In Gratitude for 2012

Each year, during the “time out of time” between Solstice and New Year’s, I work on a Life Review. This year, I am aided and abetted by my friend Waverly Fitzgerald through her lovely little ecourse, “12 Days of Christmas.”

As I responded to Waverly’s prompts this past week about the most significant moments of 2012, the creative projects, spiritual practices, and sorrows and disappointments, I realized why I love this process of reviewing the year gone by.

It helps me to be proud of my accomplishments, and to really sit up and take note of what kind of a steward I was with my time and energy.

It reminds me of the spiritual epiphanies that drove me forward — those things that can be so evanescent if you don’t mark them in some way.

And finally, looking at the sorrows and disappointments of the past year helps me to release them, to forgive myself and have compassion for myself.

My Most Significant Experiences in 2012:

  • I found a new soul-calling in hosting and teaching the first Gaian Soul Retreat.
  • I created an entire body of work over the course of the whole year:  Gaian Soul Seasonal Practices e-courses.
  • I was diagnosed with a plethora of food allergies. Because of this, I healed some chronic health issues by changing my diet, lost 35 pounds and successfully maintained the loss.
  • I had a brief but potent encounter with Lady Death in the ER (a dehydration scare).
  • My vision for an oracle deck and book was turned upside down and inside out (in a good way) by Christina Baldwin at her “Self as Source of the Story” writers’ retreat.

My Disappointments and Sorrows included:

  • Creating zero new pieces of art because of my heavy ecourse creation schedule.
  • Getting behind in bookkeeping and taxes (now in process of cleaning that up).
  • Summer weight gain (followed by loss in the fall).
  • Being sick at the Readers Studio in NY and spending too much time in my hotel room.
  • Becoming very weary of travel. I decided to cut way back on my travel schedule, and not attend any tarot conferences in 2013.
  • A few other things that are a bit too tender to share here.

Here are some of the things that happened month by month, illustrated with some of the photos I took in those months.

In January:

  • Created and launched Gaian Soul Practices for Candlemas ecourse.
  • Had a wonderful birthday weekend at the Chrysalis spa with my sweetie.
  • Opened registration for the September Gaian Soul Retreat with a fabulous response.
Three of Deer
January: Three of Deer in our Backyard

In February:

  • Taught a workshop on the Gaian Tarot at the Women of Wisdom conference in Seattle.
  • Worked on a portrait of Brigid for the new oracle deck (unfinished).
Northern Flicker in Cedar
February: Northern Flicker in Cedar

In March:

  • Created and launched Gaian Soul Practices for Spring Equinox ecourse.
March: Cold Sunny Day on Bellingham Bay

In April:

  • Created and launched Gaian Soul Practices for Beltane ecourse.
  • Traveled to Maine to visit the kids and granddaughter Gracie; Craig was sick while we there.
  • Traveled to New York for the Readers Studio, got sick and did not have a great time.
  • Worked way too hard, managing ecourses and traveling at the same time.
April: Steve and Gracie in Maine

In May:

  • Started studying Lenormand and began sketching out ideas for a Lenormand deck.
  • Celebrated the 3rd Birthday of the Gaian Tarot Circle.  Such a lovely community of folks.
May: Made a Mandala of Flowers at the Beach

In June:

  • Created and launched Gaian Soul Practices for Summer Solstice ecourse.
  • My father-in-law died, and we spent Summer Solstice week in eastern Washington.
  • Co-created “Magical Mojo Business Circle” mastermind group.
  • Worked on a portrait of the Midsummer Queen for the new oracle deck (unfinished).
June: Three Generations of Olson Women

In July:

  • Created and launched Gaian Soul Practices for Lammas ecourse.
  • Attended World Domination Summit in Portland, and was blown away by this gathering of 1000 people all committed to “living a remarkable life in a conventional world.”
  • Bought my first iPhone and became addicted to Instagram.
  • Co-taught at Omega Tarot Conference in NY with tarot heroes Mary Greer, Rachel Pollack, Caitlin Matthews, Bob Place. Realized creating a Lenormand deck is not my path.
July: Omega Tarot Conference, Rhinebeck, NY

In August:

  • Spent Lammas weekend camping at the River Farm with local friends and family.
  • Started making Spirit Dolls, testing out different techniques.
  • Started making meditative videos.
  • French version of Gaian Tarot was released in Canada and Europe.
  • Traveled to San Francisco for BATS (Bay Area Tarot Symposium).
  • Started seeing a naturopath, tested for food allergies, started new food plan.
August: Lammas at the River Farm

In September:

  • Created and launched Gaian Soul Practices for Autumn Equinox ecourse.
  • Created and hosted first Gaian Soul Retreat. An amazing experience.
  • Lost 19 pounds.
September: Gaian Soul Retreat at Aldermarsh, Whidbey Island

In October:

  • Created and launched Gaian Soul Practices for Hallowmas ecourse.
  • Launched another Gaian Soul Retreat: Brigid’s Feast for early February.
  • Total weight loss, 24 pounds.
October: Ancestor Angel at Bayview Cemetery, Bellingham

In November:

  • Tweaked and relaunched Gaian Soul Practices for Yuletide/Midwinter ecourse.
  • Went on a self-created business retreat and made plans for 2013.
  • Healed my leaky gut since I’m no longer eating foods I’m allergic to. Stopped taking two medications; no longer need them. Yes!
  • Attended Christina Baldwin’s “Self as Source of the Story” writing retreat. Life-changing.
  • Total weight loss, 34 pounds. 25 more to go in the new year.
November: Following the Path at Aldermarsh

In December:

  • Co-hosted 25th annual St Lucia Party at our home. Heart-opening.
  • Maintained weight loss throughout holiday season.
  • Had a couple of very quiet, introspective weeks.
  • Got caught up on bookkeeping and taxes.
  • Started offering “Magical Tarot Dreams” consultations.
December: Welcoming St. Lucia, Herald of the Sun’s Return

These are mostly “outer” events that, written out like this, don’t really reflect the inner experience. That may be a blog post for another day. I am grateful for it all, the highs, the lows, the triumphs and the disappointments.

And I’m ready for 2013.

How about you?

14 thoughts on “In Gratitude for 2012

    1. Thank you Maurie! I really appreciate your beautiful work as one of the Gaian Tarot Circle Guardians. Deep appreciation to you. May the New Year bring you all that you desire.

  1. Joanna, you left out the incredible pdf you just created on making Spirit Dolls. The new formatting is gorgeous and looks to me like you and Lyn should collect more photos of the process and the results and maybe run some events to do that, including the stories of women on why they brought to life this or that spirit. It’s awesome and inspiring process and combined with Lyn’s masks it’s powerful. Thank you!!!

    1. Oh thanks Pam, you’re right, I should add that in. 🙂

      I don’t know if Lyn and I will do workshops together (I am in Washington, she is in Texas), but I think we both may do our own workshops. I’d love to take hers, actually!

  2. I enjoyed this post. I started going to a Naturopath in 2012 too. I very much like the approach and focus on healing rather than pharmaceuticals. She also got me journalling regularly which I found very helpful in maintaining equilibrium.

    I am still plagued by chronic pain though. I feel 2013 might be another year of finding equilibrium with that. Your experiences healing and feeling better give me hope.

    I love that Aldermarsh photo–saw it on the original post but it’s very affecting and gentle.

  3. Wow Joanna, that was some year, congrats on all of your learnings and yes weight loss. I wish you love, good health, joy and peace in 2013

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