Last year, I created a series of posts explaining the African American holiday celebrated at this time, Kwanzaa, and I want to do it again this year by doing a review of how I was or wasn't able to incorporate the principles of Kwanzaa throughout the year so I can plan how to make amendments moving forward into 2012. If you'd like to read the posts from last year, you can find them all HERE and if you'd like to learn about the holiday itself, you can read this Wikipedia page and check out more details at this website...
I also work on finding my Word of the Year at this time and I believe I have found my guiding words for 2012 that will be revealed by New Years Eve. I may even do a review of how my 'Word of the Year' played out in 2011...in the meantime, let the review begin!
First night of Kwanzaa - Unity (Umoja)
Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race
A "kinara" is used when lighting the candles for each night of Kwanzaa - this is my 'makeshift' kinara =-)
Then and Now...
This is the list I created for incorporating the principle of Unity in my life as I moved forward in 2011:
- make time/space in my life for visiting friends more often
- making time to send messages or gifts through the mail
- contribute my skills, time or money toward a worthwhile cause
Here is what took place:
I did make time to visit friends by making a commitment to attend the weekly knitting night at my favorite knitting shop and I can tell you that it was long overdue! I realized how much I had missed the company of my fellow knitters and I now manage to go almost every week. I also got back in touch with an old friend who sells vintage goods and we made a few shopping excursions to help her find goods for her shop!
I did make time to send mail or small gifts to a few friends, such as one friend who moved to Canada in the fall, as well as sending goodies to other wonderful blog buddies. I do feel that I can improve in this area by sending mail (and Mail Art!) more often and I will continue to work on this aspect.
I did help out a young couple who owned an art gallery, by volunteering my administrative skills. And I also donated some of my artwork to my favorite non-profit that is dedicated to helping children through art, City Hearts. However, I'd like to find ways to expand my volunteerism and this is something I will work on in 2012.
What are some ways you can incorporate more Unity in your life with your community?