Friday, December 24, 2010

Reviewing 'Release' - and My Word for 2011

My Word of the Year for 2010 was just that: "release": to let go, to relax, to be set free.  Only 3 months into the year, I began to realize it was taking effect; I was beginning to respond differently to life events that hitherto would have turned me into a raving lunatic.  Since then, here's what's been happening:

  • I've found new ways to cope with daily stresses - releasing anti-depressant use and alocohol and food consumption --  in favour of writing in my journal, taking a long walk, taking a nap, prayer, getting lost in a good book;
  • I've become more forward-looking -- releasing myself from my past life, the monthly trips to Calgary, the sense I was letting people down if I didn't go.  I'm no longer chapter leader for my Applique Society group, the Wild Rose Stitchers.  I've decided to stay in touch with friends and family by e-mail, Facebook and Canada Post, and hope they come out here for a change.  If not...well...I've released fussing over that too. 
  • I've stream-lined my methods of communication -- releasing myself from the "Basic Essentials" satellite package I had, in favour of "Digital Lite' (emphasis mine).  Television is becoming less and less essential.  I still don't 'tweet' and I don't own a cell phone or "Personal Digital Assistant". :-)  I'm sticking with my blog, my art website, my Facebook pages, and my SAQA Wiki Space.  Oh yeah -- and e-mail, hand-written letters and (sometimes) my land-line phone.
  • I've become more comfortable with my middle-aged middle -- releasing myself from the expectations of culture and media in favour of liking myself enough to stay fit and healthy with more sleep, more activity, and whole, real food.
  • I've stopped watching the news and reading newspapers, which only served to rile me up -- releasing myself from the cultural expectation that I need to know what's going on everywhere and all the time (even if I can do nothing about it).
I am actively pursuing peace -- not the massively-overwhelming concept of world peace, no.  Just the peace that begins with me.  The peace the Lord said He left with his followers at His Ascension (John 14:27).  The peace that I believe is within me, by the Spirit, and which, till this year, I've neglected to release, labouring under the misconception that it was somehow Out There.

And what about 2011? 

I believe that the word that has chosen me for the coming year is 'ENOUGH', as in 'I have enough (time, money, talent, imagination)' or as in 'I am enough: I am blessed, I am loved, I matter -- which means that the life I live and the work I create within that life also matters*.

And so...on this Christmas Eve...I pray His peace for you too.

*With thanks to Eric Maisel, Coaching the Artist Within, New World Library, January 2005, p. 10.


Roberta Warshaw said...

Lovely post. I am taking some of your ideas and will try and apply them to my life.

Thank you.

Bee said...

Ditto....lovely post. I think most of us reevaluate our lives and goals at the New Year. Your idea of a "word of the year" is excellent! I may have to borrow from you!

Bookhandler said...

Your list of things you are releasing, touches me and gives form and motivation to my own New Year contemplations. Thanks. 2011 has two words for me, trusting, and your word enough.
An example of the latter for me--a friend asked me how my visit with my difficult sister at Christmas was, and I went into a long, description of my conflicting feelings. She broke in and asked if it was good enough, and I instantly knew it was. It wasn't wonderful, but it was definitely good enough, and applying that concept was a great relief.
Happy New Year to you.
Nancy Lemke