Reflecting in Ice

We’re entering another deep freeze here in Chicagoland, which is perfect for holing up. This week I am doing a writer’s retreat in my own town, since the unpredictable weather had me leery of driving up to the White Pines.

I am looking forward to focusing on my September plans which were derailed by Harvey. While the trauma and drama of this weather event was uninvited, I also saw a lot of good come out of it, and am grateful I had the time and means to assist my family in the aftermath.

My heart goes out to those who dealt with devastating events, and I am well aware that while ‘the news’ moves on to current headlines, the impact of one day or one week in time has repercussions that continue to ripple.

I wish strength and comfort and faith to those still struggling to recover from their personal devastation.

Meanwhile, I strive to focus on the positive, and will continue to do so. There is a lot to be grateful for.

So live joyfully, find the good in life, and know that you have an impact beyond your own perception. You are in this world to brighten someone else’s life, and whatever you feel called to do is indeed your purpose here.

Here’s to a fresh start in 2018, and a continuation of all the good you are striving toward. Keep on keeping on. The universe will make a way for you to achieve your dreams.

Refreshing

The more I get to know authentic people, the more “anti-resolutions” the input becomes around new years. I agree with not setting unrealistic goals for yourself, especially those driven by ridiculous image standards, but I also like the concept of using the new year as a re-set.

2015VisionBoard

Halfway through reading Essentialism my life became quite un-essentialist, and it is time to re-prioritize.

ReadingEssentialism

I caught up on my holiday correspondence over New Year’s weekend.

NYCards

Leisure books and books about jewelry provided relaxation and inspiration as I hibernated for a mini-staycation.

leisurebooks

I did a cleanse last Spring but old habits soon crept in and as the year got busier I fell into the late night snacking trap. In November Svetlana of MyHealthBeet came out with the 2-week Shred program, but it took me until this week to read the program and also make sure the tempting foods were out of the house.

ShredBeginning

Rather than diet, I just want to be more mindful of what I eat and to stop the eating-while-multi-tasking pattern. If my clothes are still snug 3 months from now, I will review the 2-5 year old wardrobe instead. My body isn’t 20 anymore, and I am healthy and active, thanks to ample workout opportunities at Hip Circle Studio.

MoxieBoxingAngel

Next week I hope to get some assistance organizing my studio closets so I have better storage than the regular explosion on my futon. In anticipation I am looking at other areas to streamline, but I am trying not to do so much pre-work that the professional I called in cannot get a picture of what I need.

StudioOrgBooks

My lightbulbs all decided on a fresh start this month too, so I got some replacements and was baffled by the Reveal vs. Incandescent vs. Daylight options (and googling it gets waayyy to technical). I’ll try daylight in the studio and see what that does.

lightbulbquandary

There is still a lot of year-end closing out to do for the business, and one angel got a make-over after being passed over 2 years in a row.

angelmakeover

This year’s newbies are getting their photoshoot this month so I have them ready to upload by November.

ornamentshoot

Whether I will stick to Etsy or use an alternate store (or both) is subject to the legal review and some research still sitting on my desk.

ReviewingSellerSpaces

Lots to check off, right? Good thing I have a WHOLE new year!

Planning

The last week of January has arrived with a spike in energy. Mercury just went into retrograde, and it has me rearranging and prioritizing things on the home, business and financial front.

Teamwork seems to be the theme of the past few weeks. Spreading out responsibilities and engaging experts to assist me has been a revelation. My worst case scenarios are mere figments of my imagination. There are always options, everything is negotiable, and generally people want to please and be helpful.

Snowdusting

It is quite a lesson after being stoically self-sufficient for several years. Asking for assistance doesn’t mean losing one’s independence, it merely taps into the strengths of others and allows them to shine on your behalf.

As I interact with these helpers, I am also reminded of my past accomplishments, which took so much time and effort to achieve but that I now take for granted. I checked it off and moved on, setting the bar higher for myself.

BigLove

Then there are the un-checked items — particularly on the home improvement front — that I intend to revisit and at the very least get estimates for. Having contractors around the building this past summer alerted me to all the ‘someday improvements’ that have lingered for years.

