I am seeking right now.

One of my best friends, Dionne (see gorgeous wedding photo above), just recently got married. Marriage is a huge commitment. She and her husband are a couple that I see often. I love to hang out with them because they are fun-loving and playful, but also gentle and kind. They also challenge each other -- respectfully -- to be better people. When Dionne wants to work on something like her running, or her spiritual growth, Todd is supportive and encouraging. Even when it is something that he is not all that interested in, if he can see that Dionne is excited about something he is right there behind her encouraging her to pursue her own personal growth and development. Sharing a marriage relationship is the epitome of commitment, so I am grateful that I have Todd and Dionne in my life because they not only share their hopes and dreams and joys and fears in relationship -- they are always super encouraging and excited to hear about my exploration and experiences of relationship.

My vision board is now complete, and the word COMMIT meets my eyes whenever I glance over at it, firm and defiant -- reminding me of the work that lies ahead. I am grateful for this word, and for the exercise of having to commit to a word of the year -- my first tiny step towards commitment.

Do you have a word for the year? If you had to choose one, what would it be, and how would it act as a talisman to give you direction towards achieving your goals in the year ahead? If you come up with one and feel like sharing, I would love to read your experience with coming up with one below.

Happy gratitude Monday, friends! I hope you have a great week ahead!

No comments:

Post a Comment