The Magic That is One Word

 Working with a Word of the Year  

  It’s that time of year. A time for refection and celebration of what has gone. In a world where it is often so much about moving onto the next thing, or being utterly distracted by external influences, I love this practice.  This practice is working with a Word of the Year.   I started this around three years ago. Each year, I sit - usually finding somewhere quiet as soon as December hits, and contemplate what word I want to work with for the next year. Some years, I chose the word. In other years, it feels like the word choses me. In the years where the word comes to me, they have tended to be the most successful, the most fulfilling and the most joyful.  This year was a special one. This year, the word seemed to completely fill every experience I had. It was the constant reminder of what matters, teaching me to trust, to accept and to release my grasp on control, instead allowing things to manifest, to be.    This year, was all about Serendipity.     


It’s that time of year. A time for refection and celebration of what has gone. In a world where it is often so much about moving onto the next thing, or being utterly distracted by external influences, I love this practice.

This practice is working with a Word of the Year.

I started this around three years ago. Each year, I sit - usually finding somewhere quiet as soon as December hits, and contemplate what word I want to work with for the next year. Some years, I chose the word. In other years, it feels like the word choses me. In the years where the word comes to me, they have tended to be the most successful, the most fulfilling and the most joyful.

This year was a special one. This year, the word seemed to completely fill every experience I had. It was the constant reminder of what matters, teaching me to trust, to accept and to release my grasp on control, instead allowing things to manifest, to be.

This year, was all about Serendipity. 

 

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The definition of Serendipity is:

The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way, as in ‘a fortunate stroke of serendipity’

I only discovered this week, that it originated in 1754: coined by Horace Walpole, suggested by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes:

‘Were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of’.

oxforddictionaries.com

For me this has been so true. This year has been exactly that. A year of happy accidents.

 

By the end of the year, Serendipity has seeped in to everything I have done. It is on the wall above my desk in huge gold letters, I have a mini version that travels everywhere with me. It is in my business branding, it’s in my every thought - I have journaled about it, gone back to it when I’ve been feeling low, and reminded myself of it on a daily basis for the last twelve months. This word will stick around I think. Its been about creation, trust and confidence. Its been about realising that there are external forces at work, and that the secret is to allow them to sweep you along, not fight against them. It’s taught me lessons. It’s opened my eyes to what is around me. It’s taught me more about myself as a human being.

 

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So what if you’d like to try this practice for yourself next year? For 2018?

How do you go about coming up with your word?

Well -  firstly - the more you can relax about finding your word, the easier it will come to you.

Mention it to yourself in a quiet moment.

 ‘I wonder. If I was to work with a word of the year next year, what would it be and why?’

Then give yourself a couple of days, and write down anything that comes to mind.

If you get really stuck, google: ‘motivational words,’ dust off the dictionary that’s sitting on the shelf and hasn’t been used since the introduction of the computer and peruse it over a nice cup of tea. I’ve even spent time flicking through Pinterest in previous years.

 

You might find yourself with a list at this point. In which case, some more time, just looking over the words and sitting with them usually helps.

Go with your gut instinct. Sometimes, a word jumps out and I think: ‘no, not that one’ but actually - ‘why not that one?’ That word has sprung to mind from somewhere. Why not use that one?

Trust in the process.

And then, because I’ve always done this, I head over to Colleen Attara’s studio.

 

  Here’s a little about Colleen.   “I AM A STORY TELLER.  I tell my stories through torn photographs, paint, thread and words.  I tear pictures in half, change the composition, and stitch them back together. I sew in my words and all the little bits and pieces that fall to the side of my studio desk or below it. Then I add paint and some vintage finds and let the colorful threads fall where they may.  Usually at a show, someone will pick up one of my prints and start to cry, because my stories are their stories. And I hope my stories are your stories too.  I AM AN AFFIRMATION MAKER.   I script words and affirmations  from salvaged materials that become a part of a person’s personal journey. They come in different sizes and materials. Words are so powerful.  I want every child to wake up and see "I am strong, brave and enough" on their wall when they open their eyes each morning. Imagine what our world would be like.  I traded in that corporate me to spend time with my children. It was exciting and scary to walk away from that world. But I love what I walked toward.  My art studio is in a stone cottage from the early 1800's on 237-acres of historic farmland in beautiful Bucks County, Pennsylvania. My neighbor is a community art center and there are farmers working the fields.  Every day I make art out of the pieces left behind.”  Colleen and I have become friends with an ocean and many thousands of miles in between us. We’ve shared stories, laughter and more than a few tears. She has walked that fine path on the journey between corporate and creative. She illustrates to me daily someone who is living out her purpose. Her words have been crafted from lives and items left behind, and have been re-born to help me create new magic in mine.       Next years word?     My mantra for 2018?    Spirit.     I can’t wait to see what kind of journey awaits...      You can find Colleen over at: https:/ www.colleenattara.com

Here’s a little about Colleen.

“I AM A STORY TELLER.

I tell my stories through torn photographs, paint, thread and words.

I tear pictures in half, change the composition, and stitch them back together. I sew in my words and all the little bits and pieces that fall to the side of my studio desk or below it. Then I add paint and some vintage finds and let the colorful threads fall where they may.

Usually at a show, someone will pick up one of my prints and start to cry, because my stories are their stories. And I hope my stories are your stories too.

I AM AN AFFIRMATION MAKER.

I script words and affirmations from salvaged materials that become a part of a person’s personal journey. They come in different sizes and materials. Words are so powerful.

I want every child to wake up and see "I am strong, brave and enough" on their wall when they open their eyes each morning. Imagine what our world would be like.

I traded in that corporate me to spend time with my children. It was exciting and scary to walk away from that world. But I love what I walked toward.

My art studio is in a stone cottage from the early 1800's on 237-acres of historic farmland in beautiful Bucks County, Pennsylvania. My neighbor is a community art center and there are farmers working the fields.

Every day I make art out of the pieces left behind.”

Colleen and I have become friends with an ocean and many thousands of miles in between us. We’ve shared stories, laughter and more than a few tears. She has walked that fine path on the journey between corporate and creative. She illustrates to me daily someone who is living out her purpose. Her words have been crafted from lives and items left behind, and have been re-born to help me create new magic in mine.

 

Next years word?

My mantra for 2018?

Spirit.

 I can’t wait to see what kind of journey awaits...

 

You can find Colleen over at: https:/www.colleenattara.com

 Els is a Creative Coach who specialises in business & life purpose. She is an expert in creating clear vision, purposeful action, brilliance & balance through a focus on empowerment and positivity. She is passionate about helping people live their fullest, wild & most precious life. You can find out more about her over at  eleanorcourtney.com  

Els is a Creative Coach who specialises in business & life purpose. She is an expert in creating clear vision, purposeful action, brilliance & balance through a focus on empowerment and positivity. She is passionate about helping people live their fullest, wild & most precious life. You can find out more about her over at eleanorcourtney.com