random thought: on redefining
Some time ago I mentioned that over the past few years around each anniversary of the date I stopped practicing law, I've picked a word to help guide me for the coming 12 months. My habit of choosing a word started because of a serendipious visit to a little boutique on the Oregon coast weeks before I turned in my notice at my job -- and so now, every year since I've chosen a new word in the September/October timeframe, as opposed to the more customary beginning of the calendar year. For me, it just seems like fall is the right time for renewal.
This year, I chose the word INSPIRE. At the time I chose the word, I was pretty clear on why I chose it: first, I knew that I would be spending much of the coming months in promotion of my book, and I hoped that people feel inspired by it; but secondly (and mostly), I knew that I wanted to start working in earnest on a second book, and I hoped that inspiration would come easily for me in the process. It seemed simple enough.
Then last week, I decided to sign up for Ali Edwards' One Little Word online course.* Ali has been choosing a word in lieu of resolutions for several years now, and is a scrapbooker extraordinaire; however, while I don't scrapbook, I loved the idea of having monthly prompts to help me focus on my word and keeping it present in my life over the months to come. I figured that instead of scrapbooking, I'd simply do the exercises in my journal, and see what came of it.
As promised, Ali's first prompt arrived in my inbox on New Year's Day. So I grabbed a cup of tea, and listened to her voice while taking notes. In addition to a few exercises, one of the things she suggested was actually looking up the definition of our words, to see if it sparked anything -- that perhaps there was a definition of our words that we hadn't considered, that we might also like to incorporate in our coming year.
I will admit that I was rather skeptical about this: after all, INSPIRE is a pretty easy word to define, and I felt pretty certain that I knew how to define it. However, it seemed a bit pathetic to start shortchanging myself at the very beginning of the course, so I did as she suggested, and consulted Dictionary.com.
The definitions for INSPIRE I came across were pretty predictable: to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence; to give rise to, bring about, cause; to influence or impel.
Yup. Pretty much what I imagined.
But then I came across the final definition: