Since 2013 I have selected a word for the year and have taken the online course called One Little Word run by Ali Edwards. In the past my words have been Grow (2013), Embrace (2014), Simplify (2015) and Awaken (2016). Having a word for the year gives me a focus, it helps me shape intentions for the year ahead, rather than having specific resolutions, and enables me to action a certain way of being for the year. This year my word is Thrive.
For the past four years I have selected a word to bring into my daily life and have taken an online class called One Little Word created by Ali Edwards. I hugely admire Ali and she continues to inspire me with her creativity, her approach to memory keeping, method of reflection and story telling.
My word for 2016 was Awaken, and in previous years my words have been Grow (2013), Embrace (2014) and Simplify (2015). Each year my word brings something new into my life, a new way of thinking and a way to ground myself. I believe that these words have each helped me to get to where I am now, they’ve helped me to create things in my life, deal with challenges and have given me a different way to shape my year.
Awaken became a word that softly sat behind things that I did, and gave me a gentle nudge here and there when I needed it. I wrote about my word in March and what it was bringing into my life at that point in time. Since then my word has continued to be a focus and has enabled me to create a great year and achieve a number of things.
Using my word as a base, I like to create intentions for the year ahead. Here are a few of the key intentions that I connected to most last year and a little bit about what they brought into my life…
Over the past three weeks I’ve enjoyed connecting with Autumn. It still feels quite early on in the season for me as I’ve only had three weeks of it at home so far. Stepping off a plane after our honeymoon to cold temperatures, and swapping my shorts for jeans, suntan lotion for gloves and scarves, was initially a little shock but was a moment that connected me back to my favourite time of the year. I’ve loved kicking the leaves, looking up at the trees and capturing the colours, and soaking up the golden sunshine when I can. Before our wedding day I started jotting down ideas for my Autumn manifesto and today I wanted to share with you my simple manifesto for this season…
This is where I stand…It’s Autumn and my favourite time of year. The autumnal months for me evoke feelings of fresh starts, a new momentum gathers inside of me, and I relish the chance to embrace and notice change.
For Mr C and I Autumn is now marked by something extra special in our lives…on Saturday 8th October we got married! We celebrated by creating a personalised day that was full of details and moments that we will cherish forever. Preparing for the day was a real adventure, it took courage, planning, problem solving, drive and dedication. The past five months have been one of the most impactful journeys I have experienced in my life so far. The moments experienced during this time have given me a huge push and a wake up call to move forwards with what I want to do. I wanted to tell you all about it, so I’d recommend grabbing a big cup of tea, a blanket, and a yummy piece of cake as I bring you up to speed with a few things that have recently happened on my journey so far…
The word that I have chosen for 2016 is Awaken. I thought my word for 2016 was going to be ‘Thrive’ or ‘Bloom’, as both came to me with great gusto mid-way through last year and for a while they seemed to sit well. However the closer to the end of the year I got the more I felt that there was something missing. Deep down I felt that I needed to awaken before being able to move towards, welcoming a focus of bloom or thrive into my life.
Awaken feels like a word that is powered by positive action and for me signals the activation of something new or waking something inside that is new or that was once there. Simplify, my word for 2015, allowed me to create some space for new things, and created positive changes and approaches in my life. It’s now time to see what Awaken may bring to the year ahead…
For the past three years I’ve selected a word to bring into my daily life. I’ve not done this alone, I’ve taken an online class and been part of the One Little Word community set up by Ali Edwards. Ali is someone I hugely admire and who inspires me with her creative practice and her approach.
For 2015 my word was ‘Simplify‘. In 2014 my word was ‘Embrace‘ and in 2013 my word was ‘Grow‘. Reflecting on my word from the previous year, and selecting a new word for the year ahead, are some of my favourite rituals I have embedded into January and have become part of my new year routine.
It’s been a busy few weeks hence me having a bit of a blogging break. I am at last back in a place where I feel that I’m re-establishing a balance. I don’t know about you but when I have lots going on it sometimes feels like I don’t get anything finished or achieved, and things I love doing slip off the agenda.
