Create a Word of the Year Book

 

Hey all – look at the time! The 4th Quarter is starting soon – where are you with your Word of the Year? I’m laughing now because my personal journey has been bumpy, as it usually is at this point of the year. The good news is that September and the last Quarter are great times to revive your Word and have fun playing with it. Your Word can really make the special events of the last part of the year very meaningful for you.

If you want lots of ideas for ways to engage with your Word you can sign up for my free e-course about that right here. It’s full of fun suggestions and things to do! (And you can look here for even more about Word of the Year!! Be sure to scroll down as this post will be at the top.)

In fact, above you’ll find a video walk-through of my Word of the Year book. I mention it in the course, but it helps to see it in a video, I think. Despite how it may sound in the video (and BTW I’m not being perfectionist in that video at all – a rough-ish video, indeed :)) I do choose a Word each year (since 2009!), but I don’t always add it to my WOTY book. It all depends on how you want to experience your Word and if you want to take the time to create a book. I wanted to show you some of the things you might share in a book to engage with your Word. It’s a great way, as well, to have something tangible to look back at this year, and in later years. I love how during the year that my Word was Flourishing my journey was all about me understanding what that actually meant and felt like for me. I know that because my book from that year is ALL about that exploration. And it’s still really helpful and relevant information for me.

Here are some ideas and tips for making your own book for your Word of the Year (and you can start any time!):

  • I made my book from a 8.5″x11″ scrapbook I had around the house. I like that I can use varying sizes of page protectors in it for all kinds of different pages. But you could use a basic binder, or a sketch book, etc. You could create it digitally too. I also used paper, cardstock, and other paper crafting types of products. You could collect cool ephemera that relates to your word and incorporate that too. So many options!
  • Consider the things you want to remember and record for your Word, and also how often you want to check in with it, and then create some projects that reflect those desires.
  • Some ideas are:
    • Poetry
    • Photography
    • Journaling prompts to write about
    • Collages or other artwork you make
    • Tarot spread(s)
    • A mini scrapbook of WOTY projects or field trips
    • A written record of your experiences with your Word
    • Word Play – what your Word means to you, how you chose it, why you want to experience it, ways you want to share it or use it in your life, synonyms, quotes, etc.
    • And there are more ideas in the video…
  • Then set aside time to regularly add something to your book and experience your Word in a deeper way.
  • Don’t worry if you let it go for a while, just enjoy yourself when you do take time to engage.
  • Go back and look through your book – see the things you’ve learned and accomplished!

Next year I may make a junk journal version of this book and keep it fresh! I love new ideas!!! I hope this is of help to you in your Word of the Year journey. I’d love to hear how things are going. Drop me a line at cheryl@theintrepidgoddess.com.

Hugs and Happy Word Play,

Love, Cheryl

What Did You Learn This Year?

Lessons in Pleasure

Winter Scene (by Cheryl)

Well, yes, 2017 was an interesting year! I’m not going to go into just how interesting – there are plenty of people who enjoy analyzing and judging the past year. I don’t want to write about any of that! I want to talk about what lessons we each took in and that made our lives more tenable, lovely, and wise.

To me this year seemed like an upside-down duck. You know, the duck looks all serene floating on the surface of the water, but underneath she’s actually paddling madly! Instead this year the surface of things looked chaotic, and scary, and quite a bit mad, but just under the surface I could sense a deep, calm beauty, and love. It is there as sure as the apparent chaos, and I’m so grateful for that and the people I know who shine with that calm beauty for the world to see. I will keep tapping into that stream as much as I can! To me that is the Truth and also our saving grace.

