Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Have You Activated Your 2011 Word?

It sounds so simple, but even a single word can elude you.

It can seem too concentrated, too powerful, or too intimidating.  Sundry challenges might interfere causing you to lose touch with your precious word.  And, as the saying goes, old habits die hard.

Have you lost touch with your word? Or, is your word filling your life with meaning and purpose?

2011 One Word Resolution

Here are some challenges you may have encountered:

1.  Your 2011 word has dissolved into the mists.

Life is full if not overwhelming.  It’s easy to forget your word completely.

2. You are engaged in 2011 word-related activities, but you don’t acknowledge them.

Sometimes we overlook what we actually accomplish, especially if it’s not new and exciting.

3.  Your 2011 word has lost its juice.

Life occurs in cycles.  Yet, in the 21st century, we expect to be “on” all the time.  It’s OK if your word simmers for periods of time.  Or, maybe you just need to inject some new juice into your word.  Try looking at it from a different angle or playing with it in a creative way.

4.  Your 2011 word no longer resonates.

Maybe it was the right word for a few weeks or a few months, but no longer feels right.  There’s no hard and fast rule that your word must last a full year.  Set your old word free and choose a new word!

5.  You haven’t chosen a 2011 word.

You can start now.  You can start anytime.  You’ll find ideas for choosing and using your word in One Powerful Word:  A Simple Approach to New Year’s Resolutions.

Reflection:  So How Goes It with You and Your 2001 Word?

The reflection this week involves taking a look at where you are at with your 2001 word.

Are you fully engaged with your word? Is positive change happening all around you stimulated by your word of choice?  If so please tell us all about it.  What has worked for you?  Will you continue on the same path or work with your word in new ways in the coming months?

If you aren’t fully engaged with your word, take a look at the scenarios above.  Does one ring true?  Have you encountered another challenge?  Where are you stuck?  What could help move you forward?  Are you ready to recommit to your word?  Or do you just want to throw the whole idea out the window?

Enjoy your investigation and please tell us about it.

Me and My 2001 Word:  Healing

I started the year with a bang.  My 2011 word – healing – manifested brilliantly through writing Have You Lost a Part of Yourself? Exploring and expressing this theme was a crucial step forward in my healing process.

Then my word went underground.  I remembered to write “healing” in brightly colored letters each week in my calendar.  I let it float in the background, but I was too busy to engage creatively with my word or add any new approaches to healing.

Although I immersed myself in healing each and every day, I suddenly realized I didn’t acknowledge or celebrate these steps.  Meditation, visualization, breathing skillfully, exercise, and writing are all a part of my daily healing menu.

But still I felt like I wasn’t engaging properly with my word because I wasn’t doing  anything new or exciting.  Like artwork.  I always dream of artwork as a means of deeper inner exploration.  So everything else didn’t count.

Mind can be so tricky!  It convinces us that we are not doing enough by not acknowledging what we actually do.  This can leave you in a state of perpetual discontentment.

On top of that, when a cold spell hit, my health took a nosedive.  Hopefulness dissolved and my old friend frustration came for a tedious visit.  I was deceived yet again by my momentary improvements over the summer.  Then winter set in once again to correct my misperception.

Percolating Madly in a Deeper Way

But, all was well because my word was percolating madly in deeper and more profound ways.  The arising sense of despair caused me to reflect on the true meaning of healing.  Clinging to a dream of physical healing just brought unhappiness and frustration my way, I could clearly see.

What would I really like to see at the end of 2011 from engaging with my word?  True healing, I rediscovered, would be letting go of this sense of frustration once and for all.  It would be letting go of all hope and fear.  Hope and fear are the real demons that infuse one’s life with unhappiness and despair.

These reflections connected me more strongly than ever with my spiritual purpose in life.  I was reminded that healing encompasses faith, contentment, inner comfort and ease, and a willingness to accept the present moment exactly as it is.

I see my word has been percolating wildly, taking me exactly where I need to go.

How about you?  Have you been able to engage with your 2011 Word?

If you enjoyed this entry, please spread the word by using the share buttons below.  And I would love to hear from you in the comments. Thanks so much!  Sandra


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  1. My word is Kindness!

    And, yes, I’m trying to live by that word every day Sandra.


    • That’s a beautiful word. In addition to trying to live by that word everyday yourself, you are leading the way for all of us to express more kindness in our lives through your 31 Days of Kindness this month. I appreciate your focus and leadership so much!

  2. My word is Courage. It has been frustrating, because some of the things I had planned to do with my word are not currently working out (but the year is not up yet and I’m still working toward them). I have found myself being courageous in some small things that I hadn’t expected, which is great.

