Rather than make New Year’s resolutions, each year I select a single word to focus on in the upcoming year. In 2018 my focus word is ontology—the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality. I was first introduced to this word while reading Madeleine L’Engle’s nonfiction series, The Crosswicks Journals, and have been fascinated ever since.

Why ontology, you ask?

On July 10th of this year, my next book, The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace hits the shelves.

This book isn’t just about being in business; it’s about the business of being. But when you stop to think about it, each us is like a small business.

Blending business and spirituality, The Business of Being demonstrates how to stand in alignment with your core values; it explores how to thrive, soul-side out, in and out of the workplace.

Here’s what two advance readers had to say:

“This gem of a book is really three books in one: a savvy guide to building a business, an engaging story of a boutique restaurant, and a coaching guide to living an intentional life. Chock full of quotes, stories, and examples, The Business of Being will help you be the person (and the business) you want to be. And in doing so, it shows you how to change the world—and have fun doing so. Bravo!” —RITA SEVER, author of Supervision Matters:100 Bite-Sized Ideas to Change You and Your Team

“Complete with recipes, the imaginative highlight of The Business of Being is the vibrant account of the founding and running of a French restaurant called La Mandarine Bleue. This book is a lucid, step-by-step guide to personal and professional success—with vichyssoise mixed in.” — KIRKUS REVIEWS

Do you have a focus word this year?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

75 thoughts on “Ontology

  1. This is going to be another exciting year for you, Laurie. I am very happy for you and wish you great success with your new book’s release.
    My word for this year can only be ‘onwards’.👍 😃

  2. Your new book sounds awesome, Laurie and I will get it for my daughter as she is struggling with the business side of her art. I haven’t come up with a word yet. Will let you know. Happiest of New Years!!

  3. Such an interesting word and thanks for the Madeline L’Engle nonfiction book titles. I had no idea she wrote nonfiction. Congratulations on the publication of your new book. It sounds like a fun but at the same time philosophical read.

  4. Thanks, Laurie. It sounds as if your year is going to be full of excitement. All the best for 2018. I’m not sure about my word… reinvention, perhaps.

  5. You created a French restaurant, Laurie! – wonders never cease in your wildly creative life. I so admire your chutzpah and follow-through. I’m certain there’s another book brewing in the new year.

    Madeleine L’Engle’s writing intrigues me too. Last year I read two books in the Crosswicks Journals: A Circle of Quiet and The Summer of the Great-Grandmother (in a setting close to Jacksonville, FL).

    Tomorrow I will be revealing my guide word of 2018. 🙂

  6. An interesting word Laurie..Mine…I know not but will think and ponder …Good luck with the book launch.I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year.

  7. The new book sounds very interesting, Laurie. I love reading about those who have faced the challenges of starting a small business. No focus word here…but I was taken with a post I saw where the writer said her focus for the year would be: Peace begins with me. Right here. Right now. I like that idea a lot.

  8. Ontology is the perfect partner word to The Business of Being and the year ahead. Your book will certainly be a valuable ambassador to unfolding the “being” dimension of person and business. I can imagine dynamic conversations as you unveil your book. In my life and coaching work, attention to being is vital.
    I have chosen “potency” as my word for 2018. It is defined as,” the power of something to affect the mind or body.” Synonyms for potency include: force, power, effectiveness, persuasiveness, cogency, et. al.. It came in synchronistical way via an ornament and the color orange (my color of the year; a healing and power color). Many definitions of the word reference male potency (limited thinking). However, I’m thinking Wonder Woman or the Last Jedi. I intend to bring my potency to my memoir (animating my writing ) and the feminist sacred activism required in the world.

  9. I remember you introducing me–through this blog–to focus words a few years ago. And my word was ‘keep’ for at least two years. However, this year I don’t have a word; I have a strategy. And you’ll be able to read all about this strategy on my blog.

    Wishing you much success with your empowering new book, Laurie.

  10. Hi Laurie

    I kinda like “Being” – which immediately splits into both ontology and epistemology – the nature of being and the nature of our understanding of it – the two of which seem to both be tightly interlinked and extremely deep (perhaps infinitely so),

    It now seems beyond all reasonable doubt to me, that as conscious entities, we each get to live in our own subjective “virtual reality” which is a more or less accurate model of the reality in which we exist, that has components from our deep genetic history, components from culture, and components from our own experience and choices.
    So there seems to be a very real sense in which, to a significant degree, we really do get to experience what we expect (at various conscious and subconscious levels).

