2019 OLW: A year for cultivating

Cultivate: try to acquire or develop (a quality, sentiment, or skill)

During the end of 2018, I decided to choose a word for 2019 and register in Ali Edward’s class, One Little Word. It was partly because I just wanted to participate in that project (mostly because I love the supplies Ali creates for it) and because I felt that my soul needed that I focused on something meaningful. One of my major complaints for 2018 was overthinking instead of doing.

My experience with cultivate

Before 2019, I spent most of my time researching on “how to do” things that I never did. I knew that I had to do something with that time spent on Google and Pinterest so I decided to focus my word on something that could guide me to put all those things to practice and finally get things done. Of course there was more to my procrastination. I discovered the main reasons in therapy during the second half of 2019, where my word found its true purpose.

Cultivate ended up being a word to guide me through my mental health recovery. I didn’t see it coming and it was the greatest surprise. I discovered that I had to cultivate my mental health first for everything else to work out. My experience with cultivate was enlightening, it taught me many things about myself in this right moment and it encouraged me to put my mental health first.

Yays and nays

Through Ali’s workshop I was able to make my word (and the actions related to it) visible. I was able to document in depth my first time in therapy and express myself during an important growth period in my life.What I ended up enjoying the most from Ali’s workshop were the writing prompts and the monthly challenge from March’s assignment. It was extremely helpful and insightful especially after I started going to therapy. And the monthly challenge helped me to establish and maintain the habit of writing about my day every day, which means everything!

What I liked the least was that most prompts could be completed in one sitting and that doesn’t help very much someone like me who needs constant follow up and encouragement. Some great ideas would have been adding daily or weekly challenges, writing a few lines a day about how my word manifested throughout my day, having my word as a phone background, etc.

Overall, choosing a word and following Ali’s prompts all year long was a both blessing and an accomplishment that I want to keep doing every year from now on (just the choosing a word part; I wont register for the workshop in 2020). I didn’t skipped a month and that makes me extremely proud of myself. Also, I will receive my printed photo book probably mid January and I can’t wait to see it in real life and share it here.

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