Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dave? Dave's Not Here

Spent the evening last night with Cheech and Chong. Of course The Husband was there too, so we weren't alone. Actually lots of folks were there. They did a show at the State Theater in Cleveland.

Totally hilarious.

I've always enjoyed their humour. I remember one time in high school we went to the Jesse James Drive-In Theater for a triple feature Cheech and Chong movie festival. Wait - no actually I don't remember much of that!

It was great to see them back together again.

Anywho... I thought you might like to see some of the beautiful architectural detail and lights in the theater. Built in the 1920's, it is a marvel. Part of the Playhouse Square District containing the Ohio Theater, Hanna Theater, Allen Theater, Palace Theater and of course the State!


The outer lobby

The Spirit of Cinema - America. One of four murals called The Four Continents by James Daugherty which were recently restored. It is so wonderful that time is taken to preserve what artists have created. This mural was featured on Life Magazine's cover February 27, 1970 and helped to spur support for its renovation

Above our seats

Inner lobby

Hard to believe some idiot planned to tear it all down at one point

Come with us next time!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Following Your Fascinations

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when my fear is gone I will turn and face fear's path, and only I will remain." ~ Paul Atreides, Frank Herbert's Dune

We have now progressed to Chapter Three of 'Twelve Secrets of Highly Creative Women' by Gail McMeekin. I have really enjoyed being a part of this online book club led by Jamie Riddler - it is great reading what other smart thoughtful women are thinking! And a blessing to see that so many of us have the same hurdles and insecurities to conquer. Not a blessing that we have the issues of course! But that we are truly not alone. The gremlins need a beating!

I posted the photo above as I mentioned in my last book club post about snapping a poor dead snake because I felt he was beautiful and met my 'blue' criteria for the day's shooting, and someone wanted to see it. Sorry if you popped in expecting something else and have a fear of snakes. I prefer the image of snakes as one of growth and rebirth, fertility, the circle of life. Almost all non Judeo-Christian cultures revere them, rather than revile them. But they are to be respected either way, and a good image for a post about risk and fear I believe.

This secret, Following Your Fascinations, is all about risk.

Wise risk as well as dangerous risk. And that, in turn, brings to mind fear.

Here are the keys...

Taking Courageous Risks: I do not see myself as a risk taker. I can't think of one thing particularly courageous to share with you. I talk about this with my friend Irene a lot. We share the feeling that as women, you often need to just keep moving, getting things done, working through pain, getting up each day and doing what you have to in order to keep your family healthy, provided for, and intact. We do not see these things as optional, or courageous - just necessary. I often don't plan out where I'm headed - I just do. In these areas there is no time for fear.... But in it's insidious way, it filters in.

If I respect myself and love myself, it is time to start living with intention. Calculating positive risks. Taking action.

Intuiting New Pathways: I have managed to find my way to where I am today almost completely by accident. Maybe that isn't true. I know the odds were against me as a single mother. I finished school, was recruited by The Dow Chemical Company, and raised my son to be a responsible successful adult (of course he could still turn out to be an axe murderer, but he has promised not to. At least not to use an axe in his theoretically imminent crime spree.) But I never sought out doors. They opened in front of me and I stepped through. My job with Dow came by a campus recruiter. My job with Nestlé came by a canvas of about 50 local labs and other science related firms after a layoff. I got a job from a cold call letter. That is not suppose to happen. In between I took positions that were awful, but I didn't leave until I was either pushed out or offered other opportunities.

Developing Staying Power: I have trouble with follow through. I'm proud to say that I have marvelous creative ideas. Over 99% of them never see the light if day. I'm not talking about building skyscrapers here, I'm talking making a graduation card for a friend. Scrapbook pages. Simple, easy things. I need to develop a new attitude. Christine Kane (whose blog I love) suggests telling ourselves "this is just what I do" when presented with a challenge where we would normally procrastinate or stumble in some way. I suppose it reflects back on being the change you wish to see. I also suggest reading her post on her "proportional theory of dread". The greater our fear of a thing, often the greater our relief - and pride? when completed. Food for thought.

Heeding Your Heart: I'm ready to make some changes. The path of least resistance isn't all that smooth and rose filled. Sometimes though, I feel that at age 43 I've walked too far down it to turn around and start back. That is probably pretty foolish. I was amazed at how many women in the book didn't hit their stride until after 40. Plenty of time! But I'd better quit screwing around! I'm grabbing my machete and hacking through the brush to another path.

