Wednesday, December 01, 2010

December 1: A Can of Doing

November was National Novel Writing Month, but you knew that because I've probably talked about that enough for a lifetime over here. But there were a lot of other National Creative Stuff Month projects in November, like National Blog Every Single Friggin Day Month, Make Art Everyday Month and Do Creative Shit Everyday Month. (I made that last one up, because I am creative.) And since I didn't get to participate in any of the other Do This Everyday Projects last month, I thought I'd sign up for this cool December one that the lovely Kristen brought to my attention.

Reverb 10 is an online project, or here, just let them tell you, they say it better anyway: "Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. With Reverb 10, we'll do both."

Reverb 10 pulls together 31 authors who each write a creative prompt for one day in December. Then I get to take that prompt and you know, reflect and manifest all over my blog. Somehow I made that sound dirty.  But what does reflect and manifest even mean? I'm not sure yet.  I know how to reflect. I'm comfortable with that term. I tend towards the overly analytical or hyper self aware, so "reflecting" is just a more new agey polite way to say that. I like reflecting, navel gazing, narcissistically reviewing my own follies and success. It's fun. And I can't help it, that's simply how I'm wired. But the manifesting part of Reverb is the part that I have to talk myself into a bit.

What does that word mean? Is this like the super popular, but totally goofy The Secret method? Like little kids wishing for certain fabulous toys at Christmas, if I think about it enough it will happen? Put out good energy and good vibrations? Are the Beach Boys somehow involved in this manifesting? Maybe I'm too pragmatic to completely believe this manifesting stuff. But you know what I do believe in? I believe that if I have something I want to accomplish, set my mind to it, and put all my resources towards that goal, then I can probably make it happen. Part of my hang up with the word "manifest" is that I picture a lot of people gridlocked, statically sitting around thinking and dreaming and talking and reading self help books and listening to motivational CD's and dreaming some more, but paralyzed into inaction by their fear and incapacitating hope that there is some magical short cut to reaching their goal.  I don't think you can simply sit on your couch wishing for a different life. That's not to say that good planning, education, research, mentoring, support or therapy can't be life changing, it can be. But it deeply frustrates me when people get trapped in this self help cycle. Trapped, no action, no movement, stuck in this fear, afraid of the work it takes to make changes. I've been there too. I'm still there some days. The word manifesting seems tied to that undermining fear for me. But that's just me. I'm certain that the bright creative types over at Reverb 10 don't see "manifest" that way. I'm going to work on my aversion to that word.  So I'm going to manifest the hell out of 2011. And try to get over the slightly awkward feeling I have when I use the word. So let's dive on into the reflecting and manifesting for today. Here's today's prompt from author Gwen Bell:

December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
For me, 2010 is best described by the word "doing." For some reason I hear Ed Harris' voice in the Home Depot ad telling me to "open a can of doing." That commercial irritates me, but I like Ed Harris and somehow I can picture the can of doing. No, I'm not talking about painting my house or installing a new deck, two things I actually need to do, but I kind of opened my own can of doing this year. I wrote a life list in March and I've been slowly, successfully and happily working on doing a lot of the things I've dreamt about for a long time. I wrote half of a novel last month, I'm working toward completing four continuing education classes, I've gone to more concerts and events this year, I've said yes more, done more volunteer work, cooked and entertained more, baked and baked and baked at least one new recipe a month, done some scary things like taking nude pictures and trying to make healthier diet and exercise choices (yes, I paired those together intentionally) and blogging. This was my first full year of blogging and I love it. I'm doing what I want. I'm doing things that make me happy and challenge me and push me. 

But there's one big thing, probably the most challenging and terrifying thing , #3 on my list that I haven't done yet. I would like to have a child in 2011 or at least start growing one in 2011. This leads me to my one word for 2011 and that's "family." So I'm putting that out there into the universe, I want a kid. So enough reflecting, time to get back to some more doing.

My favorite part of this whole Reverb 10 project is hearing other people's stories, so what are your 2010 and 2011 words? And am I the only one who thinks manifest sounds a little dippy?


Kristendom said...

I love it! Doing could not be more accurate for your 2010. And I'm keeping my fingers (and toes and arms, but not legs :-) crossed for your 2011 word. Glad to be manifesting with you!

Joe said...

I'm happy to be right there manifesting along with ya!

Anonymous said...

Woo Hoo! 2011 sounds like it is going to be an amazing year! I chime in with Kristen. Everything except the legs are crossed.