The last few years, I’ve anticipated these monthly prompts with nothing but delight. A veritable rubbing-hands-together...What’s it gonna be?! The anticipation of what I might do and where I might go with my word has almost always felt joyfully anticipatory.
This time, though… I’ve been dreading this go-round.
Okay. Dread might be dramatic.
Less eager, maybe?
Uncertain, for sure.
It’s not me. (Of course not!) It’s not the practice. (Absolutely not.) It’s…the word! (Yes.) This word is challenging! (YES.)
Kym put it perfectly in her comment this week: This is a BIG word . . . for such a little word. (Agreed!)
It’s not in a nice little box. It’s not a simple and tidy word. It’s like I said a few days ago…
I’m beginning to think that might be part of the point?
(Maybe.) (We’ll see.)
It makes writing prompts kinda hard, though. I figure I could —
: : Dust off the old prompts. See if they fit. (There are a few favorites I like to repeat.)
: : Set prompts aside and see how that goes. That’d mean looking back at ‘Where did my word take me this month?‘ instead of looking forward…’Where do I want to go?’ (It’s how I did the first five years, after all.) (There’s value in both.)
: : I have pages of ‘lower case questions’…along with the Big Ones. Those feel like the meat of this word anyway. Maybe that’s enough? (I don’t think it is.)
: : Wait. See. Trust what comes. Or doesn’t? Yikes. (Wait a minute — that’s exactly what I did this month!)
Partway in to this post — and still no clear direction — I looked back in my journal, at the pages I wrote the last few weeks in response to Rumi’s words (translated):
To be happy, free yourself from what’s blocking you from being able to be the rest of yourself. Eventually, it will be a gift to all of us.
Cathy, you asked what Rumi’s Big Question was for January? This is it. The question that rose to the top is What’s blocking you from being able to be the rest of yourself?
(Oh my. Those two little words...rest of… ENORMOUS.) (It reminds me of Honoré’s One Word ’23: Happier! That -er!!)
A handful of prompts from over the years stick in the back of my mind. One is from February 2021. I asked myself (and invited you along for the ride),
What does it mean to Do my word?
What does it mean to Be my word?
Excerpted from that ’21 prompt:
Some words lean toward Doing…others, to Being.
Some people lean toward Doing…others, to Being.
And still others have settled into that blessed balance.
Take the word Grow. You might grow things: a garden. A family. A collection. Sourdough starter. Tricep muscles. Your 401K. A skill set. Your vocabulary. Social circles.
And then there’s being someone who grows. Someone who…tries creative problem solving. Stretches to make room for different ideas or new experiences. Embraces their body. Becomes a listener first, speaker second. Or grows the confidence to finally be heard!
Doing or being? Cake or pie?
I’ll have both.
I asked it because it’s slippery for me: Doing is often easier than Being. The satisfaction of ticking off completable tasks beats the conundrum of existential questioning [almost] any day!
So. After all that.
This February — with Rumi fresh in mind (all that be and being he prompts!) — feels like the time to dig into that.
On a different note? We’re straddling Imbolc, Candlemas, Groundhog Day. Which means…yep…we’re halfway to spring. (I hope you’re making the most of wintering!) See you soon — xo
Now that is an excellent question…blocked from being the rest of yourself.. I misread it initially as being the best of yourself.. I think you might meditate this for quite a while for the answer to perculate up. Exciting journey ahead.
Maybe, just maybe, ‘the best’ and ‘the rest’ are one and the same! Sometimes?! At least, for some?!
Being is always harder for me than Doing, too. and yeah, the hard questions are often the ones that yield the most enlightening answers! (woot for halfway to spring! I’m loving the Imbolc meditations popping up in my social media feed right now)
I have had a serious focus on the “being” aspect of a word… a year long venture to self-improvement. But then I read a quote that struck me, profoundly. It is something that David Crosby said as he neared the end of his days… and it was all about the doing! So maybe there is a balance between being and doing. Both… together? As always, you make me think and that is a very good thing!
Your comment encouraged me to go back and include a portion of that original 2021 prompt here… In essence, I think you are spot on. Both! (One just always feels so much easier than the other — maybe depending on the word?!)
Ooof, I didn’t expect to have to think so hard this early in the morning, but the difference between being and doing is giving me some Big Thoughts. Of course, the whole reason I came to the One Little Word thing was to really do some deep thinking — it’s not supposed to be easy or fast! So thanks for that push this morning to get the new month going.
Kat just inspired me to go back and include an excerpt from the original prompt…just in case you want to keep chewing! (It’s all about…Both.)
Yes to both AND maybe a bit more on the being bit before moving to the doing? I think my word is guiding me to this