Jamie's Challenge for us: Take one brave step toward your dreams. This week I will officially apply for the Bachelor of Liberal Studies online program at Bowling Green State University. I will arrange to have my transcripts sent and begin to check any other boxes needing checked.

Wish me luck!

Shamless plug: Visit my One World One Heart offering if you have not already!

Monday, January 19, 2009

One World - One Heart 2009

Welcome all to my corner of Bloglandia!

It is time once again for One World One Heart.

This is the third annual blog-wide giveaway hosted by Lisa Oceandreamer Swifka. According to her, "The original idea behind this was to bring bloggers together from around the world who may never ordinarily meet. It closes the gap of the blog community and enables us to interact, discover new and wonderful people." Here is her intention: "The blogging world is vast with more created all the time....and through blogging we can learn new things, read about other countries, learn of new ways to promote those vital issues, support causes as well as learn about new artists, writers, photographers, et al. By having a list of those with a giveaway it is like a home tour with a map......going from place to place to see how others "live" and perhaps along the way make fabulous new connections and maybe win a door prize in the process."

A wonderful plan! I traveled far and near last year and have made connections that I treasure. For those that have not traveled here from the main site, clicking the badge above (or on my side bar) will take you to home base where there are hundreds of participating blogs. They will be left up for the better part of the year, so you may take your time browsing the treasure trove!

Last years theme for me was about dreams. This year it's all about wishes! Wishes are rather just the waking manifestations of our dreams - no?

As we inaugurate our 44th President, Barack Obama, here in the United States, we are full of hope for the future. I wish for him wisdom to make the decisions he must in the coming years. I wish for him the support he needs to make things happen. I wish for him safety in his journey. I wish for him blessings for his family.

I also wish prosperity, creativity, health, and peace to all my fellow bloggers.

When you hear the word wishes, what images come to mind for you? Any wish making traditions? I love when people comment here. I know I have made a connection with someone, and that is so special. Of course this type of event is rather like having a captive audience, but I can't wait to see what your thoughts are! So let's hear about wishes...

Is it about blowing out your birthday candles?
Releasing dandelion seeds?
Snapping the wish bone from the Thanksgiving turkey with your little brother?

Let's hear it!

Also, I've talked before here about Make A Wish. Their motto is that they "grant the wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy" Wishes take the form of "I wish to Be", "I wish to Go", "I wish to Meet", "I wish to Have". It is a wonderful organization. I'm excited that the young women of Chi Omega Fraternity at John Carroll are very close to being able to grant a wish. I would love to help them get there! You can help me.

Please share your thoughts on wishes in the comment section below. By doing so, you will accomplish the following:

for each unique poster, I will donate $1.00 to Make a Wish (up to $150.00, which would more than double my hits from last year!)
infuse me with inspiration to create a wish book for a lucky winner! (do you enjoy how I am providing a clever diversion from you noticing my not actually having the piece made yet!?) I plan to create a small book of mixed media, photos, and fun with places to add secret wishes. With all the good karma of One World One Heart they are sure to come true!
possibly even BE the lucky winner!

Some important details:

To be eligible for the drawing, post here (specifically in THIS post) by midnight February 11th. Please be sure not to comment anonymously - how can you win If I don't know who you are? You do not need to have a blog, but gee, why don't you? It's tons of fun! International participants are welcomed! Selection of a winner will be completed using a random number generator. Winner will be announced February 12th. I will contact you, but you are welcome to stop back and see the prize!

So stay and visit a while if you'd like, use the side bar list to poke around and see the sites: my jewelry (BlingBling), Art Journal (MyArtJournal), or maybe papercrafts, cards, or scrapbooking is your style? (ScrapPaperScissors) I've been trying many new avenues for creativity!

Jump on the Gypsy Caravan - I wish for you new friends, new inspirations, and new adventures!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Honoring Your Inspirations

"Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it." ~ Tallulah Bankhead

It is now in the 20°F plus range here... so I guess it's a heat wave. My writing block has thawed, so I am continuing on with Secret Two of our Twelve Secrets of Highly Creative Women book club! See the link in the sidebar for more information and links to the other participants.

My thoughts on this week's keys to "Engaging Your Creativity" by "Honoring Your Inspiration":

Cultivating Attractions: I am definitely an observer in the world. Could be a reason that the scientific method was a draw for me. I am always open to the world around me. I almost stopped the other day in the middle of the innerbelt bridge to take a picture of the sunrise. Right there in the middle of the industrial basin of Cleveland's downtown, I saw the most brilliant orange and pink I have ever seen. Truly. But since I didn't want to cause an accident, I didn't capture it to share with you. Sorry.

