A Journey of Discovery

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Hi Everyone,

We had some wonderful suggestions for a group word of the year, but none of them felt quite right to me as our monthly ‘kick-off’ word for 2018. We need a word that could provide a compass or road map for the months ahead, and since my journals are filled with inspiring words. I decided to flip through some of my old journals as I  ruminated on what word to choose. I came across one of the rare pieces I lettered with a white gelly roll pen rather than my trusty Micron:

The question I had asked, “How can you find the inner strength you need to greet the dawn with a song of hope and joy?”  led me to the words I penned in a different journal that same year: “Each of us must seek to discover the deeply cherished desires of our own heart.” 

One way I try to do this is to Be Still and listen. It’s in the silence that clarity emerges.

Another way is through my meditative journaling practice. I try to begin every day by reading something inspiring, and then putting pen to paper. This is one of the pages which resulted from my morning journaling ritual:

When I reread this page, with the text “Create a Sacred Space– a space in which you can rediscover yourself and the secret yearnings of your heart” our first word of the month became immediately obvious: discover.

Once I had discovered our word, I tried to envision how everyone would use it. I came up with three different possible layouts, and would like to know which version most appeals to you.

The first is a freeform horizontal, with the word of the month outlined so you can add enhance it with color or patterns. There is a prompt in the top left corner, but no lines other than the design itself.

The second and third options are both vertical. The one on the left below has the prompt inside the same sort of banner we used on last year’s Zenspirations® Coloring Calendar. It has lines, and space to add the month in the banner, and the word of the month underneath the banner. The one on the right includes the month, and the word of the month in color at the top of the page, along with numbered lines for every day of the month. You could use this format in different ways; for example you could write one thing you are grateful for each day, or list the discoveries you make in January.

There are advantages to each of these formats– which do you like best? PLEASE VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE FORMAT! I think a lot of people were away for the holidays because we only had twenty comments on last week’s blog. In order to get a consensus, I’m hoping we’ll hear from a lot more of our community about this. The prize? I’ll do the designs in the format the most people like the best. Which style can you envision yourself using? Please leave a comment to let me know… your opinion matters!

Before closing tonight, I wanted to share my 2018 Alphabet of Word Wishes, which is my gift to you.

In case the text is too small for you to read on your mobile devise, it says:

May 2018 be a Year filled with:

Awakening & Appreciation

Balance & Blessings

Clarity & Connection

Discovery & Devotion

Encouragement & Equality

Faith & Fulfillment

Grace & Gratitude

Hope & Healing

Inspiration & Insight

Joy & Justice

Kindness & Knowledge

Listening & Leadership

Mindfulness & Manifestation

Nourishment & Niceness

Opportunity & Originality

Prayer & Practice

Quiet & Quality

Resilience & Reverence

Sustenance & Sharing

Trust & Transformation

Understanding & Unity

Vision & Validation

Warmth & Wonder

X-ploration & X-cellence

Yield & Yearning 

Zest & Zenspiration

Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful 2018!

Stay Zenspired,



60 thoughts on “A Journey of Discovery”

  1. I much prefer option #3 it’s familiar and simple.
    Thank you for you Zensperation. Let’s see what we can Discover together in 2018.

  2. Love the alphabet of wishes!! I am focusing on Grace this year. My husband has terminal cancer and is on Hospice. I am so thankful that he was able to enjoy the holidays with us…but I know this year will be tough. I only hope to have the Grace to deal with the journey we are on. Thank you for your inspiration!

    1. By the way – I vote for the first layout. It has wonderful space for art or journaling!

  3. I love your process and seeing the beautiful pages you create. I love the second and third ones particularly. Being able to record how the word appeared each day wouod be really good. Thank you and happy new year xx

  4. I prefer the top one. It gives me, personally, the open space I think I need to create just the images and words I will use to accomplish my goals. Thank you, for whichever gets chosen. I will be happy because you have focused me in such a perfect way, one month at a time.

  5. As always, a beautiful thought provoking post! I I like both formats. I prefer for myself the first, and would like a combination of the first and left half of the second 🙂

  6. I love the freeform, but all are beautiful!! I want you to know I am copying your ideas to learn my own style. Thank you so much for being a beacon so others can find their way!!

  7. I’m partial to the free form one. It represents discovery to me. I find that discovery is like a whisper that draws me until I can hear it louder. Not something that I control, but a gift that God presents to me when I least expect it.

