Happy New Year!!
And, no, those are not your three words. I have a little story to tell that starts out sounding kind of maudlin, but if you bear with me it could change your life. Seriously. How’s that for an opener?!
About five years ago my mom passed away and it was left to me to write the obituary. Writing an obit. has an unusual side effect: the author begins to reflect on how he or she wants to be remembered.
“Oh great,” you say. “She wants me to start off the New Year thinking about my own mortality. How uplifting!”
OK, let’s look at this concept in a New (Years) Light. I realized those five years ago, that what I wanted was a kind of “Life Mantra.” Words that would define not only how I want to be remembered, but how I want to be thought of now. Words to live by, so to speak. This mantra turned into three words that I thoughtfully chose. Each word defines who I am. My words are verbs, so that I can continually act upon them.
I’ll reveal only one: Create.
I Create: Painting, Writing, Meals, Knitting, Art, Interiors, Books. No limits. Ever changing. “Create” can have so many applications. It’s a word without boundaries.
I repeat my mantra often; on dog walks, falling asleep, waiting in lines, etc. I can change the order emphasizing one word over the others on certain days. Some people may call these words “goals, intentions, or resolutions.” Use whichever term makes you comfortable. I like the words “intention” and “mantra” as they imply a deeper and more personal concept. Goals are awesome but they seem so specific, with an endpoint: run a marathon, lose ten pounds, get into a gallery, paint more. The words I’m speaking of are open-ended and ongoing. More than a resolution, they reflect who you are and who you want to be.
Magic happens when you focus on your “intentions.” They come true. Dozens of people have used my (unrevealed) three words countless times to define my work, my actions, my life. Intentions can also help to clarify your life daily. When given choices of how to spend your time, your “three words” can guide and influence your decisions.
Now it’s your turn to pick your own three words to start off the New Year. Here are some helpful guidelines:
• Pick words that resonate and will last. Your mantra defines you.
• Verbs give you purpose. Choose verbs so that you can continually act upon them.
• Write the first three words that come to mind. They may be important (and surprising).
• You can change your words. Try them out for a day or two and see how they fit. The important concept is to start the process.
• No word or concept is too grand or too small.
• Keep your words private.
• You can pick more than three, but three is a good start.
May your 2013 be filled to the brim with these three words:
Joy, Love and Creativity!!