by Kat | Jan 2, 2023 | General, Words
Hello 2023 and Hello Authenticity!
It has been a bit of a journey to get here, but the time for dancing around the elephant in the room is done.
I am going to bring some baggage with me though, which I am hoping will make this journey a bit easier…yay for all I learned from my previous words!
I started a journey with a word back in 2017… I picked joy and had no idea what I was doing. At all. It was a true bust of a word and so I did not pick a word at all in 2018. But I spent time in 2018 researching One Little Word… specifically the why of choosing a word. And so with several pages of notes in my journal, I decided to try again in 2019.
And so I began my year of Focus. I did not understand the power of that a quote could have over the course of the year, but I started off with Eckhart Tolle, Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life. It was a good year, and I began to “get” the value that a word could bring to your life.
I moved into 2020 expanding focus a bit more and: the Year of Intentional Living was born. This time I focused entirely on a single quote by the wise Mary Anne Radmacher, Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. And over the course of the year, I contemplated all the delicious bits of her quote. I kept my focus, and yes, I absolutely began the process of Intentional Living. And from there, I wanted my journey to go where I will this year… but it did not feel right. I had a good amount of unfinished business to sort out.
I knew that I could not have one scintilla of authenticity until I could release so much. Hello, 2021… the Dreaded Year of Release. It was a year of hard work… and I was so happy to be done. Although, I am far from done… I made a very good start!
2022 was a much better year… and after letting so much stuff go, I spent the year learning about being Full… with the delightful help of Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day. It was such a good word… and it was a wonderful year. I learned so much. And still… Focus, Intentional Living, and Release were very much still a part of my journey. You see, I realized early on that words could be building blocks, each word providing a base for the next word to grow from.
And as 2022 began to draw to a close, authenticity began to reappear on my radar… regularly. And so, with great trepidation… I will embrace authenticity in 2023. I have a good foundation, I think I am ready for this exciting word!
Welcome to my Year of Authenticity! And January is always so much fun as I dig in and see what authenticity has to reveal!
I will be back on Wednesday with some Unraveling… a New Year of Making Intentions post!
P.S. That photo above is my bright, shining, sans makeup, freshly
63 err…62-year-old face! (I do know how old I am…most days! LOL) Grey hair? Yep! A wrinkle to two? Absolutely!! Yes, my first step into authenticity will be getting comfortable with images of myself!
by Kat | Dec 26, 2022 | General, Words
Filling what’s empty and emptying what’s full.
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
I have spent a year contemplating full and it has been a wise use of my time! I used Mary Oliver’s Summer Day as my starting point, and particularly these lines:
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
And so I began… thinking about how to fill my days and, more specifically, what to fill them with!
It soon became apparent to me that being full was a thing in flux…full, filling, empty. Full is not a “one and done” concept and that in order to appreciate full – I needed emptiness as well.
And, likewise, I quickly learned that there was little to appreciate in being “overly full.” Leaving space for more enhanced full…tremendously.
And so the sweet spot of filling became a thing I thought about every day… not just the filling, but the things I filled my day with!
But this does not end my journey with full… I will continue on and I am so excited about how full will fit with my new word for 2023!
I want to thank Carolyn for her continued inspiration in the power that a word can do for your days, weeks, months, and yes… years!
See you back here on Wednesday as I unravel my year of reading!
by Kat | Nov 28, 2022 | General, Words
I spent much of this month in quiet *internal* contemplation. To start, there was lots of debating with myself but eventually the debates gave way to an exercise in finding joy… and really, what held the most joy of all!
What am I talking about? Well, the Great Christmas Decorating of 2022 (and beyond!)
And all this thought showed me that while some “things” help usher in the season, it is really more than that. And so today I will begin my decorating with a much pared down list…so much pared down!
And I confess… I am a bit nervous. Sort of like that feeling you have when you know you are forgetting something, and don’t realize what it was until you get to your destination. If it is *absolutely necessary* you go and buy a replacement and you have a wonderful time or you realize that you did not really need that something and you have a wonderful time.
Either way – I will have a wonderful time. And if I find that something is *absolutely* necessary, I can get it out!
And in the midst of all this angst, I realized that my year of pondering a full life was….well realized!
Living a full life means choices. Saying yes to things… and saying an equal number (if not more) of no’s as well!
Living a full life means having priorities… but ones that are not set in stone so that when something intriguing appears on your radar, you can switch gears and try it! (Watercolor Painting… I am looking at you here!)
And, perhaps best of all, living a full life means that at the end of the day, the week, the month, the year… you can look back and know that you did all the *absolutely necessary* parts and, most importantly, you had a wonderful time!
Oh… and for those wondering about those things that “made the cut” for my holiday decorating… here is my brief but spectacular list:
- Outside lights, because Christmas is something to share.
