At the risk of belaboring the word of the year topic….. I have had a few requests to share the exercise I go through after choosing my word. So here it is!

For me, naming the word of the year just isn’t enough. I need to cultivate a deeper understanding of the word, and what it means to me, so that it takes root and truly blossoms.  I want my word to resonate in my subconscious all year long.  I want it to ring in my heart and steer my intentions.  I do this in two steps.

First, I begin with a dictionary and a thesaurus and do a bit of a word study.  Then, in order to make the deepest connection with my word, I go through the process of creating an acronym.  Using each letter of my word for the year, I choose a word that further defines its spirit, what it means, and what I am striving for.  In the end, I will have created a mantra, something that I will end up repeating over and over to my self and others throughout the year.
Here is the acronym for my word of the year….Breathe….

B – Be still.

R – Real authenticity.

E – Exhale negativity.

A – Accept, with grace, what God has put before me.

T – Time. Take time for self care.

H – Hope in the promise that God will be with me always.

E – Enough. I am enough.


B – Be still

Living in a time where being addicted to “busy” is the cultural norm, being still may feel like you are swimming against the tide.  But, its not in the busyness and chaos that we discover ourselves it’s in the stillness.  Being still creates a space for personal reflection and a chance to reconnect with the best version of our selves.  If you are like me, being still is super hard!  That’s why being still is such and important part of my word for the year.  I recognize that in order to achieve the personal and professional growth I desire, I need to be comfortable with being still.


R – Real authenticity.    Be authentic and require it from others.

Being real for me means giving myself permission to admit I have limitations.  I do!  We all do!  We all have limited time, energy, and mental bandwidth, just to name a few.  Being real means making peace with our limitations.  It means knowing we cannot give everybody everything they want or be everything to everyone!  Being real is knowing who we are and knowing who we aren’t, and loving ourselves for both.

E – Exhale negativity.  Exhale when I find myself holding my breath in the face of uncertainty.

Literally, physically take a deep breath and exhale completely, pushing out the stress, the pressure, the to dos, and the expectations. Exhale and push out any negative thing that comes with uncertainty.

A – Accept change.   Accept, with grace, what God has put before me.

“God give me the grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, the courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.”~ Reinhold Niebuhr

T – Time.  Take time for self care.  

Take time for self care.  We can’t give what we don’t possess.  How can we be who we want to be, and do all that we want to do, if we are feeling overwhelmed, burdened and depleted?  If we don’t take the time for self care, no one will do it for us.  It’s our responsibility to know what we need and when.

H – Hope.  Hope in the promise that God will be with me always.

“Dum Spiro Spero” ~ While I breathe, I hope.  Breathing creates the space for hope to exist.  When we allow ourselves to be covered over, there is little room for hope.  Breathe, and never lose hope.

 “Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one.” ~St Teresa of Avila

E – Enough – I am enough

No matter what we are talking about, the standard today seems to be…more.  We expect more, better, bigger, and faster.  In a culture where there doesn’t ever seem to be “enough”, it’s easy to forget that we are enough.  I am enough, I know who I am and I know who I am not, and I’m ok with both!

As this year unfolds, and challenges present themselves, (and they will) I invite you to join me as I…. breathe, be still, be real, exhale, accept change as part of my story, take time for my renewal, rest in the hope of God’s promise, and know I am enough.