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« Everyone is a teacher | Main | Be like water flowing... »

Announcing... My Word(s) for the Year

My words for the year have been colluding and whispering to me for weeks now. First I thought it was one and then the other, until finally I realized they were a pair that begs to work in tandem in the coming months. This morning I finally sat down and let them dominate my morning pages, so it seemed like as good a time as any to announce them here. Tada!!! Announcing....

Refine & Expand

What does it mean to refine and expand? To refine feels like letting go, not necessarily of big things although some will feel big. I love flexibility - movement - fluidity and "Water" (last year's word) emphasized both fluidity and flexibility. I also really like structure coupled with freedom of movement. I want to refine the structure of how I do things. Not necessarily the bold "Fire" way of two years ago, but softer - wiser - more delicate refinement. Like working on the tiny details of a painting, not with massive burst strokes across a giant canvas, but intricate adjustments like the light in an eye or the pollen of a bloom. Details. Refinement.

As I refine, there will naturally be expansion. "Dream Big" continues to show up and I know my life is meant to be Big. (Isn't yours?) I've experienced BIG hurts along the way, and in return - not as payback or to be fair - I've also experienced tremendous joy and contentment. When you let go of (refine) your hurts, the swing of the pendulum automatically makes room (expands) for great joy. Big risks offer Big paybacks. My skydiving experience was a HUGE fear that turned into a hallmark experience of undeniable, impossible to explain exhilaration and joy - with a side benefit of new-found bravery!

I don't know exactly what the expansion will look like and I'm ok with that. I'm starting a new training course next week and it's going to be extensive and expansive. I'll be expanding my tribe, my knowledge, my world view and a few more things I can't name right now.

Refining and expanding will include clearing and cleaning out the clutter in my life. I refuse to live small and hidden. In the past, I have dug into the depths to unbury myself in some pretty BIG ways. In 2011, I plan to continue to dig, but with a teaspoon rather than a backhoe - that's refinement. One small step. One spoonful at a time. That's where I believe I'll find the treasures this year. It's like an archeological dig. It's easy to find the giant sarcophagi, but painstaking to seek out the tiny carved buttons. Refine & Expand - there you have it!

If you've chosen a word for the year, I'd love to have you share it here. If you haven't considered what yours might be I invite you to sit quietly and see what finds you. Carrying a word for the year can be a truly magical and "expansive" experience. I hope you'll join me!!

Reader Comments (12)

A wonderful pair of words that have chosen you this year! When you were describing refine I had a mental image of the Japanese tea ceremony, which I've only ever seen images of, but it seems to embody that sense of intricate yet simple detail.

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTess

My word for 2011 is acceptance.

tess - ooooh... i love the image of a Japanese tea ceremony. what's your word, my friend?

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlucy

great word, acceptance - tinkerbell!! i appreciate you sharing :)

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlucy

When I first started reading this I thought your words were "colluding" and "whispering" for a second there.

I read this earlier today, and I must admit that throughout the day I kept coming back to the concepts of refining and expanding in collusion. I thought about flour and oil. It makes so much sense that when you refine something you make it fit for uses it would not otherwise have, and then its purpose expands.

My word for the year is "bless," and once again I have a color: green. I'm finding that these go together wonderfully and it's beautiful to see how they evolve from last year's word and color - in a sense, how they refine and expand upon last year's themes!

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Pollinatrix

My post tomorrow is about words for 2011. My word is "connections".

Happy New Year!

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

Fascinating words--when I think of refine, I think of the rock tumbler I had as a kid. Potential being whirled around, ground down, polished.

I chose "fruitful" for my word.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I love the description of your words! They seem like two beautifully complementary energies. My word is sanctuary - for myself, for those who come to the Abbey, for our new dog Winter.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAbbey of the Arts

My word this year is friend, a very ordinary word, but one which for me is fraught with meanings. It is, for me, a sacred and special relationship. Perhaps I need to refine and expand it to embrace more. I include friendship with God and with myself and with the earth.

Once again, I am giving it the pika pika treatment on my blog. ;)

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

polli - well, you're already living into your word as i have been "blessed" by your words here. the image of flour and oil is quite compelling. although i think of how when something is "over refined" it loses most of its nutrients. i'll keep pondering this one. thanks!

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlucy

maureen - "connections" is a perfect word for you!!!

karen - your rock tumbler reminds me of my search for sea glass. a similar refining process happens in the sea just like life "whirling around, ground down, polished."

"fruitful" is a fabulous word - i'll look forward to seeing what it bears :)

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlucy

christine - sanctuary, of course, is perfect. can't wait to meet your newest inhabitant!! xoxoxo

hey barbara - so glad to see you here! friend is so much more than an ordinary word - it's rife with complexities and i'm sure pika pika with root them out :) can't wait!!

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlucy

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