We have a tendency to ‘put up’ with things when we don’t think we have the funds or the time to deal with it. For years I put up with a bathroom door that banged into my toilet and required squeezing past the door. It only took a day to have it flipped, and didn’t break the bank, but I held off on doing it for years.

doorflipsm

The sense of spaciousness made me giddy with joy, and it became a revelation of how we overcomplicate things in our heads when we don’t have the expertise to do it ourselves. The unknown can create so much inertia.

I’m looking forward to pushing through the scary variables and let others help me improve my home and my life. The only way to honor life is to live it fully, and to fix what is worn out or not functioning. I’m excited about the coming months and what the year has to offer.

Brightness

2013 planning

A friend referred me to Leonie Dawson’s “Incredible Year” planners, which I ordered in December. After getting stuck on formal business planning, this has become a lovely alternative to kicking off the new year.

Critical to the process is closing out 2012. Leonie offers exercises to look back and determine what was accomplished, what could be changed, and even includes a rant session. Then she has us say farewell to the old, and get ready for the new.

planning

It’s not that her exercises are new to me. I think the difference is that she makes it fun. We don’t have to plan in a linear fashion. She writes to skip pages if they don’t sing to us. And she acknowledges that life won’t sing to us sometimes, and offers lists to get us out of times ‘when everything sucks’.

I filled out some pages with ease, and others took me weeks to mull over. I still haven’t figured out what my dream vacation would look like, but I am determined to schedule one.

For the business I will supplement her worksheets with those of the $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, and experiment with other articles and exercises as well. But it felt good to have permission to do this at my own pace, in my own way, rather than pushing through page 2 to get to page 3.

bizbrainstorm

My word of the year took a bit of internal arguing this year. I had a few, but the strongest emotion came from ‘magic’. It wasn’t a good emotion. Magic doesn’t feel actionable. Magic feels silly. It implies suspending disbelief, it connotes sitting back and watching things sparkle, it’s not something I can just ‘do’: I don’t have control over it.

Once the word popped up, every single day had a reference to magic, whether a quote or a song, an image or a comment someone made.

RussellQuote1

And maybe that’s the message. To not overthink this year. To do what I can, to fill out the 100-things-to-do list, set my goals and add the daily steps by which to achieve them, to improve on good habits, but to also let the magic in.

So let’s have a magical year, shall we?

Happy 2012!

I hope you clinked in the new year surrounded by loved ones who have supported you in the past and will continue to cheer you on in the coming year.

champagne flutes by Maike's Marvels

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
~ Ayn Rand 

 May your new year be filled with good fortune.

fortunes from Pei Wei

And if you are stressing over new year’s resolutions, just keep this lovely thought by Kay Foley in mind:

Purpose by Kay Foley

I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with you.

Wrapping up the year

Everyone is meant 
to fulfill their destiny on earth 
in their own unique way

I haven’t been able to keep up with Radvent in real time, but the posts address things I have thought through as I did write my responses. I also have touched upon some of these topics in my own musings over the past year, which makes our journey pretty universal. In using a blog both as a diary and as a way of self-discovery, every person will have thoughts about the 25 topics Princess Lasertron has asked us to ponder. We are all evolving beings, after all.

As I am gathered with family and we reflect on the changes between last year and this year, share our adventures of 2011, and ponder our goals for 2012, Radvent’s thought provokers also serve as touch stones for setting up new year’s resolutions.

 “It is never too late to be what you might have been”
George Eliot 

Our year will include challenges, balancing acts, fascination, caring, drawing/doodling/sketching (imagining), starting, travel, comfort, influence, writing, resting, creating (fear-busting), performing, pride, success, rhythm, music, style, identifying, mentoring, wrapping (unhiding), being present, creating magic and becoming.

 “Your intent makes wishes realities
and your wishes tend to come true. … 
Wishes are requests for
an exception to the expectation.”
~Paul Pearsall, Wishing Well

My intent for the new year is to not let my fears hold me back. The worst worry never materializes, and my biggest challenges have been less eventful than imagined.

Daily resolutions include:

  1. Give the positive exponentially more value than the negative
  2. Honor people as they are, including myself
  3. Stick to the artistic journey and give it room to expand, shift gears, grow
  4. Continue to build meaningful relationships (in-person and online)
  5. Draw inspiration from life

“Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt.
The day as it comes. People as they come…
The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present –
and I don’t want to spoil any of it
by fretting about the future.”
Audrey Hepburn 

Have a lovely year-end weekend. May you enter the new year with great joy and anticipation.