If you’ve never heard of Ali Edwards’ One Little Word project you may have been living under a big-assed, memory keeping rock for many years. I say that in all fun, but her idea is a fantastic concept and literally thousands of women have joined in over the years.
I’m no exception.
While I don’t technically DO the class content, I do like to think of a word to frame a period of 12 months. I haven’t really posted much about them but I’ve had a few, namely: grow, care, fit and this year, I’m choosing live.
I was thinking a lot about what I want to do as a human who lives here, especially with a year just finished that felt less than inspired, less than joyful, and full of all manner of challenging things and then it hit me: you simply have to live.
I feel like last year was not about living. It was about fighting against the flow of change. While some parts were definite steps forward in my personal development (I work with a woman who has quite literally changed my life for the better), I definitely spent time mired in judgment, anger and entitlement, all things that are essentially negatives, and there I was, just white knuckling my way through.
That’s not really enough. Life shouldn’t be about just white knuckling it through.
It’s for living and living means meeting it head on every day, working to understand what life offers and what reality actually looks like.
So this word is helping me to frame who I really want to be. And that is someone whose goal is to:
• Live with more understanding. I’m not the smartest person on the planet and that actually can serve me well if I’m okay with all the things I’m ignorant of because then I might actually get to learn more things.
• Live with more curiosity. Like the previous statement, if you know everything, where’s the joy in discovery? I want to be a person who asks more questions.
• Live with more gratitude. Every day I actually get to be here and alive? Pretty effing amazing. I need to be grateful for every inch of it.
• Live with more purpose. Working to be a responsible adult—one who handles ALL my shit on my own and doesn’t look outside for anyone to feed me—that is one of my main purposes right now. I’ve spent a lot of years doing the polar opposite. Believe me.
• Live with more love. One thing I’m learning is that to really love something is to nurture it, to show interest in it, and to work to understand it. It can be anything. A person. A project. A job. But real love is about caring and working and I need to offer more of that to everything in my life, including myself. The fact that I’m working to take care of myself again via my Fit class? That’s love in action. Love isn’t supposed to be passive. It’s meant to be a verb.
And on the flip size, I want to be a person who lives with less:
• Judgments. These shut down any chance for growth or understanding or love. The minute I pass a judgment, the experience is over.
• Anger. This has been my go-to trick for my whole life. Something doesn’t feel good? Get angry. That’ll make it better. But instead, that anger over the years has eroded my integrity. That’s one of the greatest things I’ve gotten out of therapy, to let go of that shit, though I still experience it from time to time. It needs to be shown the door permanently.
• Things. I don’t want more stuff. I want less stuff. I want more life with the people I love. That is something I can totally achieve. Well, unless the people I love are like, “Cathy, we need a break from you.” Then at the very least, I can still work on having less stuff.
So that’s my word. A motivation and a framework to mirror the stuff I’m already working on, but still have a ways to go. In fact, it’ll likely be a lifetime process.
But seeing how life is pretty short, I think I’ll start picking up the pace.