  8. Hi Joanne,
    I think I prefer the 2 page spread. Both layouts are lovely as usual. My question to you is, if I may ask, were do you get the time to produce all this work. Thank you for the Alphabet of Word Wishes.Best wishes Gerry

  9. I like the first one the best. It allows more freedom for creativity….drawing and lettering.

  10. I like all three designs – but the first one is probably my favourite 🙂

    Happy New Year 🙂 x

  11. Layout #2 is my choice.
    And I love the word discover! Hoping to fulfill my life this year with discoveries large and small. Be well everyone.

  12. I really enjoy the freeform horizontal as it lends to “discovering” creativity with art form and with words. This truly lends to learning and yearning! thank you.

  13. I llove all three, however for me I’m planning on purchasing your new journal when it comes out in March so I feel I’ll have all I need with that. So if I were wanting to purchase one of these three, I would vote for Option#1 because I could had additional designs. I could also select different areas to add my thoughts, additional words, what I’m grateful for that day. I could also incorporate designs, words, etc., from your Bible Journaling Guide. Option #1 seems to be perfect for adding numerous meanings straight from my heart.

  14. I like design #1. The horizontal line reminds me of a journey—a journey of discovery!

  15. Hello Joanne! I love your idea of using “Discover”! It feels so optimistic and adventurous!
    And your alphabet Word wishes are fabulous! I’m going to keep that list with my journaling, so that when I’m “stuck” for ideas, I can be Zenspired by it!

    I think my favorite design is the last one…..I love the idea of a combination gratitude and discover list! Thank you for being so generous in all you do!
    Love and hugs!

    Mary Anne

  16. There are things I like about them all, but prefer the first one since it leaves open space for me to do with what I wish. Thank-you for sharing your talent with us!

  17. I like versions 2 and 3. They can offer different answers and would easily print out for my A5 size Day Planner.

  18. I really love the free form horizontal but all are great. I just have more creative space on the horizontal one. Happy New Year and thanks for all your creations❣️

  19. I think I like Option/version 2 – it is a little structured but also still allows for some free form writing and creativity. I also LOVE the 2018 Alphabet word wishes. I will be saving that one to my desktop! Thanks and Happy New Year!

  20. I like 1 also. It allows for drawing and/or writing so it is the most flexible format. It’s also a cliff-like imahge, which inspires mountaintop thinking and risk taking. The view is clearest at the top!

  21. I like the artwork of the second one and the organized look of the third one. Actually I like them all! 🙂

  22. Hi, I like the first layout the most. It allows for more creativity. Thank you for your Alphabet of Word Wishes. I’m adding it to my journal. Happy New Year!

  23. Option #1 seems to offer endless possibilities. Being more into drawing, I prefer the open format to use as the mood dictates

  24. II love the first one best and the 2nd one is AWESOME also. I think I would pick #! but i would print it out as Profile.

  25. Happy New Year Joanne
    Short and sweet – I’m one handed for a while.
    I’m excited to see so many people like the 1st option, the one with no lines. I thought I’d be in the minority because I never like lines if I can help it.
    I also like the word Discover! And lastly I love your word wishes you lovingly wrote for all of us.

  26. I would use #1, and #2 the most. Your work is inspirational. Thank you so much. I look forward to your emails and blog.

  27. I prefer 1…it allows me many more options …. I can make a the familiar vertical list using words but not limited to one line at a time or to draw my thoughts if the words just aren’t there

  28. I loved hearing about your process of discovering “discover”. The piece about sacred space really resonated with me as well. Thank you for sharing that beautiful alphabet peace. It is gorgeous! I like format #1.

  29. As always, Joanne, you provide such wonderful choices. I think the first option is my favorite as it leaves room for individual expression, with in word or art. Thank you for your wonderful creativity and inspiration. Or should I say Zenspiration!

  30. I love the first spread, the horizontal one. The only thing that I would change if I could, is to add the name of the month to that spread. I used last years Calendars as my gratitude “journal” and am looking forward to this years too. Many thanks!

  31. I am brand new here, and I thank you for the opportunity to belong to a group. I personally would use the 1st design more than the others, but I am sure are are those who would feel more comfortable with the more structured designs. Like you said everyone is in a different place with this art form and I am new too. The 1st design would give me more room to “play”.

  32. I really like option #3. I am a take note and list type of gal, so it works for me. But they all are fantastic! God Bless!!

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