CULTIVATING WHOLEHEARTED LIVING IN MIDLIFE

Have you thought about cultivating qualities that will enrich and enhance your life in the years to come?  I'm sharing how to do this intentionally.


CHOOSING MY WORD OF THE YEAR

At the beginning of each year I've chosen a Word to represent how I want to grow and develop in the months ahead. I've had some that appeared in my head without a second thought, and others that have taken a lot longer to filter through. Last year I chose Symphony and it was something that came to mind in the dying weeks of 2019 - and actually worked very well for the highs and lows that 2020 brought with it.

This year I have a new word. I actually had several that presented themselves during last year, and I duly noted them down - Courage, Emerge, Harmony, Discovery, and Self-Acceptance. Each had meaning for me and each spoke of growth and balance. As I was mulling them over, a picture popped up on my Pinterest page that perfectly tied them all together...

Brene Brown Daring Greatly 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living

I'm not sure who created this image (I've searched everywhere). I'm a big Brene Brown fan and this image, based on the Ten Guideposts to Wholehearted Living from "The Gifts of Imperfection" and then mentioned again in "Daring Greatly", reminded me to re-read the first book and finally read the second. She covers so many of the areas of life I want to focus on in 2021 - and the word tying them all together?

~ CULTIVATE ~

It's all about having the courage to let go of the habits and thoughts that no longer serve us, and cultivating the things that speak to our hearts and minds and grow us in the areas of courage, compassion, and connection. The word "Cultivate" just hit me between the eyes as the perfect word for what I want to be doing as I head towards turning 60 in November. I looked at each of these 10 Guideposts and then started adding a few more, and a few more.... and knew that this was my Word. 

OUR LIFE IS A GARDEN

Cultivation always speaks to me of all that goes into creating thriving gardens, and isn't our soul a type of garden? It speaks of developing aspects of joy in life, of creating beauty and becoming more enriched in personality and behaviour.

If we look at our life as a garden, what do we want to water? What qualities do we want to flourish, and what do we want to weed out? Brene gives a great jumping off point with her 10 Guideposts - and I'll be writing about some of them and how they apply to my journey towards 60 - I love the idea of letting things go and then cultivating more pleasant things to put in their place - culling the dross and cultivating the qualities that will make the years ahead so much more fruitful and abundant.

I'm really looking forward to incorporating "Cultivate" into my life for the year ahead and seeing what blooms in my garden as I make an intentional decision to start removing the weeds and watering the flowers. 

“Your mind is like a garden – unless you cultivate flowers, weeds will flourish. To keep your mind positive, substitute positive thoughts for negative thoughts.” — Brian Tracy

GUEST POSTS

Because I'm so excited about the idea of cultivating a wonderful second half of life, I know that there will be others who feel the same way. In previous years I've opened my blog up to guest posts on the theme of my #WOTY and I'd like to do it again this year too. 

So my question is..... What are you cultivating in your life at the moment and what flowers are you watering to make the years ahead even better than those that have gone before? Brene would ask you whether you've been cultivating your creativity, or gratitude, or joy, or calmness, or resilience? I'm wondering what seed you're watering right now that's making you happy or engaging your mind. If you'd like to be a guest here then just drop me an email and we'll talk about it and make a date (my email is leanne.lecras@gmail.com). I'd love to hear from you.

Our Deepest Fear - Marianne Williamson

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Do you have a #WOTY for 2021? I know a lot of bloggers who have embraced the idea and I get such a blast seeing what's been chosen and the reason behind the choice. If you've never thought about choosing a word, it's not too late. My friend Sue and I have created a space to link up your #WOTY - just click on the image below and add your link. While you're there don't forget to check out some of the others and let's also chat in the comments today too.

2021 Word of the Year - Cultivate

RELATED POSTS


Have you thought about cultivating qualities that will enrich and enhance your life in the years to come?  I'm sharing how to do this intentionally.

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41 comments

  1. I LOVE it!!!!!!!! It's perfect. (And sign me up for a guest spot...)

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    1. Thanks Jo - and I'm ready whenever you are for that guest post - get your thinking cap on because you've got lots that you're cultivating atm x

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  2. Hi Leanne, Cultivate is a perfect word and especially for where you are at in life at this point. I'd be happy to sign up for a guest post. Thanks for cohosting the link up despite the difficulty trying to actually link up! xx

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    1. Hi Sue - I'm so glad you'd like to do me a guest post - you're always my go-to person but I didn't want to put the pressure on after your super busy year you've just been through. I love that you're happy to be part of my series again this year xx

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  3. Glad I looked at my emails tonight and clicked on yours! Cultivate is a perfect word!
    The word I’ve been mulling over this past couple of weeks has been “Lead”!
    This is a struggle for me as it’s always been my purpose to help others to shine by being in the background in assisting roles.
    Your word “Cultivate” definitely is the word which gives energy to my word “Lead”!
    Which believe you me is not going to arrive as an over night transformation or the swift sparkle wave of the fairy God-mother’s wand! :)
    Thank-you dear blogging friend for sharing always with us such a high class level of wisdom!
    Wishing You A Very Happy Cultivating New Year!

