The motivation of an intention coin

Every once in a while one or the other of my kids comes up with something so brilliant it amazes me.

My daughter just e-mailed me to let me know she’d created an “Intention coin,” and, curious about the name, I went to her Etsy site and read her description.

And I loved the concept. I love the power of taking something ephemeral and making it tangible, putting it in front of yourself, and using it to improve your life.

I also loved the post on her blog. Take a look at what she wrote and tell me what sort of intangible you want to make real this year. Put it into words that would fit on your Intention coin.

I’ll do a random drawing Tuesday, February 1st and buy an Intention coin (no, I don’t get ’em for free 😀 ) for each of five winners. And I’ll cover shipping, too.

As for me, TAXES are still ongoing. [shudder]

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.


369 comments… add one
  • MNiM Jan 26, 2011 @ 8:53

    I do something like this — not with coins, but I stick notes to myself on my monitor, words or phrases I’ve found and that help motivate me. “Skill to do comes of doing” or “The days are long, but the years are short”.

    “Discipline” is an old favorite.

  • Loviegirl Jan 26, 2011 @ 8:34

    My coin would say ‘Empty your hands, fill your heart.’

    Last year was traumatic and cathartic and I realized that I had all of this stuff that was weighing me down and my heart was empty. No dreams, no goals, just trudging along. My hands need to be empty so that I can grab the things that I need or the things that spark me. My heart needs to be full of all of the emotions that we humans thrive on. The phrase that I chose shifts the balance of power for me from the outside to the inside.

    Namaste!

  • Viviane Schroeder Jan 26, 2011 @ 7:50

    My word would be: “Smile”
    Life is not always kind and now that I have lost so many dear to me last year including my mother forever I will need to summon all my courage. Every day I get upset about what happens at work or the memories creep up on me I need someone to remind me to “smile” so I can keep going. Keep going so I can slowly make my dreams come true and move away from the pain and from being scared of living my dreams. Being sensible is not all what people make it out to be.

    Thanks for sharing your daughter’s idea this way. The coin idea really made me think what would bring me forward.

  • Dyce Jan 26, 2011 @ 6:47

    Mine would be ‘FINISH WHAT YOU START’.

    Because I don’t. And the thing about washing the dishes and raising a spawnling is that you really, *really* shouldn’t stop halfway!

  • kapush Jan 26, 2011 @ 4:58

    COURAGE TO LIVE

    This would be mine.

  • Elle Jan 26, 2011 @ 4:52

    “They breathe air”

    Humans: A reminder that all things aside, others are human, just like you. It is easy to write people off when they are different from you. It is better to accept that just as not everyone is like you, you are not like everybody else, & that is okay. Learn from them. You aren’t the only person on the Earth, & not everything is about you. In fact, most things aren’t.

    Animals: A reminder that they are alive, just like us, and were put here for a reason. Care for them, and never treat them with cruelty or abuse. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

    Plants: A reminder that they too are a living part of this Earth. Protect and Preserve them, as they too were put here for a very important reason.

  • Seleane Gray Jan 26, 2011 @ 2:35

    I’d have to say: “Dare To Fail.”

    My life started out rough, I was given a poor chance to live through the night when I was born. But I made it. Sixteen years later I developed a condition called endometreosis, a condition that messes with female organs. The condition was said to hit women on average of 25 at the youngest. But here I was, sixteen years of age, and again battling something I couldn’t change. It scared me, I was in pain constantly and because of that I had to drop out of high school and be home schooled. And I hated it.

    I was going to be leaving my friends, my life, the me I was only being to show the world: The REAL me. I pushed through things, battled when I had to. And even if I failed I got back up and put on my fighting gloves. But after all the pain and doctors and pills and tears I withdrew. The real me was hidden once again, alone in the darkness of myself.

    At this point I was also a new writer. I wrote for myself, enjoyed the act of creation above all else. Even if my day was the worst known to man I’d come home open up my spiral — I didn’t have a computer at the time — and wrote. I would get lost for hours, forgetting homework, dinner, sleep. Then it all changed.

    Now I’ve been writing for nine years, creating beautiful ideas but never finishing them. Not that I haven’t tried. But when I get too close to that feeling of freedom, when I look down the side of the cliff I shrink back in fear. Questions bombard me: What if I fail? What if I’m not good enough? What if no one likes this? Am I doing this wrong? Am I missing something? Why am I doing this when there are hundreds of other amazing writers out there?

