By Amanda Newlin
A couple of months ago our Executive Director, Stephany, assigned us the task to discover our word of the year, personally and professionally. To be transparent my initial thought was “what? why?” but I smiled, nodded my head and turned to the only source that could help me conquer this assignment - Google. I mean, how else are you to narrow down one meaningful word when there are literally over 200,000 words in the English dictionary (someone please fact check that for me). After numerous key words and endless sites of ‘how to choose your word of the year’ I came across a quiz that promised to help me determine my word by answering seven simple questions and all in multiple choice. Expecting a Buzzfeed like questionnaire, this quiz was refreshingly spiritually inline and focused on finding where you need to set your foundation.
My (personal) word of the year: Bloom.
Bloom was surprisingly coincidental; this past year I’ve endured some unwelcomed adventures and gut-wrenching emotional ups and downs. I had no clue how to put a lid on what was going on. I became incredibly unsocial, which is the ultimate oxymoron for a professional in social media, and withdrew from everything. After becoming mindful of my surroundings and thoughts I was able to take a few steps back to better identify toxic relationships I needed to set firm boundaries with, work towards becoming more purposeful and acknowledge my thoughts, good or bad.
So, what is my professional word of the year? This wasn’t too hard for me to coin. Being relatively new to Green Shoe – I can honestly say the team here and their advocacy to break the stigma on mental health is inspiring. Absolutely inspiring. Every day our therapists come in, genuinely joyful, with an outlook on life that it’s never too late to discover your happiness and it is possible to live with balance and moderation – no matter who you are. Here was the question to myself – how do I help them help others? What are people looking for that is not at their fingertips? And then it hit me – people need reputable and relatable resources to feel comfortable to seek help.
Therein lies my (professional) word of the year: Resource.
The irony of both my words, without one you cannot have the other. If we set a solid resource foundation, the roots will take, and we’ll bloom into a place that will give people the confidence to take that first step to connect. In addition to resource and bloom working together simultaneously, these words gave a small nod to the book I am reading “Living Light as a Feather”. With recent life events I was given a resource that allowed me to embrace and lift my thoughts to a higher level and raise my energy to tap into a stored memory of joy and self-confidence. When you open your awareness to a time you felt great joy, focus on how your body responds to this memory – you bloom from within. When you bring attention to the positive, negative feelings tend to lose their power. At least that’s what Ruth Fishel says – and I think she’s a genius.
Discovering your word of the year is a fun adventure and a refreshing take on that (sometimes) impossible “new year’s resolution”. Rebecca, said it best in her blog, “Resolutions can set us up for cognitive distortion patterns like “all or nothing thinking” and when you slip just a little – you fall into the ‘all is lost’ mentality." However, when you apply your word of the year to daily victories or learning curves, you can mindfully face welcomed roadblocks but also recognize the fruits of your labor to continue working towards the future you. In other words, as the great heroine Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day”.
This exercise absolutely sets a calm welcoming tone and creates a new inner posture for one’s thoughts. Understand that, “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” I encourage you to acknowledge that ‘crack’ in your life, allow light to filter through, and learn to celebrate small victories. Take time to find your word of the year, make it your anthem, and hold yourself accountable to thrive both personally and professionally. Oh, and if Google doesn’t work for your word search – feel free to call Stephany, no doubt she’ll give you encouragement and guidance.
Lastly, recognize that no matter your walk-in life or disturbances you may face – there are resources out there (*wink*wink*) to help you find grace, discover joy, breathe easy, and bloom.
2020 Word of the Year Quiz
"Living Light as a Feather" by Ruth Fishel
Quote source: Leonard Cohen
Word of the year encouragement: Stephany at 405-697-2109