I sat with my beautiful moon group last night in G's cozy office (imagine an office that is actually a little cottage in the woods, which you find by following the trail of white shells through the forest in the moonlight. Imagine an office scented with woodsmoke, sandalwood, and beeswax, with a roaring fire in the woodstove, warm throws on the cozy couches, bookshelves full of sacred women's wisdom, the sound of raven calls and soft rain falling outside...) Together we breathed a sigh of relief to be letting go of 2009. It was a year of big challenges and changes for all of us. It's been difficult for me to sit down to the important ritual of a year end review, because it was such a challenging year. It wasn't a year of showy accomplishments or big adventures. But after sitting down with my circle of women, and also spending some time with the "virtual circle" of creative women whose blogs I follow, I feel ready to gently look at the year that just passed, its sadnesses and subtle gifts, its questions and celebrations... and let it go. So here is my little celebration of 2009, through the lens of my 7 keys to an artful life:
move your body daily joyfully
I'm so grateful that 2009 found my love of dance flooding back after an absence of several years. I loved organizing co-teaching the second annual women's sacred dance retreat with Gillian over the Vernal Equinox, and leading a weekend mini-retreat in the North in May. Performing with Gillian at the Dances of Hope benefit was a highlight. Teaching a weekly private class to an amazing group of artful women kept me moving through the hot summer and into the fall. A fall class in Restorative Yoga opened my spirit to new possibilities for physical learning & healing, and brought lessons in surrender and trust.
nurture your precious spirit-self
I'm grateful for the many early mornings I was able to spend in meditation & study with my sweetie. Together we read and studied the writings of Shantideva, Pema Chodron, Chogyam Trungpa, and Thich Nat Han. I'm also glad to have begun working with my beautiful moon circles, both face-to-face and here on the blog. Setting intentions for each moon has become a really powerful and positive practice for me.
practice loving self-care
I lost 14 pounds in 2009, and I did it in a slow, steady, healthy way. I'm really proud of that. I had some help in doing some profound personal healing, and I'm really proud of that, too. I made lots of little changes which have allowed me to take better care of myself on many levels, ranging from a new hairstyle and make-up regime that makes me feel really cared for, to better self-discipline in the way I organize my days.
find your authentic livelihood
Livelihood has been one of the biggest challenges of 2009. Some things worked and lots just didn't. I'm proud of my continued hard work and dedication to my ceramics business. I enjoyed having an open studio through the summer and meeting so many clients and getting so much wonderful feedback. I studied so many business books and marketing blogs, I feel like I've learned a lot that I'm eager to put into practice in 2010! Little highlights have been: making over the Terra Home blog, designing a gorgeous custom fireplace for a client (most fun job of 2009), participating in the pottery studio tour in May, attending & participating in the dragon kiln firing in March, designing a new line of dishes in October.
create a tranquil home
I read a wonderful book in June about creating a sense of sanctuary in your home. I made some little changes this year that brought me closer to that ideal; a room makeover for my daughter, new floor and baseboards in my bedroom make it feel like the shiny sanctuary I've always wanted it to be, I made over two old pieces of furniture into faux chinese antiques - LOVE them! Whitewashed the livingroom floor, fenced off a big area for a veggie garden, took down a number of trees to bring in more winter sunshine (and winter firewood!), switched to all home made eco-friendly cleaning products, put in a new kitchen sink, taps, and countertop (happy shinyness!)...and... committed to keeping my desk clean!
tap into abundant creativity
Creative flow is one of the big gifts and blessings of my life, for which I am always grateful. For me, creativity is a constantly flowing, fresh stream - my real challenge is finding enough time and peace of mind to manifest all the wonderful ideas! Highlights for 2009 were the times I got to share my creativity, teaching art and dance and helping clients design beautiful spaces.
cultivate healthy relationships
I loved spending more fun time with my daughter, who'll be flying the nest soon - I treasured our time spent in the kitchen together, or watching trashy TV with popcorn and cocoa, or indulging in yoga/swim/steam at the local spa. I deepened and renewed family connections during my cousin's wedding week, and will always remember the spontaneous skinny dip with my aunt, cousin, and daughter, in the lake below the site of our old family cottage - pure magic!! Last but not least, another highlight was rescuing our little dog Chloe, who has brought so much laughter and fun into the house:
I'm giving away one of these sweet leafy ceramic dishes to one reader on january 11. To be entered in the giveaway, just go to this post and leave a comment.