    And once more I hate it.

    I’ve lost my sense of daring. Of the feeling you get when you look at the challenge ahead of you, know it is great, and yet you still charge at it not caring if you fall flat on your face or backside in front of thousands. I’m lost the wanting, the needing.

    The urge is still there, I love writing, creating, taking air and making it into this beautiful creature that lives inside me and on paper. Not caring what others think of the words I’ve wrote, or how they’ll enjoy it. I’ve lost the sense of wonder.

    So “Dare To Fail” will be a constant reminder that it’s okay to fall and hurt and cry and want to crawl under the covers to disappear for awhile, as long as you get back up.

  • Kimi Alexandre Jan 26, 2011 @ 2:30

    I thought I had put up a comment but going back I can’t find it, which is sad cause I thought it was kind of eloquent.

    If I could have a coin, I would want Kaizen. Apparently putting it on my arm wasn’t enough. I keep forgetting that pain forges us, makes us who we are. That change doesn’t just come in the sweet and fanciful butterfly variety

    Over the last several months my pain has come back, both mental and physical and it’s hard to remember that it will eventually end. That it’s making me stronger. Making me who I am, and making me have the experiences I need to get through life and my pursuits better and more effectively.

    So…that’s what mine would say. Like I said, the last one was better.

    Kimi

    • katinka Jan 26, 2011 @ 2:39

      I had the same problem Kim.. mine’s vanished too, but so have several others who were above me as well…

      • Kimi Alexandre Jan 26, 2011 @ 3:05

        It’s possible that there are just so many replies that it’s on a page and I didn’t see it 😛

  • Cindi Jan 26, 2011 @ 1:50

    “NO DAY BUT TODAY”

    I put off my writing to take care of the needs of my children and partner and family and clients and…you get the idea. This year, I realized that I was using everyone else as an excuse to avoid the finality of putting the words down on paper. The deaths of some close friends last year has left me with the reminder that I, too, am mortal and can only count on today to do that which matters.

    Loved the Talisman idea. I want to use it for my kids.

  • Loni Jan 26, 2011 @ 1:46

    Dream big. Fly high.

    I had forgotten to dream – no longer! This has been ringing in me since before the new year. Time for things to change in my life. This reminds me!

  • Laurie Faelan Jan 26, 2011 @ 1:09

    Focus. That’s what I would put on my intention coin. I need to find my self-discipline and focus on accomplishing my goals for my life – in all aspects of my life.

    I love these – what a fabulous idea!

  • Athena Jan 26, 2011 @ 0:52

    ONE STEP FORWARD.

    The road from idea to completion seems so long sometimes. The book in my head and the one on paper seem worlds apart. But all I have to do, right this minute, right this day, is take ONE STEP FORWARD.

  • sera Jan 25, 2011 @ 23:52

    ‘Matomete’

    This is a Japanese word– conjugated into the command form– that integrates all of my hopes and goals for the year 2011. I feel as though I’ve been sort of cruising along in my life for a few years now, dinking around with one thing after the other, yet not truly pursuing any of my goals, like finishing college, finishing my novel and start submitting to publishers, get my life back together, clean my house, blast it. lol I’ve done just enough (or almost enough) and that’s not good enough for me anymore.

    I want to integrate my hopes and dreams into reality, I want to finish my novel, I want to put my life in order, and I want to establish the base of my future today.

    Matomete!

  • Micole Jan 25, 2011 @ 23:31

    Make it happen now, not tomorrow. That has been my motto for the new year.

    Thanks

    Micole

  • Kaitlin Jan 25, 2011 @ 23:05

    “Not Writing Is Worse”
    This year, I’m determined to press on through the times when writing gets hard, and I’m determined not to use the realities of the rest of my life–the day job, the friends, the family–as my excuse for not doing what I love.

    • MNiM Jan 26, 2011 @ 8:38

      I like that. “Not writing is worse”. That’s a good one.