Part of this experience for me was the influence of my Word of the Year – Pleasure. That choice was a bit of a reaction to my Word of the previous year, Flourishing. Let me tell you that was one intense manifesting and happening year! But despite so many dreams come true I felt that I didn’t always let myself enjoy the beautiful things that happened. So I chose a Word for 2017 that would help me to learn how to allow more enjoyment of life. Well, if you’re anything like me what you expect when you choose a Word isn’t always (ever?) what you get! And yet it seems that no matter what Word you choose the lessons are just what you need to know. This year was no different! Instead of enjoying more Pleasure I learned a lot about how I block Pleasure in my life. And I learned that regardless it is always, always available. This is something I already knew, in a sense, for in the past during my very worst times there have also been joys, and loves, and small treasures that elevate life to true beauty; and this year was no exception. But the ability to really let myself sink into the delicious pleasures of life was, well, still hard for me.

However, I must say I HAVE learned over the year, and I’m getting better at Pleasure! I’m also much better at addressing those crazy stories that shut Pleasure right down. (You know, like – you can’t have fun until ALL of the work is finished – as if that ever happens! Or you don’t deserve Pleasure! You haven’t done enough to earn it, or you aren’t good enough…blah, blah, blah!) But what I learned even more is that the key to Pleasure and to enjoying it is the willingness to embrace it! In fact the willingness to embrace it all has been the thing that has ushered in the most Pleasure for me this year. That has allowed me to go past the surface and find the joy and peace underneath what seems to be going on.

So, because I really want to learn more about all of this….meet my new Word of the Year for 2018 – EMBRACE!! I chose to be willing to Embrace it all n 2018. Whew! I’m really looking forward to this new journey. What will I learn now? That’s a little bit scary really! But, I find a good Word of the Year is definitely a bit of a stretch.

What have you learned this year? Was there a word, or phrase, or a song lyric that really stood out for you? If you chose a Word of the Year – what experiences and lessons did it bring you? What is your Word for 2018? I’d love to hear what you think and what you’ve learned!! You can email me right here: cheryl@theintrepidgoddess.com (just copy and paste into your email address line). Or set up a free mini session here.

AND I will soon be sending out a free, short email series (to my subscribers – sign up here) on what to do with your Word of the Year once you have it! It’s packed full of ways to play with, interact with, and just get to know more about your chosen Word through the next year.

Lots of Love to you and yours, and wishes for a truly Delight-filled New Year!!!

Blessings,

Cheryl

 

About Pleasure – It’s My Word!

Mini ICAD art and haiku by Cheryl

I’ve been thinking about Pleasure a lot lately. It’s my Word of the Year and I feel I haven’t really given it a fair chance yet. Last year I had a fabulous (and even scary effective) Word relationship – I was very dedicated and spent time each month with practices and playing (I even made a cool book) to really let that Word teach me and expand my life. I got married and bought a new house, among other things that certainly made the word Flourishing come alive for me.

So now I’m pondering Pleasure, my Word for this year, and how I can learn more about pleasure in the next two months. Hey, it’s a tough assignment, I know!! But seriously, it can be tough. Pleasure may be seen as so wrong depending on what we’ve learned from our society, culture, religion, etc. It’s believed to be selfish, foolish or silly, sinful, lazy, wasteful, etc. But it is also what gives life its zing – its love, delight, deliciousness, reward, and joy. I have a lot to learn about pleasure still! And also about dealing with those miserly voices inside that tell me it is just so bad.

I have learned (and relearned!) some very helpful things about pleasure, and myself, over the past year. Things like:

  • Each moment and each task has the potential for pleasure.
  • Misery is always an option, but so is pleasure. Some of my most poignant and pleasing moments have happened in the midst of miserable times.
  • Pleasure is an inside job – like most things – it comes from inside me, and the more I access it the easier it becomes to feel and enjoy it.
  • I have resistance to pleasure. There is that little voice that says “Now, it wouldn’t do to feel too good.” Really?
  • I’m still learning what pleasure is to me, and what it isn’t. What is assumed to be a pleasure isn’t necessarily for everyone. A gooey, rich chocolate dessert – it seems it should be a definite pleasure, but not really. A perfect autumn leaf that lands right at my feet? Well, yes!! That is pleasure for sure. (But, you know, I would take a slice of pumpkin pie…)
  • Sufficient sleep is a pleasure in its own right, and sets me up for greater pleasure the rest of the day. This is true of meditation and yoga too. Often I find true pleasures are things that keep on giving.
  • I also learned I don’t allow myself some pleasures because I believe in a lack of time. Can you imagine that?!

