I am not going to write about what an awful year 2020 was because it is in the past and here we are ready to move forward. Yes, this year stopped us all in our tracks, but it also gave us opportunities to pause and reset. We found ways to pivot and face the unknown. We learned how to be creative and I am all about that. So, I want to write about finding inspiration, direction and hope for the coming year.
I approach this year with caution. Last year was so bright and shiny and filled with potential like a bright ornament. All our plans got changed as the fragile ornament fell. In 2020 I have learned many lessons: gratitude, patience, trust and hope. I have read a lot of books and watched more streaming programs than I even knew existed. I have cooked most meals and as a result had to hike more.
I approach 2021 with reserved hope and anticipation. I am not making big plans yet. I have rescheduled all my International teaching to 2022, but I am hoping to gather in small groups in my studio to share knowledge and creativity. I have created more online classes and continue to connect with others via digital means. Love and friendship can move across time, space and infinity.
I have 2 traditions that I follow at this time of year. First, I create a personal ceremony for the Winter Solstice. I incorporate all the senses using sage, lavender, fire, stories, animal guides, symbols and ancestral tales. This is personal, but the second tradition is meant to be shared. Each year I find a word that will guide me through the year. I have written about this in past blog posts. This is a process to follow and I recommend taking the time, but I want to share an abbreviated version today as well.
This shorter process can be just as powerful, especially if you have done the longer process several times. Grab your journal, preferably paper and pen not digital. It makes a difference. Brew a cup of tea and settle in for a bit. Clear your mind and allow your breathing to expand your heart and your mind. Write about what brings you joy. It can be as detailed as a story or as brief as a list. We’re all different so no judgement here on the how-to’s. You could also do spontaneous or automatic writing. I find this method is great for clearing blocks.
After you have settled in and you have a vision of a path forward, write down 6 words that embody this vision you just wrote about. Focus on what you want to embrace in this coming year. The words are guidelines that will point you to possibilities. After you have chosen your six words, write them on separate pieces of paper. Just a little slip is all that is needed. A tip is to use a thesaurus to discover other words that may appeal more to your soul.
My words for this year are:
You may notice that there are 7, not 6 words. Voyager and Discover are similar so I can eliminate one. I left off Discover. I wrote the 6 remaining words on slips of paper. Even as I was writing the words, I got a sense of which one I was really drawn to. I took the words and held them one at a time in my hand. I felt what these words meant to me. How they connected to the path I wish to follow for the year. I want to discover wonder and awe; I wish to journey and reconnect with others. I want to walk gently upon the land and nurture the small treasures that are hidden within plain sight.
The word you choose will become a lens to discover more about yourself. Take your word and create a beautiful card with the word elegantly written. Place it where you will see it daily. The word will guide you. It will help you focus and let go of the how-tos and whys. It will bring you back to your story. It is your teacher. How can you learn from it?
Over the years I have had many words like Flow, Ease, Gratitude, Joyful Creation, Trust and many more. This year I choose Emerge. It encompasses so many aspects of connecting and sharing. I emerge and trust the journey. What is your word?
If one of your words or dreams for the new year is to be more creative or devote more time to your art, then Mixed Media Soul Sparks is the perfect way to fit your art making into a busy schedule. The weekly videos are about 15 minutes and the notes will guide you to finish the weekly projects. Round it out with a creative audio lesson and an excerpt from one of my books and you can tuck in lots of creativity in a short period of time.
One of the things that Emerge embodies is transition. Like the cocoon, the chrysalis and the butterfly; creativity has its phases. I began the YouTube series, Mixed Media Soul Sparks, in March, prior to the Pandemic restrictions. I posted a video every week as my gift to connect with other artists during the time of isolation. I have heard from hundreds of people and I am continuing the lessons, but they are evolving into a subscription. The weekly videos will now be accompanied with notes to follow through on finishing the projects. You will also get a technique from one of my 6 books and an audio file to guide you on your creative path. The weekly videos will jump start your art process and I hope you join me in the coming year.