For the last few years, I have been watching people on Instagram accept One Little Word into their lives at the beginning of each year as a way to focus and document their lives. It isn’t something I thought I would ever do to be honest, but then something last year made me think I want to be apart of that. I wanted a word, I wanted focus and most of all I wanted something to show at the end of it all. So, this year I have a word and I am under taking the Ali Edwards online ONE LITTLE WORD.
What is One Little Word? Well, it’s best described by Ali Edwards herself –
“A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow.
In 2006, I began a tradition of choosing one word for myself each January – a word to focus on, mediate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life.My words have included play, peace, vitality, nurture, story, light, up, open and thrive. These words have each become a part of my life in one way or another. They’ve been imbedded into who I am and into who I’m becoming. They’ve been what I’ve needed most (and didn’t know I needed). They’ve helped me to breathe deeper, to see clearer, to navigate challenges, and to grow.”(Direct Quote from Ali Edwards.com
Last year, I was lucky enough to be given the title of Scrapbooking Memories Master as well as a position on a few design Teams and I wanted that to be my focus of this year as well as my family. But most of all I wanted to document this – I value this moment as one of the most important in my creative life.
So, I signed up. I didn’t have a word in mind just a goal. I wanted to get through to the end of the year and have something physical that focused on me and this achievement and my life. Now I just had to choose a word.
The first word that came to me was Focus. This seems to be a popular one each year for many people, I didn’t want something so mainstream but I wanted to focus and enjoy the achievement and what the year could bring. So then that lead me to the next word – Enjoy?! Nope, I didn’t like it. To I pushed the thoughts of choosing a word to the side and decided it would find me when it needed to.
At the same time all this was happening, I had also started reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. There was so much hype around this book and its fuel for creatives. I thought it must be for me – I loved Eat Pray Love and I was creative and I loved the idea of Creative Magic. I actually had no idea what it was about but I had to have it. I ordered it online (it was out of stock) and waited for it to arrive. When the book finally arrived, I didn’t start reading it straight away. I wanted a clear head to start it so that I could absorb all the creative energy that was sure to burst from its pages when I opened if for the first time. Then one afternoon that time came. I cracked the spine, opened to the first page and…..NOTHING!
I got NOTHING. Nada. Zip. Zilch NOTHING! No burst of Glitter or spray of paint or even a slap in the face. Absolutely Nothing! I was determined to press on. Maybe I was missing something. How could so many people love it and rave about it and I got nothing. Was I too self absorbed to see the point? Did I not need permission to be creative?
Actually looking back, I didn’t see this point as relevant to me because about 10 months before that moment, I had joined an online Art Community called Get Messy. It was with that lifetime subscription to GM, I gave myself permission to find my creative self again after she had been locked up for 15 years. So, I didn’t need the permission slip this book was offering, I was already granted that last year. What else was in this book that I was missing?
I pressed on. Slowly and Painfully. 20 pages in – still Nothing. 40 Pages and Nothing. 69 and you guessed it – Nothing! Then something magical did happen around the 70 page mark – the book started talking to me. I stopped looking at it as though this book isn’t about me and my permission to be creative and it started telling me to enjoy what I am doing without reward. Creating Magic is about pleasing your soul not those around you. From that point on I got the book. I saw the excitement and that others were talking about. The more I read the more I fell in love with it and the concept of Big Magic.
As for my One Little Word and my Light Bulb moment into actually “getting” the book…It was actually on page 75 that it really hit. I can tell you it was the tenth line from the top of the page a quote that read “I am delighted, and I go along for the ride.” That was it DELIGHTED or DELIGHT. I at this moment in my life was delighted and I wanted to go along for the ride to see where I ended up. I didn’t have a plan I just wanted to enjoy the ride. I highlighted that line and kept reading soaking in all the magic and creative energy from that book. I highlighted every line that spoke to me and put little page markers in the pages. From page 75 in that book there are page markers poking out everywhere. The pages are full of reminders that creating is about releasing your inner souls talkings rather than forcing something. I even went back and reread the whole book and there are now a few markers before page 75 that I missed before.
So that is how I came to my word DELIGHT. I am one a very exciting creative wave at the moment and I am hanging on for dear life because let me tell you, I AM going to ride this bugger all the way to the end. No ifs or buts about it. I am not missing this for the world and I will have it all documented at the end of it.
I will give you updates periodically over the course of the year as to how my OLW is going and what I have documented. We are currently in the middle of the second month and I am going to hold off until the end of next month to share my pages and let you know what I think of the course then.
In the meantime – this Thursday (in three sleeps) I am off to see Elizabeth Gilbert talk in person. I am so freaking excited and can’t wait to suck up any creative juice she may spill. I’ll let you know how that goes to.