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Give Me a Word 2022

In ancient times, wise men and women fled out into the desert to find a place where they could be fully present to the divine and to their own inner struggles at work within them. The desert became a place to enter into the refiner’s fire and be stripped down to one’s holy essence. The desert was a threshold place where you emerged different than when you entered.

Many people followed these ammas and abbas, seeking their wisdom and guidance for a meaningful life. One tradition was to ask for a word – this word or phrase would be something on which to ponder for many days, weeks, months, sometimes a whole lifetime. This practice is connected to lectio divina, where we approach the sacred texts with the same request – “give me a word” we ask – something to nourish me, challenge me, a word I can wrestle with and grow into. The word which chooses us has the potential to transform us.

What is your word for the year ahead? A word which contains within it a seed of invitation to cross a new threshold in your life?

Share your word in the comments section below by January 6, 2022 and you are automatically entered for the prize drawing (prizes listed below).


As in past years, we are offering all Abbey newsletter subscribers a gift: a free 12-day online mini-retreat with a suggested practice for each day to help your word choose you and to deepen into your word once it has found you. Even if you participated last year, you are more than welcome to register again.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and you will receive a link to start your mini-retreat today. Your information will never be shared or sold. (If you are already subscribed to the newsletter, look for the link in the Sunday, December 5th email and at the bottom of each Sunday following).


Please share your word with us in the comments below

(and it would be wonderful if you included a sentence about what it means for you)

Subscribe to the Abbey of the Arts newsletter to receive ongoing inspiration in your in-box. You can choose daily, weekly, or monthly. Share the love with others and invite them to participate. Then stay tuned – on January 9th we will announce the prize winners!

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79 Responses

  1. My word for 2022 is “New Day.” A secondary word is “live from a place of rest.” A New Day is meant in a BIG sense… reordering of priorities, the old is passing away, remembering the ancients, entering a new land. I see myself in a new light as having passed through a fire, crossed a threshold. Still, like the Israelites of old I must possess the land. “Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess it.” Deut. 1:8.

  2. My word is part of the phrase let it be. Over the seven days of Give me a Word (I started after the new year had accrued a week and a few days), the phrase has distilled to Be. Which is the ultimate goal to Be fully present. Let it Be is the mantra and Be is the word.

    Walking this earth the contemplative path
    Weaves through the ordinary
    Action, stillness
    Work, study,joy,sorrow,play, pray
    Scarcity,abundance, sickness,health
    A thin line
    The tightrope dances
    With the heart
    In peace and solitude
    With hospitality
    Stability, conversion,
    How do I keep
    My balance?
    Being balanced
    Balance action listen arrowprayers NOW centered every day

  4. Well, my word is wholehearted and encompasses the trees, lichen, mycelium, stardust. And I am wondering if anyone has an author/mentor/mystic/monk/spirit guide of offer up to companion me through this year?

    1. The book The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature by David George Haskell. A year of visiting the same spot in the forest. It is a lovely book.