My (Belated) Words of the Year

For the past few years, I’ve come up with a word of the year — something that encapsulated my desired focus and aspirations for the coming 12 months. I fully expected to do the same this year as well, but when January 1 rolled around, I just wasn’t feeling it.

No single word was calling to me — and the words that did keep springing into my mind (such as anger, bewilderment, disgust, and disillusionment) were hardly ones that I wanted to serve as my theme for the year! But trying to force myself to “fake it till I make it” with a positive word (such as optimism, enthusiasm, or joy) just didn’t feel authentic.

Over the next few months, however, one word did keep coming up…again and again:

ALLOW

And, unlike those other words, this one actually felt good. It fit.

This small but powerful word can mean a lot of things — such as non-resistance, non-interference, or letting yourself and others be who they truly are. My spiritual mentors, Abraham-Hicks, even call their workshops “The Art of Allowing” and say that this is the most important lesson for most humans to learn in this lifetime. But to me, the word was mainly a reminder that I didn’t have to judge my emotions or beat myself up for not feeling bright and chipper — I could simply allow myself to feel what I was feeling. Period.

As I let this word’s energy seep into me, I felt lighter. I breathed easier. And I actually did start to feel a bit more bright and chipper (well, at least some of the time!).

Maybe ALLOW can be my word of the year, I thought.

But something about that word felt incomplete. It felt too passive — too yin. I needed some active yang energy to balance it out!

Around that time, my wife and I started thinking of ways to shift our energy, take positive action, and “be the change we want to see in the world.” Our first step was to change the theme of our next collaborative book, which we titled Goodness Abounds: 365 True Stories of Loving Kindness. We felt that this energy was (and definitely still is!) so needed in our country and around the world. And, selfishly, we wanted to immerse ourselves in goodness, to surround ourselves with these uplifting reminders that, despite what we’ve been seeing and hearing in the news, we still live in a kind, loving, and GOOD world.

And now I see that, without even looking for it, I’ve stumbled upon my second word of the year:

GOODNESS

Like allow, goodness means many things to many people. To me, this year, it mainly represents that active force of positivity, soulfulness, an insistence on truth (or satyagraha, as Gandhi called it), and direct action to bring more soulful truth, love, and kindness into the world.

That feels good, too.

It feels empowering to realize that my life — including my thoughts, my actions, and my emotions — isn’t determined exclusively by my environment. I don’t have to be a passive recipient of others’ energy, at the mercy of the world around me (or even my own thoughts and emotions). I can actively take steps to shift my vibration, change my focus, and maybe even bring a little more goodness and light into the world.

So this year, I’ll be focusing on the GOODNESS that is within my power to bring about (in my life and in the world around me) while I ALLOW myself to feel whatever I may feel, without judgment. And since I get to make the rules for my own life, I’ve decided that I can decide on my word of the year in mid-April — and that it will actually be two words:

ALLOW-GOODNESS

And that’s just what I plan to do!

P.S. If you’d like to join me in celebrating goodness, I’d love for you to share a story in our upcoming collaborative book, Goodness Abounds: 365 True Stories of Loving Kindness, which will celebrate goodness and the many people who actively bring more of it into the world. If you’re interested in joining us, this is a perfect time because we’re offering discounts until April 30. (Please click here or visit www.goodnessabounds.com to learn more.) Thank you for all the goodness you’re bringing into the world!

Goodness Abounds

And for my next act…

Yesterday, Jodi and I (along with over 250 contributing authors) launched our new book, 365 Life Shifts: Pivotal Moments That Changed Everything. I am so grateful to everyone who contributed to this collection (the third volume of the 365 Book Series), the hundreds of people who promoted it (which helped it become an instant #1 bestseller on Amazon), and the thousands of people who will read it and open their hearts to these true stories of transformation.

As I reflect on this project, I realize that it came about at a perfect time for me, although it didn’t always feel this […] Continue Reading…

The Upside of Anger

I used to think that anger was always bad. Growing up, I got the message that it was an unacceptable emotion. And as a young adult, I thought that it was somehow “unspiritual.” More recently, however, my perspective has changed.

