What is YOUR Word?

Today’s “leaping” exercise is a word game.  It’s interesting, insightful and unique – so play with me, ok?

I discovered this exercise while reading “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert – a wonderful book about a woman taking her leap, answering the invitation to “Come to the Edge”.

Elizabeth is living her lifelong dream –adventuring in Italy, India and Bali.  As the scene opens, she is engaged in a conversation with her Italian friend, Giulio:  “Giulio asked me what I thought of Rome.  I told him I really loved the place, of course, but somehow knew it was not my city, not where I’d end up living for the rest of my life.  There was something about Rome that didn’t belong to me, and I couldn’t quite figure out what it was…”  “Giulio said, ‘Maybe you and Rome just have different words.’  “What do you mean?”  Then he went on to explain, that every city has a single word that defines it, that identifies most people who live there…”  “Giulio asked, ‘What’s the word in New York City?’  I thought about this for a moment, then decided.  “It’s a verb, of course.  I think it’s ACHIEVE.  (Which is subtly but significantly different from the word in LA which is also a verb:  SUCCEED.  ….”  Giuli asked, ‘What’s your word?’  “Now that, I definitely could not answer.  It’s not MARRIAGE, that’s evident.  It’s not DEPRESSION anymore, thank heavens.  My word might be SEEK.  Over the last months in Italy, my word has largely been PLEASURE, but that word doesn’t match every single part of me.  In India, my word might be DEVOTION.  I don’t know the answer, and I suppose that’s what this year of journeying is about.  Finding my word.”

What a great question!

What is my word?  It’s amazingly revealing to consider what “my word” is currently and what it has been in the past.    It once was MULTITASK.  I was defined by it.  It was helpful and I did enjoy it for a time.  A few years ago, my word became SEEK.  My current word embodies my year long journey at “The Edge”.  My word is a verb: FLY.

The beauty of this game …there are no rules and no judgments to be made.  Ask yourself:  “What is my word?”  (A notebook is helpful at this point.)  Listen for the immediate response.  Your Heart will reveal the word, if not immediately, then soon.  Allow yourself to sit with the word.  How does it feel?  How has its path shaped you?  Reflect on some of your words from years past.  (All of us will have many words in our lifetime!)  Enjoy reminiscing on how and when the word changed and how you have grown from it.  Are you enjoying your current word’s path? Notice it.  Feel it.  Know that you can, if you choose, change your word and its path.

Isn’t this wonderful?  Thanks Elizabeth Gilbert for sharing the three words from your experience at “The Edge”:  Eat.  Pray.  Love.

And thanks to you for sharing your word with all of us (see comment section below)!Joan Kappes

Photos courtesy of TinyPic

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