Word of the Year

January 19, 2018

Every year we choose a word of the year to act as our guiding light for how we frame our goals and hopes for the year. So in this minisode we’re sharing our words of the year for 2018 and how to use your chosen word of the year in life and business.

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This Episode Brought to You By:
"Different words will resonate with different people in different ways."
- Kathleen Shannon


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Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:02
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Kathleen Shannon 0:52
All right, what are we talking about today?

Caitlin Brehm 0:55
Well, our listeners know that both of you are really big on choosing a word of the year, and we had an app episode at the top of the year. That was kind of looking back at the previous year looking forward at this year. But at the time of recording. You hadn't chosen your words of the year yet. So this is our first recording of 2018. What's your word of the year?

Kathleen Shannon 1:17
Who wants to go first?

Emily Thompson 1:19
You go first, Kathleen, you're gonna take longer?

Kathleen Shannon 1:22
Because I have two words of the year?

Emily Thompson 1:26
Of course you do.

Kathleen Shannon 1:27
I've never done this before. Well, okay, let me just dive in. So my first word of the year is abundance. And I know that that's like a super trendy, sometimes loaded word. I was even telling a friend about it recently. And he was like, that has so many like super religious connotations. For me, my is like, hmm, not for me, which is kind of interesting, too, just because different words will resonate with different people in different ways. So even if your words have similar meanings, I think it really is important that your word really does resonate with you, and it has meaning for you. So whenever I think about abundance, I really just think a lot about how over the past couple of years, past few years, I feel like we have been like muscling our way to success. Like, we've definitely had a few things that have been lucky breaks. But for the most part, we've been like heads down, grinding it out doing the work. And we felt it, at least I felt it. And so this year, I went to practice abundance, I want to hand over a little bit more faith in the universe. So maybe this is where my friend had that idea of like religious connotations. And not that i think that you know, God is going to come flying down with a bag full of money by any means. But I do want to just have a little bit more trust in timing, I'm super impatient. And I want to trust that things will unfold in their own time as they should. And I also want to break through some upper limit bullshit. Like I think that whenever it comes to abundance, prosperity goes hand in hand with that. And I know that I have some upper limit stuff that I can definitely break through. I think also whenever I think about abundance, I think about gratitude. So I've gotten real caught up in wanting to be a millionaire. And it's one of those things where I think we could do it again, going back to that upper limit stuff. But I also want to acknowledge that I am already so rich, one of the things I always come back to is being able to buy an avocado out of season, or being able to go get sushi on a Tuesday, there's so or even just amazon prime every single time I order something reminds me that I've got it made. And I do want to be careful though not to fall into feeling guilty around privilege or reminding myself of how awful some people have it because I've also fallen into that trap as well. And then finally, part of gratitude and being already rich is in redefining wealth. You know, really acknowledging that just taking the time to work out every day makes me feel rich and wealthy and abundant and full of gratitude. Having a family that I love so much. And you know, we've recently gone through a big move together makes me realize how lucky and abundant we are to have each other and so really just redefining wealth by focusing on the things that are really important that aren't money. So that's my first word of the year.

Emily Thompson 4:47
I love it. I'm excited about this one, especially for all the reasons that encapsulate me. But I also I always enjoy watching you or anyone that you know I share intelligence with like Go on the journey of practicing and intention. And this one, I think will be one that's going to be fun to watch.

Kathleen Shannon 5:06
So then whenever I was thinking about the word abundance, I was like, You know what, maybe this isn't, maybe this doesn't have to be a practice so much, even though i think that you know, redefining wealth and gratitude and acknowledging prosperity, where it's happening is definitely a practice, I kind of just want to like, I kind of do want that the sky to make it rain on me and to just receive it and not have to practice it so much.

