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Filtering by Tag: one word

what if meal planning could actually support me?

liz lamoreux

meal planning made doable
 

I was part of a conversation during the retreat I attended last month that made me realize having a meal plan doesn’t have to mean cooking everything from scratch but instead could mean just having a general plan for food and eating. And that plan might include ordering a pizza one night etc.

This is seriously a huge aha because the idea of a meal plan always brings up such shame for me. Meaning: meal plans are for people who love cooking for their families and are good at it and always know just what to make and and and and... I had created a whole story around the idea that meal planning is for supermoms who have lists of recipes and love grocery shopping not moms who often realize it is 4:30 and say, "shit shit shit what are we going to do for dinner?" while dreading stopping at the grocery store with a hungry, tired kid.

I don't hate cooking. It's actually that, as I said to a friend at the retreat, I love to cook but I’m in a season of life where cooking can feel impossible some days. Add in the grocery store several times a week and I'm ready to just take a nap and can't we just have cheese and crackers for dinner thank you very much.

BUT this weekend, armed with my new take on a meal plan, I created a general plan and then an actual grocery list. I focused on simple meals we like that don't take much time (love this cookbook) along with deciding I would try the "roast a chicken once a week" method for a while because it has always been a good one when we've done it in the past. (Bone broth! Leftovers that can be used for lunches and other meals!) Then, EJ and I went to Trader Joe’s to make things even easier (especially since we already had several things we needed), and there were peonies!

PEONIES!

With this simple shift in realizing what a meal plan could actually be, I pretty much know what we’re going to eat for the week with wiggle room for my need to be more human than super mom and an internal agreement that it really is okay to get takeout when the day goes upside down and there isn't time to cook. I'm also reminding myself that it's about making one move each day toward the life I imagine; it's not about being perfect. 

How do you tackle meal planning? I'd love to know your tips.

open :: my 2015 word

liz lamoreux

As I mentioned yesterday, my word finally presented itself while I was listening to Elise and Ali during Elise's podcast. Eleanor and I were driving back from a quick trip to Portland and she was sleeping, so I was able to catch up with a few episodes. When Ali talked about open, her word from 2013, I felt my shoulders relax and my heart expand and I knew I'd found my word.

Usually I share my word at the end of December. I'd planned to share how I was going to work with four words this year, but I just couldn't figure out how to talk about them, so I knew I hadn't quite found the right practice for me. 

That said, I think working with multiple words is an awesome idea and I am actually going to keep those four words + "open" front and center for me this year. Each of them appeared in the brainstorming exercise I did in my journal above: rise, peace, allow, and delight.

I've started this journal that's going to focus on "open." It's where I'll be putting my responses to the prompts in Ali's One Little Word class (which is an awesome way to help you keep your word visible throughout the year - I highly recommend it!) and where I'll just be touching base with myself about how I'm staying open...how the word is affecting me...and what I'm learning along the way. I'm excited to try this method. I can imagine it holding other journaling that feels connected to my soul care practice right now (for example, I'm adding some journaling from Viv's Cultivating Self-Care class).

For a peek at how I created another journal that brought together all I was learning from my 2012 word "whole," see this post.

Here's what I know right now: Open has four really important meaning/intentions for me this year.

1) Staying open to connection: I continue to feel a deep longing for in-person connection on a much more frequent basis. My summer watercolor picnics were one way that I tried to create this for myself and others. I hope to do more things like this and just risk saying, "Want to meet up for coffee?" more often this year. I felt a shift already happening this fall and I want to push myself to keep going, to keep staying open, and to allow space for that connection in my life.

