I know I’m a little behind with this whole “word of the year” thing.  It seems everyone else in the world has had theirs nailed down for months!  I’m normally right there with them!  Usually, I’m super clear on my word and can’t wait to implement it!  Not this year though.  This year I didn’t like the word that kept creeping into my conscience.  So I’ve spent the last two months resisting it.

I wanted this year’s word to propel my personal and professional growth.  I was looking for a word that would inspire me to let go of familiar and get out of my comfort zone.  I wanted a word that would be a symbol, a reminder, a motivation for me to reach for more and unlock my true potential.   I was looking for a high energy word that would illicit an enthusiastic “ya…lets do this!”.

But all I got was – Breathe.

Breathe – Come on, seriously?!  This low key, boring word?  Certainly not!   I wanted a word way more exciting that!

However, the more I looked for a more “suitable” word to be my mascot for the year, the more the word “breathe” kept showing up.  It literally showed up everywhere!  It made its way into my social media feed, my conversations, what I read, and what I listened to.  It even appeared at my favorite gift shop, on everything from jewelry to coffee mugs.  Too bad!          I didn’t think it fit what I wanted for 2017….so… I ignored it all and kept looking!

Two talks, a song, and a quote…..That’s what it took to get my attention and reconsider the possible impact of this boring… er-um… “quiet” little word.

Quite? Yes.   Boring? No.  I had clearly underestimated the power of breathing.  Each of these events, the talks, the song and the quote are great stories to be told at another time.  For now, I’ll just say I was reminded that when you ask God for His help, listen carefully for the answer, it may come in an unexpected way, and it may not be what you want to hear, but it IS what you NEED to hear.

The common theme through all these events was the powerful impact breathing can have on the outcome of a moment, a day, a year… a life.  I was reminded how breathing can slow things down, and help me reconnect with my best self, so that I can show up as that self more often.

I was also reminded how breathing creates a space for calm reasonable reflection.  A space where I can remember who I am and what my purpose is.  Where I can grow in confidence.  Breathing can facilitate the growth of that confidence into courage.  Courage to face the unfamiliar, and step out of my comfort zone…into the growth zone.  Whether it be personal or professional challenges or changes, taking a deep breath is the first step to reaching for more and unlocking my full potential.

BREATHE – what a perfect word for me this year!

In case you wondered….

The two talks were ~ “The Lost Art of Pondering” and “Navigating Change Gracefully”

The song was ~ “Breathe” by Johnny Diaz from the “Everything is Changing” album

The quote ~