What’s in a word or 2 or 20? Or perhaps 500?

digits  on the sandEach year now for several years I have made it a practice to choose one word that will be my central philosophical focus for the year.   The practice has served  me  well.  Last year my word was GRATITUDE.  My focus was living from a place of grace.  Finding the gift in every situation, the grace in every exchange.  What an amazing difference that made and continues to make.  What is important to know is that I chose the word at a time when it was a challenge to accept as my true mantra.  But I claimed it and practiced it. And then it claimed me.  It is what I have come to believe to be the only true “positive” thinking we can achieve.  To be grateful. For it all.

As I was reflecting on what my life word would be for 2014 I decided to re-visit what I wrote on the first day of 2013.  Here is a portion of that post:

“One of the lessons I have learned is that we can’t always wait for change to find us.  Even in this time of such overwhelming opportunity.  Sometimes we need to become the architect of the change, the growth we need.  After all, whatever we become, we will still be our unique selves, more evolved, hopefully wiser.  But still ourselves.”

Going back and reading the words after 2013 is now behind me brought to light that one of the lessons of this past year was the counter-point to this.  Sometimes we need to wait and allow change to happen. I will admit that I struggle with this.  I’m not a patient person.  I want things done.  Now.  The realization and shift for me was that by not allowing some time for my life soup to simmer a bit I was in fact rushing past incredible opportunities and joy.

Sometimes the BEST is something unknown yet to us.  I am grateful that I was led to the path that now allows a balance of patience and persistence.  One of my favorite quotes on the subject comes from Criss Jami: “The common man prays, ‘I want a cookie right now!’ And God responds, ‘If you’d listen to what I say, tomorrow it will bring you 100 cookies.”

The result for me was being able to focus on the day, just the day.  The work to be done this day.  The love to be given this day.  The lessons to be learned this day.  The most incredible and intricate tapestries can only happen one stitch at a time.  The most beautiful and inspiring works of art are created one stroke at a time.  The most soul stretching melodies are written one note at a time.  And so it is with our lives.  We live them not in years but in days, even in moments. To have the tomorrow that we want, we must live it today.  Live today like you want tomorrow to be.  That was a  transformational lesson for me in the past year and what I take with me into 2014.

And from this my life word has found me:  FAITHFUL.  To be faithful.  I am grateful for all of the lessons and blessings in my life.  But to be truly grateful, means that I must also live faithfully to my promise.  Therein lies the true power source of an incredible life.  Gratitude for God’s promises.  Being faithful to my promises.  Every day.

And so the journey goes on as I continue to grow and evolve.  My focus is different now.  It is about making and keeping the right promises.  Each day.

“Being faithful in the smallest things is the way to gain, maintain, and demonstrate the strength needed to accomplish something great.” (Alex Harris)

You are invited to join me here and to share the journey.  Come explore with me what it means to be faithful and to live without regret.  The writings themselves will be a promise to be faithful.  To bring you 500 words or more each day of January.  That is my first promise.  What will your first promise be for 2014?







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