At the beginning of 2022, I made a series of blog posts on my choice of my One Little Word intended to sharpen my focus throughout the year as a challenge for personal growth. My word choice was Listen. You can read my OLW posts here, here, and here, which share the OLWs chosen – and the reasons – by friends and family as well.
Listen was selected to be like a little toy poodle with a pink collar and blingy-bougie leash, cleanly groomed, smelling of strawberry rosebud shampoo, daintily prancing all sure-footed, the kind you could take with confidence into a china shop, knowing there’d be no damages.
Instead, my word turned out a lot like that great dane in the movie The Ugly Dachshund that was secretly slipped into a litter of dachshunds as if no one would be the wiser, until the truth became clear. Listen is no strawberry poodle word – it follows me like a clumsily lumbering beast into fragile places that force me to take careful steps, assessing the catastrophic potential for any missteps.
Words are like that ~ like beams of sunlight through a dense canopy of trees ~ illuminating the dark places in random rays of light on the leaves, bringing awe and wonder to moments that may otherwise go unnoticed. Words have power to show, to guide, and to prompt change, understanding, and compassion in our lives. As I write through August and September, I’ll pause daily using Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z by Irene Latham and Charles Waters and consider the power of words to shape my life, dedicating a day to each of these words and considering other words I might add to my own personal lexicon for change:
acceptance, ally, belonging, compassion, courage, create, dialogue, diversity, dream, empathy, equality, exercise, experiment, forgiveness, freedom, fuel, gratitude, hate, hope, humility, intention, justice, kindness, laughter, listen, love, mindfulness, nature, netiquette, open, pause, peace, question, reach, release, respect, service, shero, team, tenacity, upstander, voice, vulnerable, witness, wonder, xenial, yes, and zest.
If you haven’t read this book, you can order one here on Amazon. I invite you to join me in making August and September a time of deep personal book friendship, sharing insights on the words and the response opportunities that the authors create in the book.