Each experience in your life was absolutely necessary
in order to have gotten you to the next place,
and the next, up until this very moment.
— Wayne Dyer
September 25th is my birthday, and I like to celebrate the new year this month rather than in January.
My birthday ritual is to review and harvest learnings from the previous year, and set goals and intentions for the coming year. I call it Focus Pocus, and it’s my idea of a fun birthday.
I started the process visually first, by making a Wisdom Journal.
Now that I look at it, the words new and beginnings together could be seen as redundant.
But that’s ok. Each day is a new beginning, as is each moment.
And sometimes we need to remember to begin again often — especially when learning new skills, embracing life-changing opportunities, or letting go of old habits.
Wise people throughout the centuries have told us that every ending holds a new beginning, and vice versa.
That everything (good, bad, ugly, ridiculous) in our experience has helped us arrive HERE.
Doing a compassionate review year (at your birthday, or on New Year’s… or whenever you need a fresh start) and then creating intentions and goals is powerful.
Especially if you do it visually. Visual journaling activates your deep imagination (where dreams come from) and helps you envision and give voice to the new beginnings you are dreaming of right now.
Before you get analytical and too serious with all of this, take yourself out on an art date to your local office supply or department store, and stock up on your favorite school and art supplies to use in your journal play.
Circle and underline the word play. With that glittery gel pen you’ve been saving for something “special”.
The special is right now. Right where you’re sitting.
Remember what it was like to begin something new when you were a child. How did you feel?
For me, drawing, painting, making art has always been the things that makes me feel as if I am living on purpose and doing my own particular magic.
I’ve felt that soul connection with painting ever since I was a toddler, making my first series of big paintings on rolls of butcher paper, working on the floor with finger paint.
In all these years, nothing has changed: not my need to draw and write constantly, and my hair remains untamable. All of my life, people wonder aloud and silently: What’s up with her hair? Is she going to comb it? Or what?
That’s a quick digression, but really, if I can figure out how to share my totally weird (uh, and totally SOBER) middle-of-the-night birthday video that I just posted live on Instagram, I’ll do another post here so you can see it.
I had such big resistance to putting these photos of myself my first Magic Book Journal. Isn’t it funny how we are a culture of selfie-takers, but no one I know really likes how they look in photos?
We play with self-portraits in Magic Book because they are such a powerful way to invoke and invite more self-compassion, kindness, and self-love. Essential ingredients for creating in your own style that aren’t taught in art school. Or in any school.
Dear Painting…I miss you!
What I can share with you, regarding my New Beginnings for the coming year, is that painting and visual art-making is finally going to get to ride in the front seat (maybe even take the wheel and drive) in my life.
Oh… there is so much going on here in the New Beginnings Department.
I’m making a conscious effort to share my journey in real time (hugely vulnerable) just because … I don’t know… it feels like the right thing to do. To bring you along on my journey back to the USA from Mexico. And also back to some essential truths about what my soul is telling me she needs to thrive. More painting time is top of the list.
Meanwhile, I’m having virtual birthday cake today until I get to New York on Friday. Then it’s a beeline to a baked goods emporium the moment I land at JFK. Your suggestions for where to find chocolate cake with vegan buttercream icing are most welcome. Bonus if I can buy just a slice. Because. You know what happens when you buy a whole cake and there’s only two people in the household.
Thanks for popping over today. I’ll try to post my weird and wacky Instagram birthday story here later…
This is, so far, my best year ever.
I can feel it.