2023 Word of the Year: Shine

Will you be choosing a “Word of the Year” for 2023? In 2022, my word was CURATE. Why? Like a museum curator, I want to be intentional and careful with what and who I allow into my life. For many of us, life has become crowded and over busy, and that’s the opposite of what I want. Museums have space in between their exhibits so you can truly enjoy and take in the artwork without feeling hurried to get to the next one. Walking through a cramped museum would not be a pleasurable experience.

As my business and income has grown, it’s not about adding more, more, more. It’s about shedding the things that no longer bring me joy, and only adding in new things that delight me. Curate will remain a theme in my life, just as other past Words of the Year that I’ve integrated (Global in 2021 and Harvest in 2020).

Selecting a word for the year helps me focus on something important, which is why I do it.

My 2023 Word of the Year? SHINE

Defining Shine

According to Dictionary.com, the definition of “shine” is: to give forth or glow with light. You’ve probably noticed that the world can be a dark place filled with hate, division, criticism, loneliness, and stress. For me SHINE represents the cure to world’s darkness. As the children’s simple song goes, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”

Shining in my Business

The mission of my business has always been this: “To shine light into the financial darkness of others and give them hope.” That’s what the Financial Dignity® Movement is all about! When people are burdened with financial distress, it affects almost all areas of their life, including their health and relationships. I know, because I experienced it myself in my 20s, when I let my heart hijack my wallet.

When I coach my clients, it’s always with compassion and acceptance, never judgment. It pains me to witness financial gurus or other professionals criticizing or shaming people for their money mistakes. This only triggers the Money-Shame Cycle, which causes people to withdraw and not get the help they so desperately need.

My Shine Projects

For 2023, I have several “Shine Projects” I’ll be working on in my business. The first one is growing the reach of the Money is Emotional Podcast, launched in November. For over ten years, I’ve devoted myself to learning and teaching others about the emotional side of money. This podcast is the channel I’m using to broadcast the very best things I’ve discovered about money to world for free.

The second “Shine Project” I’m working on is growing the reach of my on-demand courses. I currently have 7 courses I offer ranging in price from $22 to $1,111. Six are for folks who want to improve their personal finances and money mindset, and one is for financial professionals, especially CFPs, who want to coach their clients through emotional money situations.

The third and final “Shine Project” I’ll start in 2023 in my business is the writing of my 4th book. Honestly, I’m not sure which one it will be, because I have three ideas that are percolating in my brain right now! The goal will be to publish it in 2024.

Shining in My Personal Life

As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to allow my business to take center stage and crowd out everything else. I feel like I’ve done a darn good job of setting up healthy boundaries and balance between work and life, especially this past year. But I’m not containing my shine to just my business!

So, what does shining in my life look like? It looks like nurturing my own inner flame so I can share it and be a light for others. Part of this is self-care, and the other part is intentionally adding more play into my life! When I do the things I enjoy like swimming, golf, roller skating, and painting, I feel alive and high-vibe!  But if my energy is low vibe and depleted because I haven’t been properly caring for myself, I’m not much help to anyone else. And if I continue to over-give, my flame might go out entirely!

I got a simple picture of this at a Christmas Eve service I attended at Coastlife Church last weekend. We were all given white candles at the beginning of service. Toward the end, the singers began, “Silent night, holy night…” as the ushers lit the candles of the people in the aisle seats.

I could see people passing the flame to their neighbors one at a time, moving down the aisle towards me. When my Dad shared his flame with me, I turned to my neighbor. Both the young man and his grandpa attempted to light their candles simultaneously from mine. Guess what happened? My flame when out because the two wicks smothered it, and failed to light either of their candles. I had to go back to my Dad’s candle for illumination. The same thing can happen when we over-give and don’t protect our own shine.

In addition to cultivating and protecting my own flame, here are some ways I will spread the SHINE in my personal life. I’ll continue to make my social media presence a bright and shiny place where people come for encouragement and laughter. On my personal Facebook page, I offer a weekly thread for prayer requests and frequently post funny meme roundups. (Feel free to follow me!) I loathe drama, so you won’t find any of that on my social media accounts.

I’ll be donating money and time to causes that are important to me, like feeding the homeless and giving those less fortunate a hand up in life. I’m also going to ask myself this question every time I’m having an interaction with another individual: “How can I extend love to this person in this moment?” It’s all about sharing the shine!

My 2023 Word of the Year is SHINE.

I’m going to be intentional about increasing my shine and sharing my light with others in 2023. I even bought a necklace that says, “Let your light shine!”  And as the meme I recently posted on my Facebook says, “Due to personal reasons, I will be shining brightly and unapologetically taking up space for the foreseeable future!”

What’s your 2023 Word of the Year?