Word Of The Year Check-In

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I have certain check-points written down in my daily planner…my planner is more for recording what I did and to keep track of appointments than to have a set schedule for any and everything…schedules and I do not always get along, for any number of reasons.

April 1 had a big note of WORD OF THE YEAR CHECK-IN.

I actually had to stop and think…what was my word again…and when it hit me (deepen), I actually laughed because even though I haven’t given the word much thought, it is exactly what I have been doing all of this year.

I am deepening my connection, my relationship and my commitment to myself.  With my health issues, instead of fighting all the time, instead of pushing my stuff, my needs, my pain, aside for the well-being of others…and to circumvent toddler tantrums…I have started to take stands and to move forward…and amazingly enough…

Taking that moment to scoop up the clots of dog and cat fur that congregate like living little dust bunnies in every corner and along the edges of every wall in the house and tossing them into the trash…so satisfying.

Making sure that at least one day a week on the week-end the entire family gets outside together and walks their booties off…even if that means going to the Eyeball Park (Laumeier Park–there’s a huge eyeball statue that both boys love) and hitting every single Poke stop there is to hit, twice–has reaped huge benefits for me physically.

During the week, I have made more time, when it is warm enough, to go outside…and take the small boy with me and let him loose.  Sometimes, like today, that means we step outside and watch it rain from the safety of the carport and/or front porch.

I am stepping away from 1 social media — which I have been very clear about this entire year.  I am on instagram, but mostly for family.  I am on pinterest, but it’s for me…and most of my stuff is on private boards, except for the stuff that belongs to the family and/or me.

I do not spend a great deal of time online anymore.  I am back to knitting.  Last night, my daughter brought home Lauren Graham’s latest book, Talking As Fast As I Can.  Guess what?  I read the whole thing last night.

That is my plan…getting back to being me…which includes knitting more, reading more, writing more…and since the small one is not so small (he’ll be five in August), I figure it’s time I started pushing the whole school thing a bit harder…going up against a hard-headed second-generation Scotsman…oh, yippee skippy.  So, getting him into things can be a lot of give and a lot of take…finding his groove isn’t always easy…but I recognize his mind and I know, once he gets going, all I need to do is feed the monster of his curiosity and let him follow that where he will…and that makes me SO happy…

One thing that happened in March is I started journalling again…I haven’t actually done all that much of that since this past October, so it made me feel so happy again when I picked up the pen and started writing…and that leads into me writing fiction again…and that feels even better…

I am also embarking on a huge spring cleaning effort in the house and of the house…we have new plants and trees planted outside.  I have been purging all sorts of things…and have plans for more purging…I have started to rearrange things.  There is more to rearrange.

This month we start painting.  One wall at a time.  Seriously–one wall at a time.  All the marker and crayon gets removed.  The smaller boy has promised not to color on any of the new paint (fingers crossed he sticks to that…) and in the moving of things during the painting process…more stuff will go…more stuff will be moved…

Is this a lot?  Nope.  I still have so many spoons per day to use…and sometimes I wake up thinking I have five spoons and find out I only have one…so I am not holding myself to any hard-core schedule.  One thing, one day, at a time.  That’s my motto for this project.

But then again…I think that holds for every day.

 

 

2017: My Word Of The Year

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I have had my word of the year since October.  I wasn’t really casting around for one yet back then, but this one word kept coming up.  Reclaim.  Reclaim.  Reclaim.

So, I let it keep coming at me for a few days.  Let it drift through my brain, my dreams, and I knew…it was the right word for me this coming year.

A reclamation.

I could go into a great many details, give you lots of stories and tidbits that prove I have totally lost myself–but I think I am going to let that lie and not air every little detail.  It’s difficult enough to admit that I have lost so much of myself.

Let us see where this year takes us, shall we?

The Final Word Of The Year 2016 Check-In

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My challenge and my inspiration for 2016 was to Deepen…

To deepen everything…my experiences, my connections, my knowledge, my commitments…

I did not set out specific challenges or activities in which to do this, but the Universe did provide ample opportunities to do so…

I feel that I have lived and embodied this word this year, through unconscious actions and activity, if by nothing else.

I am looking forward to using what I have learned and gathered in this year as we move forward into the coming year.

Word Of The Year Check-In

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Deepen.  This is my word for this year.  Every time I stop to think about how this word is working in my life this year, I am awed by the changes that are going on.

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I do not think of my word of the year every day.  Not even every week.  In fact, months can go by before I stop and think, hey, look how this coincides with my word of the year…

This is August.  The third quarter of the year.  How is Deepen working on me right now?

