Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Word or Two for the New Year

Usually I pick a word for the year, a word that will guide me through those 365 days. Two years in a row I chose "being authentic" because that is important to me. Last year it was "grow" - and while I was successful with growth in some parts of my life, it didn't apply to other parts.

My word for 2014 came completely on its own - I wasn't even thinking about a word when it popped right up in November. It appeared while I was reading a wonderful mail from a blogging friend that was so sweet it brought tears to my eyes. She wrote about events in her life that I somehow have totally missed out on because I hadn't visited her blog for quite some time. That moment, the word "time" popped up and settled in my mind.

While I did relatively well on "grow" I had slipped many things at the same time. It seems that "grow" pre-occupied me in such a way that things I care about and are important to me were pushed to the back burner - because of the lack of time. Just leaning back and reading a book. Watching the birds at my feeders in the garden. Knitting. Going through cookbooks and try some new recipes. Enjoying a cup of coffee while really listening to music, not just as a background. Meditating. Walking around the lake with open eyes and not just rushing around it because I was busy to grow something else.

Don't get me wrong - "grow" was the right word for last year, but I didn't always handle it very well. It actually "grew" (ha!) to my word for 2014 - making time.

Not taking time. Making time. Actively making time for something that I enjoy, that cuddles my soul.

While I am aware that I still will work hard and many hours for my shop (which I thoroughly enjoy), I am convinced that if I am more thoughtful and careful with my time I can accomplish more in less hours and have time for the things that feed my soul. The start so far has been good. On a warm day around noon I sat outside close to the feeders and watched the birds. I was so still that a little junco even landed on my knee. A squirrel sat just a foot from me away. Birds were flying by my head very close. It was an hour of pure bliss.

I started to knit again. A few weeks ago, Jo and I visited a yarn shop and I found such beautiful yarn that I could already see the finished project. I bought the yarn, Jo showed me a special stitch that I could do to get the pattern I wanted and I just started. I'm far from finished, but I enjoy the movement of my hands and see the green scarf with its beautiful pattern getting longer. While knitting I can listen to music and just let my thoughts wander.

Meditating - it's not really meditating (I think), but I have started to make time for some "conscious breathing". I sit or lie on our red sofa with my eyes closed, breathe deeply and follow my breathing. It's only for about 20 minutes a day, but they are very refreshing and I also feel like emptying my head because I don't think of anything specifically. Another benefit of this is that it actually helps my blood pressure which is more than welcome.

And - I'm making time for exercising again. I became very sluggish with that toward the end of the year. Last Monday I started my "regime" again and am back to Jazzercise. I have to admit that the first time was a bit hard, but also fun. Sure, my body is sore now, but it's a good kind of soreness. I am determined to stick to it.

So - I hope that eventually I will learn to make more time for things that are not related to my business but will do me good. Being more connected is one of them. Writing letters, reading blogs, reaching out. Being present.

It should be a good year!


Amanda said...

"All that we are looking for in life — all the happiness, contentment, and peace of mind — is right here in the present moment. Our very own awareness is itself fundamentally pure and good. The only problem is that we get so caught up in the ups and downs of life that we don’t take the time to pause and notice what we already have." ~ Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche said...

That sounds like a good word for the year. I, also, choose a guiding word for the year. This year I have chosen the word "be." To me it means to be more authentic, more centered, less focused on performing in ways that seem expected. To take time, like you, to just "be" in the world, and let my soul catch up. Thank you for sharing your word.


Magic Love Crow said...

We should always make time, to enjoy life! Life is too short. I love what you wrote and I love your pictures ;o) Many blessings ;o)

Elephant's Child said...

Wonderful words. And I cannot tell you how green my eyes turned when you mentioned the junco landing on your knee.
Definitely a sign you are on the right path.

patty said...

It's all such a balancing act, isn't it? I feel that the words build on each other and, once we have one, it's part of us. So you have a new focus, but "grow" will also be present for you. My very first word was "justbe" (ok, 2 words). Since then I have branched out, but I have incorporated the effects of that year into my life. Permanently. It sounds like you have made a wonderful start.... I think it's gonna be a great year!!

Cheri said...

Such beautiful thoughts Carola! I also chose a word for the year - it is "Kind" and includes being kind to myself and making the time to take care of my body and my soul (which means making time to play!)

Maria Ontiveros said...

Wonderful that you are taking time to breathe and just be.
Your photographs are so lovely and peaceful.

Jenny Woolf said...

I think it is somewhere in the Bible that where your treasure is, so is your heart. My daughter said to me this morning that she is giving more time to family and friends, because spending time is a way of investing in what you think matters. Your beautiful photos show how much it matters to you to look at the world around you, and your posts show how you like to think.

windrock studio said...

I think your new word is perfect and it seems like you are already on the right track. Those are all important things you are concentrating on.
And, of course, these images are just beautiful!

Ginnie said...

I love the way you write your posts, Carola, and am thrilled for how you are approaching/attacking this New Year.

Somehow this year feels different for me, it is going to be a good year on many new levels. I don't have a word but if I had one, it might be "read." I finally started to read an Elizabeth Cunningham novel trilogy on Mary Magdalen that I brought with me from Atlanta over 5 years ago! Here's to 2014!

Friko said...

‘Making Time’ is an excellent New Year’s Resolution. One that can actually be achieved.

Life is so much more genuine when lived consciously.

I think I want to smile a bit more this year; I often catch myself frowning. Not good.

A smile brings pleasure to the smiler and the smiled at.

KB said...

I like your "word" for 2014. It's something that I need to focus on too. Making time brings more sanity into our lives, preventing us from constantly running around to accomplish things.

BTW, I love the photos in this post, especially the log with frost on it.

Darla said...

Great writing and wonderful thoughts. You know I'm knitting but I could do with organizing my time a bit better these days. I don't have a word for the year but I like your ideas on the subject.