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    1. Hi Amy - thank you for your very kind and thoughtful words - I love that you're planning on stepping forward and exchanging the background for some leading. I think we'll both be works in progress with our words - and I'd love you to consider writing me a guest post about putting yours into action because I think it would tie in beautifully - send me an email if you'd like to write one xx

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  4. Hi Leanne, Cultivate is a fabulous word. I like how you describe it as weeding out what you don't want and cultivating the qualities you do want. The ten guideposts are fabulous too. Thank you for this linkup - I appreciate the opportunity to share my blog post. Happy New Year. Regards, Christina

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    1. Hi Christina - I think that weeding out some of the old habits that no longer serve is a great way to make room for new and brighter things - that's my goal for the year (and encouraging others who are trying to do the same).

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  5. I haven't thought about a 'word of the year' but am enjoying reading about everyone else's and find that I take something away from each of them and their reasoning behind their choice.

    Cultivate is excellent because it applies to so many different things and it's a proactive and positive word as well.

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    1. That's why I chose it Deb - there were so many areas I wanted to grow in and this tied them all together - plus I love Brene and her approach to living well - I may even choose Wholehearted in one of the years ahead.

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  6. That is so very cool. Thanks for sharing this. I am not a big word of the year person but it makes me think that I might need one.

    Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful 2021.

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    1. Hi Patrick - I love the simplicity and flexibility of choosing a Word instead of getting locked into resolutions that tend to not be maintained - it's a very guilt-free way to approach the new year.

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  7. Hi, Leanne - Like your other commenters, I agree that 'cultivate' is a perfect WOTY choice. I greatly admire the thought process that you put into this. I look forward to reading how this word unfolds and guides you throughout your 2021.
    BTW - I tried to find the author of your first image as well. The results? I received many links to 'feathered hair.' :(

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    1. The "feathered hair" links gave me a laugh Donna - obviously women like Brene's hairstyle and want to know how to replicate it. Shame more of them didn't want the Wholehearted cultivation that went with the rest of the image!

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  8. What a perfect word Leanne, it sums it all up really well and that Brian Tracy garden quote is just right! I'll volunteer to be guest for you at some stage. I have pinned your post into my Embracing Midlife board. I will get to read that book you sent me as it seems to be speaking to me all the time lately with things I'm reading.

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    1. Hi Deb - I think you'll enjoy the book - if you do, you could follow it up with The Gifts of Imperfection - it was a game changer for me. I'd love to have you as a guest whenever you have the time to write me a post - just let me know x

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  9. As you know I'm a Brene Brown fan too. I enjoyed reading how you arrived at your word, Leanne. I love how cultivate includes pruning what is unnecessary and nurturing what's good. Wishing you a wonderful 2021.

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    1. Hi Corinne - that's exactly how I saw it - getting rid of the stuff that's "dead wood" to allow what's waiting to grow the opportunity and air it needs. Hopefully 2021 will be the beginning of that process - or maybe the continuation of it!

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  10. I am so glad I read this post. I have not read Brene Brown yet, but will very soon. So much rich inspiration here Leanne. And a great word choice, "Cultivate" Blessings, Michele

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    1. I love what Brene writes Michele - she's very thorough with her research, but very down to earth in its application - and a lot of what she has to say is spot on. I want to absorb more of it into my thought patterns in the year ahead.

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  11. I am a big Brene Brown fan too. I just started reading her books this year. Why did I wait so long? :)

    I love your word of the year. This is the time in our lives when we should be focusing on cultivating. We must get rid of the habits, people, and words that don't work for us and bring better ones into our lives. I look forward to reading your thoughts on your word this year.

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    1. I started a few years ago Laurie and loved The Gifts of Imperfection - it turned my thinking process on its head - I'd been a perfectionist all my life and to realize it wasn't healthy was an eye-opener. I'd like to put more of her thoughts into practice and I think this might be the year to get more serious about that.

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  12. Cultivate is an excellent WOTY, Leanne. Even though I don't do WOTY or resolutions, I enjoy reading everyone's WOTY and their thinking process before choosing the word. Wishing you a fabulous 2021! #lifethisweek

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    1. Hi Natalie - thanks for your kind words - I love reading what others choose too - there's always a story to go with each #WOTY and some great intentions attached to them.

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    2. Hi Leanne, I'm back to say thank you for joining me at my debut Weekend Coffee Share blog party. I feel like we're cultivating existing and new friendships via blogging. Have a nice weekend!

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  13. Hi Leanne, I have been looking forward to read about your new word of the year. I extra loved “Symphony” for 2020. I am also a Brene Brown fan.

    Oh, wow, “Cultivate.” Fits perfectly as I let the word and its many interpretations sink in. “...and isn’t our soul a type of garden?”......I suspect this phrase could only come from wisdom and a life evolving and still learning. My point is, whether your twenty-year-old self would and could have written that phrase?

    You also share a beautiful quote from Marianne Williamson. “Your playing small does not serve the world” reminds me about one of our friends and her word of the year. It will be fun and interesting to learn about and explore everyone’s theme, intention, Woty........