Such amazing changes and shifts have been happening.

A new website in the works.  Updates to the family website happening.  Changes to the way I am working with and on my blog.  Changes at home, slow but sure, cleaning and catching up with … going on five years of things waiting for me to recover from pregnancy and have the facilities and faculties to take care of things myself.  My health is improving.  My work itself is changing, deepening, with things lining up in ways they haven’t in many many a moon.

I think the most exciting things I can say are…I am coming back to me again…not a reclaiming, because I am not the person I was.  I am not the person I was two years, not five years ago, not seven years ago, not ten years ago.  I am the same, but I am different.  Sometimes it is strange for me to stop and think about how I am again (still) heading in the same direction–but with different energies, different ideas about the same things, different focus, a different center, a different foundation.  This also sheds the same light on the other shift, in my work.

For six years now, I have had my NaNo2010 novel sitting there waiting for me–and I know what I want to do with it–I simply haven’t known how to do that.  Now I have a much clearer idea of what to do and how to do it.  If I can make this work, I have a book…literally, so many patterns, of knitting patterns that I wrote and created in 2007– and this is something I have longed to test knit and put out into the world.  Although since I created all the patterns, my idea on publishing has shifted to wanted to publish one pattern at a time.  Most of those patterns are shawl patterns, because I was in no way prepared in 2007 to create hat patterns, which lately has been something I genuinely like and appreciate–even if I have trouble knitting hats around here at the moment.  I need to test knit the patterns as they stand now.

It’s also an evolving thing with my art.  I keep saying I want to unlearn what I have learned in my classes, but it is not that I regret the classes I’ve taken or plan to take.  What I need to do, I have come to realize, is let go of the — rules that I accept as law–and I am in no way accusing any teacher I have had at any level of saying this is the only way this can be done–but for whatever reason things get stuck in my head and it becomes–this is the only way this can be done.  I hadn’t realized until recently that I haven’t been painting or working in my art journal as much, because all the fun has gone away.  I couldn’t do this like that because it’s not the ‘right way’…I couldn’t do that because it’s not the ‘right way’.  So I am working on … doing things my own way rather than the ‘right way’.

I also want to start working on different techniques, for different things.  I don’t want to start talking about what I am doing, or what I am planning to do.  However, I do plan on making more books, binding my own books…and perhaps I will be making them to sell.  Which is not anything I ever thought I might do.  But the idea of it does feel pretty good.  We’ll have to see.

I am a bit excited about the making and binding of books though.  My oldest son is actually excited about me making him his very own book for his upcoming thirteenth birthday.  A special request: a red book with red pages.  Red is his favorite color.  My daughter has several books that I’ve made over the past couple of years.  My youngest…well, he has plenty of other things right now.  When he is older, I know he’ll get his share as well.

It does feel so good to have my feet firmly back on my own solid foundation though.  That is something I have been missing for…such a very long time now.  I couldn’t actually pinpoint how long it’s been so long.  Decades.

There is so much going on, so many changes, inside and out.  I am excited to see where things go for the rest of this year.

 

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Word Of The Year, First Official Spread Of 2016

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This is an interesting spread for me.  Working up the background wasn’t so difficult.  I wanted the focal images–the trees and the face–to be free, open, scribblly even–little did I know.

I grabbed my trusty Bic Cristal black pen…and I actually scratched in the forms very quickly.

Then I added colors…charcoal, paints, colored pencils, a bit of marker…then I sprayed it with a matte varnish…and got ticked.

There should be five distinct designs in those trees.  I put them there myself.

That pen line straight down the center of the face–I worked hard to eradicate and hide that line–and it was gone…until the sealant hit it…

So…oh well…I feel good and I got my point across…

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I had fun here.  Eyes bigger than the face.  Lots of layers.  Pen scribbles clearly showing through…it was fun…

Now–trees…what do trees have to do with Deepen…

Have you ever heard of the Dig Tree?

A few years ago, Soul Cafe Food was my lifeline…the site may not be active anymore — or maybe it is and I am no longer there to notice– but I still return to peruse and wander…I am still inspired there to write and to create…I am eternally grateful to Heather Blakey, as well as all the other artists that I met on my journeys there.

 

Do You Realize 2015 Is Nearly Over?

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There are roughly seven weeks remaining in 2015.

It is rather hard to grasp that concept right now.  I cannot believe this whole year just flew by.

For the past two years, I have kept track of the year via LifeBook–a brand new lesson every single week in my inbox that says Week XYZ…it is easy to see where I am in the year…except that this year, I have sort of been missing the whole..hey it is X week of the year…only X more weeks to go…

For some reason, however, the concept hit me this weekend…only about seven more weeks…

I am certain in no small amount that there are a couple of reasons I have been eager for 2016 to arrive.

