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Posts Tagged ‘One Little Word’

I am unraveling.

Coming unbound.

Stressing about little things.

Complicating.

Uninspired.

Frustrated.

Writing gets hard when I feel like this…

In a tiny seedling, the size of a mustard seed, God’s love is hiding, germinating, taking time. I will come back to myself. I know this. But maybe not today.

I need to give myself grace.

Yesterday I got an email from a friend who knows that my One Little Word is Enough. She shared Seth Godin’s blog.

And maybe it’s enough
To feel sufficient, to be satisfied with what we have: Chisoku in Japanese.

Of course, by some measures, there’s never enough. We can always come up with a reason why more is better, or better is better, or new is better or different is better.

Enough becomes a choice, not a measure of science.

The essence of choice is that it belongs to each of us. And if you decide you have enough, then you do.

And with that choice comes a remarkable sort of freedom. The freedom to be still, to become aware and to stop hiding from the living that’s yet to be done.

Seth Godin

This concept of enough challenges me to make a choice. A choice to be OK when things are not.

The words from the hymn “I Bind Unto Myself Today” are words of commitment, traditionally sung at ordinations and on All Saints Day. The chorus can be like a chant, a meditation:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I pray this day that I can claim this comforting chant, resolve to accept what things I cannot change, and be ready to move forward in peace.

Amaryllis and bridal wreath, my morning walk

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

Enough is a feast.

Buddhist Proverb

I’ve almost made this a habit, Thankful Thursday. It works for me, helps me gather what the week has given so far. Gratitude helps me live into my One Little Word: Enough.

  1. This baby rose cutting was left on my front porch. I haven’t found the person to thank yet. I’ve tried a few suspects with not luck. It’s a mystery. The plant looks like a Peggy Martin rose. I bought one last spring, and I know I talked a lot about wanting one. That’s because my SCBWI colleagues and friends Carol Stubbs and Nancy Rust wrote a picture book about this rose, The Rose Without a Name. It’s the story of the Katrina Rose and how it survived the flood of Hurricane Katrina. I’m excited to have this cutting and will find a good place to plant it, but if you are reading this and you gave it to me, please let me know.

2. Every once in a while I treat myself to a Starbucks coffee drink. Yesterday I had bonus points for a free drink. I’m thankful for the cute barista who made this cold brew with sweet cream foam just right.

3. Yesterday the temperatures were in the 60’s and breezy. I took my coffee drink out to the deck and just listened to the wind chimes. I’m thankful to live in such a beautiful place, Bayou Teche. I don’t do this enough and it really fed my soul to just sit and listen.

What are you thankful for this week? Tell me in the comments.

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Dear Spiritual Thursday Friends,

We are gathering again for the first Thursday of each month. This is an open invitation to any blogger who would like to join us. We post on the first Thursday of the month. Each month is hosted by a different blogger. We do not adhere to any specific religious affiliation. We are here to express our thoughts about how our spiritual lives are going. Let me know in the comments or by email if you’d like to be on the list of participants.

Blessings,
Margaret

I’ve been choosing a One Little Word to guide my year for many years now. I have a collection of MudLove bracelets that express my different words. I’ve even begun a practice of gifting little words to some of my friends. It’s probably against the OLW policy to assign someone a word, but the friends who receive one seem to like the idea. At an NCTE conference sometime around 2014, I was given a MudLove bracelet. I love wearing my word.

Enough, 2022

My word came to me while I was reading Jess Keating’s Epic Email.

Everything you need is inside you. The tough stuff alchemizes to create the good stuff. Your story is enough. What you value is enough. Your desire is enough.

Jess Keating, Epic Email
I am Enough!

Today I listened to Glennon Doyle’s podcast We Can Do Hard Things. She said that January branding has got it all wrong with New year, New you. “It suggests we hate ourselves. It’s insulting.”

At our core, in our soul, we are who we are. And to quote Popeye, “I yam what I yam.” Who I am is enough. I do not need to change myself. Of course, I could exercise more or cook more often or get more involved in social activism. But who I am at 60 is the same me as I was at 50, 40, 30, 20, 10… Embracing my inner self gives me safety to open up for new experiences that enrich me. And if a challenge comes along, I am ready. I am enough.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter

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Spiritual Thursday posts are being gathered today by Carol at Beyond Literacy Link.

It is my practice each year to select a word to guide my year. This week my students and I have been talking about and selecting a One Little Word. Last year I selected Embrace. The word Inspire has been tugging at me for a few years. I finally stopped resisting it.

If you follow my blog, you know that I am posting a photo each week as a writing prompt. Last week I posted a photo from Ann Sutton, a Methodist minister. Fran Haley took this prompt and wrote an amazing spiritual poem on her blog. I drew Ann’s attention to Fran’s poem on Facebook Messenger. Ann shared the post and asked Fran’s permission to read the poem in her sermon. Wow! Inspiring writing that inspires a beautiful connection beyond my reach.

