Last Thursday when my friend Jenny and I did our freewrite, we chose three words from her Anchored Card Deck. The words were Presence, Connect and Listen. My fingers flew across the keys, what powerful words to focus on during the holidays, and especially during a pandemic.

It can be difficult to be present. With bills and work, and these days the constant worry about everyone’s health, stress levels are high. And my to-do list seems to get longer everyday. But, this is also when I use my past, my history with loss, to remind myself to slow down, to be present. If you’ve lost people you love, you know what I’m talking about.

Sometimes I have to have a little conversation with myself. Sonya, who cares if the house is a messy, hang out with your son, he will be back at college soon. Enjoy walks with your husband and watching basketball when there are dishes in the sink. Forget about the other stuff, be truly present.

Yes, presence is worth writing about and thinking about and doing.

And who doesn’t need to connect right now? Most of us are living within our bubbles, working to keep others safe. So for ourselves, and others, we need to look at how we can connect with our friends and loved ones, and maybe even people who we don’t know as well. Set up a zoom meeting, text or just pick up the phone and call. These are difficult times, look at how you can connect.

Listen. Ah, what a word (And it fits so well with the other two). A reminder to listen, just listen. Listen to your spouse, listen to your friends, listen to your kids, listen to the teller at the grocery store, listen to your favorite music, and listen to the rain on your rooftop. There is so much to the word. A perfect word for writing inspiration.

When pulling cards from the deck of inspirational words, Jenny often says that you pull the words you need most (even if you don’t realize it at the time). I can tell you one thing. These three words were not only great as a writing prompt, they were definitely ones that I needed to be reminded of.

Try putting these words to work with the writing prompts below, and think about how they can enrich your life as well… Presence, Connect and Listen.

WRITING PROMPT 1: Use one or all these words, and start writing. Presence. Connect. Listen.

WRITING PROMPT 2: incorporate presence, connect and listen into a poem

WRITING PROMPT 3: With his airbuds jammed into his ears and the hood of his black AC/DC hoodie drooped across his forehead, nearly covering his eyes, Adam sat in the corner…