word of the year: TPS staff

word of the year: TPS staff

Hi, friends! How’s 2019 unfolding for you so far?

Many phoenix souls like to choose a word or phrase for the year—an intention to guide their coming days. (Coming soon: Danna Schmidt shares her top tips on choosing your own word, “Claiming your Year with Purpose and Pizzazz.”)

Some of our TPS staff wrote about their choices for 2019. I get an expansive, hopeful feeling as I read them together, and I bet you will, too.

Keep an eye out soon for a special post with staff artist Nolwenn Petitbois’ word, including a video of her painting a companion piece—and an opportunity to purchase your own custom artwork from her (affordable, unique work that supports both artist and owner? You know I swoon for that!).

my word for 2019

artwork by Amanda Fall

artwork by Amanda Fall

I’ve been writing lots about journey, my 2019 guiding word, on my Patreon (including a few weekly soul-prompts exploring further).

I’m reminding myself to enjoy the journey this year as I work toward some Big Dreams, not to get so laser-focused on the Destination that I lose sight of lessons and joy in the here and now. I’m also working with ideas about forward movement, how and when to leap (or not) when I feel ready (or not), taking one little step, and much more. I can already tell journey will stretch me this year!

TPS staff

I offered three prompts to our staff. You might enjoy considering them, too:

  • What’s your word or phrase for 2019?

  • What are you embracing in the new year?

  • What are you letting go?


My word for the year is “Wake.” As in awakening more fully to God’s presence in my life. I want to: Wake up. Show up. Power up. Grow up. And of course, the mermaid in me loves to feel the ocean’s pull. I hope to spend more time in its wake this year.

This year I am embracing my own body, flaws, awkwardness, and strengths. I am letting go of the world’s expectations and ideas of “success,” and redefining them for myself. I am embracing quiet. And stillness. And simplicity. I am longing for rest, and full refreshment, and the ability to awaken each day with energy and wonder.

image by De Jackson

image by De Jackson


My word for 2019 is SHINE! I'm terrified and excited to see what it will bring my way.

I'm embracing possibility. I've been struggling for a few years, and I feel like I've finally turned the corner.

I am letting go of feeling like I don't deserve goodness or happiness or riches of all kinds. Hail and farewell to that bs!

image by Kyeli Smith

image by Kyeli Smith


For several years, a word or phrase to guide the next year almost chose itself. Shine. Radiance. Sparkle. And it didn’t matter when daily work on those words faded after a few months, because it was like they’d already achieved their purpose: their essence was now a part of me. Other times, interaction continued throughout the calendar year, like with What if? and No Regrets.

This year surprised me. Not only was I not getting any sense of a guiding Word for the Year, but I was also feeling this gritchy pushback against the whole concept. What???? Had I been infected with some post-holiday Grinchiness???

Then a newly-acquired habit nudged me: sit with the uncomfortable feeling. Ask what it has to teach me. After a few days, insight bloomed.It was the “for the next year” part. I’m currently in the midst of the biggest personal upheaval ever, sorting through a lifetime of belongings and memories, deciding whether to physically move away from Familiar to Scary New, and wondering what the next chapter of my life will hold. How could I possibly pick one word for the next 12 months, when I barely knew which direction to walk each day?

And then. One morning while I still snuggled under warm blankets, in the shimmering between asleep and fully awake, I heard this: do you trust Me?

I want to. Do you trust Me? I’m trying to. Do. You. Trust. Me? . . . [long exhale] Yes.

There it is: trust.

image by Maureen Helms Blake

image by Maureen Helms Blake

Your turn!

What’s your word? Share with us in the comments!

New to this practice or need some guidance? Look forward to Danna’s piece soon, and Nolwenn’s inspiring video. I also recommend Susannah Conway’s free e-mail course, Find Your Word (and don’t miss her beloved Unravel Your Year resource to contemplate 2018, if you haven’t done so already).

Happy 2019—and may this year unfold with deep blessing.

WORD!  Claiming Your Year with Purpose and Pizzazz: Danna Schmidt

WORD! Claiming Your Year with Purpose and Pizzazz: Danna Schmidt

Holy Liberation: Julia Fehrenbacher

Holy Liberation: Julia Fehrenbacher