One Little Word

It’s amazing to me to think about the power one little word has. One little word can dash your hopes and dreams or send you on a journey of a lifetime. Selecting one little word to live by throughout the year is a difficult task. I think of Mark Twain, he said “The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning-bug.” So I want to get it right, for me.

Last year balance was my word of choice. It helped me to keep my life in balance. So I want to continue that journey of staying in balance but add another dimension to it. I thought of several words, but they didn’t feel right. I read choices made by others last week and envied them that they were ready to start their year with a word firmly in place. I began thinking about the word several weeks ago but nothing spoke to me.

Suddenly a word came to mind, aware. I want to be more aware, more conscious of my world. Hmm, I just might have my word, I thought. I did a word map for aware and immediately I knew I found my word. It embraces aware, but it is more. It is mindful. I want to be mindful of my life. Writing helps me to be mindful of those small details that may pass by unnoticed and forgotten quickly.

Now that I had my word, I went looking for what others have said about mindful. Here are a few quotes that spoke to me:

When you are mindful, you remain in a state of alert attentiveness to the present moment. Instead of judging the things that are going on around you as “good” or “bad”, you simply accept them for what they. By not labeling or judging the events and circumstances taking place around you, you are freed from your normal tendency to react to them.

“When you are mindful, you get to choose how you react to life.”

“Mindfulness has never met a cognition it didn’t like.”

“In mindfulness, acceptance always comes first, change comes after.” 

I will keep these thoughts in my mind as I journey into the new year.

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21 thoughts on “One Little Word

  1. Elsie,
    Looking forward to hearing more about your OLW-I already think you are mindful! You notice so many details already-especially with nature. Glad you decided on your word…I do want to hear more about your word map!

  2. That thought about wanting to continue the journey of last year’s OLW, but adding another dimension to it is just perfect! That is how I felt about my word for last year: nudge. So, I tried to find just the right sort of nudge to give myself for the year with my new word: note. This whole OLW process just reminds me of how much I love words and all their nuances of meaning. Can’t wait to follow where ‘mindful’ leads you!

  3. Wow, Elsie, I believe you are already mindful, so this year should be full of deeper levels for you personally. I love “Mindfulness has never met a cognition it didn’t like.” Terrific to think about. We are going to have a fine year with our words, aren’t we?

  4. SOOOoooo good! Wow, that word is a good one. A challenge too. I think I may have learned a little from it just reading your post about it. This will be taking you places. Nice job.

  5. The Twain quote is a favorite of mine–it hangs in my classroom at times! I love your word. Aware is something we all should be. I think after reading everyone’s posts, I could have my OLW for the rest of my life!

  6. Being mindful and aware….noticing the small things. You included so many powerful images into your post! I was picturing being mindful, and then choosing how I would react (maybe I need to practice this tomorrow with my high school students). Thanks for sharing your process.

  7. I like the idea of choosing how to react to your life! I’m still searching for my word, so I sympathized with your struggle. The Mark Twain quote was a great way to show how important this process is!

  8. I am still hunting down my One Little Word and it is so interesting to read how others found their word. It is a great exercise for us word lovers. I like how you shared that aware led you to mindful then those great quotes. A great word to frame this year’s journey.

  9. One of your quotes matches my OLW, too.
    “When you are mindful, you get to CHOOSE how you react to life.”

    I felt like you described, trying to settle on my OLW, too.

  10. Judy C. says:

    I think this whole writing experience has made me more mindful – seeing things that I would normally overlook. I’ll look forward to reading more of your “mindfulness”.

  11. Terje says:

    It’s fascinating to read how people look for and choose the OLW. I look forward to reading how you will be guided by your one little word throughout the year and I know it will help to see and consider different dimensions of my life.

  12. You weekly posts remind me to be aware of the natural world around me. You did a word map . . I’m wondering about that process. I look forward to listening in as you journey through 2013 with aware by your side.

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