  • Kimberley Jan 25, 2011 @ 22:52

    “Believe in me” Because I have trouble believing in myself. I’m living with two chronic illnesses, one old and one brand new, and I beat up on myself when I can’t do what other writers are doing. If I need 12 hours sleep in order to function, then that’s what I need. I need to remind myself that there are 12 hours left in a day that I could be putting to good use. It doesn’t matter how slow I go, so long as I get there.

    • Kristie Jan 27, 2011 @ 6:18

      I understand what you are going through. I also have several chronic illnesses that I am dealing with, which make me feel less, or rather, like I should be doing more, even when I know I am doing my best. Keep believing. You will get there.

  • JWD Jan 25, 2011 @ 22:32

    Wow, this thread exploded!

  • Valerie K Jan 25, 2011 @ 22:02

    “And Yet, The Work Gets Done.” It’s a new mantra for me, and is proving to be true. I admit it’s not nearly as bootstrapping and self-actualizing as “And Yet, I Do the Work” but often “I” get in the way. “I” am having the meltdown over menopause or world events or the cat not using the litterbox again, and using it as an excuse not to write. We have to send “I” to sit in the corner while the muse does the writing. And for the moment, this is working out for us just fine. A close second would be, “I Have the Best Job in the World,” of which I frequently need reminding….Such a brilliant idea, by the way. I hope she sells a lot of them.

  • Kathleen Jan 25, 2011 @ 21:45

    I absolutely love this idea!! There are infinite sayings that serve as inspiration to me. What to chose, what to chose… With consideration to my substandard character traits, I’d want to have “Carpe diem and be spunky. Now.” engraved in the talisman.

  • Amanda Jan 25, 2011 @ 21:43

    I would put “I did it” to remind myself that I have come so far and can still go farther. I have (in no particular order and these are all throughtout my life) quit smoking, drinking, raised 2 pretty amazing kids and lost almost 50 lbs. I would use this to keep motivated to work on the next goal – finishing my novel, of course. 🙂

  • Evelyn Marentette Jan 25, 2011 @ 21:31

    Believe in myself. I think I love me.

  • Amy Sue Jan 25, 2011 @ 21:26

    “Be Fearless” would be my words for this year. So often, in writing and in life, I have let my own insecurities prevent me from doing my best work or being who I am meant to be. This year, my desire is to push past my fears and step outside of my comfort zone more often. I am ready to do GREAT things, not just things I’m good at or that are familiar.

  • Katie Mueller Jan 25, 2011 @ 21:08

    RESULTS!
    Because many times we (hmph, I mean “I”) piddle around too much!

  • Midknyt Jan 25, 2011 @ 21:08

    I would go with:

    Live Each Day as if your Last.

    My mom just got great news – she does NOT have cancer for the third time, but it was iffy, again. She somehow managed to scrape by with only a 9% chance of survival last time, and I’m glad she doesn’t have to try to beat amazing odds again.

    I think that, whether you have something where the odds are not in your favor or you know you’re going to die in the near future, like cancer, or if you’re life is unexpectedly changed, like bing shot while trying to meet your state representative, you should really take advantage of what time you’ve got.

    I want to remember to stop worrying about stupid things and appreciate what’s around me, and not just in a stark life-or-death view. Instead of complaining about/talking myself out of going for a run in the morning, I should appreciate that I have that opportunity to run at this point in my life, that I have both of my legs and they function on my own accord. Rather than wallow in self pity over being unemployed again, rejoice in that I’ve found what I love to do, and even if it is usually a seasonal field, that for half of the year I love my job. Pretty much things so that if I were to die or have my life seriously altered tomorrow, my first thoughts wouldn’t being with “I should have ___ while I could.”

  • Alyce Bilodeau Jan 25, 2011 @ 20:51

    My coin would say “never forget.”

    I have a terrible memory – but that’s not what I’m afraid of losing. I’m not afraid of losing the moments that made me happy or sad in the past. I’m afraid of forgetting to laugh in the moment, and forgetting to be happy forever. To never forget means to be always there. To always have my eyes and heart wide open. It’s backwards logic, but it works for me.

  • Texanne Jan 25, 2011 @ 20:02

    Love the comment about “Just keep swimming.” That kind of sums it all up.

