For years I've chosen a word at the beginning of each season or sometimes just for a phase of life and it has guided me. It has been an informal and very intentional practice. A few past words are believe, receive, peaceful, abundance, beauty, trust, breathe, begin, hope, fun. In 2012 I experienced coming alive again & feeling peaceful. In 2013 I had a beautiful year full of discovery & I expanded and when it came to a close I had a strong desire to push myself further, and so last year I chose the word unleash to guide me. It came from a very powerful intention and desire to put my passion and creativity and full self out into the world. To truly unleash my potential.
I did just that. I put my art and creative self further out there. I launched the year with a kindness mission which inspired my heart and gave others a small gift (I loved hearing from people how they saved my messages of kindness on their fridge or how it lit up their day or how it felt like the message was aimed directly at them and it was just what they needed to hear). I rented a beautiful studio space, created a sacred space, properly celebrated which is something I don't always do, and joined a creative community that I can walk to. I started documenting inspiring moments and began posting on Instagram and instantly loved the experience of sharing pieces of myself with other beautiful creative souls and having a little window into their lives and work (find me at @redpearcreative). I wrote guest blog posts & shared reflections on my process and work on my own blog. I connected with shop owners and had my work featured in beautiful boutiques. I shared my passion and process with visitors at events & experienced the joy of selling my art. I expanded my products to include notebooks, art blocks, gift wrap, art prints, greeting cards and tote bags. And I pinned my heart out on my Pinterest boards. I set out to unleash myself into the world and I felt like I grew and expanded with every step of the process. What I didn't expect was for a whole new meaning of the word unleash to surface and in some ways collide with the outpouring of work – unleashing from roles and labels, untying myself from things that aren't working, letting go of what I don't need anymore. Almost by force at first, I started letting go of things that weren't serving me. Oversubscribed work commitments, draining interactions, physical clutter, big ideas that were too big for this time in my life, expectations, limiting labels, unnecessary rules. It was a choppy journey and by the end of the year I was feeling depleted and sort of lost. I was struggling on the mama front, and struggling to remember who I was. It wasn't until I withdrew entirely and unplugged for a few weeks that I started to see it was all taking shape. I was becoming. I was going through that rough patch that seems like there's no reason but at the end you look back and see with simple clarity that it was all necessary. It was during this I started to feel the word quiet spreading over me like a warm blanket.
Now as I am firmly planted in a new year I find the word quiet is my guiding force. This is a time for hibernation, going within, reflection, renewal, closeness, smallness, gentleness. I am feeling quiet on all fronts. I am not expanding big, but instead I am expanding in small subtle and quiet ways. It is a soul expansion rather than a tangible material expansion. And it extends beyond me, beyond self, to those I love most dearly, and to what I feel is most important in life. It is a quiet re-discovery of who I am and what my place is in this world. This is my way forward. And of course I am still making and creating, and doing it very intentionally.
p.s. Quiet art prints available in shop.