2015: Grace

Grace Quote Free Wallpaper >> Life In Limbo

For the past two years, I’ve chosen a guiding word for the year ahead. In 2013, my word was reach, which represented getting outside of my comfort zone after 4 years of doing the same thing, reaching out to others and trying to dream bigger. In 2014, I chose the word abundance, which served me in about a thousand ways this year including encouraging me to think outside the box, recognize all the possibilities open to me, and to think big instead of small. I love both of these words – I was actually reluctant to switch away from abundance, I don’t think it’s finished teaching me things – and will definitely keep them in my toolbox.

For 2015, my word is grace. I can’t say exactly where it came from, but when I was making shortlists of words for the year, grace kept appearing at the very top. This is the first of my words that has felt a little beyond me: I’m not religious, and “graceful” is not even one of the top 50 words that me or anyone I know would use to describe me. I don’t know how to embody grace, I’m pretty bad at having faith in things, I fall down a lot, and I don’t always take care of myself. But I wish I was better at all those things, which is exactly why I need this word this year.

Grace is one of those beautiful words that has so many different meanings and so many synonyms for each of those meanings. Some of my favourites are: charm, ease, kindness, charity, enhance, embellish, elevate. 

There are three ways that I want to approach grace this year:

  • Be graceful: I want to make choices that are in line with my values, stay centered, act calmly, dress well, listen to my still small inner voice, take care of myself, and not fall down so much.
  • Say grace: The way you might say grace around the dinner table to show your thanks for the food, I want to actively appreciate everything I am lucky enough to have in my life. I want to full experience and enjoy the moment. I want to tell people what they mean to me and keep in touch better.
  • Grace of the world: I want to working on letting go more and worrying less. I want to embrace that things work out the way they’re supposed to, and try to believe that “what misses me was never meant for me, and what is meant for me will never miss me.”

My choosing a word for each year is inspired by Ali Edwards’ One Little Word project. Her word this year is give which I love for all its various meanings and may adopt as one of my secondary words for the year (along with whimsy). I love having three little words that have a special meaning in my life, and I’m looking forward to seeing how grace grows with me this year.

Do you choose a word or intention to guide your year? 

More about my words of the year: Reach and Abundance. You can download that wallpaper here.

2014

2014 201402 201401 201405 201412 201415 201409 201417 201413 201418 201416 201419 201408 201406 201420Since I was away on vacation for the last week of the year, I’m a little behind on my usual year-end blog posts. But I still wanted to take some time to appreciate the wonderful, beautiful year I’ve had and give it its due. It’s been a great year: full of new adventures, life lessons and friends both old and new. I’ve been proud of myself, frustrated, embarrassed, awed, excited, stretched, pushed, angry, loved, thrilled and almost every single other emotion in between. In 2014 I tried hard to live the way I want to live and be the person I want to be. I hope I continue to do the same in 2015.

In 2014 I:

It was a great year. I’m so blessed and so lucky to have so much to look forward to in 2015.

More year-end reviews: 2013 | 2012 | 2011

November Goals

November Goals

Some new goals for a new month! #makeitpublicmakeithappen

How’d I fare last month? Pretty well. I got 10,000 steps almost every day, and it was so great to have that “excuse” to get outside in the evenings for an extra walk around the block. I did not run anywhere close to 60KM (more like 20) but I did read around 9 books so that gives you some idea of what I was doing with my time. I considered this piece a love letter to my mom. I booked our Airbnb in the Philippines for Christmas holidays! I wrote for another site, I fixed my ad, I bought a disposable camera.

This month I want to make use of my YogaGlo membership. I want to make some new recipes. I want to save lots of money and read lots of books. I want to get my ducks in a row to apply for a program I’m really excited about. And most of all (and scariest of all, sort of), I want to get laser eye surgery! It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time and it’s relatively cheap here in Korea. I have a few friends who have gotten it done here and are thrilled with the results.

I’m leaving some space on the list for goals that might come to me as the month goes on. What are your goals for November?

You can see my October goals here.

Good Causes: September + October

Causes-S+O

One of my favourite personal goals for the year has been making a conscious effort to contribute to good causes. As I wrote on the page where I’ve been documenting the various organizations I’ve contributed to, I was ashamed last year when I was helping my grandmother organize her paperwork relating to her charitable donations for the year. I’d donated only about $20 over the course of the whole year to my friends’ causes, and it was not because I couldn’t afford it. It was just because I didn’t prioritize giving the way I actually believe in giving.

It only recently occurred to me that I should start profiling the organizations I’ve been supporting. These are causes that I really believe in, that I think are doing truly awesome work. So going forward I’m planning to share the organizations I’m supporting here on the blog, just in case you’re looking for a good cause to support as well.

Future Former Millionaire

This was a fun one I heard about from the World Domination Summit. Steven’s big idea is to get a $1 donation from a million people, and then give it all away to good causes. I’m not sure yet what he’ll donate to or even how much he’s donated, but I contributed my $1 even just because I think this idea is totally rad.

Pencils of Promise

I donated to PoP earlier in the year after reading the excellent autobiography of the founder. They build schools, train teachers, and give “scholarships” to children in developing areas of the world. It’s such an awesome organization. I donated again in September because they had an awesome campaign through a sponsor – they were matching donations up to $25,000.

Kiva

I adore Kiva, and have been donating regularly this whole year. Since it’s all loans, not donations, I usually re-invest the loans as they are repaid to me. I want to eventually donate to a business in every country on Kiva! You can learn more about Kiva here.

Run For the Cure

My aunt was raising money for the run to end breast cancer. I have a few issues with the pink campaigns for breast cancer – a great documentary on the topic is Pink Ribbons, Inc – but regardless I absolutely hate cancer and I think that awareness and fundraising are good things. Plus, I wanted to support my aunt.

The Human Voicebank

I didn’t actually donate money to this cause (there’s no option to, otherwise I would have) but I did donate both time and my voice, so it makes the list. I wrote more about this project here. It looks like the beta recording has been put on hold but I’ll be checking in regularly to see if there are any updates.

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I’m always interested in hearing about the causes that are doing awesome work in the world, so if you have any that you’re a big fan of, please let me know in the comments below.

I’ve been doing a lot of listening, learning and thinking about giving this year. Two things that stand out as having shaped my thinking are the book I mentioned above, Thrive by Ariana Huffington, and this excellent episode of the TED Radio Hour about giving. There are some seriously great ideas in all three.

You can see all of the good causes I’ve supported this year right here.