For me over the past month or so my day job has dominated each week. I’ve been working on a few large projects, trying to juggle them with my day to day tasks and changing priorities, it has led to a particularly challenging but interesting month. I’m continually surrounded by changes, a reactive workload and daily shifts in focus that impact on my role. Sometimes it makes me feel that I don’t know if I’m coming or going, as I jump from quick win to quick win but I seem to get lots achieved and I enjoy the challenge.
I have decided to continue for another year to select a word that I want to make more visible in my life. I’ve chosen SIMPLIFY as my One Little Word and I’m excited about what my new word will help me achieve this year. The words I’ve selected for the past few years have played a key role in shaping me as a person and my year ahead. GROW helped me find the things I love and to grow a new seed in my life. EMBRACE enabled me to deal emotionally during a challenging year, embrace the things going on, hold on tight and welcome in change. I’m hoping SIMPLIFY will help me to take a step forward with plans and get to the heart of what lights me up and makes me feel really happy.
It’s my third year of taking Ali Edward’s One Little Word online class. I’m truly inspired by Ali’s approach to this topic, her personal reflections, her style of memory keeping, how she goes about documenting life in photos and words, and how she tells her story. Take a look at this video where she explains so beautifully what her One Little Word class is all about. I’m so proud to be part of this tribe of women selecting a word and making it more visible in our lives.
For the past two years I’ve been selecting a word at the beginning of the year and trying to bring my word into my everyday. In 2013 my word One Little Word
and last January I chose ’embrace’
as my word for 2014. The words I’ve had for the past two years have played a key role in helping me shape each year. ‘Grow’ brought with it great change and personal growth, and ’embrace’ has brought with it something different than I had expected. I will admit that it has taken me a while to write about how embrace impacted on my year. It’s near the end of January and it has taken until now to process and work out how to express the past year and the impact of my word. Processing the year and tying up loose ends this month has been a challenge in itself, and then putting it into words another.
When I started to explore the meaning of the word ’embrace’ I saw that it had a range of meanings, including to hold close, to surround, accept willingly, encircle, adopt, accept and welcome. At the start of the project, for me the word embrace meant embracing who I am, what I have grown to be, what I believe in and what I love to do. Embrace meant surrounding myself with, and welcoming things around me, that made me feel good, embracing my ideas, thoughts and plans to push forward, forming my key intentions for the year. But embrace ended up meaning so much more…
Do you sometimes feel that life seems to fly by? For me that’s just what is happening at the moment. I’ve had a number of very busy weeks at work and I am gradually getting used to dealing with the new demands and volumes of work in my job, whilst trying to have a bit of a work life balance…it has been a little tricky but I’m slowly making it work…so I’m posting something today that I wanted to write a while ago but I haven’t had the chance…
A few weeks ago I decided to take a day away from my normal weekend routine to do something completely different. I got involved in something fantastic that cleared my head, made me feel great, enabled me to spend a day outside in the fresh air and made me feel really energised at the end of it. I decided I wanted to give my time to something that I felt passionate about…I decided to become a volunteer for a day at The Community Farm.
The Community Farm in Chew Magna was set up in 2011 as an organic farm to grow yummy vegetables for organic vegetable boxes. The Community Farm “aim to reconnect people with the land where their food is grown”…one of the things letting them fulfil this are Community Farmer Days that the farm run, alongside many other community initiatives.
I have been wanting to do something different with my time and have been thinking about volunteering for a while. When I think back to what being a volunteer meant when I was younger, it was being made to go (or feel you have to go!) every week. However this was totally different, the volunteering at The Community Farm suited me perfectly, you can just sign up when you want to go using a list of dates on the website, there is no commitment to go each week which suits my lifestyle perfectly. After seeing a few email newsletters from the farm about what was going on that month I decided to sign up. Each time I read about the volunteering on the newsletter I had a gut reaction and really wanted to have a go, so I signed up with one of my best friends and the gut reaction paid off…we had a fantastic day.