Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

February 15, 2008

Weekend Creative : February #3 : Revisiting One Little Word

yoga self portrait : camera sitting on floor using the timer

Hello mid-February, what have you done with my word?

This morning I decided to go looking for it again. We were doing nicely, my word + I, for the first month or so and then things (also known as the crazy business of life) got in the way.

Last year my word was peace. What I liked about that word was that it lived just beneath the surface and it was perfectly comfortable there. I could whisper it to center myself or simply call it up in my mind when I needed a reminder to take a deeper breath or to take a step back from a situation. It simply existed within me – which was what I really needed at that point in time.

This year my word (vitality) requires more action. I want it to require more action. I want it to get me into the gym each morning after I drop Simon off at school. I want it to guide me in making healthy choices for myself. I think I need something a bit louder than a whisper this year. I think I literally need to say my word out loud when I need that push to take action.

Which brings me to Seinfeld.

Remember back in the day on Seinfeld when George’s Dad would say/yell out "SERENITY NOW" when he gets frustrated in an effort to keep his blood pressure down?

So why not "VITALITY NOW." And seriously, this sort of life action needs some humor as a partner to get me to change my ways.

The only person who can make this happen for myself is me. One choice at a time. One day at a time.

Your creative prompt this weekend is to check-in with your own word. (Don’t have one yet? Read here for more info on the one little word concept.) Where does your word live? Is it a beneath-the-surface or in-your-face sort of word? What are you doing to actively reflect on your word if yours is one that needs something a little bit more participation? Or maybe your word is simply percolating which may be just the perfect place for it to be at this time. Either way, take a bit of time this weekend for a mid-February date with your word.

(You can see the entire Serenity Now episode here.)


  • 1.
    Dedra Long said…

    Ali, you inspire so many people in so many different ways….Through the years I have learned to look at my life in many capacities….You always know how to put a unqiue “spin” on everyday life….

  • 2.
    Lauren Z said…

    That is probably my fave episode of all :)
    Glad to have you back from CHA- it was kinda lonley not getting the slice of Ali’s life every day (well minus the product faves)
    Mine is “acomplish” (or Follow-thru) and I think that this weekend will be a good weekend for it :)

  • 3.
    deana said…

    I’m in the middle of painting my 6-year old’s room, so thanks for the laugh! SERENITY NOW… INSANITY LATER!
    I love it! :-)

  • 4.
    Carole said…

    My word this year is Simplicity and is working well for me – purging old stuff, looking at the entire picture and reflecting, breathing and taking hold of it all – with slow, thought out good intentions……I took the word with me to CHA – methodical walking , taking time to LOOK, making sure it will be the best for the store – no impulse purchases…..I think that my word will make me a better friend and employer…I did purchase the word (distressed wood and about 6 inches tall & 3 feet long ) at of all places a grocery store ( that has a fantastic gift section ). My word is on top of my computer desk right as you walk in – cannot miss it !!! Simple, simplicity ~ new way of life for me and so far it is a success ~~ To you I thank over and over again….

  • 5.
    Kim said…

    Love it…going to watch the episode now!

  • 6.
    bombaygirl said…

    My word is “Listen.” And regretfully, I have not given it a chance yet this year. But its not too late, right?

  • 7.
    Therese Bradley said…

    This year I chose “edit”. I’m examining all kinds of things in my life and asking myself “do I love this?” and “is holding onto this serving me?” I’ve spent a lot of this winter purging stuff, and am slowly working on editing my thoughts and behaviors. Scary and powerful.

  • 8.
    Diana Dellos said…

    love this post – love Seinfeld too! : ) Thanks for the great reminder . . . darn, now I have to go dust of my word and put it out there again.

  • 9.
    Kirsten said…

    I must say – you are quite popular amongst my own readers! I was curious, so I clicked on your blog and found it soooo appropriate that you posted this since my blog is named Serenity Now. I had to watch the Seinfeld video just to reminisce :) Thanks!

  • 10.
    Angie said…

    Ah, patience. Patience is my word. Somedays it is a quiet reminder under the surface, other days I scream it to myself! Seriously, I do. When it comes to my 3 kids, and days are getting hectic, instead of yelling at the kids, I yell “PATIENCE!” to myself. Other times I actually say it to myself in Spanish, that seems to calm me down a bit. I’ll use my word a lot this weekend. It’s our 7 year wedding anniversary but my husband is in Korea and I am not. So I need to have patience for our reunion… “Patience Angie, Patience.”

  • 11.
    Karen said…

    I needed to think about my word (fun) today. After finding out yesterday that two friends have cancer I have been rolling backward. We are all things Seinfeld at our house and my husband does the “serenity now” thing and “hoochie mama” all the time! I, especially now, want to help my friends find fun in their lives in spite of their newly discovered cancer.

  • 12.
    Artful Yogi said…

    How does your valentine like his pretty red book? I’ll bet it is a huge hit. My valentine likes the book i made for him as well.

