Monthly Archives: February 2011

Meet the Multitudinous Andrea – One Word Wednesday

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. ~ Walt Whitman

Andrea is one of those amazing people that were it not for Twitter, I would never have met, even though she lives nearby –  just a few miles South of my home in Seattle.

How we made our exact connection is fuzzy. But what’s clear is this: I saw a few of her tweets, and followed. I was intrigued by her grace and wisdom. I clicked and read further, and I was hooked. I reached out, we chatted, we met. And suddenly I was delighted and blessed to have a new friend.

In a world of blogging and business that’s constantly giving the message that in order to succeed one must focus, define your message and your market, and speak very specifically to one topic, one segment, Andrea’s blog – A Multitude of Things – is delightfully, unabashedly multitudinous.

When I think of Andrea, I’m reminded of this quote:

To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
~  e e cummings

Andrea is most assuredly herself. And if she’s fighting, she makes it look effortless.

What’s the one thing you know about words?

Words are amazing.
They travel in our consciousness and stick there. If you don’t agree, just think back to the last time your mother’s voice came out of your mouth! Words have the ability to shift perspectives and change lives. They can pick you up or drag you down. They can paint incredible pictures. They can describe you and your innermost self. I speak two languages and am always surprised when I find a word in one language that captures feelings or concepts that are almost impossible to translate directly in the other language. Simply amazing.

What one word describes you and why?

Creative.
I am happiest when I am playing with ideas – either on my own behalf or for others. I am especially delighted when my ideas are able to inspire others or give them a fresh view on something that has been troubling them. My friends are used to getting emails from me that start with, “hey, what do you think about this idea?”

What one word describes your mission, or your message (and why)?

Joy.
Too often, we seem to choose a path of struggle, divisiveness, or negativity in our lives when it would be just as easy to choose joy. Joy can be found in a moment. Why not choose it? After a while, all those joyful moments add up to a lifetime of joy.

What one word would you give to your audience – like a superpower (and why)?

Dream.
I believe in the power of dreaming. Dreams are the messengers that allow us to consider different possibilities for ourselves and can send us on delicious journeys of discovery. I strongly recommend having at least good “dreaming” session a day. It only takes a moment and can be done while waiting at the doctor’s office, standing in line to pick the mail, or, savoring a cup of coffee.

What’s your “go to” word? The one that you can always count on to rock your day, or to turn the moment around if you are not on your game?

It’s all good.
I suppose that’s really three words but, when I hear them or say them, I am re-invigorated and soothed at the same time.

Say a little bit about the role that words and language play in your life and your work.

Being bilingual, words have always fascinated me. Their ability to express different thoughts and emotions. Their ability to tell stories. From the moment I learned to read, words became my constant companions. As a child, I often got in trouble in school because I was so engrossed in what I was reading that I completely missed that the teacher had moved on to a different subject. I love words.

Any last words about the power of words?

Choose wisely.
There are so many words out there that we can put in our mouths. Pick the best ones. The ones that will lift you up. The ones that will give others wings.

Andrea helps people fuel their creativity in a multitude of ways. You can follow her on Twitter. Learn more about Andrea and her work at her blog.

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Meet Denese and Get Thoughtful – One Word Wednesday

Denese and I “met” online a few months back when we both participated in a 31 Days to a Better Blog challenge sponsored by Lisbeth Tanz.

Sharing a common love of words, good content and conversation, we hit it off immediately and have been twitter-buds ever since.

On her blog, Thoughtful Content, Denese weaves her knowledge of design, architecture, marketing, yoga, and social media into a delightful mix of information and insights that always leaves me uplifted, enlightened and wanting more.

In this interview, we had the chance to sit back and get thoughtful about words.

What’s one thing you know about words?

I believe that if we really understood how much power words have, we’d pay a lot more attention to what we say, write and think.

What one word describes you (and why)?

Open.
I’ve been called optimistic… But, I’d like to think that has more to do with being open to possibilities and other perspectives than always seeing the bright side.  A friend can come to me with pretty much any problem.  I go immediately into “let’s look at all the possibilities here… let’s make peace with best-case and worse-case scenario…let’s get to the heart of the issue…  then let’s think about next steps…”

What one word describes your mission, or your message (and why)?

Encourage.
I’d like to encourage people to embrace their creativity, to find their unique voice (or communication platform) and live their life, build their business from that place.  One of the things I love about blogging is that it’s given us a worldwide exercise for finding your point of differentiation. Whether you’re blogging for personal or business reasons, the relationship building aspect of it only works when you’re connecting naturally, as you are, listening, truly caring. The best relationships are formed when you’re yourself, not who you think you should be. Any exercise that encourages that is okay in my book.

What one word would you give to your audience – like a superpower (and why)?

Awareness.
Awareness that they have a superpower within them already…  one they can tap into whenever they’re wondering who they are, what direction to take, what decision to make. One that knows exactly what it takes to make them happy, what they were meant to do in this life.  I don’t want them to struggle to find it anymore.   I want them to simply tap into the power they already have and let it create the happy life they were meant to have.

What’s your ‘go to’ word? The one that you can always count on to rock your day, or turn to the moment around if you are not on your game?

Grace.
Yoga has given me a whole new appreciation for dancers and athletes who can make something so physically difficult look so easy. Through my practice, I’ve learned that strength comes first, then lightness and flexibility – which has been a helpful mantra whenever I’m uncertain or feeling clumsy about life in general. I try to gather strength by staying grounded in gratitude for everything I already have… while staying open to the possibilities and lessons life is throwing at me. Typically you’re naturally strong, or naturally flexible…the challenge is cultivating and balancing both. It’s not easy and I’m not always successful, but I feel better considering everything that happens as an opportunity to practice grace.

Say a little about the role that words and language play in your life and your work.

Our words shape our perspective and experiences, not just in what we write or say, but in our thoughts about ourselves and others. I think The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz sums it up nicely. If we can strive to 1) be impeccable with our word, 2) not take things personally, 3) not make assumptions, and 4) always do our best, we’d prevent a lot of heartache and produce a lot more happiness.

Any last words about the power of words?

My 13-year old niece wanted to write a list of “64 Things I Love about Grandma.” We got to #6 and she said, “It’s hard to find the words to describe what I’m feeling.”

It’s important to recognize that finding the right words is hard.  Acknowledging this takes some of the pressure off… Having a practice, or a way that helps you get to the heart of you want to say is essential. Going for a walk helps me. I’m also intrigued by the 750words.com exercise. I like the online format vs writing in my journal.  I can crank out 750 words of random thoughts, ideas, lists in about 25 minutes.

It’s kind of magical how it works. Getting all of that out of my head, first thing in the morning, really does help me find the right words when I sit down to write something more “productive” later in the day.

Dense helps companies get thoughtful and create meaningful marketing content at Thoughtful Content. You can follow her on Twitter @Denese_Bottrell.

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Meet Sandi and Get Ready to Shine – One Word Wednesday

I’m very excited to introduce the official launch of my new series – One Word Wednesday.

For me, it’s a perfect culmination of passions colliding. A trifecta of things I love: connecting people, playing with & sharing the power of words, and with any luck, serving up a dose of inspiration on the side.

As the inaugural interview, I’m proud to introduce you to Sandi Faviell Amorim. Her regular readers know her as authentic, courageous, challenging and insightful.  I know her as blog buddy (a conversation we had early last year launched both our blogs), inspiration, fellow word lover and dear friend. She’s a woman with something to say, and if she has her way, you will shine.

What one word describes you(and why)?

Intense.
I’ve often been told that I’m too intense, but I’ve come to see this as a very good thing. When I commit to something, I give myself fully; it’s a way of living life that feels most authentic and fulfilling for me. Also, being a fellow wordie, I like that its synonyms are more words I love:  fervent, passionate, ardent, strong!

What one word describes your mission, or your message(and why)?

Shine.
I love helping people shine! It’s not altruistic – it’s me following my bliss, a total win/win. Here’s why: Starbursts, Sirens and Siriously Shining

What one word would you give to your audience – like a superpower (and why)?

Play.
We mostly take life so seriously. Lighten up and play more. At the end of your life do you want to be remembered for how hard you worked or how much joy you squeezed out of life?

What’s your ‘go to’ word? The one that you can always count on to rock your day, or turn the moment around if you are not on your game?

Love.
I believe that all our emotions are sourced from love or fear. That’s it. And because it comes down to just two, it makes it really easy for me to choose. In my mind’s eye I see a fork in the road; one path takes me down the path of fear-based thinking and the other, leads me to love. It might sound simplified, but I think that’s good. We complicate life way too much. Love or fear. Choose.

Say a little about the role that words and language play in your life and your work.

When I was a kid I was a total bookworm, so much so that I even had a list of favourite words! Not much has changed since then 🙂 What I love most about the work I do as a coach is that it really is about words and language. It’s not rocket science, but rather a skilled way of using language. I’m fascinated by how changing just one or two words in a question alters it profoundly.

Can you share some final words of advice about words?

Your words create your reality. Choose wisely.

Sandi Faviell Amorim is a straight-talkin’, relentlessly curious, intense and playful instigator. She helps people shine at Deva Coaching.

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