how innovate became innervate

Dec 30, 2012 | Life in Progress

(photo by Viv McMaster)
“Once we rid ourselves of traditional thinking we can get on with creating the future.” — James Bertrand


My word for 2012 was innovate. As I wrote in this early 2012 post, I was totally in love with the idea of “trying on new ways of considering everything and turning every thought upside down, sideways, and so on until an aha hits, until an idea emerges, until inspiration fosters movement.”

What I didn’t know at the time was how the word innovate would come to play, not in the expected ways that it might be found in business, but rather in quite unexpected ways as it related to my life – especially my inner life, the place where my soul and spirit and burdens dwell.

“I thought I’d be innovating new ideas for my business. I thought I’d be awakening more creative thinking, more out-of-the-box ideas. I had no idea that I’d find myself in the offices of energy healers, naturopaths, therapists, and more. I had no idea that all of this soul work would be the ways in which innovation would be called into my life,” I said to a dear friend one afternoon. “What’s so cool,” I continued, “is that all this soul work has indeed freed me up to eventually have the best innovative ideas I’ve ever had for my business and for my life – all while being the way to peace.”

“Well,” she said, “It sounds like innovate became innervate.”

Yes, that’s it exactly. Innovate became innervate. A kind of spiritual, soul stirring inner excavation process that indeed had my soul “trying on new ways of considering everything and turning every thought upside down, sideways, and so on until an aha hits, until an idea emerges, until inspiration fosters movement.”

I love how the universe works.


(Signed print available here)

It all began when I had lunch early in the year with Flora. Swapping wishes and stories of dreams for the new year, I told her about how I just wanted to be open to anything in the interest of innovating new ways of seeing and creating. Flora, hearing and sensing my inner call, sent me to one of her dear energy healers. Having never seen an energy healer before, I was simply open to a new adventure. Hands down, I was blown away by the experience. That meeting opened my heart and my awareness a bit more. Later, I found myself seeing a naturopath for the first time, then neurofeedback for the first time. I began opening myself up to new foods, cleanses, and more. As the year went on, I found myself seeing other energy healers, reading transformational books, seeing a skilled therapist, and generally going inward, deep into introspection.


“Like archaeologists of the soul, we need to excavate our hidden depths to unearth the shards of the spirit, and then reassemble those fragments into a whole self.” – Caroline Myss


In many ways, I am still in that deep place of introspection. But 2012 proved to be my big break in breaking open – a big wide open space of innervation, a place where brokenness and vulnerability are courageously met, where old wounds are finally nurtured with understanding and compassion, but perhaps most importantly, being open to creating new ways of seeing, believing, and living. There is much peace here. There is freedom, truth telling, and a sense that real wholeness comes from going deep, excavating the treasures, and rising up with a deeper spiritual awareness and purpose. Elizabeth Lesser calls it the Phoenix Process. And she is right. I highly recommend her book to everybody I know as we will all experience our own Phoenix Process, sometimes many in a lifetime. Her book is a wonderful, uplifting guide.

Here are a few things I’ve learned (so far) on my innervation journey this year:

Vulnerability leads to true innovation. It is not until we are are brave in our brokenness, or tell our stories, or allow ourselves to be seen, or live with the doors to our hearts open that we can begin to see things in new ways. Vulnerability transforms a two lane road without any exits into a huge highway of exciting options, healing adventures, and exits leading to creativity, big ideas, new ways of seeing, and transformative life-changing innovation. All of Brene’s books speak into how our lives are transformed (parenting, leadership, business, love) when we embrace vulnerability. All highly recommended. 

Everything is with us, always. Our physical bodies and spirits remember everything. It’s all recorded, for better or worse.  When we touch and feel and bravely face the direction of all that has been recorded (the good bits, and the hard bits), then our bodies respond, too, and things shift around to birth new possibilities.  We have to physically process it all: inhale the good, exhale the hard, and nurture our breaths as purposeful & meaningful markers of time, recordings of life being impressed and created. It all matters. Every single breath.

