“At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you.” – Goethe
It’s that time of year again – the New Year. The time for resolutions. One definition for the word ‘resolution’ refers to the sharpness and clarity of an image. I know this isn’t the definition most folks use to set their goals for the new year, but maybe it should be. It is my belief, in order to accomplish any goal, one needs to set a clear intention. And the clearer the vision, the easier it is to bring it into ‘focus’ and accomplish. That might sound simple but I think it is very difficult to clearly envision our goals. But clarity has a magnetic quality to it. Once we get really clear, we start to attract all of the opportunities necessary to accomplish our goals. Our dreams become filled with our vision and we start to notice the things in our environment that will assist us. So it seems achieving clarity is an ongoing process; and evolves as we work toward our goals as we bring those experiences and people into our lives that help us.
This past year has taught me quite a bit about goals. It was last January that I decided to step away from clay. I received some art supplies for Christmas and wanted to try different mediums besides clay to express myself. I’ve experimented with water based mediums, acrylics, oils, pastels, pencils, inks, beeswax and book making. It’s been a very exciting year for me – but the problem with all those different mediums in my studio is I found myself spinning in circles trying to decide what to do and with what materials. I had no clear vision. I just skimmed the surface and only learned a little bit about all the different materials. I think you have to spend a lot of time with something to really get to know it. Potters believe it takes seven years to become a potter. Painters think you need to paint at least 1000 paintings – so I have a lot of work and growing to do. I have met some wonderful generous people who have helped me tremendously this year and now I have narrowed my focus and materials and I’m excited about this upcoming year.
I don’t want to just learn how to use my (art) materials better – I want to be able to create ‘my vision,’ and in order to do that I need to remember my story. Years ago I took an ‘Artist Way’ class based on the book by Julia Cameron. The book is a great facilitator in finding your spiritual center by digging deep into what motivates and interests you – at the core level. After the Artist Way class, I bought the next book in that series ‘Vein of Gold’ but never worked through it or finished reading it. Over the holidays, I started working in it. The exercises in the book require that you build a narrative time line of your life. This would be lots easier if I were still only twenty – but at sixty I’ve had so many experiences and forgotten quite a bit as well. But what’s remarkable is the process of writing these memories down is helping me remember. It might be simpler if my parents and older sister were still living – but the book encourages you to find your view of yourself – not your friends or families rendition of who you are.
I want to write more. I just finished reading ‘PoemCrazy’ by Susan Wooldridge and I’m now reading ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamott. The concept of the title of Lamott’s book is something I need to remember. Her younger brother had a huge writing project due for school and he was completely stressed after typically waiting until the night before to begin. The project was about birds and Lamott’s father who was also a writer told his son to just tackle the project ‘bird by bird.’
It’s easy to look at all we need to accomplish in a day or year and forget it’s all really about the steps we take in any journey, so the only ‘resolution’ I’m making this year is to set clear intentions, narrow my focus and GROW – ‘bird by bird.’
Happy New Year to each of you. Thank you for reading my blog and thank you especially for your comments. I love the dialogue and think it’s amazing that no matter where we are, we can share our experiences with each other. I’d like to do more of that this year.