I've done One Little Word five times now. Five words. Five very different experiences.
At first, when I start out with my word each year, there is a flurry of inspiration. I'm always excited to "invite my word into my life" (as OLW leader, Ali Edwards, says over and over again). I find quotes and poems. I set intentions. I find visual reminders for myself. (And I usually buy some jewelry.)
Early on, my word doesn't usually . . . gel . . . for me right away. It kind of . . . just sits there. I do a lot of wheel-spinning. It always seems like maybe I picked the wrong word.
But then, around now, things start coming together for me and my word. By the end of May, there's been enough time and distance that I can start to see how my word is connecting in my life. Sure, I'm bound to be disappointed by mis-steps and whole chunks of inaction around my initial intentions. But. By now, I'm usually beginning to understand how seemingly disparate things . . . urges . . . inclinations . . . awakenings . . . actually connect in some way. Unexpected themes and patterns begin to emerge. My word . . . begins to act as a pivot point in my life.
When I set out on my JOURNEY this year, I knew I wanted to head off in a new direction. But I wasn't quite sure what that meant, exactly. I set some goals for myself; some intentions and action steps for the year. I've come to think about those intentions and action steps as . . . DESTINATIONS on my JOURNEY; places I hope to end up, eventually. As in . . . I want to go . . . THERE! That's kind of the easy part.
Choose a destination.
Now that I'm actually moving along, you know what I'm figuring out?
Sometimes the JOURNEY is quick, uneventful, and direct. But sometimes . . . not so much. Sometimes there are unplanned side trips you just can't resist. Sometimes you decide to take the scenic route (because why not?). Sometimes you get re-routed, or stuck in a detour. Sometimes you have some kind of breakdown and need assistance. There are even times when you decide to turn back. Because that wasn't actually where you wanted to go at all. And sometimes . . . you get lost.
Usually, I'm not so comfortable with getting lost. I like to know where I'm heading, and how I'm going to get there. I like maps and compasses and GPS. I like setting goals and having specific things I'm working toward.
But, I'm starting to think that I might need to allow myself a little time and space . . . to get lost.
It feels right, somehow.
Even though I have no idea what that means.
(And that's the power . . . of one little word.)