With that in mind I’m setting aside time and assigning myself a few projects and practices to help me play more with Pleasure. One is a Pleasure Jar that sits on my altar – I feed it pleasures each day. Another pleasure I’m going to pursue is to complete the ICAD project I began back in June…this is about making art one index card a day. (The image at the top of this post is one of my ICAD’s – so much fun! This idea is from the amazing Daisy Yellow.) I’m also going to create a weekly pleasure list that I will post in my Instagram feed through December. As I do this I’ll be working on those pesky mean voices that say pleasure is always bad, or I don’t have time for it. I expect to have a whole lot of fun the rest of the year, and to learn more about pleasure in my life.

Do you have a Word of the Year you want to spend more time with before the end of the year? What is your Word? I’d love to hear about it! You can contact me at cheryl@theintrepidgoddess.com or here. Or find me on Instagram. For more ideas of ways to interact with your Word of the Year you can look here (and scroll down).

Hugs and Happy November!

Cheryl

By the way, my Altar Course is free and shares a creative, fun way to clarify, access & activate your dreams!

Word of the Year Series Q4

Autumn Mums Bring Pleasure

What is pleasure? Now there was a question I could get behind this year! If you also like to choose a Word of the Year then you’ll know the joys (and inevitable frustrations) of embracing a word, its meaning, and also its presence in your life. When you choose a word at the beginning of the year, you don’t know what will happen that year and how that will impact what you learn from your Word. And to me that’s the best part! Seeing what life has to share with me through the lens of a chosen word.

If you’ve never chosen a Word of the Year you can learn more about it in these posts (Word post Q1, Word post Q2, Word post Q3) I never wrote the 4th post in this series last year, so, I am going to remedy that right now! In each of the previous posts I shared ways to engage with and enjoy your Word. This post is for the 4th quarter – the end – of your Word exploration. There are things that may happen at this point in your journey that could throw you off track, and I’ll talk about those. I also want to share more tools for enjoying your Word – I like lots of variety, don’t you?

If you began in January by the 4th quarter of the year you’ve spent 9 months with your Word. You know if you like it, if you’ve had fun with it, struggled with it, forgotten it, hate it, etc. All of those things and more can happen, and it’s OK. It isn’t a test – it’s a process of understanding something and whatever you learn is fine. But at this point you may also want to do something a bit different. If you’ve ignored your Word you may want to re-embrace it. Some people just want a new Word for the rest of the year. They’re done with this one, or are too frustrated to continue traveling with it. Some people want to revitalize the way they engage with their Word for the end of the year – they want new ways to play. Some want to forget all about it until December and choose a new Word for next year. It’s all good!

Regardless, this time of year I like to take look at how my Word and I have been getting along. What have I learned? What did I hope to learn, or do, when I chose this Word? Have I done that? Do I feel differently about this Word now? Have I made any changes in my life because of this Word experience? Have I grown or changed? How can I take what I have learned and enhance my life? You can ask these questions at the end of the year too, but I like to check in now so I can make changes in course, if desired.

Answering these questions may give you some idea of how you’d like to enjoy and embrace your Word for the rest of the year. It’s so helpful to just stop and see where you are with this practice. I’m usually pretty surprised at my answers because while I have been thinking about the Word and employing it I don’t always stop and see how far I’ve come. I find there are usually things I still want to accomplish related to my Word, and I still have 3 months!

