Alignment, close to the heart.

Drawings, Writing
my one word for 2016, #suedle style.

my one word for 2016, #suedle style.

 

This past year was full of moments of joy, both the planned and the unexpected. When I look back on this year, I realize I had lots of big dreams. Dreaming is my way of finding joy.

When I reflected on my year of joy in search for a new word for 2016, I thought I would do something similar to other reflective posts – link back to a bunch of joyful moments of 2015. I have to admit I hesitated to do this & ultimately decided against it. It’s not that I don’t think it’s important to share the ‘happy times.’ I very much do, particularly lately when it seems our world isn’t so joyful.

It’s just that…Well, more than I want to share these moments, I want to hold onto them. I want to keep them in a private space, somewhere close to my heart, near my soul. I want to be selfish.  I want them to be mine. Some moments are not meant to be shared with my whatever-something followers. I’d rather call the few people I would share it with if we were all standing in the same room. Somehow, its more meaningful that way.

 

This may sound weird. I guess it is a little weird, considering I’m sharing this on a blog. But, 2015 really taught me a ton about private moments of joy and how I am in so in love with them. I want more of that.

I think I realized this in April when Dan asked me to marry him. (See? If you just followed me here, you probably had no idea this even happened! Don’t worry, I had no idea it was happening either.) At first, it was pure torture for the both of us not to hop online, update ALL the statuses and tell the world that we would be going on foodventures together for the rest of our lives. However, something pretty cool happened by not sharing right away – I recognized I LOVED not posting about it. Those few days where nothing was online about our newfound relationship status were total bliss. It was like our (and our families & close friends) little secret. I held it close to my heart, just like I wanted.

There were a few other moments over 2015 where I had moments like this. And that brings us to today. My ‘one words’ over the past few years have focused on action & experience. Finish. Do. Joy. During those years, I had listed out some pretty specific goals to go along with each one. I think somewhere in my mind I thought, Oh easy, I’ll pick a word, I’ll do these few things and I’ll feel great! Piece of cake.

But I’ve discovered, for me, that doesn’t really work. (I cannot believe it took me three years to realize that.) My ‘one word’ has to be more like a theme for it to be effective. A mantra, of sorts. ‘Joy’ was great for that – in obvious moments of joy, but also in moments that were complete shit too. It brought me back around, shifted my focus to turn and look at the good.

Les Brown quote

This year, I want to purposefully find the things that are close to my heart. I want to align myself with ‘those’ people. I want to be a bit more selfish. Development, whether personal or professional, has always been something I value. I want to find & invest in things that make me better, in people that strengthen me. This year, I’m working to align the things I want to do with who I am and who I want to be. I have a few ideas of what this might look like (more reading, more drawing, more walking and a suedle rebrand!) and what it might not look like. I definitely know that for now, I’ll be taking a step away from some social media platforms to have time to do other things.

I think the best part about ‘align’ is that those things could change. I think one of my favorite podcasters, Jess Lively, puts it best. She consistently says, ‘this thing might not serve me in this space I am right now. But, it could serve me if things change in the future.’ I dig the flexible, self aware nature of that statement. It aligns with what I’m trying to do.

So, for now, bye bye Twitter & Facebook. And hello to new drawings on Instagram and pictures of my cat on Snapchat. If you want to say hello, you can comment here, find me there or my personal favorite – we can chat offline! Preferably over a caffeinated beverage.

Or you can head over here to hear more about suedles and the update taking place soon. 

Thanks for hearing me out and I hope to see a few of you along the journey.

align

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The Joy of Presence.

Writing

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite podcasts, Invisible Office Hours, returned for it’s second season. IOH is hosted by two creative entrepreneurs, Paul Jarvis and Jason Zook. Though I first ‘met’ this dynamic duo after reading their blogs and books, I have a greater appreciation for Paul and Jason after fangirling over their podcast.

On Tuesday, I set an appointment on my calendar so I wouldn’t miss their opening segment. Not only was I excited for the second season, but I wondered what the first episode would be about. I was somewhat surprised when the conversation started about social media.

