Find Your Favorite Words and You’ll Discover Your Essence

Words are incredible. With every word I write I am creating a world in your mind. With each sentence I am building a castle for you to experience within your imagination. I can put a deep, inky black moat around the castle with piranhas swiftly swimming in circles, snapping at the surface, ready to devour anyone who happens to dip a toe in.

I can build the gray stone walls of the castle with soft moss nestled in the cracks and vines clinging to the cool rock. I can construct a heavy wooden door that creaks open into a drawbridge to welcome an armored knight back from a long mission in the forest on his strong but tired silvery dappled horse… both of their heads hanging a bit with fatigue.

With words I can invite you into the castle where you will find a great hall lined with tall dripping candles and silent statues of the Gods of this strange land. With words I can also throw you a curve ball and let you know that in this land the people worship trees of all things!

So the “Gods” that line the hall are statues of oak, elm and willow trees. There is a grove of stone-carved poplars and even a statue of an apple tree with ripe fruit ready to fall. I can make you hear the clip clop of shoes… and at the top of a grand, wide staircase the queen appears. She wears a long green dress with a fresh crown made of twigs and flowers.

In this kingdom a new crown is made for her each and every day with the intention of worshipping ever-changing nature as the ultimate ruler. With words I can let you know that this particular morning the queen’s lady in waiting didn’t fully clean the twigs she had picked out and there is actually an infestation of insects living in the crown. So the queen keeps itching her head and slapping her neck…

Did you see all that? Did it create a series of emotional reactions inside you? Maybe you even felt the little bugs crawling on your skull? All thanks to the power of words…

In my teacher training and when I coach others on career development, I always ask them to create a list of their favorite words… words that make them light up inside. Words that inspire. Words that give them an inner feeling of yes! My theory is that if you can figure out your top 10-20 favorite words, you have found your essence.

Here is my list:

Wonder, Silence, The Mystery, Awake, Solitude, Mystical, Glitter, Tree, Nothingness, Emptiness, Black, Isness, That, Nature, Presence, Yes, Mischief

You may have noticed that a few of my favorite words and themes crept into the castle story above, because I can’t help wanting to keep them close to me. As long as these words are close, I feel centered, I feel excited, life feels right.

In my daily life if I stray too far from the essence of these words, I start to lose meaning and purpose.

So my question to you, dear reader, is what are your favorite words? Will you please jot them down throughout the day today, read and reread them? Notice how they make you feel?

And also notice, if you feel that you are out of balance or off your course, have you strayed from the essence of your favorite words? Where can you get back on track? What can you add to your life that will remind you of essentially what you are?

If you’re so inclined, let me know how it goes…


Castle photo: Haitao Zeng

2 thoughts on “Find Your Favorite Words and You’ll Discover Your Essence

  1. Chris says:

    Fascinating post… my favorite words for most of my life have been: ambidextrous, callipygous, and petrichor. They’re not as inherently meaningful as your list, but they do each offer a glimpse of my spirit in their own weird way!

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