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My Word of the Year for 2014

I wear "release" close to my heart.
(pendant made by the fabulous Liz Lamoreux)

So it seems that for some people making New Year's Resolutions is a thing of the past. Instead, many of us are opting for a "word of the year." I am not sure how it started, to be completely honest, and I cannot even remember when I began this practice. What I do know is that I have a history of making resolutions and not keeping them. I believe that is due in large part my choosing resolutions that I wasn't really ready to make or capable of following through with anyway. When I heard about the word concept - to set an intention for the year with a word that represents something you would like to manifest, I thought "That is something I can do! I love words!" So, I signed right up.

In 2012 my word was trustTrust became my mantra. I repeated it constantly as a reminder that it is okay to trust… to simply trust that everything was as it should be, to trust in the process, to trust in myself and the people around me. Trusting became a sacred practice for me and it is one that I continue to use in my life.

Last year my word was intention. It was was a bust. I chose intention with a plan in mind - I wanted to be very deliberate about the choices I made each day. I wanted to make these choices with intention. My approach was much like the one I took in fifth grade when my mom told me about learning through osmosis… right before a science test. Instead of studying I slept with my science book under my pillow, believing (hoping?) that everything I needed to know for my test would somehow make its way from the pages of my science book to my brain. It didn't quite work that way for me. To go from flying by the seat of one's pants (hypothetically speaking) to living with intention takes more than osmosis. I was more deliberate about many of the decisions I made last year, but not as deliberate as I would have liked.

This year my word is release! I like to write it with the exclamation point at the end. It feels like a dance that way - one where I throw my head back and my arms in the air.


To me, release is about actively choosing to let go of anything holding me back or weighing me down - unwanted weight, bad habits, old stories, lies I've believed about myself or others…I want to let it all go so I can move forward with my big dreams.

One of my big dreams is to be completely present for my children when we are together. With all that they face in their lives, I think they need me. A lot. I'm easily distracted and wanting to do a million things at once so they rarely get my undivided attention. Plus, there are three of them so that makes it even harder for each of them to get what they need. And then there is my iPhone… Sometimes, when things get loud and crazy, I shut down a little. This is part of an old story, or an old way of coping with the challenges I face. I want to let that go - that shutting down thing. The escaping thing. It's not so simple though. Releasing that lifelong habit is going to take some work. My kids and I are worth the work. I'm going for it, and I'll be sure to let you know how that goes.

On Saturday, January 25 from 12:30-3:00, I will be guiding some beautiful souls through a word of the year selection meditation. Once we've chosen our words, each of us will make a beautiful piece of art to celebrate our words! I'm really excited. I think it's going to be fun and meaningful too. If you are within driving distance to Brighton, join us! You can register by calling the Yoga Center for Healthy Living at 810.225.1288.

Wishing you all the best with whatever it is you are working on this year. Be gentle with your sweet self along the way… xoxo

Oooh La La!

Here is Alexander, my 7 year-old son, holding the most recent addition to our art collection. This kid is a magician. He has the power to both mortify and charm a girl at the very same time. He used to surprise me with his worldly wisdom, but now I've grown to expect something profound to exit his lips every few days. When it's not profound, it makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong as a mother... Let's just say he is no stranger to profanity. Yes, he is seven.

So enough about children who rock my world with the power to both break and build my heart... A week or so ago I posted this picture of Alexander on Facebook.

I am an avid iphontographer. Meaning I take pictures with my iPhone. All. The. Time. It is amazing what one can do with an iPhone and some cool software these days. Photography is an art that has always left me in awe. Back in the day the process of taking a photo, finishing a roll of film, dropping it off at the drugstore, and waiting, usually impatiently, to take ownership of an entire stack of beautiful new photos - that process was magical to me. I loved plowing through that stack of photos reliving every precious moment captured on film. Hoping I had actually captured the precious moment. Celebrating when I had, and trying not to be disappointed when I hadn't. Let's face it, some moments, the most hard to capture moments, like the sunset, a sleeping baby, and the Red Rocks in Sedona must be lived and appreciated fully in the moment. The pictures are simply a reminder of that moment.

I spent years carefully placing my photos in albums - remember those magnetic pages with the sticky stuff on them? I made my own scrapbooks, and felt as if I had died and gone to heaven when I learned there was an entire world that existed around what I had been doing in my own way for years - scrapbooking! I loved it all. The entire process. And as much as I love the instant gratification we experience now with digital photography, a part of me misses the rush I'd get when I'd finally get to see the product of my work after waiting with anticipation through an entire process.

Now I get a taste of that high through software like PicMonkey. It's not exactly the same, but I really enjoy my new process of clicking "Apply" and seeing my photos change right before my eyes. I enjoy seeing the many ways a photo can change with a simple click - adding "clarity" or a vintage look. Playing with the filters is really so much fun, and anyone can do it.

I still appreciate the art of photography and I sit in awe of the professionals. Seeing the ways they work their magic is inspiring. I guess the software is much like the magic kit I received as a gift as a child. I'm doing tricks with my software for sure, but it is play in comparison to the transformation that takes place at the hands of a real live magician.

Finally, we have arrived to the point of my post. If you love to play with pictures and even words, like I do, AND you are in the market for some meaningful art for your home, please consider this... I snapped that picture of my son and used PicMonkey to play with the filters and add a poem I found by Mary Oliver that fit both the image and the boy in it - within minutes. I uploaded it to Snapfish and within a week I have a brand new piece of art on canvas. I LOVE it! I love it so much, I just had to share it with you. I didn't anticipate you'd get an entire story to go with it, but that happens with me sometimes.

Go... Make some magic! Enjoy! xo