Emily Thompson 5:28
Well, and I think I want to take a pause and talk about how important this is how like we are such givers. And like this idea of like, always showing up and giving, giving, giving, I know I have a hard time receiving. And that is a part of the abundance process. And I think, especially women in our culture these days, are expected to give and not always expected to receive in quite the same capacity. And I know I'll be challenging that this year, as I also practice abundance right along with you, I'm sure. But I think that's definitely part of it.

Kathleen Shannon 6:06
Love it. So my second word is style. So this is something that I will know, it has always been really important to me personal style, aesthetics. How I decorate my house, and whenever I had Fox, I got pregnant, and I thought that I would never not be pregnant, like I'm also that person who would ever moment I'm in I feel like it's going to just be that way forever. So I think I got rid of all of my clothes. And then, you know, breastfeeding for a year, like I didn't have much of a wardrobe and just recently, probably in the past few months. And I've been working with my friend, Ollie Woodrow, who's been helping me overhaul my wardrobe, I feel like she's one of those people that really gets my sense of style, which is, you know, kind of post apocalyptic badass is what I'm always going for, like, I always want to be dressed for the zombie apocalypse. But at the same time, I want to grow up a little bit and feel chic. And also think about having a sustainable wardrobe that will last a long time and having timeless pieces. So I've really been having fun with style again. And I've also, like I mentioned, I recently moved and so being able to rearrange my furniture and living in a house where there are multiple rooms that could serve multiple functions like my previous house, it was like, Okay, this is clearly the master bedroom. Okay, this is clearly Fox's room, this is clearly the living room. Well, this house is a little bit more modular, like different things can be in different places and creating cool little reading knucks in different unexpected corners has been so much fun, but also bringing style into how I decorate. It's just really important, but beyond the aesthetics, which I'm not gonna lie are important to me. And they matter like I'm a designer by nature, I'm a creative director, this should matter to me. It's also about really cultivating confidence. And that's something that we talk about a lot here at being boss. And I feel like my confidence was kind of shaken in the past year. And I'm I think that it has a little bit to do with kind of the political spectrum. I think that that shook everybody's confidence a little bit. I also just think that in general, for creative entrepreneurs, maybe maybe some of us had a really super easy 2017. But what I'm seeing online is that everyone had kind of a challenging year, and it can be easy to feel like you've been knocked off your feet a little bit. And so for me, I'm going to cultivate more confidence this year with my sense of style, and really bringing intention and consideration to the details and making it matter.

Emily Thompson 8:44
I love it. I love it.

Caitlin Brehm 8:46
I love it too. I think those two things really do tie in together though, because, as Emily was saying so much of and I think probably a lot of our listeners have a similar word of abundance, because that is something especially as creative entrepreneurs, especially as women, people are trying to cultivate more, but there's that deserving aspect of like, if abundance is your word, you need to feel like you deserve it and truly invite it in and know that it's going to be yours. And style can help you do that. It's a lot of how you always say, Kathleen turning on the taxi light, maybe that is putting on an amazing outfit, and then suddenly you feel like okay, yeah, I'm a total boss, who deserves this abundance coming my way. So I love that that ties in together.

Kathleen Shannon 9:30
Yeah, that's exactly right. And I remember when I first started freelancing, and I was documenting that journey on my blog, like I would write things like get dressed for work, even if you're working by yourself, and I feel like we've moved on and above that kind of advice, but I'm kind of circling back around to it because, um, you know, it's gonna make me feel boss. Alright, so I love your insights. Caitlin, thanks for sharing those. Emily. I'm so excited to hear your word because I always feel like we kind of like our soul sisters with our intention. And we kind of always take on each other's words. So, right, I want to hear what it is,

Emily Thompson 10:05
will you go for abundance and style, I'm going for peace. And I'm super excited about this guy. So I feel like all of my words, for the past several years have been like these very, like action oriented or like, you know, strength and joy and growth and you know, some like big words that require some like outward motion. Yeah, like all those things, I'm really excited this year to do something that I haven't done since starting this practice and, and find your take on a word that's really about going in and significantly more personal. But I also have a very, like, outward facing purpose for it as well. So um, so my word for peace, for me is all about letting go of control and inviting in the unknown. And I've been reading this book, guys, I want to say maybe you sent it to me, Kathleen, I can't remember but it's called being supernatural. Have you read that one? And other than someone else?

