My Word for the Year: 2016

Happy new year!  It’s that time again.  No, not resolutions.  We have enough of those to keep us occupied and sometimes frazzled and guilt-ridden.  What I’m talking about is something that sets the tone for your year.  One word to inspire, motivate, and sometimes even surprise you.

Here’s a list of my past words:

2013: possibilities

2014: confidence

2015: change

It’s amazing how a single word can create an entire mindset for the year. I started out with something really open and positive and then moved towards words that would challenge me and help me grow, sometimes in ways that were not always comfortable.

My husband has also enjoyed choosing a word for himself each year.  Since he just graduated with two master’s degrees while working full-time, he decided his word for this year should be: reignite.  As in, he wants to reignite his hobbies, exercise routine, and friendships.  Sounds perfect!

As for me, I’m taking a different track this year.  My word is…

Miracles

To get me started, I’m going to focus on some mantras related to this word.  Two of them come from one of my favorite meditation CDs, Meditation Moment.

“I open myself up to miracles both large and small.”

“Miracles happen every day.”

The third mantra is from SARK and can be used when you find you need a little help from the universe.  Fill in the blank below with whatever you need.  I especially like to use this one when I’m trying to find a good parking spot 😉

“________ miracle find me now.”

(i.e. Parking miracle find me now.)

You’ll be amazed at the results of inviting miracles into your life.

But don’t stop there!  Come up with your own unique word for the year.  Something to excite you and get you all fired up.  A word that not only defines your entire year, but also each moment of each new day.

Go for it!

 

 

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Above Your Nerve

Emerald Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park

I recently blogged about the movie “Wild” featuring Reese Witherspoon, based on the memoir of Cheryl Strayed’s journey hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  There are some great quotes in there.  Today I’d like to highlight one from an Emily Dickinson poem.

“If your Nerve, deny you
Go above your Nerve”

Talk about nerves.  My husband and I decided to hike the Rockies just after Memorial Weekend, May 31.  We thought we’d see 3 or 4 pretty lakes, each about a half mile apart, and be done in about an hour or 2.  Little did we know the park just opened the path after the holiday because of snowfall.  Thankfully we had recently purchased our first pair of hiking boots, and they were waterproof.  We must have changed our clothes every 20 minutes.  From tank top to long sleeve to breathable jacket to rain jacket to light down jacket and sometimes back off again at intervals.  It was actually pretty warm until the wind came.  Until the rain came.  Until the sleet and hailstorm that rangers never warned us about.  Luckily we found shelter under a rock slab…sort of.  But that was at the top.  First we had to get there.  And that involved climbing snow and ice-covered paths steadily inclining.  We had no idea each lake required a hike in elevation.  But we followed the others, hoping they knew what they were doing…where they were going–some of them slipping around in street shoes and wearing nothing more than a t-shirt and jeans.  I secretly wanted to quit a few times all while having the time of my life.  I love to hike, but my nerves get me every time, especially with looming heights, steep cliffs, and now icy paths.  My mind is always thinking about what might go wrong.  I used to hush that inner voice, try to turn it off, even curse at it.  But that never worked.  The best thing to do is let it talk.  Acknowledge it like an old friend.  Let it chatter on in the background.  But meanwhile get to work.  Get moving.  Start climbing.  And when it gets to that point where you think you want to stop and turn back, that’s when you must go above the nerve.

Good luck to you on all your journeys.  Safe travels and take care.  But don’t let a little thing like fear stop you.  It’s only the background music for your adventure.  And when you make it back, that same voice will say, “I knew you could.”

 

 

Weekly Quote: Power

Arizona Trip 2010

Last night I watched the movie Wild with Reese Witherspoon.  I highly recommend it for anyone with a wandering spirit searching for something inside themselves.

There were so many great takeaways.  I especially liked the references to famous poets.

One quote particularly caught my attention.  Poet Adrienne Rich references Marie Curie in her poem “Power.”  Here is the last line:

“Her wounds came from the same source as her power.”

It’s a powerful statement.  How often do our dreams bring us both joy and pain?  But I think there’s hope.  My artist friend and neighbor once shared a concept with me that I really liked: the depths you are willing to go reflect the heights you want to reach.  How many times are writers told to dig deeper?  But how much is too much?

In the case of Marie Curie, she sacrificed her life for her work.  But her memory lives on because of it.

On the flip side, it might just be our wounds that lead us to greatness.

Either way, there is no denying the life-force that exists inside us.   We may not have the power to make our dreams come true, but if we search our deepest wounds, we might find the power to save ourselves.

 

 

Weekly Quote: Attitude

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” –William Shakespeare

Quote of the Day: Growth

 

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” Cynthia Occelli

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!

Quote of the Day: Courage

I read a really great quote in the recent SCBWI Bulletin.  Richard Peck gave this advice to author Ruta Sepetys.

“The only way you can write is by the light of the bridges burning behind you.”

Feel free to insert whatever activity you want here.  The point is, we can’t always move forward towards our goal without leaving something behind first.  It’s okay to take small steps, just don’t let anyone tell you that what you’re reaching for isn’t worth the risk.  If it lights you up, that’s enough.

My Life Measured in Rainbows

Unexpected Rainbow

I recently visited Columbus, OH–a spontaneous trip before my husband begins spring semester of grad school.  We went to Hocking Hills State Park for some hiking.  The visitor center said it was a good time to see waterfalls because of all the melting snow and rain.

That morning as we were driving, I looked at the stormy sky and the raindrops on the windshield.  Rain on hiking day?  These days, I try to look for the positive.  As sunshine peeked out from the clouds, I had a sudden thought.  Maybe we’ll see a rainbow 🙂

We didn’t see a rainbow, but we began our hike anyway.  And we did see lots of waterfalls.  Plus, the rain stopped.  Then we came to one particular waterfall.  It was small and understated.  BUT, shining through it was the most vibrant rainbow.  And then and there I realized something.  Miracles can happen at any given moment, if you’re open to receiving them.

I’ve been cataloging rainbows throughout my travel adventures and quickly realized that I’m noticing them more and more.  I saw one at Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite National Park right after my husband proposed.  We saw many during our honeymoon in Hawaii, but one particular rainbow was not in the sky at all but rather reflected in the sea on the Road to Hana.  I saw another one after my running accident, just when I began to run again.  Then, during my artist retreat, as I wondered whether to pursue creative writing and illustrating as a career, I saw my answer in the sky just before sunset.  A tiny rainbow between the clouds.

A rainbow represents a journey.  Will there be gold at the end?  I’d like to think there is gold all along the way.

Where do you find rainbows in your life?

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”  –Maya Angelou

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