Ahhh, a new year. Love that fresh smell, don’t you. That dripping with possibility, oozing thorough your fingers promise of something different, something better, something more. A new year always makes me feel optimistic. As I mentioned here 2014 started of with that intangible sense that something wonderful was about to happen. It sure was a pretty spectacular year, and a lot of that I put down to having invited my One Little Word, BRAVE, into my life. I guess I kind of knew that it had, had a pretty significant impact on me, but it wasn’t until I was talking with my mum, while she was here over Christmas, just where my word had really showed up.She asked a fairly innocent question during the course of one of our conversations, “How have you been brave this year?”.
I rattled off a few of the obvious things – learning to drive a manual
tank vehicle; starting a blog; jetting off to a conference in Sydney when I had no clue what I was getting into, just that it had to do with my word. Then I thought a little more and remembered that BRAVE showed up when setting big goals for the year; it was there when I submitted to the Scrapbooking Memories Masters Competition, in raising difficult issues in my relationships, in letting go of stuff that wasn’t serving me well, in gaining a Cert IV in Agribusiness, BRAVE became the catchphrase from family and friends when I wanted to back out of doing stuff that I find difficult, it showed up in music and movies and all sorts or random locations even when I wasn’t seeking it out, it was there in my face every time I wanted to take the easy way out and stay in my comfort zone. And I love my safe, warm, squishy little comfort zone.This past year has been my most successful year yet for making my One Little Word visible (I’ve been choosing a OLW since 2008) and I think some of that is just in the timing of it, in the meaning of the word itself, but also because other people knew about it. It was definitely something new for me to share my One Little Word with family and friends, since it’s more of a personal journey it’s just not something I openly talked about much in previous years . Instead of keeping my word to myself I was BRAVE enough to ask them to help me out with it, not only did they keep me accountable to my word, they supported me in making BRAVE acts and more to the point challenged me to be BRAVE. I would absolutely recommend sharing your word with others, even if that means just the connecting with the OLW community through Ali’s class.All in all BRAVE was scary and challenging and all sorts of wonderful. Coming out the other side of it I feel so much more free. I feel bolder and certainly braver and more willing to challenge myself and my past failings and not let them dictate my future acts. I feel like I’m regaining some ground that has eroded over the years. One of the things I am most proud of is that I completed* over 147 layouts, three photo books and two mini albums this year and their only the ones I could count – for a notorious non-finisher this is nothing short of a miracle. (*You’ll notice I said completed not created some of those just needed the journaling or a photo etc. for me to consider them finished.) Included in that count is 30 layouts documenting 2014 itself. By far the biggest lesson/reward and the thing I wanted most from this word was to push through fear. I love how BRAVE has made me feel like I can conquer some long-held core lies and question what I’m really afraid of and if it even matters. Being all about the BRAVE over the last 12 months had helped me push through some tough stuff and now my comfort zone is perhaps a little roomier for it.
I’m looking forward to the adventure that One Little Word will take me on in 2015 and if it’s anything like last years word its gonna be life changing. Be sure to check back to hear all about what words I’ve chosen.
One Little Word is a tradition, now class, almost a movement of sorts among scrapbookers that Ali Edwards began in 2006, choosing just one word to focus on for an entire year. It is an amazing journey of growth, fun and community and you can find out more about taking Ali’s class and the One Little Words concept at aliedwards.com.