Word of the Year

So I have been pondering Quinn’s post I shared with you, about choosing your word.  I love the concept.  And I am noticing a lot of my discontent doesn’t have anything to do with what is happening in this moment–it is all regrets of the past or fretting over the future.  I still remember in my college psychology class, my instructor was teaching and led us through a calming exercise.  It was years ago, so I don’t recall every word.  But she told us something like, “Right now, you are all right.  You are sitting in this class, learning.  You are moving yourself forward on a continuation of your goals.  You are breathing in and out.  You have been fed. You are focused.  You are functioning.  You are fine.  You are here, now.”  I always remembered that.  How grounded that moment made me feel. 

I had written a quote in my calendar for December that echos this.  “Don’t go from anticipation to anticipation.  Go from satisfaction to satisfaction.” (I don’t know who wrote that.)  A theme is forming.

When my mind churns, it is usually with things that are not here, and not now.   

I’ve caught myself doing it a hundred times today.  I had dealt with something the last week that required me to be honest and direct and state what I needed.  It was not well received.  In fact, it blew up in my face, and a relationship/project crashed and burned.  And I have been fretting about it, chewing the conversations up and savoring them, hoping for a different flavor than “Yuck.” Trying to get to the place where I can remind myself that I had good intentions, I did my darnedest to be true to myself while acknowledging the other person’s feelings and needs…even if it didn’t play out the way I wanted it to.  Reminding myself that I am not a bad person for having reasonable expectations of someone else, and that it is okay to hold someone accountable.  Acknowledging the ways I let that person down, too, and having regrets there.  I can’t re-enact the scenerio.  I can’t go back and do it a different way, but I was marinating in it anyway.  And if going back wasn’t enough, my thoughts were also projecting forward–what would have, could have, should have happened, how it all could have played out in glorious success and lifetime friendship and more projects….how I will remain in her mind forever as the do-er of bad deeds.  Worry, worry, worry, fret, fret, fret.  Repeat.

And standing in my kitchen, steaming vegetables for lunch, stewing in thoughts, I heard my teacher in my head. (Although updated to what I needed for today.)  “You are here, now, in front of your stove.  You are preparing healthy food for yourself, continuing on your way to being a healthier being.  You are safe and cared for.  The people you love are safe and cared for.  Be here, now.”  Part of me, the frantic part that seems to be the source of all this noise, fought it, saying, “What happens when the day comes where you are not safe?  Or your people aren’t safe? Or that disaster happens, or that future comes to pass?”   I again heard my teacher, “But that isn’t now.  When it is now, we will deal with it.  Be here, now.” 

The voice started in again, using the current situation.  “What if you were wrong to confront that person, and they think badly of you for ever and ever???”  My teacher’s voice returned.  “You weren’t wrong to speak up.  You asked others who weren’t emotionally involved, and they supported you.  You can’t control how she feels about you, and how she feels about you isn’t accurate.  Separate from the panic you feel when you think people don’t like you.  You offered peace and a fresh start, which she rejected.  She is free to do that.  It’s over.  It’s then.  Be here, now.”    Then I was able to finish  my preparations, and eat my meal with reasonable content.

I tried it,  later, when the situation yet again popped up on my walk.  I told myself firmly, “You are on a walk with your dog.  Be here, now.”  And I consciously turned my attention, actively observing my surroundings–the light filtering through the trees, the scent of the grass, the crunch of gravel under my feet, my dog’s happy smile as she ran.  Peace washed over me.  And I knew my words for this coming year.

I may have to do it a hundred times a day.  That will be just fine, because peace a hundred times a day is a good goal.




~ by collidescopes on December 14, 2011.

8 Responses to “Word of the Year”

  1. There is so much wisdom here–this post has enough power to heal a bunch of readers you will never see or know. The two gems I”m copying into my “smart ideas” journal are “Don’t go from anticipation to anticipation. Go from satisfaction to satisfaction,” and the brilliant, “And I have been fretting about it, chewing the conversations up and savoring them, hoping for a different flavor than “Yuck.” What a fabulous insight!

  2. This is pretty amazing work. I thank Quinn McDonald for directing her FB Friends here. What lovely words to take home with me now.

  3. thank you quinn and collidoscope…this is perfect, spot on and what i need……i had chosen REACH and SIMPLIFY for my word / words for the year.. but i would like to chose HERE NOW as well….. thank you both, anna

  4. Love this my dear friend! I am going to work on this as well! I will let you know how it goes. ;0)

  5. As Quinn said, there is help here for so many people you may never know of or hear about. That in and of itself is Priceless.

    I have a few phrases I like to go by that help me come back to some level of normal when things go awry. One of them odly enough is a scripture- “Be still and know that I am God.”

    Peace be with you girlfriend

  6. […] the word of the year has been floating around for a while.  I did it last year–my words were Here and Now.  They served me well, and still will.  I find words of the year provide structure, like a New […]

  7. […] idea is to pick a word or phrase that is kind of the theme for that year.  I have used Enough, and Here and Now,  and they served me […]

  8. […] word that is a theme for the year that may guide me into a different kind of living.)  I have used Here and Now, and Enough, and Shmita as a few […]

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