Word of the Year Workshop

Word of the Year Trust

For the last five years I have crossed the threshold into January not with a New Year’s Resolution, but with a word to carry into the coming year. This word may be encouraging, perhaps something I need more of; it may be motivating, or something to become or aspire to. In past years I have had GRACE, JOY, and last year it was FEARLESS. And with that word, I entered back into working outside the house, I began to attempt inversions in yoga once again, and started to take travel writing more seriously by putting myself out there more and actually referring to myself as a writer when asked. FEARLESSLY.

In November I was given the word SHINE. I even went as far as putting Shine on our Christmas card. I was ready to shine, let my light so shine, shine bright for all the world to know. Shine. But as the year turned over, my pretty, bright, happy word no longer sat well with me. I needed more gravitas. I need some weight to my word. This is a MAJOR year. I am turning 40 for one, which doesn’t bother me, but come on, a new decade is a pretty big thing. My husband is retiring from the military, so as I sit typing, I have no idea where we will be in six months. As a military wife, I have always warned my friends “Don’t get to close, I may leave.” But now after being stationed in the same place for TEN years (hallelujah!), I may actually leave. THIS IS BIG.

So I sat down with my dictionary (because I LOVE dictionaries…and thesauruses, as well), and began to look up heavier words. I played with REMEMBER and WAIT. My go to was GRATEFUL because I do believe gratitude can turn a situation. But it wasn’t there yet. I presented TRUST to “my girls” and they earnestly and unanimously agreed. But I wasn’t convinced. Trust seems to take away any control I might have naively convinced myself that I have. It feels very scary of a word. In therapy, you have to “trust the process,” that even though you may not see it working at the moment, let it do its work. I say I “trust” where God will lead us. The song “Oceans” has resonated with so many people of my generation with the lyrics “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.” Oh, but it’s so hard. But it wasn’t until my husband, as he was crafting his resume and I was offering my editing skills, said “You have go to trust me.” Ding, ding. This next step is out of my hands. I have to trust that God, husband, military, schools, life, is all going to work the way it’s supposed to work. So I found my word for 2015.

Word of the Year

Within the week of my word revelation, my girlfriend Alison at Beauty in All Things, invited me to a Word of the Year Workshop where an artist led us through a project using our word, and a life coach filled in all the hidden meanings and details. Lynn, the artist at A Little Blue Sky, with her effervescent smile and creative charm, designed a night with life coach Sue Robson, to take us step by step through the layers of our word and what it might mean in the new year.

We began writing conclusive words about 2014 on a piece of plywood. They could be negative, ending, beginning, factual, it didn’t matter, they would be covered up and they would be done. The next step was to lay textured paper down and cover our board (and written words). Step three had us lay down the paper or momentos we might want to see through our paint. There were song sheet music, dictionary pages, and vintage children’s books among other things, to rip up and collage onto our board. We then took paint and painted over the entire board. Taking a credit card, we scraped and rubbed and found little bits that we wanted to jump out from under the paint. I let the definition to “whirlwind” show its way through as Im sure this will be a whirlwind of a year. Very lightly you can see the title to “Jesus Loves Me This I Know.” Trust takes a child like faith and that children’s song strips it down to the basics of what it’s all about. Lastly a poem with the line “She destines to be creative” makes its way through the paint layer. At the end, we stenciled our word of the year across the board. Boldly. With Confidence.

And that’s how I hope to step into this year. With trust, bold and confident trust.

 

 

 

 

Day #24-31: How to Bow Out Gracefully

31 days of writing

I owe a debt of gratitude to The Nester today when she posted about not feeling obligated here. Between going back to work, basketball season, keeping up with my editing at night, trying to keep my marriage together, etc etc, adding one more thing on the pile (even something that I find as much JOY in as writing), has become a burden. Perhaps if I had known about this challenge earlier than THE DAY IT STARTED, I would have thought out my topic better, and definitely not have chosen a topic that included making something everyday. I’m much better at making memories, or making up stories. I know now for next year what I will do differently because I have really enjoyed the challenge. And of course not everything we do has to be easy. But for now, this is just too hard. Maybe tomorrow inspiration will strike, and I will add another post, but until then, I will bid adieu to the topic of jewelry and go back to the topic of mi vida loca. I love the discipline this 31 days of writing has taught me. I’ve actually written MORE for Trekaroo this month since my creative juices have been stimulated from the blog entries.

