Setting the year ablaze

For the last few years, I’ve chosen a word for the year – something to mull over, to set intention, to facilitate ongoing inner growth…

For a few years there, the word was ‘No’, as in learning to say no, to be assertive, to DISCERN what was and wasn’t important to me…

Last year’s word was SHAMELESS, read about it HERE and HERE. See my SHAMELESS Pinterest board HERE. It was somewhat successful, although I did slide down into several shame spirals over various things – I think shame is in my DNA, maybe it is for all women, given the culture we live in.

Since the solstice, I have been mulling over a word for this year…all words of a gentle, nurturing nature were not doing it for me…I wanted something with an edge, with big metaphoric possibilities, with high-energy. Energy is what I hope for for this year. I’ve had a few ‘damp’ years, fallow years, resting years, compost years – and I accept them as part of a life passage, part of an organic process.

‘There are years that ask questions and years that answer them.’

-Zora Neale Hurston

Some credit to this year’s word must go to my friend EMMA – as part of my Christmas present she gave me a box of fancy matches which have the saying ‘The inner fire is the most important thing’ on the box, as I unwrapped it she said: ‘Well, you are a pyromaniac.’

It’s true. I love a good bonfire and often have a big burn in the backyard. I love candles, and incense. I use matches rather than a lighter because I get a small thrill from striking a match.

In yoga-teaching, we talk about ‘igniting the inner-fire’ – meaning both physically, as the core warms up, an internal heaters starts to fire, deepening the breath and warming the body…and metaphorically – the inner-fire being our drive, energy, prana, shakti!

So my word for the year is FIRE.

See my Fire Pinterest board HERE.

Like The Pixies I’m DIGGING FOR FIRE.  Hoping that this is a year that answers questions, and hoping to light a match to all my desires… watch them turn into the biggest bonfire on the most beautiful beach under the fullest moon.

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Backyard hobo bonfire in a rubbish tin.

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Plant fire – calendula in my vege garden…

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Winter solstice celebration from some years back…

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Fire sky, Queenstown 

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Growing my fire and eating my fire… 

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Backyard fire at a friend’s place…

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn…”

-Jack Kerouac

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shameless 2014: proud maker of bad art

After a couple of creatively dry years where I have only been writing in my journals and sticking the occasional thing in…I have re-found my zeal for art-journaling.

Yup. I make rough-and-ready bad art in my journals. It is so soothing and therapeutic and fun to me. It’s more about process than product.

I started a fresh journal for 2014 and made this page with my WORD OF THE YEAR. 

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I was going to scan it so the details would show better, but then I couldn’t be blathered and I just took a photo because I am SHAMELESS — ha ha!

Glitter, flowers, obnoxious colour. Vomit of my brain. Vitamins for my eyes.

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fresh inspiration

When is an ‘inspiration wall’ not an inspiration wall?

When it’s been up for almost two years and you’ve stopped seeing it anymore…

I have a creative room out in my backyard. Our garage was converted to a sleepout by previous owners and now we’ve set it up so half of it is guest-room (well, guest-nook) and half is my creative space.

The wall beside my desk I put up a montage of inspirational images. It was overdue for a freshen up, so for a couple of months I slipped anything that caught my eye into a folder (magazine cuttings, mail my friends sent me, vintage book pages etc etc) until I had enough material to redo the wall.

Here is the old inspiration wall:

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& Here is the new:

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Do you think I am the only 41 year old still sticking photographs of pop stars on her wall? Ha ha.

word of the year 2014

Last year I did Susannah Conway’s excellent worksheets for planning the year ‘Unravelling The Year Ahead’. I find them to be a good combination of compassionate, specific, gentle, but also motivating and, this is important, fun!

Part of the process is coming up with a word for the year. Something that in one word sums up your hopes and intentions for the year, something that you are working on in yourself or your life, something which will quickly remind you of your intentions and set you back on the path….

For the curious, my word of the year last year was WILD

This year, I have gotten as far as reading over last year’s, printing out this year’s and selecting a word – but I haven’t done the workbook yet. I had some thinking to do first, and then I decided to wait until the children went back to school so I will do it next week.

Looking back over my hopes for 2013, I won’t bore you with my inner-mess but here’s one funny thing – I was deeply upset about an interpersonal relationship thing at the time of writing….I wrote about it like it was the end of the world and I would take a long time to heal from it but I was non-specific enough that when I re-read it a year later…

…I cannot for the life of me recall the issue in question. Not even the person, let alone the THING!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha….humans are funny.

Today’s major angst is tomorrow’s ‘WTF was all that about?’ How’s that for giving things a sense of perspective? (Also realising my memory is REALLY not what it used to be.)

Anyway, if you want to work through a great set of questions to shape your hopes, plans, intentions, wishes and desires for the next year AND make yourself a little record of where your brain was at for your future self to laugh at in a year’s time….you can find the workbook HERE

& here is the word I chose for 2014. I might write a bit more about this word in the future….and I might not:

TA-DA! :

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