It’s that time of the year when everything is in that space of being in-between.
The old year is not quite over. The new one has not yet begun. Normal routines are on a kind of hiatus. There’s a feeling of pause. And waiting.
And that period of pause can bring with it a turning inward. A time of reflection. Looking back more than looking forward. Noticing where we’ve been as a necessary prelude before jumping into where we’re going.
And realizing that this is not only the end of a year, but the end of an entire decade. 10 years of a life full of so many things.
And even though on one level, it’s only a number, it does feel like something has been wrapped up. Some process has been completed. And it’s time for something new. Even if I don’t know exactly what that means.
When I look back at the beginning of this decade I see myself at 57 years old, which is a time when a lot of folks are thinking about winding down. Retirement is maybe a few years out but it’s on the horizon. But for me it felt like I was on the sparkly cusp of a whole new professional chapter of my life.
For one thing, I had discovered the internet as a way to get me and my work out in the world in a bigger way. I was blogging in earnest and making creative friends and connecting with creativity students all over the world. I was continuing to develop my Creativity Will Save Your Soul message and wonderfully excited by all the new things I was learning about how to navigate the online world. But mostly I was experiencing what it meant to become more visible around my work and allowing myself to be seen as someone who had something important to say about intution , creativity and the creative process.
At that point I was two years into my Wild Heart Expressive Arts Teacher training program and it was so popular that I did TWO trainings in 2010! It almost killed me but it was deeply satisfying and also a great deal of fun.
I was learning what it meant to offer classes online using videos and began to get over my anxiety around being on camera.
I was still mostly operating in the non-digital world in terms of my day to day work but my presence online made filling my classes, workshops, retreats and teacher training SO much easier. And I was discovering how much I loved teaching and articulating everything I knew about art and the healing power of self expression and the creative process.
I continued to offer my intuitive painting retreats and workshops, and experimented with different forms of teaching including collaborating with other creative folks.
In 2014 my husband Tim left his job as an art director in the corporate world making video games. My business was doing well enough that we could afford for him to come into the Creative Juices Arts universe full time to work with me.
He jumped into the business with both feet, redesigning my website into something incredibly gorgeous and incredibly ME. Prior to this time I taught online as a guest teacher via other people’s events. But together he and I created our first 6 week online painting class that we called Painting With Fire.
During most of this decade I made my yearly pilgrimage to the Southwest to commune with the land I loved so much, to offer painting retreats at the Ghost Ranch Conference center and to buy tons of turquoise jewelry.
I offerred my very first international intutive painting retreat in Oaxaca in Mexico and once more held two teacher training groups at the same time, which meant that I facilitated 14 retreats in one 12 month period. It was a heady time… filled with a wondrous sense of expansion and accomplishment.
And then the following year, my two major retreat centers… that I had spent almost 20 years teaching out of… simply disappeared. One to fire and the other one to mismanagement on the part of the venue.
The past two years have been a time of rebuilding and both economic and spiritual expansion.
My teacher training manual expanded to 450 pages, I stepped more fully into my role as a masterful creativity mentor and spiritual guide, and the program itself became much more powerful and more life changing on so many levels. Tim and I became profoundly solid teaching partners, taking our groups deeper than they had ever gone before. We made a new retreat home at an ocean retreat center on the California coast and pushed ourselves to some exciting creative edges.
On a personal level there were some difficult and intransigent health challenges and a ton of personal growth, some of which included painfully waking up both politically and in terms of social justice and embracing some major paradigm shifts in terms of how I have always viewed the world. There were losses that included friendships and shifts in identity related to the aging process. A powerful new spiritual practice that has opened some interesting doors and led to a number of transformational journeys both inner and outer. Many new young people coming into my life providing me with inspiration and a sense of hope for the future. Many old friends keeping me grounded and feeling embedded in circles of love.
Which brings me here to this current point in time. There are some interesting changes afoot, some of which I will talk about at a later time. But one in particular is that a book that I wrote a few years back, that has only been available to local students, is in the hands of an editor right now and will be getting self published sometime early 2020, ready to be launched into the bigger world. And I know that this book is going to be the first of many. Another is that I’m ready to finally heal my ongoing issues with my body in a more comprehensive way and I’m excited to explore a new healing modality to help me with that process.
I’m also open to things changing in ways that I can’t yet see and am feeling strangely relaxed in the face of that unknowing. Maybe that’s a gift of finally becoming an elder.
But one thing I do know for certain … 2020 is going to be a watershed year. For me. For all of you. For us as a collective. And I can’t wait to see what we all do with the potent energies of transformation that will be available to us in this coming year.