Slowly ….

Zen cats, Peppermint and Lily, on my meditation cushion.

My daughter, Lisa, has gotten me in the habit of choosing an inspiring word each New Year, instead of making resolutions, which I never seem to be able to keep.  One word is easily remembered and can have a multitude of meanings, fitting into all areas of one’s life.

Last year I chose the word: Open.  For me it means being courageous, trusting the universe and myself, of accepting what comes along, letting go of old ways of looking at things and moving forward.  It means standing tall, taking responsibility and owning my life, warts and all.  It is a word I shall carry with me always.

The opposite, Closed, is pretty much where I’d been for a long time.  Because of certain circumstances over the years, I often took on the role of Victim.  I stopped writing, painting, traveling on my own.  In other words, living fully.  With all of the many challenges, over the past year in particular, in desperation, I allowed myself to be Open to what was happening and in doing so, have literally removed myself from the cave I’d been living in.

With 2010, gone, never to be experienced again, I’ve chosen the word, Slowly, as my word this New Year.  It speaks to me of living more simply, being mindful,  experiencing every moment as it is. It means being patient, which has more often than not, been difficult for me.

I’ve spent years living on adrenalin, being anxious and out of sync with what I’ve truly wanted in my life.  Slowly means listening to my own desires and living in choice.  It means giving myself Time … to rest when I’m feeling tired, to write when the words want to tumble out onto paper, to make outrageously colorful art when I can’t keep my hands out of the paint pots and to simply be myself … not who someone else expects or wants me to be.  It means giving myself time to make decisions that I frequently make too hastily, getting myself into situations that only cause my anxiety to get worse. It means I can sleep late if I choose.  It means letting the bed go unmade, letting the dishes sit in the sink and to savor every bite of food I put into my mouth.  It means I can say NO, to the things that have always distracted me.  It means letting go of what I think I should be doing, let it take a seat, and wait for me to be ready to do whatever it is.

It means that when things around me are moving too fast for me, I can step off the carousel and give myself a break.  It means taking the time to listen to others, to see the beauty in a sunrise, to take joy in the first daffodils that pop up in the spring … to truly hear the chorus of birdsong in the morning … to yawn, stretch and welcome each day as a new beginning.

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8 Responses to Slowly ….

  1. Patricia says:

    you have inspired me to sign up to create a blog and now to do it slowly, which was the speed I was traveling. thank you for sharing your beauty, wisdom and thought, all bundled up the are the same.

    • jzrart says:

      Patricia,
      It is truly a blessing when someone tells you that you have inspired them. I am so greatful for your words. I’m sure you’ll enjoy keeping a blog and let me know when you get it up and running!

      Joan

  2. Sharon says:

    Spacious and open. Love everything about this and adore picking a word for the year. Your blog is so inspiring. One of these days, I will set up mine and hope that I can be of service somehow to others as you are to me. So often when I read your postings, I think I am reading about my life.

    • jzrart says:

      Dear Sharon,
      You are the one who inspired me to get this blog up and going. Your encouragement to get my stories out has been wonderful and I’m happy to know that my intentions of making this a hopefull and inspiring place to visit keeps me at it. Thank you so much!!

      You will get that blog of yours up and running and I know you will help many people through your own life stories!

      Joan

  3. Becca says:

    I love the idea of picking a word for the year…at my church we have a special service on Epiphany Sunday where we all choose a paper star with a word written on it. That word becomes “ours” for the year, to meditate on, to make manifest in our life. Over the past six years I’ve been getting Stars I’ve chosen (at random mind you) Books, Reading, Music, Stories, Music, and Practice. How about that for karma?

    This Sunday will be Star Sunday, and I’m eagerly anticipating my word for 2011.

    • jzrart says:

      Dear Becca,
      What a wonderful way to choose your word for the year, though I suspect the words are choosing you!! I’m anxious to hear what word picks you this year and hope you’ll share it.

      Joan

  4. Virginia says:

    What a lovely idea! Methinks I’ll borrow it … (with kudos & gratitude to your daughter) … and I’ll let you know on the word I choose. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to check out your beautiful blog, but I’ve not spent much time on the computer since early December and checking the date on the email I see you sent it on 11-30-10 … so perhaps it’s no wonder I’ve not visited. I plan to do so as often as possible from now on. ‘Tis good to reconnect 😉
    Hugs and blessings,

    • jzrart says:

      Hey Virginia,
      Thanks for visiting my blog! Do borrow the idea, and pass it on. I think that’s how my daughter got it. Hope you are well and are your work is progressing!! It is good to reconnect!

      Joan

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