If you have come over from a beautiful life, thank you so much for joining me here. I hope you will be inspired to take a journey of discovery. If you have found us accidentally or are a creative faith follower and would like to read the ABL post that I wrote, you can find that here: One word, One journey, One life
I am so glad that you have decided to stop by. I treasure your virtual friendship and look forward to inspiring you in 2018! In my ABL post I talked about focus words, phrases or mantras. Here I am going to give you some ideas on how to discover YOUR word and how you can use it to redefine who you are and how you go about life. Now this is all from my perspective, and an important thing to remember is that not everyone is the same or sees things in a similar way. I will try to keep my suggestions general so that you are able to take them and use them to fit into your 2018. As always, the Lord is your ultimate guide and all that you do points back to His greatness and love.
My posts typically are not this long, I value your time and appreciate your visit. But to start off the year, this topic of focus words is one that entire books can explore. I will try to keep my commentary as brief as I think necessary to give you great perspective and a wonderful start to the new year and new you!
Finding your one word
How you go about finding your focus word, phrase, or mantra will be as individual as the personalities of the seekers. I can only tell you how I found mine and hope that by doing similar things, you may find yours as well.
Here are my top 3 techniques (for a lack of a better word)
There are several ways to listen. The first involves quiet and solitude, giving your spirit an opportunity to speak without all of the noise and confusion of life. This kind of listening seeks an inner voice, communication with the Spirit of God, and knowledge that surpasses anything you might otherwise think. God is often found in the tranquil, quiet moments and speaks with a still small voice. If you are running from one activity to another without so much as a thought of your own, how will you ever hear Him?
Another way to listen is picking out key words when hearing others speak such as during a message on Sunday, a video lesson, a conversation with friends, or even reading a book. The word, when it is one that you should pay attention to, will leap off the page, out of the context in which it is spoken and become so prominent in your mind that you won’t be able to ignore it. Have you ever experienced a time when you kept hearing the same thing over and over from different sources? This is what I am talking about. Pay attention: It is obviously something you need to hear. Sometimes it can be difficult when it isn’t something you want to hear, but really since when is life ever easy? If you listen, follow, and learn what you need to, you can maybe move on to something hopefully a bit more pleasant.
In my experience, God is more interested in your character than in your comfort
I once had the impression that I needed to slow down. Everything I tried to do fast, was thwarted. Cars blocked my way, plans fell through, projects turned out badly, accidents happened. It wasn’t until I finally took a moment to tell myself to slow down, that things started to click into place. I didn’t always see it heading out, but when I was intentional about going forward slowly, success found its way into my situations and I learned that fast isn’t the best way forward.
For guidance. I do this in my Morning Prayer time. But maybe you aren’t a pray-er. Do you meditate? Take daily walks? Talk to the Creator of the Universe while you are driving down the road? This is a great time to turn off the radio, your phone, and any other distracting element and ask for wisdom in choosing the appropriate word for your situation. He sees the beginning to the end. He knows what will take you to the best life possible. He loves you and wants only the best for you –
What should I focus on this year?
How would you like me to spend my time?
Where do you want me to make a change for the better?
If you seek…you will find!
Sometimes I will have several words that I think will be great focus words for me, but one is really better in trying to accomplish change or experience discovery. I will write them all down on individual pieces of paper, then work on some visualization exercises to discover what I think may come from using that particular word.
Make a list of things you would like to see happen pertaining to that word.
Brainstorm all of the possible outcomes, both good and bad
Then choose the one you are most drawn to.
-We are all works in progress. Sometimes there are many things we would like to do or work on. I call this creative ADD. My mind doesn’t like to choose just one thing because there are so many awesome options. But when I do too many, I often find myself spread thin. Too thin! Can you relate?
Choose one – your creative spirit will thank you!
Maybe you still don’t know where to begin or can’t decide on a word?
Maybe these exercises didn’t produce anything definitive?
Here are some possible one words:
- Spirit life
This list is by no means exhaustive, it is just some things I have considered in the past. Finding your one word may be as easy as just choosing and knowing instinctively what is missing in life and how you want to rectify it. That is why I included the above list. Sometimes we just need some suggestions to get us going. The rest follows quickly.
Last year my word was CREATE. I’ve always been creative, but renewing what I believe I had lost was an important step for me in moving forward in what I believe God has purposed me with. The whole year was trying out various creative avenues for sharing what I know and learning new things to explore what I was capable of. Through this process I discovered what kind of a creative I was, my strengths, weaknesses, and how I thought I wanted to move forward. There were times of confusion and doubt as well as aha moments that made me think that I was not so lost after all.
