Thursday, January 03, 2008

What's in a word?



Tori, who lives and writes just south of me in beautiful Maine wrote a post the other day about choosing a word to act as a thematic guide throughout the upcoming year.........a word which represented her personal goals and solutions for 2008. I thought it was an interesting idea. Tori chose the an all encompassing huggable word "embrace," defined:
1) to take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly: to embrace an idea.
2) to avail oneself of: to embrace an opportunity
3) to take in with the eye or the mind.
4) to encircle; surround; enclose.
5) an act or instance of embracing.

I like it. It has open hearted, open minded possibilities. It can be applied to all parts of life, and to any and many goals I can think of.


After reading her post, I began to think of a word which would suit me........which could possibly be my guide. What I was seeking was something that could encapsulate the process of living in the moment in a multisensory manner. I wanted a word that signified possibility and potential personal growth. Off the top of my head, I thought of a few .......


alert, alive, appreciate, enlighten, mindful, balance, harmony, consciousness, recognize, experience, vital, compassion, learning..........



I liked all of these words, but they didn't completely win me over. Then, I let it stew a bit while I read various snippets and quotes I had written down over the course of the last couple of months that had resonated with me. Abraham Maslow of self actualization fame wrote....."what is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself." Simply stated and yet his words have big implications and meaning, especially when one considers that he was the guru guy who gave the world the ladder and ingredients to heightened actualization. Again and again, we read that if we want to change, it has to come from within. We can't change anyone else.......we might represent the Big Kahuna down here on little bitty googley earth, but we ain't Him.........so changing our circumstances, selves, journey has to have it's genesis inside our gizzards, where the light switch dwells.


Meister Eckhart, a mystic extraordinaire with a really cool name, who blew people away live and in person not too long ago............a guy whose wisdom I am presently discovering piece by piece and through my reading am finding that wisdom is fleeting and connected to the exact moment when we learn something new only for us to realize that the process of learning this only reinforces how little we know........wrote, "Become aware of what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it, produce it and give birth to it."



Be aware of it and then share of it..............love that! If it can help me, it can help you...........if what I have learned can make a difference, I need to pull it all together. Isn't he also stating in that lovely little piece of mystic advice that to recognize your gifts in order to make them real, meaningful and vital, it has to be given it away? I become more aware of who I am if I share of myself.


That prolific monk, Thomas Merton whose head spinning (mine, not his) insights (his, not mine) have helped me contemplate, peramubulate, matisticate the very idea of grabbing hold of the holy joyful rope of faith, stated this little gem: “The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.”




Compassion, interdependence, connecting, sharing, declaring, knowing ourselves and others, working on learning and growth through internal change.......wow. Wouldn't that be great to find one open ended blooming word which could be used as an overall objective with these key guiding quotes as the foundation? Is there such a word?



yes, there is..............awareness.




interestingly, it is found most boisterous when all the other words are stripped away, and you are left with the silence of an aha moment.

  • that makes you nod your head in recognition
  • that feeds a sense of harmony
  • that enlightens and makes you yearn for even more
  • that frightens you into a feeling of insecurity
  • that brightens your mind with stirrings of possibilities


Since the beginning of my blog experience, I have had the same word, the same concept guide me. Serving me while writing over 700 posts, "awareness" has been what I have continued to mine for. I will continue to let the words and guidance from that other mystic Priest, Anthony de Mello stated in the masthead of this blog guide me. I will hold it close as I continue on my rumbly stumbly journey.

Awareness is the lifelong goal. Awareness is the word for me.


"These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness, and worship without awareness....."

Anthony de Mello

7 comments:

Rainbow dreams said...

awareness is a perfect word for you and this beautiful place of discovery..

Meister Eckhart, I have yet to become acquainted with... though his name is so familiar I feel I should have read at least some of his thoughts... he will have to wait in the wings for now...

it is an interesting thought - a single word...

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

AWARENESS, is a wonderful word...And it can come from so very many places and sources, if one is open, and in some form, 'seeking'...don't you think? I have found all sorts of inspiration and solace in the act of being aware which has led me down many interesting, moving, funny, terrible, wonderful roads....! The Journey Of Life, really!
A Perfect name and a perfect word, especially here on your blog.
I'm not sure I could find a single word...but one that I love and love feeling is Inspired, or Inspiration.

Awareness said...

Katie....yeah, why should I mess with a theme which has been working for me for 700 plus posts?

There are so many topics and paths to tackle which can lead to a better understanding of faith. De Mello also wrote this little dialogue about learning and seeking understanding and serenity........

"Are there ways for gauging one's spiritual strength?"

"Many."

"Give us one."

"Find out how often you become disturbed
in the course of a single day."

Awareness is not always pretty that's for sure......sometimes its quite disturbing especially when one realizes how little we really know.

and on we go........

Naomi....thank you. It has held up well and truly does lead the way. I often will be writing about some topic and find I've lost the threads to pull it together. It is then that I return to the word awareness as a way to define the reason behind my writing and it more often than not helps to unstick me.

I do like the word inspiration. It is a great feeling...one that encompasses a whole host of motivations.

The journey of life does have it's insane and absurd moments doesn't it. In fact, I have one scheduled this afternoon.......I have to take an oral french test as part of a job qualification process. I think it may encapsulate all of the roads you mention. I may write about it afterwards. Right now, I'm just a mess thinking about it.

Just Jen said...

can I steal the word awareness for my goal? what a great idea for the new year! I'll think on it awhile and see what I can up with...it's a challenging exercise!

Open Grove Claudia said...

This is just a nod from the universe that you are on the right track. How very cool too! Good for you!

I honestly think believe that people would never do drugs or drink if they actually experienced their life. There's so much to be aware of!

Tori said...

Beautiful post. It seems that you and your word are soul mates. Your 'rumble stumble' journey is something the universe is blessed to be witnessing.
Cheers to our words!

The seeker said...

awareness...To Be Here Now..as stated by Rumdass and Eckhart to name a couple, so thankful for great teachers along the way.