Sometimes Mondays
Unraveling into the Future

A Reflection . . . On Balance

I've chosen "one little word" now for 7 years.  (Actually, 2018 will mark the 8th time I've chose a word for the year.)  

I am always, always amazed at how my word manifests itself during its tenure.  Just having a word -- front & center -- in my psyche seems to . . . make things happen!  I learn things.  I try things.  I connect dots.  I see things.  

And I know I wouldn't otherwise.

There's just a . . . synergy . . . that happens from having a word.  Or, at least, that's how it happens for me.  And some years, there's more synergy in a word than others.  My word in 2017 - BALANCE?  So much synergy!  It ended up being rather transformative for me.


I started the year grieving.  Sad; resentful; horrified, really.  And wondering where "I" had disappeared to.  TILT!  I was definitely off-kilter.  In the weeds.  Out.Of.Bounds.  And desperately seeking balance.

After years of trying to expand my comfort zone and reaching for more, in 2017 I allowed my pace to slow.  I turned inward.  I took stock.  I gave myself permission to take the time to figure things out, to grieve, to prioritize, and to find myself again.


Gradually, over the course of the year, I got myself back on track.  I worked on my physical balance (core strength, yoga poses, stand up paddle boarding).  I worked on my emotional and spiritual balance (chakras, journaling, new rituals).  I balanced my surroundings.  I balanced my calendar.  I balanced my diet.  I looked for balance everywhere -- and I created it where I could.

And . . . it worked.

Eventually, I found my center.  I figured out what helps me to feel balanced, and what I can do when I'm feeling off-kilter.


I'm still not balanced every day, but I'm working at that.  In fact, I figured out that there are a few things (five things, actually) that I need to do every day (even if just briefly) to help myself feel balanced. 

  • Meditation
  • Reflection
  • Movement
  • Creativity
  • Getting Outside

If I can do these five things every day, I feel more balanced; more able to take on the day -- whatever it may hold.


I'm not saying that my word was magical or that it solved all my problems. Because that certainly isn't the case.  I am saying, though, that having the word BALANCE in my mind all year really helped me to keep looking for ways to manifest balance -- to make balance visible in my world.

And that . . . is the power of one little word.


The images in my post today . . . are photos of my balance journal from last year.  Each year, I sign up for Ali Edwards' One Little Word workshop.  Ali's monthly video prompts help me stay connected to my word through the year, even though I don't tend to DO the prompts.  And I am not interested in following her scrapbook prompts at all (although her materials are really cool, and her instructions are great) (it's just not . . . me).  

Last year, though, I decided I wanted to create my own journal for my "balancing process."  I journaled.  I kept track.  I collected poems and images and cards.  I drew.  I included prints of my own photos in the journal.  I loved creating this little book -- and I may even do it again this coming year.  (We'll see how it goes.  What works once may not work again, y'know?)


And if you're interested in signing up for Ali's One Little Word workshop this year - to see for yourself how it all comes together - it's not too late!  Click here for more information.


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Thanks for sharing your journey with the word balance. I'm so glad you encouraged me to start this program 5 years ago, it has really resonated with me each year - although I agree that some years are I find I connect more with my word than in other years. Peace, for me last year, was awesome, as was joy, my first word. In the first couple of years I followed all of the prompts. Last year I didn't do ANY of the prompts - which shows me that I can connect with the word either way. This year I'm going to do some of the prompts as I feel moved to do so and I will include them in my regular journal. I'm excited to see how the word kind works for me.


It sounds like you have thoroughly explored balance and that is going to have some long-lasting positive effects (real life lessons)! I've never signed up nor journaled, but this year's word (enough) is creating some surprising questions, effects, and further thoughts for me, just by keeping it in the forefront.


First, I need that Mary Oliver poem for my OLW journals
And balance is such a tricky thing - thank you for writing about your process. I took a few years off the online class and it is good to be back this year


A beautiful glimpse into your Balance Journey. XO


It certainly looks as though that was the best choice for 2017 and that is moved you in the direction you needed. Thanks for sharing the always it was wonderful. xoxo


I always think that this is a neat idea, and I even chose a word once. It was three years ago, in fact, and I even created a blog category for all the posts I'd write while I reflected about SPACE... and there is ONE POST about space. Haha.

As I was reading your post this morning and admiring the journal that you made, out of the jumble of my thoughts came "you'd really have to slow down..." So, if I were to choose a word perhaps it would be SLOW, and THEN maybe there'd be room for SPACE. ;)


What a wonderful journey with the perfect word for you! It leads perfectly into your word for 2018!


I love your journal and this blog post. I've been doing - use the gerund loosely - OLW since its beginning...I rarely do the monthly prompts but I like to touch base once a month to center/remind me. I keep all my words very visible - I have a growing collection of carved wooden words, a tangible dictionary. This year I'm continuing my 2017 wordS: practice, complete, peace and have added mindful/mindfulness as a 4th... We'll see how that works out...
Looking forward to our OLW journey...


You are the reason I chose a word last year (joy). I don't sign up for the prompts and I didn't think of my word each day...but I liked it. This year my word is Explore and I believe it will be in my thoughts more frequently. I am also (loosely) keeping a journal this year. No prompts, no expectations...but am enjoying the is bringing me Joy!


Inspiring, Kym (as always!) ... I LOVE how you've made OLW yours!! ... and I LOVE that Mary Oliver made her way to me Today!


You picked a word that you needed to explore and did it with such grace and beauty. Your journal of the journey is lovely and full of the words, colors, art that spoke to the process of finding your truth. Lovely, Kym. Just lovely.

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