    I think I have entered a “simmer period”, but I’m still holding onto it and hoping for big things!

    • What a beautiful blog you have, Tracie. Just looking through your blog, I feel you are the epitome of courage. Cultivating more courage this year will make you unstoppable. The year has just started and so you do still have plenty of time. I wish you well achieving whatever visions you have in mind. We do have those “simmer” periods and they are just has important as the times when everything is popping! Thank you so much for stopping by. It’s great to connect with you.

  3. My word is “creativity” and I simply haven’t had time to create. However, I will be tossing my schedule in the corner tomorrow and playing with my paints. 🙂

    • Have fun tomorrow! I’m in the same boat, but I’m planting in the garden today so that in one way counts as at least supporting the process of creating! I’m getting some drawing paper and a large pad to start playing soon. I also want to check on the online art creator you recommended in one of your articles.

  4. I love the honesty and passion in this post, Sandra. I know you’re going to unfold so many layers of healing this year.

    My word is “acceptance,” and most of the time, I’m pretty aware of it. That doesn’t mean I’m practicing it perfectly. I have definite spells of resistance, big “pushing against,” but I can feel acceptance creeping into more and more of my cells, like it’s becoming part of me. And in the meantime, it sits on my shoulder and whispers reminders.

    • Ande,

      I like the way “acceptance” is creeping into more and more of your cells. Sounds like your WORD is working perfectly for you. This is such a perfect word too. I can’t help but fall in love with everyone’s words. They are so fabulous.

  5. Hi Sandra,

    This is a great reminder for us all. As you rightly point out, life can be overwhelming and it can cause us to lose track of our resolutions over time. This is why it is so important to pick the right word or phrase for the year.

    Thankfully the phrase I chose was “Thinking Ahead.” In truth it revolves around my passion for divination and foresight. I do not know if it is because of my moon in virgo, but I have a great need to know and analyze things. As such, the phrase is an integral part of my nature and everything I do more or less revolves around it.

    For the past few weeks I have been caught up with some changes for my website and so I have not been able to devote my time to learning to play Go or refining my creativity. But since these are a vital part of thinking ahead, once I have cleared the pressing issues on my plate I will turn my attention to them again.

    Instead, I have been giving more focus to my divination practice and getting to the heart of my phrase. I am pleased to say that I have made progress and broken through some of the barriers that have held me back in the past. The reason for this breakthrough is some of the ideas I gained from expanding my creativity. If I could make a breakthrough with the short time I spend on learning creativity, if I devote more time to it, my skills will greatly improve. I definitely will continue to refine my skill and passion for divination throughout 2011.

    Thank you for sharing your experience about your word for 2011! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

    • Irving,

      I too have these traits of need to know and analyzing. It must be my Sun in Virgo. Thanks for elucidating that. However, I tend to be more impulsive rather than relying on foresight. I really like your emphasis on thinking ahead. It requires on too pause, which is almost always beneficial.

      I’m glad you will be able to return to learning to play Go and refining your creativity soon. The progress you’ve made from expanding your creativity sound marvelous. I too am planning to get into some artwork in the next few weeks and I will be curious to see what evolves from this. Creativity does open up an entirely different side of the brain.

      Divination is a fabulous skill and ability to have. It is so beneficial and I appreciate how you help others with the practice.

  6. Willingness and I have been like peas in a pod so far this year. I seem to find myself asking, without even thinking about it, are you willing to see this differently or are you willing to experience another emotion right now. I think I picked a good word for the year since it seems to be following me around everywhere! *lol*

    This post is such a great reminder. Thanks for that, Sandra. 🙂

    • That’s so fabulous, Emma! Peas in a pod, wow! Willingness is such a perfect word. I like the way you have meshed with it. It shows me how I could also use “healing”… Is this healing for me right now? Thanks for sharing. I’m inspired to see your WORD supporting you so well.

  7. Hi Sandra,
    My word is Strength. I’m seeing all the ways I’m strong and capable. I’m stepping into the strength I already have. I’ve noticed that I really need to give myself the benefit of the doubt. The things I expect to be difficult I can get through with relative ease. I am strong and I’m becoming stronger. Thanks Sandra!

    • Awesome, Dandy! Your strength is radiating from everyone of your words. I feel you become stronger and stronger. I’m so excited for you.

  8. Hi Sandra! My word for 2011 would be “Trust.”

    This has been a tough one for me in the past. I have had a difficult time with past wounds and it has affected me – especially in my own decision making. I am learning this year to trust myself, my gut, and those around me. So far, it has already begun to have outstanding results. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Bryan,

      Trust is a big one! You are brave to dive into that one. I’m glad the results have been outstanding. When you trust yourself, it seems to transform the world.