I see things others don't. When I visited The Boy at school, we went to the sculpture lab. I took the photo above. The composition could be better, but the metal wall, and the colors and textures of the grinding wheels used to develop stone and other media just seemed to call to me all on their own. The Boy thought I was quite nuts. Why am I paying for an art school that doesn't teach him to see what I can see? I guess like Tallulah, I am my own unique me. Plus since he may see these items as simply a means to an end, he didn't view them as beautiful on their own.

Beauty is everywhere - and I do my best to seek it out. Otherwise I would be overwhelmed by the ugliness which is also all around us. Hatred, prejudice, anger, stupidity, we need a shield. For me, I need to see the beautiful colors and lines of graffiti and not the urban decay some think it represents. I once took a picture of a dead snake in the park because I was on a mission for "blue" things. (No really, the skin was iridescent and color was intense!) Why did it stop being beautiful just because of it's current bodily condition? I am sure that photo will pop up here eventually. Don't be afraid.

Practicing Play: I am not afraid to explore new things. How else can you learn? But, can you explain to me why it is that when someone is confident or at leat willing to stand out a wee bit and try things, others think that they have thick skin and cannot be hurt by words? People: think before you destroy someone with a careless word. Unless that person is literally driving over a cliff, don't tell them that they are if it is only your figurative interpretation of where they are headed artistically.

Communing with Your Senses and Nature: Again - I am all about communing with nature. My own senses? Not so much. The Boy is right about me needing to meditate on a regular basis. Approaching the "Personal Attractions" challenge to simply listen to my thoughts is virtually impossible right now. I truly do need to focus on building calm. I am in serious need of white space in my brain!

That being said, I am still in a stage where every medium is exciting to me. I am not in a place where I am limiting myself? Eventually I will settle, but right now, I am a pinball!

Taking Time to Capture Your Ideas: I have so many ideas for exploring my thoughts in my art journal. I will work not to censor myself there, because why bother if I do, right?

Creating a Sanctuary: I am in serious need of a sanctuary in our house. I will work on the "Building Your Sanctuary" challenge and get back to you. Everything is a process right?

Inventing Rituals: I have rituals. Here is how it goes when I am creating things:

1) Go to store, buy totally cool supplies; alternately gather and save found objects
2) Come home and listen to gremlin in my head telling me my project won't be as cool as all the other ideas I saw that I want to experiment with.
3) Procrastinate
4) Read blogs for inspiration ( see point number 3)
5) Clean craft area (again, see point number 3)
6) Marvel at how much stuff I have (see point number 1)
7) Begin to create
8) Decide I might do okay after all!

I need new rituals. Think I'm going to try adding tea drinking at a minimum!

How you doing!?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Let's Pretend

The Vikings were right. Hell is a vast frozen waste land. And I may be visiting it.

It is in the single digits here in North East Ohio... I've shoveled my car out every day for the last week (or more? the days blend together in a white on white haze!) and it took an hour and fifteen minutes to do the twenty minute drive home from work today.

If I had some Calgon - I'd let it take me away.

I might be tired of this already.

But I have a plan.

I'm gonna visit Summertime.

Wanna come?

Okay.... gaze into the mystical ball...

Go over the double rainbow...

There we go!

Can you feel the sunlight yet?

Much better than winter white!

Ahhhhh... Warm...

So that's what the grass looks like!

Pop back over any time you need to escape the chilly willies!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Acknowledging Your Creative Self

Your creative self is alive and waiting for your invitation to evolve! Dare to embrace your creative self and manifest your dreams. Recognizing your creativity leads you into a life of self-expression, fulfillment, and contribution." ~ prelude to Secret 1

Here we are - the first chapter of "12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women" by Gail McMeekin. The good old Barnes and Noble at the mall came through and the book arrived Friday just in time to get started with the rest of the folks in the book club.

I'm very excited about this! I'm choosing to make my posts before reading anyone else's, so that I will try to express my own vision. We'll see how that goes! Can't wait to see what others are thinking too.

Jamie Ridler who is leading the group asked us to start in this way:

"Let's start by celebrating that simply by being here, by signing up and putting your name on the blogroll, you have acknowledged your creative self! You have stepped up and stepped in and said, yes, to your creativity. What a great way to start 2009!"

A bit about how the book is laid out. The book is divided into four gateways. The first is Engaging Your Creativity. This Gateway includes four secrets. Each week we will be reviewing a chapter.

