Accent on Advent

As we flip another page on the calendar here on “Becoming Today”, you’ll see tomorrow is the day that many will light  the first candle of the “Advent season”.

Also known in the East as the “Nativity Feast”, and in other traditions the “Annunciation”,  the Christmas season is officially here as we have one cycle, 28-days till the remembrance of the miracle. The event that altered our very essence.

For those who celebrate they’ll light the candle of Hope and hopefully take the time to reflect upon all that means.

I’ve contemplated the meaning of this word advent, and this year I am seeing this time as a true beginning for all of us. Advent is defined as, “a coming into place, view, or being; arrival”.

The coming of an arrival. The beginning of who we are “Becoming”; individually and collectively. This season can and I believe will inspire us all, just as sometimes a single word can.

Just one word, that’s all it took. That one word? “Becoming”

That’s what I declared this year, this new project and my renewed direction in life to be all about. So what exactly do I mean by “Becoming”? Glad you asked….

To begin with, “Becoming”is a  word and words do have meanings. So if used as an adjective, “Becoming” can be defined as  flattering a person’s appearance’ . Synonyms include attractive, lovely, pretty, handsome, stylish, elegant, chic, fashionable or tasteful.  Certainly all are concepts worthy of our attention, and while they are and will add to our experience, it’s still so much more. 

What I’m talking about is much closer aligned with “Becoming” as a noun: ‘’the process of coming to be something or of passing into a state”. Coming to be always, “Becoming”. Growing, developing and shifting into an attitude and daily practice of always, “Becoming”.

That’s the essence behind, “Becoming Today”. 

How do I, as an individual and we as a society, focus on “Becoming” what we are truly destined to be? How do we become all we can be? How do we further enrich our lives and those of our families, friends, communities and society as a whole?  What exactly is it we want to become today? Each and every day, becoming the best at whatever we desire, hope for, have set goals for, prayed for  and how do we achieve this state? 

Those are questions we have been focusing on together since the birth of this project.

So how did this concept come into my awareness, mind, being, essence and in my heart? 

It was all because of the reset button being the past calendar year. Like many and if we are truly being honest. all of us, 2020 changed our entire ways of life. 

How we had to prepare, what we could expect, how could we anticipate, the next changes coming. 

The global pandemic. Economic uncertainties.  Personal Losses. Grieving for loved ones. Increased personal sacrifices and/or the fallout from those who refused to understand the need to.  Politics and here in the U.S. A., the tone of the election. A mere 18 months ago, no one could have dreamt what we would have to learn to cope with and adjust our thinking toward.

At that time, January of 2020, I was focused on the world of eCommerce. Always a hectic time of year for customer service, dealing with overseas manufacturers, distributors and shipping, it always slows for the nearly three week observances of the Chinese New Year. 

So I was prepared for that: primarily knowing everyday, I would have emails and calls from shall we say, “grumpy” customers who don’t want to realize, sometimes it takes a little longer to get what you want from 6,888 miles away.

Then I started to get communications about a virus that was impacting a province that I did  a lot of business in. That then became, business associates there sending me pictures taken through the peepholes in the front doors of their homes. Tanks in the street. Armored personnel carriers and soldiers, making sure none of them could leave their residences.

Now I’m becoming aware, this is unlike anything I’ve encountered. But being aware still did not prepare me for all the changes ahead. My life a year later on New Year’s Day 20/20 +1 did not look anything like it was a year prior.And thankfully now on this very day it is even further removed from the existence I was enduring, pre-pandemic.

My career. My home life. My vision for the future. The very core of my foundations have all become far different. However, I don’t view those necessary changes as losses, rather the opposite. All of these revised needs, allowed me to hit my personal reset button and are allowing me to live a renewed life of “Becoming”.

Personally that means becoming the best woman, the best person I can be. 

Professionally that means becoming one who does what I’ve always dreamed of.

And yet there is still more, I want to see you become { fill in the blank here with your personal needs and aspirations}. I want for you to achieve, be and share this spirit of “Becoming”. That’s why I have undertaken this project for the year 20/20 + 1 and beyond.

It is also why I am making this pledge to you and hope you’ll make the same to me and us:

Coming together as independent individuals, sharing a planet, and intentionally setting our combined focus on becoming the strongest, most empowered God-fearing women we can be; it is vital we set these objectives, hopes and shared visions in writing, to make them truly achievable and to hold each of us and the “we” accountable. 

By the way, if you’re wondering, asking, screaming, why is the woman referring to the year as 20/20 + 1 ?!? Good question.

No it’s not trying to be cute or attention seeking, though if you find it cute and it brings some attention my way, I won’t be upset. If you’re thinking it’s some kind of bizarre mathematical equation, well you’re just overthinking it. 

It’s far more metaphorical. 

We have all experienced a hitting of the reset button in the last calendar year. No longer wanting to dwell on 2020, it did change our entire way of life. 

So in my thoughts that makes it a landmark, a milestone, a point of demarcation. Now that we understand that things are no longer how they once were, we can more easily accept that  how we need to prepare, what we can expect, and even how we anticipate the next changes beyond the next corner are becoming to us from a new point, perspective and even view of life.

So with that in mind, let’s break it down. 20/20 yes is a reference to 2020, but it is intentionally being viewed through new lenses. Our vision was corrected and hopefully improved to that perfect eyesight of 20/20 vision. 

That improvement, combined with the wisdom of hindsight, we are able to clearly see what did and didn’t work for us in the past. What we need to fully release. What we miss, cherish, desire to recreate and improve upon. 

What a gift! 

The reset button is restoring our sight, allowing us to see more clearly, to refocus our vision and intentions, and look off beyond the horizon to where our goals, dreams and destinies lay. 