  • 13.
    Artful yogi said…

    oh, yes, and as a yogi I appreciate your repeating the yoga pose photo.

  • 14.
    Kim said…

    The other day when my 4 year old fell asleep in the car, I told my husband “Serenity now … INSANITY later!” because we knew if he was napping in the car, bedtime would be difficult … and it was.
    It’s amazing how much a part of our cultural dialog Seinfeld still is, many years after the show’s end!
    Good luck with Vitality now and something even better later. :)

  • 15.
    Jen M. said…

    Love the photo Ali — cool idea! Gym time does feel good and I’ve been pushing myself to do a lot of it in the last few months too. I’ll have to see if I can get someone to take a picture — I usually work out before my kids get up and it’s dark. This could be a challenge…

  • 16.
    l wright said…

    I visit your blog often and have finally thought of my word but thought it’s a bit late to choose one in feb. Then read todays blog, Thank you. The word I have chosen is FAITH not in the religious sense but more in the “To have” sense.
    Thank you for your inspiring blog.

  • 17.
    Penny said…

    Haha. Love the video clip. Will think on my word this weekend.

  • 18.
    Mel said…

    I LOVE a good seinfeld reference!!! one of my favorite episodes…. SERENITY NOW!!!!!

  • 19.
    Sue said…

    My word is JOY. It simmers below the surface and I’m amazed at how often it bubbles to the surface so I can recognize the joy all around me. I am trying to keep up with my journal and journaling all the joys I’ve witnessed/experienced so far this year. Thanks for reminding me to keep it simmering.

  • 20.
    Tracy (in Alberta) said…

    Serenity now LOL :)
    But that is a good idea, say your word OUT LOUD, don’t just think it.

  • 21.
    Jennifer Ruhl said…

    Ha! Too funny! They just got done with a contest over at CK regarding your mantra. Here is mine! Think you will get a laugh.
    Thanks for the giggle!

  • 22.
    mechiel said…

    My word this year is determined. I have decided this is my year. I am 40 and I am ready to push myself beyond my own knowledge, expectations and beliefs about myself. I have decided to pick just one thing each month to focus on to get to my ultimate goals. In January, I gave up soda FOREVER. I drink pretty much water all the time and I dropped 15 lbs just with that. February working out consistently. I haven’t done as well. My best friend lost her husband and life has gotten hectic. I am thinking March might find me continuing this focus. I just ordered to COOL tennis shoes from that you can personalize with anything you want. I put my name on one and determined on the other. I will send you a photo when they come.

  • 23.
    Laura said…

    That episode is hysterical!
    I havent had a strong focus on my word, believe, but after the shooting at NIU, which is where my son goes, I do believe! Then again, I also can’t believe it.
    He’s fine and got home.

  • 24.
    Tina Guerrero said…

    “Serenity Now” – just what I need!!! My husband has been laid off for 2 months. He applied for the school district job, thought he had a great chance, but justt heard that it was filled. My positive, optimistic attitude is slowly deteriorating. “Serenity Now” about a gallon of that.
    Maybe I just need to yell it out!!
    So, for today, I am going to eat a half gallon of ice cream- and pretend for just that moment- that that is “Serenity”. Tina

  • 25.
    Janet said…

    Mine was “ALIVE” as in “to be alive” or “act alive” or all manner of ALIVEs. As of last week, it’s “glad to be ALIVE” becuz after ignoring women’s heart symptoms for 2 weeks, having perfect cholesterol, HDL/LDL, etc., I finally got to the ER and then a heart cath where it was found that the LAD artery, 1 of the 3 large arteries on the outside of our hearts, and affectionately called “The Widowmaker,” was 99% blocked. The doc told my husband I was “this close” (holding his thumb and index finger together about 1/2″ apart) from having a massive heart attack which I probably wouldn’t have survived. I sure feel more ALIVE with my bright shiny new stent holding the artery open. No wonder I was concerned about not seeming ALIVE when I chose the word and needed some incentive to act more ALIVE. So ladies, memorize your heart symptoms; they’re different than the signs that now we know were men’s rather than ours.

  • 26.
    Cindy McDannold said…

    After reading your blog this am..reminding myself to recheck the Jenni Bowlin site, I practiced my WORD…Selective. Yes, instead of the fifteen items I wanted I only bought ten. I’m making progress don’t you think? Cindy

  • 27.
    Alexandraa said…

    I know what you mean about needing to hear your word ‘a bit louder than a whisper’ – right about now I think I need a megaphone but somehow that doesn’t seem to jive with my word – SOUL. Trying to cut out all the chatter in my head and focus on my word and what’s important. You’re right… we have to make this happen for ourselves with every choice – everyday.
    Thanks for reminding me – thanks for being my mini-megaphone!