    At the deeper levels of ontology, it seems that reality really is a profound mix of the random and the causal, with many different levels of randomness constrained by levels of filters that deliver various probability distributions over various time scales.
    This seems to deliver a world that, when dealing with large collections of things can very closely approximate hard causality, but at the level of individuals (all levels) is much less predictable.

    It seems to me, that it is only in such a world, that is a finely balanced mix of the random and the causal, can the idea of freedom have any sort of real meaning. And that meaning is not a simple meaning, but it does allow for individual behaviour to have a significant degree of independence from many of the tendencies their past.

    And from systems theory it is clear that every level of complexity requires boundaries to survive, so at our highest ethical levels we need to be actively responsible in social and ecological contexts.
    Freedom in this sense is not a simple freedom to follow the whims of our deep genetic past, but rather a responsibility to make the best choices we each individually can in all contexts, acknowledging both our fundamental reliance on many levels of cooperation and the fundamental uncertainties at all levels, and accepting both diversity, and that individuals will make mistakes, and our need to embody forgiveness and rehabilitation in non-naive ways (at the.highest levels we can achieve).

    So it aint simple!

    So in this sense, it seems to me that hard rules are the very antithesis of freedom, yet at the same time, if we are not be overwhelmed by hard rules, we each need to develop active responsibility and awareness on as many levels as we can.

    So like you, I love ontology, and I cannot completely separate it from epistemology, they seem to be two sides of the same coin. We may only be able to hold one side clearly in view at a time, and it is still the same coin.

  11. Ah, Madeleine L’Engle was the most influential writer in my youth. I first met her in grade 2; ever since that first meeting, I continue to return to her reflections. “Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. – Mrs. Whatsit” A Wrinkle in Time. Happy New Year – I look forward to your thoughts on “ontology.”

  12. Another book already?! You’ve been busy.

    My word for 2018 is rest. I know it goes against our culture, but in 60 years of life on this earth I still haven’t learned how to live and work with tiring very easily. The usually pattern has been to work, work, work, ignoring my need to rest until I am physically ill and cannot work for awhile. So this is the year I’m finally going to try to change that by reminding myself to slow down and rest when needed.

  13. You got me with “Madeleine L’Engle, one of my favorite authors. When I read her journals (in my 30s), I knew then that I wanted to be a writer. And a strong BEING full of spirit and love. I’m so excited about your next new book. You are on a roll! (Or should I say, You are on a biscuit!) (They’re so much tastier than rolls.) 🙂 My word, every year it seems, is LOVE.

  14. Dear Laurie, Best Wishes for a Healthy and Joyful New Year filled with an abundance (my new word for 2018) of ontology in 2018! Madeline L’Engle is one of my favorite authors and so are you! With warmest regards, figuratively and literally, Sheila

  15. Laurie, congratulations on your next book, and thanks for teaching me a new word! Look forward to watching you flourish again this year of 2018.

    I have a focus word but haven’t announced it yet. Likely will do so next week within an already scheduled blog post. I think you’ll like it and why I chose it.

  16. No word yet this year. But mouse, hummingbird, spider and eagle as spirit guides and Tarot card for 2018. The Devil. Big year ahead ! Happy new year. Exciting book news. Great word.

  17. Laurie, congratulations on your new book for this year!! I’m intrigued by the reviews and look forward to reading more about it -the cover is beautiful and enticing! Yeah, I love learning new words and ontology is a great one. For this year I look forward to promoting my book of short stories and also to completing (finally!!!) my first full length novel…plus living life in general!! Xxx

  18. A woman to my heart!
    Ontology one of my favorite subjects.
    Now Business, and La Mandarine Bleue, with vichyssoise mixed in.
    Sounds like a delicious combination, since I am a little bit of a foodie, as well. 🙂

  19. Hi Laurie, Susie sent me to your blog. The word ‘Ontology’ caught my eye because it is a word that you don’t see or hear very often but it was a very important word for me in 2017. Conversations and circumstance introduced me to the work of Werner Erhard in this field. Reading and listening to his ideas took me to places old and new and definitely impacted the quality of my life. I’ll be interested to see some of your work. David.

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