So live and learn and enjoy and know when the curtain is about to close.

And with that, I bow out gracefully.

Day #23: Fearless

fearless 31 days of writing

Every year I have a word for the year. I love words. I think long and hard about that word, as it feels like it sets the tone for the new year. Sometimes it’s a challenge, like the year I had GRACE. I was working on showing more grace to others, to myself. Another year it was JOY. I now have the word Joy written all over my house from the stickers on my kitchen wall to the driftwood Joy in my living room. I need more JOY. Choose JOY. These were what I told myself that year. (And still do!).

This year my word is FEARLESS. I do not want to live in fear. I do not want to make major life decisions in fear. I want to live boldly. I want to live in faith. Going through some old jewelry, I found this necklace a friend had given me years ago with the word Fearless on it. And I was. I lived my life spontaneously, and impulsively, and…for myself. Yes, this was before kids, so I knew no fear. I don’t want to regain the selfishness I had at that time, but I do want the courage I had.

I want to live as a lionhearted girl. I want to live fearless.

Day # 22: What to Do?

31 days of writing

I got this shell in Hawaii a few years back. I found it at the flea market at the stadium on Oahu (a must do if visiting Honolulu), and it was on a necklace that NOW I would love to wear. But for some reason, when I returned home to “real life,” I thought all the beads were too gaudy and the piece was too big, so I deconstructed it. Can you believe it?? I took apart some great beads and stripped the shell of its beauty. Oh, the ignorance!

So I kept the shell thinking I could do something better. In fact, as I write this, I think that perhaps it was actually a belt that I found it on. Hmmm, I bet you it was a great belt. Anyway, its been sitting in that box, the one filled with things I never wear, and it is screaming to be used again. So what do I do? It wants another life, but I’m stumped.

What would YOU do?

Day# 21: What About Pins?

Pins 31 days of writing

When was the last time you pinned yourself? I wear tons of scarves, love them, and I think they always finish off my outfit, but let’s revisit pins. I don’t ever remember my grandmother wearing a dress and not wearing a pin. For that matter, I can’t remember my grandmother not wearing a dress. But the pin always made a statement. Maybe a mood, a memory, or just to add a little oomph.  I found a few pins I have in my jewelry connection and tried to imagine them on some of my favorite outfits. Maybe to cover a stain? Maybe to close a vneck that has plunged a little too low? Maybe just to start a conversation.

It’s good to rethink things from time to time.

Day #20: Think Outside the Box

Owl 31 days of writing

Back before there ever was a thing called Pinterest, my bestie designed a wedding that blows any Pinterest Board out of the water. She had a zero budget, and through ingenuity, creativity, and a lot of community, her wedding was a rural masterpiece. (I’d post photos but it was the day of film, not digital, and I’m not even sure where those negatives are now after multiple moves.) Along with beautiful, simple decor, she gave us bridesmaids a unique gift that was a twist off the traditional pearls I’ve received from other weddings.

The bride made us a simple necklace made of hemp rope, shells, and one green pearl to play off the customary gift of pearls. It was lovely, and in the country setting, very appropriate. If you are in the midst of “wedding madness preparedness,” take a deep breath, don’t sweat the small stuff, and try to think outside the box when you can.

Because the box ain’t that great.

