Caitlin Crosby believes in the power of words and their impact on our lives. The actor, musician, speaker, and entrepreneur—she founded The Giving Keys, a beautiful organization centered on wearing key jewelry engraved with a word you need in your life and passing it on someone else who needs it when you're ready to move on—focuses on finding words that help us live intentionally in our current season. My best friend has worn and treasured many a Giving Key in her darkest days (here's looking at you, Courage and Let Go), and I've always loved the movement. It's simple and beautiful and empowering.
In her new book Every Word Matters, Crosby offers some word suggestions—rest, peace, and heal are the ones that stuck out to me; I guess I need to get me one of these keys—to help you embrace your current season and all its ups and downs. By choosing your own word, you're taking control of your situation. By accepting a word from a loved one, you acknowledge their love and care. Throughout the book, Crosby provides tips on how to incorporate the word into your everyday life and some exercises for focusing on the word. The gorgeously colorful book includes lots of inspirational quotes, lists, and reflection and prayer questions.
Write it down
Let me say it louder for the folks in the back: if you want to live intentionally, write it down. There's something magical that happens when you put pen to paper. It makes a thing more real. More important. More necessary to stick to. Crosby's brilliant exercise for this one is to notice the automatic beliefs you have about yourself, write them down, then cross out the negative ones and write a new, positive beliefs in their place.
Living in the moment is basically the definition of living intentionally, right? Try to let go of all the daily anxieties and to-do lists. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and experience life as it's happening right now. There will always be things to do, but this moment is right now.
It's easy to find things about yourself that you don't like. What's not so easy is finding things about yourself that you do like. Acne, frizzy hair, and scars don't stand a chance against accomplishments, dreams, and good habits. Revel in those positive things, and really allow yourself to feel pride and love for yourself. Prioritize yourself and practice some self-care, whatever that looks like for you.
Most of the time when I set a goal, I keep it to myself. I don't want anyone else to know I'm a failure if I don't accomplish what I set out to do. But it doesn't have to be that way. Telling someone about a goal both makes it a real thing to work toward, and also gives me an accountability partner. And sometimes that person wants to accomplish the same goal and we can work together. You don't have to do everything alone, self.
In a busy world, it's hard to find the time and space for things that feed your soul. Writing, art, cooking—they all can become chores or get pushed to the side as frivolous. Stop that. Mark time in your calendar for your creative outlet and stick to it. Living intentionally requires you to take time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The best way to do that is to pause and spend some time creating something just for fun.
I hope these tips help you on the road to living more intentionally! And of course, for the real deal, you should pick up Every Word Matters and let Crosby's word magic wash over you