I’ve started an accountability group for The Artist’s Way. Perhaps you remember the book. Julia Cameron leads you on a journey back to your essence of creativity through writing exercises and artist dates. Morning pages is a component that I am trying. Trying is the operative word here. My hope is that by releasing the tied up knots of stuff through regurgitation on the blank page, I will inspire more creativity in myself. I do believe that creativity is a spiritual practice. It’s not reserved for a select few; however, like the Holy Spirit, creativity is available to all of us, even me.

This first week of 2021 has been filled with shocking events. Along with everyone else, I am mournful. But I am also hopeful. Our country witnessed rock bottom yesterday. Let’s make today the beginning of our collective climb up and out. We can inspire hope and love. Join me in a resolution to Inspire, breathe new life into the world.

Image created in Canva

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Click over to an invitation to write at Sharing our Stories.

This week’s invitation to “Share our Stories” is writing from a definition. I chose my One Little Word embrace.

Embrace: to clasp in arms: hug. The very thing taken away from us this strange pandemic year. The value of a simple hug has grown. Nothing is taken for granted.

Embrace: encircle, welcome. While I do not welcome an insidious virus, I do welcome the quiet reflection that comes with alone time.

Embrace: acceptance. This one has proven hardest of all. I am easily angered by the rising numbers. I have a hard time accepting screens over face to face. I also miss my children, and that is hard to accept.

Embrace implies gathering of separate things within a whole. Last month after careful planning and quarantine, we had an intimate family wedding in which we gathered another family into our whole. It was a beautiful wedding for my youngest daughter. Not the one she wanted, but the one we embraced.

Embracing this year has proven more challenging than ever. I still love the word. Etymology of the word comes from en+brace meaning a pair of arms. The blessings of my life abound. I hold within my figurative arms a healthy family that continues to grow. Soon I will embrace another grandchild. Soon we all will embrace a vaccine. Soon our country will embrace a new leader. We have much to embrace. May we all embrace Love!

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.

I was at a loss for what I should write about today. Early this morning I read Linda Mitchell’s post in which she revisits her one little word for 2020. Ah, there is an idea I can embrace. Embrace is my 2020 word.

What I can embrace and celebrate is this amazing month of poetry of presence prompted by my interview at Today’s Little Ditty (See the wrap-up today.) Poetry friends old and new embraced the idea of writing a poem of presence every day in May. The Twitterverse has been happily inspiring and connecting us in a special, ever-present way. (#poemsofpresence)

I can embrace my baby grandsons. My school year has finished up, and my daughter from New Orleans needed help with her baby while she works, now from my home. We occasionally get the cousins together. They are not old enough to really engage with each other, but we are trying to nurture their relationship.

What I cannot embrace is the news of the world. I will not embrace racism and am sickened by the ways that it continues to mar our world. That’s all I’m going to say…

Last week April Halprin Wayland posted a new form: In One Word. Click the link to read the directions and her mentor poems. Here’s a draft using Wordmaker words from Embrace. The words I used are be, embrace, arm, mere, bee, me.

Shelter at Home

This time came to be
eerily easy
to embrace
with one arm,
a mere test
of my resolve
to stay here-present.
Like a bee
intent on nectar,
I tend this place
for you & me.

Margaret Simon, draft
Photo by Katherine Simon Andry at Petite Anse Farm, New Iberia, LA.

One more thing to embrace: the ingenuity of young people who create beauty out of a a field of dirt.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol at Carol’s Corner.

My Sunday Night Poetry Swaggers Group discussed the One Little Word tradition and found that everyone had a slightly different take on whether or not it was a good practice. Heidi challenged us to write about whether or not we word for the first Friday of the month. You can read their posts here:

Catherine
Heidi
Linda
Molly

I’ve been choosing a word each year for 7 years. I enjoy the process of trying to find the one right word to guide my year.

I’m a two on the Enneagram. That means I’m a giver, someone who spends most of their time trying to ingratiate others. The good side of a two is being helpful and selfless. The idea is to get better at being who you are. So I subscribe to an Enneathought of the Day. This came on New Year’s Eve.

Present has been my word before, but it continues to fit because being present is a constant goal. For 2019, my word was Grace. Grace goes beyond presence to actually live with the peace of knowing you are loved.

My word this year was suggested by my son-in-law who knows me pretty well. I wrote about Embrace in my Spiritual Thursday post yesterday.

I joined Michelle Haseltine’s #100DaysofNotebooking challenge and wrote about Embrace in my notebook. This challenge is not only a good way to restart a notebook practice, but it connects me to a new community of writers I can “embrace.”

