Word of the moment, not the year

Every January I read about people choosing a word that will define or be the focus of their year ahead.  They choose powerful words like TRUST, OPEN, REST.  And although I truly love this concept as I’m all about having a spiritual focus, I just realized why I have never chosen a word for the year myself.

Because choosing a word of the moment works so much better (for me).

Let me explain.  For the past 30+ years, I have had a mantra or word that keeps me focused toward what I most want to learn, change or manifest IN THIS MOMENT. Whatever phrase or word I choose literally gets my heart excited as I think or say it, dropping me deeply into the present moment.

The odd thing about this process is that I don’t consciously go about choosing the word or mantra.

It just starts showing up in my life, and after repeating it to myself anywhere from 5 to 20 times, and feeling the affect the words have in my body, I realize that it is the word or mantra meant to support me in THIS MOMENT.

Then inevitably, after a few months of frequently saying this word or mantra, it looses its power to bring me into the present moment. Without consciously deciding to change it, another one will show up that has the same affect in my body as the one before it, reminding me to be fully present.

For instance, during the spring of 2020, every time I said or thought the word “spaciousness”, my heart would tingle, I would drop all thoughts, and for that moment, I was completely present.

Over time (2-3 months), this word lost its effect, and it organically changed into “being in joy”.  I created an entire collection last summer repeating this phrase over and over again. Then after several months, it shifted again into the word “consciousness”.

And just recently my word transformed into “pause”, which makes my whole body relax and drop into the present moment even as I type this. In fact, I love this word soooo much, that I have painted the word onto 11 small pieces of paper and taped them all over my studio as constant reminders!

There is no doubt that my current love affair with “pause” will change into an equally powerful word two to three months from now.

Even though the words/mantras shift over time, their purpose is always the same –

To help me be fully present, no matter what is happening on the surface.

The results of this simple ritual of repeating a word or mantra are nothing short of miraculous.

I have..

  • “found” amazing jobs that I wasn’t qualified for, or even tried to find (more about that here)
  • created an art collection that nearly sold out in 24 hours
  • navigated through breast cancer believing it was the best thing that ever happened to me (it was)
  • so many more examples, but the bottom line is this…

I attribute ALL of the “miracles” that I’ve experienced to using a word or mantra to keep me focused on the precious present moment.

And all I do is say a single word over and over again, and allow the words to shift over time.


I’m curious how YOU use words to support your journey. Do you use a word of the year or moment?  Please share to help us all expand how words and thoughts repeated over time have the power to transform our world.


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12 thoughts on “Word of the moment, not the year”

  1. Word of the moment (or words or concepts) indeed. My ‘gestation’ period lately is much shorter, maybe weeks. Learning to let go….in the in between.

    • A.M.
      Same is usually for me. Seems like the words are frequently evolving to match my current growth. At the moment, I’m in love with the words – Trancendence and Presence.

    • Jeannina,
      I love that this idea resonates with you. My word has changed several more times since I wrote this. Now it’s – Presence.

  2. For many years I have chosen a word for the year, but in just the last few days have been thinking I won’t do that for 2022 as I feel different now in my journey. But I felt sad thinking that I was going to abandon the practice. So reading this today was a gift. I can change the word as I grow through the year. Such good advice and a “word” in season for me. Thank you

    • Michelle,
      So happy that the concept of a “word of the moment” resonates with you as well. I’ve had the word “presence” for about 4 months now, which is probably the longest I’ve held any word. Even saying this means it’s most likely going to change soon! Curious what your word of the moment is. I’m actually releasing a “Word of the Year” collage ornament collection next week, and am providing an extra piece of paper for the purpose of changing the word, inserting into the ornament to allow for change throughout the year. I’m all about listening and moving with what is true NOW, and having a word that serves this moment is part of this process. I truly appreciate you sharing how this article affected you.
      Blessings, Cat

  3. Catherine! I love this idea. Sticking with one word for the whole year just makes me lose interest. I find it hard not to keep moving forward in everything I do. My life, just like my art is an experiment and changes constantly. Having a changing mantra is so freeing!! Thank you for sharing this.

    • Thank you for letting me know that this resonates with you Eloise. It’s exactly the way you describe for me. I’m constantly moving and changing, so my word/mantra has to change with me!

  4. I love the word possibility, it’s exciting and mysterious and motivating all at once It can be defined in many different ways, like to the season or our growth at that time. The substrates may change but the materials and thoughts are ever evolving❤️

    • Jennifer, lovely to know that you resonated with what I wrote, and I definitely resonate with what you wrote in return. Thank you for taking the time to both read this post, and add to it.


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