  • Nicola Jan 25, 2011 @ 19:41

    Mine would say ‘create yourself’. I had a light bulb moment last year when I was just wandering aimlessly around a gift shop and I saw a mug which had the words ‘You don’t find yourself, you create yourself.’ Those words really sparked something within me (although I thought maybe they needed a semi-colon!) I thought about how much time I spent wishing I was someone better, someone who did more and was more. And then I realised how little time I spent pursuing my heart’s dreams and how ridiculous that was. How did I ever expect to be the person I wanted to be if I didn’t live my life with intention, if I didn’t create that person?

    Anyway, for the record, I think the intention coin is a brilliant idea – a physical, ever-present but subtle reminder (easier to carry around than a gaudy mug!) that things don’t just fall out of the sky. You have to deliberately choose what you want in life and then you have to work at it.

  • Davidh Digman Jan 25, 2011 @ 19:31

    I spend so much time rushing about writing, teaching and existing that I never get to take much time out to just be me. It seems sometimes I forget who and what I am.

    One of my favourite quotes is from Leo Tolstoy, who said “If you want to be happy, be.”

    So if I am the happy recipient of a talisman, I want it to read “Be…”

  • R.D. Allen Jan 25, 2011 @ 19:21

    This is such a beautiful concept! It really made me think about what I considered important, and I had a bit of trouble thinking about what I would put if I could get one. Phrases like “Apathy is dangerous”, “Living is hoping”, “Complicated questions, simple answers”, and “Love does not forget” ran through my head, inspired by great people with great words. But in the end, I decided that this year — and the years after — should be represented by only one thing:

    “Take the first step in faith.”

    I found this quote following To Write Love On Her Arms on FaceBook, something that has become closer to my heart in recent years. It’s part of a full quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: ?”Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just the first step.” I absolutely LOVE this idea, because it summarizes the chances I’ve taken and the ones I’m going to have to make in order to be successful like I want to. And in essence, the choices we all must face.

  • Jasmine Jan 25, 2011 @ 19:16

    Mine? I think a simple “be”.

    I want to be myself this year. I’ve spent a long time trying to conform to others’ standards, and as a result I have no idea who I am. My goal is to discover it and revel in it. Already, I’ve made so many leaps and bounds toward this – I’ve come out of my shell more, and I’ve begun to be honest with others and myself. I still have so far to go, though. This one simple word would do two things: Remind me to be myself, be happy, be willing to change, and to let things play out as they should – “Let it Be”, as it were.

  • Kimberly Jan 25, 2011 @ 19:06

    ‘Success – It’s Worth the Work’
    Mine would say this for all the times I feel like I should just stop trying, for all the times I want to take a day and not do work, for all the times I doubt myself and think that I can’t handle all the pressure I put on myself. I’ve been taking college classes since I was 12, and now, at age 14, I am taking the equivalent of advanced high school senior English (at the college level), college trigonometry, several other college classes (11 credits total, mostly online classes), a full set of high school classes (7), plus I am in 4 clubs at my high school, a community youth volunteering group, a church youth group, a weekly church class, 4 musical groups, and I am the editor of my school’s yearbook, all while maintaining a 4.0 in both high school and college. Many people think that this is way too much, and frankly, it sounds like a lot all spelled out, but I balance it well. This is what I want to do, not what my parents want me to do. I’m sick of teenagers who sit around thinking that life will be handed to then on a plate, without any work. So, this is why my Intention Coin would say ‘Success – It’s Worth the Work’, to keep me motivated and remind me of my goals.

  • Michael Van Wagner Jan 25, 2011 @ 18:58

    “Agape the World.” Agape is one of the Greek words for love, which roughly translates to unconditional love. This is my personal reminder to not live my life for myself, but for others. My goal for this year, and the rest of my life, is to not spend all my efforts on furthering myself when I have an opportunity to truly help others. Whether it’s giving up my parking space at the mall or helping my neighbors pay their bills (if I have the money to help). I realize it’s kind of a crazy goal, but I’m just tired of seeing others barely getting by when I’m living in excess.

  • Hannah C. Jan 25, 2011 @ 18:55

    That’s a tough one, but I think I’d have to say, “Just Say It”. I have always been shy, and as much as I’ve come out of my shell in these past few years (largely thanks to the awesome friends I’ve made), I’m still hesitant about even things as simple as asking the teacher for help. I don’t expect to ever be a bold, live-life-out-loud extrovert, but I know I need to open up more. I just don’t have the guts to tell him how I really feel.

