In determining a word for yourself, think about what you need most in the upcoming year. Is it rest or peace or action or friendship or space or calm or adventure? Some words have come to me easily and in other years I’ve really needed to listen to my own life to find a word. There’s no perfect word – the reality is that any number of words could lead you to a deeper relationship with yourself.
In 2011 I began offering a year-long workshop with the goal of giving myself and my community an opportunity to reconnect with our words at the beginning of each month via a simple creative prompt. These prompts act as lenses – allowing each one of us the chance to make our words visible through words, photography and collage. Each month I send out an email welcoming the community back to the classroom where they are greeted with a welcome message, monthly thoughts, and directions on how to approach and tackle the monthly prompt. These prompts are not meant to take up a ton of time – the main goal is to simply encourage a reconnection with our words each month.
As I’ve reviewed my past project album it’s been so cool to see, literally see via my words and photos, my own personal growth in those pages. Like many people, I’ve experienced challenges in my life and the pages in my One Little Word® albums document a lot of the struggles and successes as I’ve worked my way through (and continue to work my way through) the changes in my life.
One Little Word® has a vibrant community supporting one another. Here is some feedback from past workshop members:
Wendy | This is my third year. OLW has been amazing. The monthly prompts provided the opportunity for self reflection and an outlet for creativity through some very difficult times. Ali, your gentle persistent guidance to live the length and width of life has been so supportive and amazing. I recommend this project to every one I can.
Diana | I learned to be kinder to myself and to be more empathetic to others…that we each have our own journey and to honor that. I also learned to breathe…which is really nice. I learned that I CAN accomplish things and make progress forward to the woman I want to be while still taking care of the woman I am. I also learned that it does not always go as planned and that it is ok. The last few months have been more challenging and nothing has gone as planned…nothing has felt right…I have felt completely off track and that is ok…I can breathe, focus on my word, and regroup. I love having a word of the year. My word is like my own personal lighthouse…it helps me find my way. This process is incredible, Ali, and I am so grateful to you for leading us on this journey… how open you are about your story is so inspiring and encouraging…thank you!!
Amanda | After taking the One Little Word class for three years, I have come to realize that learning alongside Ali and the rest of the community goes beyond documenting a word for the year. Instead, it links to something much bigger – to better understanding myself, my story, and my journey. It helps me look within and beyond myself, providing a means to continually reflect on where I am and where I want to go as I work toward goals in life and celebrate. Ali’s monthly support has helped shape my perspective on life with an emphasis on – capturing what is real, celebrating what is real, thinking about implications, and recognizing that it is a work in progress. This class has complemented other aspects of my life and has been a perfect fit. I am so very grateful for the One Little Word journey. This is my 5th year of choosing a word, and I noticed a significant difference of the impact of my words once I started taking the class.
Dawn | At its most basic, setting goals & intentions, monitoring them throughout the year, reflecting on the monthly, evaluating progress, making changes as needed, and year-end summary, all while linking everything to one specific word. But… oh so much more! Life-altering personal growth that is beyond measure.
Many people participate in the workshop for the community and for the simple monthly messages and don’t undertake the actual process of building an album. Some people use a journal while others just listen and take action in their own lives.
Early-bird registration for the year long workshop is $26 before December 31, 2017, and you can register here.