Honoring — In a Word

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I want to share this newsletter to honor my mentor coach, Fredi Baker. Fredi always invites those in her ‘tribe’ to choose a word at the beginning of the year and I want to carry on the tradition. Thank you Fredi, for so generously sharing your wisdom. My word for 2014 is ‘possibility’, what’s yours?

from Fredi Baker, MCC, ELI-MP

What’s in a word? A lot. A word can be a promise, statement, truth, fib, dare, tribute, command, intention, description, declaration and so much more. And what better time to pick a word to guide you, than the beginning of January?

Every January, for the past decade and a half, I have chosen a word to live by for the year. And, for about as long, I have encouraged my clients and my tribe in general to choose their word as well. (Full disclosure here – I started with a theme for the year, but that quickly morphed into a word – so much more succinct and focused.) The beauty of this is that is gives us somewhere to focus, and as we choose our actions, we can check to see if it in in alignment with our word.

Of course, I am not laying claim as this being my original idea. Among others, Jennifer Louden has talked about this for many years, and the movement has grown.It can be a good idea to have a reminder of your word, so it doesn’t just slip away, like many “resolutions” of past years. In fact, this year one of our Northern California artists, Mati Rose Art , will do a small custom painting with your word on it. You can create your own collage, poem, or whatever strikes your creative fancy.
Sometimes, the word will just appear. One year, a wonderful client gifted me with a beautiful keyring that had a word that so inspired (and at the same time challenged me) that I knew that was my word. What was the word? FABULOUS. She said it was how she saw me, and even if I didn’t see myself that way, I really wanted to! So, I took up the quest to find my fabulousness.

Several of my clients have picked words that were so meaningful, they became the basis for things like a niche, a company name, the title of a book or workshop as well as motivation to go after what they wanted. (And, sometimes they work with their clients to pick their own words as well.) I know the year I chose “WRITE” as my word was the most prolific and successful year I have had as a writer to date.

The most effective words are ones that just hit you. They can be a stretch, rather than something you have already accomplished. For example, I have been a coach for 13 years, so the word COACH is not a stretch for me, but for someone in training, or just beginning their business? To declare that they are a COACH! Could be powerful indeed (and I have seen it happen – trust!)

Why not try it yourself? Take some time and let the word find you – don’t force it, or make it too serious a task. Have fun, play with possibilities. You may have to coax that word out of hiding, and it may be lurking just behind what you think it is. Once you have your word – and you will know – embrace it. Look at your world through those glasses. “If I were______, I would______.” This is an intuitive, creative process so let go and see where it takes you. Much more fun than the serious, somber old idea of “Making Resolutions for the New Year” don’t you think?

So…what’s YOUR word for 2014?

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