I remember meeting a poet a number of years ago who said that the main reason she wrote was to learn something about herself.
I’ve come to believe that this is true. By putting ourselves “out there,” putting words on a page or speaking to a group, we can move ourselves to a finer understanding of “What do I care about, really?” “What do I believe, really?” “Who am I, really?”
I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when I was developing this website. Websites need domain names, and I found (not surprisingly) that all of the obvious choices are already taken. “Spiritualityhealth.com” gets you to Spirituality and Health magazine. Plain “Spirituality.com” redirects you to the Christian Science Journal and Sentinel. “Heartandsoul.com” provides health and wellness resources directed toward the African-American community. And so forth.
My solution began with making a list of words that I love:
Life well-lived (OK, phrases, too)
Best that is in you
Journey of transformation
Vital and sacred
These are words that resonate with me. “Resonant” words.
It was good to sit with this list and think about “Why these words?” I’m not sure that there is a single theme, and I suppose that a list of words can just have its own voice, without searching for additional words for elaboration. These words do, however, touch on qualities of innerness, depth, “core…” or perhaps the recognition and honoring the essence of what it means to be human.
This fits for me. I do occasional things directed toward peace and justice for all humankind… fully aware that I'm not going to change the larger world… but my particular passion is in working with people, one by one, to support and empower them to live well and fully and to give expression to the best that is in them.
The exercise didn’t end there. Having chosen to string together the words “goodness of heart” for the website (success…an available domain!), the question to sit with then was “Why these words, among these words?” You see my reflections about this in the home page for goodnessofheart.com.
So I’ll invite you to the same exercise. What words do you love? What words really resonate with you? Make a list and sit with it. What do these words say about who you are and what you cherish? Is there perhaps some insight or some new angle that comes to you, or perhaps a warm affirmation of what you already see?