2) Keeping my heart open: This one is especially about my marriage. Since Ellie was born, there are parts of me that have been more closed than I ever imagined they could become, which is in such contrast to how I've felt so broken open in so many beautiful ways these last few years. The first year of her life was such a hard one for me, and I put up some walls for self-protection. As I've said to a few close friends, the first two years of motherhood felt like I was literally keeping her alive while she was on heart medication before and after her heart surgery, and in many ways that was true. And when you're in that kind of caretaker role while also growing your business, sometimes the little acts of connection and intimacy and love give way to the to-do list and the need for deep self-care and rest. The ability to vulnerably say, "I miss you and I need a hug" felt very far away. Right now, I'm asking myself, "How can I be even more open in this moment?" and seeing where it takes me/us. Jon and I also going back to a practice I shared here, where we're going to write letters back and forth in a journal. A simple way to just reconnect. I probably won't be sharing too much about this here (we'll see), but it is an important part of my personal practice this year.

(Note that I'm not looking for advice about this but am instead sharing a brief glimpse into our world because I know it might help someone else who needs to add a similar practice to their intention for themselves and their family right now. Thanks for understanding.)

3) Open to change/feeling uncaged: This connects to wanting to feel freedom as I make some changes to my business, specifically with the ecourses and retreats I offer. No big news yet as I'm in the beginning dreaming stages with some of it. But I'm excited to be in this place of "newness" and possibility again, even while I'm grieving letting go of some things. I'm interested in seeing how the practice of being open helps me heal from this grief (and other grief in my life).  

4) Open to the unexpected, to delight: When a customer ordered the phrase "rise and shine" for her word of the year necklace, as I was hammering it, I got this image of how the sun opens up the possibility in each day and how we have the choice to rise and shine and be in this light or to stay closed to what is waiting for us. We can rise up each day. We can stand in our light. We have the choice to be delighted by this possibility or ignore it. I want to stay open to the delight waiting for me each day. 

What word are you working with this year?

If you're still deciding, one idea would be to try to the brainstorming exercise I did in the photo above. I put my word in the middle of the page and just started writing words and phrases that felt connected to it, then words connected to those words etc. You could do this with several words you are thinking about working with. Get curious. 

And if you have your word, I'd love to know what it is. Share in the comments please. (And maybe even try this exercise with your word as you think about the practice you're creating for yourself right now.)

Thanks for being here beside me,
Liz 

a word of the year

liz lamoreux

The practice of choosing a word for the year is one I've been doing for about five or six years now. Sometimes this practice feels like it deeply affects my journey, and other years I realize that my word isn't really doing it for me and other words begin to take its place. 

This year, I thought I was actually going to focus on four words. They each kept appearing again and again and seemed to represent different ways I want to grow and feel right now. But then on Saturday, while listening to Elise and Ali talk about the One Little Word practice, my 2015 word appeared. I'm going to share more about it and how I'm going to work with it tomorrow.

Today, I want to simply invite you to think about choosing your own word or theme for the year. 

One way to do this is to think about how you want to feel in 2015. You could literally write at the top of a piece of paper "In 2015, I want to feel..." and just start journaling. Notice the themes. Really describe how you want to feel and why. See what comes up for you. From there, make a list of words that represent this feeling. See if one stands out. And then live with it for a little while. 

Here's a post where I talk about how I used a similar idea with my word for 2012: whole. That post gives you a few other ideas to help you choose your word.  

The new whole heart pocket talismans pictured at the top of this post are just about my favorite thing ever that I've created for Soul Mantras and Other Stories. I love how they literally look like little heart rocks. They're thick and perfect for carrying in your pocket, putting on your altar, placing next to your computer in your cubicle, or giving to a friend. Find them here (and if you want to order four or more, send me a note for a special discount code).

There are also several new "word of the year" designs in the shop, which you can see here.

Throughout this week I'll be sharing some thoughts and resources around this idea of choosing a word or intention to focus on for the year. I'll even be sharing thoughts around letting go of this practice if it doesn't work for you and will give some other suggestions about what you could do instead.

Remember, working with the practices that most support you is the goal here. Always.

choosing a word isn't permanent (from the archives)

liz lamoreux

Friday's soul mantra altar in the studio

When I sat down to write a post inviting you to let go of any anxiety around "choosing a word of the year," I peeked into last year's posts about choosing a word and realized one post said all that I want to say today. So I'm sharing those words again with a few amendments to make it relevant to this year.