Kathleen Shannon 11:06
They never know the titles of my

Emily Thompson 11:10

Kathleen Shannon 11:12
I got an Apple Watch.

Emily Thompson 11:15
Oh, nice.

Kathleen Shannon 11:16
Yeah, but I don't turn off the sound.

Emily Thompson 11:19
you swipe up and then hit the moon.

Kathleen Shannon 11:21
Okay, hang on. Now, our listeners also know how to silence their Apple watches.

Emily Thompson 11:27

Kathleen Shannon 11:28
Um, wait, what were we talking about peace, letting go

Emily Thompson 11:35
letting go for natural.

Kathleen Shannon 11:36
So I never know the titles of my books, because I always read on a Kindle.

Emily Thompson 11:41
So okay, it's all about the mind body relationship on like this super scientific level that's kind of blowing my mind a little bit. And the idea of his book and I've actually started reading this book, since choosing my word of the year, the ideas is whenever you plan your day or your week or whatever, you're focusing on the known and you're, you're like controlling your destiny in a way that doesn't allow for the unknown to happen. And that sense of peace comes whenever you can let go of the control of what will happen next, and you invite in the unknown, and how that sort of has a super calming effect on you. And a lot of ways, I have a question. So yes.

Kathleen Shannon 12:20
Okay, remember last year, how we were kind of like, let's not set goals to make space for, you know, like, opportunities that we can never imagine happen? And that kind of bit? You I think specifically, a little bit like, it feels like you're saying the same thing. So right, expressing more of the same or does it feel different somehow,

Emily Thompson 12:39
it's different. So I see it. So I You see, the same lines is like we do the chalkboard method, and we you know, create spaces for for clients. But we're going to create two more just in case, like this idea of having control over what you need to have control over. But also line pairing that with this idea of letting go so that whatever is going to happen can happen. So it's like that unexpected extra bit kind of expecting the unexpected, maybe, yeah, sure. I love that that way, because then it will happen, you just don't know what it will be, and letting go of the idea of being able to define it because I know that's a problem I have where I feel like I need to define everything. And it's even something we preach a lot like know what it is you want, like so definitely that you can reach out and touch it. I kind of want to challenge that a little bit this year. And like, leave some space around what I want for things that I can't even imagine, which is exciting. So that's one part of it. Another part is this very like internal harnessing my own ability to be calm when things are not calm around me. So for example, like just at home homeschooling my kid or having a kid period that they do whenever things are frantic around the house like I can still center myself and not like feed off of that frantic energy. So this idea of being able to find my own like peace of mind, even when things around me aren't very peaceful. So I'm super excited into super excited about going into that. But then also the world's a fucking hot mess these days guys, and it makes me really tired. So I do totally believe that that whatever it is that I'm creating in my own personal world that will be reflected back to me and like the outside world so I'm going to do whatever work I can this year to bring a little more peace into my life with the hope that it brings a little more peace to the world at large. I don't know what that could look like. But I'm here doing my work guys. Hope you guys are rally and do yours

Kathleen Shannon 14:42
do this is absolutely i mean this is one of those kind of woowoo things but it is so true because we are a part we are living organisms. We are animals. We are a part of the universe if you believe that we're all connected. I mean, why wouldn't our own thoughts or memories have effect On the world, I'm so inspired by this right now. Okay, keep going,

Emily Thompson 15:03
I will keep going. Um, so and then beyond that, it's just for me recognizing where I already have peace in my life because I have it here and I very oftentimes completely and utterly forget that it is here in the, in the front in the franticness of you know, doing all the things that I do on a daily or weekly basis. So for me, this practice is all always significantly about the idea of recognizing things that I totally take for granted on the normal basis. And RepRap I've totally painted my fingernails a nice pearly white to like remind me that she's supposed to be a little more peaceful these days.

