Several years ago, a book came into my life at an extremely opportune moment. I remember what I was feeling back then. I remember what my life had become. I remember how trapped and hopeless I felt.

That's how healing works, you know. Something will show up for us that will improve our lives. Sadly, we aren't always paying attention and miss it.

I missed nothing when this book showed up for me. I knew I needed some help. And when I came across the book, I knew The Universe had sent it by way of the previous owner donating it to a Friends of the Library sale, and me choosing it from stacks and stacks of used books.

One Word That Will Change Your Life by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon

I recently shared the title of this book in a support group I frequent. I didn't have the book in front of me and told the group the title was One Word That Will Save Your Life. I laugh at the faux pas, only because when I found the book, that's exactly what it was doing, saving me at that moment.

When I returned from the used book sale where I had found this little gem, I settled in and read it that night. I chose my word on the fly and decided that during 2017, I was going to live the word, Love.

About two weeks later, I woke from a deep sleep. I distinctly heard a deep male voice say to me...your word isn't Love, it is Forgive. I transitioned to using Forgive as my 2017 word quite easily because it was very fitting for where I was at in my life. I had much to forgive, and I would start the forgiveness process by forgiving myself.

If I had chosen my word on a heart level, instead of using my thinking brain, I may not have needed the redirection from my spiritual guidance team. I would learn from that first year and let my word choose me moving forward.

My 2021 word came into fruition about six weeks ago. Drum roll, 2021 word is Respect. The word always applies to me and my life first and then ripples out and blesses all areas of my life and the lives of those around me.

Respect is perfect as I am coming out of 2020 and into another year of unknowns. I am already loving my new word and the power it holds within its seven letters. Power in the form of questions.

~ Am I showing myself respect with this event/relationship/action?

~ Am I showing respect to another, even if I don't understand what is motivating their way of life or choices?

~ Do I show respect with my words?

~ Is respect first and foremost in all of my dealings?

~ Am I respecting boundaries that others have set?

The questions can go on and on...

Once the word manifested itself, I then chose to create some art around "respect". Bringing my youngest sister, Dori into the project, I asked her to create and send me a couple of vinyl "respect" cutouts to assist with my art project. She used her intuition and came up with perfection.

After applying the vinyl to a blank sheet in my drawing pad, it began to "blossom" into colorful beauty.

When my art project was complete, I took a step back to admire my hand-drawn and colored creation. I noticed all the white space around the edges. When I asked my artwork why it didn't cover the entire page, it eloquently responded, "we are leaving space so you can grow".

May you find joy in learning new ways of living. May you focus on your healing first as you evolve into helping others to heal. May you be inspired if you choose to live next year by one heart selected word.

Namaste' - I respect the amazing in you, I respect the amazing in myself.

Much Love as you dance into 2021.

Photo credit: Britene Larna





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We may have many realizations as we focus on healing. The most crucial epiphany is when we become aware and understand that it's not anyone else's job to:

  • Look in the mirror and accept the face and body we are living in for this life experience.

  • Learn to love and be kind to ourselves.

  • Work through our emotions and let go of our past.

  • Decide that therapy would be helpful.

  • Make the therapy appointment for us.

  • Discover and heal childhood wounds that have followed us into adulthood.

  • Figure out how and when our relationship with Our Creator became strained or non-existent.

  • Create a new and loving relationship with the God of our understanding.

  • Forgive those who have wronged us without receiving an apology.

  • Exercise our bodies.

  • Eat foods that are colorful, fresh, and healthy.

  • Focus on what's going right in life, and not always what's wrong with it.

  • To make changes in our behaviors and start feeling better.

  • Quiet our mind so we can see the help that shows up for us; a quote, a book, a phone call, an article, a post, a teacher, a new modality, etc.

  • Choose to stop numbing what we feel and work towards healing the feelings.

  • Be accountable for our happiness and commit to creating more joy in our lives.

  • Leave relationships that are not positive and uplifting for us.

Our job is to focus on creating, healing, learning, and growing in the areas that we choose. Give ourselves support, encouragement, love, and understanding as we evolve and become a better parent, partner, sibling, employee, teacher, and human. Our job is to heal us!



Photo credit: Britene Larna

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Self-care is an attitude toward ourselves and our lives that says, I am responsible for myself. I am responsible for leading or not living my life. I am responsible for tending to my spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial well-being. I am responsible for identifying and meeting my needs. I am responsible for solving my problems or learning to live with those I cannot solve. I am responsible for my choices. I am responsible for what I give and receive. I am also responsible for setting and achieving my goals. I am responsible for how much I enjoy life, for how much pleasure I find in daily activities. I am responsible for whom I love and how I choose to express this love. I am responsible for what I do to others and for what I allow others to do to me. I am responsible for my wants and desires. All of me, every aspect of my being, is important. I count for something. I matter. My feelings can be trusted. My thinking is appropriate. I value my wants and needs. I do not deserve and will not tolerate abuse or constant mistreatment. I have rights, and it is my responsibility to assert these rights. The decisions I make and the way I conduct myself will reflect my high self-esteem. My decisions will take into account my responsibilities to myself.




Excerpted from:

Codependent No More - How To Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring For Yourself Author: Melody Beattie

Photo credit: Britene Larna

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