Five . . . One Little Words

After participating in One Little Word for several years now, I find myself eagerly awaiting what the new year - and my new word - will bring me.  Because I have learned some important personal lessons with each of my words!

(I know.  It sounds kind of wacky.  But I've discovered that there really is power in having a year-long focus on One Little Word.)

The whole thing started in 2011, the first time I signed up for Ali Edwards' One Little Word project.  My word that year was MOVE .  I chose that word because I felt like I needed some inspiration to get myself moving - basically, to get off my butt!  (You see, I'm a daydreamer at heart.  I can sit, quietly, and think about things all day.  Which is fine.  But.  Sometimes you need to get those dreams in motion.)   That first year, I got totally overwhelmed by the "project" end of things:  scrapbooking, supplies, keeping up with the monthly prompts.  In fact, I was so focused on the "project" that I didn't get much out of the "process."

What I learned that first year . . . is that I wanted to try it again.  (And that was a way to MOVE, when you think about it.)


In 2012, my word was SHINE.   I started out strong with the prompts and my word in 2012 -- but quickly flamed out.  (It was the scrapbooking!  Totally not my thing.)  What I learned from my word that year:  Do it YOUR way!  Shine YOUR light -- and don't reflect someone else's.  I learned to be inspired by the process, without feeling the pressure to do the projects.


In 2013, my word was SURPRISE.  I was hoping to surprise myself that year . . . and I did!  I learned something completely simple -- and very obvious (although it wasn't at all when I began).  You can't plan to be surprised; you can't set off looking for surprise.  You need to be open to being surprised -- and, when you are, why . . . you discover that surprises happen all around you, all the time.  (Surprise!)


Last year, my word was POSSIBILITY.  It turned out to be my most transformational word yet -- which was what I was looking for when I chose it.  (Just in a whole 'nother way!)  I expected to disover "new somethings."  But what I discovered . . . is that I really needed to clear out and create space for possibility in my life.

This year . . . 


And by now, I know that I'll end up someplace I really can't quite imagine right now.

So that's . . . Five One Little Words.

Five lessons.

(But not five scrapbooks.)


If you're joining along in Ali Edwards' class this year for the first time -- and you're finding the scrapbooking and supply lists and prescribed projects a bit overwhelming or daunting, let me know.  I am a completely rogue participant at this point.  I use Ali's monthly prompts as inspiration -- and then I do my own thing.  (It's my way to SHINE.)

Also -- it's never to late to join in.  Click here to register for Ali's class.


JOURNEY: The Beginning



Begin here 1.4.15

Last year, when I chose the word POSSIBILITY as my "one little word," it was because there was some sort of . . . pull . . . deep inside me for . . . 

something ELSE
something DIFFERENT
something MORE

I thought, then, that I needed to consider new possibilities for my life.  And, at the time, I thought I needed to add something (a new project, new creative ventures, more this, more that).  I never thought about what I might leave behind.  

What I discovered over the course of my year of POSSIBILITY was quite shocking to me!  As the year rolled on, I slowly began to realize that in order to explore/find/discover new possibilities, I first needed to make room for them.  I understand now (because hindsight always makes you wiser) that adding something "new" . . . without considering what was "already there" . . . would have been a horrible mistake, and wouldn't actually help me at all.

(Ah.  The power of one little word.)

So my year of POSSIBILITY . . . became a year of creating space!  I started with my closet.  Most unexpected, but so satisfying.  (And still ongoing, truth be told.  Paring down happens in stages. . . as I realize how lightly I really can pack!)  It moved on to the garden, where I did a lot more digging-up than planting-in last year.  It moved into my head - in a very big way - where I started thinking very hard about commitments and priorities and passions.

And that's when it really hit me.

What I discovered was this:  My time (and my heart) were beging consumed by my job -- a job I'd actually been "tricked" into accepting (can you say "bait-and-switch"?), didn't ever want, and was holding onto for some weird sense of obligation.  My original search for new possibilities, I now understand, was actually a search for my own heart.  Because I felt so empty and drained from the demands of a job I didn't want to have in the first place.

So I cleared space.

I quit.

Today is my first "official" day without that particular job in my life.

Now, my JOURNEY really begins.  I've cleared space -- and now I'm heading out for uncharted territory.

I'm not sure where I'm going, but I know I'm on my way!


I had planned a nice blog post yesterday (New Year's Day) following the "begin as you mean to go on" theme of the new year.  But.  My cold took a nasty turn for the irritating-and-tedious, and I do NOT mean to go on in that way at all.  

So I took the day off -- and thought about my intentions for the new year instead.


Each year, on New Year's Day, I sit down with my journal and I write out a list of "intentions" for the coming year. My list is very free-form -- but I do have two rules:  Each intention I list must (1) have only two (or three) words, and (2) must be an action.

Once I get my initial list finished (this year I started with 29 two-word intentions on my list), I let it percolate for awhile . . . before paring it down to a shorter, "master" list of intentions.  (I usually find that themes bubble up -- and I can create a final list that encompasses all of the my original intentions.)

Here is my list of intentions for 2015:

  1. Pay attention.
  2. Look inside.
  3. Jump in.
  4. Stretch and bend.
  5. Make a mess.
  6. Trust yourself.
  7. Risk it.
  8. Get lost.
  9. Pack lightly.
  10. Freshen up.

These intentions will serve me well through 2015 . . . as I focus on my One Little Word:


It should be an interesting adventure!