This Chapter and the others to follow provide us with keys to unlock the gateway. I think I'll plan to share my thoughts on each key...

Responding to Creative Callings: I had never really considered myself 'artistic' but I had known that I had a wonderful sense of the creative. Seeing beauty where others didn't. I was a young thespian and have always enjoyed crafty things. I have always been one to notice the world around me, the beauty of the sky, changing of the colors, how things flowed together or did not. One of the blogs I read regularly, Magpie Girl, has a banner tag line which says, "distracted by sparkly things since 1969" a kindred spirit! I do love the shiny! Would an ordinary person stop to take a photo like the one above? I love a good distraction!

At no time however, did I consider this gift particularly valuable. Sure - I could put together a lovely board for the science fair, and the stage does prepare one for public speaking and networking, but I wasn't particularly good at ART. Just ask my teachers. Actually, that's not fair. Senior year in high school I took Freshman Art (I had already taken every science class and math class, study hall would have been a waste of time what with all the kids taking it to hang out, and all the good office and library jobs were already taken and besides, an art credit makes one look well rounded on the college applications right...?) Mr. Nicholson gave me an "A" each term. Perhaps it was because I sat still, was quiet, and didn't chew gum. I turned in every assignment complete and on time. But, perhaps he did think I had talent too.

Of course confusing art and creativity may be at the heart of that issue.

Problem solving is generally all about being creative. Finding solutions. Looking at things new ways. Stimulating new ideas.

Work in the laboratory is all about charts, record keeping, data, control, but also problem solving. When I look I look at my hobbies, they are all about being creative. It started with scrapbooking. Then when I found a copy of Artful Blogging it was out of control! Now it's art journaling, jewelry making, photography. I'm busting out all over. I had been questioning whether this was a real manifestation of my own self, or a desperate need to seek a common bond with my son, the real art student. Probably I am allowed to own it.

The author cracked me up when she spoke of noting the publications she was reading being about beauty and creating a change... if you could see my google reader and my bookshelf... I'm owning that one too!

Experimenting With New Processes: I think I have been taking on many new challenges. Also, dropping some other ones. Some of you may not realize the significance of that last statement. I dropped some other ones. I must say that allowing myself to quit something without guilt was clearly the highlight of my personal year last year. There are a few more things I need to work on quitting. That process is probably going to be the key to my happiness. Allowing myself to see the things which are not adding to my success and discarding them is one of my goals.

Life is about the choices we make. Mine have often been made based on the path of least resistance. My son and I had a conversation early in his college career in which I was trying to explain that most adults still don't really know what they want to be when they grow up - including me. I like my job. I'm good at it. The people are mostly great. It is stimulating, but not exactly fulfilling. I need to find a path that is. I'm tired of saying I don't want to go to work each morning. Kind of like the bird in the photo above - some choices may not be all they seem!

Seeking Success Stories: I'm excited to read the words of the women in this book. I agree with the author that not enough women's voices are heard. Those that are, we find a way to tear down. It doesn't matter how smart you are if you aren't pretty enough or thin enough. If you are pretty, you can't possibly be smart. Powerful? Bitch. Rich? Greedy or shallow. Talented? Undeserving for any number of reasons. Oprah Winfrey. Rosie O'Donnell. Caroline Kennedy. Paris Hilton. I can't even name any role models I have because I have fallen prey to this school of thought. Time for some changes.

Learning the Secrets: That's why we're here!

Won't you join us?!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Riding the Rock N' Roll Train

Went to see AC/DC in Cleveland Monday night. Man do those guys put on a show! We bought a ticket for The Boy, so he was up from Columbus. Another classic American Family Outing! When they first announced the tour, their ticket sales set records for speed of sell out. (Not in Cleveland of course, as we are pathetic. Please don't take away the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!) Actually, they held the record until the other day when the Obama Presidential Inaugural tickets went on sale!

They treated us to many old favorites like Back In Black, The Jack, Whole Lotta Rosie, Dirty Deeds; and new ones too, Black Ice, Big Jack, Rock N' Roll Train. Too many to list! (see a similar set list here)

It's been too long! And, yes, we were Thunderstruck!


Brian growling...

Malcolm and the other boys providing the pounding rhythm...

Angus being Angus...

I realize there may be those who think that Angus might be a tad too old still to be wearing the school boy outfit - and then there are others who probably think that I'm too old to be watching him! May he continue to rise up from the pits of Hell on that Highway to make us insane with his rock and roll.

For Those About to Rock: We Salute You!

