[posted by Victoria Smith on January 12, 2017]
Happy New Year, Beautiful!
The holidays were busy around the Mojo Lab, but full of joy, celebration, and cozy pleasures too. I think I’m at my happiest when I’m creating something new and December found me deep in my creative zone with new projects.
The 12 Days of Wonder & Joy program I led last month brought me deep pleasure to create and, based on the lovely feedback I’ve been receiving, was enjoyed by those of you who participated. Bless you for all your kind words about it! Part of what made it such a joy to create was that it gave me two solid weeks of writing every single day on a subject near and dear to my heart. And it came at a time when I, and I suspect most of us, needed that reminder of the rich joys and love that the holiday season holds if we nurture them. That’s the sweet spot of creative flow, pleasure, alignment, and purpose I intend to weave more of into my days this year.
I’ve found the desire to write more frequently has been welling up in me for the past few months. It’s a desire to write more Field Notes missives to you, more blog posts, more new courses and programs, and even to gather my courage and submit some of my writing to publications. I’ve been waking up in the early hours of the morning with words, phrases, and even full paragraphs rolling around in my head and needing to be captured in my notebook before they’ve been overwritten by the day’s events. To honor the call, I’m stepping back from accepting any new one-on-one coaching clients while I immerse myself in writing and other creative projects.
Rediscovering Our Soul’s Desires
Words and images have been the core of my creative passion for many, many years. It’s why I started my first blog on Live Journal in 2000 (do you remember LJ?), although at that time they weren’t called blogs quite yet. I was an early adopter and it started me down a road of writing and sharing regularly to a growing community in those early days of the internet. Other than a couple year-long hiatuses when big life stuff was happening, I’ve blogged regularly ever since. That is until the past year or so.
I remember the excitement as new blog platforms emerged and suddenly you could style your blog, include images, and connect with a warm community of readers and fellow bloggers. What I remember most is the absolute joy and delight I felt as I planned out my next post and what photo I could pair with it. I was constantly jotting new blog post ideas and notes in my journal about every bit of inspiration that crossed my path. As soon as I could afford it, I bought my first digital camera and, along with my notebook, it went everywhere I did. I was always hunting for the perfect image to include with my next post. I was in a constant state of presence, receptivity, flow, and creativity.
There was a simplicity to blogging in those days and an emphasis on community, creativity, originality, and sharing for sharing sake. I loved every bit of it and some of those early friends I made online are still in my life today. Soon the internet and blogging became mainstream and much more crowded and noisy. There started to be a lot of pressure on blogs to perform impressively, have thousands of page hits each day, and develop a “killer” following. Or, so the e-wisdom went, why bother?
Blogging became more about the statistics and strategies for getting attention and selling than about creative expression and connecting. For these and other reasons I lost my passion for it. I found myself pulling back from my blog and although it’s still on my website, my posts became more erratic and started feeling more like a should than a pleasure. I want to change that and it starts with remembering why I love writing, imagery, and sharing so much, and finding my own path with it again.
As the marketing gurus have shifted their focus to other, faster ways to grow an audience and make money online, blogs are being abandoned in droves. This creates an opportunity for a resurgence in more soulful and creative blogging again. And I love that.
As the urge to write more has been growing of late, I’ve realized that the rest of my creative life has taken the same hits as my blog has. I’ve engaged in a few creative projects here and there, but they’ve been a bit irregular and squeezed in between all the other bits. Some of that has to do with being busy with Mojo Lab coaching and admin work, some health issues that resurfaced in 2016, and living life in a very busy and distracting world. But it also has to do with not consistently tending to what means the most to me and sometimes letting what’s yammering loudest for my attention to get all of my focus and energy. I know I’m not alone in this. It’s the challenge we all face in our lives as creative and spiritual beings in the modern world.
Answering the Call
The New Year is a time when we typically come back to center for awhile, refocus on what’s most important to us, name what we need to refill our wells and nourish ourselves, and reprioritize our activities for the coming months. Writing 12 Days of Wonder & Joy reminded me of just how important it is to engage in creative work that feeds our souls. That reminder came at the perfect time as the New Year was fast approaching.
It doesn’t matter if the creative work you do is for pay or just for sheer pleasure, whether it’s just for you or to be shared, and it definitely doesn’t have to be “artsy” to be creative. Anything we do with love, flow, and presence is a creative act. It’s what feeds our souls and helps us to grow, express ourselves, and remember who we are outside of the daily to-do lists, responsibilities, and expectations of others.
All of this fed into my musings about which Word I would choose this year and I eventually landed on Tend. Not in an obligatory sense of the word, but as a nourishing and cultivating approach to what means the most to me in all areas of my life. Again and again, we have to put our soul back in the driver’s seat. It’s the one practice that helps us course-correct if we’re going astray and keeps our daily lives more aligned with what truly is meaningful to us.
For me, that includes listening to my soul’s desires to write more, sharing more for sharing sake, and letting go of the lingering shoulds around my writing and business. It also means tuning-in to my body, intuition, inner wisdom, and Nature with an even closer ear this year. All the wisdom and guidance I need reside there.
Flow, Trust, and Self-Love
When I stumbled across the image above of the flowing faucets, it stopped me in my tracks and literally gave me the chills. It immediately reminded me of the wall faucet in Frances Mayes’ beautiful Bramasole villa in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. When she moves in, the faucet doesn’t work. There’s no flow. After her own journey of simultaneously renovating the house and her life, and creating the community her soul desperately craved, both her creativity and the faucet begin to flow again. It’s a reminder that we have to nourish and refill our well when we’re depleted or hurting, but we also have to decide what it is we most want in our lives and take action to create it.
To me it boils down to trust and self-love. When we trust our soul’s desires and our own capacity to follow them, it’s a courageous and empowering act of self-love. And that sounds perfectly delicious to me.
It’s why I’m now deep in the creative cave again, working on the new Dream & Plan Your Own Magic program that begins next month. This project has been on the back burner for several years, but suddenly feels like it needs and wants to happen now. It’s no coincidence that a feeling of urgency to create it caught fire with my own end-of-the-year deep diving and recentering. The process, tools, and practices in the program bridge the gaps between our soul’s desires, dreams, and our daily lives. That’s something we all need in our supply kits for our journeys. It’s time for me to finally share it.
What is calling to be tended in your life this year? This season? This month? Today?
What is your soul whispering (or shouting) that it most desires right now? How can you honor that?
Wishing you loads of magic and joy (and sweet flow in all you do),