Laurie Swanson Blog

I've got your backronym!

steven colbertDid you know that Stephen Colbert has his own Backronym given to him by NASA?

They named their ISS treadmill the Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) after him.

WHAT IS A BACKRONYM, you may ask?

scubaAccording to Wikipedia, like an acronym, which is an abbreviation formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word (like SCUBA-Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) but can also be parts of words or names (as in Nabisco-National Biscuit Company), a backronym is a specially constructed acronym created to fit an existing word.

I have always loved backronyms even though I did not know what they were called. I use them with my kids to help them remember things for test or for myself as a motivational tool.

pema chodronIn a recent coaching call with the fabulous Jessica Steward, she spoke of Pema Chodron, the notable American figure in Tibetan Buddhism. Pema is an ordained nun, author, and acharya: senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage.

Pema has created a backronym that she suggests people use when they are feeling FEAR and it is:F.e.a.r.

Another recent Backronym sighting happened while reading the daily message in the 21-day meditation from Oprah and Deepak. For Day 8 Deepak uses the backronym S.M.A.R.T Choices, based off of the SMART goals you may have heard of; they were originally coined 30 years ago by Peter Drucker in his classic work, Management by Results.Deepak Chopra

Deepak puts his own higher consciousness twist the word SMART:

S-Stretch more than you can reach
M-Make everything measurable
A-Agreement with your inner self & those around you
R-Record your progress
T-Time limits for acting and getting a result

I have decided we all need to have a backronym that resonates with us.
I have created mine. Be an A.R.S.E.

A.R.SE. stands for:
Accept what is. As Byron Katie says,all suffering occurs when you argue with reality.
Release all attachment to past or present. Release what you think should have happened or what you think should happen.
Surrender to what wants to happen. Have patience and trust that all is unfolding as it should.
Embrace the moment! Relax, smile, open up and breathe.

I have been living my Backronym for a couple of months now and life really is flowing more simply, gracefully and happily along. I guess you could say the Universe has my backronym, or maybe you prefer the Universe has my A.R.S.E. Whichever. It is all working for me.

Let me know your favorite backronym or acronym, or create one that you can use as your touchstone and post it up on our Facebook page. #backronym


By reading my coaching services blog, you acknowledge that I am not a licensed psychologist or health care professional and my services do not replace the care of psychologists or other healthcare professionals. Coaching is in no way to be construed or substituted as psychological counseling or any other type of therapy or medical advice. I will at all times exercise my best professional efforts, skills and care. However, I cannot guarantee the outcome of coaching efforts and/or recommendations in my newsletter and my comments about the outcome are expressions of opinion only. I cannot make any guarantees other than to deliver the coaching services purchased as described.

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