Paul and Jason went onto to talk for a little over an hour about social media usage and how it could be addicting. As I pondered this, I (ironically) took to Twitter with my thoughts:

I would not put my social media addiction on the same level as my caffeine or Sharpie addiction…but I would say it’s pretty damn close. Mostly, my addiction has be beneficial. I’ve reaped the benefits of new relationships, some professional development opportunities and business opportunities. I’ve looked at it as another medium to express myself, to share topics I care about and start discussions.

But lately, I have been straying from my usual usage. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why until Paul and Jason talked about a “social media sabbatical.” Sounds kind of funny, doesn’t it? But the more my earbuds filled with stories of theirs, the more I kind of yearned for one myself. It seems it’s not enough to have notifications disabled on my devices.

I need a hard reset. I need a creative shove to feel the joy in being present again.

When I told my coworker I was doing this, he said “you won’t be able to make it.” Maybe he’s right, but I feel like it’s certainly worth a try.

 

After my #NACA15 presentation, you won’t hear (or read?) anything from me for the next few days/week. I am planning on doing a lot of reading, lots of suedling and a whole lotta being.

So long for now!

 

 

(Shameless plug: If you read, write or breathe, you will probably love Invisible Office Hours. Check out some of their episodes here.)

Choosing Joy. (Sharing my #oneword2015)

Writing

2014 was the year of ‘do’ for me.

 

Take on the responsibility.

Start the book.

Create the eSeries.

Open the Etsy shop.

Go to the conference.

Make the appointment.

Go to the interview.

Act on a conference committee.

Commit to the year after.

Submit the proposal.

Go to the yoga class.

Present.

Read the book(s).

Pick up the phone.

Say goodbye.

Draw.

Draw.

Suedle.

Draw.

 

I am a woman who hesitates. Sometimes, I like to think things through. Sometimes, it just doesn’t feel right. Sometimes, I just can’t find the time. And sometimes, I need a nap.

 

I learned a few things, both good and bad, by focusing on doing this year. My biggest takeaway? I can’t do it all. Sometimes when I do it all, I am a real cranky individual. I am not my best, I don’t produce great work, and I am a real bitch to the people I love the most.

But when I am careful about what I do choose to do? I freaking ROCK that shit. I go all in, all Sue, all the time. When I focus, I create and complete projects in all areas of my life. (Major testament to this: holiday sales on my Etsy shop! I was focused and pulled it off. I laid out a timeline for myself and didn’t over promise or extend. Win!)

 

This year, I’m switching it up with my #oneword2015. I’ve focused on finishing and doing in the past two years.

 

This year, it’s joy.

Joy

Being a woman who hesitates, I also tend to over think things. I can let my emotions get in the way of being in the moment, recognizing the good times and being grateful for them. I burrow, not giving myself the opportunities to feel joy.

 

This year, I’d like to focus on the joyful moments that we can overlook everyday. To help, I’m increasing my suedle-ing to at least one sketch a day, using my 365 Sketchbook. I’m also making a Joy Jar to capture joyful moments throughout the year. Last but not least, I’m going to use a daily practice I developed as a Healer’s Art faculty member this year – a mental journal. At the end of each day, I will quietly ask myself, “What brought you joy today?” This could be fulfilling a long term goal, dreaming up a new one or finishing a good book. Recognizing joy, in all shapes and sizes, is a skill I hope to hone in the new year.


Cheers to a joyful 2015!

relax, just DO it.

Writing

20140103-101545.jpg

a few days ago, Mallory Bower wrote a post entitled “It’s the things you DO that make you good.” before you continue on, you may want to head over to Mallory’s corner of the interwebz and read up. (it’s okay, i’ll wait right here while she rocks your world.)

being that i just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s OutliersMallory’s post really hit home. up until this, i was caught between two ideas for my #oneword2014. i hesitated writing this post…and then quickly realized that said more about which one i should chose than anything else!

my #oneword2014 is DO.

so often action is halted by intricate thoughts and the mulling over of options. thoughtful reflection is very different from a shameful delay. it bugs me and causes anxiety, especially when it puts a damper on creativity.

so 2014 will be the year for less shame, and more do.

answer the call,

sketch the thought, 

write the post,

paint the picture,

draw the #suedle,  

present the idea,

run the race,

practice the lesson, 

read the book,

have the conversation,

submit the application,

just do it already.

are you participating in #oneword365? what’s your one word for 2014?