In 2015, instead of a new year's resolution, I am taking the challenge to practice words. Rather then a statement that may or may not come true when December rolls around, words are something that can be practiced every waking moment. Words are visible in nature, they are spread through our interactions, and they are extremely impactful when applied with intention. Here are ten words worth practicing for the next 365-days and beyond...
Mindful: inclined to be aware. Being mindful of our impact on the world around us.
Regenerate: to make new, strong, fresh again. There was a a dying tree in my yard. My first instinct was to throw it in the compost bin, however I looked closer at a branch and saw a microscopic fleck of green pushing its way to the surface: Life. I opted to give it fresh soil and commit to daily watering. I even gave it some worm tea and nutrients to help boost its recovery. Two months later, it is a flourishing, flowering tree producing green leaves by the bundle. Before we dispose, look closer and see the life, then regenerate.
Collected: calmness and composure often through concentrated effort. When the migrating geese skate across the shoreline, think of their journey together. Taking turns to break the headwind, relying on their flock to make the 10,000 mile trek to food, selfless and determined to do it together. Bigger things happen when we combine our efforts.
Calm: freedom from motion or disturbance; stillness. Water motionless is quite possibly the most tranquil and serene setting. Next time you are walking look for a body of water, even if it is a puddle, and explore its wonder undisturbed.
Refine: to free from impurities or unwanted material. Nature's designs are created for existence, a known purpose. By applying this to what we consume and surround ourselves with we often find more joy in less.
Present: being, existing or occurring at this time or now. When you awake, before you reach to check your phone for the time, spend a moment feeling your breath. Focus on nothing and experience how you feel listening to your body. Then, as you walk to work, put away distractions and be aware of what you are passing: people, buildings, trees, inspiration, opportunity, nature. Many things present themselves when we too are present.
Intentional: design or destined for a particular purpose or end. Owls are one of my favorite examples of nature's magnificant blue print. From the tips of their feathers to their eye color, each characteristic is intentional. For more owl images that will amaze you, click here.
Explore: to learn by trying. Travel as much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can. Life's not meant to be lived in one place.
Balance: mental and emotional steadiness, physical equilibrium. Achieving a balance in life varies for each person, but distilled down, balance is how we handle the various elements in our life without feeling that our heart or mind are being pulled too hard in any direction. Here are 9 steps that I found applicable from Jasmin Tanjeloff .
Kindness: of a sympathetic or helpful nature. Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves.
What words will you be practicing in 2015?