Here’s to a New Year!

Happy 2017!

I did not intend to have such a blank spot in this blog after beginning a few months ago. I wrote up an editorial calendar of all the posts I intended to write for two months a few days before the election. Like many others, the election really threw me for a loop. I had a hard time concentrating on anything. The election and the response to it from both sides has called into question my values, my vision for the future, and frankly, my vision for this blogging adventure of mine.

To add to the mix, at the end of November, I retired from my 16 year career as a massage therapist. I planned for the retirement, but the reality of letting go of the career I loved so much when everything else seemed to be up in the air only added to my confusion and inertia. I expected a certain amount of inertia, it goes along with retirement for a few months, but had not planned on the sadness and fear I have been feeling due to the election.

However, here we are. It is January, a time for new beginnings, and I have had over a month of retirement and two months of post-election wallowing. I am ready to shake off the doldrums and get to work on my plans for the rest of my life. I am ready to meet whatever comes with the political climate. Not resigned to it, but ready to resist and to stand up for my beliefs and values and the rights of all people.

I figure out what I am thinking and feeling by writing and making art. I feel that now, more than ever, the world needs people who are figuring themselves out and expressing themselves.

Being creative has made me braver. The world needs bravery and courage, it needs people able to express themselves thoughtfully, not just with knee-jerk responses on social media.

So, I am still here, and I’ll be writing and sharing, and making art and sharing. I hope you will join me, whether online or in person. I have updated my classes and events page with a wonderful two part class I am teaching with my friend, Tina Abbott. It is a class about getting curious about what really lights you up, and how to make those things happen for you in the New Year. It is more than making resolutions, read the description for more.

Unfortunately, we have canceled the two part class, and will be announcing it at a later date. I have 3 dates for beginning art journaling classes in my studio on the classes and events page, if you are interested.

Post-election Reflections

It helps to write it out...
It helps to write it out…

I had planned a very different post-election 2016 post, I allowed myself, in the last couple of days before election day, to get excited and very emotional about a woman president.

But, here we are, four days post-election, and I am still emotional but not excited. I’m not going to write about all the reasons I’m not happy with the result, but I do want to point out the most discouraging statistic, for me, from the outcome:

53% of white women voted for Trump. This statistic lifted a veil from my eyes. We still live in a white supremacist patriarchy, and the majority of white women voters are ok with that.

White women voted for exclusion against inclusion. They voted for a person and a party that are eager to shut down what little progress has been made for women’s reproductive choice, for equal pay for women in the workplace, for basic dignity rights for women not to be sexually harassed in the workplace or elsewhere. They voted for a system that has children of immigrant parents, and black and brown children waking up afraid and being bullied at school and in the community because of hate speech practiced by the candidate for whom they voted. As a woman, mother, grandmother—HUMAN BEING, I cringe and cry for these children and their parents.

What I have decided so far with this election I am so opposed to is this: I am still passionate about working with creativity and I believe that art saves, art illuminates, art opens our eyes–I am more dedicated than ever to my own art-making AND to opening the eyes of all of us through creative expression.

I hope you’ll join me. Make a journal page that expresses your sadness, joy, anger, fear and transform your feelings into a message of love and action. Write out your anger, fear, sadness and what you can do about it, figure out a way to dress that expresses your solidarity with those who are afraid or being harassed. Make dinner for a neighbor family. March or show up at a demonstration, raise money for an organization that’s threatened and/or working for change.

My hope for this website and for the classes I will teach in the future is to help people find a way to express themselves through art and through that process, define themselves and make changes to live with courage, creativity and wisdom. The world needs women and men of courage acting with deep wisdom more than ever. I truly, truly believe tapping into our innate creativity is how to reach that courage and deep wisdom.

My favorite season

Fall is my favorite season
Fall is my favorite season

I love fall! My birthday is in September, so it always feels special for that reason, and for me it feels like a time of new beginnings, much more so than January 1. A couple of years ago I started setting up my calendars and planner to start in September, I seem to have much more energy for planning goals and implementing new ideas in September than I do in January.

I have had the idea for for this website and blog since January of this year, and I have worked on it, a little more off than on, for these 9 months. True to form, something kicked in at the beginning of this month, when I was setting up my planner, and now I am ready and September is the auspicious start!

One year ago this month, I qualified for both social security and a small pension, and I quit working as an employee at a massage clinic where I had worked for 14 years. I kept working at my private massage business, but now, I am winding that down as well to devote myself to the things I’ve always wanted to do, which is to write and make art. This blog is integral to my life change…I will be writing about the changes I have gone through to get to this place, sharing books I think are important, and sharing my art.

In this season of new beginnings, I am starting over yet again, as I have many times before. As I am sure you have, too. Change is good, change is scary, change is exciting—it means we are alive and growing. It is never too late to begin again and to evolve into the person you always wanted to be.

In this season of harvest we can gather all the goodness of our lives, even the difficult times, and focus them into a more full & fruitful harvest of the dreams we may have put aside in busier seasons of life, and become the person we always wished we could be.

My wish is that you will want to join me in this journey by signing up for my weekly newsletter. I will link to each week’s blog posts and keep you updated about upcoming classes and events.