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As I mentioned in my last post, I have an aversion to new year's resolutions. In the past, my resolutions to lose weight, to save money, to get organized, etc...left me feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by the end of January. If anything, this approach to transformation has taught me one thing over the years--it does not work. Life is complex and trying to create lasting change by "shoulding yourself" with a laundry list of To-Do's misses the point.
That's why I chose to work The Desire Map process at my own pace last year. I wanted to dive deep into the work and make it really personal. To truly integrate the lessons and not treat it like just another "drive-thru" self-help guide. You know, "get in, gobble it up and get out."
I really desired to honor the process in a way that was meaningful to me. What I discovered along the way really surprised me. I thought I was creating "goals with soul." (I was.) But what I didn't expect was the way in which my Power Word came out of the process.
A Power Word, for those who don't know, is one word that serves as a guiding light mantra throughout the year. Many writers I know choose a word each year to rely on for guidance. A kind of totem animal, if you will.
Danielle LaPorte has taken this process to a new level with her Desire Map process, where instead of coming up with a list of goals you want to accomplish throughout the year, you identify the way you think these accomplishments will make you feel and then focus on these as you strive to get there. These are known as your Core Desired Feelings. So, at the top of last year, the Desire Map process helped me identify my core desired feelings (Alive, Passion, Courage, Authentic), and almost immediately, a Power Word that encompassed these four core feelings bubbled to the surface.
That word? Effervescent.
At first I was like, "YES!" and my very next thought was, "Wait...what?"
My fear was that this word was not legit. My ego, wanting a more "Goddess-centric" word, immediately took me to the negative associations.
"Effervescent? But it sounds so...superficial!" I envisioned men in tuxedos popping the corks of expensive bottles of bubbly, the contents exploding out in a geyser. I saw Gatsby-themed parties with drunk women dancing on tables. My visualization zeroed in on streams of bubbles rising up from the bottom of a full glass of champagne, popping when they reached the air. Gone. Dissipated. Spent.
Wait a minute...! This ain't no POWER word! Where was the grit? The soul? Why not something with a bit of a hard edge and maybe a little more "goddess-like?"
But later that evening, I saw a post from a family member on Facebook. It was a story about our family name and how, a few generations back, we were Champagne, not Champine. The obvious association of effervescent and Champagne intrigued me, and I couldn't help but to believe that seeing this post was no coincidence. My intuition was telling me in no uncertain terms to claim this as my word of the year.
So, what do you do when a Power Word chooses you? You surrender to it.
And even though I didn't see it at first, it turns out effervescent was the perfect Power Word for helping me to remember my sacred self.
After working for one year with the word as a Sacred Guide (capital S.G.), I am happy to share the lessons I've learned. My Power Word served as the Guiding Star pointing me back to my Core Desired Feelings and Intentions for the entire year. It wasn't always easy, and some days it was hard to connect to what it was trying to tell me, but I'm glad I remained open to its message.
"Here is what opening to an unlikely Power Word taught me about leading with feeling, authenticity and sacred intention.
1) Trust Your Intuition. My word of the year for 2015 was "effervescent." At first, I didn't understand why it persisted in working with me, but I could feel in my heart it was the right word for me. Sometimes you just don't understand what your intuition is trying to tell you. That is ok. The thing is that you don't need to understand it. Simply trust what you feel and follow it! The meaning and message will make sense in its own time.
2) Trust Your Authenticity. A few times during the year I was tempted to choose a new word because mine did not feel as "cool" as what other people were working with. I became embarrassed sharing the word with others after awhile because I'd see their smirks and raised eyebrows. I'd feel the mockery from across the interwebs...it was as if I should have chosen "bubblegum" or "kittykat" as my Power Word. (Which, come to think of it, are not all bad, either, by the way...)
But then I realized I was looking outside of myself for validation, and when THAT realization hit, I became even more determined to give it a chance. Needless to say, I am glad I stuck with Effervescent. It was such an unusual word. No one else was using it, which meant I couldn't compare notes with anyone else. I had to go it alone, and in my own creative way figure out the meaning for myself.
If a word comes up for you that seems unusual, sit with it for awhile before discounting it. Trust that this word wants to guide you back to your authenticity.
3) We do not see words as they are, we see words as we are. (To paraphrase a quote from a favorite author, Anais Nin) When you consistently contemplate your Power Word, you discover interesting things about yourself. I agreed to work with Effervescent because I thought it would help me "come back to life." The funny thing is, this word reflected back to me all the ways in which I was already alive! Contemplating your Power Word is like standing in front of a three way mirror...it will help you see the places of yourself that you are unable to notice right now.
4) It is sacred because you make it so. This is YOUR word. Looking up a word's etymology can help you unpack the energy and true power behind it. You will discover many useful metaphors to apply to your life. Let it be YOUR magic anthem and treat it as such. (This is how words gain power, after all.)
If you haven't already chosen a Power Word for 2016 yet and want to do so, here are three simple resources from a few of my favorite blogs to help you:
1) Desire Map Session with Me!
2) Susannah Conway, Find Your Word
3) Christine Kane, WOTY
4) Abundant Mama, Choosing a Family Word of the Year
I recommend whittling down your Power Word on the night of the NEW MOON in Capricorn (January 9/10 -- check your time zone for exact date/time). Capricorn new moon energy is super potent for seeding long term visions of physical health, personal aspirations and anything that requires you to climb higher! Identifying a word to guide and support you all year long falls within that purview, in my humble opinion.
If you would like to know more about these upcoming Manifesting with the Moon energies, sign up for my newsletter! I intend to send a special moon message at each New and Full Moon to help support you as you begin Manifesting with the Moon.
My name is Dawn Champine and I am the Creatrix of The Goddess Diaries. I am very passionate about helping women remember their REAL GODDESS selves.