Sunday, January 11, 2009


WORD! I used to work in a corporation in the LOOP in Chicago for a VP of sales who would greet everyone in his gentle English accent like and Austin Powers-wannabe with an emphatic ‘WORD!’ It really annoyed me then cuz I thought it was highly immature.

I’ve been visiting blog pages of many women who are also participating in the online book blogging class on The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women (started this past Friday! Yippee!). Being the first week or so of a New Year many of those pages are filled with resolutions, intentions, goals and such. Some of the ladies are in groups encouraging ‘everyday creative’ practices, some have adopted a ‘word for the year’ (a common-sounding one is ‘YES’) intended to focus on developing a new habit for responding to challenges of life, artistic pursuits and giving one’s self permission to proceed/indulge/ in trying new things.

My dutiful self would have chosen organize as my word for 2009 believing the act of getting/being organized would enable me to accomplish more and at the very least, please my significant other a great deal. Organized would mean neat and tidy cabinets, drawers and closets, on orderly pantry and fridge and more efficiently used space in my sewing room. The idea of all of that organization though leaves me feeling frigid, intimidated and paralyzed. So, I’m going back to the word I embraced as ‘my’ word while reading “Eat, Pray, Love” last year with my book club. There was a portion in the book where I got the idea from a character that every city has a single word that labels it and so probably does every individual. The writer of the book chose as ‘her’ word a single Italian word that means to cross over to the other side. I don’t remember precisely at this moment what that was – attravissimo or something like that. She was a woman on a journey to find herself after a disintegrated marriage left her questioning virtually everything about her life. She fed herself bodily in Italy for part of a year, spiritually in India for part of the year and another part of the year in Bali. An enviable journey!

The word I chose for myself then and choose now for pursuit in 2009 is Beauty. I want beauty in my relationships, beauty in my home, beauty in my garden, beauty in my writing and artful pursuits, beauty in body, soul & spirit. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it when my daughter, Rachel, says “Hello, Beautiful!” in greeting on the phone. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder and there is beauty in every single person and thing around us. Beauty can be created, enhanced, magnified and reflected. I want to read books that tell beautiful stories, listen to beautiful music, read and write beautiful poetry, see and make beautiful quilts, de-clutter and beautify spaces in and throughout my home…

Page after page of the blogs of the other women in The 12 Secrets group are allowing me to see incredibly beautiful creations that greatly inspire me. Time spent visiting them qualifies I think for the prescribed ‘artist dates’ in the artist’s recovery process described by Julia Cameron in “The Artist’s Way” which I’m also presently reading. It’s almost like going to church to view the works of these ladies’ hands.

Today’s goal: make one spot in my home, the kitchen/dining table, truly beautiful – I CAN accomplish that much. Doesn’t hafta be the whole house in a day.


  1. Beauty--what an excellent choice! It sounds like you are well on your way! I can't wait to read more about your beauteous adventures and learning more about you through your work and writing. :)

    Much Joy, Many Blissings~*

  2. Beauty, a very fitting word. (Mine is embrace).

  3. I'm so glad beauty won out over organize! (There is order in beauty of course, but beauty is bigger and bolder methinks)

    I love what you say about "it's almost like going to church" - really it is pretty sacred, isn't it?

    How'd your beautiful spot turn out? (Beautifully I suppose, duh!)

  4. You have a beautiful way of expressing your spirit. We seem to have many ideas in common. I'm glad you chose beauty, as well. It works and it suits you. Make you beautiful spot the BEST!

  5. love your lovely word and so much more lilting than organize!

    I stopped by(first time here!!) because I HAD to say to you how sweet your comment was to the woman who was so belittling to herself in her comments at "the vault" hope is she comes back and sees your words and comes to visit you...rather than simply fade away...I hoped there was a way to say hello but alas, she was anonymous, which is not going to serve her well for getting acquainted here I am now to say hello to you and wish you well on your trip in the book far, I am barely getting started with the group, there are so many , but I will meet some new friends, of that I am least I hope I do! :)

  6. Thanks for the visits, gals! Looking forward to knowing you each better. As for my finishing my one day goal - didn't happen but then, admittedly I got distracted some but improvement has been made so I'm not whining. I'm actually kind of grateful because by starting a kind of domino effect is spreading and while the table isn't what I want it to be yet, the thrift store wine rack and that was among the table clutter has found a lovely home on a counter that now is quite beautiful - a nice bonus. Maybe between blog-hopping today the table will get finished. *smiles*

  7. Hi Sheila - thanks adding my blog to your following list!

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on beauty and creativity! Looking forward to getting to know you better over the course of the book study. :)

  8. and this entry has beauty in it! thanks for sharing this inspiring idea and I will be back often to see how it's shaking out for you this year.

  9. Thank you for stopping by. Have you joined the 12 Secrets? My Fiesty piece was one I had just completed and snapped a pic for the blog. I'll be loading that some other pieces on Etsy this weekend. The other pieces are already tagged for the consignment shop I sell at.

  10. 'Eat, Pray, Love' was one of my favorite books last year. I like your idea of making one space beautiful today.