Thursday, December 14, 2017

Traveling with a Word for a Year: What's Yours for 2018?

Can You Guess My 2017 Word?

VISUAL IMAGE OF MY GUIDING WORD FOR 2017 (art by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujahs to all of us dear Sojourners! Do any of you feel the sense of time draining from the hour glass of 2017? I do! Seventeen more days until 2018!

Each year, as the new year approaches, I have a ritual. I like to choose a word that will inspire my choices and actions for the next 12 months. This ritual began as a prompt from community blogging challenges years ago. The blogging prompt would read something like this: 

By inviting a word to travel with you for a year -- and by going a step further and representing it visually -- I think that what you are really doing is giving yourself permission to explore something. It's a way of surrendering up to the universe something that you do not fully understand but intuitively know will yield something important and meaningful to you. It's a new lens through which to view your daily life, a private prayer, a fresh muscle to exercise, a secret reminder that there is so much more to you than meets the eye.

In this blog post today, I would to share my 2017 word with you. But I would like to offer it to you in "play" without revealing the exact word. The image at the top is the visual representation of my word for 2017. Just looking at it, what would you guess the word is?
SPEAKING HONORABLY. This close up is an image of me Hallelujah Truth. As you can witness, I created some intentions for myself!
Visually, I attempted to express a desire to speak honorably and to be trustworthy. My intentions also included about how I might "listen" to others and to myself.

Looking back on 2017 and how divided we all were here in the United States after the inauguration  of Donald Trump, my 2017 word also expressed a prayer for the exact opposite of division--I invited unity. I pledged to work for the sake of cohesion. I envisioned wholeness.
This closeup (above) represents the Feminine, Mother, God. She is the "hearthstone" of my way of being. Her radiating star headdress offers strength, energy, and light. One hand is resting on her heart, filled with unconditional love. The other hand reaching out to us all offers connection and nurturance.

My dear snake (on the left) promises continuity. There is hope in perpetual cycles. I fall down. I get back up. I fail at being honorable (does that ever happen to you?). I acknowledge my mistake, ask for forgiveness, and try to speak and act with decency and respect each next time. 

Have you guessed my word yet? Do any of my 2017 ambitions resonate with you? 

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! Soul Blog with me. I would like to know what word, idea, or image you are crafting to guide you in 2018. How will it make your life different from 2017?

I will be choosing my word for 2018 so stay tuned. 

Just remember that the world is waiting for you today! Something good is going to happen to you. Feel great! (words from Morris in the Morning, Clark Atlanta public radio)

Sunday, December 10, 2017


Greetings Dear Sojourners! 

It has been more than a year (November 10, 2017) since I blogged last. I have completed my year's grieving over the election of Donald Trump as our 45th president of the United States. I am acknowledging  my responsibility to have a voice in my community and to speak out in my own way.

Many of us--sensitive spirits and even not-so-sensitive spirits--have suffered from the negativity and harm we see being done to the people inhabiting our country, to our lands, and our world neighbors. Other than making phone calls, signing petitions, and marching, we experience a helplessness of being unable to effect any positive change. I have struggled with my own ineffectiveness.

In the Facebook Group, "The Daily Creative Practice," that I founded and administer, I have led "gratitude" practices, asking participants to create and express "the good." During the entire month of November 2017, we posted and commented on multiple aspects of our lives in which we found  and named the positive.
ROOTED IN THE HEART (all art by Hallelujah Truth)
In times of stress like now, I know that we need to keep looking for the GOOD, asking ourselves, "What good can come from this turmoil, this injustice, and ignorance?" I know that we can reach into this darkness and find the jewels in one another, this nurturing abundant planet, and in ourselves.

Let's dance, digging our feet into the rich soil of the Earth and our Souls. This image (posted above) that I created represents my desire for us to soothe our hearts at the root level, bathing our nervous system with love, patience, hope, insight, and yes--imagination. 

Through self care a healthy perspective becomes possible. This morning my brilliant husband Tony and I will attend "Dance Church" in our little town of Decatur. At the ballet studio, we will move our bodies in whatever ways they need to be moved with other Decaturites to random music that someone has prepared for us. It is a lovely connective community experience. At the end of 90 minutes of dance, we sit down on the floor together and name "what we are present to." 

I firmly believe that this kind of activity of "Dance Church" helps me administer to the seeds of hope in my heart and allows me to generate more hope. Like a seasoned gardener, I can grow hope. 

I have found that the act of "listening" to other people's despair and acknowledging their need to be heard is also a positive act. By listening and not judging allows me to connect in a deep way with people. I have a young friend from Iran, who I met with the day after the Supreme Court approved the travel ban, preventing people from eight countries (six of them Muslim) from traveling to the United States. She has not seen her parents for three years. Now, she cannot leave the U.S. to visit them, and they are prevented from entering our country to visit their daughter. I am so sorry. While listening to my friend's story, we both found strength and connection. Hope.
And I ask myself, "What about asking assistance from the Divine? I don't know what your spiritual beliefs are, but I house mine under one big spiritual tent. I envision (using my imagination) a relationship with the Great Mystery. Through this relationship, I experience inspiration that fuels my hope. Mostly in the morning, I move (dance?) in what I have learned to call "dancing prayer." Like wings, I lift my arms up and push my heart out into my imagined universe. It is in this act and this environment of hope that I express my prayers.
Each day, we experience disappointment, and a little bit of us dies. We are surrounded by the living and the dead. I know that is the perpetual cycle of life. I keep making decisions on how to grow life from what has fallen fallow. Perfect at this time of year. The days are short. The nights are long. And the Earth in Decatur, Georgia, is resting for the winter. 

I make the choice to see the good, to name the good, and to create HOPE for more good. That's Coffee with Hallelujah. Soul Blog with me and tell me what actions you are taking to create and express the Good/Hope.