Tuesday, December 31, 2013


In an email last week, a fellow writer suggested adopting a word for the new year under the premise of focusing on the chosen word as a guidepost for the next year's journey. For some, that word may be 'love' or 'kindness' or something equally as meaningful for the adopter. Since the last year has been so good for me, I liked this idea. I thought about this project for about a day but when unable to settle on a word, the idea left me as quickly as it came. Maybe this was too big a step for me right now.

Then again, maybe the thought just needed to marinate.

Today the word  -- my word -- came to me: Open. It arrived unexpectedly and strangely through an electronic device with which I have been trying to sever a relationship. After downloading an app, the word was there. Open. That evil little machine in my hand, which is both a blessing and a curse, actually gave a spiritual answer. Open. In 2014, I will focus on this word.

Open to Change:  If 2013 was any indication, then change is good. Step out of the known and into the unknown because the view may be the beauty for which you have searched.

Open to Patience: For years I have asked God to give me patience. Only recently did I realize that He doesn't just wave a magic wand and *boom*, Rita has patience. No, He gives opportunities to practice patience. So many answers have come my way when I stopped being antsy, stopped nagging, and just settled into patience. If it is right, it will happen.

Open to Dance: No, not disco. And not necessary the physical hip-shaking-arm-waving kind, unless the mood strikes. I'm talking about the dance of the mind and spirit. Being open to recognize the wonderful gifts passing through my life at all times, and then, for however long that gift is with me, ask it to dance. Enjoy it. Move with it. Remember the song.

Open to Forgiveness: Much like patience, I've asked for help with this one a lot, but no magic wand swept over me. Forgiving others is not easy, but the alternative is much harder. Hanging on to old hurts and old anger is a heavy burden, making one weary with the load. Being open to the opportunity to forgive stops the burden of that load, lightening both the step and the heart.

Open to Pain: Really? Pain? Who wants that? Well, the fact is, pain happens. Feel it, experience it, work with it, work through it, but do not under any circumstance, ignore it. Years of stuffing pain deep down into a hole inside my being didn't stop the pain, only covered it up so it could fester for years. Only when I finally uncovered it, shone a light on it, and made peace with it, did it finally subside.

Open to Love: Most people think of romantic love when they read that word, but I intend it in the broad sense. Love is kindness, compassion, and concern, for everything -- every leaf on a tree, every dog in the park, every cell in our bodies, every person in our lives. How different the world would be -- how different my world would be --  if each problem or issue or circumstance were approached with love first. First!

Open to the Unexpected:  One year ago tonight, I would have never guessed this would be my life today. Yet, the unexpected turns in the last year -- unplanned and unmapped - brought me to this spot in the road, and the view is unbelievable.


  1. Wonderful word Rita! I loved opening up your post and reading how the word found you. Dance was my word for last year and I started a Pinterest Board if you'd like to see, it was a great word too. All the best for 2014! :D

    1. Thank you, Suzi! Your Pinterest boards are inspiring! Wishing all good things for you in 2014.

  2. Love, love, love everything about this. Love the bold step you took creating your blog.....way to go, this is fantastic!!! And your word...oh my goodness....yes yes yes! You took my breath away when you wrote about being open to pain. So much truth in that statement. We cannot stuff it down....we must allow it to flow through us so that we can move into the light.

    I cannot wait to see what the word open brings into your life. xoxo

  3. Love Open as your word - good for you!! A perfect way to start the year :) xo

    1. Thank you, Stephanie :-) Looking forward to whatever unfolds.


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