Because honey, choosing a word isn't permanent. It's a guide. A touchstone. And if it resonates, awesome. And if not, you are still totally enough without it.

*****

Right now, my studio is full of words and intentions for the new year as beautiful souls are choosing a word to act as a touchstone for them for the new year.

I have been so moved by the stories arriving with the shop orders. This week, I created a new altar for the Soul Mantras to sit on after they've been polished and are awaiting chains to then be packaged up and sent on to their new homes.

I want to share that I've noticed some discussion about and received emails from people feeling "pressure" to choose a word or figure out what their word should be. Oh sweet soul, please let that go today. 

Choosing a guiding word or phrase for the year isn't the same thing as choosing a wrist tattoo.

It isn't permanent. It is one practice that might or might not work for you. 

At any given time, I work with several words and mantras. I am a word person. They are my most comfortable medium. 

When my mind is swirling or I'm exhausted with a very active toddler to take care of or when I feel lonely or a bit lost, taking a few deep breaths and focusing on a word or phrase grounds me.

Because there are so many words out there, it helps me to have a few that are at the ready. Words I wear as talismans or have on sticky notes or write on my mirror...words that come out of conversations with dear friends that I write in huge letters in my journal. 

Words are part of my soul care practice. Choosing one for the year is just another way of bringing in self-care for me. It becomes another handhold in the midst of it all. 

Maybe this idea resonates. Maybe it feels like too much. Listen to what you need.

Let these first few days of 2014 be full of more ease and less perfection or a need to do anything because it seems like you are supposed to.

Sending you light and love today,

Liz 

If you are drawn to this practice but don't want to choose a word, I created the star shine necklace for you. The Intention Necklaces are also an option.

Or if you just wish someone would just choose a word for you, choose your favorite Soul Mantra design and then just let me know when you check out. Add a sentence or two with where you are right now on your path in the "Notes to Seller" box over on Etsy, and I'll hold you in my thoughts and heart for a moment, breathe deeply, and choose one for you.

wildness :: my word of the year

liz lamoreux

My word for 2014 is "wildness."

It arrived during a day in mid-December spent listening to poet David Whyte as he talked about stillness as its own wildness. He said something like: When in stillness we join a flow that is happening around us and become wilder within that conversation.

And in that moment, something shifted deep within me.

The idea that the stillness I practice, that I teach, that I try to find for seconds at a time each day could bring me into conversation with the wildness not only around me but within me was a new way of looking at stillness for me. And one I'm looking forward to exploring for the next year.

I'll be pairing this idea of becoming wilder in the stillness with Thoreau's idea of wildness in the quote above.

I've been longing to get outside more, to take the senses walks I used to take, to stand at the water's edge alone and just breathe, to stand outside each day in my backyard and say hello to the hummingbirds and the chickadees and the juncos. To stop working and join the conversation in the woods and water so near to where I live.

Yes.

the wild heart necklace | customizable and in the shop

So I'll be uncovering my wildness in 2014. I hope to document more in photos and words to take you along with me. And I'll be participating in Ali's One Little Word class to help keep my word front and center this year. Love how she's talking about "make your word visible," which is something I did in 2012 but not this past year. I look forward to keeping my word closer to me this year. 

I'm also carrying two more words with me: worthy and magic. I'll share more about these two this month. They aren't words of the year for me so much as words I'm holding close as practices to keep coming back to.

Owning my own "worthiness" is a practice I've been working with for a few months now. Standing tall in being worthy of the gifts that have come my way and recognizing how hard I've worked and how I can step around the assumptions of others. Worthy is one I'm wearing around my neck and putting in my pocket (which is why you see it popping up in the shop samples). And I love how many of you are claiming that word too. And magic keeps appearing on my path, and I'm listing and opening my heart up to it over here. Looking forward to experiencing that unfolding.

