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Word of the Year

I’ve been choosing a word for the year in the past several years:

  • 2018: Dance

  • 2019: Shine

  • 2021: Thrive

  • 2022: Discard

Choosing a word to guide me is more powerful than New Year’s resolutions. The word's intention guides my decision making and priority setting.

How I choose my word:

  • I mull on it for a few days and see what comes to me. What went well and not so great last year? What do I want more of in my life next year? What is calling to me?

  • I listen to my soul and heart and less to my head, not always an easy task for me! A word might come that I don’t understand (see above: Discard). Listen anyway.

  • When I have some thoughts, I run them past trusted friends and family members who know me well for their insights.

  • I might look up synonyms online if I have just a kernel of an idea.

  • This year, I was struggling to settle on a word, so I did a Tarot pull. The first card, the High Priestess, suggested I need to get in touch with my spiritual side. The second card, the King of Pentacles, told me to trust my own power. These are both themes from previous Tarot pulls…so this helped me know which direction to head.

"The High Priestess is a signal that you are being called to embrace the Divine Feminine – your connection to your intuition, compassion, empathy, and inner wisdom."

I am not naturally contemplative. I’m also becoming increasingly disenchanted with patriarchal Christianity and the Bible, so this Tarot wisdom resonated. I need to look at less traditional sources of the Divine.


I try to weave my word through my year in whatever shape that takes. This is not a resolution, so I don’t beat myself up if I don’t constantly think of my word. Instead, I use it to inspire my life.

What’s next?

After choosing a word, I do a SoulCollage® card to cement my thoughts. SoulCollage is a creative, transformational practice. It involves letting your soul guide you in choosing images to compile into a collage card. It is a powerful, spiritual, introspective process.

“The cards in our SoulCollage deck contain an intensely personal collection of icons, symbols which weave through our life and our heart. They help us create meaning and connect our very personal story to the larger story.” -Kylea Taylor, therapist and president of SoulCollage

I share my word via social media and with friends and family. I think about how I will use it to guide me each day.

Here are some SoulCollage cards from previous years:

SoulCollage: Dance




My word for 2023

My word is “Ruah,” which is Hebrew for feminine “wind,” “breath,” or “spirit.” My theme is focusing on the Divine Feminine.

In 2022, in addition to discarding what didn’t serve me, I set on a path of taking care of my physical health. I began eating plant based and committed to walking 10,000 steps a day.

This year I am focusing on my spiritual health by practicing yoga or meditation every day.

I figure if I can change my diet I can do this!

I’m exploring the Divine Feminine through reading, writing, and listening. I started with God is a Black Woman by Christena Cleveland, an excellent beginning to my journey. Cleveland takes herself on a pilgrimage to see Black Madonnas and chase the whitemalegod out of her head.

I’ve been trying to do that since I read The Color Purple in my college feminist theology course. It’s far easier said than done when you’re raised as a Christian…and the whitemalegod and traditional Christianity are far more damaging to women of color than to white women like me.

SoulCollage: Ruah
My SoulCollage for Ruah

Do you have a word of the year? I’d love to hear IT!

Let me know if you can use help with internal or external communications, marketing, or leadership.

I help professional services firms avoid BORING and boost employee engagement, productivity, and readership. I translate technical, complex, and lackluster language into accessible, dynamic, story-driven text. Get known in your industry through outstanding thought leadership content. Walk your talk through outstanding, effective communications with your employees and clients.

Fertile Ground Communications LLC is a certified women-owned business enterprise, disadvantaged business enterprise, and emerging small business.

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