  • 28.
    Elizabeth k said…

    Such a funny episode!! I need to watch it for a good laugh! Hope you are feeling better since CHA!

  • 29.
    Rebecca said…

    Love the yoga shot! And the Seinfeld comment made me laugh! Thanks!

  • 30.
    jamie said…

    Your blog has been so full of eye-candy lately, and inspires me every time I visit. This has nothing to do with my word, I just wanted to let you know your time and energy (and vitality) is appreciated.

  • 31.
    Rosa said…

    Ok so I have to face it, my word is Conquer and is not a choice this weekend I do need to conquer everything I have in a long list to prepare for a Wed-Sun scrapbooking retreat, that means packing, laundry and leaving it all ready, I need to start chanting my word and as yours mine demands action so i have do more than i have, best of luck Ali, hugs, Rosa.

  • 32.
    TNS said…

    My husband and I have laughed and said “Serenity Now” many times! My word is “pilgrimage” and I think I’ve already veered off the road a little.
    Thanks for the reminder and laugh.

  • 33.
    may said…

    ah a reference to one of my favorite seinfeld episodes. My word this year is delight. But it doesn’t sound good yelled (costanza style) like vitality…

  • 34.
    leslie said…

    i’ll be chanting VITALITY NOW right along beside you. for you. and for me.

  • 35.
    Janine said…

    My one word is Enjoy and I am living the word. I loved the idea of the letters and art and have been taking photos of the things I enjoy. I am spending time enjoying the moment and experiences, I am taking some time to slow down and enjoy life. I am surrounded by my word from my blog and my wee collection of photos and I carry my word (scrabble tiles) in my bag with me….

  • 36.
    jill conyers said…

    That was a great Seinfeld episode!
    So far I’ve been doing exactly what I had in mind when I chose my one little word…Time. I have been more deliberate in the use of, balancing, cherishing and capturing time.
    There are tangible things that I can show for my use of this one little word but for the most part it is something I just feel.
    And I made this as my constant reminder for those days when life tries to get in the way…

  • 37.
    Ava G said…

    Serenity Now
    Excellent YouTube…. Thanks for posting it. I am laughing and hope to use that phrase all day and for the next while….to cute.

  • 38.
    Shannon said…

    My word, shouting it out.

  • 39.
    LobotoME said…

    Ali – you need to send me your mailing address so I can send you one of my momme planners – it has a space for ME Time and exercise tracking column and healthy meal planning – all to help with your vitality! email me -
    Jenny :)

  • 40.
    LobotoME said…

    Ali – you need to send me your mailing address so I can send you one of my momme planners – it has a space for ME Time and exercise tracking column and healthy meal planning – all to help with your vitality! email me -
    Jenny :)

  • 41.
    suetreiber said…

    great self portrait, and nice downward dog!

  • 42.
    Bobbi in KY said…

    Just found your blog-click, click, click, – there it was. LOVE your philosophy on life in general and apparently your work ethic. It looks like YOU GET EVERYTHING DONE!!!!!! I’m going to pick a word-it’s NOW. Get up and just do it NOW…..I’m such a procrastinator (sp?) hopefully this will help me.

  • 43.
    Heather said…

    Mine word this year was FOCUS. I’m working through the last bit of my didactic phase in my strive to get my master’s to become a physician assistant. I definitely need to focus in this. It’s so easy some times to get side tracked by all the fun and friends…but I need to remind myself to focus on the main goal in my life right now, my education. I made a sign that I hung on my door of my apartment so that every time I leave I am reminded to focus on what’s important. This weekend (and the next two weeks) is a really good time for me to bring it back in full force as I am studying for my midterms. FOCUS on the learning…on the medicine. Thanks Ali. Perfect timing, as usual!

  • 44.
    deB said…

    Ali, I’m sitting her snickering because that episode of Seifeld is probably my most favorite one to quote.
    I’m taking care of 2 flu people in the family…

  • 45.
    Gail said…

    Great downward dog! :)
    You’ve inspired me to take a similar self-portrait.

  • 46.
    Michelle said…

    Grace is my word this year, and I have to say I’ve had two situations this year that I really believe I would have mishandled without my focus being on Grace so Ms. Ali thank you for not only encouraging us all to be more creative but in my case you have encouraged me to be a better person! Thx!

  • 47.
    gkgirl said…

    i have chosen my word for 2008…
    you have inspired me…
    you can read it here
    if you like…

  • 48.
    Andi said…

    My word is consistency. I feel that I have been quite consistent since I established my one word. I quilt and I usually don’t start a project and finish it within a year or two. Well, this year I started a wall hanging and finished it last night. I am proud of myself. I still need to work on my word especially with teaching. Thanks for the challenge!

  • 49.
    MelissaL said…

    My word for this year is “Play”. Here’s my entry for today in my Project 365+1…and it revolves around my word:

  • 50.
    Tif said…

    Love Seinfeld, LOVE yoga. What a fun post.

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