My Word of the Year #onelittleword: THRIVE

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The One Little Word concept was started by Ali Edwards, who is a designer, blogger, workshop instructor, and author. Ali says she “began a tradition of choosing one word for myself each January – a word to focus on, meditate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life.” You can read more about the One Little Word concept at her website.

Do you choose a word to guide your goals or attitude for the year? To represent the direction you want your life to take? To reflect on as you move through the decision-making process? I chose a word last year in the middle of the spring, and you can read more about that below. This year, I decided to choose a special word that really resonates with me to inspire my thoughts, attitudes, and goals throughout the year.

Woman's hands holding beautiful flowers

Why is it important to choose a word of the year?

  1. For me, it helps with goal planning and achievement
  2. Helps with direction
  3. Keeps mindset in the right place
  4. Provides overarching reminder to continue doing what I’m doing, even when it gets tough, and to remind me of why I’m doing what I’m doing
  5. Provides something to judge my projects and task ideas by, before I begin, to be sure they’re in line with my overall goals

Before we keep going forward and talk about my #onelittleword for this year, let’s look back for a moment.

Last Year’s #onelittleword: Brazen

Many of you probably don’t know this, but I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (recently renamed Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease) since 2008, and it is exactly what it sounds like, well actually it’s much worse. Let me tell you, 2008-2011 were the years I was more unhealthy and sick than I have ever been in my life, and that includes having kidney failure, dialysis, and a kidney transplant in middle school! Seriously!

After the diagnosis, I did tons of research online and adapted many ways of dealing with this life-changing chronic illness, mainly with diet, rest, and listening to every whisper my body tries to tell me, and as each year passes, my health improves.

There have been MANY things over the past 8 years that have been impossible for me to do, no matter how much my heart wanted to. So I had to learn to stay on the shore of my life, out of the waves, in my safe place. In my safe home. Eating my safe foods. Getting plenty of safe rest. Staying within a safe amount of activity. I felt like I was living in the shadow of my own vibrant and healthy past life.

I don’t remember how, but I stumbled across this incredible blog post the day after it was written, and I immediately knew things were about to be shaken up! While reading it, I was sobbing so hard I could barely breathe, that article resonated with me on such a deep and tender level. She knew exactly how I was feeling! I couldn’t believe it!

For the first time in EIGHT YEARS I felt like someone understood! Take a minute to read it. I’ll wait for you 🙂 Be sure to pay close attention to the definition she gives of the word BRAZEN. It captures perfectly how my heart was about to feel, even though I didn’t know it in that moment.

And then I couldn’t wait to order the entire book “Brazen: The Courage to Find the You That’s Been Hiding” by Leanna Tankersley, and that’s when everything REALLY changed. It was the timing, the place I was in physically, and a mindset and spirit that were ready for a change. And boy, did things change!

I read the book, learned about the song Brave (more below), and at that same time, went through what I call a healing spurt. It’s kind of like a growth spurt, but instead of getting taller, I get healthier! 😀 (And that’s a relief, because I’m pretty sure I’d be at least ten feet tall by now, as many healing spurts as I’ve had in the past few years!)

I mentioned that my word for last year was BRAZEN. Here’s the song that I chose as “my song” for the year: Brave by Amanda Cook and Bethel Music. The chorus is what got to me (and still does!) every time I listen to it. “You make me brave, You make me brave, You call me out beyond the shore into the waves…”

Give it a listen. It has really beautiful and deeply meaningful lyrics. This song totally reminds me of that moment when Jesus walked on water during a turbulent storm and called out to Peter to join Him, walking on the water. You can read it here if you’re not familiar with the story.

It was finally time to move off of the safety of the shore and go out into the crashing waves towards my desires and dreams. And I haven’t looked back for a moment. Last year was truly a time of physical, personal, and spiritual healing in my life. The healing process is continuing on a daily basis, and that brings me to my #onelittleword for this year: THRIVE.

Definition of Thrive:

Merriam-Webster says Thrive mans: To grow vigorously; flourish

Why did I choose THRIVE as my #onelittleword?

My dream for this year is to thrive: in my marriage, health, spiritual life, relationships, business, and all areas of my life. There’s a strong desire in my spirit to flourish, to grow vigorously, and to be the woman I was created to be.

For me, thriving represents life.

Thriving represents growth.

Thriving represents soaking in the warmth of the nurturing sun shining on my skin.

Thriving represents that feeling deep down in my spirit that I am more alive than I have ever been.

Will there be growing pains as I continue through the thriving process? Probably, at least from time to time. But growing pains are a sign that things are thriving in the right direction! Not only is thrive my #onelittleword for this year, thrive is my entire mindset for this year and for the future. Will you join me in this beautiful and life-changing process? Will you thrive with me?

Related Instagram Hashtags:

  1. #onelittleword
  2. #olw
  3. #oneword
  4. #wordoftheyear


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Melody Payne

Melody Payne

Dr. Melody Payne is a pianist, teacher, and educational resource author who believes that all piano students deserve the best musical experiences possible, in every single lesson. Melody self-publishes pedagogical materials for piano students as well as piano teaching articles and professional development courses for piano teachers. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Music with emphases in music education and piano pedagogy and a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from Louisiana State University, and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music through the Music Teachers National Association. Melody and her husband Greg live in Marion, Virginia, a small town nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, where she teaches children and adults of all ages and abilities in her online piano studio.

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Hi! I’m Melody Payne, a pianist and piano teacher, educational resource author, a fun-loving wife to the most wonderful and talented hubby I could ask for, and a lifelong learner who loves to share. I want to make your life as a music teacher easier by writing and sharing helpful and relevant music teaching articles, and by creating educational resources with your very own students in mind. If you are a parent who wants to enroll your child in piano lessons, I’d love for us to get started building those skills that can give your child a lifetime of musical enjoyment!

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