Thursday, January 1, 2015

Word of the Year

Do you choose an inspiration word for the year? This is something I've been doing for five years or so. Last year I chose the word "temperance" and painted it on a little piece of scrap wood that I had in the house. I set it near my desk all year long and I looked at it quite a bit and it did inspire me to work on that virtue and think about what it meant.

The kids joined me in painting on the scrap wood but they had painted pretty designs only. This year a few of them were inspired to pick a word they liked and together we all painted (and in some cases I helped them finish) throughout the afternoon and evening as we watched movies, made meals and did other tasks.

My son chose the word "happy". I was thrilled that he understood the idea. He painted the background and I did the writing.

My youngest daughter painted two boards and entitled them "things I'm thankful for" and "things that make me happy." Right now they're both blank. I think she will add to them as she is inspired through the year.

My middle daughter painted a large blue box with glowing windows and I helped to finish it with Van Gogh swirls. I like this one because it reminds me of how we all started enjoying Doctor Who together this year. 

She didn't know what words to choose, so I thought about what goals she had set for herself in the new year and painted that. I admire her high energy and self-motivated spirit. She is always working to achieve new goals. 

My oldest daughter didn't help paint this year, but I took her New Year's resolutions and painted them for her, and wrote on the reverse two things she wants to leave behind in 2014. I love that she is reflective like that.

When it came to choosing my word for 2015, the first word that popped into my head was "advance." I'm not sure why. I guess it means "go forward." I think it is on my mind that I need to push ahead and not stay stuck in one habitual way of thinking and living. 

I have a friend who is in Japan for the New Year's celebration with her family there. One of the things they do on the first day of the year is to visit the shrine for the New Year's blessing, Hatsumode. They burn the old amulets, little paper packets with with good wishes or lucky fortunes written on them, in a heap and receive new ones. It struck me that choosing this inspirational word and displaying it for myself, is similar in some ways. Isn't it interesting how people all over the world have the same spiritual impulses even though they come from very different cultures?

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