Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Words of the Year

©Chris James White Photography: Chiang Mai, Dec. 25, 2012

In this recent post, I talked about why I'm not a huge fan of New Year's Resolutions.  I mentioned that instead of feeling guilty for not meeting goals, I decided to choose a few words to act as guide, a touchstone or mini-manifesto for the year.

Though choosing a word (or a few) instead of making resolutions isn't a new concept, I've been out of the loop, so it was new to me.

After journaling and scratching around in my new cute notebook, I realized I needed to truly, deep down into my gut - on a cellular level, even - finally, finally, finally believe in myself.

I'm not talking about self-esteem.  Not confidence.

It's more than that: to audaciously, absolutely, wholly believe in my worth, in my talents...that I'm really enough. Exactly the way I am.  Not a new-and-improved-Becky-version: just me, now: today. Always

A word to describe that escaped me.

Then reclaim came to the rescue: the idea of restoring some old version of myself, the one who knew in her bones she was totally OK.  Yet...that word isn't honest: it's empty and arid. It doesn't tell the truth.

I have to start something, a fire, a new belief (but more than belief) about myself. I can't move forward without a beginning.

The image of light, brightness, shining, stars...all of that was appealing to me.

Ignite came up. 

I wrote it down.  Immediately, I felt itchy, antsy.  Uncomfortable. Like it was prodding me.  It pissed me off!  I wanted reclaim to be my word!  I also didn't like the truth that ignite revealed.

I tried to brush the word aside; but while sleeping, something strange happened: I kept dreaming about the word ignite. I could actually see it  - the word - lit up, swirly and aflame.  Any guesses on what my first word is, then? (smile)

Yep. Ignite. Not like I seemed to have much of a choice in the whole matter. With the risk of sounding a bit woo-woo, it's as though the word chose me. 

Well, igniting a fire is all fine and dandy, but it can burn out rather quickly and I've had that happen before. You know the deal: get all excited about a new change, a new goal. You're sure you're going to conquer the thing you need to defeat, you're on fire, right? Unstoppable. Except...you burn out. Too bright. Too fast. Too hard.  Soon, all that desire, all the stride you made, fizzles away.

I wrote this in my notebook: "Ignite means to start something, a fire. A spark. I don't just want to start something. I need the tenacity and longevity to fervently believe-in and complete what I start."

What would the consequence of that be? If I finally began to know - intensely, unwaveringly - that I can do what I set my mind to, that I am enough, that I am capable, then what would I be like? How would I feel?  It seems like it would feel like some sort of freedom.

I knew I needed a verb and a noun: action and being.

Enter word number two.

©Chris James White Photography: Chiang Mai, Dec. 25, 2012

Glow: steady, even light. Ardour. Intensity of emotion. Brightness. Shining. Exuberant. Emits warmth and a feeling of well-being.

Glow is an old word; it reaches back before 1,000. Its roots are in Old English, Middle English, and Old Norse. In Old Norse, glow comes from gloa. The anagram for gloa is the Icelandic word, gola: which means to howl.

I loved the imagery I was getting: a sparked light, a brand-newness, a glowing warmth of an even flame; then wolves howling at the round, glowing moon.  They communicate with their whole bodies: their howling is physical, inherent. They use their voice, fully...I could learn a thing or two about that...

I'm not saying I want to howl. It would be pretty pathetic if I even tried and I am way too much of a total dork.  It's the image of the whole story, the complete picture, that I like: the interconnectedness through the magic of words.

So, my two and a half words are Ignite and Glow.

The and is important. Ignite/glow wouldn't be complete without it. It's the holding me responsible, accountable. It's the part where I will tell myself I won't burn out. It's where I say: yes, I will arouse something new in me, I will grow a part of me I don't have and I will keep it alight. I will allow it to change me.

And I will glow.

(Well, I hope so anyway!  Gulp.)


Jan. 2nd, 2013: Please join me by following the circle and reading a beautiful and inspiring post from the talented UK artist, Ruth Slater, on her blog here.  

Update on January 7th, 2013: This blog post is also part of a Blog Hop with several creative women from across the globe who participated in Kelly Rae Robert's Flying e-course in 2011. They were gracious enough to invite us 2012 alumn to join in their blog hop! To check-out some amazing posts about the 2013 Word of the Year, go here

50 comments:

  1. Isn't saying your word out loud or posting it scary?! It is for me. My word is commitment, it is a word that scares the living hell out of me; since I know that it will not come up for all things, but the things that it has come up for will stretch me in ways, that will be uncomfortable!

    So, I love and applaud you for putting your words out there. So as you "Ignite and Glow" I'll be making "commitments" as we go trembling into 2013. :) :)

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    1. I was super scared, Indigene! I'm still scared and feeling very vulnerable. I wasn't even quite sure how much to share in this post...it was a difficult one for me to write.

      I'm glad we will be trembling together, Indigene! <3

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  2. First of all thank you for your lovely intro! I think after reading your blog you'll see constant reminders of your words all year which will so inspiring when you least expect it. Your pictures were great and a beautiful way to capture your words. I'd love to hear how you get on throughout this year, as a group it will be a fantastic inspiration reading how others develop too xxx

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    1. You're welcome, Ruth! It's well deserved! It will be really interesting to see regular reminders of the words we choose. In fact, last night, I saw a book (a new title, a self-help type one) with the word ignite in it. I had to buy it!

      I am looking forward to how we all get on and I am excited to see what happens for you - balls + all! :-)

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  3. Gorgeous photos!! (As always!) And I love your words and the significance behind each. May you find strength and truth in your words.
    And here you go again... I have chosen you as one of my “Very Inspiring Blogger” awards. Thanks!!
    Here is a link to my blog… http://christinaminasian.blogspot.com/2013/01/feeling-inspired.html

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    1. Thank you, Christina!Ohhhhh thank you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award! You are so sweet and so kind!!! <3

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  4. How wonderful! I think this words are just right for you. They are moving, how they came to you and you will glow. Looking forward to seeing how these words help you.