    • Jessica Jan 26, 2011 @ 12:09

      Wonderful words of widom, dear. I was the same way as you, and found that my shyness actually paid off in some situations. We worked together and he (my current fiance) caught me stealing glances his way. Got interested in the girl that barely talked and added me on facebook. Our relationship bloomed through that and texts. It was love at first sight, and sometimes it isn’t words at all that draw two people together. But the unsaid feelings that come out once you’re on a deeper more meaningful level with each other.
      Good luck. Shells are hard to live in, I know I’m right there next to you. Try taking an online class or two. It’s anonymous, so asking for help or voicing your opinion is much easier and less embarrassing. Another life saver for me :]

  • MaryJo Schneider Jan 25, 2011 @ 18:42

    Mine would be shared with my friend and writing partner, Múa. It would read: “It is written!” We have known one another since 1994 when I attended a top-notch woman’s college in pursuit of my Bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing. At the time, I was 44, and Múa was 18 and part of the Upward Bound program. The goal of this program was “to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of post secondary education.” It was very serendipitous (the way we became partners in what we later learned was a groundbreaking class called Writing in Context: Social Action and the Academic Essay). Our professor designed it as a project-based learning class, which would allow the UB students to be immersed in a real-world college situation. At the time Múa, a senior in high school, told me he’d do the coursework, but his goal was to write his college entrance essay, which he did quite successfully. Now a man, he has since graduated from Brown AND Johns Hopkins. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

    Back in the day in the class, we read essays on multiple topics and by varied writers, discussed them in class, wrote journal entries about our lives and the readings, wrote drafts of essays, revised each of them twice, created portfolios, and ended the semester with a public reading. It was really one of the most profound experiences I had back then, and Múa and I have been friends ever since. In July, he sent me a text message saying he’d had a dream that we were writing together and did I think it might be a sign. Hmmm; let’s see . . . YES! So we got all set up with video cam and Google e-mail and docs, and now we’re writing on a regular basis. We don’t quite know where the work will take us (book? screenplay?) Whatever it turns into, the thing that is most amazing is the many hours we spend talking about life and all the ins and outs of being humans. Five hours or more can go by without our notice. It never seems like that much time has passed. This is the power of writing (and the curse). We’re also spoiled for pleasure reading and movie watching (although this part actually has become pleasurable); everything we read and every movie we see is analyzed by the elements of story. We get so excited about it, that we can hardly contain ourselves. So, my intention is actually OUR intention–“It IS written!”

  • Tracy Jan 25, 2011 @ 18:31

    “It’s safe to want”.

    I’ve realised a theme of my life is damping down my wanting and desires because they don’t feel safe. Or possible to achieve, and disappointment hurts so much. And I fully intend to change that. I already made this decision, and then I read your e-mail guiding me here. Serendipity?

  • Zoe Farris Jan 25, 2011 @ 18:24

    Help, ho do I change status so I am not being flooded by so many emails?

    • Texanne Jan 25, 2011 @ 20:00

      Zoe–at the bottom of the emails you receive, there’s a long line of blue. That’s the link you use to stop getting the emails. Today just happens to be very busy, and I don’t think you would be receiving notices of all the comments if you hadn’t requested them. I’m finding the comments kind of exciting, but there sure are a lot of them! You’re right about that.

  • Emma Jan 25, 2011 @ 17:50

    Mine would be “He Wins. Always.” Heartbreak inspired me to write my first book. Love inspired me to finish it. And the same guy is still holding me captive. See what writing does?

  • Kristy Jan 25, 2011 @ 17:46

    Mine is “Spirit Flow”. I’ve asked God this year to keep me in the flow of the spirit, which is an idea that comes from a book called ‘The Me I Want to Be’ and means something akin to keeping me on the the path meant for me to become the unique person I was created to be. Interestingly, the more I pray for that, the more I write. 🙂

  • Willie Dickerson Jan 25, 2011 @ 17:34

    “Shining Heart Flings Open Doors” says my Talisman and my intention for this year. I am writing, playing music, spending this moment, from my heart and it shines, doors fling open…

    Willie

  • Kim Jan 25, 2011 @ 17:24

    “Live in Passion”

    It’s one thing to live -with- passion, but I feel like living -in- passion is being completely in the moment and aware. I don’t want it to be an external concept or some ideology that is somewhere ephemeral or beyond reach — I want it to be here, now, part of me, and part of every choice I make and every word I write.

