New Year, New Words

signsign 2Despite being a blog about words, I promise not to use too many.

I like words because they express meaning, make a statement, can be memorized, remembered, written in calligraphy or bubble letters,  and communicate reality. Of course not only words express reality- so do our feelings, relationships, trips to loud waterfalls, quiet beaches, or majestic mountains, the whispers of the Holy Spirit, and the unforgiving weight of gravity, among so much else.

I guess what I want to affirm is that I have a great relationship with words, really enjoy them and prefer them to numbers. Give me words in a book, on a list, in a crossword puzzle, or a fortune cookie. I’ll take the words, leave the cookie.

Every now and then, we need some new words, lest our sentences sound stale (like a fortune cookie).

How about these this year? If not new to you, then props to you…your word bank is affluent.


Affable- characterized by ease and  friendliness , pleasantly easy to approach and to talk to; friendly; cordial; warmly polite


Serendipitous- occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

Magnanimous– upright, benevolent, considerate, forgiving, fair and generous

Implicit Bias  – an implicit bias is a mindset held somewhat subconsciously or thoughts implied, but not expressly stated.

My friend Hilary told me about a discussion she led high school kids through regarding race, justice, and equality just before Christmas break. She used a tool called the implicit bias quiz from the MTV Look Different campaign.  Their definitions:

  • Racial bias is a form of discrimination, often unconscious, that results in the different and unequal treatment of racial groups.Screenshot (49)
  • Gender bias is a form of discrimination that results in the unfair treatment or stereotyping of men and women because of their sex or gender.  These attitudes are based on the beliefs that women and men should act, dress or behave in particular ways.  Gender bias is mostly targeted at women but can negatively affect men as well.

The goal is awareness of what we hold deep inside and a movement to heal ourselves of the harm we did or could, cause.


The project offers a quiz  that tests your implicit bias and supplies, not judgement but proactive work in dealing with your result.

I took the quiz today and am signed up for a bias cleanse. (Conincidentally, the Crossfit Northland Clean Eating Challenge began this week…cleansing all around..mind and body!)

Constructive tension- I reread MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail today. The letter is brilliant and oozes humility and hope from a man and for a cause where hope or humility would have been hard, if not impossible, for me to conjure up.  On constructive tension he says,

I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettere

d realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

Indeed, tension makes us move. Movement is better than stagnation, ignorance, or inaction when justice is within reach. Constructive, non-violent tension can open up conversations, force the deeply held but perhaps flawed beliefs to be spoken, debated, discarded and forgiven.

Last words…

– Appreciation Rampage. I heard this at yoga and it’s just what it sounds like. Inside your head or aloud, say one thing you’re grateful for… then another…then another…

-Okimafire– (oak-i-mma-fire) a cool mist humidifier.

This is the word you need if you’re putting Oakley to bed these days. Please tuck him in and turn on his okimafire before you leave the room.


Let’s go…and as we go, share our words for hope, healing, help, and higher consciouness.

Enough said.


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