2, 3, 4 Words or More

Words. They have the power to heal. To hurt. Inspire. Encourage. Soothe. Dissuade, persuade and everything in between. One of my #SummitFriends, Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, uses words to serve as a guidepost for the year, which she has been doing since 2013.

In a tweet, Jacqui gently asked if I would be participating in the 3 Words project:

If you're wondering what the 3 Words project is all about, Dorlee Michaeli (another #SummitFriend), provides a pithy description on My Three Words for 2016: Nourish, Simplify, Charge.

Nourish is a word that pleases my palate, given my work as Auntie Stress, and also as a person who lives with a chronic, debilitating illness. Making time to do what feeds your heartmindbody plays a big role in the mitigation of stress.

I've learned that nutrition for your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual health is a self-care skill that is vital in the navigation of life, particularly when you have rheumatoid arthritis.

Since the inception of my blog on September 26, 2007, I had written a few word-themed posts. In Are You Keen for 2016, I chose 4 words. Words to Live By also featured 4 words. Back in 2009, I wrote about Two Words Full of Heart.

Yes, there were some posts that featured 3 words, like this one dated September 16, 2011: The Word Store. I was honoured to participate in the Loose Blog Consortium (LCB), a weekly blogging assignment. One of those posts was about Coping => Hoping => Renewing. Another New Year's post that incorporated 3 words evolved out of an end-of-year teachers' assignment: Stop! Start! Continue!

Words in a Different Direction

I had given some thought to participating in this exercise (thanks, Jacqui), but decided that I'd rather use a different guidepost. Since I'm not an expert in every area (*gasp!), I thought that I would work on using more start-thinking-differently questions.

For example: What would [name] do in this situation? In one of those beautifully synchronous moments, I clicked on a Twitter retweet last week. It led to Jackie Yun's post: You Can Lead (Better) with 3 Words. (She is also a #SummitFriend.)

Another question I'm going to implement before I do anything (I hope), is: What do I intend when I [verb] this? My intention (yes, that's intentional) is to do whatever I'm doing as mindfully and as skillfully as I can.

Questions keep you in learner mode. They sprout from curiosity. While it may have killed the cat, it can do a lot for your own personal growth. How willing are you to step out of your comfort zone and into that scary, yet potentially exciting, beginner's place? Are you able to admit that you don't know something/anything/everything about a particular skill/subject/topic? What if you were to take an acting class, sign up for a language course, or learn to swim? Wade, splash or jump into higher education, like J. G. Chayko:

Imagine how that would feel if you began to gain some competence in your chosen activity? Pretty darn good, I'll bet.

Taking on those sorts of challenges allows you to be a superager, as reported in Psychology Today, by Christopher Bergland:

Interestingly, it appears that laborious physical challenges or wrestling to solve an enigmatic riddle don't necessarily benefit brain regions that are typically associated with "cognitive" or executive functions such as the prefrontal cortex. Instead, the neuroimaging suggests that doing something to the point of mental or physical discomfort with a 'bring it on' attitude has a neuroprotective impact on 'emotional' hubs of the brain that serve many functions including coordinating all five senses into a singular cohesive experience.

To fire up your question engine, you might start with the How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci workbook by Michael J. Gelb. Another suggestion is The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Or check out the journals in your local bookstore. Many of them like the ones from Piccadilly can lead you in a new direction. I recently bought one from them called Choose Your Own Journal.

Hope and Strength and Courage, too!

Strength and hope to you as you move through the new year! Considering that 2018 leaned towards the second sentence in this famous quote from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens:

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

It was a welcomed wish from Jacqui. A dollop of courage would add a nice flavour to hope and strength, wouldn't you agree? Inadvertently, I have written about 3 words. As is often the case, these posts take on a life of their own.

Courage, hope and strength is a pretty good way to start the year. I will add them to the 3 that I wrote about in Hope, as 2014 Awakens. Learn, change and grow, something that naturally occurs when stress is addressed and undressed.

How will you be a superager? What will you do when you are stressed? How will you do your best this year?

Happy New Year! May you find words that illuminate 2019 for you.


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5 Replies to “2, 3, 4 Words or More”

  1. Hi Marianna!

    I was taken by the muscular way you introduced the blog post, in describing the multifold power of words! As well, I love how you referenced my using words as a ‘guidepost.’ It just has such a comforting ring to it.

    And, Dorlee Michaeli’s pithy description of the #3Words initiative is a great guide for anyone reading this post.

    Your deepening the value of the word, “nourish” and how it resonates with you is educative, especially for anyone reading your blog for the first time and also is a great reminder for ALL of us the value of nourishing self-care.

    As well, your pointing out the various posts you’ve written featuring ‘words’ was enlightening; one of many reasons you and I connected so well early on during our blogging journey! I also loved the continuum of coping-> hoping-> renewing. Further, your referencing our other inspiriting #SummitFriend, Jackie Yun’s blog post was a terrific reminder of #3Word foundational rules.

    Thank you also for introducing me to @jgchayko and for the reminder to stay curious with questions + to always be learning and growing.

    I was inspired by the quote from Psychology Today re: doing things w/ a ‘bring it on’ attitude, and the value thereto. NICE.

    FINALLY, I absolutely adore how you traversed through this blog story to unearth and ultimately unveil your 3 NEW words for 2019: Courage, Hope and Strength. Wow – those are so very powerful. I’m so warmed that our exchange was helpful in this unearthing process. Moreover, I think the dollop of courage adds immense flavor to hope and strength. Well done, my friend! I will continue to wish for you much positive buoyancy in the coming months and years.

    Warmly,
    Jacqui

    1. Dear Jacqui,

      Your years of career-honing/crafting experience shows whenever you leave your thoughtful comments on a blog post, whether here, or elsewhere. You skillfully and artfully get to the heart of a post, much like you would do when crafting a careerist’s story.

      I have to thank you again for encouraging me to participate in the 3 Words project. I already put those 3 words to use with a small challenge I had.

      Your buoyant words bob in a sea of language, offering beacons of hope, support and encouragement.

  2. Hi Marianna,

    As always, you offer us all much wisdom! I love how you opened this post with “Words. They have the power to heal. To hurt. Inspire. Encourage. Soothe. Dissuade, persuade and everything in between.” This is so very true, and your three words of choice: Courage, Hope and Strength are most inspiring.

    Wishing you (and everyone) much courage, hope and strength for the new year and the hopefully many healthy years ahead!

    Also, thanks so much for your kind mention (as well as Jacqui for her kind mention). Lastly, I second all of Jacqui’s positive feedback.

    Warmly,
    Dorlee

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