*This post got really long, but it’s some good, honest, open truth if you’re up for a read.*

So it’s the end of another year.  I always get a little nostalgic at this time of year, looking back on what happened during the past year, what I had hoped would happen and reflecting on how I got to where I am now.  This can be such a useful exercise in so many ways (as long as you stay away from the oh-so-easy-to-fall-into trap of regretting decisions or wishing you’d come farther).  It can be really useful to look at the year as a big picture.  When we’re in the middle of it, it is so easy to only see the little microcosm you are facing at that very moment, but when you step back you can see how that little moment fit into the big picture.At the beginning of last year (as is often the case) I was brimming with hope for what the new year could mean for getting serious about the art biz again and setting my intention to “come alive!”  (“Alive” ended up being my word for 2013).  I see now that my heart was telling me to take a leap, but I just couldn’t quite bring myself to take the BIG leap that I was being called to take.  I did take some toddler steps (bigger than “baby steps”) instead.   I set limits for myself at work and at home, took some chances with my art by signing up for the Global Talent Search and Make Art That Sells class, and committed to making self-care a priority.

Literally within days or even moments of making these steps, things started happening to reinforce those actions – to support me.  I am always amazed at the way the universe provides at the moment you start walking your talk (aligning with your purpose, listening to your heart).  I took the Make Art That Sells class – which was amazing and connected me to Beth Kempton and Do What You Love – also an amazing resource for artists and creative types. (They recently gave a free PDF download to help you reflect on 2013 and plan for 2014 – priceless!) I found and have fallen for Big Hearted Business and their regular Inspiration Bombs (10-15 minute videos spotlighting two artists –  one artist you are watching create while you listen to the interview with the other).  I have listened to the Thriving Artist Summit – a FREE telesummit with loads of great info about making a thriving creative business.  (More great connections to new resources and inspiration).

Then there has been the whole “mama” side of things.  2013 has been a year full of really stepping into and stepping up in my new role as a mama.  There has been amazing universe lifting up in that regard too!  I found out about a “Radiant Mama Telesummit” that was another free series of interviews for an entire month on ways to care for yourself while being a mama.  This led to learning about countless other resources through those interviews.  I have been following some fantastic bogs for mamas and creative types as well.   Here are my favorites from true, authentic mamas I admire:

And now reading – holy moly!  I have been bitten by the book bug again.  Wow.  It’s bad this time.  I went online and just bought six books all in the same vein as this stuff above:  The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (OMG! – GREAT book.  If you only read one of these, this should be it.), I Just Like to Make Things by Lilla Rogers; Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin; Parenting Without Power Struggles by Susan Stiffleman; and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

So while I did take some toddler steps, I spent a lot of time and energy looking around at how other people are doing it…. gaining courage, trying to talk myself into believing that I could do it too.  After much self-analyzing, the deep down emotion holding me up is fear.  Fear of failure?  Maybe.  But really I think:

I’m afraid of succeeding.

Weird, huh?  *I think* the universe is trying to get me to see that it’s all about aligning my mindset and actions with my intentions.  I spent a ton of time this year loading up on ideas, information, support and inspiration, but all the while the little voice in my head (*not the steady nudge in my heart) has been telling me: “You’re not a real artist.”  “You can’t ever make it big, but maybe you could make a few extra bucks.”  “You could never make it like them.  Look at what they are doing.”  In other words, I’ve had a super-limiting mindset.  I can set all the intentions in the world, take a million e-courses, say daily mantras, etc.  – and those will all be good things to do – but without the true, honest, wholehearted, deep-down soul behind it, it’s all talk.

It all boils down to this:  I want to live aligned with my heart’s purpose.  I want to walk that path.  I want to do it for me because I want to live this one precious life as fully and honestly as humanly possible.  And I want to do it for my son- to show him what is possible when you live that way.  I want to show him what it looks like to really truly believe that the sky is the limit and that your potential is infinite.  To do that I need to get brave, get real and get to work.  There are a million reasons why I can’t, but none of them as real as the reasons that I can.

Things I’ve learned (or re-learned) this year:

  • It’s okay to ask for help.
  • I have a community of people around me (both tangible and virtual) that support me and I can turn to for help.
  • I am stronger than I think I am – always.
  • I’m beautifully imperfect and I actually wouldn’t want it  any other way.
  • True connection happens when you are brave enough to be vulnerable and share your weak parts as well as strong parts – the whole messy package of me.
  • I feel better – at peace – mentally, spiritually and physically when I listen to my heart and act accordingly.
  • Things have a way of falling into place when you are on the path you are meant to travel.
  • Motherhood is the hardest, most amazing and most important journey I will ever have. Period.

So what’s this all mean.  I think it’s pretty clear that some big leaps are on the horizon.  But being the super-anal, organized gal that I am – I’m not going to leap without a plan.  I fully expect this plan to be a living document.  I am going to lay it all out there on a calendar – the goals I hope to achieve, all the steps I need to take to get there and a timeline for each.  Baby steps, toddler steps and big-kid steps combined – I’m gonna go for it, dammit.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on reflecting over the past year and what were some of your big lessons of 2013.  Lay it on me!  We can learn so much from each other…

 

 

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