I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. The ability to get lost in a good story has always been one of my favourite pastimes. Occasionally I like to read a memoir and very occasionally I’ll read non-fiction. But for me the greatest pleasure is found in imagined worlds with characters who initially struggle and ultimately overcome their challenges. I find it almost miraculous that people who are merely dreamed up in someone’s mind can seem real enough to have an effect on our lives but with good fiction this is always a distinct possibility.
So, it comes as no great surprise that I like to write. Speaking has never been my strong suit, it’s not unusual for me to have several competing thoughts floating around in my head at any given time and making the decision about which to give life to often results in me awkwardly stumbling through my words. Writing, on the other hand, allows me to sort my thoughts one by one and edit them afterwards as many times as I like. It’s the perfect medium for anyone as naturally introverted as I am.
Diane Setterfield, author of The Thirteenth Tale (one of my favourite novels!), wrote, “There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.” Words are uniquely powerful things. In Genesis 1 God speaks all creation into being. The first time we see this is in Genesis 1:3:“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” From this we understand it’s not the words alone, but the power within them that matters.
Back in the Eighties, before we knew anything of anti-bullying initiatives, if a kid called another kid a nasty name he might hear back, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” Many of us learned the hard way, though, that there are other things inside of us besides bones that can be broken. Words are a powerful and destructive weapon.
I personally strive to use my words to build others up, specifically other women. It feels like so often women are made to feel as if they are less than others, especially in the social media age we live in, that it’s been my goal for the last two years to contribute something positive to that space. I’ve tried to do this through my blog www.bumblebirdblog.com and my public Facebook page. On the FB page I share many quotes and articles about finding meaning in the mundane aspects of daily life through inspirational yet practical information. I want to be fully grounded in the realities of everyday life but with a view to the meaningful details and transcendent power that exist around and within us.
I write a lot about how changing your perspective and then making practical steps in accordance with it will change your life. For many of us that begins with the words we use every day. A popular trend in recent years is the One Word challenge where you choose a word instead of making a resolution on New Year’s Day and focus on that word all year long in every aspect of your life. The intention is to quit bad habits and gain new perspective through your chosen word. Or maybe there’s a couple of words or a phrase that you’ve found inspirational. Sometimes something as simple as “Just Breathe” or “Let It Go” can help to calm an anxious mind.
It’s for the love of words and the meaning they can bring to our lives that I began making hand stamped jewelry. It’s a great way to remind yourself on a continual basis of the things you want to focus on. You can choose what matters to you and carry it with you at all times as you go about your day. Most of my jewelry is for women, but at one of my shows a boy purchased a necklace with “Be Brave” stamped on it to help him have the confidence to do all the things he wanted to do. I was thrilled to be a small part in that boy’s journey and I hope he has found some power in the words he now wears.
It’s my honour and privilege to write blogs and articles and create jewelry that celebrate words as the powerful instruments they are. If my words can encourage someone or bring a note of inspiration to someone’s life then I will consider all of my hard work more than worthwhile.
Thanks for reading these words!