Kathleen Shannon 15:44
I love it. So I'm curious to you like what other kind of behavior changes are you going to enact to practice peace? So for example, not letting the outside chaos affect your inside? Whenever your kiddos running around or banging on your door? While you're podcasting? I don't think that really helps. She's never had she knows better. Yes, she does. But how do you find calm in the chaos? Is it with deep belly breaths? Is it a visualization? What are you going to do?

Emily Thompson 16:15
Yes, I'm definitely a deep breather. And like even Lily knows a deep breathe like we get in these moments. All right, honey, is a grab her shoulders, let's breathe together. We do a lot of deep breathing around here. I actually started a personal meditation practice over the past couple of months, which has been going really great. And I've been doing it super consistently in a way that I've never done it before. And it's definitely giving me more control over my own thoughts in a way that I've never had. So I look forward to using that practice to help me with this, this peace practice that I have this idea of just continuing to gain control of the thoughts that run through my head in any given moment. And using those along with some deep breathing, but also just recognizing when I need to let go of things that aren't bringing me peace, like if you know, for example, we have this Rolly chair in our house that just floats from room to room. Sometimes it doesn't really have a home that shits about to go because it ain't bringing me pace.

Caitlin Brehm 17:21
I love that. I think it's important like so Kathleen asked, like how do you go about bringing in peace? But I think even before that, it's how do you remember your word on a consistent basis so that when you are faced in those moments, you're like, Oh, right, peace, peace, peace, peace. And Emily, you painted your nails, which is I mean, it's kind of silly but like it's a real like you look at your hands all the time that's in my head.

Kathleen Shannon 17:49
Yeah, they look good such a ritual around painting your nails, I think it's a great way to bring that in.

Emily Thompson 17:55
I do and I've literally thought I think my nails may be more or less white or like a very peaceful color, whatever that may be most of the year I whenever I painted my nails a couple of weeks, what was probably about a week ago, I I made the intention of like, this is going to be something that I will probably do all year I need to go for you know, Polish shopping, because this is the only light colored nail polish I own.

Caitlin Brehm 18:21
Yeah. But I think even for our listeners, like what are some things that they can do to remember that and thinking like write it in a prominent place on your desk or even block off a chunk of time every week where you're like, Okay, my word is peace. What am I going to do this week to bring more peace in my life? or What am I going to do to welcome abundance more. So how, what are some other ways you're thinking of really keeping that word prominent, especially at the beginning of the year when you're trying to really instill it in your mind.

Emily Thompson 18:51
Love it, I definitely write it at the top of my planner whenever I did my like year ahead spread my Tarot spread for the year that was like when at the top of my piece of paper. It's definitely something that I put at the forefront like visually whenever it comes to all planning things. And then like day to day life, my nails are one thing that I've just done this year, it's the first time I've ever done it or thought about doing it. I also I have a ring I have a Pinkie ring that I wear and it's the ohm symbol. And or I guess the Sanskrit home which isn't necessary isn't a symbol which call that a symbol. Regardless, everything's a symbol. Every graphic designer in me is saying Yes, sir. Okay, good. Thank you. Um, so I wear this consistently as a reminder to chill the fuck out basically. So this is even taken a bit like deeper meaning for me at the moment than it even has in the past and I've worn it consecutively like for about six years now I think. I've also I also ran across a cute little like pceye necklace the other day and I considered like getting it and wearing it for the year or whatever it may be. There are lots of little ways that you can that you can do that. Who Lily is, has been super into peace science forever. So I may just like, give her some shirts to wear that way when she's driving me nuts, I can just look at her shirt and remember what my word of the year is. But there are ways to have to place little reminders like that around your life that can help you focus on you can intentionally focus on that intention by placing them wherever it is, your eyes will be falling. Kathleen, what are you gonna do?

