What’s Your Word for 2017?

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Words are powerful. Words can encourage us, give us clarity, and words can be a powerful catalyst for change in our lives.   What do you feel when I say “broken”,” hopeless”, or ” powerless”?  What do you feel when I say “impacting”, “empowered”, or “inspirational”?  Isn’t it amazing how words can actually have an emotional impact on us!

As a Coach I always like to ask my clients if they have a “word” for the year, a word that would serve as a laser beam to keep them on track with what they’d really like to accomplish or apply to their lives.

If you were asked to stop and consider a word for the coming year what might that word be?  If you look back over the past year; what you experienced and what you learned, and then you look toward the year ahead….what kind of person do you want to be? What actions do you want to apply? What is an area of needed growth?  What WORD could serve as a target for you in the days ahead?

Just to help you out, here’s a short list of a few words but please remember, there are so many amazing words and you are unique so I only list these to get you thinking!

Abundant, balanced, consistent, aligned, creative, free-spirited, gracious, glowing, healthy, honest, mindful, peaceful, radiant, impacting, spiritual, vibrant, motivated, spirited, positive, abiding, brave, committed, courageous, or goodness ~~ just to name a few.

What’s Your WORD for 2017? Choose Well!

🙂

 

Lifegiving Words~

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“The words that people say to us not only have shelf life but the ability to shape life.” Bob Goff

I was a tired young mommy as I grabbed a grocery cart that Monday morning.  My son was 2 months old and far from sleeping through the night.  I spent many of my days in my sweats and a T-shirt as I navigated my new role as a mother; nursing, diapers, laundry, nursing, diapers, dinner….you get the picture!  I loved my new role and my little guy but, clearly, I was tired.

On this particular day I had the opportunity to shower, put on “real clothes”, and head out to grocery shop all on my own.  I was feeling a little refreshed, happy, and actually excited to be out and about.  I think it was somewhere near the milk and cheese aisle when a woman came around the corner, smiled at me, patted my tummy, and asked me when my baby was due!   Right now you are thinking “Oh no!”  right?   Though she meant no ill will, my day was hugely impacted by her misplaced words. I was dashed!

Our words hold a great deal of power to bring encouragement or hurt, to breathe life or suck the air out of a room.  I wish I could say I’ve always been great in using my words for good.  In those moments where I’ve been sharp or unkind there has never been a positive outcome! Never!

Author Michael Hyatt says ” Our words carry enormous weight. More than we sometimes think. They often impact people for decades, providing the courage to press on or one more reason to give up.”

We are human, fallible, and do say careless words. However, we should always strive to choose our words well and wisely.  That little phrase that says “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a really good measurement for us all.  How do I want to be spoken to?

Am I saying that our words must always be cheery, happy, and encouraging? No. There are times when we will find ourselves in conflicts.  I would suggest that we speak what is true with good timing and tone; with a desire for understanding and clarity.  Words spoken in anger are like little daggers, they’ll eventually have to be pulled out and given time to heal ~ we’ve all felt them and said them ourselves.

Benjamin Franklin said something really insightful, “Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

Be the source of encouragement and “life” to somebody today!

(oh, and I just smiled at the lady in the milk aisle and said I that I already had my little guy weeks ago.  By the embarressed look on her face I probably should have just smiled and kept walking; I think her day was impacted too.)

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What are you trying to say?

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This past week I had the joy of babysitting one of my precious granddaughters, Scout Jubilee, 2 days in a row.  We had such fun together, however, we also faced a real challenge!  Scout is now a big talker, firmly expressing her thoughts about many different elements of her little life.  To her, she is speaking very clearly and certainly loud enough for her Mimi to fully understand what she is trying to convey.

