It’s been six months since I chose “open” as my word of the year. How is it going?
To be honest, I chose the word and promptly forgot about it.
However, I was in a favorite store a couple of weeks ago and came across this decorative tile:
…and I began to think about how I was and wasn’t putting “open” into practice, and what I’ve come to see it has been teaching me to do:
Open my eyes. Actually see what’s around me. Notice the details of life. Taking the Artful Journaling class helps, because to draw or paint something, you have to learn to see it.
Open my ears. Hear the frogs in the pond behind our house (it’s hard not to when they really get going). Hear the birds singing. Hear what my husband and son are really saying. Even hear what my own heart and intuition have to say.
Open my mind. My default answer is no. I can tell you all the reasons why whatever you’re suggesting isn’t a good idea, or can’t be done, or why I don’t want to do it. “Open” makes me bite my tongue. I may be thinking no, but maybe if I don’t say it right away some new thought or idea will sneak in. If it takes up residence, well, maybe my mind will open up just a little more.
Open my heart. When I pay attention—see and hear—I am touched by others. I can give the kind word, the money, the time or the good thoughts. If I’m not open, I don’t even know those things are needed.
I’ve begun to see that even when I’m not thinking about it, “open” is working on me subconsciously. I recognize how tightly wound I’ve been, how rigid and closed my ideas of what I should do with my time, how I should run my household, how things “should be.” I think I’m afraid that if I let even an inch of control slip from my hands, my carefully constructed life will fall apart—I’ll fall apart.
“Open” is about much more than trying new things. It’s a philosophy of life. I have quite a ways to go before it’s my philosophy, but at least I’ve opened the door a crack.
If you’ve chosen a word of the year, how is it going for you? What have you learned? What has surprised you?