    I have taken to the letter writing meme and find that it is passionate for me to write and share with others. A very simple life need not be grey and boring. A very simple life with passion is always vibrant and full of adventure — even though I don’t go jumping off cliffs or skydiving. Passion is in taking notes, in writing with my pen, in typing out the world as I see. And passion is in reaching my goals and waking up each morning happy to be alive.

    Yet passion is sometimes easy to forget. Some days I wake up, roll over, hit that alarm clock, grumble, hate, growl at the visage in my mirror, knock over my tea, scream at slow cars, hit red lights, and tune out to the world around me except for my troubles. That’s why I would love to have this coin because I know the perfect spot to put it before I go to sleep — right on that bedside alarm clock above the button. I know where to keep it during the day to remind me with the weight of a coin and with the warmth of a loved object that the world is a passionate place and I am a passionate person. That no matter the petty squabbles, I can be and do and experience and love. There is passion in everyday and I want to always be reminded of it.

  • Rachel Hobbs Jan 25, 2011 @ 17:17

    “Put that in your book!”

    It’s a quote from Dances with Wolves where the stage coach driver and guide, who has pretty disgusting habits and characteristics, releases uh, “pressure” and tells the Lieutentant to “Put that in your book! Hahahahahah!”
    It reminds me of how rediculous writing a book of fiction can seem to those around me and not to take myself too seriously in the process. It also reminds me that inspiration can come from anyone and anywhere and to keep my eyes open, and also to be ready to laugh when it eventually knocks on my door.

  • Samantha Holloway Jan 25, 2011 @ 17:12

    I’d have “Finish that book!” if I could have that many letters. Or “write more” if not. I finally went back to school, and I started a new novel that will be my thesis (I was so lucky to find a program that lets me write genre fiction), and now I just have to get myself to actually do it. To write all the time like I used to when I didn’t have anything else drawing away my attention– like I did before I had to have a day job and pay bills. A physical reminder of that would be all sorts of useful and awesome!

    ~:) Samantha Holloway

  • Mare Jan 25, 2011 @ 17:03

    The intention coin and blog is brilliant! There are so many great ideas for coins listed here. I love to tell stories of the interesting people that I have met and the adventures that we have shared in this wonderful thing called life. For years, friends and family have told me that I should write a book or short stories based on my misadventures. So, my coin for this year of 2011 would say, “tell the story.”

  • Lisa Able Jan 25, 2011 @ 17:02

    “I can do this.” That’s what I would have to say for me. I’m a serious procrastinator, always putting things off until the extreme last minute, basically the moment everything needs to be turned in. But I’ve found that if I really put myself to it, before I’m even told to do it, it turns out perfect-or as close to it as possible-even better than I had ever dreamed possible. Whenever I say those four simple words to myself, I get really motivated and in the end, it always pays off to just believe.

  • Kat Jan 25, 2011 @ 16:55

    I would have to use “We laugh,” which is wonderfully positive in it’s own right.

    But to fully understand it, you have to know the whole quote:

    “We spend our lives bound by the laws of time and space. But in moments of vision, and of magic, space disappears, and time stands still. We artists are visionaries, magicians, outlaws of time and space. We scoff at the rules of polite society. We flout the laws of physics.

    And we laugh!”
    –unknown

    This is my favorite quote. It speaks to me of the heady act of creation, where we become miniature gods in our own right, sweating over the worlds we create, falling in love with characters who’s lives we control, and weaving a thing of beauty and wonder out of literal thin air. These ideas, the worlds, they weren’t there before we conceived them. Had we never written them down, there is an entire world of people who–all unknowing–would be the poorer for never having read them. Imagine a world without Tolkien, or Narnia. It’s just an idea, a story, and yet it is so much more than that as well.

