3 Simple Steps for Finding & Maximizing My Word of the Year

Choose Your Words Wisely

Happy 2016! At the start of each new year, I love the idea of selecting one meaningful, motivating word to serve as a personal guide for the next 12 months. And I have three simple steps to do it.

STEP 1: Choose it wisely. To choose my word each year, I first imagine how I want to feel on December 31st, looking back at what I’ve experienced and achieved. What positive theme do I want to be able to see weaving through my life as I reflect on the past year? Sometimes it helps to notice the experiences and patterns I’m tired of and want to release from, and then figure out what the flip side of that would look like. Sometimes I want to build upon awesomeness that’s begun sprouting up; I want a word that reminds me to nurture and nourish that.

STEP 2: Use it wisely. And then, throughout the year, I use my word as a litmus test. In any situation, I can ask myself if it lines up with my word of the year. If it doesn’t, that’s a good indication that I’m off-track and need to recalibrate.

STEP 3: Don’t forget it. Take it from someone who’s been there, done that. It’s a bummer to reach December 31st and realize you left your word (and, likely, dreams) in the dust. Your word of the year is meant to stick with you through thick and thin. So post it somewhere you’ll see it frequently. Paste it on your vision board. Illustrate it and frame it. Write it on your bathroom mirror with a dry-erase marker. Keep it front and center to lead the way all year long.

Last year, I chose the word SERENITY and it served me well. I wanted to point my inner compass towards feeling good in all ways – physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, professionally, personally – with a constant foundation of peace and calm holding me steady through it all.

Right away last January, I had to put that word to good use. Our little guy, Tru, had been sick for nearly a month and only got worse while on our trip to Texas during New Year’s week. Once we returned home, we had three days straight of doctors appointments, pharmacy runs and blood tests. While juggling that with work and other commitments, I continually asked myself, “What are the choices I need to make to achieve serenity now?”

Sometimes, the answer was about expressing gratitude for the positives – a flexible schedule, good doctors, access to medicine, the ability to afford treatment. Sometimes, it meant taking a nap or talking to a friend on the phone while Tru rested. Sometimes, it meant choosing not to stress over unreturned emails or looming deadlines. And while we waited for test results (which wound up being inconclusive and he eventually got better), it meant not freaking out over what I didn’t know or obsessing about the possibilities, but just living in the present and celebrating any sign of progress with our little guy. By leaning on my word of the year, I surrendered to serenity and felt so much better for it.

This year, I’ve chosen a word that makes me smile from ear-to-ear…

glee - word of the year

Yep, this is my year to dance with GLEE! I knew I wanted to focus on cultivating joy this year, but that particular word didn’t feel quite right. I wanted something lighter, something brighter, something unique. I flipped through the thesaurus and when I saw “glee,” it jumped out at me. And then, I looked up the definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

“Exultant high-spirited joy,” it said. And I felt a shiver of truth and light buzz through me. There it is, I thought! GLEE is my word of the year. My guidepost for living, my companion in decision-making, my best bud in cultivating joy.

christine kane - word of the yearSo, what word will guide you this year? If you need a little extra guidance to choose your word, there are two FREE (also a favorite word!) resources that I highly recommend and thousands of people have used: Christine Kane offers an awesome online Word of the Year Discovery Tool  and Susannah Conway offers a five-day Find Your Word email class. Both are brilliant.

Wishing you a year that lives up to your highest expectations, dear hearts!

 

Why I’m closing up shop

Be True To You Notebook via Liv Lane

Holy wow. The path of least resistance really does exist. And mine has an art shop with a sign in the window: closed till further notice.

That’s right, friends; I’m closing the Etsy shop that has been my labor of love for the past five years. This would have sounded like failure to me five years ago; today, it sounds like freedom.

I still LOVE creating in my studio, but my worklife has shifted in ways I couldn’t have imagined back then. In 2010, I kept my intuitive skills under wraps and tightly sealed with duct tape. Calling myself an artist was scary, but calling myself an intuitive was out of the question. To have thought one day people would be booking sessions with me months in advance? Ridiculous!

I realize now that I needed that experience – of honoring the artist in me and letting words and art flow through me each day – to begin accepting and revealing the other messages coming through. It’s no coincidence that during the first two years of trying to make it as an artist, I started seeing more, hearing more, feeling more, receiving more.

While creating the art came easy, the business of being an artist did not.

I’d spend hours prepping booths for art fairs and events only to make half of what I paid to be there. I was thrilled when stores would ask to display my wares, but dreaded restocking their product each month only to receive a tiny commission check. I kept selling out of my necklaces online, but hated making them (I even hired an assistant to do it for me).