Don't wait so long to come back!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Told You So

Remember back when I introduced you to Geezer?

All I can say now is that I have scientific evidence of my suspicions:

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Perhaps you should see If you have a vicious killer in your home.

The life you save could be your own!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

On the Nightstand

In an effort to focus (there's that word!) on some things I want to focus on, I've gathered some reading material... Here's what's on my list!

The Tao of Pooh - Benjamin Hoff. I've wanted to read this for some time. I bought the tapes maybe ten years ago? Couldn't focus on listening to them in the car - too many other voices crowded it out (see book number four!) This time I'm gonna be ready!

The Tarot Bible - Sarah Bartlett. The universe is often trying to tell us things. Perhaps I need to listen. Perhaps this is the language I can use.

Soul Coaching - Denise Linn. Looks like an interesting way to get ready to welcome change. I plan to use a resource here to help me in the process.

Taming Your Gremlin - Rick Carson. Saw this book over here and wanted it as soon as I read about it. The voices need to hush up! Hear me!? Also, I hope that the illustrator doesn't mind, but the line drawn images in this book are calling out to be colored in! I think that it would be a great meditative exercise. Yup. Don't you agree?

Life is a Verb - Patti Digh. I've talked here about '37 Days' before. I read this book while we were in Canada, but did not actually attempt any of the exercises. This time I'll focus! Living intentionally is the goal.

Journal Revolution - Linda Woods & Karen Dinino. What a fabulous way to learn more about art journaling. I really have been excited about the Soul Journal Project and this will be a fun way to continue the progress in this area. Many good ideas for prompts and techniques.

1000 Artist Journal Pages - Dawn DeVries Sokol. Beautiful! Check out D'Blogala the blog of the author. She has compiled 1000 examples of wonderful art. Although I know I'll find my own style, I love looking at these pages and getting ideas.

Life Artist - Ali Edwards. Some great ideas here for scrapbooking outside the box. I love her style and this book has terrific approaches to memory keeping.

Digital Scrapbooking for Dummies - Jeanne Wines-Reed & Joan Wines. This one was a gift from The Boy for Christmas. (Why is it not in the stack? Must have been reading it in the other room!) He thought it would help me create better pictures for sharing here on the blog as well as scrapbooking. I'm not ready to go all the way digital, but I've been wanting to try some hybrid stuff for a while so this is great!

Last but not least, I'm joining an online book club called the next chapter which will be reading The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin. That one had to be ordered so hopefully it will arrive before we begin this Friday! See the link on my side bar to join along with us. So glad I saw the link for this over at Adventuring Through Life - thanks Diana!

So what should I read when I'm done with these?


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Family Portrait

Caspiana's Soul Journal Project days 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15.

Over this series of days, we were challenged to recreate our home, collage over the images to add details, add painting, add journaling, and then add our families through creating paper dolls.

Interesting that I just typed the word "challenge". I just checked and I hadn't used that word to describe this project before. The concept of home is something I struggle with. My current situation places me in a position where I still feel out of place, out of touch with "me". Because of this I created a place where my inner child might live. Much better.

Sarah created paper dolls, but I just couldn't warm up to that (creative? inability to follow directions? hard to tell!) I choose images from my family's younger days. Our wings are from butterflies I photographed at the "Butterfly House" in North West Ohio. The buildings are somewhat reminiscent of the Cleveland skyline - it does feel like I belong in this city. Used my Latin ~ English text once again, I really enjoy finding pages with words that resonate with my theme. I thought the red rhinestones were a fun touch on the tops of the buildings.

This project was also a lesson in how different paints would react over the gesso. Found out that although my twinkling H2Os create a cool, mottled effect, that means that water color doesn't cover smoothly. But in really life it is very twinkly!

You can't always see them, but I used my sparkly pen to highlight our magic talismans... I get a magic crown and a magic wand, it's my vision after all! Sisters Deb and Diana get magic beads, The Boy gets magic shoes (Toddler University shoes were the bomb. Wonder if they still make them?), The Husband gets a magic crest, and even Geezer gets magic whiskers.

The journaling is very hard to read in the photos, so here it is:
"a home is that place where our better selves can be explored. our inner child made free. we have wings to lift us and folks to catch us when we fall. magic talismans to guide us (magic shoes, magic wands, magic crest, magic beads, magic whiskers). a city of possibility where the lights burn in the windows for our return every time.

no matter what."

Here are some close-ups of each family member so that you can see some detail. I'll be excited when the sun comes back so that I can take some better quality snaps later this season!

