Start Where You Are // New Year

I’ve spent the last couple weeks enjoying a slower pace. Practicing silence. The silence I crave during busy times like the holiday season. I have a few rituals at the start of a calendar new year to sort of reset a bit. First I sign off of social media for a few weeks, which I’m only actively on Instagram, so not that difficult. I get back to organizing my studio, get old projects wrapped up and line up new ones. I tend to get back to blogging, or more importantly, writing, a thing I love so much but have trouble making time for. And catching up on a lot of reading, or in my case lately listening to audiobooks. I’ve already completed 4 titles this year.

I enjoy this slower time to get back to my creativity and rest. The rest helps with the creativity. As much as I am a summer child, I sort of enjoy the quiet, slower pace the winter brings. I’ve had a few days where all I could do was sit under a blanket with the wood burning fireplace roaring away. And I find it’s exactly what I need.

As in yoga, honor the body, also honor the mind. Honor the being. Be present and feel what is needed in that moment.

Start where u are

For the past 5 years I’ve downloaded and used Susannah Conway’s workbook Unravel. It’s a great way to look back on the past year and make some assessments, as well as ponder the next year to come. I often think about how the new year falls in the northern hemisphere, as we are in winter so there’s more indoor introspection going on. I wonder how different it must be for our friends to the south. I have a ritual of not looking back at the prior year’s Unravel until I’ve filled out the current one, as to not be influenced by my previous thoughts/plans/ideas.

In retrospect of 2017, there were a few things I didn’t get to and a few tasks still left unanswered. But my ability to assess grew better, I was more aware, I was better at practicing silence, I was better at working through emotions, I was better at weathering the ebbs & flows. And that is more of an achievement than I can ever hope for.

As I continue my self awareness journey, the journey inward, I can only hope and plan for more growth in 2018.

In addition to Unravel and choosing a word, I set up my new Bullet Journal for the year ahead. I was happy with my 2017 set up so I will continue the same style going forward, with a few adjustments as seen here.

Also, I started to dive into this guided journal from Meera Lee Patel Start Where You Are. I’m a fan of her cards and artwork.

I found a great pocket moon calendar for the year at Amazon here. As a Cancer, a moon child, I learned a lot more about how this influences my life this past year. I paid more attention to the phases & how it correlates to mood. I learned more about the cycles and their impact overall. Again, being aware. Looking forward to more growth in this aspect in 2018.

A few new things for the new year. I don’t like resolutions. And goals sounds too business-like. So they are just new ideas, new wants or new things to try…

I’ve been dabbling in the study of aromatherapy – I want to learn more about this from herbs to essential oils to the Ayurveda approach. I really would like to try to make my own soy candles.

There’s also organization to be done. Some things are just still unfinished. Others need a refresh. I always find a little organization refresh in the studio seems to jump start the creating process as well. Love that connection.

I have some professional goals as far as studying and taking a test for a certification I’ve been considering for a couple years.

I would like to make more progress on a physical representation of my ancestry and see the results of the work I’ve put into that research. This takes quite a bit of time and I still haven’t figured out exactly how I am displaying or publishing what I’ve found.

And finally, we are discussing the idea of pet ownership again, by maybe the end of the year. So something to look forward to.

I feel like I’m off to a good start. Here’s to 2018!

 

 

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Bullet Journal // 2017 Review & 2018 Set Up

 

I started using a Bullet Journal style notebook in 2015. {check out here and here}

I used the same type of notebook for 2017 (made by Japanese brand Ca.Crea, & purchased at Zulily) and made a few changes for my setup.

My setup is very simple! I don’t do overly detailed pages or embellishment on pages. I set it up to be as useful as possible and the best part is as a blank notebook, it can be changed in any way as the year goes on. If a layout isn’t working or I need a different kind of list, just flip the page and start. I love this part of the Bullet Journal concept most, versus being confined by a date book/planner.

I also like that it is more of a record log that I can refer back to when working on memory keeping projects.

See photos below for more detail of what worked for me in 2017 and what I am changing for 2018. The blank set up for 2018 is pictured below.

Check out the video for a more detailed look with my thoughts:

 

bujo what worked

bujo what didn't work

bujo New 2018

bujo pilot pen

Pilot Multiball pen

bujo gratitude

bujo

bujo

bujo layout

bujo recipes

bujo

bujo

bujo

bujo stabilo

bujo pen

 

My Word for 2018 // Center

I’ve been choosing a word for the year for quite some time. Check out here, & here.

Generally my word for the next year starts to emerge in my world in October or November. What I mean by that is it’s something that keeps coming up in conversations or books or podcasts or anything I am listening to or reading. I definitely let my word choose me versus my trying to pick it.

I didn’t (or so I thought) have this happen last year and was mostly resigned to stick with my same word (expression) from 2017. I felt I wasn’t yet done with it and I would continue with that and the same sub-words (which I’ve had a couple of years now): focus & light. I wanted to move focus a little more towards the center where I thought it needed to be.

During December Reflections on Instagram with Susannah Conway, I even declared my same word for 2018 and wrote out my feelings on that.

December 31 Insta post

In the beginning of the calendar year I always pull back a bit, practicing silence, signing off and out of social media apps. I read, slowly get back to my routine and mostly rest. This time of year always has a way to get me back to my center.

I was listening to the audio book The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer, and he was discussing the journey to transcendence and made a statement about centering or being centered and something else about releasing. Aha! Centering. Or center. It was there all along. In my Instagram post about my word expression. In the meditation mantra I’ve been using this year of “I am”. In the idea of moving focus more to the center. It hit me just like that. My word for 2018: Center

Ok, so now I have a word, what does it mean?

Once this happened, I was working in Susannah Conway’s workbook Unravel and was able to go a bit deeper into what center would mean for me. For one, it is about focus as well. It’s about awareness, self-awareness. Centering ties into other virtues I try to adhere to, like with contentment (niyama: Santosha).

So what do I do with this word?

Well for one, I want to be aware of my center. I talk a lot about duality. Darkness & light, ebbs & flows. And I work at being aware of emotions & thoughts, and keeping a balance. I try to find myself in that center. So being aware of extreme emotions, not being overly celebratory or egocentric, and yet not melodramatic or sinking into the lows. For me awareness & recognition always lead to a change in habits & growth.

And how exactly do I put this into practice?

Awareness is another word for meditation or practice for me. A consistent yoga practice helps, asana practice (or postures) is very centering for me. Meditation gives me a chance to recognize what is going on in my head, heart & body. Only with recognizing what is happening, can I then see where adjustments need to be made. All of these practices contribute to centering.

Keeping my word visible helps. Even a simple sticky note in my general eye line at work helps.

I’ve also felt a desire to focus more on the heart chakra (anahata) which is the center of the 7 chakra energy centers.

It’s energizing when the universe leaves these breadcrumbs and even more miraculous when I actually am aware & start to collect them!

Have you chosen a word for 2018? How will you practice your word? Do you do any sort of scrapbook projects with?

I am planning to make a page about my word.