I've seen a number of posts lately identifying one word for focus in 2012. Unfortunately I can't remember who has written these posts because they wrote them right at the start of the year. Unlike those punctual people, I am two weeks into the year before I can figure out what 2012 means to me.
My word, now that I've determined it, is 'listen'. On Friday I had a surprisingly long conversation with a student that required a lot of waiting on my part. (At the end of the conversation my intern looked at me and said, "That is the most patient conversation I have ever heard.") By listening, really listening and not jumping into the silence, I was able to better understand the situation with this student.
This weekend I found myself doing something similar with my daughters. They don't require much silence, unlike my student, but really listening to them is not always easy for me.
Listen, it's a powerful word for me at the moment. I am trying to focus on listening to my students, my intern, my daughters, my husband, my co-workers, my family, my friends. I have a lot to learn from all of them and that requires listening. Listening is also a sign of how important they are to me.
I'm taking this word internally as well. I am halfway through a 28 day cleanse.* I am listening to my body better than I have ever done. Listening to it will help me make healthier choices about food, exercise, how I spend my time, and a whole host of choices I make.
Growing and improving as a person is a challenge and one that requires a lot of focus and reflection. I believe that listening will help me grow and improve emotionally, mentally, and physically.
The 28 day cleanse I am doing is focused on not eating foods that are overly processed or that often cause reactions in people. At the end of the 28 days you gradually add back in those things: dairy, gluten, wheat, alcohol, sugar, to see if your body reacts to them. I don't know if I really believe in that aspect. I did this as an extreme change in eating habits in the hopes that it would help me make healthier choices long term. No way to know that yet, but I have high hopes.
Image from By The Bridge on flickr