2018’s been a soupy sort of year, it feels like all the days and weeks swirled up together, undefined and drifty. It’s fun to go back and look at these memories I caught as they floated by. It feels like a reset: Ready to begin again.
“What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.”
“Just for now,without asking how, let yourself sink into stillness. … Just for now, be boundless, free, with awakened energy tingling in your hands and feet. Drink in the possibility of being who and what you really are – so fully alive that the world looks different, newly born and vibrant, just for now..”
This morning I launched my newest project – a year full of color – “TWELVTY” All as scheduled, 9am my time, so the early wee hours for the cross-pond recipients.
Each month this year has it’s own color: January is yellow, and it’s flooding my thoughts.
It’s the sunrise of a new project.
The idea came to me just a couple of months ago when I was on holiday. Bumbling about taking photos… as one does.
I notice color everywhere.
I had a moment of profound realisation when I found myself taking photos of a group of tourists emerging from their (red & blue) coach, just because almost all of them seemed to be dressed to match in some shades of red & blue….
I had one of those moments: Do other people see this too?
Like the fish who doesn’t know it’s swimming in water, my ideas have only swum in my mind, I’ve got no comparison unless I step away and try to look in from outside.
I mentioned the tourists & matching coach to someone a few days later – with gushing enthusiasm – but was met with blank nothingness. Not even the edge of a WTF?response I sometimes get when I share arty revelations like this, just a totally empty, disinterested blankness.
That was the moment I knew: I need to connect up with others who see & appreciate what I see & appreciate. My tribe.We need each other.
We need each other in a world of unknown areas of empty, disinterested blankness, a world with WTF?reactions to gushing arty revelations.
We need to reflect back to each other the magic of seeing some crazy spontaneous colour synchronicity, of seeing some beautifully matched chance happening, some little something somewhere that gets overlooked by most but makes our hearts sing just because of its orangeness, or blueness, or purpleypink, or whateverness.
I love how the idea is resonating among the folks who’ve joined already, the excitement bubbling up, and most of all the anticipation of what will emerge from this group as the year unfolds.
It’s going to be bright and glorious and I love it!
Want to make your 2017 brighter and more colorful?
Sign up below for more news on my doings & makings through the year, and get a lovingly hand crafted ebook all about color
Imagine. Just imagine… being able to make up your own rules.
Sure, some of the old ones still have to apply: do as you would be done by, two wrongs don’t make a right, gravity, etc. But what about the rest of them? Why ever would we allow anyone else to dictate the hows and the whys beyond these fundamentals?
This morning I was pondering this question.
So much is programmed into our thinking, our knowing, when we’re way too small to offer up much objection. Of if we try to we’re dismissed as not having enough understanding of the bigger picture. Right – like anyone has a mind broad and deep enough to encompass all of that. Our programmers – our significant care-givers, parents, family, teachers, and preferred celebrity heroes (real and fictional) – they’re still too little to get it all too. Everyone is. Even the oldests and the wisests. All of them!
Tomorrow is my birthday, my personal New Year, less arbitrary than January 1st (for those of us born on one of the other days of the year). As I was born on a Wednesday I’m attaching something to the fact it’s a Wednesday again this time round. Although this happens every 5-6 years, I just hadn’t given it much thought until this time.
To celebrate this turn of number, I’m considering making some new rules, some new truths, for this next phase of being me. I haven’t fine-tuned the details yet, but I think that being me is going to be different. Less limited.More fun.
I’m going out for a walk and a think, I’ll tell you more when I’ve mulled over the finer details.
In cultivating something new from something old, today I set some time aside to look backand to look forward.
I’m most especially grateful to Susannah Conway for her Unraveling the Year which has inspired this practice. I first found her online workshop to find a word for the yearone year ago (my word for this year was Focus– I have my word for next year, but that’s for another conversation).
Today was a bit of balance in the midst of the mayhem.
