Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Word on Wednesday: Should

Should is a word I am attempting to BANISH! from my vocabulary. Should sows procrastination. Should breeds dread. Should reeks of judgement.

Should is classified as an auxiliary verb, with meanings including must and ought. Auxiliary verbs are used in forming tenses, moods, and voices of other verbs.

I am unable to bring to mind an instance when should conjures up a positive emotion.

- should go the car wash
- should write a letter
- should call my dad
- should go to the gym
- should send a query letter
- should make a sales call
- should consolidate my credit cards
- should calm down
- should be happy
- should take a class
- should try a new recipe

However, washing cars and trying new recipes and calling my dad are activities that do bring  happiness. Adding the verb should elicits the feeling of something unpleasant. It implies that whatever is being done in the present moment is "less than" or "not enough."

Should also implies indecision. It fosters crippling self doubt. As I work to eliminate should from self talk and how I talk to others, I am reminded of my mother's familiar summertime refrain: 

IN or OUT!

My mom did not say, you should be either in or out. No she commanded I decide; I wasn't born in a barn after all.

As I work to rid should from my vernacular, I work to trust myself and stand by. I will decide to accept or decline, to do or don't, and to follow through or move on. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Word on Wednesday: Bliss

American mythologist Joseph Cambell (1904-1987) has this to say about bliss

"When you follow your bliss  ... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else." 

The cynic will dismiss bliss, mocking the pursuit of such lavish joy. Yet, one should be careful to not confuse the word bliss with over-the-top false happiness. Bliss is not found in drunkenness or loudness or mockery. 

Rather bliss is found in sincerity and authenticity. Bliss is the freedom from hypocrisy and deceit. Bliss is found in the commitment to genuineness. 

Its definition of supreme happiness or utter joy or contentment has ties to theology's joy of heaven and a bliss eternal. 

In the secular use of the word, I dare to remain courageously, selfishly in  pursuit of bliss

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Word on Wednesday: Heliotropic


Turning or growing toward the light. Heliotropism can be easily seen in sunflowers, which slowly turn their large flowers so that they continually face the sun. However, the adjective heliotropic can describe any noun and any light source.

A heliotropic student turns toward 
the light of knowledge.

A heliotropic flower turns toward 
the light of the sun.

Plants classified as heliotropes have flowers and leaves, which turn toward the sun. Marigolds, poppies, sunflowers, and daisies are examples of heliotropes.

Daisies are commonplace both as a wildflower and in the beds of intentional gardeners. The daisy’s hardy character survives perennially. Many a season of indecision has been soothed by pulling petal by petal — loves me, loves me not. I consider the daisy to be my favorite flower. Despite it’s simple, common presence, it stands out to me.  Perhaps, it was the daisy that really picked me to guide me in moving to the light.

There is grace when one can turn to face the light and absorb its radiance. Like the daisy, I long to move toward the lights of inspiration, the lights of my life, and the light offered each dawn.

Turning to the light, and thereby from darkness or shadows is not a new bright idea. The phenomenon of heliotropism was known by the Ancient Greeks, demonstrated with the word heliotropium, meaning sun turn.  

As spring builds momentum, I am again reminded to turn to light, to chart with optimism, to navigate with intention to the moving source of good.