There is a wonderful scene in Eat, Pray, Love in which Elizabeth Gilbert (after ordering for the table in fluent Italian, brava!) and her table of friends discuss what they think is their ‘word.’
At first this seems like a simple dinner table conversation starter, but upon a closer look, it's actually one of the most profound questions one could ask.
In essence, it's asking to sum up how you'd like to be remembered. To condense every day that you have gotten up, worked hard, supported yourself and others, made tough decisions and been an active participant in the world around you into a few syllables that encapuslate your core beliefs and truth.
That is very powerful.
For me, my word is a constant reminder of how to live my life. It's how I feel when I am living my truth, it's how I would describe the people I admire, and it is a large factor for me in making decisions “will this help me or hinder me on my journey to…”
So how do you find your word?
Is it something you decide on and then strive for? It is something you unconsciously are? Is it what others attribute to you?
There is no easy answer. There may not be a gospel choir, a ticker-tape parade or a light shining down when the universe unveils your word to you – it will only come when you can hear the little voice inside, yelling your word as loudly as it can, only to be muffled by all the unnecessary thoughts and wasted emotions that pass everyday.
By quietening down all the distractions of everyday life by practicing self-care in the form of yoga, meditation, spending time in nature, positive affirmations, speaking words of kindness and gratitude and doing what it is you love everyday, you are able to develop a deeper connection with your inner self. It is through this connection that you will find your beliefs and values, and your word will be revealed to you.
A few days ago, I was buying vegetables from a local greengrocer, when I noticed an older couple trying to reach for some spinach that was up quite high and towards the back. I quickly moved to where they were standing, handed them the spinach and smiled.
What happened next was one of the most enlivening and rewarding experiences of my life. The man looked at me and in a thick accent said, “My dear, you are so elegant.”
Well. Let me tell you what happened next: my stomach was in butterflies, there was a hallelujah chorus in my ear, everything around started glowing, and I felt as though I'd been lifted onto a cloud!
For me, this was the greatest compliment I could ever receive. Why?
Elegant is my word. I smiled back at the man and thanked him, wondering if he knew the impact of the simple, kind words he just offered me.
I felt at peace, knowing that to just one person I had met I would forever be “the elegant girl,” and in that moment I emulated elegance, with every fiber of my being.
There has never been a better time than right now to live your truth and leave a mark on the world that is decidedly you! Your inner voice is trying to tell you right now!
Can you hear it?