From my journal. After a few years I’ve realized that the “new abnormal” is the new normal. As if the old normal wasn’t challenging enough! Here are my strategies to navigate this ever changing world, subject to change of course.Continue reading “A Road Map for 2022”
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. That concept sounds so burdensome. Instead, I have a personal tradition of picking one or more words to aspire to live by for the coming year. I revisit these words from time to time and check in on how I’m doing. (Writing them on the bathroom mirror is a very effective strategy.)
My words for 2020 were acceptance and focus. I almost wore out the word acceptance with the pandemic and political matters and it’s unlikely I can ever truly accept the damage of the forest fires had here in Oregon this year. Climate change is unacceptable and is something I will always fight against. Thus it has been a mixed bag with that word. FOCUS has been an ongoing challenge for me but I am happy to report that I am BETTER! Being a creative soul I am forever distracted by my thoughts and every shiny thing that comes along in my day. Now though, I am more aware of my distractions and am honing a system to keep me on track.
This December I mulled over what my new words would be. I wait to see what will bubble up to my subconscious and pick the ones I resonate with the most. So drumroll.. my new words are:
Commitment– I allowed myself this year to go “fallow” and dabble in a lot of creative pursuits. Now I am ready to synthesize what I’ve learned into specific avenues.
Generosity– Give more of my time, talent, and money to others
Focus – This word remains on the list as I need more work with it.
Let the year unfold! What are your words for 2020?
and my poem for you this New Year…
A Toast for 2021
It’s the season of new
the Earth has spun through the heavens
and arrived at the place we call the beginning
a bookmark we humans have put in the order of things
the New Year, the first day of the first month of the 21st year of the 21st century
All is new, yet all the same
a cycle in a continuum of millennia
yet a comfort that we have a fresh start in our minds
Shall we proceed then with our new slippers
virgin calendars full of exotic pictures
day planners devoid of marks
and forge on with gusto?
for we have been given another turn
a blank canvas to paint another 12 months upon
Let us mix up our palettes with new intentions
hope, faith and the unseen circumstances that will surely find us
stroke, splash, and drip with abandon
make your marks with love, touching others with color
bringing forth new memories
painting this Earth a brighter place
Check out my other blog onesweetearth.art.blog on sustainable living.
A good intention is like the seed of a tree whose fruit we do not know.
It’s become a personal tradition to rather than make a long list of resolutions to pick a word to live by for the year. Last New Year my word for the year was “courage.” Looking back I believe I did the word justice (to the point of perhaps overdoing it?) I put myself out of my comfort zone by making a new body of work, participating in the Art Harvest Studio Tour, completing a printmaking residency, traveling Scotland to walk with friends & then to Ireland solo to attend Craiccean a week-long bodhran (drum) camp on one of the Aran Islands. Then there were a series of health issues that had to be navigated that took a different type of courage. I am happy to report things are much better!
Ready to give courage a bit of a rest, my new word for 2020 popped into my head during last week’s yoga class when my teacher asked us to think about and intention for the New Year. That word is “acceptance” with my secondary word being “focus”. I find one word can have quite a few layers to it and I am eager to explore where these will take me.
Last night I read the following poem I wrote at a gathering of friends as a toast to the New Year. I am very optimistic for better times and wish all of you the best for 2020.
“There is more to life than increasing its speed” Mahatma Gandhi
One of my intentions for the New Year is to manage my time more effectively. As a creative type, I am constantly let astray by shiny distractions – a crow woman of sorts. I found two books that are very helpful on the subject.
“Make Time” by Jake Knapp & John Zeratsky gives clear strategies to simplify and prioritize your day in a way that will give your life less stress and more meaning. The two authors are self-described “time dorks.” They were so overstressed in their high tech world that they developed simple techniques to really focus on what matters by doing less. Besides providing you with a simple daily template this book is chalked full of strategies to help you deal with digital distractions, tips to eat and sleep more effectively, and even how to get the most out of your caffeine habit!
Then there is “Manage your Day to Day: Build Your Routine , Find Your Focus, & Sharpen Your Creative Mind” published by 99U. This compact little book is geared more to the creative than Make Time. There is also some overlap. Each chapter is written by a different person in creative fields about building a successful creative routine. The chapters are short, there’s a lot of quotes(I love quotes) and you can open anywhere in the book for a little pick-me-up.
Check these out. Best wishes for a creative New Year!
“If you want to create something worthwhile in your life, you need to draw a line between the world’s demands and your own ambitions” Mark McGuinness
The New Year is always full of good intentions. I just began my online class “A Year of Painting” taught by Alena Hennesy. Alena asked all of us to pick one word to be a focus on for the year. Among the many words posted were “healing, mindful, yes, grow, magical, allow.” It took me days to come up with mine, “COURAGE,” a perfect word for where I’m at.
I’m going to keep this word as my mantra to remind myself to be courageous in my writing, blogging, music, travel, my art, my heart, and all the things I intend to do this year.
I don’t consider myself a painter so I am out of my comfort zone. It will be interesting how I progress through this class I will share my journey on this blog knowing that showing vulnerability is also a sign of courage.
What is your word for the year??
This curious little book caught my eye when searching for a book on spiritual practice in my local library. It was called “TheWander Society” by Keri Smith. Flipping through this book like a combination of discovering a little cache of buried treasure and opening a door into a world of mystery and intrigue.
The author stumbled upon the existence of The Wander Society quite by accident as she was perusing a used bookstore in her town. She picked up a worn copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass from the shelves. In it were hand notated references “WW will show you the way,” “Solvitur Ambulando,” “The Wander Society,” along with other underlinings and strange symbols in the margins.
This is a book about Keri’s subsequent research into the “Wander Society” – which actually exists, taking inspiration from the life of Walt Whitman. Then there is information on how to be a wanderer and her handwritten written underneath the type in how her practice of wandering was changing her life. Anyone can be a member- however, but there are certain requirements…….
I’m not going to spoil the fun. Go out and read the book.
I must say, this little volume sort of upended how I’ve been thinking about my life. Of course, I’ve been in one of those places where I was on the verge of being upended, like the big earthquake we have been expecting in Oregon. This was a catalyst. I have always been a doer. That’s what our culture demands of us- achievement! productivity! Branding! But maybe there is another way to look at things that is…..
At the dawn of 2019, I am going to strive to be more of being than a doer, a wanderer more than a seeker.
Wish me luck
Hope you will join me
Happy New Year to all of you. Here is a poem from my favorite poet, Mary Oliver to close out the year…..
The year 2017 slunk away
Like stray cat that lost a fight
Leaving bloody tracks and tufts of fur
In its wake
The flood waters have receded
Fires still burn to the south
Refugees across the globe pray for safety
The homeless seek shelter
And the men still beat their chests in Washington
Shouting over truth
But if you are very still and listen
You can hear the sound of the peoples’ drum beats
Building up strength and timbre
Beneath that thin veneer of chaos
Power is as ephemeral as a passing storm
Blowing itself out with the passage of time
Give pause and consider
For 365 days the sun rose and set of its own accord
The tides ebbed and flowed
And one day in August
the moon crowned the sun king
With a corona of light
Wrapping us all in illuminated smiles
We are still here
With our lives
Beauty and love
Between the lines of a script
We did not write
There will be a new story
We have the choice
to change the outcome, beginning with ourselves
And we will all be there
To feed the fire of hope
To light our way through the New Year
Wishing you all the best in this New Year,