Tag Archives: Elizabeth Gilbert

What’s Your Word?

If you read the book or watched the movie Eat, Pray, Love, you know what I mean when I ask “What’s your word?”

During her year of self discovery, while at dinner with friends in Italy one evening, Elizabeth Gilbert’s friend Giulio describes his concept “…that every city has a single word that defines it…”  Between them, they assign various cities with what they feel are the appropriate word: Rome=Sex; New York City=Achieve; Los Angeles=Succeed; Stolkhom=Conform.

Then thoughts turn personal. “What’s your word?”small_4757004

Tossing around words such as Seek, Hide, Pleasure, Devotion, Ms. Gilbert remained unsatisfied, deciding to include the search for ‘her word’ in her year of reflection.

I won’t spoil it for those who have not read the book or watched the film, allowing you to journey with her as life events reveal her word.

But one thing I can tell you is that ANYONE who has experienced Eat, Pray, Love has asked themselves this very question.

“What is my word?”

“What single word defines me?”

I believe that this word can only come from within.

Sure others can give you suggestions for what their word for you would be, and if you are unsure of your word, you may try it on for size and wear it around for a while, but for the word to fit you properly, for it to be tailored to you specifically, for it to ring true and deep, the word must come from you.

I also believe that our words can, and likely will, change as our lives evolve.

How could our word stay the same if our outlooks are expanding?

Take a moment and think about what your word is.

What word sits right with you at this particular moment?  It doesn’t have to be the word you keep.  It may just be a starting point.

My word is something I have thought about often since I read the book a few years ago.  It took me a while to settle on the word that felt just right.  Maybe my “Waking Lyric Observance” aided in my choice.  But once I found it, I knew it was the one.

Over the years, I have often checked back in with my choice to see if it still fit. And for quite a while it did, but recently I’ve been feeling it’s straps slipping off my shoulders.

Was I beginning to outgrow that word?

If so, what would my new word be?

I didn’t need to search very long.  My new word kept presenting itself to me.

I first noticed it in a book I was reading.  It immediately struck a chord but was it the right one?  I paused and considered but didn’t want to settle on it without more reflection.

The next day, I saw it online.  The next in a magazine.  For days, and sometimes multiple times in a day, it kept revealing itself to me and each time, it felt right.  It was just my size.

So for today at least, in the space I am in right now, the answer to the question “What’s my word?”:


What’s your word?
Slip it on, see how it feels, own it, then share it below.

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