Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year! Part two...Looking forward to 2012...

When I sat down the end of last week to write a blog to welcome in the New Year, everything I had originally intended for it went right out the window....as a person who tries to honor her instincts, I decided to just go with it...which meant I would have to do two blogs. I knew it was going to be a bit difficult to achieve this in the timeliest fashion with the 14th Birthday of my son Shaun  looming before me on the 2nd of January. So if you are interested or missed it you may visit that post Happy New Year! Part one of two...Looking back at 2011.  In this post I have introduced my good friend Kevin Hall. Author of 'Aspire' who has been an amazing influence on my life. So quoting myself from my previous blog....

 “Looking back on 2011, I still see what is in my past, but in my past I see my future because I choose to take the moments of enlightenment & illumination that are now behind me & use them to light the way before me into my future...”~April Elizabeth

 So now looking to the immediate future 2012... I thought it was interesting this past week to note how many people do not set New Years resolutions anymore. While most of use reflect on the past year & look at what we learned as I have mentioned in my previous blog...I think there is a general feeling that setting these kinds of big goals are either too overwhelming & daunting or are just another means to set us up to fail.

I remember when I was fourteen...the same age as my son now...oh, wow! Anyway that year was the first time I set a resolution for the year. It was something like my room will always be clean. Well since I didn't start with a clean room I very soon became discouraged & felt as though I was incapable of following  through on anything. I was a perfectionist without a plan or the know how, to accomplish the desired end result...which as an artist  & creator I seemed to have a handle on. Over the next few years I would once again every January set a resolution & every December at the end of the year...be kicking myself.

After a few years of that I just wouldn't even do it.  Sure, I would do some reflecting but resolutions of any kind I wouldn't do. If only I had known how to take the same principles I used to create, draw, paint & design into these other areas of my life....

You see, when I paint or draw I start with a thumbnail, then a sketch. Then I draw it out in a preliminary drawing in the size I want, maybe once or even three times. Then I will transfer it to the paper or canvas that it will be completed on & then I truly begin. Each brush stroke or line in pencil goes on a little at a time building layer upon layer it builds. I patiently continue, blind to the tediousness of it because all I can see is the finished result in my mind.
 Coach  Tiffany Walke Peterson. Also Known as The Hope Giver on facebook & twitter.
Talks often about being really clear on what you want. She is probably one of the best people to listen to or work with if you are struggling with clarity or setting goals. She is a real person who knows how easily we can put ourselves in overwhelm with lofty aspirations. If the goal is big, that's great, but without a map that takes us step by step then we never arrive at the destination. I love how she focuses on change in increments that take us where we want to go but are not disruptive to our natural resistance to change. She talks about the analogy of sowing seeds which I love...stating that sometimes we think the seeds we've planted don't seem to be growing, but if we have planted them there will be a harvest. Things just may take longer to germinate. I honestly cannot think of any statement when it comes to creating positive change in our lives that is more encouraging. I have a little playback in my head of Tiffany's wise words that I refer to often.
My resistance to resolutions was really a reaction to my fear of failure. I don't fear failure when it comes to tangible art or design but in creating the life I wanted, I was never putting the time into being perfectly clear. I am used to everything I create coming to me in waves of inspiration & seemingly so effortless but in truth that is only a result of my making it a priority & a focus for so long that makes it natural & effortless for me.

So my plan of action for this New Year 2012... is this.

I have set a few daily & weekly goals which I see as flexible. There are things I must always do for my business & things I want to do; but there are times when something else that needs our attention comes up or a better direction or a better option is discovered & when we are rigid with ourselves & do not allow ourselves some flexibility it is a hindrance to the creative process which is often a process of ebb & flow.  I believe our goals must support & serve us, not weigh us down. They must not feel like a new burden to carry that applies added pressure to what we already feel daily, because we will usually resist them at some point.

As I mentioned above, Clarity is essential.  I would compare Clarity to a thumbnail or quick sketch.

 I have to be clear on what I want so I can map out the way to go. If you were a traveler on a treacherous journey (which life can tend to be at times) you would not refer to the map only once upon leaving for your journey (which I think the idea of resolution's seem to suggest) but you would refer to it constantly & even re-correct your course because we can all get a little off track at times. So for my goals & my vision there must be a constant evaluation of where I am at on the journey to my desired destination.

One of the best tools I have ever used which I would compare to doing my preliminarily drawings is an Ideal Life Vision. I wrote about this before in Bridging the Gap. I cannot even think to begin the New Year without covering this important tool..  Everything we do or don't do, really starts with our mind & most of our results or lack thereof are based off how our subconscious mind works.  The Ideal Life Vision taps into that part of our mind & I believe brings greater awareness even re-wiring our brain to help us accomplish our goals.  I personally know many others who have benefited greatly from implementing an Ideal Life Vision. My children are now implementing this to help them in areas in which they struggle. I greatly appreciate Ann Webb for her work in sharing the Ideal Life Vision with so many. I am lucky to know her.

I compare creating your life vision to the process of creating preliminary drawings because they are not rigid or final. They are subject to change & will need to be changed, but as you get more comfortable you will  find that you're better able to pinpoint exactly what you want for the finished product. I guess the transfer is the process of making it into a MP3 & putting in on your ipod.

How do you achieve the finished product? By listening to it everyday. Listening to it is applying brushstrokes on the canvas which are step by step & what will help you to create your finished product.

 Two new things I will be adding this year to my creative tools & I am not talking about new paint brushes although it would be nice.... are a vision board & symbolic representation.

My first introduction to vision boards was through John Assaraf in the movie the 'Secret'. Although I think that Life Vision is very powerful I am recognizing my personal visual nature.  Because I am an artist  & designer I often process information through visual means first over any other sense. Knowing this about myself helps me recognize how to utilize these processes to better serve myself.

Symbolism is something I often use with clients. I have used astrology & representations of elements & various levels of feng shui in my work. All of which to me are really about implementing symbols into the environment that help represent & remind you (both subconscious or consciously) of what you are trying to achieve. This along with my vision board I will be implementing into my environment more. Environment is such a huge influence on us I am amazed at how little intention for our good we put in it.

Well I am off to create my vision for an amazing 2012! Happy New Year Everyone!