Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How to Write a Word Board



We've all seen word boards in trendy gift shops, or in the homes of our fashionable friends. Often they strike a chord, momentarily inspiring me to live life fuller and richer and truer.
 
And sometimes I'm just 'meh' about what I read. Yeah yeah yeah - I know I need to enjoy the little things, I know I need to think positive thoughts, I know I need to drink more water.

 
These are all good, but generic things and I want more than generic sayings on my precious wall space. Something that resonates. Something that reflects me, my family and our journey. What I really want is something that not only inspires me to the more wondrous heights of a life well lived, but something that can also remind me of the lessons I have learnt and just how far I have come.
 
So I decided it was time to write my own word board.
 
And then I was stuck. How to begin? Yes, I've learnt many life lessons. Yes, I know what those lessons are, but how do I transform all those things into simple, eloquent statements that encourage me?
 
And then I realised it was all about verbs. Action words. Doing things is what gives life momentum and direction. A truly inspirational word board is a call to personal action.

Step One:
 
So. I began to brainstorm every 'doing word' I could find. Simple doing words and ones with a positive vibe - no "Hunger" or "Ache" or "Destroy" doing words on this word board ! I ended up with a long list of pretty concise verbs that, for the most part, I could undertake in small ways each day - asking, giving, seeking, finding, accepting, thinking..... so far so good.  

Step Two:

Then I made a list of the biggest life lessons I have learned and the things I want to implement from those lessons. Lessons like "The purpose of suffering is to find meaning in what you are going through, that it may enhance your future" - gleaned from reading Viktor Frankl.

Or  "Living to make your own self happy, rather than being a martyr to everyone else's happiness" - discovered through my own (early onset) midlife crisis.

Once again I ended up with a list of about 11 important life lessons, ones that had caused me profound change, ones that I wanted to enact in my life from that moment on.

Step Three:

Simplify!

I took my list of action words and began matching some to my list of life lessons. In the process I really simplified their message into short, snappy statements.

The lesson "You and other people deserve the freedom to be themselves, with no judgement or criticism" became "Allow others to be themselves".

The lesson "Make your own informed and well researched decisions about every area of life, rather than simply believing what your are told from the pulpit, lectern, by your boss, co-workers or peers" (it's pretty obvious where these lessons came from!) became "Think for yourself".

My readership are intelligent, so I am sure you get the idea! In no time at all I had formatted a great little word board that I love and am personally inspired by. My next challenge will be to present it artistically on a canvas.....but in the meantime......what's on your word board?

This one's mine.....
 
 
                                                     Accept - this moment
                                                     Find - meaning in your sufferings
                                                     Seek - joy
                                                     Do - what makes you happy
                                                     Know - your heart and follow it
                                                     Think - for yourself
                                                     Focus - on what is good beautiful and kind
                                                     Allow - others to be themselves
                                                     Be - honest about how you feel
                                                     Ask - for what you need
                                                     Give - love

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