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    1. Thank you, Chandra! <3 Happy New Year to you!!

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  5. Oh my goodness, Becky - I am SO in love with your words! There's such energy to them - they have me very motivated and inspired (as do you). What an exciting year you're going to have! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful self. xo

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    1. Thank you, Wendy! You have me inspired as well! I keep thinking about your post. :)

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  6. I loved your post Becky!! Your words are very close to mine (LIGHT). In fact they will be words I explore this year within my word LIGHT! I enjoyed reading your process and I can't wait to see you GLOW all year long, AND I'm so grateful that I will be able to travel this road with you as a FLYING sister!!!
    HuGGs!
    Debi

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    1. Debi - our words *are* super close to each other. It will be so great to have a similar journey - or spark - together throughout this year!

      <3

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  7. Oh Becky how I loved your story about the wolves! And your words are so perfect. I can't wait to see you ignite and glow this year. You sure about not howling at the moon? ;)

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    1. ...lol. Who knows! Maybe I should howl? lol

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  8. I think we all howl to the moon deep down in our bones... it's an archetypical thing. I know you know about that. What came to mind, was the book by Clarissa Pinkola Esté "Women That Run with The Wolves, a total gem in old story lore analysis. I myself have had to read it recently to get over some humps and then began howling at the moon!
    I love both of your words Ignite => Glow, super perfecto, I want to be around you so I can see come clearly in my runs through the renewed fields.
    Bless you Becky, a big hug! ...and have a wonderful glowing and ignited 2013!

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    1. Thank you for this, Lisa! I actually will now try to buy the book, "Women That Run with the Wolves." I've never read it. I tried getting it on Kindle (despite my dislike for Kindle stuff - I much, much prefer real books!), but there isn't a Kindle version. Just maybe I can find it in Bangkok on my next visit. Thank you for reminding me of that book.

      I love that you've been able to get through some of those hurdles recently - you've had some big ones! <3

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  9. Wow Becky, this is great! and very brave, I know you were scared to declare it, but you did! I think you are already Igniting and glowing! A little howl every once in a while wouldn't hurt either :) Proud of you and am excited to see you shine! huggs

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    1. Thank you, Dawn! And thank you for thinking I'm already igniting and glowing. Thank you! Grateful to be on this journey with your courageous soul!

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  10. Wooo! What a powerful word, I love it! and then adding the after- glow. great idea. I can see all of the thought that went into your process. You are going to have a marvelous year!

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    1. Thank you, Sue!! Excited we can all support each other through this journey!

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  11. Becky, I love your words and how you described your thought process behind them!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa!! <3 Happy New Year to you!

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  12. Beautiful! I love how I was seeing it all with you as you described your dream and your two and a half words <3 Happy New Year, I can't wait to see you Ignite and Glow! <3

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    1. Thank you, Kristen!!! <3 Happy New Year to you!

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  13. Oh Becky, What a wonderful story and I love all two and a half of your words! I loved the way you described them and could actually SEE you all alight and glowing since I see that in you already in what you do. I wish you all the best and am really glad we are Flying together!
    xo Kathie

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    1. Thank you, Kathie! Happy New Year to you + I'm very grateful we're flying together as well. :)

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  14. I look forward to seeing you ignite and glow in even bigger ways in 2013 But I already see you glowing through your writing in this last year since I have met you online. Here's to 2013!! xo

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words + encouragement, Suzanne! You are so sweet! <3 Happy 2013!

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  15. oooooh, glow is such a good one! can't wait to see it all unfold!

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  16. I love this! Your words are brilliant. I'm going to have to think about my own now...

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    1. Thank you, Marisa!! Perhaps you'll be willing to share your word(s)?!

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  17. great to read your process and coming to your word. Ignite is a terrific word, so full of light and fire, two amazing qualities to embrace.

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  18. Great choices of words and you are right, you need to have the and. Thanks for joining in on the Word Hop and all the best for 2013.

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    1. Thank you for bringing up the 'and.' I like it, too! lol Thank you for allowing us to be part of your fabulous hop! :) Happy New Year!

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  19. Your writing is beautiful Becky! May you glow all year long and don't forget to rely on your fellow flyers should you ever need to be ignited again :)

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    1. Aww, thank you so much, Renee! You made my day. Seriously!!

      You said exactly what I needed to hear today. :) <3

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  20. You have chosen two brilliant words that fit so perfectly together. I love it!

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    1. Thanks, Amy!!! <3 Happy New Year to you!!

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  21. Hi Becky! What awesome words!! They do work well together! Loved your post! Hope you have a fabulous 2013!!

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    1. Thank you, Ursula! Thank you also for stopping by. Happy New Year!

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  22. Love this post Becky. Wonderfully written and authentically you. Great word choices for 2013. All the best this year.

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    1. Thank you very much for your kind words, Ann Marie. I wish all the best for you in 2013 as well. Thank you for stopping by!

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  23. Glow is my word too, Becky. Loved hearing how your two words evolved! Wishing you all the best in this new year!

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    1. Mary - I'm so excited that your word is glow also!!! I think we're the only two I know of. ;) That's brilliant! YAY! Hoping you glow all year long. :)

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  24. Hi Becky! Loved the process of how you chose (or how it chose you!) your word. All the best to you in the new year!

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    1. Thank you, Connie! :) It was kind of a crazy process, but fun, too! Maybe it will be easier next year with this experience under my belt!

      All the best to you in 2013 as well. :)

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