2017: Looking back at Illuminate

Illuminate. That was my word for the year.

Seems so benign and uplifting, doesn’t it? To illuminate the darkness within, to speak my truth, to shine my light while being firmly rooted in my own personal power.

And yet, this is not an easy path to follow – Illuminate shook up my world, broke me open and put me back together again. Where 2016 was about outward growth and manifestation, 2017 was about inward illumination and expansion.At the start of the year, when I thought of the areas I wanted to illuminate, the practices and rituals I wanted to call in to my life, little did I know just how deeply I would have to go into the darkness.

Illuminate helped me reach the top of the tower I thought I wanted to climb and then pushed me down, forcing me to examine the cracked and hollow foundations and acknowledge all the little contradictions and inconsistencies I chose to ignore on the climb.

And as I confronted those inconsistencies and lies, Illuminate threw up all my irrational fears and ancient ghosts, it brought up all the confusion and all the ways in which I was still giving my power away. And only when I sat with all of that, acknowledged it, and understood the lessons from the darkness, did illuminate help me polish my own truth and sovereignty, so I could begin to truly shine my light outwards.

From the ashes of Illuminate was born the Journey of the Seeker series, as I started to finally develop a more embodied, deeply personal spiritual practice. Illuminate brought to light my first deck of oracle cards and my first international Tarot deck collaboration – you can see one of my cards here and buy the deck here. Illuminate helped me create my first ever ecourse {which you can purchase here} and inspired me to create a series of digitally altered flowers {check my Instagram for a sneak-peak}. Illuminate also nudged me to commit to my first ever art series – zentangle-inspired postcards {which I’ve been sharing over on Instagram}. And finally, Illuminate has helped me to refine the rituals and practices I wanted to call in at the start of 2017, and bring them in to my life more fully as we near the end of 2017.

It certainly hasn’t been an easy ride {create was so much more fun!}, but it has been just what my soul needed. And now, I welcome a pause, as I discern my word for 2018.

Need help choosing a word for the year, or with making some delicious plans and goals and dreams for 2018? I’ve got you covered!

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Posted in Soulful living, Year-end wrap-up.

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


    • I can understand. The first time I chose a word, I was very disappointed because it didn’t work out the way I hoped. But when I thought back on my year, I realised that it worked in a very different way than I had imagined. That’s the magic with words, I find. They act as an intention and sometimes take on a life of their own!

  1. I’ve chosen wellness and inspiration in the past, and both years were awesome journeys!
    Last year, I introduced the people at the Drop In Center, where I work as a Peer Support Specialist in behavioral health, to the word of the year concept.
    We’re doing this again for the coming year and I will have several group sessions helping them to choose their words and intentions. They’ll also be creating art on index cards to represent their words, which I hope to publish in the monthly calendar/newsletter that I create.for the Center.
    I am blessed to have found your writings about this, and think that they will help me make the sessions even more meaningful and fruitful for everyone. Thank you!!

    • You’re so welcome! The word of the year works very well as an anchor and a journey. And often, it’s a journey into relatively uncharted territory too!

      Wish you all the best with the sessions at the Center!

  2. Illuminate is such a unique word you chose and I read with fascination about how the word paved way for so much that you did through the year. I haven’t chosen words for years till now. Somehow, I’ve never felt I could choose one.

  3. What a lovely word you chose for 2017. I have never chosen a word for a year. I don’t think I can stick by one. I keep up with my ideals all through and try to be a better version of myself. Usually that’s what I want every year. 🙂

  4. Your post is so lyrical, Shinjini! I could identify with what you said along the way. I’ve not been much for choosing a word, but if I had to, I’d choose focus, which would then branch out into focus on self/family/work and so on. I wish you a fabulous 2018!

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