As I mentioned in a previous post, a few years ago I started a habit of choosing a word for the year. The word then becomes a motto or a theme I’d like to practice.
The year I went through my divorce, my word was release. It felt like the right word after so many years of struggling to make my marriage work. I needed to release all of the things that no longer worked for me.
Last year my word was explore. With COVID still on the rampage, I figured at least the great outdoors would be open. ‘Get out and explore’ became my motto.
When I began thinking about my word for this year I stumbled upon the above image in a folder of art pieces my great grandfather saved. The image drew me in and I felt it held my word for the year.
But what was the word? Diana seems to embody both strength and grace — two good words but neither of which felt quite right.
She’s set in her position but hasn’t yet released the arrow. But what’s the word for that? Is it discernment? Is it intention?
Those words seem closer, but still not quite right.
My head spun with a few other ideas but nothing quite fit. I decided to let it stew for a while and figured it would eventually come to me. And in the wee hours of the morning, it finally did.
Here’s how it played out.
Those who know me well know that I’m passionately curious. I like to ask lots of questions. I’m also packed with a heavy dose of impulsiveness and a heaping cup of fix-it-ness to keep things interesting.
While running errands with my sister a few weeks ago, she shared a struggle she’s been having. Unfortunately, the impulsive fix-it side of me took over. I jumped in with something I thought might help.
She’s my sister after all. It hurts to see her struggle. I wanted to make the struggle go away.
But in doing so I immediately felt the energy between us shift. I knew what I offered wasn’t what she needed. I made a feeble attempt to fix it but could tell what I said didn’t help either.
I went to bed with it on my mind. And in the wee hours of the morning, I woke up thinking about the whole conversation. How could I have handled it better? Ideas circled in my head but never quite landed on anything. Then I remembered a quote from Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavatia I’d heard earlier in the week.
Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.
My mind wants to solve things by thinking through them. But from what I’ve been learning lately, my soul holds the answers. So in the wee hours of the morning, I told my mind to be quiet so I could hear my soul speak.
And in that small gap between one thought and the next, a melody drifted in.
What song did I hear? What words of wisdom did my soul deliver to me?
None other than the voices of Simon and Garfunkel singing Feelin’ Groovy.
Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
That’s when both the answer for how to handle the situation better and my word for the year hit me. In the wee hours of the morning and through a song that could very well be about smoking weed, the answer floated in.
Slow down. No need to rush. Chill out and let the moment last.
The word for that?
The image of Diana is about pausing. My sister needed me to pause.
Pausing gives my soul a chance to speak. To guide me. To discern my intention. Pausing helps me to sit with the moment and let it be what it is. To feel it.
Gotta love how my soul gets its point across through a song.
Although I missed the opportunity to pause that day with my sister, I know the Universe will present me with another opportunity to try again soon. It always does with the life lessons I need to learn.
So I’ll practice pausing this year.
I’m guessing when I do, things will begin feelin’ groovy.
a curious firefly, © 2022
This story was originally posted on acuriousfirefly.medium.com.