Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Words and Resolutions

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." 
                                                                                  ~ Rudyard Kipling
 By Pat Remick

Last weekend I joined six other women in an interesting activity designed to rid ourselves of negatives from 2010 and replace them with our wishes and hopes for 2011.

Not only was this a delightful new perspective on New Year's resolutions for me -- and also timely given Gina's thought-provoking blog entry yesterday -- it was another reminder of the power we give to words.

Energized by good food and wine, we each wrote our negatives from 2010 onto small pieces of colorful paper and individually them into a roaring fire. By writing down these feelings, incidents or names of people --- and then destroying them -- we were able to use words to symbolically bring closure to the past year so we could move freely into the new one.

As writers, we revere words -- and what we can make them convey, how they are able to inspire us, and the stories they can tell. But I had never considered that burning them might be an act of hope.

Next, we listed our wishes and desires for 2011 on lovely notepaper to be carried in "pretty little purses" throughout the year. My colorful Chinese brocade bag now holds 17 wishes for 2011 and yes, "finish my book" is one of them.

But I also wrote "live with joy," "imagine the possibilities," and "count my blessings." And I am hopeful that this act of cherishing my 2011 wishes and desires by recording them (and carrying them in a "pretty little purse") will help them come true.

I did some "Google" searching so I could share a few pithy quotes that were more literary than I am capable of producing about the importance of words in our lives. I liked this one by Charles Capps (as well as the Kipling one at the top of this blog entry):
"Words are the most powerful thing in the universe... Words are containers. They contain faith, or fear, and they produce after their kind."
Do you believe in the power of words? Which ones would be on your list of wishes for 2011?  Do you believe that writing them down can help them become reality?


Joyce Tremel said...

I think writing down words or goals helps. Every time we read them, they act as a reminder.

My favorite word this morning is "coffee."

Gina said...

Great post, Pat. Working the destruction of the words into a ritual should set your intention for sure! Best wishes for this unfolding year.

Karen in Ohio said...

Love the idea of "pretty little purses".

Every year or two I write down some "dreams", just on a sheet of yellow legal paper, and shove it under everything else in a desk drawer. Then I don't look at it for at least six months, but usually longer. It's astonishing how often a big portion of those dreams come true.

A friend once showed me how to make a "dream board", which is also then stored away. One of the dreams was a remodeled kitchen, so I clipped a couple photos out of magazines to add to the dream board. Life being what it is, and having three kids at the time, I forgot all about the board until I was clearing out the basement and found it again. The kitchen we have now is so close to the photo it's eerie.

There is a school of thought that says we can only hold one thought in our minds at once, and if that thought is negative it affects us negatively. If it's positive we have positive outcomes from our thoughts; it's nearly impossible to have a negative result when thinking positive thoughts.

I'd much rather draw positive energy than negative. You?

Ramona said...

Pat, I love the idea of burning your negatives and storing your wishes in a pretty brocade purse. Excellent!

Patg said...

Joyce, my favorite word every morning is coffee.
OTOH, I think what happened in AZ and the huge discussions concerning the power of words that has followed is showing us just how powerful words can be.
The English language is hugely descriptive, choose the right word, don't be lazy, differentiate those definitions.

PatRemick said...

I like the theory of positive energy -- and I think the exercise with the other women also supports that goal when it came to cherishing our hopes for 2011. Hope it works!
Pat G raises an excellent point about the connection between the power of words and the news headlines. I hope that tragedy helps move us back on a path toward civility.