I'm good at new beginnings. I love a list and a plan. I love the letting go of the old and the potential of the new. But then there's sticking to the plan, keeping on keeping on. I'm learning to do that. I can end up setting myself high goals and being disappointed if I fail. I am learning to set more realistic goals, and to check back in and celebrate my achievements. I love my creative life so much I sometimes forget to work hard at the other areas of me. Last year I learnt that I need balance. So I recommitted to yoga and found an amazing teacher of Dru yoga. It's fun and grounds me back in the moment and in my physical space. It's leading me to take better care of myself and I am exploring the ancient, holistic healing system of Ayurveda.
I have lots of books on the go at the moment. For my book group I'm about to start 'The Muse', Jessie Burton's second novel. I'm still reading AS Byatt's 'The Children's Book', a wonderful story of a creative community. I love her dense prose, full of detail. I was bought Amanda Palmer's 'The Art of Asking' for my birthday which has raised some uncomfortable questions about how we reach out to others and express our vulnerability. Next to my bed you can find 'Essays on Love' by Alain de Botton and on the dinner table is 'The Artists Way', a book I love that I am revisiting.
We brought our old turntable back into use over the Christmas break and the vinyl collection is back in the living room. My boys are both musical and enjoying their initiation into 60's/70's and 80's music. It's amazing how much nostalgic emotion an old track can evoke. I'm reminded of being in the living room of my childhood home whilst my Mum played Supertramp and Kate Bush, and of learning all the words to my brother's Squeeze album (Up the Junction is still a favourite).
Much of last year was about taking stock of where I am. I was so proud to run the Art Retreat I had always dreamed of running. I think life runs in seven year cycles and I have just completed another of those. It has filled me with apprehension as my work changes and I'm not quite sure where I'm going. I'm trusting life and allowing myself to evolve. I have exhibitions planned from the end of March so I will share my new work soon. I'm making some new long term plans whilst also planning for each of the seasons of 2017. I have other long held projects to realise so I have decided to hold my retreat again in 2018.
January is a good time to look forward and look back. It's all in the name, taken from the Roman God Janus, god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, doorways, passages, and endings. If you want guidance, or just a peaceful, nurturing environment to form your creative plan for 2017 why not join me for my "Rest with Nature' workshop on January 21st? You can share the day with like minded folk, put together a plan for the year, a vision board or an affirmative collage. There's a healthy lunch to look forward to and a yummy but unhealthy cake. You can book here.
Wishing you a Happy New Year. May you have balance and creativity and a year filled with all that nourishes your soul.