Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Word Nerd Word of the Day – Double Header plus an announcement
Andy Jackson and I spent some time together at lunch. I was making slow progress through the lead-up to the campaign for his second term. Gosh, that is some dense reading! Anyway, I wasn't sure that I'd find a word for today's installment. And then I found two.
I've seen both of these words before, but I usually pass them by not quite sure what they mean, but able to get the context enough to move on. However, today I liked the common -animity suffix and thought it was time I got a better handle on their definitions. I'm glad I did. They are great words.
Equanimity: (ee-kwa-nim-uh-tee)** 1. Evenness of mind especially under stress 2. right disposition: balance.
Magnanimity: (mag-nuh-nim-uh-tee)** 1. loftiness of spirit enabling one to bear trouble calmly, to disdain meanness and revenge, and to make sacrifices for worthy ends.
Aren't these awesome words and definitions to which to aspire? After today's stress, feelings of overwhelm, and an unclear path for accomplishing everything that was on my to-do list, I can assure you that I did not possess nor exhibit equanimity or magnanimity. But bearing trouble calmly and striking a balance are qualities I aim for most days, which is an excellent segue to the announcement of my word for 2015.
I have had some help from caring friends who have raised my awareness about just how hard I am on myself. High standards and expectations of oneself are good in moderation, but I exhibit these to their extremes, so I am endeavoring in 2015 to be “free from harshness, sternness, or violence” toward myself. I have a great deal of room for improvement when it comes to being gentle with myself when I make a mistake, when I don't meet my own expectations, or don't accomplish what I think I should. It's kind of miserable and counterproductive. Gentle feels like the right word to meditate on as I celebrate and move through my fortieth year.
For example, my legs currently won't straighten during the forward bend portion of my daily sun salutations. I am constantly reminded how inflexible my hips and hamstrings are. I feel pain which a. hurts and b. frustrates me. Being gentle will help with this. Breathe in Gentle. Breathe out Gentle. Repeat. In time those long legs WILL straighten and my practice will improve. Gentle, Julie, Gentle.
What word resonates for you as 2015 unfolds?
**Please note these are my phonetic pronunciations. I haven't the energy to figure out how to make all the correct pronunciation marks. I'll get around to that another day.