Back in January, I invited you to begin 2020 with me alongside some of the words of one of my favorite poets, Hafiz, who said:

“The words we speak become the house we live in.”

I love that saying and find myself reminded of it often.

The phrase evokes an image in my head of a house built of actual language. I imagine words stacked atop one another, making walls of thick, inky, overlapping lines. I see not just single words among the fray, but whole sentences and phrases, too.

Our words, says Hafiz, become a sort of home — a spiritual residence, an invisible space, an emotional place — in which we reside, day in and day out.

It’s from this “house” that we operate, every day.

As for your house, my friend?

Your house is made up of everything from little turns of phrase — the kinds of niceties and polite responses and conversation that you use — to words that describe your innermost beliefs and define your core values.

Your house is built of words that describe your hopes and dreams for the future.

Your house is built of stories from your past, like formative moments and fond memories, hard-earned lessons, and painful wounds, too.

Your house is built of mantras, affirmations, and intentions that you may strive to live by.

According to Hafiz, our days start and end in the “house” that is built of our words, stories, and beliefs: the invisible but powerful content of the mind that governs our perceptions and perspectives.

If you’ve ever heard the notion that we become “most like” the people with whom we spend the most time, you’ll be familiar with this idea. The concept is that whatever we focus upon, think about most frequently, hear the most, or tell ourselves the most holds a powerful influence on us because it shapes our perceptions and perspectives on a deep, instinctive, unconscious level.

The same goes for our words: they make up the “narrative fabric” (or, our essential understanding) of who we are, what we do, and why.

These days, it can be easy to forget that our words carry such significance, influence, and power. It’s easy to take our words for granted.

Every day, we’re tempted by attention-draining tech devices and even basic impulses to use our words unconsciously, mindlessly, even haphazardly. Even Presidents do this.

That’s why I find myself reciting this quote from Hafiz so often. It’s a self-reminder. When I notice my mind running down its own little path of narrative nonsense — telling a story that serves no good, or reflecting upon some memory of old that I’ve long since outgrown — it’s a reminder to stop “building my house” with words and stories that I don’t want to live under.

That’s my cue to slow down, breathe, be considerate, and select my words and thoughts more carefully.

I want to live in the proverbial “house” of my own making.

And I sense that you do, too.

Today, I’d like to invite you to consider your “words” for the remainder of 2020 by reconsidering the words you might have selected along with me at the beginning of 2020.

Join me by considering and carefully selecting just a couple words — only two, maybe three — to define your intentions, desires, or core themes for the remainder of 2020.

What words will build your “house” in the remainder of 2020?

I ask you to pause sometime today or tomorrow — maybe for 10 or 15 minutes of U.Y.T. (or, Uninterrupted You Time) — to reflect upon what words feel as though they can help you build the so-called “house” in which you wish to reside in the remaining months of 2020.

If you could use some inspiration, here are the words that my community selected in January to define and focus their intentions for 2020:

“Trust and Explore”
“Surrender and Joy”
“Rediscover and Revive”
“Build Momentum”
“Pilgrim and Create”
“Potty Training”
“Growth and Organization”
“Bright and {Low-Key} Ebullient”
“More Autodidactic”
“One-Hundred Percent”

For me, my words for beginning in 2020 were “Elevated and Expanding.”

For the remainder of the year, I’m opting for “Grounding and Steady.”

So, what are YOUR words for the remainder of 2020, friend?

Simply comment below or subscribe to my newsletter and send me a quick note with what words you’ve selected!

I read each message that I get and will respond to yours. I enjoy getting to know how you’re striving to live your self-storied life, even from afar. Plus, your words, stories, suggestions, and responses directly shape how I strive to create for you, so, thank you for taking the time to share!

Please remember, you are the teller of your story.

Your story is entirely your own to tell. So, own it!

Use your words. Build your house. Tell it well.

Until next time, I hope you have fun selecting your words for the remainder of 2020!