Days # 18 & 19: Wearing Flowers

This weekend my newly-turned 10-year-old had a monumental event of going to the American Girl store for a birthday party. For as those in the AG world know, this is HUGE. What’s even bigger is she went by herself. Well, of course, with the mother of the birthday girl, but she went to the “big bad city” without me. I’m not saying I’m a helicopter parent, but I am saying that there hasn’t been a whole lot of times that she has done major things without me. But this is good! I was raised very independent (it was the 70’s baby), but due to different times and Dads, my girl hasn’t flown the coop much. Until now. I couldn’t wait for her to return and tell me all about her day, what she saw, what she experienced. Tell me, not experience it together. It’s so important for our kids to have their own memories, ones they share, but share by their perspective.

gs wall 31 days of writing

As she was getting ready in the morning, I watched as she dutifully chose a dress to match her doll’s. Kanani (her AG doll) has seen better days. Her hair is a ratted mess and she has a permanent “scar” on her face. But she is loved and today she was dressed to the nines, complete with matching flower headband. My daughter loves her headbands; from preschool to 5th grade, she has had an oversized flower in her hair for every school photo. Her accessory frame hold headbands and flower barrettes collected over the years. They are hers and they say something about her.

She is an individual, she has something to say.

Day #17 Inspired By Nature

shells 31 days of writing

It’s finally feeling like fall here (meaning I won’t sweat if I wear long pants). It takes awhile to get out of the Indian Summer, but once we do, this area starts to show of it’s beauty with bursts of color everywhere. I’ve been playing around with the idea of nature-inspired jewelry. I love gem stones, rather stones in general, but what about other materials to wear? While I’ve been brainstorming how to preserve a leaf as a necklace (one friend pinned a dandelion charm-LOVE!), I remembered that I have a very precious piece of nature in my memory box. I don’t wear it anymore as it’s too fragile. I picked each individual shell off a beach in Kauai and strung them onto this necklace. I’m told that it isn’t even allowed to do this anymore. But for a place in time, I was able to, and it’s a memory I won’t ever forget. I love to hold this treasure and remember the feel of the sand and the water, how the sky was so blue. Im thankful for that moment, and I am thankful for this reminder.

I am thankful.

Day #16 Two of Hearts

hearts 31 days of writing

My folks didn’t have the easiest marriage. I don’t think they’d mind me writing that. I think they’d be the first to admit it. But they persevered and now they are in their retirement years, traveling around the world together, having found a groove that works for them. I am so proud of them; I know it wasn’t easy. About 20 years ago my mom gave me this heart necklace that my dad had given to her. On one side of the heart, it’s red sapphires, and on the other side, the jewels are black. I like the duplicity of this piece. Things aren’t always black and white in marriage (or black and red in this matter). We show both sides of ourselves to our partner-the good and the ugly. We give our hearts, having to be vulnerable, that can make us raw, but can also teach us a love that we never thought possible. New love and old love, love that gives us butterflies, and love that allows us to be comfortable.

I’ve never worn this necklace before as it’s quite delicate for my taste, but now with the trend of multiple chains, I’m going to try to unravel the mess that is the chain. It might just be the perfect accent piece to go with my cross and my arrow: my faith and my direction.

Because the greatest of these is LOVE.

Day #15: Worldy Decor

 

decor 31days of waitingI have a few “signature” pieces that maybe get worn once a year, and the rest of the time they are stored in the dark, waiting to be shown off again. It’s kind of sad, really. Something I love so much, used so rarely. So I’ve started to use some jewelry pieces as decor. I have a Pottery Barn lamp (hello, floor model), on my side table/dresser in my room that has a basic cream shade. I draped a few jeweled necklaces over the top, and voila, I get to enjoy the lamp and necklace in a greater light.

I also have a bubble vase that isn’t quite my style, but with its long neck, it makes for a great bangle holder. And how great is that jewelry box next to it? That was my Grandmother Ruth’s who I’m pretty sure picked it up in Hong Kong. My other bracelets are stacked on top a gorgeous plate from Honduras, and you can just make out a small piece of pottery from Tasmania that holds my rings.

It’s an around the world decor in my bedroom.