It’s a new year. A chance to turn over a new leaf. My publishers at Figure 1 asked me to pen a message on new beginnings for their site. I'm so glad they did as it caused me form these thoughts, and remind myself how much I love writing! Hope to do more in 2018. On that note...
Someone recently wished me success in reaching my goals this year and I teased that my goal was to not actually have goals. While many like to make big resolutions I suggest making small adjustments to your mindset instead. Wisdom has taught me we cannot control the outcome, so intentionally making the most of every moment and seeing where we find ourselves a year later makes more sense to me. Personally I’ve always found it a bit out of place that this reset occurs in the middle of winter when Mother Nature goes dormant. Nothing distinctly shifts in the seasons from December to January and it’s challenging to feel motivated on darker days. Inversely, each year when September 1st arrives I remark it feels like that time be should be the ‘New Year’. Days of carefree wanderings are over just like summer holidays. The light shifts so dramatically its as if the sun is saying ‘ok kids enough playing, now back to the school of life’. We dust the sand off our toes, get back into shoes and get down to business.
This year though, we had something to truly light our way in the transition from 2017 into 2018. A super full moon. What a beauty she was. I saw her cresting over the mountains as I was walking along Jericho beach on New Year’s Eve day, then later that night she arced across the sky through my lovely paned windows. I took it all in and let the bright moonlight bathe me in hope for a gentle new year. 2017 was a tough one worldwide. We could all use a little more light and the super full moon brought it brightly. By connecting to the natural cycles of the earth and the moon, we can ground ourselves in the moment and set intentions. I’ve recently moved into a new apartment. I’m so grateful for my new place. It is filled with light and space to create and each day I wake feeling inspired as I settle in and ‘play house’.
With that fresh start I made some small lifestyle changes. I’m walking up 5 flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator. I’ve chosen not to have TV or cable. I decided not to keep the old clunker of a dishwasher in my quaint heritage kitchen and just do my dishes daily by hand. I try to write each day but give myself permission to slip into a weekly pattern. (Book number two might be on the way!) Today I am ready to start working on a new series of paintings. The blank canvas is literally awaiting me!
Each year I like to choose two words as a mantra to guide me forward. This year I chose 'gentle adventures'. I’m hoping at least a few of those will be spent out in the wilds somewhere. As I speak in my book The Natural Eclectic, nature has always been my greatest source of inspiration. Research is now showing us its true healing properties. Forest Bathing and Blue Space are a thing! So perhaps carve some time for yourself to get outdoors more. Plus, if you haven’t yet chosen words for yourself, I suggest trying that too. I know its already the middle of January. But it’s never too late to start any fresh start!
The Natural Eclectic: A Design Aesthetic Inspired by Nature by Heather Ross is available now.