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Word Choice


Have you ever claimed a particular word for the year? I am curious what your words have been and how you chose them. Many years ago, I chose a word after reading an article in Reader's Digest about a woman who journalled all year on a particular word. It sounded like an interesting and easy way to stick with journalling, something I would ebb and flow with. I chose the word “balance.” I attended a renewal retreat and used "balance" as a starting point for my journalling and collage projects that weekend. That’s where I left it. I was too out of balance to make any reflective practice a part of my life.


Twenty years on from my first word choice, I have chosen another: “Manifest.” My word had arisen three times in as many days. It came first in a poem, once in an email from a friend, and once in a holiday letter. Each time I noticed the word, it became more personal for me. I put the word on a card on my bathroom mirror and jotted a few lines in my journal about it. Then, when walking with a spiritual companion, it came up again.


She said, “Schawn, I remember when we met for lunch maybe three years ago, I came to see you at work, and we had a quick lunch.” I remembered the conversation; we met in a busy café. It was less time than we wanted, but all we felt we could spare at the time. She had asked me what my perfect day or days would look like. We each described what came to mind, what we would do and not do, if only our lives permitted it.


She went on, “You described what you wanted, what you were hoping for. I see that manifesting for you!”


I could see that was so true, I just hadn’t recognized it unfolding. As I think back, I can recall ideas and desires that moved me ever so slightly toward this time. What has manifested was a small reach, a quick connection, a glimpse of an idea which was shaped over time through conversations, dreams, and baby steps. I have moved into a time that is more spacious, more satisfying, more meaningful, and more reflective of my values and my longings.


I received a deck of angel cards from my husband recently. The first time I opened them, the card on top was Manifestation. The word stays with me. My next encounter with it may be to create a collage of words and images with "manifest" in the center, something I remember enjoying with “balance” years ago.


In thinking about your own inner knowing and spiritual needs, you might ask yourself, “what would my perfect day or days look like?” or, “What am I claiming?” Speak it aloud, without hesitation. Words from our inner Self may be lying in wait for our invitation. What are you moving toward, one word or encounter at a time?


I invite you to connect with a spiritual companion, explore what you are yearning for, and where your guidance is coming from. Your journey is like no one else’s; a spiritual director or companion can help you honor it as it unfolds.

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