Skip to content

Lisa’s OLW for 2017

Happy New Year to you, our Two Writing Teachers community. Beginning today, we co-authors will share our One Little Words for 2017. Somehow I ended up at the front of the line. “Breathe,” I said to myself last month, when I realized I would be the first to post.

This is my fourth time choosing a guiding word for a new year, and each year the process of settling on a word has been different for me. Until this year though, I’ve never struggled to find my word. Over the last few weeks, I’ve considered several, but none felt quite right. Two days ago I said to myself, “Just breathe. You are going to figure out your word.”  I was searching for a word that would work in good times and tricky ones, when I am by myself and with others, and when I am making tough decisions or enjoying easy moments. This year I wanted a centering, multi-purpose word. But that word was alluding me.

Yesterday morning, when I should have been focusing on my one little word,  I took a break and read this post  by Vicki Vinton. Vicki writes about listening to a keynote by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, in which Amy talked about having a “signature dish.” Vicki shares Amy’s criteria for a “signature dish,” and as I read those criteria, I realized they were similar to my parameters for my One Little Word. When I finished reading her words, I took a deep breath, poured myself a cup of coffee, and went in search of my computer. I had my word, and I was ready to write.

Breathe. When big moments happen, when life gets busy, or when it feels too quiet, in the classroom, at home, during meetings, when the workout feels impossible, during hard conversations or happy celebrations, when my children call home stressed about assignments or professors or roommate challenges, and when I have no idea what to write and am facing a deadline, I’m going to breathe.

Breathe. When I breathe I remember to pause, to listen, to take a moment, to observe more closely, to consider more carefully, to reflect, and  to experience more fully. Remembering to breathe with intention is a quiet but important practice. I think breathe is the centering, multi-purpose word that has been patiently waiting for me for a while now.

breathe

 

39 thoughts on “Lisa’s OLW for 2017 Leave a comment

  1. Love this word! Last year when I was shopping at Walmart, they had a Danskin shirt that had the word “Breathe” on it. I scooped it up and it’s a great reminder. Have you heard the song Breathe by Johnny Diaz? It’s a great one to help you remember. I’m looking forward to hearing how your word helps you all through the year. 🙂

    Like

  2. What a great word, Lisa! It’s so calming. It reminds me of my first-ever OLW which was ‘float.’ Very peaceful.

    Can’t wait to see where your word takes you this year. Happy New Year!

    Like

  3. It’s so interesting that “breathe” is your word. I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping this past year, a new problem for me, and lately I’ve been trying to calm down my mind by just sitting on the edge of the bed with my eyes closed and breathing, slowly. I think it helps. And I will keep your word in mind this year — we may all need it. My word for the year is “write,” which I want to concentrate on doing more consistently, and which I plan to do with the #52essays2017 challenge, writing one essay a week.

    Like

    • Happy New Year to you Michelle. I love that you finished off a notebook yesterday in a newly organized writing space. And I love your word rise! Great choice. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like

  4. Funny – breathe was a word that I have been using all fall as I re gain health after a heart attack. I was thinking of using that word as well since I use it as I mediate, when walking and when I do yoga. It seems to have found me. Thanks for the post – I will see how that settles today as I begin to write my Tuesday post. Happy New Year!

    Like

  5. Lisa, There’s almost a magic feeling when your #OLW settles in your brain. I’m working on my reveal for Tuesday’sslice as I also found inspiration in Vicki’s post!

    Breathe and what a great start to 2017. Happy New Year!

    Like

  6. Happy to see the return of Two Writing Teachers to my inbox this morning! Thx for the reference to the “signature dish” post, which also led me to an excellent Neil Gaiman thoughts about mistakes! Not sure what my OLW is yet, but I am now on the path to selecting one.

    Like

  7. A took my first yoga class over 15 years ago, and I am still often reminded of my big revelation in that class: that sometimes I am not even breathing! My mind is going so fast and in so many directions at times, and I am surprised I am not passing out more often from lack of oxygen. We use the Mind UP curriculum in my class, and teaching my students to breathe has been changing for all of us.

    Like

    • Thanks for reading and commenting Lisa. I’m not familiar with Mind Up, but just searched it and will read up. We use Responsive Classroom, and a few years ago instituted a school-wide practice we call “the peaceful pause.” We use it during transitions, and at other times, to help us all settle and regroup. We often focus on breath when we do it. Happy New Year to you.

      Like

  8. Breathe.
    A command.
    A nudge.
    A mantra that helps to resettle a soul in the making. How essential and kind. Isn’t language remarkable? One little word to guide a year.

    Like

  9. Happy New Year Lisa! I was so excited to see the email this morning and know that we are back from vacation…a new year feels so renewing! I loved your post and how your word was really with you all along. It’s a fantastic choice. Thanks for kicking off our OLW series…I go last, but can’t wait to read everyone’s words and all the TWT community members words too.

    Like

    • Happy New Year to you, Kathleen. Yes, I was thinking about how renewing January 1 is, not unlike the first day of school for us and our students. Can’t wait to read your post. Hope you are enjoying family time over the winter break.

      Like

  10. Breathe, pause, listen…my list keeps growing. All good words, good intentions. My word hasn’t found me yet. Thanks for sharing yours and being the brave first post.

    Like

    • I can relate to that feeling of a word not finding you. I grappled with several- renew, envision, share were three that I thought might be my word. Thanks for reading and commenting Margaret. Happy New Year to you.

      Like

    • I am a big fan of your blog Vicki.
      I’m looking forward to keeping my word with me, especially as a reminder to be present.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, and thanks especially for helping me get to my OLW. Happy New Year to you.

      Like

%d bloggers like this: