Among the definitions of the word Revolution, are these-
1. a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm
2. motion of any figure about a center or axis
My typical response to the old year leaving and the new year beginning, is to assess what I’ve accomplished in the old year and set new goals for the new year. For several years now, I’ve been skeptical of making goals…life, to put it simply, just doesn’t seem to allow the space, time, and energy to accomplish ALL that I’ve hoped for the waning year. I think this year I need a revolution, instead of another resolution.
When my center, or axis, is to ACCOMPLISH goals, then life can be very frustrating, disappointing, disillusioning, and perhaps even, embittering. There’s just so much about life that is unpredictable, unbidden, and confusing. Lists of things one wants to accomplish can get waylayed, sidelined, half-done, or forgotten. (See last year’s January 1st post!) Not to mention the maddening way that goals seem to even change and morph into other goals as a year goes on. I seem to be the queen of beginning a lofty goal, only to have it stymied by other, new goals I can’t wait to sink my teeth into. Take, for instance, my 100 Portraits Project. Begun, May 2010, with amazing clarity and fervor, yet within a month or so, my energy is redirected to other goals: more sketching, charcoals, and learning to play the ukulele. In and amongst ALL of this there are the fits and starts inevitable to a life full of work, family, and friends.
Yet…to entirely throw out making any goals, or writing down some hopes and dreams, may be evidence of a jaded, cynical outlook that needs revolutionizing as well. To merely say- to heck with it, I’ll just float through my year, with nary a hope or trajectory, feels a little too untethered for me. I like being anchored, rooted as it were to something, or Someone, worthy of being a “center”, or “axis”.
Is it possible then, to hold onto some goals, dreams, hopes for one’s life (artistically, personally, relationally, spiritually), doing so with passion and determination AND AT THE SAME TIME, holding onto them lightly enough that when they are challenged, redirected, or altogether abolished, one is able to embrace it, receive it with grace, and lay hold of the new direction with equal passion and fervor?
It is NOT to merely tell myself to be flexible, be spontaneous, be fluid and free from rigid goals and trajectories, allowing one set of goals to be replaced with another. I think the key to living passionately AND lightly lies at the center…what IS the axis about which my life revolves?
If the axis is “my goals”, however rigid or variable they may be, then I’m sure to be frustrated at best, despairing at worst. But if my axis is something solid, UNchanging, grander than mere goals, then I truly have an anchor, a tether, I can trust and depend on when the goals seem to be evaporating in my hands.
May this New Year, 2011, bring you a Revolution of sorts…a fundamental change in the way you think about or visualize something. May the New Year bring you closer to a “center” or “axis” in your life worth holding onto.
THAT’s what I’m hoping for, dreaming of, setting my face toward on this day, January 1, 2011.