While the change from one year to the next seems like a good time to take inventory and try to tweak one's life, the practice of 'making resolutions' bores me, seeming to me like an exercise in futility......the new 'rules' simply daring me to break them!
I have another, more fruitful practice at this time of year. For the past four years, I have chosen a word to carry with me through the coming year. The practice of choosing a word, or rather having a word choose you, dates back many centuries to a time when holy men and women fled into the desert as a way of finding the space and silence they needed to hear God's voice speaking to them from the depths of their own hearts.
Shortly after Christmas, I begin a 12 day meditative practice, offered on line at Abbey of the Arts to assist me in finding a word that will challenge me, stretch me and encourage me to grow during the year.
This year, the word that chose me is 'EMBRACE.' As soon as it came into my conscious mind, I knew it was my word!
2013 was a challenging year for me.
I had surgery which weakened my body significantly. I have had to accept a slower, weaker body, at least for awhile.
I am watching my mother's painfully slow decline into dementia. Day after day, she is forced to let go of one more bit of the past.
Relationships which I thought would last forever have changed in ways that I have no control over and the grief of letting go colored much of the year.
I found myself dwelling on the idea that to age gracefully, I needed to learn to 'let go.' Though it sounded good on paper, it was a bit depressing.
As I searched for my word, the idea of embracing all that I have in my life....the many gifts that shower me every moment of the day and night kept returning. It occurred to me that spending a year with the word 'EMBRACE' would lead me to savor these gifts more. I want to mull over the idea of embracing what IS.
I hope ......
...... to 'EMBRACE' who I am at this moment in time....my body, my mind and my spirit.
..... to 'EMBRACE' the people around me......enjoying every moment with my loved ones, my friends and everyone I meet especially my beautiful grandchildren.
...... to 'EMBRACE' the gift of poetry and the gift of photography... two of my passions in recent years.
...... to "EMBRACE' the Divine One, the One Who Names The Stars and seek a more intimate relationship with the Creator of this amazing universe. The older I get the more I realize that this same Creator of the universe, is the One whose wisdom is whispered in my heart in the silence of early morning.
...... to 'EMBRACE' the mystery of what the future will hold for me this year, wondering what unknown challenges I will be called to embrace as the year unfolds.