I have found that a new year can carry with it a lot of pressure. Will this be the year that x, y, and z will happen? Will I finally _____________? Is it possible that ________? Truly, what does any new year contain? It contains hope, potential, dreams, and sleep, meal times, conversations, work, rest, vacations, words, and maybe some attention to the Self. So, let’s slow down this newness and really appreciate it, hold it, and infuse it with our intentions. The beauty of this new year is that it is wide open. While there are some things that you know will happen (paying bills, preparing meals, possibly cleaning), there is space for your dreams, hopes, and goals to come to fruition as well. As Marth Beck says, “just specifying your goals is a huge step toward achieving them.” Perhaps your dreams and goals are not completely clear from this standpoint, but opening up that space to allow the light to catch them is more than enough to begin the process. And this is why creating a vision board is a wonderful tool to collect your dreams in a visual representation of what is stirring in your heart. Beck goes on to say that finding your way, your passion, your direction (North Star) is a highly psychological and spiritual act. When you sit down and allow yourself time and space to dream along with the joy of creating a visual of those intangible thoughts, you are being brave. You are showing up for yourself and in your life, you are daring to live and to find a way to make what you desire, what fuels you a part of your every day life. You do not need to live from a place of exhaustion, stress, misalignment, brokenness—you are capable of cutting and pasting and crafting beauty that you can place on your wall—a visual reminder of your dreams to carry you through and to focus your prayers, to remind you of who you are, where you want to go, what you want to do, where you want to travel to, what you want to read, where you want to live, what your bookshelf will look like–what infuses you with life. That, my friends, is a gift you can give yourself at the start of this new year. It is so important to honor all of the ways that you already do show up in your life. One of my most favorite activities is to create a vision board during an afternoon retreat with other women. It is so nice to be able to sit in circle, to breathe, to respond to a few writing prompts, to center my thoughts, to share and to listen to what others have to say, and then to dive into creation mode. I love sharing this rich time in shared silence and comfortable companionship as we shift magazines, paper, glue, and scissors around the circle. If you are in Athens, Georgia, on Saturday, January 10th, I’ll be offering our first Vision Board Circle of 2015. We will be holding space for renewal and clarity as we cut, paste, and glue our dreams to 2015. You can see other upcoming events by going to the heidi.at.heartspace profile on Facebook.
Have you ever noticed what you are carrying with you? So often our thoughts and our concerns can feel like a physical weight our bodies carry, and we may not be aware of it.
I have found that through a few minutes of quiet breathing with my eyes closed, I can check in and notice what I am carrying. Sometimes my shoulders feel so heavy, and I notice that I am carrying concerns for someone in my life. When I am quiet and breathing, I can sit with this and hold space for this concern. When I am quiet and breathing, I can transfer the weight from my shoulders into a sacred space where I hold the person and her concern out away from my body. I can see it and her and I can let it be what it is. Also, I can offer a prayer, but only after I have held space and have breathed into the wounded place, into the brokenness.
One reason why I carve out time to sit in silence every day is to meet the face of God, but also, it is to release the load I am carrying. It is to release the things I have taken on throughout being in relationship with others.
It is truly a gift to hold sacred space for those I know, love, and am connected to through this web of human experience. It is a gift to feel comfortable to sit in silence and to feel the shift of what I carry into what I offer up. I find that by transferring my thoughts and concerns through the quiet space I can lay them down and know they were heard. I walk away lighter and more capable of helping others after I lay my burdens down at the feet of the One who wants them.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
~ Matthew 11:29-30
Photo credit: paul bica / Foter.com / CC BY
For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken. It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.
~ D.H. Lawrence
I love this quotation because it speaks to the heart of an artist. We all know that we produce so much more when our hearts are rent. We feel the fabric of life in a cosmic-ly small way. The scales are torn from our eyes, and we see things as they are in all their pain, glory, and beauty. Sunshine feels different on our skin, and so we write about it. A song moves us, and so we paint it. This is where the heart lies–in brokenness. It can be a beautiful thing because it brings life to a square stop. We see in simple terms, and this is where creativity rests.
I say, embrace the brokenness. Let it be. Hold space for it and honor it. Don’t fill in the gaps it has left. There is no need to paint over the marks; instead, allow it to be what lives in you for a time. Use it to fuel your creativity, to connect with what is, to see what is before you. You are not alone in this–but use it. It is your fire.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~ Psalm 147:3
Photo credit: Amy V. Miller / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND