The Power of a Single Word

Although I’m not a resolution maker, each New Year’s Eve I select a single word to focus on in the upcoming year. In 2013 it’s peace and all of its derivatives.

An enthusiastic proponent of affirmations and an avid believer in Gandhi’s be the change, this year’s focus word and positive statements concentrate on each aspect of my being — body, mind, and spirit — and how I choose to be in the world:

  • I have a peaceful, healthy body.
  • I have a peaceful, creative mind.
  • I have a peaceful, joy-filled spirit.

Some people write their word of choice and place it on a computer screen, car dashboard, refrigerator door, or other prominent places as a convenient reminder.

Somewhat like a modified rosary or mala beads, I wear a necklace with three small clear quartz drops — one for each peaceful affirmation.

“Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.” — Buddha

Do you have a focus word this year?


104 thoughts on “The Power of a Single Word

  1. I do now….. My focus word is “acceptance”. I perceive acceptance as an active focus of being open to giving and receiving. To me acceptance is a letting go of preconceived and/or expected outcomes.

    I love your idea of having a focus word and creating affirmations for it. Your idea of creating a visual of the affirmations and possibly a symbol as a reminder is a great idea as well.

    My affirmation: I embrace duality and live in non judgment allowing acceptance to be my only destination.

    Thank you for sharing your positive energy. I look forward to my “Tuesdays with Laurie”.

  2. Great idea, Laurie…yes, peace sounds peaceful and serene. We all need more peaceful excitement in our lives (smile)!

  3. Your affirmations are perfect…I’m going to meditate on this for a bit, and come up with a word that feels right to me, and start this as a practice. I incorporate affirmations into my yoga practice, but they are not directed, so vary wildly from one day to the next. This is brilliant. Thank you!

  4. Thanks Laurie. I love you power word :). This year, my words are LOVE and OPENNESS – being open to see all things, to try new things and to be true; to love unconditionally.

  5. Lovely! My word this year is SHARE. For so many years I’ve kept my gifts to myself because I was sure nobody wanted them. No longer!

  6. I don’t have just one word, but one quotation from the Dalai Lama: “Don’t let the behaviour of others upset your inner peace”. This has been helping me an awful lot when I find other people to be mean or unfair.

  7. Mine would be peace because, within peace there is, love, within love there is, share. The path continues but, only a focus on one to bring everything else in to the picture.

  8. Oh I like this Laurie! What a great idea. I haven’t chose a word but I think I might. Hum…. Well, I guess I am going to have to think about it. I have a heart shaped little box for words I am focusing on. I will put it in there and have it by my desk.

  9. Excellent reminder, Laurie. I had not ‘officially’ focused on finding a focus word for this year and yet w/this tickler I have become aware that TRUST is the one seeking my attention.

  10. Laurie, I really enjoyed this reminder for me to focus on “my word” with greater intention. For several years, at the beginning of a new year I have felt a strong pull to a particular word, enough that one friend asks me every year if I can tell her “my word.” This year, the word that keeps circling, is “kindness.” And I wasn’t sure until very recently what that meant, because I wouldn’t say that I struggle with kindness. But I do better at actively responding kindly to others, more than to myself. So that’s the emphasis for the year, I believe. Opens up a lot of new trails, for sure! 🙂 I am going to look for something to wear, jewelry perhaps, that brings me back to that more frequently. This is so lovely to read today…I was needing it!

  11. This new years day I meet with a room full of people–for the first time. There we were instructed to choose a one-word affirmation. I was largely overwhelmed by the experience (like a duck in the ocean). But I closed my eyes and the word rang out, clearly–love. Later, we were instructed to write our affirmation on a tealight. My ‘love’ candle burnt brightly until it ran out of wax. Now it burns brightly in my heart. : )

  12. Pingback: Power of a single word | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

  13. Laurie- this is such a powerful message to impart. I think every one of us needs a word or a mantra if you will. I too am taking the path to positive energy. When my feet hit the floor each morning, I am choosing to thank God for the promise that something good is going to happen to me that day. Your inspiration comes from Ghandi and mine from a passage in the Bible. We share a positive and healthy spirit. Thanks for your words today.

  14. Peace is a great affirming word. May you fully embrace the peace that you are in each and every moment, dear Laurie. I don’t know about an “affirming” word but the phrase that continually arises throughout the day is “Who am I?” When those words rise the thoughts stop and Presence arises. And that presence is deeply peaceful…

    • Kathy – I have so enjoyed the gift of your reflection today: “Who am I?” Followed by a deeply peaceful Presence. Now that’s what I call positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing!

  15. My focus phrase for the year is “true becoming” — we did a white stone ceremony at my spiritual center on the first Sunday of the year. The stone sits on my dresser where I see it every morning and every evening. My intent is that whatever is not me will simply fall away (I have enough struggles in my life and I did not want this to be one of them!)

  16. Hi Laurie,
    I love those affirmations and used to say much the same – until this year and a tape I listened to by Wayne Dyer. I now say I AM peace, I AM perfect health – this change has brought a real shift to my meditations and feels more powerful. 🙂

  17. Your affirmations are wonderful. I need to think about what would make a good focus word for me. I probably should be able to quickly come up with a focus word–but I always find mulling over the possible options almost as rewarding as selecting the word.

    • Sheryl – I like your mindset: “I always find mulling over the possible options almost as rewarding as selecting the word.” It’s sort of like planning a vacation, half the fun is in the anticipation 🙂

  18. Yes, I do have a word it’s strength, this year is about personal goals I want to reach. I am finding things harder to do as a disability is worsening with age, I want to use the inner strength I know I have to take control of this and “beat” it into place. Years ago my son gave me a necklace with a Native American bear fetish he said he was giving it to me because it represented strength and I was the strongest person he knew. I wore that necklace through many years never taking it off until the day it broke. I then carried it around with me as a talisman. One day he asked me to go with him and his wife to get tattoos and I knew I wanted one. I now have that exact image on my forearm to remind me to keep pushing through when things get hard.

  19. What a beautiful and powerful post, Laurie! Many words come to mind, but the one that calls to me the most right now is “Trust”. So this is my focus word. Last night while meditating, I began with “I trust that…” and was absolutely amazed at the phrases and affirmations that spilled effortlessly from my mind. Thank you for your guidance!
    And loved the necklace/symbolism idea!

  20. Laurie, this is a beautiful post -and a lovely neclace I might add- and one where I can say withough looking back I completely support in spirite and precise application. My focus word is ‘peace’ as well and it’s also defined by non-violence and a sence of community, one where caring and sharing will help to stamp out all the instability and bad vibes that exists in the world and well within our own midst. Here’s a call to the powers that be to tighten restrictions on weapon availability and to make significant changes to the mental health system. Only with concerted and commited efforts in these areas will we achieve our goals for 2013 and beyond. It’s make or break for all of us, and a time for action. 2012 was a depressing year, but we have a chance now to achive lasting change.

  21. We certainly need peace, love, strength, a sense of abundance, openness, patience and all the intentions cited above in this world. This blog is a place for so many great energies. Thank you for creating it Laurie. This is also a wonderful practice. I will also spend some time reflecting on what it might be for me. It may be … “possibility”

  22. Laurie, Thank you for always making me think outside the box…………….when I saw your necklace picture I saw two white angle wings on both sides of the necklace coming through your skin.  I hope this is your neck if not someone has lots of God’s white light in them 🙂 Blessings, Julie

  23. My word: clarity.
    May I see with clear eyes. May I speak with clear words. May I hear with clear ears. May I think with a clear mind. May what was once a muddled murky pond, be clear to the bottom. May the light that shimmers through this water continue this transparent, translucent, simple way. May my extra senses continue to be clair of vision, clair of feeling, clair of hearing, as well. There is a clarity to this knowing and this believing that ultimately, at the root of it all, brings me peace. (Which I believe is the word of every year.) Peace be with you Laurie!

  24. Your post inspired me. I have chosen “authenticity.” I want to be myself in all situations and not hold back or censor myself to please others. I want to be the best me I can be.

  25. Hello Laurie. As usual, your post is one to make me think. My word is Self-Motivation (if that can be classified as one word :).
    Unfortunately, I find myself procrastinating way too much but I am going to place SELF-MOTIVATION on my wall, refrigerator and mirror so that I can have a constant reminder to resist and rebuke that procrastination. Thank you for the motivation (lol). GOD bless you Laurie.

  26. Wonderful idea rather than a whole litany of “resolutions” that will never be carried out… one word to imbed itself in everything I do this year…. for me it has to be “creativity.” Now I am going to write out all the things that word means to me and all its ramifications…. thanks for the inspiration!

  27. My word this year has been, Abundance! Since choosing it on New Years Eve, I have been cleaning and clearing out the old from drawers, files etc. and cut down on my diet coke! So, I have an abundance of space and healthier beverage options plus many other areas are expanding as well. Great post!

  28. I don’t have a word yet. Hadn’t come across my mind ’til I wandered over hear for you to give me something to ponder on. So, I’m gonna focus on the word ‘meditate.’ For clarity and things of that nature. Reckon that’s the first step to being a psychic?

  29. I have necklace envy! LOL
    Seriously, I love the idea of orienting your year around a single word. I have never tried it. But I think the simplicity of this concept might just make for the most impact.
    May your year be blessed wih peace!

  30. I love those sayings, and believe in them (more so now than in the past). Big fan of you and Louise Hay. This year? My goal is not to take myself too seriously, and so in one word, I guess mine would be: Relax. 🙂 I wear a St. Sebastian necklace as a way to keep evil “daggers” from keeping me from my Life Path. May sound a little crazy to some, but that’s what I do. I find even a simple: STOP! when I get that “I can’t breathe because life is moving too fast feeling” is my trigger that I’m taking everything waaaay too seriously. This is all supposed to be fun, after all! So, then I have to go outside in nature and take a walk with my beautiful dog. Those walks save me.

      • Yes. I’m the queen (as are many of us!) of thinking that we “should” and we “have” to do “X.” As I’ve gotten, ah, older (46), I’ve realized it’s really about choosing what you want to do. You really can. It isn’t always the easiest route, but it is the most fulfilling. You still have to be smart about it in the beginning, especially. Bills have to be paid! But it can be done. It’s where you focus your energy. Thanks again for the great uplifting posts and comments.

      • Deborah – At the mere whippersnapper age of 46 (I’ve got 9 years on you), you’re just beginning to hit your stride. I love your observation: “It’s where you focus your energy.” Isn’t that the truth?!

  31. I do the same thing, Laurie– focus on a word rather than make a whole bunch of new years resolutions. This year, my word is “Alignment”. I don’t have specific statements beyond that one word, but in general, I’m looking for 2013 to be a year where I focus on aligning my outer world (career, body, etc.) with my inner values and dreams. I love the necklace you use as your daily reminder!

  32. It seems that I have regularly missing seeing posts from your blog on Reader. I have subscribed today, and each new post shall reach my inbox. Apologies for not keeping up with your posts!

    If I have to describe my new year resolution in one word, it’ll be BE.

    • Subhabrata – No worries, I found that to be true as well. Now when I want to follow a blog, I actually “subscribe” so I receive an email notification of a fresh post.

      BE is a wonderful focus word as it speaks to so many layers: physical body, mental thinking, emotional feeling, and spiritual well-being.

  33. What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing this. For me, I have to go with LOVE on this one. Although only God has perfect love. With some work, patience, kindness and forgiveness, you can come pretty close.

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