Our MyIntent Makers find so many inspiring ways to use their Maker Kits as a tool to create meaningful conversations and connections with others in their communities. Read how Melissa G. uses MyIntent to inspire and honor her Young Survivors Support Group - a group for individuals diagnosed with cancer in their 20s and 30s.
This blog features Melissa's story:
- Read about the journey that brought her to setting a WORD of Intent.
- Discover how she has used the Maker Kit with her Young Survivor Support Group.
- Find out the WORD that resonates most with Melissa.
"It helped us see a little bit more into each other’s current mindset but also where we want and who we want to be in the future."
When the world shut down in 2020, Melissa started the practice of choosing a WORD of intent.
Working as a genetic counselor at a hospital, Melissa had to start to seeing patients virtually and, with her kids in virtual schooling too, she and her husband were learning how to handle new schedules and routines in this new world of uncertainty.
That's when Melissa found her WORD: "BREATHE kept coming to mind over and over again and became a bit of a mantra for me. I stumbled upon the practice of picking a WORD of intent or WORD-of-the-year from a podcast I listen to and realized that I already knew my WORD. Since then, I’ve picked a WORD for each year and have chatted with people in my life about the practice."
Then, in December of 2021, Melissa hosted her annual holiday meeting for her Young Survivors Support Group: "We were all chatting, and one of our members mentioned that she had focused on the word FORWARD the previous year and how it was really helpful for her in many avenues in her life. I shared my experience as well, and the idea for a meeting in the new year to discuss this practice and our WORDs came up."
A quick web search later, Melissa discovered the MyIntent Project and ordered the Maker Kit for their group WORD-finding activity.
"Choosing a WORD of intent led to very positive and forward thinking, goal-oriented conversations."
The plan was to have their meeting in a conference room so that they could share their words and use the Maker Kit to stamp bracelets together, but due to the rise in COVID cases, hosting an in-person meeting was just not possible. Instead, Melissa directed each member to the MyIntent webpage and set up a virtual meeting. She shares: "Many of our participants spent significant time learning about the practice and choosing their WORD."
On their Zoom call, Melissa discussed how to set a WORD of intent and turn it into a daily practice. Melissa recalls: "we spent time listening to each other discuss our chosen WORD, why we chose it, and what we hoped would come from that intent over the year to come. After an individual shared, I gave them the options for the bracelet and they chose the color and metal they wanted. The next day, I made all the bracelets and mailed them out. I found the kit very easy to use and I am so happy that I now have these items to do this every year."
The activity had a positive impact on the entire group: "Choosing a WORD of intent led to very positive and forward thinking, goal-oriented conversations. It helped us see a little bit more into each other’s current mindset, but also where we want and who we want to be in the future. All of our participants were very encouraging to each other. 'Oh, I love that' was the most common phrase of the night. I walked away from the evening feeling filled up and encouraged. I received messages from our participants the next day echoing the same feeling."
When asked if any particular WORD found from the meeting stood out to her, Melissa shares: "I think my favorite word of the night was CELEBRATE. One of our members really wanted to focus less on all the medical appointments she has, job stress, craziness going on in the world, etc. and more on the every day reasons to celebrate (spending time with her nephew, the time she has with family now 5 years post-cancer diagnosis)."
"To me, to savor is to slow down, be present, and find the joy in the every day..."
This year? Melissa chose the word SAVOR.
She shares: "I am naturally the doer or coordinator of many things in my life (work, home, events with friends, etc). Most of the time, I am not good about actually sitting back and enjoying what is around me or what I’ve planned - I’m the one running around making sure it is all going according to plan. I’d like to focus on enjoying the moments. To me, to savor is to slow down, be present, and find the joy in the every day and the special events/gatherings."