Scrabble and Peace

Soiree – pronounced swaray (meaning:  gathering, meeting, get-together)

I was playing Scrabble with my son and husband.  It was a rare treat to have us all together but they were both in a sour mood. For the third straight game over two days I’d gotten most of the good letters – Z, Q, J, K, M, V – coupled with a nice mix of vowels and I was leading by 70.

We were nearing the end of the game and I had, for the first time, what was considered in my family’s Scrabble jargon as “crappy letters”.   Mostly vowels and all tiles with values of only one point, O-I-E-U-E-R-S stared back at me.

My outlook was good since I’d already had so many high point words in that game.  The word soiree popped into my mind.

“Hmmm, I can figure out something to do with these.” I thought, perusing the letters.  My outlook was good since I’d already had so many high point words in that game.  The word soiree popped into my mind.  I played around with the letters and came up with suoire.  My Aunt Judy teaches voice and piano in Seattle and does soirees with her adult students.  We’d discussed the concept many times so the word was very familiar to me.

It was my turn.  I inquired about the accuracy of my spelling – local rules (we even allow the use of a list of 2 letter words during play).  My son knew without looking it up – S-O-I-R-E-E.  That wasn’t the spelling I’d planned on but looking at my letters……I could do it!

Now, where to attach it?  The board was pretty full and I’d need a run that would cover six letters.  The “S” was nice because perhaps I could attach onto another word and get some extra points from that.  I pondered the board as the others’ turns filled in smaller patches at the corners.

Hmmm?  Ah!  Could that be?  Noticing an opening at the end of the word “HOLDOUT” I counted vertically down the side of the board.  Yep, it would fit.  Even better, I’d cover a Triple Word score.

After laying out the tiles I’d added over thirty points to my score.

I’d rather not reveal the exact details of the conversation that followed.  The “nice job” and “wow, how impressive you could get that score with those letters” I was expecting did not ensue.  Used to playing with the devoted veteran female players in my family, this move should have garnered some appreciation.

Let me just say that instead of accolades there was a bit of a throwing in of the towel involved.  Disappointed, I jumped in with them and allowed my triumph to become tragedy, informing my fellow players of their supreme disregard for established Scrabble etiquette with regards to being impressed.

Why do I share this night of fun and games with you?  Thought – imagination – feeling – the technique for Holding the Power of Peace are so finely illustrated in this tale.  I started the game with strong thoughts, a good attitude about my ability and desire to play.  When the tiles appeared, I imagined seeing a long, complex word emerge.  Moving the tiles around on the holder, I worked with my thoughts and imagination to develop the words.  I remained upbeat, enthusiastic and open, all characteristics of a peaceful outlook.

As one successful turn after another progressed my good feeling of accomplishment grew.  We all have thoughts, imaginings and feelings.  I was able to keep mine uplifted and positive and this was reflected in my results.

Unfortunately, I slipped and joined the lower energies of not getting enough compliments. Able to rebound, we finished the game by playing together with the remaining few letters, sharing ideas and techniques (using our imagination) to complete the board.  Not allowing the sour mood to prevail, we shifted our energy back to an upbeat, peaceful attitude.

A friend of mine recently commented on how she applied similar thinking to her game of Rummikub.  Understanding these concepts, she recalled being at a point in the game where many might give up.  Instead, she told herself, “I can figure this out.”  Taking this strong thought and combining it with imagination and feeling she was able to use all of her tiles.  It’s positive thinking expanded – she was able to “feel” herself solving the puzzle.  That’s what helped her succeed.

I encourage everyone to try these techniques. You can start with a situation, like playing a game or looking for a parking space, that will show you a direct result of your efforts.  Make it a game.  Give it a try.  I’m glad I did.

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