One year ago, I would not have imagined where I am at today. Two months into a leukemia diagnosis and chemotherapy treatment I was dwelling on what life was going to be like for me personally and professionally when I chose my words to live by for 2021 – mindfulness, creativity, and discernment. Even when I look back on my post announcing the words and the meaning I held for them then and now is quite remarkable.
The first 3 months of 2021 were not going well it seemed in all aspects of my life. My husband and I took a deep breath and discerned that we could build a better future in mind, body, and spirit by taking advantage of the hot real estate market. The next months would be nothing shoring of amazing. We downsized and sold a home where we had lived for 28 years and raised our 2 sons. We sold a second vacation home and purchased a bigger home near Lake Michigan. The creativity of decluttering, downsizing, donating and a designing the homes for sale took every ounce of mental and physical capacity from both of us. All the while, we were mindful of creating a future in a happier space and place where we will eventually retire in the future.
This new reality was the furthest thing from my mind one year ago.
Now as I did in the fall of 2020, I reflect on the words I have chosen to live by since beginning my list in 2017.
Words to Live by List
2018: Minimalism, Grace, Truth
2019: Wisdom, Honor, Joy
2020: Silence, Commit, Fulfill
2021: Mindfulness, Creativity, Discernment
2022: Words to Live By
Over the last 2 months I have written down dozens of words, crossing them out as the weeks went by, and each time thinking I had next words to live by in 2022. It was not a process of elimination but my past 12 words to live by finally called out the words to live by in 2022.
Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
Which like two spirits do suggest me still;
The better angel is a man right fair,
The worser spirit a woman colour’d ill.
To win me soon to hell, my female evil
Tempteth my better angel from my side,
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
Wooing his purity with her foul pride.
And whether that my angel be turn’d fiend
Suspect I may, but not directly tell;
But being both from me, both to each friend,
I guess one angel in another’s hell:
Yet this shall I ne’er know, but live in doubt,
Till my bad angel fire my good one out.
~ William Shakespeare
If there is one lesson, I have learned this past year repeatedly is that one of the three – mind, body, spirit – will take over when one or the other two areas are wanting.
The word, wholeness, has different a meaning for each one of us such as another person or a spiritual presence that completes what is lacking within us. Let us look at one of the phrases that Dictionary.com defines as wholeness:
“Pertaining to all aspects of human nature, especially one’s physical, intellectual, and spiritual development.”
I selected the word, wholeness, for my first word to live by in 2022 because of personal chronic conditions like CML (chronic myeloid leukemia) and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) that can keep me from feeling whole. It is during these times, my spiritual faith kicks in but even then, that is a work in progress even for the most devout.
In 2022, wholeness will mean gaining my equilibrium and bringing the harmony of mind, body, spirit into tune.
Why are good habits difficult to begin and bad habits difficult to break?
Most people think of habits as being physically based like a new year’s resolution to lose weight. It is easy to think in these terms as because it is logical that putting off or ignoring an increasing waistline may put us in a bind (no pun intended) or blind side us later in life.
Conversely, good habits, the ones that we believe are serving us well and, on the surface, considered as good attributes but, may not be serving our relationships personally or professionally.
Every habit has 3 components: 1) a trigger, 2) a routine, and 3) a reward. Even the tiniest of habits can serve us or enslave us from a future that keeps us locked in our place of hurt – that place in mind, body, spirit that keeps us from becoming whole.
Habits, conscious and subconscious, insignificant and compelling will be on topic in 2022.
Personalities, preferences, problems involve perspective. Yet, it is often difficult to keep the chaos of the world in perspective when the world has turned into a social media frenzy of what is truth and what is a lie.
We have become a more anxious, fearful, and activist society. Therapy appointments are in high demand and can take months to schedule. Is it because mental illness has come out of the closet treating it like any other disease of the body? Have we just lost our perspective on the greater good? Or both?
How can human beings be so intelligent and effective in solving certain problems yet so dysfunctional and destructive at the same time?
How can we keep our balance in a world that seems to have a bad case of vertigo without losing control?
There are so many more questions to ask that I must continually remind myself of my mantra, “resist reaction reason rules.” But what is reasonable?
Perspective, seeing all relevant data in a meaningful way apart from the fire and frenzy is my third word to live by in 2022.
To my nature’s better angel, I add these three words: habits, wholeness, and perspective to my list of words to live by in 2022.
You may have noticed changes here at The Blogging Owl such as the updated tag line, “Harmony of Mind, Body, Spirit.” The new tag line represents the site’s new perspective on wellness. I will be addressing current news and topics to help us thrive in mind, body, and spirit.
The Blogging Owl also has a new page at the top of the site, The Owl’s Hoot Reviews. Beginning January 2022, this page will house my book and other mini reviews of interest based on a 1 to 5 Hoot rating scale. Previous book reviews will be updated and added as well. Nothing has changed about my love of books!
Used books will also start appearing on the shelves of The Owl Bookshelf page and for purchase at my Etsy store in the Spring of 2022.
If you have been a loyal reader of The Blogging Owl, I sincerely thank you. I began blogging in 2007 and the site has evolved over the years. You will notice that I have cleaned house of previous series of posts that many of my readers have enjoyed, and quite frankly, may have been the reason they began following The Blogging Owl, however, cleaning and updating the site was long overdue. It is my genuine hope that you will continue to follow this blog for the wit and wisdom toward harmony in mind, body, and spirit.
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