A guiding word

For the past few years, I’ve chosen a word to guide me through the year.

(This has become an increasingly popular thing to do—which I’m happy about!—so I’m guessing you’ve heard about the concept. But if not, I’ll share some resources at the end of this post that can help you learn more and choose your own word.)

This year, I’ve chosen the word LIGHT.

This word came to mind over and over toward the end of last year, so I started taking it seriously. Normally I do a more dedicated exercise to figure out my word for the year, but this time around, it found me. (More about that in a minute.)

Once I accepted light, I started looking up definitions—and immediately got overwhelmed. This word means a lot of different things, and while each definition felt right, I was nervous about how to keep it all straight in my mind as I tried to live by this word throughout the year.

But as I kept thinking about it, I realized the definitions I had read (and was reviewing often) really belonged in three separate buckets: internal, everyday, and work. Once I sat down and sorted them out, the overwhelm went away and I felt much more excited.

So here’s how I’ll be focusing on the word light internally, in the everyday, and in my work!

Internally, light will mean the opposite of heavy; unburdened.

Motherhood has opened my eyes to struggles I’ve been facing for years without even noticing. Having Nathan forced me to confront these things head-on, and while that was (and continues to be) difficult, it was also a huge gift. I will continue to move toward a feeling of lightness as I work through these things!

In my everyday life and work, light will mean nimble; requiring little effort.

I also want to bring more lightness into my everyday life and into my work. I tend to overcomplicate things, and I simply don’t have the time or energy for that any longer. I’ve been learning what really works for me and what doesn’t, and what things I’ll need to let go of to have the daily life I truly want. I’m feeling lighter already, and I’m so excited for what’s to come as I keep focusing on the feelings I want.

In my work, light will mean illuminating; something through which light can pass.

I want to help you feel unburdened and nimble as well. Throughout all the different iterations of my work (like copy editor and one-to-one content coach), this has been my goal. But more and more, I’m realizing that rather than simply being a flashlight that highlights only one direction, I want to be a lens through which you can truly see yourself and then work toward becoming the strongest version of yourself possible. From that place, you will be more equipped to create stronger content and a stronger business and life.

I’m excited about how all these facets of light will work together. But I’m equally excited about how it felt to find this word.

As I mentioned, I normally sit down and put work toward finding my word. And that’s totally fine. But it felt so good to have the word come to me. And it got me to thinking about why that happened.

Since having Nathan, I’ve been forced to make a lot of changes. Good, positive changes. And in the process, I feel like I’ve become much more open to the ideas and truths inherent inside of me—and learned to truly listen to my own internal truth and wisdom.

And I’m sure by now that you know I’m going to say this, but one of the big things that has helped me get here is writing.

Not writing for other people, but writing for me. Behind-the-scenes, sort-it-all-out writing.

But you know what’s funny? After having done this kind of writing for so long, I’ve found that I follow a similar process when thinking things through. I have a verrrrry active baby running around, and sometimes my brain is the only tool easily available to me—ha!—and it’s been interesting to see how my thought processes have changed over time. Often, I actually imagine myself writing through a problem.

Explore can help you develop your own writing (and maybe thinking!) process, and I’m almost ready to offer it to you. I’ve been going through the entire program to refresh, update, and add things that I think will make it an even better experience for you. I can’t wait to give you this powerful method of digging into your own internal truth and wisdom! Keep an eye on this space for more details when I have them.

Okay, now that I’ve shared my word and what I plan to focus on, it’s your turn!

Have you chosen a word or other guiding theme for the year? If so, I’d love to hear what it is! I’m always fascinated by what others choose and what it means to them. I’d also love to hear how it’s already showing up in your life as well as how you plan to keep it in mind as you move through the year. (Feel free to comment below or to share on Instagram right here.)

If you haven’t chosen a word, or you are new to the idea, here are some resources to check out!

Susannah Conway’s (free!) Find Your Word class

I’ve mentioned this before, and I’m gonna keep on mentioning it. This is a great, free five-day email course that will help you sort through your possibilities and choose a word that feels meaningful for you. It’s what I’ve used in past years!

Nicole Gulotta’s blog post

I’ve been following Nicole for years over at her literary food blog, Eat This Poem, and I’ve loved seeing her unfold a new direction as well—helping writers balance work and creativity. She wrote a great introductory post about finding your word.

Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map work

This is another resource I’ve talked about before and that I’m sure will come up again. Danielle’s process leads you to find a few words (I think three or four is ideal) that will help you focus on how you want to FEEL as you move through life. A wonderful process (and one I’m planning to work through again soon, to find some supporting words)!


I would love to hear if you use any of these resources, and if so, how you like them. I'm wishing you lots of love and light in this coming year, no matter what your word or guiding theme or wish!

Until next time,
Erica


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