Obviously the plus sign (+), means in addition to. So I’m taking 2020, viewing it through perfect vision intended for revision and seeing it as 20/20 plus. Plus what? Well immediately it’s plus one (1). We have already, with the mere flip of a calendar page, advanced beyond 2020 and are becoming one more. 

One more what? 

Hopefully one more wiser, one more mature, one more grateful. One more hopeful. One more abundant. One more victorious. And for the less idealistic, yes one more year older, one more year experienced, one more year beyond what was.

20/20 + 1. The year beyond the reset button. The year you choose to make it. The year of becoming

Becoming what? 

That’s what we are here to explore. Who is it I want to become? What do I want to see becoming?  Where is this “becoming” taking place? Is it a physical location? In my mind? Our minds? My heart? Our collective hearts? Is it a raising of a collective consciousness, or am I  further striving to be the best mature, strong empowered God fearing woman of Christ I can be?

These are all questions in play for each of us. Ultimately “becoming” will take a decision for action on our part. Putting our thoughts in motion to become better, stronger, healthier, more loving, more balanced, better grounded, standing stronger in our convictions, beliefs and dreams.

20/20 + 1 has unlimited potential and offers us unprecedented opportunities for fine tuning and or reinventing ourselves. It has improved my vision for the future, focused my heart and given clarity to new horizons ahead. I pray it is lifting your spirits and revitalizing your sight for life and the future too.

No, I do not want to go back to the way things used to be. I’m not seeking a return to “normal”. What is normal anyway, and who thinks they can define it for me? I want better. I want “becoming”.

I want that state of “becoming”, to be something that is always evolving. Always advancing. Always allowing me to be becoming my destiny. 

I want my new way of living to be one of giving, shaing, caring, being, seeing, believing, becoming grateful, delivered, hopeful, faithful and abundant.

I am believing for 20/20 + 1 to be not only the best year of my life yet, but am praying for you to achieve the same. In the coming days, weeks and months we’ll continue to revisit these concepts of what exactly it is I, we and us are “Becoming Today”.  

How we can support each other in these advancements and realizations plus how we can share this improved vision with all those we live with, adjacent to, near by as well as those we have not yet met.

Becoming” is not an overnight sensation. Nor is it just a momentary decision. As I’ve shared, embracing this concept for myself has involved a lot of work, effort and really tough soul searching.   

It takes a real, sincere level of commitment. It’s not just a phase, a catchy slogan or pop psychology. When setting the necessary goals to live on this path of “Becoming”, we(as a family)  are viewing the written testaments as covenants. That was further amplified in the way we signed into the agreements:

 “This year, 20/20 +1, will be my best year yet. Plus there will be many more, even better, yet to come.

This pledge of all the above documents  is respectfully submitted for your and mine consideration; however those thought processes defer to and are secondary to the blind obedience I submit to God. I consider this a binding agreement between the Lord and myself, fully accepting all responsibility for co-creating my best life now.” 

And I also personally signed mine with the following line, 

“ I love myself. I love the Lord and I love life”.  

That was something that at the time I could not say, or even fake at times. 

In 2020 I hit some all time lows. Suddenly every aspect of my life seemed to be spiraling downward. I saw absolutely no place, or reason for me in this so-called ‘ new reality’.  I had lost all hope and literally prayed for an end to it all. Thank God for unanswered prayers and I will share more of my deeply personal transition to “Becoming” tomorrow.

BriefIefly though, instead of receiving what I was asking for I kept hearing these words, “Live Expectantly”.

Certainly not what I was expecting at the time, and at no moment then could I see, fathom or grasp any reason why this two-word phrase would keep popping up. “Live expectantly”? 

After a few months of struggle after struggle and this “Live Expectantly” continued  and continued to appear, confound, confuse, baffle, beleaguer and at times just plain annoy me.

“Live Expectantly”! I would exclaim, what does it mean, and what does it have to do with me. And you know what? I asked the question and received my answer. 

You get out of life what you put into it.  I was expecting disaster and gloom and that was exactly what I was getting. 

Years ago, more than I care to admit to, but even at the risk of dating myself (lol), I’ll share it anyways, there was a computer programming acronym “G.I.G.O.” It stood for Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you programmed garbage, that’s exactly what would be produced by the machine for you. It wasn’t the computer’s fault, it was the operator’s error. Conversely if you programmed with the right sequence, proper language and a formatted design, then you could achieve a desired result.

Flashback forward to the present, and all these decades later, I was putting garbage in my mind, my heart and my soul. So what else could I be able to receive but pure rubbish? 

Then it hit me, (finally) that if I wanted to become, I had to make changes. I had to make new commitments. I had to accept new obligations. If I wanted to become something, I had to start, in a very active way. This is where “Becomingbecomes my new way.

Now while they may not have used our terminology a number of those who have come before us, have certainly understood this concept. One example is Elizabeth Blackwell, who was  born in 1821, and dreamed of one day “Becoming” a doctor.

Rejected by 29 medical schools before finally being accepted, even then it was not the realization she thought it would be. It seems her acceptance letter was intended as a practical joke. However the joke turned out to be on the college and it’s all male student body, because even though Blackwell faced discrimination and major obstacles she remained committed to her “Becoming”.

While professors tried to isolate her, forcing her to sit separately at lectures and often denying her participation in labs;  she kept to her intention of “Becoming”. When local townspeople shunned her as a “bad” woman for defying her gender role, nevertheless she kept on “Becoming”.  And she did  eventually earn the respect of professors and classmates, alike as Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman physician in the United States  after graduating first in her class in 1849.

Desire. Commitment. Sustained Efforts. Realization of “Becoming”.

We all have different ideas, needs, wants. We all have to face different obstacles, road blocks, leap over hurdles and go around barriers. Nevertheless it can be done, and there is no reason that should stop us from “Becoming Today”.


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