When I wrote about digging for a word of the year, I didn’t know it was going to be so popular. I’m delighted it was. One person told me they hated the idea, that as a Renaissance person, she preferred a theme of the year, but that was fine with me, too. One of the 30-day writing participants picked Hillel’s philosophy of “If not now, when?” as a theme. I’m not making or enforcing rules, I’m tossing out suggestions.
“The word should be limber and supple, without any stiffness of punishment, or hashmarks to measure yourself with and find yourself coming up short. . . It should be a good, chewy word that will last a whole year. “
People made all sorts of suggestions: Easy, Fun, Kindness, Light, Salt, Share, Notice, Free, Celebrate, Action, Laugh, Dream, Explore, Heart, Simplify, Enjoy, Think Less, Let God, Weave, Intention, Trust God, Begin Again, Namaste, Rediscover Joy, Change, Weave, Bold, Refine, Create, Surrender to Divinity, Synchronicity, Connect, Delight, Risk, Emerge, Prolific, Nest, Grow, Survival, Gift, Choosing Life, Possibility, and many more, even Efficacious.
What a great group of words! I hope they show up often in your lives. Visit them often, don’t let them slip away. I love the idea of “Salt,” both as a verb, as in “salt that great idea away for a while,” and as a noun, in the folkloric “meat loves salt” way.
Reviewing my own, I chose Light in 2010, Step It Up in 2011, and this year, well, it’s a different direction. At the end of December, I attended a ritual in which we wrote down what we wanted to leave in 2011 and tossed the pieces of paper in the firepit. We then were blessed and smudged with sage, cleansed with a selenite wand, and sent to choose a card from a basket. The card held our word for 2012. I chose “Suffering.” My eyes must have bugged out because the woman holding the basket said, “You can throw it into the fire and choose a new one.” That, I felt, would be like riding to avoid the appointment in Samarra.
I turned the card over and it said, “The cause of all suffering is craving. Desire
things that YOU do not have, and suffering will follow. Realize this and peace will be YOURS. Suffering will disappear and contentment will reign.” I know this to be true about myself. When I want [any item from my impressive list of cravings–starting with my 7th-grade need to be one of the cool kids] I turn miserable. I hate being miserable alone, so I bring other people with me into my misery. Eww. So I’m keeping Suffering as my first word. You may notice it’s not a fun as some of the other words. . . .uh-oh, craving again. It’s necessary. Now, moving on. . .
I did allow myself another word. STAY. I found the word on someone else’s blog and she kindly offered to share it with me–and I want to offer her a guest-post here. She will have to contact me, though, because I thoght I saved her website link, but it vanished.
I love the idea of Stay. Stay when you want to run away from problems. Stay and enjoy the nice things someone is saying about you. Stay with your feeling of inadequacy until you realize it’s not your feeling, just a shadow. Stop running into the dark, stop fleeing away from those hard feelings. Stop hiding from your enemies, your talent, your meaning-making. Stay.
Happy 2012 to all of my wonderful readers, including those with good ideas, who made me laugh, and who show up for my workshops. I am so grateful to be on this side of 2012 with all of you.
–Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach, journaler and writer. She teaches what she practices.