Posts Tagged With: New Year


Night's hush descending. 12/29/11. Canon A3300 IS.

Night's hush descending. 12/29/11. Canon A3300 IS.

I’ve been silent in this space two days past a month.  Putting 2011 to bed took a lot of energy, and stirred up a lot of emotions.  The dawning of 2012 has been much the same, taking a lot of energy, and stirring up a lot of emotions.

Energy and emotions have flown fast and free, but words and images are scarce.  The photograph above, while not perfect, was the first thing I’d felt like photographing in weeks at the time, one taken on the fly as I ran out after dinner for pre-New Year’s errands.

The truth is, I’m still processing.  I’m still processing how 2011 ended, and still feeling my way into 2012.

I hope to find words soon.  Until then, I will sink in and savor the quiet.

Categories: Photographs, Verbal Snapshots | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Beginning 2011: Word of the Year, Color of the Year, & Intentions In Visual Form

2011 is off to a bright start.  I gave 2010 an upbeat send-off Saturday and spent the rest of the weekend considering what I want out of this brand new year.

First up…

My Word of the Year

As 2010 wound down, my word of the year started cropping up all over the place.  It was suddenly frequenting the greeting when I signed into Yogaglo.  (I signed into Yogaglo every single day last month, during a self-imposed 31 days of yoga challenge, which I am repeating this month.)  A dear friend sent me a few of Jen Lemen’s (now out-of-print) inspirational notes at the end of November, one of which had my word of the year in it.  My word jumped out at me everywhere between Thanksgiving and the New Year, sort of like the teenage girls in old footage of Elvis appearances or Beatlemania.

“Pick me!  Pick me!” it screamed,  “Oh, please pick me!  I am destined to be your word!”

At first I didn’t want to.  It scared me.  But I sat with it, heard it out, and had an epiphany: this is bedrock, bedrock that I’ve largely been missing.  Somewhere along the way across the past few years, I lost it.  When I realized that, I stopped fighting.  I let it settle in.  I’m comfortable with it, and I look forward to seeing where it takes me.  I know it’s going to take me to my edges, push me up against the walls of my comfort zone , forcing me to move those walls, but I know I’ll learn a great deal and grow.

Last year, I chose my word.  This year, my word chose me.

Without further ado, here it is, given form by the pendant that will soon be hanging around my neck as an ever-present (or nearly ever-present) reminder:

I'll be wearing my word of the year around my neck, thanks to this lovely pendant that's on its way to me.

My Word of the Year, Trust, in necklace form.

Yes, Trust is my guide word for 2011.  Eeek.

Near the Winter Solstice, I had a little chat with my stucknesses.  I asked them why they were there.

Basically, it all boils down to trust.

…Trust in myself, in my inner compass, and that I can handle whatever life presents me with.

…Trust that I’ll be able to find prosperous work (that is fulfilling instead of draining) after this job ends, as it is supposed to soon, with my boss’s retirement.

…Trust in my fellow human beings unless my gut says otherwise, rather than cutting myself off so often, because sometimes I don’t even feel I can trust my nearest and dearest enough to be vulnerable enough to say what’s on my mind.  (That is all me.  Vulnerability terrifies me.)

…Trust that my dreams are with me for a reason.

…Trust that happiness is waiting for me, and that, if I leap, the proverbial net will, indeed, appear, that my needs will be met.

…Trust that there is, in the words of Julia Cameron, “a divine plan of goodness for me.”

…Trust that everything that happens, happens for a reason; that everything that happens is a learning and growing opportunity.

At first, I wanted to chalk the stuckness up to lack of faith, but faith involves trusting that there’s something in which to have faith.

Trust is going to take practice, but perhaps it is–as it with so many other things in life– in the practice that the value lies.  Every day is a chance to allow it into my life.

My Color of the Year

Until New Year’s Eve, I hadn’t heard about people choosing a color of the year, but Bridget Pilloud, whom I follow on Twitter (really cool, wise lady…go, check her out), posted about it and I felt game.  I took her suggestion, even checking with the color selector, and came up with the color I originally thought:

Golden Sunrise

(Though, obviously, it’s the Color of the Year for 2011.)

You can read Bridget’s full post on the significance of yellow, in general, here.  About my particular shade, she said the following:

“Rebekah, what does it mean to be benevolent with your power? for yourself? for others? This is your year to glow, standing in your power, like a lioness. It sounds gorgeous, doesn’t it? It is! To fully live this, remember your balance and sunny attitude and the recognition that each of us have within the power to change our lives. Shine on Rebekah!”

To this, I heard a deep down, “YES!”

The caveat: I have to trust my ability to stand in my power, and allow myself balance and a sunny attitude.

This past year, for the record, after using the color selector with last year’s concepts and word of the year, was a yellow, too, though a different shade.  2010 was a more primary yellow, all about seeing where my boundaries weren’t working, and the many ways and instances in which I gave my power away, or used it to lash out instead of benefit myself or others.

This year is building on that foundation.