The Boy kicks off the show,

Then Geezer back when he was just teeny,

Mom and Dad,

Diana (because the oldest gets to go first),

Deb (because "sometimes you open up the blog and bam! there you are!")

The Husband looking especially dapper (you can't see his magic crest, but it's there!)

...and last but not least, me!

Go on out there in your world and explore your better selves!

Friday, January 2, 2009

I Forgot to Tell You...

Back to the Soul Journal Project!

Bet you thought I gave up on that one huh? Nope! Actually, pages have been in various states of completion since I left off last fall.

We are up to day 7 and day 8 of Caspiana's Guided Tour of Soul Journaling...

We were to start with the prompt "I forgot to tell you..." and then fill two pages with things we were feeling. We knew in advance that we would be covering the journaling with tape - so we were free to be completely honest. This was an opportunity to write down things we were too scared, sad, or angry to say out loud or allow anyone to read. Not all my thoughts were secret - some were simply reminders to myself of things that remain important.

Then the fun began as we covered it all up. Layers of tape of all kinds was employed. I used some clear cellophane tape in spots were I was brave enough to let the words show through. I also had access to some unusual tapes from the lab. I added a few nifty blue metallic band-aids as I thought they seemed an appropriate touch to help heal some of the more painful of my words.

After we covered it up, we sanded our tape, painted, and further embellished the pages. I've pointed out before that my mind is a fertile ground for mayhem and foolishness. I saw my red and green tape next to each other. Gucci popped into my head (I know what you're thinking. What is she? Some kind of 80's throwback preppie? Shhh!) A nice Gucci Bag. Because let's face it, this kind of journaling is absolutely about our baggage.

The fact that baggage can be spelled with the interlocking Gucci "G" is just a lucky bit of fun on my part. You really must laugh in the face of your foibles, no?

By the way - since I'm still playing, no reason why you couldn't start too! A new Year, a new creative outlet? I'm sure that Sarah won't mind! Matter of fact she's put up some teasers for a future project, so get ready to play along!

Something to think about!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another F Word

A new year brings a new word of power. This approach to life is advocated by two folks I enjoy reading: Christine Kane and Ali Edwards. I have no idea where the concept originated, so I will direct you to both of them. The each have their own way of looking at things, both of which are inspiring.

Last year my word was FIRE. I think selecting a word really did guide me in my thoughts and actions throughout the year. I lost 20 pounds, started a soul journal, took a class and began jewelry making, took on my advisory role with sorority, started a book club, traveled, and was nicer to myself.

The idea is that if you chose your word carefully, and reflect on it when making decisions and actions, that you will end up where you want to go. It was interesting how once I selected the word, images of fire kept coming to me in the most unlikely places. Seeing them was the key I suppose. Wonder what images this year will bring?

This year I've chosen yet another F-word: FOCUS.

Main Entry: focus
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: aim attention at
Synonyms: adjust, attract, bring out, center, centralize, concenter, concentrate, convene, converge, direct, fasten, fix, fixate, get detail, home in, home in on, hone in, join, key on, knuckle down, meet, move in, pinpoint, pour it on, put, rivet, sharpen, spotlight, sweat, zero in, zoom in
Antonyms: ignore, neglect

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2008 by the Philip Lief Group.

Now that I've become more aware of myself, I really need to begin to FOCUS more on what I'm doing while I'm doing it. Why am I spending so much time on things that don't enrich me? To FOCUS on what my inner voice is telling me. And I still need to deal with some of those demons I'm trying to keep locked up in the closet of my mind.

I need to FOCUS on not being afraid to finish things I start. To let my light shine - because I am good enough (Yes Stuart, we do rock). Stretching my limits and my comfort zone.

A FOCUS on learning and growing more. Really dialing in on what I need help with. Actually asking for help. Going back to school.

Now that I am on the path to weight loss, I need to FOCUS on better health. Strengthening my body. Cleansing my body.

I need also to FOCUS on strengthening my spirit. The Boy tells me repeatedly that I need to meditate. Perhaps I need should be listening. Why the heck do I have so much stress anyway? Is it really self inflicted? Why on Earth do we chose to do that?

I will also FOCUS on relationships. I fell short in this area last year. We need connections in our lives and so many of mine have been stretched so far. I miss the friends that are far away, both in distance and in spirit. I think of them daily, but am too afraid to reach out. I'll FOCUS on conquering that fear.

Will you pick a word? Will it change you, help to shape you into what you dream of?

Maybe! So make it a good one!

Welcome to 2009