Did I figure it all out?
Absolutely not! This is not meant to be a fix-your-life gig. It is simply a way to get your brain focused on something meaningful to you. What you may discover along the way can be pivotal, and sometimes it will lead you to a different word – another step along the path of life.
What my word means to me
Over the last few months I have encountered this word through so many different avenues that it was hard to ignore. Songs, books, movies, classes – then God spoke to my heart:
You are too busy – you’ve lost the wonder you used to have. Rediscover it!
…and he is right – I have
It is the little things in life, the ones that make you look closer to see if there is really something there, that means the most. It is finding the wonder in the common, mundane, and even ugly of life that will change your perspective and bring you to a place of seeing the world through God colored glasses. But to see that, I first need to slow down – again. But this time it is a slowing of mind, of focus, an intentional exploration of the infinitely smaller parts of this vast and beautiful place we call Earth.
Evidence of God is all around us, but are we choosing to see it? I want to see it. The evidence. The miracles. The beauty that He has created for us to discover. I want to see the wonder of this world and all that I am meant to have and discover and experience.
And it all starts here: with WONDER
Where do you go from here?
Knowing what to do with your one word once you discover it can be a challenge. If you make it too complex a process or expect too much from yourself, you won’t stick with it…just like those New Year resolutions that often don’t make it past the first week.
If all you do is look at the word every day and ponder its meaning to you and your life…that is enough. This is your life, your journey, and your word. Everyone’s process of discovery will be different.
- Look up the dictionary meanings and jot them down. This will get you to think about the different ways that it can impact your life.
- Write a new way that you can use your word in your day – each day. Keep a journal with these notes so you can reflect back when you feel like you’ve wandered off the path. This doesn’t have to be fully formed sentences, they can be just a couple of random thoughts….you’ll know what they mean even if no one else does 😉
- Create a piece of art that incorporates your word or uses it in some other creative way. Keep an art journal with these creations and use the pages to journal other thoughts and experiences on. Make sure to include what works, what doesn’t, and what you would like to try next. This art is for you and no one else, it is a visual diary of your word discovery.
- Write your word on a notecard (or 50) and place it/them around your house. Tape them on mirrors, magnet them to the fridge, tuck them in books, put one in a drawer at work or at home. These will serve as reminders as you go about life, of the discoveries you wanted to make. Every day is one step closer to an epic discovery.
Me? I will be using Wonder as a jumping off point for the rest of what I do this year. Art, classes, stories… I can see a wide world of possibility unfolding before me, and I can’t wait to explore its depths!
As an added bonus, I have included a short tutorial below of a mini book I am creating from a deck of cards, 52 cards/pages to document my weekly thoughts/experiences on. Whatever your creative outlet is: art, writing, photography, prayer, I hope you enjoy it and are inspired to make one of your own.
So apparently I am long winded….I’ll have to work on that! Check out the video below for some tips on using a simple deck of cards to create a 52 page booklet to journal your 2018. The video timed out before I could add the cover so I included a couple of pics below to help you to finish it off. Have fun with it! You can also use note-cards or index cards in place of the playing cards. The point is to create something small to increase the possibility of successfully finishing the page each week. At the end you will have a great mixed media book documenting your one word journey!
supplies: 1 deck of playing cards, mod podge or tacky glue, ribbon of your choice, book board, gesso, stencils and modeling past (if you would like to add a bit of texture to your pages)
- Using book board or chip board, cut pieces to just slightly larger than the card book you just made
- glue a pieces of sturdy ribbon to the edge of the free end of the cover. (it should be twice as wide as the cover plus the width of the stack of cards…then add a pinch for gluing on each side)
- you will then glue down the free edge of the ribbon you used to create your book. the loose end of it should be pointing toward the side that you just glued the tab on.
- coat whole piece with a heavy sticky glue (like tacky glue) and place another card on top of the ribbon to cover it.
- fold the outside ribbon around the cover of the book and glue in place. Clip and let dry.
- fold the ribbon around the stack of cards and then fix the back cover piece in place…glue ribbon down and tuck into other side. glue down that end and the original ribbon down to create your completed book.
- decorate your cover with your One Word and the year!
Next Monday we will begin again with our daily prompts to get you going in your one word book.
See you then!!