Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The word for the year is...

This morning when I awoke, I realized that it was the last day of this year, that it was time for another word, a new word to take me through the next year.

If you wish to see what were the previous words from these few years' past, click here.

Earlier this fall my doctor informed me that I am prediabetic, which means cutting down on carbs and sugar, substituting whole grains like quinoa and brown rice for white rice, drinking black coffee, you get the picture.

It also mean exercising more, which sounds dangerously close to a New Year's resolution.  These have a strong tendency to break, hence, the word for the year.  

So at first when I relaxed my mind and thought about the words in previous years and my doctor's prescription, the word that came to me was 'exercise'.  Too much like a resolution.  Not enough room for metaphor and multiple layers of meaning.  It's also good to have a goal with a higher likelihood of success; self-reinforcing.

The word for the year is...stretch.  

Stretch, as in when I get out of bed in the morning, do a sun salutation.

Stretch, as in find a yoga video I can work with.

Stretch, as in when I find myself and my spirit shrinking and shriveling, do something I wouldn't normally do.

Stretch, as in extend myself for the spiritual growth of another person (M. Scott Peck's definition of love).

Stretch, as in making myself more elastic, flexible, even as my approaching-fifty-years-old body and brain would like to remain static.

Stretch, as in reading something challenging every day.

One of my favorite Advent songs is "The Universe is Bending", and in its lyrics we are invited to stretch along with a universe that is stretching the way a woman's body stretches in order to give birth.

A new world is coming, and it is coming through us. Not through our passionate, inflexible convictions but through our ability to make room for something new, unpredictable, not-yet-imagined, life-giving.

We were made for this.

The Universe is bending,
Stretching long and stretching out,
Embracing all our struggles with
Gentle arms of Hope.
The Universe is bending, 
Stretching long and stretching out
And it’s leading toward Freedom
By the clear Light of Love


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