Hello, Flames! Happy New Year!! I am very pleased that my comment about the word for the year (which I got from Jim Donovan of Jim Donovan Drums) has sparked some thought and discussion.
I would like to share with you some of the ways I am going to approach 2015. In my morning reading on New Year’s Day, in the book Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen, he talks about “The Discipline of Gratitude”. Gratitude is a conscious choice. It doesn’t matter how you *feel*, you can choose to be grateful. For several months, a dear friend (who happens to be one of my Writing Buddies) has been including in her morning journaling Nine Waves of Gratitude (nine things for which she is grateful). After reading the entry from the Nouwen book, I decided to try out the Nine Waves of Gratitude for myself. One through six were easy, and actually crowded into my consciousness saying “Oooh, pick me, pick me!!!) Seven, eight, and nine were more difficult. It felt really awesome when I was done.
One of my goals for 2015 is to be very mindful of my words. As writers, we know that words have power. I want to use that power to my advantage. I believe the words of Master Yoda: “Do or do not: there is no try.” I also believe that making a long-term commitment to a new activity, before you know if it is a good fit for your life, is a set-up for failure. I have decided that I can “try out” a new activity for a set period of time, and see how it works. If it helps me flourish, I keep it. If it makes me crazed, it has to go. If I like it but the pacing feels too ambitious, I change the pacing until it helps me to flourish.
The Nine Waves of Gratitude is one of the things I will be “trying out” for the month of January, to see if it fits my morning prayer/meditation/journaling practice. I have also accepted the invitation to every meeting in January of the meet-up writing group that I was organizer of and had to step down last year due to my health challenges. I just accepted for January. I don’t know how it will make me feel yet. When January ends, I will decide what to do.
Another thing I am committing to this year is writing for the Flame every month. I am also thinking about playing “Just for Fun” when I don’t make the cut to submit in the main contest in any given week. That decision will have to be made based on what is going on in my life during that week, since I don’t want to commit to so many things that I burn out before March! Remember to write for the last Mini-Contest (“Walk The Past To Sleep—Lay Her Down And Let Her Rest”). The deadline is Sunday 1/4, at midnight EST. Happy First Weekend of the Year! Now #gowrite!!