my word …

for 2008 is Renaissance. I’d read Ali’s blog and kept trying and trying and nothing felt right, until I read this, from the book On Becoming An Artist by Ellen Langer

In the end, my work on learning to engage ourselves creatively and mindfully is focused on teaching people what I have learned about happiness. For years I would wonder why people didn’t just "do it," why they didn’t avail themselves of the opportunities around them and the talents they clearly possessed. My work has led me to conclude that the loneliness, boredom, and feelings of inadequacy people experience are usually the results of a lack of connection with themselves …

[but, here's where it gets good because Ellen explains what I've always known and struggled to articulate -- self connection is not self-centered "Aha!"]

Unhappiness and self-centeredness go hand in hand. Ironically, a self that is absorbed in itself may be a self that is cut off from itself. When we stop experiencing ourselves, we end up treating ourselves as objects of evaluation. And, inevitably, that is a negative experience. To truly be mindful, it would behoove us to engage or experience something outside or other than ourselves.

And that is the essence of personal renaissance, to learn to act and engage with ourselves mindfully, creatively, actively and happily.

read it again (and again)  until you get it.

When it clicked for me, I knew, instantly and completely that renaissance is my word.

there are three reasons:
one.
Absolutely love the definition and what it means for me right now:

renaissance: the reemergence or rebirth of culture, skills, or learning forgotten or previously ignored (hmm …)

two.
I can use my word to create a list of other words that will inspire and direct my choices and actions this year

R read
E
eat
N
no
A
avail
I
"I" statements
S
see
S
simplify
A
abide
N
novel
C
capture
E
engage 

three.
I’ve always wanted to be able to spell renaissance without looking it up. I’m thinking this year-long focus may do it for me.

know this, that authentic, mindful connection with yourself and the
creative expression that flows from it, is ultimately the most
unselfish thing  you can do.

quote me and come back tomorrow for more.
good stuff.   

Comments

  1. Hi Stacy!
    Susan Keuter here – of “12 of 12″ lore, thanks to your February article!! THANKS for the mention…so sweet of you!
    I’ve started gathering names and emails for my monthly “12 of 12 reminder emails” that I put out on the 10th and 11th of each month – and I’d love to include you in my distribution list!
    If you’d like to have a gentle reminder each month, just in time for the 12th – let me know!! My participation list is up to 100 right now. THANKS!
    Susan
    PS – great word for 2008!!!!

  2. Love the Renaissance word. I’m still thinking about my word. I asked my husband what his word would be and he gave me like 30 words (which got sillier and sillier as he went) But I like the acronym idea – then its really more than just one – brilliant!

  3. a few comments…
    First your new blog banner is killing me, I too am a lover of brownies. Especially w/nuts on them. I’ve been known to make brownies just to eat the batter. lol
    Anyways, I love your post today. I’ll see if I can get that book from my library(I do love the library) The words to make sense. And I think you should include that into your LOM lesson if you can, because that may be a reason that we don’t work on our pages as well. Can’t wait by the way for that to start I’m an alumni this year.

  4. a few comments…
    First your new blog banner is killing me, I too am a lover of brownies. Especially w/nuts on them. I’ve been known to make brownies just to eat the batter. lol
    Anyways, I love your post today. I’ll see if I can get that book from my library(I do love the library) The words to make sense. And I think you should include that into your LOM lesson if you can, because that may be a reason that we don’t work on our pages as well. Can’t wait by the way for that to start I’m an alumni this year.
    Oh and my word this year is FOCUS-there are a few things I want to focus on this year. Family, my faith, my health,my home and my passions (reading and scrapbooking) It may seem like a lot, obvisously I can’t focus on it all at once. But a figure a few minutes each day is better than not at all.

  5. Your sentiment and quote seem to match me over the past year (2007). I was thinking just yesterday how my hobby (scrapbooking) & especially photography make me so happy and I can get so absorbed in these. I’ve let myself spend more and more time over the past year indulging in them and I am much happier not to mention it has aided me in losing 30 pounds! I was scrutinizing myself yesterday, asking myself if I was spending too much time on them and not enough on my family – the house isn’t in as good an order as it used to be – I struggle with being OK with that, but then I am so much happier and definitely calmer overall. I will never know if I have the balance right, but I do know that I am a happier person and I get so much JOY from creating. Not to mention, the craft bug is catching on as my middle son told me how much he loves crafts the other day. Renaissance is apropos the more I think about it since my new year’s resolution is to read more and I am hoping to finally teach myself to play the piano. I wasn’t going to choose a word, but that one is quite interesting. Still not sure I will choose one, but that gives me something to think about.
    I loved the year in review albums in SS this month! I haven’t had that intense of a reaction to a magazine article in a very long time. Thank you.

  6. Perfect! And I GET IT. Now if we could only have every stay-at-home mommy read this…they would be so liberated!
    My word is EMBRACE. I tend to shy away from things because they will get me noticed (I don’t like people I don’t know to notice me). But I determined to stop this and to allow myself to live more in the moment (in public) than I ever have before.

  7. Stacy, thank you for this wonderful post. It hit the nail on the head for me :) I haven’t figured out my word yet, but am having an interesting journey along the way to find it by finding post like this and others that help inspire me in some way.

  8. Hi Stacy! Exactly WHEN is your new book due out? I’ll be in Chantilly in February and was hoping to have you sign it there. Think its possible?
    BTW – my word is BALANCE. As in: Balanced Mom, Balanced Wife, Balanced Fitness, Balanced Finances…and it goes on… LOL!

  9. Thanks for your post today…..it may be something we aleady know….but don’t realize we already “know” it untill someone (you)says it OUTLOUD….Thanks!

  10. A quote our yoga teacher shared with us today: The more we allow ourselves to unfold, the less likely we are to unravel. (Don’t remember the name of the person but he is a rabbi.)
    The unfolding, to me, is my creativity. Thought it was appropriate for today’s post.

  11. That is a really, really cool word Stacy.

  12. I’m loving the new blog look. I enjoyed reading about “read” and “eat” on the sidebar link to renaissance.
    Love the weekly treats idea. I just wanted to suggest the Andes Mint Cookies on BH’s website, under “recipes” and then “May 2007.” They are amazing. Soft and chocolately and minty and now my mouth is watering. Seriously, you have to try them. I love that Becky posts recipes to share–she has some great ones!

  13. That goes along perfectly with my word for 2008 – DISCOVER. I want to “discover” who I am in the midst of being a wife and mother instead of losing my identity as I raise my family.

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