Eventually, as I gained the courage to publicly offer the intuitive and inspirational work that felt almost effortless for me, I began to scale back on the elements of my art biz that felt so hard. I stopped making things I didn’t like making. I stopped displaying my wares at stores and events. I stopped making art that I thought others would like, and settled on a sweet and simple style that I liked.

Art became my side business, not my main business, and a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. And that worked for quite a while.

This is my year to FEEL GOOD in every way. via LivLane.comAs 2014 came to a close, I chose a new word of the year to be my guiding light in 2015: serenity. I committed to being present enough in my life to notice when something doesn’t feel good and do what it takes to shift into what does feel good. As I looked at all of the goodness on my plate for this year, one thing kept nagging at me: would the logistics of keeping my Etsy shop running feel more like a burden than a blessing?

I shut it down for a week over the holidays, intending to re-open in early January. But one week turned into two, and two turned into six, and not having the pressure of shipping and restocking cards and gifts felt so good. All I missed was creating the art. So I turned the divinely-inspired guidance I email weekly to subscribers into free printable art. No shipping, no strings, and a beautiful response.

It became crystal clear: I can be an artist without an art shop. Hello, path of least resistance. 

Path of least resistance quote, via LivLane.com

So here’s the deal. I have re-opened the shop for just a few days. I announced this first to my newsletter subscribers yesterday, and they nearly (and awesomely) cleared me out! So I’ve added a few popular items in very limited quantities – and a couple of new ones (like the journal above) that I literally forgot I had created! Shop to your heart’s content; the store will close Sunday (unless it sells out before) and use the coupon code DIVINE at checkout to get 20% off your order.

I suspect that I’ll occasionally – maybe twice a year? – host a surprise pop-up shop of cards and gifts, but we’ll see what happens. I am so grateful to all who have embraced me on this creative adventure and helped me honor and delight my inner artist. Thank you for being so awesome.

Note: For free weekly printable art and updates on my work, subscribe to Divine Interventions here.

from skeptic to advocate: an inspiring year in the life of my childhood bestie

When you let go of the when and how, magic arrives in the here and now. | LivLane.com

If you’ve ever doubted the power of intention, ever scoffed at the value of making a vision board or selecting a “word of the year,” you’re not alone.

Sarah Rudell Beach questioned it all, too – until she did something really brave. She let go. And I can’t wait for you to hear what happened next!

Sarah’s the thinking woman’s guide to mindfulness over at Left Brain Buddha and a revered high school teacher, and I’m thrilled that she’s our newest contributor to Project Light Year 2015. A year ago, she was just getting started as a Project Light Year participant – and she arrived with a bagfull of doubt. She loved the idea of spending a whole year focused on personal growth with a virtual tribe of kindreds, but she was hesitant about some of the subject matter. Intention? Angels? Really?

I wasn’t surprised. Sarah was my first best friend. She was super-smart even at five, when we first met – a planner, a problem solver, a pragmatic playmate (her Barbie dolls all had successful careers and 401Ks). These traits have served her well over the years. But they didn’t leave much room for magic and mystery.

Liv & Sarah - January 2015

Liv & Sarah – January 2015

Last January, as the Project Light Year tribe dove into cultivating the power of intention and conspiring with the universe to co-create awesomeness in our lives, Sarah did something really brave. She jumped right in. Rather than bristle at how woo-woo that all sounded, she decided to take a chance and just try it. She set her intentions. She made a vision board. She opened up. And she couldn’t believe what transpired.

Last week, as part of our kick-off to another magical year, I interviewed Sarah about her leap from lingering doubt to dramatic developments in paving her path to deeper joy. It was meant just for Project Light Year participants, but we’ve decided to share it with all of you today, in hopes you feel inspired to let go a little bit, to trust yourself a little more, to experience magic and mystery like never before.

To download the 23-minute interview with Sarah, just click here.  Or to listen online, click here

We’re just getting started in Project Light Year 2015. There’s still time to set doubt aside and make 2015 the year you light up your life. Find all the details here.

cruising past the big kids: inside my life as a fly girl

Spread your wings and #fly | LivLane.com

When I was a little girl, I could fly.

I’m not talking about the times my dad would lift me in the air and twirl me above the crowd, nor about my great big imagination carrying me off to faraway places.

I’m telling you heart-to-heart, hand-to-God: I flew. I realize it sounds preposterous, impossible. I don’t understand it myself, but have such vivid memories of it that I’ve never doubted it. And that’s saying something, because I’ve doubted a lot about my lifetime of paranormal, hard-to-believe experiences.

