….in 2014 I was challenge by a friend on a self-improvement “crusade” of her own to give the 2014 year a theme word that would encourage me, inspire me or keep me positive. Due to the fact I could only use one word, I had to give it some thought. I decided to use the time to review where I’ve been, where I was going and my goals I decided on the word ”Continue". This was mostly determined by the path I had begun the year prior. I was determined to let myself live freely and without the chains that I permitted so many people to place on me. I spent the 2014 year operating in what it meant to literally proceed ahead. I learned what it truly meant to experience "reason, season, lifetime" in people, places and time. Therefore I “continue” to commit myself to learning, accepting change, embracing new perspectives and healing silently.
In 2015 I found out what the “My One Word” movement was about and it solidified my adoration for the concept of using one word to challenge you into action. You see I was never one for resolutions but I will set goals and plan the strategy to achieve them. About a month prior to 2015 I gravitated to the phrase being stated by those of the generation Y era which is “move around”. The phrase means literally what it states and is used when someone is involved in something that has absolutely nothing to do with them or their life. I live in a small city, for the time being, so of course the phrase was instantly a hit with me and making sure people knew to do if they didn't like me or my choices I made for MY life. I was kind of asserting my new choices a lot more aggressively than I should have so by 2015 I was directed to "Move around" by God! I had learned that just like others can't alter the wonderful events happening in my life I can't make them accept it! I ran across a quote by Aldous Huxley, when I was looking for a new email signature and it confirmed so much of what I had started to embrace. I make sure I focus because I now know..."there is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that's your own self".
Instead of just the one word theme for the year in 2015 I took on two, “Moving Around". Yeah I know, here I am making changes already with just a year in. Well I decided to make a conscious choice to move around negativity and remove myself from situations that weren’t beneficial. You know the kind you can see won’t end well if you don’t just take the high road. Nurturing this mindset afforded me the opportunity to learn the value of not taking everything personally, actively listening, incorporating alternative perspectives prior to making a decision or judgment. It also revealed to me that allowing someone else their feelings doesn't make them right and me wrong. "Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance" I now embrace the fact that everything said doesn’t need a response and taking a moment to pause gave way to the opportunity to be empowered or enlighten. I actually unlearned some ways of thinking as I placed one foot in front of the other to move around certain situations and/or people that were neither worth the time nor the stress.
I wrote a note on my facebook page for “My One Word” movement, here is a portion of what I stated; “As we embark on another year’s journey like any year I look forward to the endless possibilities 2016 has to offer even though I know that pitfalls, snares and stumbling blocks are being formed. I've decided in 2016 I shall ASPIRE to be great despite of all of it! I will aspire to utilize what I've learned to first alter my own biases. I will aspire to step out further in Faith. I will aspire to be better each day even when I fail, so not to allow the fear of failure to cripple my progress. I will aspire to love in the face of hate. I will aspire to seek a calm center in the midst of anger. I will aspire to be honest about how I feel instead of being dishonest which only causes resentment. I will aspire to allow myself weak moments so that I can be Strong (have to read 2 Corinthians 12 to catch that one). I will aspire to continue to live a life that pleases God, protects my children and makes me Happy! #AspireToInspire”
It’s been almost three months and I decided to “check in” my progress on the word I choose. I sort of wished I had picked the word “aspire” first but I understand that there is a process to this journey in acquiring knowledge, applying what you’ve learned and maturing. I’ve had to jump off quite a few cliffs of the unknown thus far, pushing me further out of my comfort zone. It's actually helped me accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself. I’ve been provoked by a few spirits of negativity and envy, there are some who don’t think I deserve to move higher in life. It’s unfortunate that some people actually believe they have a say in another person’s good fortune or they can hinder what's already been established. I can’t really say I’ve mastered the whole “I will aspire to love in the face of hate” with flying colors but I have been able to hold my tongue in the physical and speak to my God spiritually. I hope one day I will have the perfect response that will allow me to inspire someone else to rise above engaging in petty arguments or irrelevant confrontations.
I was offered a position to facilitate a sexual assault support group a month and a half ago. I accepted the position for a couple of reasons and one of those reasons being that it presented me with the opportunity for the whole 2016 year in aspiring to inspire others that seek a way to improve the way they are living life. I want to assist them in conquering the fear that has hindered them from trusting, forgiving, accepting happiness, living freely and unapologetically. I’m learning from them just as much as I’m encouraging them to apply the life skills I present weekly.
By the end of the year I will have to recap the next nine months and I’m praying that I will have maintained or surpassed what I’m aspiring to do. It’s not as easy staying true to the things I’ve stated as it was to write them down J but my heart is in it because I know this will help more than just me, so I’m determined to continue moving around as I seek to aspire!