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Praxis

January 13, 2022
purple and blue abstract wallpaper
Photo by Scott Webb on Pexels.com

Did you see this article in the New York Times earlier this month? Do you have a word of the year? This is a lovely idea, especially for the anti-resolution crowd. Even though I am all about resolutions, I thought this was a beautiful way to take a macro view, a more thematic approach. So, I looked at the goals that I set for the year, and at first, I thought, “Create.” But on second thought, that wasn’t really it. Yes, many of my hopes for the year center around creative endeavors, but the hard part for me is not the creation, it is the discipline, the practice of showing up every day, whether I want to do it or not because some days I really don’t want to.

“Discipline” seemed too hard, too puritanical. “Practice” connotes for me sad, dirty, solitary practice rooms from undergrad and grad school, but it was closer, and then I remembered that word from my graduate feminist courses: praxis. Although it’s used mostly in academia, it’s a fabulous word, and words with x’s are always a little sexier, don’t you think?

prax·​is (noun) | \ ˈprak-səs  \
plural praxes\ ˈprak- ˌsēz  \
Definition of praxis:
1. ACTION, PRACTICE such as a.) exercise or practice of an art, science, or skill; b.) customary practice or conduct
2. practical application of a theory

It fits just right, I’d say. And that’s the word.

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