 

If you want to keep engaging with your Word here are some ideas for more ways to play:

  • Create your own challenge on Instagram or Facebook. I did this by making a list of prompts that related to my Word – Pleasure. I used words like peace, flowers, sleep, good food, etc. for my 30 day challenge on Instagram. Then you can take photographs, write a haiku, or create art that embodies how this prompt relates to your Word of the Year for you, and then share it (or not – you can always use the private setting so only you can see it). You could come up with a unique hashtag to use for this and keep adding to it as the year goes on too. You can see mine on Instagram at #tigyearofpleasure.
  • Speaking of haikus, you could write one a week about an experience that week that embodied your Word of the Year. Or write another type of poetry, or you can always journal about it too. The main thing is creating a kind of writing ritual that connects you to your Word.
  • Create a Word of the Year group and help each other to enjoy Word play. I like the idea of field trips! So, for example, if your Word is Grow you could all visit a garden center or a botanical garden. At the next meeting you might watch the sunrise for your friend’s Word Light, and later visit a waterfall for another friend’s Word Flow.
  • You can always do field trips on your own too (or instead). One could be to the library or book store to see if there are any books that help you to understand your Word better.
  • I like to look up the definition(s) of my Word and also the synonyms and write out the ones that really appeal to me. Then I may post them where I can read them or share them with an image on Instagram.
  • You can have a Word date where you do things that relate to your Word for a special outing, or even for a full day. Ask yourself what activities, places, music, people, etc. feel like your Word to you. I did this last year and I began by asking myself what things felt like Flourishing to me. The list included going to a restaurant for a really fresh salad, walking around a green and growing park, listening to a fun playlist about abundance and money, and planning a business retreat. When you’re done be sure to make notes of what it was like, what you learned, how it impacted you. I’m thinking I have a Pleasure Day in my near future!

I hope you are enjoying your Word of the Year! For some reason this practice is especially meaningful to me during the last part of the year. I like being clearer about what I want from my Word, and how I can enhance my life through its wisdom. I also tend to work better with shorter deadlines! So, I get more motivated to take more tangible steps. Best wishes to you and your Word!

Lots of Love,

Cheryl

You can contact me at cheryl@theintrepidgoddess.com. Or set up a free 20 minute consultation for any questions you may have, or to share your experience. I’d love to hear from you!

More Word Play for Q3

My Blooming Trumpet Vine

My Blooming Trumpet Vine

I’ve been enjoying my Word this year more than ever before! I’ve been much more connected, and interestingly for the first time I’ve seen my Word in a more complete way – one that tests my ideas about what’s “good” and what’s “too much”.

My Word is “Flourishing”, and it’s a bigger and stronger word than I ever expected. This isn’t a word that plays small! But as I observe how the word is playing out in my life I can certainly see that I’ve played small, and also what my feelings are about too much. It has been pretty fascinating and so eye-opening. I say I want plenty, a lot, abundance! But then I get uncomfortable with “too much”, and that’s a vibe I don’t want to continue! So, I’ve been learning to welcome too much and to “prune” it when I need to, with the understanding that will bring me even more of what I need, but with some life enhancing boundaries included.

Some very real evidence of this is my trumpet vine which basically took over my entire front porch and made the front door practically unusable – that plant is flourishing, let me tell you! So, I applied some judicious pruning (boundaries) – it’s still abundant, burgeoning, and growing like mad – but now it’s also flowering for the first time since I planted it 3 years ago. More flourishing in a delightful way.

So, one idea for getting in touch with your Word this quarter is to see how it’s showing up in your world in signs and symbols. I saw that trumpet vine as a sign of flourishing and learning to accept BIG growth, but also to know how to set some boundaries so that I can still move freely. You can take pictures of the signs and symbols you find and/or write about them. I’ll be doing both for July in my Year Book.

