Twenty Eleven Has Arrived

Quietly here, it seems, for the most part. A few noisy firecrackers exploded in the neighborhood way before midnight–if there were any past that, I slept soundly through the racket.

The last two days were spent cleaning up, cleaning out, and completing the unfinished. Ah, if only I could say all was accomplished! But it was good, and I am satisfied.

Word for 2011? Action. I chose it two weeks ago, then almost ditched it, thinking it felt too strident, too forceful, and that’s not my intention. However, after reflecting and reading, the word and I agreed, with a couple of additions: kindness and focus.

It occurred to me that in filming, the call “action” doesn’t necessarily mean a flurry of activity. The scene could be serene and tranquil, or it could be full of turbulence. It could be people in motion with the main character standing still and strong. It could be the main character moving with great intention as other people stand still. It could have loud swells of emotion, or gentle waves of peace.

Through all of this, there is focus. And as the action goes forward, it moves in a direction that is clear. Sometimes there is a fork in the road; sometimes a decision must be made, but the action doesn’t stop, and the focus is there.

Kindness is something that I would like to stay mindful of. Too often I react and without meaning to be unkind, and my response sounds harsh. This includes reacting to my own actions and thoughts, and not being kind to myself.

Yesterday I read Pennies in Protest, a response to the hatred that is a trademark of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. Action, focus, kindness rolled into one big act of love that effectively turned the spotlight from ugliness to beauty. Strength and compassion made real and powerful. Turning hatred into kindness. If I can harness even a smidgen of that into my own life practice, I know it will carry me further than any “doing” could.

The new year traditionally marks an end and a beginning. This year I’d like to feel the ease of continuing forward motion, bringing with me all the good as the no-longer-needed slides away. I’m looking forward to adding more fabulous experiences, exciting travel, and interesting people as the year unfolds!

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Love Requires an Open Heart

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