Intentions in Visual Form: My 2011 Vision Board

The last thing I want to share the vision board I began Saturday, on New Year’s Day, and completed yesterday.  It took a while for me to find the images, then combine them in a way that felt right.  But when I did, I let out a deep sigh and smiled.

Here it is:

My 2011 vision board.

My 2011 vision board. (Click to enlarge.)

I am pretty sure it speaks for itself.  In any case, I am going to let it works its own magic instead of trying to spell it all out myself.  It’s presently hanging to the right of my bed where I’ll see it every night I crawl into bed and every morning when I get up, and all the other time I spend in my room.

More to Come…

There is more to come in regard to my 2011.  I am presently working my way through my copy of the ever-lovely Goddess Leonie‘s 2011: Creating My Goddess Year workbook, planner + calendar, and I plan to share a few pages from it tomorrow.  (I’ve been wending my way through it for a few days now.)

For a few other intentions, see last week’s Wishcasting post.

Happy 2011!  May this year be bright, blessed, and filled with happiness!

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2010: The Good Parts

It would be really easy for me to dwell on the all that didn’t happen that I wanted to happen in 2010, to count my “failures,” but I’ve already done that in private.  I’ve already hinted about it on Facebook and been buoyed back up by the blessing of good friends, for which I am truly grateful.

That said, some good things did happen in 2010.  In no particular order, the list:

  1. I finally told certain members of my family that I am no longer to be considered the referee of their quarrels.
  2. By year’s end, I had developed a regular yoga practice.  For the last month, it was daily!
  3. By year’s end, I had also developed a regular meditation practice.  Hurrah!
  4. I became more confident in my abilities as a photographer, and, as a result, entered a local contest.
  5. I placed second in one category of the amateur division of the contest.
  6. Going into the contest, I had printed up some of my best, and showcased a range of styles and subject matter in that collection.
  7. The contest was also a public exhibit.
  8. The people milling around the exhibit really seemed to like my work. (Eavesdropping in this situation, not so bad.)
  9. I was able to go to an inspiring local lecture by a professional photographer who grew up here.
  10. I finally released myself from the half-hearted pursuit of writing a novel.  I figured out it was one of those things that I just assumed I should do, since I like to write and was told most of my life that I’m good at it.  I was beating myself up for never finishing one, when the light bulb went off above my head that I just don’t have the burning passion for it.  I like telling stories, but novels are a different animal entirely.
  11. I took two photo inspiration e-courses, which were a lot of fun.
  12. I bought my first DSLR (in layman’s terms, pro-capable camera) and lens, the (entry-level) Canon EOS Rebel XS EF-S 18-55 mm IS kitWith moral support from my Dad, who went with me to buy it so my penny-pinching tendencies wouldn’t win out.
  13. I did a lot of clarifying what I do and do not want out of life, both through general life circumstance and through taking and completing Mondo Beyondo.
  14. I saved more money than I thought I would, particularly considering that I had two rounds of major car repairs during the year.
  15. I gained a “niece,” the September-born daughter of my friend Misty, and got baby cuddles from her for Christmas.
  16. I wrote: poems, morning pages, journal entries, blog posts.
  17. I started a photo blog.
  18. I got a Twitter account, and have had a lot of fun connecting with new people and existing friends in 140-character bursts.  Some days, that’s all I wanted to publicly say.
  19. I read some really good books, including Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions For An Ordinary Life, The Beauty of Different: Observations of a Confident Misfit, and Women, Food, and God.  (There are more, but these stand out.)
  20. I started some other really good books, which I hope to soon finish: Old Songs In A New Cafe, Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters’ Guide to Shooting from the Heart, and An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith.  (There are more; this is just a sample.)
  21. I made some strides in cleaning out a lot of old mental tapes, and the ones that haven’t been cleaned out I can now recognize them–most of the time–for what they are.
  22. 2010 was the year that my skin was its best since puberty began, thanks to Origins and developing the self-confidence to allow people to see my bare face.
  23. I learned to not live in fear of having a migraine, and, when one came, I learned that fully surrendering–taking my medicine, getting in bed, and breathing through it until I fell asleep–was the best way to get through them, as doing so allowed them to make a quicker exit and also diminished their severity.
  24. I branched out of my photographic comfort zone some this year.  Nature, plants, flowers, etc., are my favorite subjects, but I did well with capturing some architecture, abstract subjects, and light painting this year, too.  (The photograph that placed in the contest was a local statue, the World War I monument, backlit by the noon sun, and captured some nice sun flare.)
  25. I found or was introduced to some really good music: Mumford & Sons, 8mm, Josh Ritter, and Florence + the Machine.

I’m sure there are more, but the top 25 is a good stopping point.  I did live up to my word of the year–bloom–after all, just not in the way I had planned or expected.

Goodbye, 2010.

Welcome, 2011.

Sunrise through a window.

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Belated Wishcasting: Wishes for the New Year

With 2010 ending, I am reflecting and releasing the year and peering into 2011.  This week for Wishcasting, appropriately, the luminous Jamie Ridler asked:

What do you wish for the New Year?

I’ve thought about this.  There are specifics that I am hoping for, but there are the deeper things that the specifics are aimed at achieving.