The end/beginning of a year,
all these holidays associated with all these belief groups,
the altogether headfucking climax of consumerism and consumption,
the magic and
the glitter and
the feelings and tensions and releases.
All that stuff.
All of it.
All the tradition.
the handing down of statements, beliefs legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth by practice: a story that has come down to us by popular tradition.
something that is handed down.
a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting.
a continuing pattern of culture beliefs or practices.
a customary or characteristic method or >manner.
blah etc blah ….
So much is ingrained at a young age end passed on by generations.
For so many people.
Not me, not any more, I’ve made some adjustments to my ways, and that’s what I came here to tell you about today.
I don’t hark back to happy sparkly memories of childhood holiday fun. The people I was with at the time are all gone. This isn’t the place for detail – this isn’t a rabbithole of self pity – it’s just the context for what I’m writing about. And a nod to those who feel the same way. We know we aren’t alone, and we know we aren’t supposed to talk about it – it’s something like the emperor’s new clothes thing – if we begin to question why everyone is getting so tangled up in a frenzy of guilt induced consumption and confusion it all could just fall apart before us.
Here’s what I’m doing: I’m making my own traditions.
They are just for me. I don’t have kids, so these aren’t the foundation for any future other than my own. I started this a year ago, and in repeating them they’re evolving into my new traditions. They have meaning. They are a framework and a structure in an otherwise fairly arbitrary layout of days and free-floating lifestyle.
These short days and long nights at the turn of the year are my retreat. Amongst the usual duties of the days, amid the outside chaos, I’m squeezing in some extra time. Time in my home in candle glow, with my books and my music and my thoughts.
Balancing on today’s apex I look out in both directions: Reflecting & Consolidating; Planning & Wishing. Taking time to just soak in my life, look at what I’ve done and felt and learnt since the last time.
Since this time last yearI’ve been blessed to meet and share time with some wonderful people who’ve brought me new understanding and genuine heartfelt joy. I’ve uncovered new music, new ideas, new strategies and new wisdoms.
I’ve begun to take better care of this body and soul. Forgiven her indiscretions and daftnesses. Appreciated her well meaning and abilities. Accepted her doings and goings as the best she could have done given what she had and knew at the time. Acknowledged she needs time, she needs peace and she needs rest, I realised no-one but me can allow this.
I’m trying to show her more kindness.
I’ve released a bunch of judgments.
I’m learning to reframe.
Wherever you are in this season, I wish you and your dearests an abundance of wellness and peace. Go gently, dear friends, be love. X
I’m not rushing or hustling the old year out, I’m not one to wish my days away, but I am dipping newest thoughts into next month already.
Next month – Next year – Next incarnation ofbeing me in this life.
While I’m indifferent to the big new years fuss that happens around midnight on 31 December, I do love the clean freshness of 1 January every time it comes round.
So much so, I don’t want to guzzle it all in one day, I want to savour it.
My routine, such that it’s becoming, begins toward the end of November and by Winter Solstice it’s up to full speed. Those last 10 days of the year represent the closing up of the old year. Loose ends neatly bundled, filed under the past.
To kick off I’m going to take on Belinda Fireman’s #selflove365 adventure of a daily 1″ square drawing.
I bought a concertina sketch book way back – I think with the intention to take it away on a trip – but either it didn’t go with me, or I didn’t find the time to fill the pages. Either way, it’s fresh and ripe and raw!
Yesterday (last year) I had a little rant about New Year’s Jumblings. Cos I don’t really understand a lot of it. Cos it doesn’t make sense.
But that was Then. This is Now!
And as I promised, here are the New Wishes I’m beginning my version of 2015 with:
To double the weight I can lift now.
I began weight training 3 months ago. It’s been damned hard, I hurt and ache more of the time than I don’t.
But I get the biggest buzz from it, and have squashed so many mental blocks and phobias along the way already. And I quietly amuse myself with thoughts of how absurd this seems in comparison to my first 4 decades on this planet.
