LESSON 5 :: Choosing Your Guiding Word for 2016

The Power of a Word

Think of your Guiding Word as your theme song. 

Think of it as your motto. 

Think of it as your lighthouse.

Choosing a guiding word is a significant process. It's part searching, part sifting, part noticing. Through the process of saying words out loud, reading words, doodling, thinking about, and listing words, we begin to have a sense of which words are the sticky ones for us. Those are the words we want to underline. The words we want to own.

The first time I chose a Guiding Word for the year I was looking for something to embody a direction I was moving in. I rolled soulful, energy, and spirit around on my tongue. I looked them up and thought about the definitions. I made lists from the thesaurus. There were hundreds of words to add to the web: strength, guts, essence, pluck, verve. I thought about what I most wanted the word to represent for me and I sat with each of the top contenders for a bit. On New Year's Eve I chose the word: SPIRIT. Or maybe it chose me.

That year I followed old passions in new ways. I pushed myself courageously out of my comfort zone. I thought of myself as a leader in places I never had before. I composed spiritual music. I got a lot more clear on what was important to me and what fed my spirit. I leapt into all my work with soulful energy. Spirit was, indeed, my guiding principle that year. 

What do you want for your year ahead? Is it a year to call in the support of people around you? Is it a year to push outside your comfort zone? Or is it a year to slow down, simplify, let go of your many obligations and focus on the core essentials?


1. Go back to page 19 in your worksheet packet and look at that list of your collected words. You may already have a very strong sense of which word stands out, which one is yours for 2016. If so, head over to page 20 and write it down!

If you haven't chosen your word yet, then now's the time to narrow it down and take some time to meditate about it.

2. Get creative! Both the guided meditation and the art journaling prompt below will aid you in calling your word of the year in. Listen to the guided meditation to start to visualize what you are seeking. And pull out your art journal to dive deeper into the process!

art journal prompt (button)