My one word/focus for 2011: SOUL

RT @boxofcrayons: Did you pick your one word/focus for 2011 yet?

One word to aspire to in 2011?

That’s a great question! I already blogged about the fact that I need to write my sentence. Finding a word will probably entail even more soul searching. Wait! I think I just said it. SOUL. OOoh yeah. That’s definitely it.

Soul the Wordle. Click the pic to see it bigger.
Wordle: Soul
noun \ˈsōl\
Definition of SOUL (I have highlighted my personal connections to this word).
: the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life
a : the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe

b capitalized Christian Science : god 1b
: a person’s total self
a : an active or essential part

b: a moving spirit : leader
a : the moral and emotional nature of human beings b : the quality that arouses emotion and sentiment c : spiritual or moral force : fervor
: person 
: personification
a : a strong positive feeling (as of intense sensitivity and emotional fervor) conveyed especially by black American performers b : negritude c : soul music d : soul food e : soul brother
See soul defined for English-language learners »
Examples of SOUL

1. the souls of the dead
2. He could not escape the guilt that he felt in the inner recesses of his soul.
3. Some poor soul was asking for handouts on the street.
4. a village of barely a hundred souls

Origin of SOUL
Middle English soule, from Old English sāwol; akin to Old High German sēula soul
First Known Use: before 12th century
Related to SOUL
Synonyms: psyche, spirit

So why did I pick this word?

Obviously it came to me as I was typing. But there are a few reasons I picked Soul. I want to move through Life this year with Purpose and do it with SOUL. Do things with my “total self” and come from a place that is an “active and essential part” of who I am. Do things with fervor so others will know why I’m doing what I’m doing.

Without going all into it, I have been doing my job to the best of my ability for 5 years now at BU. Honestly, I rarely do anything that doesn’t come from all of me…but many times I feel punished when I do. At times punished by the students for putting my trust in their abilities or accountability. Punished for the hours I have to spend away from my daughter to attend Late Nite events and campus-wide events every weekend. Punished when I eat bad and don’t get enough exercise and don’t have time to look at the big picture. Punished for doing such an awesome job that I make doing two jobs look easy.

I want to take all this and wrap it in a blanket of remembrance of SOUL. Why I do what I do. Why these programs are important. Why I chose to go into Student Affairs. Why it’s important to teach students the ways to act and to be responsible. What I want to teach my daughter about doing something you love even when it challenges you. I just need to work on the eating better and exercise part even harder. *Sigh*

What I need to make this happen (I don’t do much in life without a plan) is to be motivated and to keep myself motivated. You’ll see that I’m making it one of the key categories of this blog. I hope to cover a number of areas that are central to what I do and what I know because again – if I do everything whole-heartedly with SOUL then if it’s something I know and love I want to share it.

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