"I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am."
--- Sylvia Plath
At this point in the year, I start looking back to the beginning . . . to make sure I'm on track to do what I set out to do with my year (or to let things just go, because things change y'know?). It's always interesting to review my personal goals and intentions to see how . . . on track I was back in January.
This month, I focused on the beginnings of the "journey" with my word for the year . . . root.
When I chose this word back in January, I was feeling battered . . . after going with the flow of 2020. (Flow was my previous word.) I was feeling the need to dig down into my own roots -- to take a look at what grounds me, and to build myself (back) up for whatever might come . . . next. I had some ideas about things I might explore as the year unfolded (little activities and "exercises" I wanted to try), and I planned to follow along with Ali Edwards' One Little Word prompts when they inspired me (because they don't always).
Overall, I've been very much on track with my "root plans" for the year, and I've enjoyed some of the unexpected side roads I've explored as well. But there are still two questions that keep popping up in my journal:
- What grounds me?
- I am rooted in . . .
I have been [pick one: ruminating about, exploring, skirting-around-the-edges-of] these questions all year. But I think that, for the remainder of the year, I want to be more intentional about addressing them. I've long wanted to compose my own "personal manifesto." In fact, that's been a goal I've ignored - and let go of - for years now. But I think . . . it's time. It seems like a perfect culminating activity for my root year.
[Let's have a little sidebar conversation about manifestos here for a second. Because what IS a "manifesto" exactly? Well. . . according to our friends at Merriam-Webster, a manifesto is "a written statement that describes the policies, goals, and opinions of a person or group." That's sounds a little . . . bigger . . . than what I want to do, which is more a setting down in writing of my personal intentions, motives, and views. Basically, I want to create a statement for myself that expresses what grounds me, what I am rooted in -- more a "This I Believe" kind of thing.]
So, anyway. I feel ready to finally tackle this. I think I'm finally . . . rooted enough. . . to give it a try.
Or, at least, to give it a go.
And that's where I am with my word for the year, here at the end of September.
How about you? If you chose a word this year, where are you headed with it . . . in this last quarter of 2021?
If you're interested in learning more about personal manifestos, begin here with the Holstee Manifesto. I've wanted to create one for myself since first reading it, back in 2011.
And - just for fun - here are a few recent pages from my root journal.