I have plans of my own already in place and ready to go for 2016 (to be revealed later, in December)…I am waiting until the beginning of the year to sign up for the one single class I am taking next year–unless something so powerful and overwhelming arrives I can’t stand it and I just have to take it…it happens…it happens a lot…but at least what I am looking for has shifted and balanced out enough I can see what I need and can work my way through wanting things that won’t really do me all that much good.

Which brings to me the gist of this post today…

A word of the year check-in…

Do you know–I actually forgot what my word was for this year?  I was on pinterest, looking for things to put on my 2016 word of the year board –I think I started doing this in 2014–but I saw my 2015 board and was a bit blown away by it–because it was so unexpected–don’t ask me why it was unexpected–but it was…

My word for 2015 is Expand

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Have I “expanded”?  Have I grown?

Oh, I think I have–by leaps and bounds…especially in the past few months.  There have been such amazing leaps of faith, phenomenal shifts, changes in habits and patterns, new dreams and wishes, and a solid path leading me to be more open where I am–which is rather difficult for reasons I won’t air in public.  Learning to be vulnerable in a space where vulnerability is not just chastised, but is beaten back and ground down…it’s not easy.  But I am working every day to find my way.  Even as I am daily forced back into the little cage of the Past which cause others to have certain expectations that they are unwilling to release, I work and work to find my own way, in my own way…and I am getting there.

It sounds odd to write that–but it is what it is.

I would love to say my health has improved along the way…and surely it has, in drips and drops.  Some days are good days.  Some days not so much.  Add in all my other daily tasks and a toddler with the energy to fuel a thousand suns…and there you have it.

My heart, Grinchy thing that it had been coerced into becoming, has indeed grown and grown, opening up like a lotus flower, as I sort things out and remember who and what I am on a daily basis, as I remember why I made the choices I made.

My art and my work are still evolving and expanding…and I am enjoying that journey.  I can say that with ease and confidence.

I sometimes enjoy looking back over the past few years that i have utilized a guiding word of the year, to see how they segue one into the next…how they build upon one another…and how by each year’s end I have come to embrace that word as it has embraced me.

2016 is something to look forward to…just as 2015 has been…

 

One Spread Leads…

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First: I did not create this journal spread specifically for the Full Moon.  There was no intention setting, goal setting, nor dream creation.

I came to my journal with an open heart and said–show me…

And sure enough, my Guides and my Muse held my hand and took me on a journey.  The Universe spoke to me–I can do nothing but Listen.

Two: I had no expectations, no intentions.  I had not planned to create a face at all.  I had thought to work with a dream I keep having, a dream conversation I keep having — Maeve, the Goddess–and Her Bees–She comes to me frequently right now, saying, I am the Goddess Maeve.  These are my Bees.  So, please, if you have any information linking Maeve and Her Bees in any Tradition, please let me know where to find it.  It’s one of those things that I can’t quite pin down myself, but would love to have research to back up what is coming to me.

The analytical mind in me…can’t let that angle go, even as I sit with Maeve night after night, heeding Her counsel, afraid of those Bees, but knowing there is a Message therein.

So…I could say three here: this is not my usual style, but I like it.  Learning to push myself, to push my boundaries, to lean into things…and even as I say–not my usual style, it sort of is.  I have been looking at a lot of my work in the past two years.  I can see this sort of thing cropping up…and yet, not.

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It is layers beneath.  Then, some quick imprecise sketching with charcoal and a water-soluble graphite crayon.  Then, clear gesso and colored pencils.  Nothing more.

So, Samhain is the starting point of the Wheel of the Year.  It is my New Year, spiritual New Year, if you like.  It is an amazing thing for my Word of the Year to show up now, weeks, if not more, before I had thought to start thinking about looking for it.

My word is:Deepen.

Originally what came up–and what continues to come up–is Deepen Into The Stretch.

My contracted, barrier-ridden Yoga practice is such an incredible solace for me…it is healing even in such a battered format.  Pushing myself is deepening into the stretch, no matter where that stretch is or comes.  I understand the idea, the concept, both on and off the Yoga mat.

Deepening into the Practice of My Self is going to be my focus for the coming year.  Deepening into the stretch of who I am, what I do, that is my intention.  In whatever way that shows up.

That is what feels good to me, what feels juicy.

Where my Heart leads me, there shall I follow.

I will be working with Deepen as a Word, as a Concept, as an Intention, as much as I am able, over the few weeks.

Won’t you come along with me?