  9. Mine is still HARMONY, and I’m seeking and practicing that balance between the things I understand and the things I am in the process of learning. It’s going well. I feel beloved and powerful. I am grateful to have you as a bellwether, Sandra.

    • Mike,

      This sounds like a beautiful path along the middle way. There’s a sense of flow to it. I’m glad it’s going well. And I’m more than happy to be your bellwether.

  10. Hi Sandra.

    Thoughtful post, I like your idea on the power of focussing specifically on one.
    Sounds a bit like “not multi tasking” our lives away and then missing out on truly experiencing each individual and rewarding moment.

    I hadn’t chosen a word, but I just gave it some thought, and for me – “fearless action” – 2 areas that continue to hold me back in many ways. My goal this year is to find the space and time to feel freedom in life and I think that some focus on “fearless action” will help me in this journey.


    • Hi David,

      I can so related to the wish to find the space and time to feel freedom in life! I wish you the best in achieving this vision. “Fearless action” is a great combination of words. Phases are just as good as a single word. I agree with you full on the problem with multi-tasking. Thanks for your thoughts.

  11. My word is Yield, and my life recently has made sure that my word is activated! I couldn’t ignore it even if I wanted to! In fact, it has been a reminder and a comfort, so I’m really grateful for it.

    I always have my word of the year placed where I can see it. I have a little card stuck on my computer and one on the dash of my car and one on the bathroom mirror. So my word is never out of my field of vision for very long.

    • Hi Galen,

      That sounds bit intense so I’m glad your word is a comfort to you! I’m going to follow in your footsteps and place small cards around too. Thanks for sharing this tip!

  12. Hi Sandra, I had missed your previous post about a word for 2011 but there is however one word that has colored most of my reality so far this year and that is mindfulness. A word I think is close to your heart too 🙂 It is a relaxing word, it has no demands, no stress, no chasing – just being.

    • Tom, I love your description of mindfulness! The fact that you see it that way is already a huge leap forward. Yes, it’s one of my favorites too.

  13. It actually took me a few seconds to remember what my word was, which is…well, ironic, since it was ‘mindfulness.’ (I had to go back and check whether it was that or ‘consciousness.’) This is probably a sign that I need to be working harder on it! And yet, even without thinking of the word as a goal, I find that it comes up often in my thinking and writing and plays more of a role in how I see the world. I’d like to get to a point where it has a more direct impact on my actions, too.

  14. I know what you mean, Jennifer. It can be so easy to just forget our word entirely. But once we chose it, it does have a sneaky power, just like you describe, doesn’t it! I’m glad it’s having such a great influence on you and maybe it’s just all perfect as it is. Thanks for the update.

  15. My word is ‘creativity’ and my phrase is, “Creativity – Every Day, Every Way”

    I make it a point to do something creative EVERY single day. That could be an actual creative project, doing a sketch or even a doodle, reading a poem, watching a music concert, perusing the i-tunes store, buying beads, renting a book on mosaics from the library, discovering a artists website, visting an art store or gallery – you get the idea. I have also made art dates with a friend and we get together once a month or so and create art together.

    This is the first time I’ve attempted doing something every day, and beginning Jan 1 – I’m happy to say, so far, I’ve stuck with it and have found it relatively easy to do. I think because I’ve taken the pressure off myself, by being more open to what creativity means to me. By considering that even reading poem is creative and watching a music concert on TV feeds my creative soul. And just the awareness of creating every day, in many ways has become fun to me. During the day, I find myself thinking, what will I do today to create?

    In also jot down the creative activity on a calendar in a word or two, then on Sunday morning, I copy the activities into a journal along with sidenotes of the name and title of a book, CD or artists website. I may copy a poem, jot down a URL or the name of an new artist I recently discovered – and this way, I have the journal as a reference guide. I’ve often found myself asking,”what was the name of that song/gallery/book?” And now I have recorded all in one place.

    After work tonight, I plan on working on some mini wire sculptures – and then tomorrow after a dr’s appointment, I’ll be visiting a gallery exhibit on woodworking of local artists. I just love the thought of planning creative projects and outings and incorporating creativity into my days.

    I hope your reader ‘Timethief’ reads my comment. I often felt that I was ‘squeezing’ creative time into my life – something to be experienced only when everything else was completed. In reality, for me creative time deserves more than a couple of minutes fitted into my busy life – it’s a big part of my life that I was neglecting terribly.

    • Pat,

      This is such an amazing inspiration. I’m honored that you chose to share so thoroughly about your creative process and how fantastically you have activated your 2011 word. I’m so excited by your enthusiasm and your approach.

