Tuesday, January 1, 2013

word for 2013

some of my friends choose a word for the year, a kind of  "...guiding principle...to motivate and re-center..."

i haven't done it before, but it makes a lot of sense to me and it is consistent with some of the practices i follow.  to focus attention on a single word helps bring clarity of thought; it both narrows one's mindfulness to allow distractions to fall away and expands one's consciousness to the meaning and application of the word.

i surprised myself, pleasantly, by having a word come to me with little more than a single fishing line of wonder, cast into a rather calm pool of possibilities.


some definitions i gleaned from online dictionaries:

  • to set free from restraint, confinement, or servitude
  • to relieve from something that confines, burdens, or oppresses
  • to give up in favor of another 
i'm going with the transitive verb form of the word (rather than the noun) because i like the imagery of movement that comes from an action word.

i have a lot of ideas about how i can apply this word to myself, to how i live life, to how i interact with others.  i look forward to the unexpected places this word takes me.

here's how it's turned out so far (and the day's not yet over):

ander is interested in what happens when pressure is released.  he's designed a smaller version of a homemade rocket based on what he watched.  he's preparing himself for conducting the actual experiment when we have all the materials for the full-scale project.

diana is expressing herself creatively and enthusiastically when i release her from most of the obligations of a "typical" day: she's writing the first issue of a new magazine and one of the sections involves a recipe of her own creation.

we all worked on art displaying fireworks, a release of explosive and spectacular light. 

it's going to be an interesting year.


  1. The Dali Lama would smile at this choice.

    I think I'll choose a word for the year. Cool idea!

  2. Love it, my friend! I look at your word and think, "I could release from myself fears, stereotypes, self-imposed impossible standards that block my creativity." What a wonderful word you have chosen, with so many rich possibilities!