Imagine her dismay when she looked into my very confused face and heard me say numerous times “Scout, Mimi doesn’t understand what you are saying.” Scout kept saying over and over “Ne Ne” and I kept asking her about different options to unlock the meaning of the words that clearly held a strong meaning for her!  After about and hour of trying to unlock the mystery I decided she was probably a little tired so I would kiss her and carry her upstairs for her afternoon nap.  The moment I headed up the stairs Scout started to say “Ne ne” all over again; but this time with her little head lying exhausted on my shoulder! And then it hit me, this little darling had been trying so hard to let me know she was very tired and wanted to go “night, night”!!

Because of my inability to clarify her words, I completely missed what she was longing to express! ( she slept for a little over 3 hours, by the way!)

I have pondered this experience with Scout and began to wonder how often we are all on the expressing side and the understanding side of a conversation.  I wonder how often we fail to express our heartfelt thoughts in a way the someone can truly understand what we are longing to say?  I wonder how often we fail to hear the real meaning of the words someone is trying to express to us?

Engaging in quality conversations can be a real art sometimes and I believe if we really want to understand someone else, if we really want to be able to respond in such a way as to make a difference, then we need to keep clarifying until we can see or hear that we have “got it”!! Are there any conversations in your relationships that are needing further clarification?  Are there questions needing to be asked for greater understanding?  The efforts to understand will make a big difference.

“The single biggest problem in a conversation is illusion that one has taken place!”  George Bernard Shaw

Spring Cleaning ~ Getting the dirt beneath the surface.

 

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I live in Bend, Oregon where the seasons are pretty tricky! We will get a week or 2 early in Spring where the sun is shining and the temperature ranges between 65-75.  Everyone goes and gets fresh flowers to plant or put onto flower baskets to decorate their porches; feeling certain it is finally Spring! But, without fail, such as today, we wake up to more snow and temperatures in the low 30’s and 40’s.  Only those who live to ski appreciate this ongoing Winter weather! Nevertheless, the calendar says it is officially Spring!

Spring is a great time to clean out the garage, cupboards, closets, and pantry. Something about Spring causes us to feel the need to organize, clean out, and refresh many areas in our homes to make us feel as if there is some renewed order in our lives.  This weekend I switched my kitchen cupboards and drawers all around to create a better flow; I cleared out my pantry of the many vases and baskets I had been storing for that “event” someday.  I decided to be ruthless~ If I hadn’t used it over the past year then it had to go! It felt really good!! 🙂

As I ponder the whole idea of Spring Cleaning, I wonder if it might be fruitful to take the same amount of time to do some deep, personal Spring Cleaning?

What might it be like to take some intentional time to consider the consider the condition of our hearts:

*have we allowed bitterness or unforgiveness; discouragement or offense to take residence in our hearts over the long Winter season?

What about our Words? Could they use some cleaning up?

*have we allowed the words we say to be full of doubt, criticism, sarcasm, and fear as the seasons have passed? Do our words bring life to ourselves and others?

What about our minds~ How we think?  Could we need a little extra Pine-sol for that?

*have we allowed fear, judgment, regret, and sadness to reign supreme in our thinking over the past year? When we talk to ourselves are we a good influence or are kinder to others than we are to ourselves?

Do we need to dust off our irritations? Have we gotten bogged down by things that bug us?

*have we allowed little things (or people) annoy us so much that we find that regularly extending grace to situations (or people) has become increasingly challenging over the past calendar year?

I know I could use a fresh “mopping”! 🙂

If any of those scenarios apply, then perhaps this Spring will be fantastic time to get “really shiny!!”  Perhaps as you honestly asses how much “dust” has built up in these key areas you will be able to regain a joy-filled heart, express words that bring life, become clear-minded and ready to focus on the positive and the possibilities, and perhaps also finding the energy to extend fresh grace as opposed to remaining easily irritated.

Here are some “cleaning tools” just to get you started!! 🙂

“God longs to purify you from your sins, to wash you and make your heart “whiter than snow”. Psalm 51:7

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me” Psalm 51:10

You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Now remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:3

Happy Spring!

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