If the previous version of me heard me wish this (even earlier last year), she would have fallen off the sofa laughing. Then asked me what I was on, and could she have some 😉
So, I’m small and flimsy, but I’m doing my best. And my best is (gradually) getting better. (For the record, I’m dead lifting 1/2 my OBW now. Just!)
And in turn my yoga practice is getting stronger and a whole lot less fally-over with my new found sense of balance!
To Live my Art.
Art has always been at my core.
It’s the centre of my being. It’s my purpose. I always knew this.
And for all that long time I dismissed it as frills and extras – when space and time permitted – to getting on with the serious job of not enjoying of life. WTF? Yes, old thinking, bad programming, obsolete life plan.
So if you’ve read my previous witterings you’ll know I embarked on the art school adventure just a few short years ago, and I now plan to move on from art student (my highest ideal when I began) to actual real live artist!
The tension in my shoulders, the stupid things I did and said, the wanting things to be different from how they are, the wishing those wasted years back, the constant want of approval, congratulation, praise and ego bolstering.
Let it all go.
The need to make everyone laugh. Or think differently from how they are. Or be other than they are. All those judgements, the blame, the remorse, all that past – the whole darned lot of it!
There’s stuff I don’t know if I need to let go of, or persevere with – y’know that quandary? Yup, let that needing to know go too.
If it matters, it won’t go far.
So that’s the essence of my Three Big Wishes.
I also wish you well, as well. Be well, lovely folks! X
NY Resolutions with a subtext: I must try harder, be this-er or that-er. I’ll do more of the things I don’t want to and less of the things I enjoy. All those unrealistic, unwanted demands pinned to a future version of self. So often they’re rolled out – same every year – safe in the understanding it’s just empty words that can be consigned to oblivion by the time you go back to the usual routines next week. Do you do this?
Fuck it, yeh? Never really meant it anyway.
And we begin this dramatically different, new phase of life with indigestion, a banging hangover, the tormentful regrets of the hazily recalled night before….
‘did I really say/do that? did that happen? what did happen? …..?’
Cos that makes sense, doesn’t it?
….so it’s just another Wednesday night in my world, then?
Like the New Moon on the Winter Solstice just 10 days ago, like every New Moon, New Month, Birthday (personal New Year) I like to set New Wishes. It’s punctuation in my life: a pause for consolidation, review, and rev up for the next phase.
Tomorrow I’ll share with you my first Wishes of the New Year.
Meanwhile I wish you all, dearest digital friends, the happiest of beginnings to this new phase. May it bring you abundance and joy beyond you expectations. Love to you all X
I often find I have a word in mind for a period of time – I’ll jot it in amongst diary scribblings. Earlier this year was a period I called transition – it named the phase I was finishing up my studies and also handing over a bunch of my work to someone else. A release of the old and opening to the next – in sure and safe knowledge I had no idea at all what that next would entail! I named other months consolidation, transform, and flow.
The process sets out to imagining and exploring possibilities, dreams, aspirations and desires for the next 12 months. What’s the overarching feel for this year? What’s the biggest wish that will help the smaller wishes come to pass? What’s the magic guidance to hold my hand into the coming year?
Like a few others in the group, no single word that expressed the exact what-I-wanted-ness of it showed up. It was a bit like Stretch, or kinda like Explore, or something…something… that sounds like horizon but not so literal and feels like limitless but phrased in a positive way. So I settled (for now) on the two words: Reach Beyond.
I’ve got ideas, I’ve got aims and targets and goals to strive for and stretch toward but not to be limited by, I want to Reach Beyond them.
Part of the process is using a Pinterest board to gather imagery, memes and themes, words and whatnot, that embody the essence of the word(s) for the new year.
I don’t know where this will go – it might just sit here forever or it might add something to the way the months pan out, I can let you in a year!
It’s a fun and harmonising process – if it sounds like your kinda thing I heartily encourage you to spare some thought, if time allows, what will your 2015 feel like?
