2014 was a year of surprises. Good ones. The biggest one, of course, was our return to Heron House on Lummi Island. One year ago, Craig and I had no idea we would be selling our Bellingham house and moving back to the island. We sure didn’t know how happy that move would make both of us. (As I look at last year’s New Year’s Reading, I see that I pulled the Dark Goddess Tarot card Chantico, Aztec Goddess of the Hearth, for the position of “what I leave behind in the old year.” I puzzled over that one, and did not really know what it meant. In retrospect, I see that it was literal. I was literally leaving behind my Bellingham hearth and home with the old year.)
The word I chose as a theme for 2014 was “write.” On January 1st, I set myself the goal of finishing the manuscript of my book-in-progress. One year later, have I accomplished that goal? Not quite. But I do have about 80% of it done. I discovered that, instead of fulfilling my intention of working slowly and steadily on the book, I would work in spurts where I accomplished a great deal, followed by fallow periods of time where I didn’t work on the book at all.
But I don’t recommend this “feast or famine” kind of a writing process. I still want to write consistently, every day in half-hour increments, as Elizabeth Gilbert recommends. Still, no matter how I got there, I am pleased that the book is so much closer to being finished.
I was also surprised by a longing to create new art and explore new artistic mediums, after making a commitment to write. I completed only two full-sized pieces of art in 2014, Brigid’s Fire and Guadalupe Mermaid, both of which I love. But I also did a lot of half-completed pieces and messy experiments, which made me very happy. I loved co-teaching with Lyn Belisle in San Antonio in October. Her fearless approach to mixed media continues to inspire me.
Not so surprisingly, I continued to love, love, LOVE creating retreat experiences for women. I adore the women who come to my retreats and workshops, and I am thrilled to see some of them become true soul sisters for each other. I cannot even express how deeply satisfying it is to call these circles together.
In many ways, it was a very “outward,” traveling kind of a year, with retreats or workshops I led (7), retreats I attended (3), and fun vacations in distant states (2).
This, on top of moving and renovating / repairing / redecorating our island house. At the beginning of the year, only a few of those things were planned. The rest came later, as opportunities arose.
But an introvert like me needs a lot of solitude and downtime to recharge after these periods of high socializing, and I managed to take that time for myself this year too. I spent hours walking the beaches of the island, becoming reacquainted with the magic and mystery of this place. Artwork and writing happen in silence and solitude too, most of the time. And in that silence, rising up from the earth and the sea, I was moved to create my Mama Ocean Blessing Bags & Ritual Service. It’s one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done, and I treasure every letter I received in response to them.
Now, at the hinge of the year, I find myself craving even more solitude and silence, magic and mystery. Who knows what this year may bring?
As I reflect on the plans I made a year ago, and then see what actually happened, I realize that our plans can only take us so far. I still believe in setting goals and intentions, and making a map for the year to come (especially as a self-employed heart-based entrepreneur). But now more than ever, I realize that we must be open to serendipity, “for how else can the Divine enter in?” (Joseph Campbell)
I think my theme word for 2015 is “open,” as in open to surprises and serendipity. (And perhaps, as in opening a door. A window. A box. Hmmm.)
And now I’d best get to work on those plans. 😉
(All photos taken by me in 2014 on my trusty iPhone.)