The new year seems ripe for blogging, what with resolutions, in-and-out lists and all. But I confess I find the ripeness rather daunting, at best wonderfully and wildly optimistic, at worst a pungent false promise.
When I feel daunted, I like to break things down, to crumble those walls into their component peddles and boulders. It helps me find a way over, around — or through. I remind myself: in the last year I’ve acquired terrific tools for this very purpose. I have my proverbial hammer and chisel. My shovels and picks. My tweezers.
Having hacked at this particular wall for several days now, I can brush the dust from a few pieces and regard them anew:
- a placeholder note, taken from a now-forgotten source, among my blog drafts: “energy follows attention”
- this week’s practice from my Community of Reflection to design our own “promise in being in the world” – a synthesis of self – who we show up as in the world, making explicit our implicit nature
- appreciation of the power of a single word to organize and simplify my life. I chose “light” one year, when I needed it most.
- Chip and Dan Heath’s “bright spots” and their admonition to “do more of that“
- and this, from Kurt Lewin: “If you want truly to understand something, try to change it.”
My rough inventory reminds me that the new year need be less about resolution than reaffirmation, more about focus than anything else.
I didn’t set out to do so and I’m not committing to focus as My Word of The Year. Not yet, anyway. But much as I did with light, I like its layers and multiple meanings. Focus a camera, focus the mind. Intention, clarity; purpose. Focus: a point at which rays of light, heat, or sound meet — or diverge. In my family, the Focus is an actual gathering place, an especially cherished spot, for story-telling, firelight, fellowship and s’mores.
And if energy follows attention, then focus would guide me into and through a year whose promises are many, potential huge, possibilities almost endless.
May the new year treat you well and offer adventures that engage, inspire and energize you. Happy 2016, Friends!