I still don’t think that anger is a fun emotion to feel or a fun “place” to hang out (and I’m extremely wary of those who make it their home), but I’ve come to see that there is an upside of anger.

As I now see it, here are three of anger’s biggest benefits:

1. It allows you to practice self-acceptance and […] Continue Reading…

Hold the Light

For most people, this is one of the most festive times of the year. And, for most of my life, the same has been true for me.

I generally love the holiday season, and last year I had one of the best Christmases of my life, as Jodi and I made our first trip to the beach in our new hometown.

But this year, if I’m being honest, I’m not really feeling the holiday spirit. Between the election, recent world events, and the general tone of public discourse, I’ve often found my recent moods swinging between blah and yuck.

Fortunately, though, I know […] Continue Reading…

Be the Change

During this time of deep personal (and, to a large extent, national and international) grief, I find myself looking for rays of light and glimmers of hope.

As I mentioned in my two previous posts, I often draw inspiration from spiritual quotes and the Abraham-Hicks teachings; so now I’m combining these by taking an Abe approach to one of my favorite quotes:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”*
– Mahatma Gandhi
I’ve been thinking about these words in relation to the Abraham teaching of contrast — namely, that when something clearly shows you what you don’t want, it helps you […] Continue Reading…

My Top 7 (Non-Abe) Inspirational Quotes

What’s your favorite inspirational quote? Do you have one (or several) that you find yourself thinking about again and again?

Although I’ve been inspired by countless quotes, there are about a dozen that I regularly reflect on — words that I find myself coming back to again and again for guidance, solace, and inspiration. In my previous post, I shared my seven favorites from the Abraham-Hicks teachings. Now, I’d like to share my seven “non-Abe” favorites, along with some thoughts about them.

You may have already seen some of these (perhaps numerous times) making the rounds on Facebook or elsewhere, while others might be new to you; but, in either case, I […] Continue Reading…

My Top 7 Abraham-Hicks Teachings

I love surrounding myself with inspiring words. I’ve spent countless hours reading everything from ancient scriptures to blogs and Facebook posts intended to uplift and enlighten.

While I’m glad to have been exposed to a wide range of teachings, I’ve realized that I could probably live a fairly happy, fulfilling life with just a handful of basic premises, teachings, and quotes.

With this in mind, I recently created a personal “best-of” list of about a dozen such teachings, about half of which came from Abraham-Hicks (who coined the phrase Law of Attraction and teach this concept, which has since been popularized in the movie The Secret […] Continue Reading…

The Mundane Side of Karma

What comes to mind when you hear the word karma?

Do you think of mystical forces such as vibration, energy, or cosmic retribution? Do you think of karma in terms of reincarnation and rebirth? Or maybe (if you share my internal jukebox) you hear an inner medley of John Lennon’s “Instant Karma,” Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon,” and Ratt’s “Round and Round” (featuring the head-banging chorus of “What comes around goes around”).

Whatever words you use (or songs you hear) when describing karma, it’s generally considered a profound, esoteric principle. And yes, I have no doubt that mysterious forces beyond my comprehension are involved in this […] Continue Reading…

Cancel Your Insurance (Mentality)

Insurance is built on an interesting premise: the more you suffer, the more you gain.

If someone leaves a tiny scratch on your car while parallel parking, insurance might cover enough for a paint touch-up…but not a brand-new car. If a doctor accidentally scratches your finger, you probably won’t be able to sue them for as much as if they had transplanted the wrong organ.

In this way, insurance seems very fair. The compensation is (in theory) commensurate with the amount of suffering, loss, or hardship endured. Insurance also provides peace of mind that, if worse comes to worst, you can still hope to […] Continue Reading…

365 Moments of Grace

I’m so excited to announce the launch of 365 Moments of Grace!

This is volume 2 of the 365 Book Series, which my wife and I created in 2015 with the intention to inspire, uplift, and remind you of just how magical our world is and how connected we truly are.

This latest book contains true-life stories of grace, miracles, and transformations from beautiful souls all around the world. There’s one grace-filled story for each day of the year from over 250 authors, including Jodi Chapman, Kristine Carlson, Arielle Ford…and me! 🙂

You can learn all about the book, pick up your own copy, and […] Continue Reading…