Here are more ideas for playing with your Word:

  • Mid-year is a great time to assess what you’ve done over the past 6 months and celebrate it all! Look at your accomplishments, do they reflect the influence of the Word you chose for the year? Are there any lessons here for you? How does it feel to be living your Word this way? Write about this and keep it with the rest of your Word practices for the year. It’s also a great time to look over the practices you’ve done with your Word so far this year and reflect on what you’ve discovered.
  • I suggested a vision board and vision cards in the previous Word of the Year posts, but this takes that a step further. I created a vision board for June using the phrase “My greatest desires and joys help me to Flourish, these are….” And then I used my intuition to pull images and words and create a vision board. I used what I learned from that board to make small cards to tell what flourishing is like for me each day (see image below), then I placed them in my Year Book where I can access that wisdom easily. This has been amazingly delicious and helps me to remember what a flourishing life is all about! I tend to get locked in on something and just push through in misery when that is absolutely not necessary. How about you? Do you forget the things that make life grand in the rush of daily life? This is a great time to reinvigorate daily fun and joy!
My Year Book page: My Greatest Desires and Joys Help me to Flourish!

My Year Book page: My Greatest Desires and Joys Help me to Flourish!

  • You could also create your own oracle cards for your Word. Using all you have learned about your Word as you’ve played and explored with it this year paint, draw, collage, photograph etc. images to make cards that express these lessons and ideas. Then write a paragraph on the back about what it means to draw this card in response to a question. I’ve never done anything like this, and it may turn out just horrible, but I’m so excited to try! I’ll share mine, and if you do this please share yours too. (You can always contact me at cheryl@theintrepidgoddess.com or on Instagram at the_intrepid_goddess.)

Living with one chosen word for a year is a profound way to grow, learn, and have fun with a focus that takes you in a direction you really want to go. May these ideas for getting to know your Word better be of help. Happy Mid-year! And I hope you’re having fun with your Word, and in your delightful life.

Love,

Cheryl

PS: Here are the other Word of the Year posts – Quarter 1, 2016 and Quarter 2, 2016

Word of the Year – For Q2

Pages from My Year book

Pages from My Year book

Welcome to Spring, the second quarter, and more ways to integrate and connect with your Word of the Year! The end of the quarter (or change of a season) is a great time to look back and see how you expressed and lived your Word in the past 3 months. I made a list of ways I’ve flourished since January 1st. This included big steps and small, things I did for fun, scary things – anything that felt like flourishing to me! I collect these activities in a “My Year” book along with other things I do that help me envision and remember my year. Here are some other ways to play with and embody your Word:

  • Do a Word photo shoot. This is a lot of fun! Especially now, with the world warming up. Walk around your home, neighborhood, town, favorite park, etc., and find images that speak to you of your Word. Or you can look on the internet, or in magazines, for these images.
  • That leads me to the next idea – create a Pinterest or vision board of your Word and how its expression motivates you, or how it feels to you. This is a great visual reminder of what you want to learn and experience through your Word.
  • Choose an oracle or tarot card for each month asking a question like:
    • What do I need to know about (your Word) this month?
    • How can I (your Word) more this month?
    • Where am I now with (your Word)?
    • How can I embrace (your Word) this month?
    • So, for example, using my Word, a question would go…”How can I embrace Flourishing this month?” Then use your intuition to see what the chosen card has to tell you.
  • You can look for quotes with your Word in them that inspire you and post them where you can see them. You could make an art project with them too – create a meme, or a painting with the quote on it.
  • Write a script about what life is like when you live your Word. How does life look, smell, feel, taste, sound? What do you do more, or less, of? How do your days go? Scripting is a popular LOA practice – for more about scripting look here for Jeanette Maw’s experience.

I like interacting with my Word more than just at the beginning of the year, or when I remember that I’ve forgotten it! Activities like these are fun, and help me to connect with and express what I’m hoping my Word will bring into my life this year. I’m learning more and more about the value of ritual and practice, and how they form a bit of structure to enhance and promote my dreams and plans, I hope these ideas will be of help to you too!

Love,

Cheryl

Here’s a link to my first Word of the Year post.