Have you ever been asked to describe yourself in a word? Not as easy as it sounds, is it?
I am one of those people challenged when trying to narrow anything down. I like to have a number of options available to me. I over pack my suitcase, I often buy too much at the grocery store and I sometimes, read more than one book at a time. So, for me to find one word for anything is extremely challenging. I usually look for the loophole that will allow me to find an umbrella word or term that can encompass a number of qualities or ideas at once.
Well, for this exercise, choosing one word to focus on can be extremely powerful. The process of making the choice might be somewhat challenging however, you can always change your mind and refine your choice as you see fit.
What’s Your Word?
The idea is to choose a Word that captures what you wish to experience, create, learn, develop ~ a Word that describes what you wish to see occur in your life.
You can use this process in a number of ways. Choosing your Word of the Year as opposed to setting New Year’s resolutions can be a powerful way to unlock a wealth of learning and growth. Remember, you don’t have to force yourself to stick with just one Word all year if you feel strongly guided to shift it. Also, remember that your chosen Word can evolve and take on nuances that you didn’t see coming when you chose it. So, sticking with it may provide you with more than you ever thought possible.
You can choose a Word to sum up what you wish to experience in one aspect of your life. You can apply this exercise to a project you are currently working on or a habit you are trying to develop. You can focus on a Word that describes what you wish to experience in a relationship. You can use this exercise any way you like.
At the beginning of this year, I began coaching a small group of people in the Conscious Service Integration Program and we started off by choosing a Word that would speak to what we wished to experience through the program or in general throughout this year. I chose the word embody. For me, my intention has been to embody the principles of the Conscious Service Approach ~ an approach that I developed over the past couple of decades.
For me, to embody means to fully embrace and become something. I have recognized over the last few years that my greatest contribution through my work at this time would be to take all the intellectual material I have gathered in this process and deeply, fully live it. I knew that my commitment to walking my walk would have more power in the world ~ in my life ~ than any amount of intellectual processing would at this point. It was time for me to live what I am suggesting to others.
Contrast and Integrity
It has been so powerful to engage in this activity. It is an eye opener, no matter what Word you choose as long as you remain curious and committed to understand. What I have found is that it seems to be common to discover all that isn’t evidence of your Word before you discover the evidence of it in your life. We learn through contrast and often see more clearly the path to take after we have taken the one that didn’t work out. So for me, I became keenly aware of the times that I was not walking my walk ~ that I was not following my own guidance or ignoring my personal needs.
I have found that accessing my emotional responses is one of the best ways to zero in on the Word that holds the most juice for me right now. You can begin by simply dumping all the Words that arise for you when you begin to ponder this exercise. Write it all down and then start to narrow it. If you’re honest with yourself, there is one aspect of your life or a particular situation that grabs your awareness in the moment. Ask yourself how you are feeling about this right now. And then ask yourself how you wish to feel. See if you can pinpoint a theme that arises across your life experience. Themes have so much energy and great potential for huge transformation. What Word captures this essence and energy for you? Allow yourself to sit with it for a bit ~ let it simmer. You will know when you have landed on it by what you feel. You may also get some evidence from the Universe when you have hit the nail on the head.
There is a piece here about integrity as well. When you choose your Word and commit to it, you will find that life hands you the opportunity to live in integrity with the energy of this Word through the experiences that are presented to you.
Live according to your own Word.
On the next episode of Serving Consciously airing on September 8, 2017,I will welcome my guest, Erika Jones. Tune in as we explore creativity, service, partnerships and share with you a powerful exercise that can serve to illuminate your path and guide your actions towards your greatest dreams and deeper learning.
Relatable, Creative, Wise, Whimsical, Earthy Granola, Funny, Free Spirit, Soft with a bit of an Edge: these are words the author’s closest friends and family have used to describe her recently and she wholeheartedly agrees.
Erika Jones is queen of her castle in Plano, Texas. She and her husband have three daughters 9, 6 and 3 years old. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Erika is a homeschooling mother, homemaker and creative entrepreneur. Like many mothers, Erika seeks balance between her many roles and is constantly making adjustments to design a life that makes dollars and sense.
Prior to motherhood, Erika received her Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism as well as a Master’s of Business Administration and a Master of Arts Administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She achieved several accomplishments during her time at SMU including earning the University’s prestigious “M” Award for excellence in leadership and serving as a reporter and chief copy editor for the university’s newspaper. Erika also traveled extensively while attending the university, studying in Paris, France, various parts of Asia and participating in mission trips in Denver, Colorado and Kenya.
After working for a few years in journalism and student-relations marketing and attending graduate school, Erika became the founding Executive Director of the Dallas Branch of America Scores, an afterschool literacy and fitness program for elementary aged children. Procuring the funding, staffing, and status of service provider to several schools in the Dallas Independent School District in nine months time is a feat few in her industry could duplicate. Erika worked in the educational and fine arts non-profit sectors for more than 10 years. She has always loved serving and working with children of all ages and knows it is the core of her purpose in life.
Upon becoming a mother, Erika developed a heightened sense of awareness to the chemicals babies are exposed to in daily living. In 2008, when her first daughter was six months old, she merged her passions for research, natural living, and children’s health into the launch of Organic Baby Resource (OBR). OBR is an online community for moms who want to find quality, organic baby products and incorporate more natural methods into their baby care routines.
Since childhood, Erika has had a love of poetry and has recently begun publishing her work on her blog, erikalynnejones.com. She enjoys fusing her writing with her newfound passion of illustration. An online student for life, she has taken hours of art and graphic design classes over the past couple of years and looks forward to illustrating The Sister-Friend’s Guide to Natural Baby Care.
Erika intends to publish a host of books that will inspire mothers and children alike toward healthy, natural and joyful living. She looks forward to growing her platform, publishing more books (adult non-fiction and children’s stories) and eventually creating apparel products.
Please plan to tune in on September 8 at 12 pm PST at www.ctrnetwork.com. I know you’ll leave feeling inspired and curious.
Let’s get started!
What’s your word?