- The Christmas Tree… singular. One with lights, because Dark December, but with only those ornaments that hold the most special place in my heart.
- One candle on the dinner table (it is out already!)
- My Year of Gnomes gracing my mantel. I did pick up one fun NEW thing for this last Gnome… stay tuned for peeks into how they are all anticipating her arrival!
Finally, I want to thank Carolyn for hosting us all to share our Word Inspiration. Each month I am amazed at what you all teach me as you work through your word.
I have one final month to contemplate Full… and I am so excited about how I am going to close out this year!
See you all back here on Wednesday for a Welcome to December Unraveled!
by Kat | Oct 31, 2022 | General, Words
I did not have any idea of where I would go with my word this month. I was absolutely feeling like I understand the concept of how to fill your days with things that matter.
But leave it to Krista Tippett to show me how to take what I have learned this year and fine tune it. Full 2.0, as it were! So this month I have been putting into practice the things she talks about in the first three episodes of her short “Foundations” podcast series.
She starts by asking the listeners to become alert and reverent of the everyday ordinary. This was just the prodding I needed to take the concept of a Full Life deeper… Was I alert during my days or was I tuning out on the ordinary. The reality is that I absolutely was tuning out – frequently! So I began honing my Full Life to be more alert and reverent of the everyday ordinary. This is not easy… it is seriously one of the hardest things I have worked on. Because… tuning out is a natural occurrence (for me, at least) Make coffee… tune out. Make dinner… tune out. Steve is complaining about work… tune out – big time. As you can see, this will be an ongoing process and right now I feel like I am constantly reminding myself to “tune in.”
The second installment brought an easier task and one I was happy to circle back on. Yep… Krista encouraged us to “live the question” which is a concept that Rilke talks about. For me, living the question is such a freeing task. It reminds me that I do not need the answers to everything. Uncertainty is okay! Really!! And when I coupled trying to be more alert and reverent during my day with living the question… I had too many “a-ha” moments to share here. But one thing I found much easier was when I am consciously “living the question” I am much more aware of the everyday ordinary and it was easier to allow the ordinary fill my days rather than tuning them out. As I said above… I was so happy to circle back on this way of living! Perfection? Not at all, but the journey this month has been so enjoyable.
The third installment settled me into a lovely concept… becoming critical yeast. As a baker, I found this analogy for life brilliant! You see, baking without yeast… is well, flat, tough, and yes… hard. This week I have been thinking about how very un-yeasty I am in my day to day life. And so as I fill my days with living the question, being alert and reverent of the ordinary… my focus has been on asking myself the question: Am I bring any yeasty-ness to life around me? A new way to fill my days! (Are you seeing a common theme here? I sure did this month…. even when I think I am living a Full Life, there is always more room!)
There is one final installment coming this Thursday and I am very eager to see where Krista will take me then! This little series has provided such good things to think about as this year begins to draw to a close… and with all this pondering, I am noticing a new word has been showing up regularly in my days. I am enjoying these word visits and am contemplating this word in my morning meditations. It feels early for a new word to “show up” but I am glad that this month I have been thinking about being more present and alert so that I have noticed its arrival!
As always, I am so grateful that Carolyn provides a space for us to share our Word Work! I am excited to see how others did with their words this month!
I hope to get caught up on all your blogs this week – be patient with me! And!! I have a painting to get done before Wednesday! Yikes!
Happy Monday everyone and I will be back tomorrow (what?!?) with a November welcome!
by Kat | Sep 26, 2022 | General, Words
Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams. — Ashley Smith
This month, Allie Edwards team had a brilliant suggestion for my word this month… take photos! And so each day I captured some photos of what filled my days. It was fun… and very different from what I did way back when I captured one photo of my day. I made sure that photo was the perfect setting… edited for more “perfection” and when I look back on all those months of photos I feel very removed from them, as if I am an outsider looking in. They absolutely did not bring to mind the day or what happened that day or what I did that day.
This exercise, however, felt entirely different. They are not “perfect” photos… but I feel very present in these images and I hope that a year from now when I look back on them I will remember more of the day, what happened, and what I did… that this exercise will actually help cement the month in my memory!
I noted the changing light.
I did lots of spinning.
I picked so many tomatoes.
I made pitas more than once.
I knit my “gninth” gnome!
There was painting and more painting.
Poetry…every single morning.
There were happy hours! Ha!
And, of course, Sherman.
All this is not to say that it was a perfect month… it wasn’t because there were struggles as well. I tried to remember that being a listener is better than being an advice giver… so I let my ears fill up and worked on keeping my mouth shut! (Sometimes I succeeded even!)
But!! There is still five more days in September and I am eager to fill the coming days with good things!
As always, I would like to thank Carolyn for providing a landing space for us all to share what we learned, how we grew, and how our word showed up for us each month!
See you all back here on Wednesday!
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