What word (or words) are you carrying with you? I'd love to know.

a word of the year :: a practice

liz lamoreux

Over here, I'm surrounded by words as I get back into my studio and begin to hammer words of the year into necklaces and bracelets.

I feel so blessed to read all the notes coming in with these words and the stories behind why certain words have been chosen. A handful of the words people have shared with me so far:

forward
self-care
open
stillness
possible
peace
nourish
bloom
faith
embrace
worthy
enough

I love how choosing a word invites us to let go of having resolutions that so often invite in guilt and "not-enoughness." This practice gently pushes me to look forward with self-kindness and think about how I most want the next year to unfold, which is a natural thing to focus on as the calendar changes. As I've mentioned before, as I choose a word, I think about all that could happen in a year, and I want my word to be a companion that brings me back to center amidst whatever beauty and uncertainty await.

If you are called to this practice and aren't sure where to begin, here's a link to a post I shared last year that might be helpful to you: A Word to Guide the Way.

Along with spending time journaling about my word each month, I'm going to follow along with Ali's One Little Word class this year. I'll be sharing more about my word for 2014, wildness, and why I've chosen it in another post this week. I'll also be sharing a bit about how my word for 2013, water, didn't really "do it for me," and how I let it go months ago and how that felt totally okay. I really continued working with my 2012 word, whole, this year and a few other words.

(It is okay to totally make up your own rules when it comes to a guiding practice for the year. Truly. It is.)

This year, I've added a new Word of the Year design to the shop (that has plenty of space for those longer words) and have added gemstone and bird charm options to the old favorites. The new pewter necklaces are also customizable and there is a pocket talisman option too.

Just send over any questions that you have as you look through the shop. I love this time of year, and it feels deeply sacred to me to create these for you.

And each order will come with this special blessing postcard that incorporates your word of the year. (If you ordered your Word of the Year necklace from my shop before Christmas and would like one, just send me an email and I will send one to you in the mail.)

And I really want you to hear me say this: Choosing a word of the year isn't for everyone. In fact, I know it makes some people feel rebellious or even overwhelmed. I'm going to write a post about some other ideas for you later this week, but I do want you to know that I've created something just for you.

This little star is for those who don't feel called to choose a word for the year (or can't choose just one), but do feel ready to stand tall in their own light as they walk into a new year. You can add a gemstone to create an intention as well. And the truth is, shining in your own light is really the best intention of all today and every day of the year.

And if you are thinking, "Oh please, somebody just give me a word," consider the "Mystery Soul Mantra" necklace. Add a sentence or two with where you are right now on your path in the "Notes to Seller" box over on Etsy, and I'll hold you in my thoughts and heart for a moment, breathe deeply, and choose one for you from my little bowl of Soul Mantras.

Thank you for the light you share. So deeply blessed to be doing this work.

Blessings,
Liz 

choosing a word isn't permanent...

liz lamoreux

an altar for waiting soul mantras

Right now, my studio is full of words and intentions for the new year as beautiful souls are choosing a word to act as a touchstone for them for the new year.

I have been so moved by the stories arriving with the shop orders. This weekend, I created a new altar for the Soul Mantras to sit on after they've been polished and are awaiting chains to then be packaged up and sent on to their new homes.

I want to share that I've noticed some discussion about and received emails from people feeling "pressure" to choose a word or figure out what their word should be. Oh sweet soul, please let that go today. 

Choosing a guiding word or phrase for the year isn't the same thing as choosing a wrist tattoo. 

It isn't permanent. It is one practice that might or might not work for you. 

At any given time, I work with severals words and mantras. I am a word person. They are my most comfortable medium.

When my mind is swirling or I'm exhausted with a very awake toddler to take care of or when I feel lonely or a bit lost, taking a few deep breaths and then focusing on a word or phrase grounds me.

Because there are so many words out there, it helps me to have a few that are at the ready. Words I wear as talismans or have on sticky notes or write on my mirror...words that come out of conversations with dear friends that I write in huge letters in my journal. 