If all else fails, these are my deepest wishes for the New Year, for 2011:

  • I wish to find my place in the world, somewhere I feel at home, like I belong.
  • I wish to be happy, to feel vibrantly creative and alive.
  • I wish to learn to trust myself, my intuition, the Divine/the Universe.
  • I wish to see the Divine spark in all things and people, even–and especially–when that feels difficult.
  • I wish to fearlessly follow the Muse.
  • I wish for radiant health, not just for me, but for everyone I know.
  • I wish to both give and receive love.

What do you wish for the New Year?  It’s not too late to write down your wishes and join in the wishing circle!

Categories: Wishcasting Wednesdays | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

A Little Project I’ve Been Working On Since New Year’s Eve…

Since December 31st I’ve been working on a little project to ring in my new year, one which I hope will help this year go more smoothly than years past.

What is it?

Well, for now, I’m calling it my 2010 Guidebook.  I’ve gotten some really great tools for setting intentions from several beautiful blogging sources, and put them all together in one place, along with a little idea of my own. 

Here’s the cover of my 2010 Guidebook, proudly displaying my Word of the Year, “bloom,” a photo from Google Images of a blooming lotus, and the quote that inspired its choice…

The front cover of my 2010 Guidebook.
The front cover of my 2010 Guidebook.

The first thing I see when I open it is a printout of this:

A printout of my New Year's Eve/Blue Moon Dreamboard.
A printout of my New Year’s Eve/Blue Moon Dreamboard.

The next thing in the binder is the tool I used to crystallize the intentions behind my Word of the Year:

Christine Kane's "Your Word of the Year Discovery Tool"
Christine Kane’s “Your Word of the Year Discovery Tool”
Writing down my chosen guideword for 2010 and making it official...

Writing down my chosen guideword for 2010 and making it official...

I finished that on New Year’s Eve.

Right now, I am working through the next item in my 2010 Guidebook:

I'm working through Goddess Leonie's '2010: Creating My Goddess Year', too.

I'm working through Goddess Leonie's '2010: Creating My Goddess Year', too.


One of my favorite bits of the "Celebrating and Releasing 2009" section of '2010: Creating My Goddess Year.'

One of my favorite bits of the "Celebrating and Releasing 2009" section of '2010: Creating My Goddess Year.'

Gifts I want to give myself this year. (From '2010: Creating My Goddess Year'.)

Gifts I want to give myself this year. (From '2010: Creating My Goddess Year'.)

Things I would like to release this year...(From '2010: Creating My Goddess Year.')

Things I would like to release this year...(From '2010: Creating My Goddess Year.')

I am still working through 2010: Creating My Goddess Year, getting ever clearer on what I want out of this year spreading out before me and having fun with my wild imaginings!  (Not all of them are wild, of course.  Some are rudimentary.)  If I make resolutions or intentions, at least ones to release publicly, I’ll make them when I finish.

I plan to write a “Dear John” letter to Fear as Pen and the Magpie Girl have done before me and put that in there.

I’ve also placed a few empty, clear sleeves in the back so I can collect little bits of inspiration fitting with my theme, like the tags off of some of my teabags that have inspiring quotes on them, movie ticket stubs from movies that inspired me, pictures, and so forth. 

Another thing I’m working on is something a dear friend of mine and I talked about on New Year’s Eve.  (Go, read her, leave her a welcome-to-the-wider-blogosphere comment!)  I told her about my Word of the Year, and she told me she was doing an overall concept for 2010, with another concept for each month to focus on that will move her toward bringing her ultimate concept to fruition by year’s end.  I really do love this idea!  I intend to write out a concept or theme to focus on for each month of 2010 that will lead me toward reaching full bloom by year’s end.  I’ve already chosen January’s: Holistic Wellness — Mind, Body, & Spirit.  Once I figure them all out, I’m going to type them up in a fun font, print them out, and put that list in my Guidebook.

I’ve never done this before, but I got the idea as I was printing out  2010: Creating My Goddess Year and the Word of the Year Discovery Tool, and ran across Goddess Leonie’s videos on making a To-Do List Book and Scrap Journal.  (I can’t take full credit for coming up with this.  This combines the two concepts a bit, though I do plan on making a separate To-Do List Book.)  When I finish filling everything out, I’m going to keep it in plain sight up on my bookshelf so I don’t forget about it, and will look at it often.  I think having everything–all the hopes and wishes and intentions for the year–all together will help me get the most out of this year.  After, say, February, I almost never look back at my resolutions or intentions lists until the end of the year, either the electronic ones or the ones I’ve written in my paper journal.  They’re out of sight, out of mind, and scattered out, and, therefore, I suspect, mostly don’t get done. 

I so desperately want this year to be different.  I want to bloom into my full potential, to flourish.  Forgetting and being unclear this year just isn’t going to cut it!  Hence the guidebook.  I decided to share this with those who read or stumble across this blog in case anyone else was in my situation, but maybe didn’t have an idea what to do about it.

I’m so grateful to all the originators of the things in my guidebook for putting them out into the world. 

Have a bright and blessed 2010, everyone! 🙂

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