pearlsFind one word I challenged friends and family. One word that is, in a sense, a resolution, a quality that will be your theme, inspiration, your guiding energy for the upcoming year.

Find your own way into the exercise, but keep it simple. Sit quietly, invite a word to come to you. Allow a little time for it to bubble up into your awareness. You might hear the word in your inner ear, or notice it popping up around you – in the newspaper or on TV.

Try this out, I said, and let me know how it goes. Here are some of the responses I got:

“Ease.” On my bulletin board is this quote, “May our life unfold smoothly, with ease.”

No one reported struggling with the process or having to work too hard to find his word.

The moment I opened myself to what the word might be, “realization” is what came. Not much of a process, but I often find that if I just relax and let my mind go instead of trying to “figure out” what my answer might be, it comes easily.

The words that came had an organic quality, rising out of the experiences and circumstances of people’s lives.

I’m just coming off giving multiple presentations where I’ve attempted to shed light…”Illumination” is my word.

“Embrace.” I retired from my thirty-year career as a nurse two years ago and am beginning to see that my work in other areas may become more than just a serious interest or hobby. I need to pay attention to a process that seems to be unfolding.

Some people’s experience of finding their word involved discernment.

Several words came up initially: risk, balance, partnership. But the one word that resonated the most for the next year was “vision.” I think it best encompasses my hope to widen my view of things and start to create a new path for myself and my husband as we move forward.

Other people had a sense of recognition immediately.

The first word I thought of was “Openness.” It just came into my head and had a “that’s it” quality.

I immediately thought of the word, “Joy.”

“Joy” came with a lesson, as did some others.

There needs to be an absence of fear and a presence of mind to feel joy.

My word is “less.” I’ve realized that a lot of the things that I thought were essential in my life really aren’t. I prefer to spend more time doing the things I like and am letting the small stuff slide.

Sometimes, one word led to another.

“Romance”…not just external but an internal, passionate falling in love with life in general, with my own life, and then allowing my passionate inner nature to emerge. So, it could also be passion, I guess.

I have come up with the word “power.” Another word came first — alignment — and I thought, alignment without power is nothing.

And, the words sometimes had a multi-dimensional quality, applying to many aspects of life – work, relationships, connection to self and others.

“Move”…As I move from one house to another, I find that the concept of moving also includes “moving towards,” “moving away,” and “moving again” in many ways. I also feel the need to move myself more so that I can feel my optimum best.

Some people were already acquainted with their words.

“Belonging” is my word and intention for 2013.

Even before the New Year, the word “grace” has been in my head. To me, living gracefully is to live in a way that is friendly with life; that flows with it, instead of fighting against it. It means appreciating the beauty I find in the world, and showing love and kindness to the beings I encounter.

And, they all encompassed mindfulness.

When we are present in our mind, we are present, so there is a greater awareness and focus on the moment, a sure step to a balanced life.

Powerful words; each one a pearl of wisdom, a treasure.

The ease of this process and the profundity of the answers each person received makes me wonder: are we using this resource enough? Do we remember to ask our Selves for insight? Do we notice the responses when they come?

Someone once told me that the Universe answers one question at a time. Maybe we ask too many questions at once! Often, when we turn to the Universe for help and guidance, we’re distraught, upset, unsure. At these times, our questions can be “big” questions and often asked in a big bunch – “Why is this happening? What should I do? What’s going to happen next?” It might be hard for the Universe to get a word in edgewise. Asking one question at a time, waiting respectfully for a response to emerge, is an approach worth trying.

Asking from a place of calm and centeredness, instead of distress, might be helpful as well. Those who did this exercise were trying it out in an experimental, playful way. Applying these qualities at other times might bring results with similar ease.

With our pre-disposition for verbosity, we might expect essay-like responses to our questions. Perhaps the one-word response that this exercise invites is ultimately the key element of its success. One word can speak volumes, if we take the word in and cherish the divine wisdom it brings.

My word? “Emerge.” And yours?


  1. Spiral Energies says

    I love this idea. And while I’m not ready to share my word, I’m going to jot it on a sticky and put it in a place where I’ll see it often.