Words are part of my soul care practice. Choosing one for the year is just another way of bringing in self-care for me. It becomes another handhold for me in the midst of it all. 

Maybe this idea resonates. Maybe it feels like too much. Listen to what you need. Let these first few days of 2013 be full of more ease and less perfection or a need to do anything because it seems like you are supposed to.

Sending you light and love today,
Liz 

water: a practice, a companion, a teacher

liz lamoreux

water . customizable heart necklace in the shop

The word "water" kept showing up in unexpected ways this year. I think it began with this mug from The Universe Knows that I chose for myself when I gave them at the Pen & Paper Retreat in March. I started to think about what "be like water" could mean and why I was so drawn to the phrase.

penpaper8

mug from the universe knows

I kept picturing the way water flows in a creek through the middle of the woods as it turns and gathers small bits of things to carry downstream. It brought up the idea of creating space to invite in more ease and be open to the flow of things, especially things that are out of my control.

But of course water isn't always full of ease. There is the unpredictable power of the force that is the ocean. Standing at the edge of the ocean this summer while looking at layers of flotsam surrounding me, I had an image of the ocean as a womb that holds more than one could ever understand. Kind of like a woman. As I stood at the edge of the Pacific Ocean that day, I held hands with fear and bravery and made the choice to open up to an image of home while the waves crashed and the wind blew my hair and favorite green sweater.

Then there are the ways that I have felt parched this year. My body, my heart, my mind, my soul. Through the deep realization that I choose whether I water these parched parts of me came a new kinship with the word water. And it guided my decision to create a new series of programs with the theme "Water Your Soul."

In the last few weeks, the idea that I should claim this word as my teacher and guide kept tapping on me. I started brainstorming all it might mean: sea, space, salt, wave, parched, blues, flotsam, flow, lemon, quench, seaglass, womb, whales, kindreds, circling, mighty, ease, depth, courageous, lifeline, wandering, the earth's rhythm, the way home.

As I look to 2013, this is what I know: I want to create even more space within my home, my mind, my business, my family. I want to quench my unspoken desires. I want to invite in ease and trust the flow of things. I want to own all that rests inside me. I want to unearth my own unexplored darkness. I want to nourish and reconnect with my body. I want to spend more time with mother ocean. I want to find the rhythm of my own tide within. 

So I'm going to spend time with water this year. I'm opening up to what it has to teach me as I navigate whatever is to come.

Your Word

Are you choosing a word or phrase to guide you in 2013? I would love to hear about your word and why you are choosing it. Please share in the comments or send over an email. 

three circles necklace

new three circles necklace in the shop

I am also excited to share that I've added a few new customizable options in the shop that would be beautiful talismans for your word or mantra of the year, including this new three circles necklace that can hold words from past years or multiple words or a short phrase.

If you are still looking for your word and feel drawn to choose one, think about doing the exercise I shared yesterday without a word in mind. You could just start writing, "2013 was the year I..." and see what surfaces for you. You could also explore the growing list of words and stories over on Ali's blog. So much inspiration found there. Or you could listen to my recording of the 2012 words over on Ali's site to see what word(s) taps at you.

And I feel moved to share that I am a "word person," so this exercise deeply speaks to me. I love words. I want to eat them with a spoon. And when I read poetry, sometimes I do actually feel like I'm devouring them. However, this practice might not speak to you. That is okay. Maybe there is a piece of art or song or quote that you see as a guide for you right now. Maybe there is a blessing, a prayer, a poem that you plan to reflect on daily or monthly. You can use this exercise as a jumping off point for so many ideas.

My intention with this practice is to give myself an access point for self-reflection each month. Working with the word "whole" in 2012 really pushed me to live deeper and wider and be less stagnant. I work with several mantras at any given time and often choose a new one at the beginning of a season or when something is shifting in my life. And taking the time to choose one word at the beginning of a new year just feels right for me.