Review of Awaken :: My One Little Word 2016



For the past four years I have selected a word to bring into my daily life and have taken an online class called One Little Word created by Ali Edwards. I hugely admire Ali and she continues to inspire me with her creativity, her approach to memory keeping, method of reflection and story telling.

My word for 2016 was Awaken, and in previous years my words have been Grow (2013), Embrace (2014) and Simplify (2015). Each year my word brings something new into my life, a new way of thinking and a way to ground myself. I believe that these words have each helped me to get to where I am now, they've helped me to create things in my life, deal with challenges and have given me a different way to shape my year.

Awaken became a word that softly sat behind things that I did, and gave me a gentle nudge here and there when I needed it. I wrote about my word in March and what it was bringing into my life at that point in time. Since then my word has continued to be a focus and has enabled me to create a great year and achieve a number of things.

Using my word as a base, I like to create intentions for the year ahead. Here are a few of the key intentions that I connected to most last year and a little bit about what they brought into my life...

Awaken my senses

Awaken my heart

Awaken my resourcefulness

Awaken my focus

Awaken and notice more

Awaken new plans

Awaken a new part of my creativity

Awaken and rise earlier

Awaken my resourcefulness and Awaken my focus I knew that the year would feel full with our wedding preparations and studying, that sat alongside my job, and so being resourceful and having a focus were important to me. I knew I could be resourceful and have been in the past, but I had not connected to that type of focus and feeling of flow for a while. I re-discovered it and awakened a side to myself that I haven't seen in a while. During the year I was resourceful, thoughtful, focused and determined. Our wedding preparations and the volume of handmade elements I created for our wedding day came together in just over two months. I completed a qualification and delivered a few large projects at work. During the run up to the wedding I used my word as an anchor to remind myself to focus and be resourceful. I created a focus on what I wanted to achieve, I pushed and challenged myself, learnt new skills and have a renewed confidence that I will take forwards.

Awaken and rise earlier This was an an obvious choice for the word Awaken, and at times it felt like an easy thing to maintain a connection to. Awaken and rise earlier became a focus and one that I used most of all whilst studying and revising, as well as during each weekend in the summer and early autumn before our wedding day. Rising early and feeling the beautiful benefits of a 5.15am start in the week to make progress on my studies before work, and a 6am start at weekends to finish studying and create all the elements of our wedding, gave me a real boost and enabled me to accomplish what I set out to. I felt that rising early and awakening my resourcefulness became the key elements that enabled a real focus on the completion of things in the year. It enabled me to experience the year with a drive and real enjoyment as the year moved forwards.

Awaken my heart

I wanted to put my heart and soul into the year but didn't realise quite how much I would connect to this intention. I awakened my heart during the many elements of preparation for our wedding day, from writing our wedding ceremony, through to the music we selected together. My heart has awakened even more to Mr C as we move through the first few months of marriage bringing, what I describe as, a tender togetherness. I awakened my heart to things that light me up and I kept doing those things, like learning and crafting that I really enjoy.

Awaken my senses and Awaken and notice more Our senses help us to shape the world we experience and I wanted this to be part of how I would remember the year. I connected more with my camera and photography during the year, I read things that I wanted to and looked at images that would inspire me. I spent time considering what I wanted to listen to during the year, including the music we included as part of our wedding day, the music I listen to day to day, and the podcasts that I choose to listen to and how they shape my learning. I awakened my senses and noticing skills during my NLP coach training and I felt that this enabled me to really connect to what I was learning and practicing.

Connecting to my senses was an important part of our wedding planning and wedding day and will be something that I hope to write about in more detail later this year. Connecting and awakening senses for me was about making our day memorable and being able to remember the day beyond the photos.

Above all, I felt I awakened my senses and noticing skills by bringing in the creation of seasonal manifestos into my life. They became a grounding element that helped me connect to what I wanted during the season and shaped how I experienced the seasons. The manifestos brought with them an even deeper connection to my habits for that time of the year and enabled me to connect even more to the seasons, allowing myself more opportunity to notice how I experience them with my senses. Creating manifestos for each season is something I will be continuing for the year ahead and moving forwards and I will share them here with you.

Awaken a new part of my creativity

I always look to bring creativity into my life and I wanted to awaken a new part of my creativity to help me grow my creative practice though the year. During my studies I found I could tap into a different side of my creativity, I wanted to grow a way of seeing and observing in the coaching I was doing, and think about how I can create a my unique approach. It is something important that I want to take forwards, and my creativity will enable me to shape my own coaching practice and how I do things.

I also attended Sisterhood Camp in May and November during the year to try different crafts and creative experiences, to have space to think about my creative practice and to have the opportunity to spend more time taking photos.

For the wedding preparation and for the wedding day itself I pushed my creative skills into new areas, learning new skills to create handmade elements of the day. They included origami, brand new sewing projects I hadn't tried, as well as dipping my toe into writing poetry and wording for key elements of the day. I gave a speech at our wedding and as part of it I wrote a poem for Mr C. In a moment of flow one day after work, the words came and I knew that I would read this to him on our day. With the awakening of new skills and my creativity during these times, I hadn't realised the determination and resourcefulness that would come with it. I feel very lucky to have had Awaken as the word that shaped the year for me.

Awaken new plans

I wanted my Awaken intention for the year to have a gentle momentum of forward movement and growth. With new skills being learnt through my studies, I wanted to get to a place where I thought about new plans and how I would use my NLP coaching skills. New plans arrived and the more I learnt about myself the more I knew what I wanted to do, its still in its early phase of planning but new plans and ideas are forming.

Beyond the intentions I set I feel that Awaken has been part of my year in other ways. I awakened the need to retreat and connect with a community of creative women. I have done that by attending Sisterhood Camp and attending Blogtacular for a second year, both events are key elements of the year for me and I hope to continue to attend when the opportunities arise.

Above all I know that I have awakened a connection to myself, and to the resourcefulness I allow myself to tap into when I have focus and flow. I have awakened a feeling and know what I want my life to look like with Mr C, and how together we will shape our future. I feel that I have awakened a feeling of purpose, in all that I do and all that I have done, that I now hold closely to my heart, both the challenges and achievements that have enabled me to feel uplifted, and be in a place of contentment with what I do day to day.

Awaken, along with my other words, have all played a part in the my patchwork of my life that I am creating, enabling me to grow and experience things differently with momentum. Awaken is a word I will cherish, I will hold it in my hands and close to my heart, and will take it with me moving forwards.

I'll be back soon to share with you my new word for 2017. Do you have a word for the year? If you have I'd love to know what your word is.