Life

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Everything is changing this year in unexpected ways…

…How I show up in the world
……What I want to accomplish with the rest of my life, aka my “Big Dreams”
………My daily routine
…………The people I surround myself with
……………My mentors and the people I take advice from
………………My art
……………......How I want to build my art business

“If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it”. A much-needed reminder from an artist friend over lunch at The Kitchen last month as I was whinging about the fact I was scheduled to attend a retreat that I was really dreading. I had registered and paid for it, therefore I should go. I had fallen into a “should” trap without realizing it.

And as soon as I made the decision not to attend, a great new opportunity arrived. A reminder to leave space open in life for the opportunities, experiences, and relationships I want to come in.

Work-in-Process

Work-in-Process

The rhythm of my studio practice has changed recently. I discovered I’m much more creative and productive first thing in the morning so I’m in the studio by 5:00 am each day now. I love the quiet of the early morning hours when I can open all of the windows and the only sounds I hear are the coyotes singing. My paintings are still evolving as I continue to experiment and explore but I’m feeling at ease with my process and the direction they’re taking.

I’m continuing to focus on networking and building relationships in my marketing. Talking to people, not at them. I’m out and about at the gallery openings each week seeing what’s new in the Santa Fe art world and meeting new people. And now that I’ve taken a break from blog posts, newsletters, and social media since the beginning of the year, it feels like it’s time to start connecting online again. And It’s time to start thinking about refreshing my website and all of the supporting projects – messaging, branding, photography – that go along with it.

The Long Journey Home

"Soul Icon I", 2018, Acrylic on Cradled Panel, 18"x18" [Series: "The Long Journey Home"]

"Soul Icon I", 2018, Acrylic on Cradled Panel, 18"x18" [Series: "The Long Journey Home"]

The first quarter of 2018 has been a time to turn inward and focus on my health, my spiritual practice, and my art.

I’ve made significant changes to improve the quality of my life this year. I’ve re-established my daily meditation practice. I’ve added Kundalini Yoga to my yoga practice. And I’ve eliminated meat, processed foods, and refined sugar from my diet. I started seeing results almost immediately. The insomnia I’ve been suffering from for years is gone and I have so much more energy throughout the day. My muscles and joints have stopped aching. And now that I’m no longer at war with my body, the weight I gained while living in Asheville is falling away.

And my studio practice has been transformed.

The last 3 months in the studio have been interesting. And extremely challenging. It’s been about 8 years since I worked with acrylics. And painting had never been my preferred medium for expression before. But after the move back to Santa Fe, weaving felt limiting in many ways. I realized it was time to set my weaving aside and find a new path.

Daily feelings of “I can’t do this” and frustration slowly transitioned to experimentation and exploration as I settled in and started to regain some level of mastery over my materials. I played with styles and techniques, but nothing felt quite “right”. As I settled more deeply into my spiritual practice, I also settled more deeply into my studio practice. And I found my direction.

My new series is called “The Long Journey Home”. Each painting in the series is a “Soul Icon”. The idea of “soul icons” has been in the back of my mind for about 5 years but the time never felt right to bring them forward. Until now.

Big Dreams and Action Plans

Surfaces I, 2018, 12"x12", Acrylic on Panel

Surfaces I, 2018, 12"x12", Acrylic on Panel

I’ve abandoned the word “goals” this year and replaced it with “big dreams” and “action plans”. After years of setting goals, the word feels meaningless and passive now. But big dreams and action plans, now that’s something I can sink my teeth into.

I spent quite a bit of time in November and December thinking about what I want to accomplish in this next chapter of my life. As I was making my list of lifetime accomplishments, many of which I’d been told I would never accomplish, I realized somewhere along the way I lost the ability to believe in myself. I’m not sure when it happened or why it happened. But happen it did.

It’s time to reclaim that power, so my word-of-the year for 2018 is “Believe”.

I started my planning for 2018 by creating my list of big dreams. Simple, right? Um, not so much. My natural inclination when creating the list was to immediately drop into planning mode. Why put it on the list if I couldn’t see how to get there? I had to force myself to step away from that mindset of having to know how something is going to happen. And that’s where believing in myself and my ability to accomplish my big dreams comes in. I have to believe it’s enough to put what I want out into the Universe and trust that it will happen in its own time. That doesn’t mean I spend all day binge-watching Netflix and drinking tea. I still have to show up, do the work, and be open to the opportunities that come my way. But I don’t have to “just do it” and obsessively push to “make things happen”.

I’ve learned there’s power in holding your dreams close, nurturing them, and giving them time to take root. So, I won’t be sharing my big dreams and action plans publicly this year. It’s enough to share them with my coaches, my mastermind groups, and Emily, my accountability partner.

2018 is a 2 year in numerology. A year symbolizing a slow journey of connection, patience, attention to detail, building and nurturing relationships, cooperation, correct timing, and gradual progress. A year of slowing down, accepting that my dreams are dependent on other factors that have to happen before I can proceed, and not pushing for results.

So, welcome 2018. I know we’re going to do great things together.