      The way you have transformed your view from squeezing creativity into your life when everything else is complete to a significant focus is so impressive. I am also learning from how you expanded your definition of creativity, which created more space in and of itself.

      I would love to follow in your footsteps. I’m getting some art materials soon and plan to make ample space for this aspect of creating in my life.

      Thank you so very much for sharing your process. It’s amazing.

  16. Dearest Sandra, I love this and it really got me thinking. I didn’t choose a word for 2011 and have actually never done that, although it sounds like a great idea. If I had chosen one I think it would have been “stillness” or “home” (going “home”). Which for me means returning to that still place in myself or my home (center, love, “god”), where I can remember and fully experience who I am. It means pulling back into myself and the stillness of nature, and my deepest soul, innate knowing, heart thinking and feeling. I need this after a very charged past 3 years.

    doing this has been challenging for me in some ways, I miss certain things and connecting with my online friends, like you, but at the same time I am doing a lot of reassessing and reevaluating of my life. I need this too.

    I am in a place of questioning EVERYTHING. It feels very right and healing. I can feel a shift happening in my body and awareness, and it feels astounding, a whole new way of perceiving myself, and the world around me, as well as how I approach my life and work. So many questions asked, so many changes needed, the field (and heart) is wide open and ready for great change and infinite possibilities.

    I hope I can post about it some day. I am so glad I visited you because, as ALWAYS, you have helped clarify this more in myself. Thank you dear wise wise sister. I have missed you so much. Know that you are so often in my thoughts and always in my heart. Much love, Robin .

    • Hello dearest Robin,

      “Stillness” and “Coming Home” seem to reflect precisely what is happening in your life and thus they are a perfect fit for you! I so admire your courage. It’s not easy to take a step back. And oh my goodness, you are questioning EVERYTHING! I just can hardly imagine that and would love to read your post about it one day when you are ready to write about it.

      I miss you too, but I am happy you are following your heart and singing your tune. Much love to you!

  17. I am on a medication which has a side affect that makes me loose words. A word will simply drop from my mind. No, it is not like we old timers who are forgetful, the word simply dissolves away. You just cannot imagine how much you miss words until they are gone.

    • Hello Kent,

      I’m so sorry for your situation of loosing words. I would be very sad to be loosing words myself. I sometimes have a problem with word substitution ~ replacing words with completely different words when I write. It’s not a severe problem like yours seems to be, but it certainly helps me to understand and empathize with your loss. Thanks for taking a moment to comment. I’ll be thinking of you and wishing for a medication that doesn’t have this side effect. Wishing you the best.

  18. Dear Sandra, lovely post!

    My word is Reflection. I always say to my self: “Change is Reflection.”

    I’m in a continuous metamorphosis to reach all that I really want to have in my life this year.
    Is very inspiring, to have powerful words in life and pronounce them with heart ♥. I’ve learned, that my vocabulary enriched or impoverished my life, so when I pronounce a word that I don’t need, I reflect trying to change it to give to my life other role, because words bind and loose things in life. Words have that power.

    Thank you!

    • Hello Viviana,

      Words are powerful, aren’t they! Reflection is the perfect ingredient to inspire continuous metamorphosis. It seems like the perfect word for you this year. May you be continually blessed with positive metamorphosis!

  19. Good to share a window into your thoughts and life experience Sandra, and thankyou for trusting us with that. I do so agree with what you say that we always have the option of changing our word if it doesn’t feel right anymore.

    I believe there is a gracious hand on our lives. It’s not out there in the universe somewhere (as far as I’m concerned) it is the hand of our own true center and it knows excactly what is the right thing for us to do or say: all we have to do is listen. So my word is the same as Robin’s. “Be still.” So happy to be sharing the journey with you.

    • Christopher,

      I love your perspective so much. I feel so in tune with your recognition of our own true center that knows exactly what is right for us. We find that center through turning mind inwardly and be willing to listen. Eventually, we can even find stillness in movement. Thanks for underlining “stillness” for us.

  20. My word is Money. I never forget it, but my goal is to be able to 😀 The relationship between me and money needs to improve. It is still rocky. I am considering some sort of behavioral therapy, perhaps hypnosis, to give things a bit of a push. Need to be more of a magnet for money and less drowning in medical bills!

    • Meg, I will be so curious to see where you are at with this at the end of the year! I will remember to see you as no other than a money magnet! Hypnosis can be so helpful. I hope you find the right support to actualize a perfect flow of money. Thanks for updating us.

  21. Hi Sandra,
    My word is love. I spent the last 10 days with my daughters and grandchildren. Each time I felt tempted to judge or say something. I stopped and thought of my word.

