My Word for the Year: 2017

Bamboo Forest Illumination in Kyoto, Japan

It’s a new year, My Lovelies, and you know what that means.  Time to pick a new word to represent 2017.  This time, I had a little trouble choosing.  A lot of words hold special meaning for me these days, some of them challenging, others encouraging.  But ultimately, I realized I needed something dynamic and fun.  Something that would get me excited to jump out of bed every morning and start the day.  Something that would give me hope in a very complex world.

So without further ado, my word for the year is…

MAGIC

 

And here are some quotes to express exactly what magic means to me.

“You can’t tame the spirit of someone who has magic in their veins.” –unknown

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” –Roald Dahl

“Magic is believing in yourself.  If you can do that, you can make anything happen.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing and even today words retain much of their magical power.” –Sigmund Freud

“Love is the closest thing we have to magic.” — from Aquamarine (movie)

“It’s important to remember that we all have magic inside us.” — J. K. Rowling

“Magic is something you make.” –unknown

“Look for magic in daily routine.”  –Lou Barlow

“By choosing to be our most authentic and loving self, we leave a trail of magic everywhere we go.”  –Emmanuel Dagher

I hope you will find ways in the coming year to invite magic into your life.  And don’t forget to come up with your own word for the year!

Check out the list of my past words here.

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My Word for the Year: 2016

Happy new year!  It’s that time again.  No, not resolutions.  We have enough of those to keep us occupied and sometimes frazzled and guilt-ridden.  What I’m talking about is something that sets the tone for your year.  One word to inspire, motivate, and sometimes even surprise you.

Here’s a list of my past words:

2013: possibilities

2014: confidence

2015: change

It’s amazing how a single word can create an entire mindset for the year. I started out with something really open and positive and then moved towards words that would challenge me and help me grow, sometimes in ways that were not always comfortable.

My husband has also enjoyed choosing a word for himself each year.  Since he just graduated with two master’s degrees while working full-time, he decided his word for this year should be: reignite.  As in, he wants to reignite his hobbies, exercise routine, and friendships.  Sounds perfect!

As for me, I’m taking a different track this year.  My word is…

Miracles

To get me started, I’m going to focus on some mantras related to this word.  Two of them come from one of my favorite meditation CDs, Meditation Moment.

“I open myself up to miracles both large and small.”

“Miracles happen every day.”

The third mantra is from SARK and can be used when you find you need a little help from the universe.  Fill in the blank below with whatever you need.  I especially like to use this one when I’m trying to find a good parking spot 😉

“________ miracle find me now.”

(i.e. Parking miracle find me now.)

You’ll be amazed at the results of inviting miracles into your life.

But don’t stop there!  Come up with your own unique word for the year.  Something to excite you and get you all fired up.  A word that not only defines your entire year, but also each moment of each new day.

Go for it!

 

 

“Get to Work” Playlist

I don’t know about all of you, but for me, sometimes getting to work can be quite a challenge, especially since I work from home.  There are so many distractions!

So I’ve developed a system, or rather a series of mind tricks, that I can use to get myself to work OR back to work if I’m taking a break.

  • The most recent is the “Get to Work” playlist.  It takes a little time to make the playlist, but once it’s done, the results are so rewarding!  The bonus: you get your creative muscle working by picking out songs.  One song I chose was recommended to me by a good friend.  It’s called “Over and Over” by Madonna, in the early years.  The tune is very 80s, but the words are what count.  She reminds us that we must get up again, over and over.  Think of that Weeble Wobble toy that can’t stay down!
  • Make tea or coffee.  The simple act of getting up can really get you going.  Before you know it, you’ll have forgotten all about the tea until it’s cold 😉
  • Have a mantra or two that you repeat to yourself to get moving.  Add a little action, like a punch or a high kick, and it will really solidify your start.
  • If you’re really down, go to your list of affirmations–the reminders of all the things you’ve accomplished and all the positive messages you’ve received over time.  Everyone needs a little encouragement, time and again, to quiet the negative voices in the background.
  • Practice gratefulness.  Nothing like reminding yourself of what you have to help you forget what you might be lacking.  It helps cure boredom, too, which is really just a form of fear.
  • If you have a work space, get up and get it ready for work.  The simple act of cleaning off your desk can make you feel ready to tackle new projects.  Just don’t let it turn into an all-day cleaning marathon 😉
  • Take 15 minute breaks at the end of each hour with a reward (nothing too distracting).  It might sound counterintuitive, but it actually helps refresh the mind so you can go longer and stronger.  It’s good to give the eyes a break from the computer screen, too.  Practice blinking to keep those eyes from going dry from too much staring.  Some healthy rewards include doing a few yoga stretches or taking a quick walk, having a little protein snack, or drinking more water or tea.

So go make that playlist.  I guarantee that even after one song, you’ll be ready to get to work.  And FYI, if you’re in the middle of a project and you feel stuck and want to bolt–Don’t.  Turn on one of your songs, instead.  It often does the trick to keep your body in the chair long enough so you can work through the problem creatively rather than run away from it.

Now get to work! 😉

 

Go to the Well

People go to wells for many reasons– water…wishes…words?

I enjoy receiving book recommendations.  Recently someone suggested On Writing Well  by William Zinsser.  Since it’s a guide for nonfiction writing, I paused before picking it up.  But then I thought, why not?  Thank goodness I did.  Turns out the wisdom found in its pages works for all kinds of writers.

Here are some highlights!

“Ultimately the product that any writer has to sell is not the subject being written about, but who he or she is.”

When writing, go in search of humanity and warmth.  “Good writing has an aliveness that keeps the reader reading…”

My favorite chapter is titled “Clutter.”  Follow this advice to help declutter your writing.

  • Don’t follow a verb with a preposition (“order up”)
  • Don’t add an adverb when the verb itself does the job (“smile happily”)
  • Don’t add an adjective that states a known fact (“tall skyscraper”)
  • Avoid using qualifiers that weaken the sentence (“a bit,” “sort of”)
  • Avoid using phrases that don’t mean anything (“in a sense”)
  • Avoid following up a sentence with another sentence that essentially says the same thing.  (You can also cut sentences that give info readers don’t really need to know or can figure out on their own.)

Astonishing fact: “Most first drafts can be cut by 50 percent without losing any information or losing the author’s voice.”

***How do we get our own style?***

Trick question!  “First…learn to hammer the nails, and if what you build is sturdy and serviceable, take satisfaction in its plain strength.”

If anything, “Sell yourself…Believe in your own identity and your own opinions.  Writing is an act of ego…Use its energy to keep yourself going.”

Here’s some advice on fear and confidence from humorist S. J. Perelman.  “The reader has to feel that the writer is feeling good…Even if he isn’t.”

“Writers have to jump-start themselves at the moment of performance, no less than actors and dancers and painters and musicians…You also have to [be the one to] turn on the switch.  Nobody is going to do it for you.”

And what’s my new mantra from this book?  “Get on the plane.”  You never know where your words will take you.  But they won’t take you anywhere, unless you have the courage to write them.