Words To Live By

This post was initially conceived for January 1st but, like an over-due pregnancy, it had a timeline that was of its own choosing.

What is ironic though is the apparent sync of the timing and subject matter - but not the publishing  - of this post and that of Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter's, entitled My Three Words for 2013.

In my mind, I pictured both of us working, separately, on our words of worth. Jacqui on her computer in Lake Texoma, Texas and I here in Surrey, BC. I'm reminded of those times when you show up to an event dressed similarly to your friend. And no, you didn't call each other to see what you were wearing; nor did Jacqui and I consult with one another in regard to our respective posts. I believe it was a case of connection; of being on the same wave-length - heart wave length.

Words have power. They make us break out in raucous laughter or cry like a baby taking its first breath. They are capable of breaking our heart or filling it. Words are known to shatter or soothe. They leave us gaping, or gawking. Words transport us, tell our stories, share our dreams, our hopes and our pains.

Words have the ability to elicit the stress response as I witnessed when I innocently said, "Consider this your vaccine against stress." I was demonstrating the learning program that shows how heart rate variability - the way in which your heart speeds up and slows down - changes according to how one thinks and feels. In this case, upon hearing the word "vaccine," I noticed an instant increase in heart rate, as well as a more erratic HRV rhythm. When I asked the woman about it, she explained that she was terrified of needles.

Sometimes, there are no words. Instead, we substitute a touch, a look, a friendly face. Or we sit quietly and listen, bearing witness to the words of another; a gift of our silent attention. How someone feels towards us is also transmitted; sometimes blatantly, but often more subtly. We then use our words to explain how we felt; dismissed, disdained, accepted or loved.

A very popular post is the one I published on January 1st, 2011, called A Quick Year-Planning Exercise - Stop! Start! Continue... This year, I thought to offer a variation on this theme by choosing some words that will serve as a beacon for the year, guiding me through the dark days of winter, into the promise of spring. Keeping me cool in the heat of summer and accompanying me on those pleasant leaf-strewn autumnal walks.

Like apples in a bob-for-apples barrel, four words have floated to prominence for me during these early days of 2013. They are: listen, patience, acceptance and release.

What I like about this exercise is the simplicity of it. Say one of your words and you immediately get a feeling for the weight of it. Does it feel right? Does your heart rhythm smooth out, like mine does, when you say, think and feel your words?

What are your words of worth? Choose them carefully for a powerful stress undressing tool; one that you can live well by!

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8 Replies to “Words To Live By”

  1. Maybe overdue but you delivered a healthy baby, who also can lead us into different paths of accomplishment like the 3 words and the DeskTop timer.
    My 3 words this year are Learn, Connect, Enjoy. They seem to sum up what I am doing or trying to do.

    I’m on a path and don’t know where I will end up so it should be an interesting year

    1. I like how you’ve expanded the imagery, Annette! From what I know about you, I think you’re well on the way to making those words work for you.

  2. Marianna,
    What a delightful gift of your words! Thank you weaving me into your melodious post. You’re so right in advising folks to say one of their words and ‘get a feeling for the weight of it.’ It must have a density–a weight–about it, to be worthy. Thank you for articulating that, because I know I was seeking the same ‘feel’ with my 3 words.

    Your chosen words are not only wonderful, but I love the order of them, especially as you conclude with ‘release’ – oh, sweet release!

    Many thanks for the continued conversations on our respective blogs, social media, Skype and elsewhere one day! I so value our connection.


    1. Dear Jacqui, aka Word Weaver,

      I, too, treasure our conversations in the various forms they take. You have the skill to distill the meaning behind the words, something your Twitter name portrays – @ValueIntoWords – you also get Value out of Words. 😉

  3. Listen, patience, acceptance and release are beautiful and wise words for 2013 (and any year for that matter)! They signify to me full presence with others as well as acceptance of what is – what “mindfulness” teaches us 🙂 Another lovely post full of wisdom from you! Warmly, Dorlee

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