The truth sets us free. Could be the smallest admission of “I don’t want to ski anymore because I’ve never actually enjoyed it and what I really want to do is stay home by the fire with hot chocolate” to deep inner truths that we reveal and set free. The truth, and declaring what our own truths are – from the seemingly insignificant to the most substantial – are how we ultimately communicate who we are. There is major relief (freedom) in standing in our truths. It’s the difference of living a half life, or a whole life.

Innervation leads to spiritual purpose. This last year of introspection has given me real clarity around the gifts that I bring to the world. I’m understanding the ways in which we all have spiritual purpose and how we each have a sacred contract in which we are called and challenged to elevate our spiritual purpose. We each have one. When our gifts and talents are used in service of our sacred contract, we shine, inspire, serve, and elevate the conversation. Our gifts and talents live in the way we teach, parent, love, create, lead, parent…and in how we navigate brokenness. It hasn’t so much to with what we do, but how we do what we do and who we are.

My companions as of late. Good heart opening reading.
My journey into innervation this year has also led me to books. Lots of them. Never before have I devoured books on subjects like marriage, contemplative spirituality, christianity, parenting, and more. They have been my guides, my companions these last 12 months. John and I have had many wonderful conversations, all prompted by the passages in these books. All highly recommended.
Thank you, innervate. You have been a HUGE, life changing word. I’m so glad 2012 gifted you to me. Here’s to the continued journey….HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! Tell me, have you had years of innervation? What did you learn? Or, tell me on Facebook 🙂


Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (12 comments)
  1. Lynn Morrissey

    This is a special post, and I love your new word: Innervation. I think we are all on spiritual and creative journeys, because we are spiritual beings brought into being by the Creator. I have *very* rarely done this on someone's blog(a book plug), but I would direct you to my book, Love Letters to God: Deeper Intimacy through Written Prayer, because we need a way to reflect and explore our souls on the page (in addition to art). The book is an inspirational book about journalling (as opposed to instructional), and beautifully illustrated. I feel led to share this, b/c of the spiritual nature of your journey, and because women tell me the book has indelibly changed their lives. I wish you great joy for the journey.
    Onward with your innervation!
    Lynn Morrissey

  2. Margherita Arrighi

    kelly ti ringrazio per aver cuore ed anima. Sai sempre cosa mi serve ed al momento giusto. Sto imparando molto sia dal tuo e-book che dal tuo blog ogni giorno!!!

  3. jehara

    2007 was like that for me. i traveled deep into the underworld of my psyche and past. that was the year i discovered carolyn myss and read anatomy of the spirit, sacred contract, and listened to energy anatomy. i also had energy work done for the first time. it was a transformative year. all that inner work led to where i am today. i am so grateful i did the work.
    it made me smile to carolyn myss in your stack.

    here's to another fantastic and soulful year for you, krr!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂


  4. Monica

    Hope we will meet someday. Thanks for putting your inspiration and heart out there for all of us to partake.
    Hugs from across the pond,

  5. emss

    Kelly, thank you for your willingness to be so open and honest. What a wonderful gift for the new year.

  6. kjpaints

    thanks for all your confessions and honesty. It always keeps me moving in the right direction.

  7. dawn@joyfulscribblings

    Thanks for sharing your journey and book recommendations. I have purchased a few you recommended, but haven't read them yet. It's time to get busy reading. I recently read the Tao of Pooh which a friend shared with me. It is a quick read and very insightful in terms of what we can learn from Winnie the Pooh and all of his friends. Have a great new year and thanks for being an inspiration to me.

  8. Colleen Stewart

    For the very first time I've decided to pick just one word for 2013. Mine is TRUST. I can't wait to see where it brings me in my growing faith 🙂
    Happy New Year!

  9. Lizbethem

    Happy New Year to you and yours.xx

  10. Anonymous

    You. are. my. hero.
    I sit here in awe.
    of you.
    and all you have become.
    I've watched you from the very beginning of you~
    and very very Honored.

  11. Sandra

    Kelly – I would highly recommend Hand in Hand Parenting for innovative, gentle ideas on raising children:


  12. Vanessa Johanning

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful insight Kelly Rae! … I want to be a life long learner, and continue to read new books every single week..I Love to see growth, in myself and in others!! My Family always says:

    "You Dont know what you dont know! " …Right?

    Vanessa KiKi Johanning


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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