Kathleen Shannon 20:29
Oh, I mean, you know, I'm obviously investing in my wardrobe for the style thing.

Emily Thompson 20:34
And can you please get a big necklace with $1 sign on it? That'd be cute.

Kathleen Shannon 20:41
Yeah, I mean, you know, we get monthly reports in our businesses, so financial reports and kind of just not freaking out about money, like going back to some stuff and for me, it really is a mindset thing, whenever it comes to abundance, but you know, even like the other day, I saw a couple of squirrels doing it in my front yard and I felt so hashtag blessed by the opportunity to see that happening that like even just taking the time to, you know, say little things whenever you see things that represent your word of the year. I don't know. What's more abundant than squirrels doing it. They're nothing things few things more abundant than that. And then I caught them in my garage the next day. Still going at it.

Emily Thompson 21:28
Still doing it. I have an abundance of babies girls. Yeah, neighborhood soon. I love that.

Kathleen Shannon 21:35
Okay, this is maybe our longest minisode ever, which is which is what happens to her we haven't recorded for a month and we're trying to catch up. Do you do New Year's resolutions?

Emily Thompson 21:47
I don't, though. I've heard you have some I have a couple.

Kathleen Shannon 21:50
I'm just gonna throw them out there. style, doing fast action style, quick fire style. There you go. Less cursing.

Emily Thompson 21:59
That's cute. I can't wait to see how that goes.

Kathleen Shannon 22:01
I know I believe in you casually like I even cussed on this podcast. My thing is like no more cussing around. Like in public spaces. Our podcast is different because we're two people having a conversation. And

Emily Thompson 22:14
more people listen to this than any curse word you'd ever say in the grocery store. But I

Kathleen Shannon 22:19
don't you know, it's just something. I feel like I've gotten lazy with my use of cursing. And I want to be more intentional about when I dropped the F bomb. Like I wanted to in a minute something Yeah, so kind of that. I'm tracking my time for real timely, it's happening. It's on. And then I also want to try and use less exclamation marks and parentheses in my writing.

Emily Thompson 22:44
All admirable. I love them. Now that you've spoken them out loud. I'm going to hold you do them.

Kathleen Shannon 22:52
Like Emily will go through and remove my parentheses, right? I'm just laughing because in these little show notes, we're looking at less cursing in parentheses what exclamation? Yeah, it's

Emily Thompson 23:11
gonna be it's gonna be a year long year, long year.

Kathleen Shannon 23:16
Those are more like just tactical, I would like to be better about these things. And Caitlin real quick, do you have a word or resolutions?

Caitlin Brehm 23:24
My word of the year is open. Because I am starting my Saturn return this year. So I want to be open to those lessons. And I also just want to be more open for things more opportunities, more friendships, more knowledge. So to me, that means I'm making that space, I'm clearing things that like I don't actually want so that I can have that space open to fill it with things I do want.

Emily Thompson 23:52
Love it, I super look forward to enjoying both of your words of the year, I guess two plus one of the year because one of the great things about is doing this and that's talking about so often is we do sort of get to live each others and really watch them happen. And I always find that like I look for abundance and style so that I can tell you about it again. So I'm excited this year is gonna be a good one for all of us. I know it.

Kathleen Shannon 24:22
This minisode was brought to you by Twenty20. Check them out at twenty20 .com/beingboss. That's t w e n t Y 20 as in the number.com slash being boss.

Emily Thompson 24:36
Did you like this minisode Be sure to check us out on our website at beingboss.club. There you can find more from being boss including our full episodes minisodes and blog posts. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for our mailing list so that you can get access to behind the scenes and exclusive content from Kathleen and myself to help you be more boss in your work and life. Do the work Be boss.