I can still feel myself, primarily while I was four- to eight-years-old, sitting on the front step of my childhood home, frequently aware of otherworldly beings in my midst – loving protectors, ethereal guardians. They kept me company, made me feel safe and sometimes, on my favorite days, they helped me fly. Only up and down the sidewalk of our tree-lined avenue, mind you; they were very respectful of my parents’ rules – no leaving our side of the street! 

All I had to do was move my arms like I was swimming the breaststroke to pull my body forward. I could see the sidewalk three or four feet beneath me as I’d make my way up and down the block. It was the most incredible feeling; I was absolutely giddy, my whole body buzzing with glee and awe. Were they out-of-body experiences? Astral travel? Lucid dreams? I have no idea. They felt real – and they still do, all these years later.

The last time I remember it happening, I reached the end of our block and looked across the street to see a bunch of the cool neighbor boys driving their Big Wheels and bikes in circles on a driveway. One stopped cold and looked straight at me. I felt instant panic, my feet fell to the sidewalk and I ran home. I remember how heavy my body felt as I ran down the block, and how my heart ached, unsure what he saw but sensing that I’d done something wrong or abnormal – and that he might tell others. That fear kept me from flying again – literally and metaphorically.

Heart - Born to Fly on Swing hi-resI clipped my wings, so to speak; dimmed my light. I was very cautious about whom I shared my not-so-normal experiences with, growing quieter as the years passed. But I never forgot the flying.

Over the past few years, I slowly came back into my own, embracing and sharing the gifts of my intuition and connection with the Great Beyond. The past year has been particularly big on that front; I started 2013 by choosing THRIVE as my word of the year, feeling ready to bloom in new ways. But I had no idea how transparent I’d actually become about this deeper awareness.

Has it been scary? Absolutely. Has it been worth it? Without a doubt. For the first time in decades, I feel like I’m taking flight again. I have no plans to zoom down the block anytime soon (ha!), but I want to keep close the complete joy and fearlessness that felt so natural all those years ago.

So, it seems only fitting that my word of 2014 – the one that will guide me in my decisions and attitude this year – is FLY. I want to feel free, uninhibited, and filled to the brim with amazement for where I’m going, and the support I have to get me there. No more worrying about the big kids telling on me; I’ve got nothing left to hide. Ready, set, fly.

 __________________________

Want to fly with me this year? I’d love it! Here are some fun ways to stay connected in 2014…

Did you choose a word of the year for 2014? I’d love to hear it and what motivated you to choose it. Wishing you a brilliantly light-filled year, dear ones.

my word of the year (and 5 ways find + honor yours)

word of the year: thrive

Whoomp, there it is. I really thought long and hard about this: the one little word I want to guide me this year. THRIVE.

I love this exercise so much more than making resolutions at the start of a new year. A resolution typically focuses on what we lack or want to fix in our lives – and I don’t like my motivation for doing anything to come from a negative space. For me, choosing a guiding word is more about living with intention and focusing on what’s possible.

Last year, my word was bliss and it definitely helped me be more conscious of so many moments when I felt purely content and deeply happy. The year before that, I chose overjoyed; during an extremely tough year, that word sometimes whispered to me in the darkness, reminding me to find joy anyway.

Those past two years, my words focused on how I wanted to feel. This year, I chose a word that focuses on what I want to do. I went through lots of possibilities: fly. soar. excel. build. expand. trust. flourish.

family in pasadenaAs I looked at synonyms, thrive jumped out at me and said: yes, of course. Thrive encompasses all of those words I was considering – plus it holds extra-special meaning for me, since my dad was so committed in his work to helping youth thrive. In fact, I went to LA this past fall with my mom and brother for the opening of the  Thrive Center for Human Development at Fuller, which my dad had been so looking forward to be a part of.

While I was looking for my word, thrive had already found me. It feels right.

So, what feels right for you? I’d love to know the words you’ve chosen to guide you into goodness this year. And I also wanted to share some lovely resources…

Find + Honor Your Word of the Year

word of the year rock in a boxChristine Kane offers a great, free toolkit for finding your unique word. Just go to her blog for details.

Kim Mailhot, “Queen of Arts,” has created darling boxes in which you can place a word rock – custom made with your word of the year (pictured at left).

Ali Edwards, another champion of this great exercise, is launching her One Little Word Workshop for 2013.

Liz Lamoreux will engrave your word of the year into one of her stunning necklaces.  And so will The Rusted Chain – and add a sweet little pearl to boot.

Looking forward to seeing your words. Happy New Year, everyone!