    The same goes for any art. Comics and drawings, with their windows into another world, the world glimpsed through the mind of the artist themselves (imagine a world without Dali, Escher, Van Gogh, O’Keefe; a world without Superman or Archie). Music, with the power to reach out and move people (a world without Chopin or the Beatles). Dancers (a world without Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers), actors (just pick one), and the list goes on. We get down on art, strip it from our schools and our lives, push it behind “more important” responsibilities, and it becomes so easy to forget how NECESSARY and empowering it really is.

    And the nice thing about “We laugh” is it has other layers of meaning. “Don’t stress,” “life is joy,” “find the good things,” all of this is also contained in the phrase, which is good for a stressoholic like me. I need the reminder not to focus so narrowly on my problems that I cannot see past them.

    And the final layer–“We laugh” is dedicated to a budding but very serious relationship, one where that is indeed what we do. Two negative people who hate the world, who just happened to stumble across one another (and the times we almost missed each other are multitude) and suddenly, all we do is laugh. I have never had this much fun with anyone before. We have a 27000 mile obstacle in our way, and every time we laugh together it seems like it can be overcome.

    So yes, just two simple words to remind me to be creative, seize my own inner power and make room in my life for the “frivolous,” to ease back on the stress, to never be afraid to laugh in the face of overwhelming odds, and to cherish the positive things and people in my life. With, admittedly, maybe just the hint of a prayer that a budding good will blossom into a lifelong blessing, or that the laughter I build there will spill into every aspect of my life. Not too bad for two little words.

    • Liz Catlin Jan 25, 2011 @ 17:09

      I loved loved “We laugh”. That touched my heart deeply; not too many things do that anymore. Thank you.

      • Emma Claire Jan 27, 2011 @ 8:22

        I could relate to your comments about 2 serious people meeting and ending up laughing. Happened to me, too! Now life is FUN.

  • Liz Catlin Jan 25, 2011 @ 16:52

    “It’s About Me Now” This year I pledged to myself that I would selfishly take a year and make it completely about me. I know that sounds horrible, especially coming from a wife, mother and grandmother, but for so long THAT is exactlly all I have been known for; or at least from my perspective. Over the last 3 years my life has included my last child leaving home (finally) becoming a grandmother, finding out my marriage of 25 years wasn’t all I thought it was, and coming to gripes with the fact I had no idea who I really was outside of the afore mentioned wife, mother, etc…Of course I have always had dreams, but somehow along the way allowed myself to jump onto the performance treadmill at full speed and I quickly lost sight of who I was created to be; forgot my talents and giftings, and settled for being what everyone needed me to be; everyone but me. I found myself feeling insignificant and used up. But after a long talk with several wise women, and some intense soul searching, I have decided it is MY time and who cares if others think it’s selfish? I have given all I have to give to others and now I want to make a difference FOR ME! It’s been a long time coming…

  • Daniel Edward Sapp Jan 25, 2011 @ 16:32

    “Never quit! You may fail, you may fall, you may doubt and you will both love and hate and despise and admire, but remember, you may also triumph. Never turn against those who have been with you throughout, loved you, supported you in even the smallest things, never hurt others simply because they disagree, for these are your best advisors and often your secret friends, but leave that all behind if it keeps you from one simple thing…never quit.”

    (advice from a father to his son) excerpt from SEAS OF NIGHT (scifi)

    Sorry I used an excerpt, but really, I was writing those words to myself, to keep motivated. I have ten stories in the works, most novels and novellas, and I find that if I get stuck on one story, I move to another and often the words flow there, then I get stuck there, and the process repeats. Some would say this is not very efficient, but it is my process, and it works for me.

    ~Daniel

  • Alex Hughes Jan 25, 2011 @ 16:23

    I would say this is the year for me as a writer to go “All In.” No more excuses, no more stressing, just commit wholeheartedly to making my writing and my career the best it can possibly be. No holding back – write what is in me without apology. No “writer’s block” excuses – this is my future, and this is my year to make it mine.

  • KK Skipper Jan 25, 2011 @ 16:12

    Such a cool idea – and the coins are beautiful! Mine would say “never give up.” Determination is something I used to be very good at, but a struggle with depression took it away. I’m trying to get it back and could always stand to be reminded of that.

  • Katherine B. Jan 25, 2011 @ 16:12

    I’d want my words to be TO DARE. Dare to do what I love, and dare to be different. Dare myself to finish my novel. It has a lot of meaning for me.

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