I tend to think of the period from Winter Solstice as my New Year. That slow muddle of Sunday feeling holiday-days that ache on for the last ten days of the year, as the season turns and the days get longer, it seems the time for reviewing and recounting, consolidating and setting new hopes.
2014 has been a full and fast flung year in my world.
I finished college (for now) – I learnt a bunch of new skills including animation and film editing which I’ll show you some of soon.
I made some big changes with my ‘day job’ – the regular bill-paying part of my life, I’ve released some of the duties and in doing so I’ve also released some much needed hours each week not to mention a load of responsibilities which has sat uncomfortably on my shoulders for long enough.
I’ve gained an acceptance for some areas of my life that have been hanging in a state of limbo. I’m biding my time with equanimity and letting the future unfold in its own way.
I’ve made a radical lifestyle change, dropping old habits that were no longer serving any good purpose. (I even acknowledged they probably never did serve that much good.) And they are now in the past.
I’ve adopted some new regimes of a very healthful and positive nature. All these years I’d lived so much inside my head, like my body was just the transportation system used by the mind and spirit. So I’m addressing this misbalance. It aches and complains, but it’s just waking up. We are beginning to work together in better harmony.
Some old friendships rekindled, some new ones just beginning, it all feel right. I began to explore directions for my immediate future. It is very exciting times!
I’m making a journal for the new year, which as the Solstice starts a new moon too, I began from it then. I’m enjoying the making process, and it’s another invented as it goes along adventure. And like all the rest of them, it’s a work in progress that isn’t exactly finished (the making stage) before beginning (the using stage). Kinda overlapped.
Over the years I’ve used regular diaries, journals, notebooks, sketchbooks, heaps of loose paper and the backs of envelopes to record the events, the thoughts and feelings, the minutiae, that collectively forms my days. On assessing the amount of rescued and recycled paper I’ve amassed, this time I decided to make my own book. I was surprised how easy it turned out to be. If you’ve ever considered doing this, here’s how I did mine…
Here’s a thing about shop bought books – you wanna stick in new bits and pages, lists and the like, scrips and scraps and souvenirs and reminders. So either you gotta make space by extracting some of the pages it was bought with often leaving the binding loose and flimsy or severed and prone to accidental page-drop…. Or you live with a bulging wedge shaped book that won’t shut flat. Which is fine, in both cases, absolutely fine.
But if it’s a book of my own inventing… can I bypass that whole thing?
This fitted with the predicament of using recycled letterheads: once the letterheaded part was sliced off, the resulting folded in half size makes for fairly small pages. Not so compatible with big loopy writing that makes up words who need space to play in. So here comes the multipurpose wide page/thin page idea!
I’m thinking the thin pages will be ideal for post it notes and small folded pages to be stuck in. And they are list shaped too and I love a good list! Consequently my book is starting it in the reverse wedge shape and will, in time, plump out into a flat book shape.
The actual binding part (this is Coptic, but there are numerous ways to string a book here). My teacher is Sea Lemon. She is very neat and precise and I am not, so please don’t judge her instruction by my results! I looked at a few how to videos and found hers the simplest to follow. Then went ahead, broke all the rules, and did my own thing loosely based on this technique. People fall into two camps: those who embrace the slapdash yet sturdy approach and those who wince at the evidently hand cobbled outcome. If you fall into the latter camp, brace yourself, or click away now.
The paper is neatly cut to size approximately and the stringing holes were measured. Perhaps not really accurately. The knots are good and knotty.
I guess my reasons for sharing the guts of this cobbled affair with you is to say – If you’re at all interested in converting a pile of unwanted paper into a book you can use for whatever you fancy – scrap booking, journaling, some form of record keeping or and fancy schmancy writing and drawing doings – then even if you’re a careless, cack-handed hurrier like me – it can be done! Go and give it a whizz. If it doesn’t work…? well if the paper was already destined for the recycling box then you only postponed its destiny, used up a little but of time and in all likelihood learnt some useful life lessons along the way.