    Also I often remember it when I’m with hubs and not expressing my best self. I was at a service last Sunday and we were told to keep our hearts open, focus on love, pray for others. I can do that! Happy healing! I’m holding your vision with you.

    • Tess,

      That’s so beautiful! Love is the perfect antidote to judgment. I love your commitment to stop with every temptation and chose love instead. Thanks for the happy healing vibes. Love them! Thanks so much for coming by.

  22. HI Sandra Darling,
    My Word this year and almost every year since the past 10 years have been LOVE. I just can’t change it….cause believe me every year as I focus on love..there is so much new learning that comes forth from it. I still feel like I’m only scratching the surface with that Powerful feeling called “love”…
    My favorite affirmation everyday…that helps me grow, heal, feel, understand, refine….is :
    “I am Love in thought and action in every moment”
    Try it…even if its not your word and tell me what you feel… 🙂
    Love you lots…and loving the new header!
    I cant seem to let go of theme 2010….i’m kind of falling in love with it…hmmmm 😉

    • Zeenat,

      Love is a beautiful word! I certainly see the potential for keeping the same word for a number of years. Love is at the core of all, isn’t it? Therefore, when you focus on love you tend to transform everything else. Seems like a very smart way to go. I will definitely give your affirmation a whirl!

  23. Brilliant Sandra,

    I had to go back to the post I wrote in January, as your post made me realize that although I am feeling lots of shifts in 2011 and focus has been where I have been i remembered that i has written down Manifesting magic.

    Thank you for writing this as 2011 is reflecting my words for 2011
    with love

    • Suzie,

      I’m so happy that my post help you reconnect with your word. Though it seems you are always manifesting magic anyway!

  24. Hi Sandra,

    I’m very grateful for this reminder and the permission to “set my old word free!” At the beginning of the year, I chose the word “simplify.” While that is something that is still important to me and that I have been doing in many small ways over the past several months, it doesn’t feel like a driving force right now.

    Right now my focus in on truly trying to experience the moment. So if I had to some that up in a word, I might choose “engage.” I want to truly engage with the people I encounter through the day and fully engage in every task I set out to do. I’ve decided this month is all about “being present.” I think truly living in the moment is going to take much more than a month’s practice, so I think it’s a more fitting practice to carry with me through 2011. 🙂

    • Adrienne,

      This is so wonderful. I’m glad you have the savvy to go with the word that is calling you now. Being present is a lifelong practice, but focusing on it intently for a month can give you such a wonderful kickstart. May you enjoy each and every precious moment. Thanks for sharing your process. I’m sure it will help others.

  25. Hi Sandra, I definitely haven’t forgotten my word, “healing.” It’s something I think about every day, and often struggle with. February was a rough month for me health-wise. Hopefully this latest medication adjustment will do it. I had to quit yoga temporarily as I haven’t had the energy for it. I took a few steps backwards in my healing journey in some ways which is frustrating, but I’m trying to think of it as a long process with ups and downs.

  26. Well I have to admit I haven’t worked with my word. I thought that I had it down to” preparation”. the problem I’m not sure what I’m preparing for. Not to mention it is even more vague then your word “healing”.

    Now I’m not even sure that is the word or phrase that I should focus on. Also I have never done this before so I’m a bit green around the old earlobes,if you know what I mean.

    Thank for reminding all of us about our chosen word(s).

    Have a great day.

    • Hi Gary,

      Maybe this whole exercise is just not your cup of tea. And that’s OK too. But I do find it’s interesting that preparation is your word. You seem to have some intuitive sense about that even though there’s no clear reason. Maybe time will tell! If not though, no worries. This may just not be an approach that resonates for you. Thanks for checking in and take care.

  27. Oh I just need to type something. I forgot to look for the box so I can get email feedback on new comments.

  28. I do like the concept. It beats the heck out of the scatter brained approach that typical of those of us in the first world.

    I don’t know if it doesn’t resonate or I’m not focused enough on it. It is a time a believe for preperation but not just on an individual basis but a collective one. That might be the root of my problem. It is so much a need of us all that I can’t narrow it down for a more detailed working. Also as my late mother often pointed out. I can’t see the tree for the forest. So it is not just this approach that is the problem.

    Thanks for your support of a person very new to the work or phrase as a theme for year or other time periods.

    • Gary,
      Preparation definitely seems to be resonating for you strongly. I bet it’s working in the background, percolating away, and clarity will come in the right time. The world is overwhelming these days, there’s no question about that. So I can understand the trouble you might have getting a handle on this word. Where do we begin? It’s a good question.

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