I also received a serendipitous postcard from Irene Latham. The poem just makes me want to embrace her and embrace writing.

Writing in Winter by Irene Latham

Here is a second draft of my Embrace poem:

Embrace says yes to now,
holding on tight to this one moment
finding a heart full of love.

Embrace is a word of grace,
silently listening, open
for the world to fill.

Embrace is here for you
to welcome, knowing nothing
ever stays the same.

Embrace!

Margaret Simon, draft 2020

Do you choose a word? a resolution?

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I’m gathering posts here for January’s Spiritual Journey One Little Word posts. Scroll down to add your link and read other posts.

Choosing a One Little Word for the year has been a practice I adopted years ago. Sometimes I spend a lot of time mulling over what my word should be. Not this year. My son-in-law Grant has tuned in this practice of mine, and I’ve been doing so much holding of new babies in the last year, he told me he thought my word should be “embrace.” I didn’t give it another thought.

This year of 2020, I will embrace my grandbabies even more. My youngest daughter will be getting married in October, so I will embrace another family connected to our family.

Embrace is related to the word Grace I chose last year. My life is full of love, and love comes from grace. Embrace is a way to be humbly grateful for it all.

There is really no way we can predict what a new year will bring. Some years I choose a word that is a goal, something I want to be better at, but a word like Embrace lets you just be present. Here. Now. Holding on to the ones you love. Acceptance and Grace, wrapped up with a bouquet of roses.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter

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See other Spiritual Thursday posts today rounded up by Irene at Live Your Poem.

This is the last Spiritual Thursday post for 2019, so we are reflecting on our One Little Word for the year. This year I selected Grace.

Grace is a simple word
spoken in prayer,
blessing a child,
a gentle hug.

Grace soothes life’s bumps,
nudges our hearts to acceptance,
carries the weight of worry
and places it in Love’s hands.

Grace comes in new life,
a soft white kitten,
the rising sun
of the morning.

Grace endures.

Margaret Simon, draft, 2019

When 2019 began, our family had been blessed by the birth of Leo, my first grandson. His first birthday is on Saturday. When I see him now, he knows me; he reaches out to me and leans in for a kiss. There is nothing so full of grace than this.

In September, Thomas was born, my second grandson. And just when you think your heart is full, it opens up for more. His gentle smile and sweet coos bring pure Joy!

This fall I released my second middle grade novel, Sunshine, a sequel to Blessen. Birthing a new book can be scary, but Sunshine is surrounded by love. Her story is no longer mine. Her story, the story of Blessen and Harmony, is full of grace. Blessen and Harmony share their love of animals and adventure. Neither has had the ideal life, but they greet each day with a sense of joy. That is what I hope for myself and all of you.

Begin this day with gratitude in your heart, a smile on your face, and an openness to Grace!

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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

 

What is your vision for 2019?  We really can’t know what the future holds, but we can think about what we want to do and be in the coming year.  I’ve never done a vision board before, and I can’t say that I am any kind of expert. I started when my students were working on One Little Word magazine collages.

Yesterday I made the necessary step to add more yoga into my life.  I signed up and paid for a class beginning in February.  And I put it in as a regular alert on my phone.

I’ve been making smoothies for breakfast ever since the winter break when my middle daughter visited.  She made a smoothie every morning and got me hooked.  My youngest daughter gave me a Magic Bullet blender in which the container converts to a cup with a top, so I can blend and go.  My typical recipe is quarter cup Greek yogurt, quarter cup oatmeal, half cup milk, teaspoon of flaxseed, half a banana, half an avocado (or Kale, if the avocado isn’t riper yet), and quarter cup blueberries (or strawberries). I am amazed at how full I feel after drinking it, and I’m not hungry until lunch.

My students worked this week on their one little word projects. I gave them options for creatively representing their words.  I also invited them to blog about their words.  I was moved by Madison’s post.  This 5th grader has the wisdom that I have longed for all my life.  She is comfortable in her skin.  I hope she will hold onto her values of Possibility.

This year, my word is possibility. I like this word because there is no such thing as completely impossible, they say, but I’ve added on it: but there is such thing as possible. Always try because if you don’t, if you lay down and let others control and use and block you from your goal, leave them. Always try. Never set a true goal that limits yourself- whenever you achieve one, go higher and higher, always trying. Have confidence. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The way it’s hard is what makes it a good challenge. Nothing ever comes easy, and it never should, or we’ll all be lazy and fat. Be aware of yourself, and don’t let yourself fall out of shape or routine or such just because you don’t feel like it even though it benefits you.

Because, as hard as it’ll seem…

It’s always

Possible.

(Blog post by Madison: to leave comments, click here.)

 

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