    I have a few personal, family writing projects at the moment, so I am not committing to anything new at the moment. I do look forward to reading the shared wisdom.

    I feel it is a privilege to join you, Leanne, and connect with you every week. 2021 is a year filled with possibilities and discoveries for all of us. xx

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    1. Erica I always look forward to your comments because they come from the heart and you have such a gift of encouragement. Your thoughtful insights always make me appreciate the fact that you've read my post and can see where the thought process has come from that goes into it.

      I've really enjoyed reading all the #WOTY's and I'm looking forward to discussing it all soon - understanding the motivation behind the choices and the desire to grow that comes with them always makes me happy to be a part of a community full of women who are writing their stories and wanting to make them deep and rich - not just flitting through life or trudging through - really digging deep and investing. Thanks for being one of those women for me xx

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  14. I like your word cultivate and can't wait to see how you grow in 2021. Last year my word was choose and although it might seem like 2020 did all the choosing, there were actually moments throughout the year when my husband and I made the choices that affected our life and our growth. I haven't actually picked a WOTY yet...I'm thinking!

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    1. Hi Jennifer - I hope you find the inspiration to slip a WOTY in before too much more time passes. I think we all did a lot of choosing in 2020 - how we responded to the unsettling times we've been dealt really reflected on how well we coped with it all - and how well we continue to cope!

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  15. Hi Leanne, when I started reading your post, I thought your word was going to be 'wholehearted'. But, I can see 'cultivate' working well for you. When your word comes to you, as yours did, it reflects thought and consideration and a deep understanding of who you are and who you want to be.

    Those guideposts statements speak to women at any stage of life and we should all commit them to heart. I have always thought that some women wear exhaustion as a badge of honor and #7 gives much needed permission to leave the kitchen a bit messy, so to speak. Ditto to #10. Sometimes we get so caught up in maintaining the 'order' of our lives and forget to really live.

    Symphony served you well and I look forward to seeing where 'cultivate' takes you in 2021. As for me, I will continue to focus on balance, with Mind, Body, Spirit as my guide.

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    1. Hi Suzanne - I think Balance is something we all work on - learning to let go of all that "good girl/hard worker" mindset and balancing it with a bit of self-care. I did consider "wholehearted" but when I saw the "cultivate" list, it covered so many areas that I want to grow in this year and I had to go with it instead.

      I really want to continue being proactive in growing into the person that I think has been hiding behind the scenes all these years - and the best version of that person I can be - excelling in being "Me" by the time I'm leaping into my 60's!

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  16. I love your word and what is behind it. Brene's works are ones which saw me through so much of my life transitions and more from 2015 till last year. I have read every book, done a couple of her courses and of course watched the TED talk and listened to her new podcast. A blog post I created for this week, already published is called Calm Days and Calm Nights and Brene gets a big shout there too. I will do a guest post as I am having more time these days! Welcome back to Life This Week in 2021 on my blog each Monday. Thank you for linking up this week. Next week the optional prompt is 2/51 Announcement on Mon11 Jan. Hope to see you back here then too. Take care, Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - I'm so glad you'd like to do a guest post - let me know when you're ready and we'll make it happen. Brene is an absolute inspiration and I haven't read your latest post, so I'll pop over and do that right now x

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  17. Cultivate is a beautiful word choice, Leanne. I love that book, The Gifts of Imperfection, and have spent some time cultivating each of the 10 guideposts. I still have some work to do--it's an ongoing process. I didn't choose a specific word this year, but I have a sense that I want to reset and be more open and receptive to all possibilities. Perhaps to stick with the garden metaphor, I am in the turning the soil phase...not yet sure what will be planted, but ensuring that there will be a rich environment for growth, whatever it may be. If that fits what you are doing, I'd be honored to write a guest post. Either way, I am looking forward to spending 2021 with you.

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    1. Hi Christie - I'd love you to write me a guest post on that theme - it'd be perfect and it's part of the analogy I have in my head about cultivating an environment for growth and change. Just send me an email when you have something ready and we'll make a date xx And yes - we're going to rock 2021 together!

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  18. What a great word of the year! I picked one for the first time ever and landed on Embrace.

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    1. I had Embrace as my WOTY back in 2016 Joanne - it was a really motivating word and encouraged me to open my life up to more opportunities.

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  19. Hi Leanne - This word of the year is full of meaning. Though one would associate plants or agriculture with it immediately, there is so much to it than that. Cultivate habits, ideas, personality, perception, hobbies ... the list goes on. At a larger level, how our life pans out depends to a large extent on the way we water and nurture the basic ideals. I am looking forward to your posts in 2021.

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    1. Hi Pradeep - I'm so glad you could see the deeper meaning behind the original context. I think there's a lot to be said for how we nurture our environment and what we feed our soul - the more we focus on gratitude, authenticity, and positivity - the more we thrive. Thanks for keeping in touch and I'm looking forward to 2021 too.

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  20. Cultivate is a great word. While I haven't formally published a word of the year yet, my mantra so far is centred on wellbeing. Physical, emotional, mental. The whole kit and kaboodle.

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Thanks so much for your comment - it's where the connection begins.