33 things that made my year in 2022
Art by me from my “Summer of No” 100 Day Project! Find out why I love these projects so much and do one of your own!
- Some things about aging you cannot control (onset of wrinkles, the rate of your basal metabolism and more..) But, I successfully grew longer fluffier eyelashes and it was extremely pleasing! WIth mascara they are downright the best they have ever been. I use this stuff.
- I was so thrilled when either of my two daughters asked me to go on a walk with them several times this year! I love walking and it felt so magical that they actually wanted to go walking with ME, their mother!
- Boundaries! “That doesn’t work for me.” actually now trips off my tongue almost effortlessly! If you want to get a start, I recommend Nedra Tawaab’s Book. I am working on a little book of illustrated boundaries for you inspired by my 100 day project “My Summer of No!”!
- Discovering the Minimal Mom on YouTube. She’s from Minnesota, is a former Olympic weight lifter and makes minimalism easy and FUN.
- Sitting alone in the jungle for 9 days with the company of the plant spirits brought a level of clarity and peace to my life that I treasure. I am so grateful for the shamanic path and all of its precious gifts.
- Listening to music. Apparently I listen to more music than 78% of Spotify users! Wow! I use it to lift me up, calm me down, shift the energy and more! Here’s a playlist I use when I am journaling.
- I stumbled into the Tao De Ching. The audio recording of this ancient Chinese text (second only to the Bible in terms of world wide copies!) opened up a joyful spaciousness of TRUTH. It inspired me to create art too!
- While in Fort Lauderdale, FL visiting my son George we got to go to Bonnet House and it was very inspiring. I loved seeing the birds, the plants, playfulness and beauty in this very special residence of an artist. Homes of artists fascinate me. I’d like to visit Georsia O’Keef’s next!
- Leaning into minimalism – I took 7 trips to Goodwill, sold several pieces of furniture and large decorative items on Facebook, and thinned out my closet by 25% during Tiger’s nest and it brightened our home immensely. It was powerful to do this process together in Tiger’s Nest
- I practiced Sufi style singing in community in my town at Svalja Yoga with my friend Kristy Marie and some amazing musicians and it was DIVINE! Kirtan gives a similar feeling!
- I claimed a beautiful new home office for myself (empty nesting has its benefits) and it feels so expansive + beautiful!
- My silver hair that I began growing out in nearly 2020 is now (3 years later) fully grown and I truly love it! I look my age and that’s ok!
13. The Courage to Be Disliked is the title of a book I haven’t read, but wow the title says it all for me about the creative process! What would you make if you had this sort of courage? Somehow that’s where I want to head. Or maybe even the courage to be irrelevant.
14. “If it were easy, everyone would do it!” This aphorism touched a nerve for me in 2022. I want to tell this to everybody I meet who longs to make art, write books, or become sober! These things are by no mean easy but they are AMAZING AND WORTH IT. So, remind yourself that you’re doing hard work, KEEP GOING, and be gentle with yourself.
15. This year I leaned into this quote and it inspired a whole new course with Inger Kenobi! “THE WORK YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE PROCRASTINATING IS PROBABLY THE WORK YOU SHOULD BE DOING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE (from “Steal Like an Artist” by austin kleon). I’ve been in love with making homes beautiful since I was 5! Doing it this year with a group (Tiger’s Nest) was a TREAT.
16. I did a 5 day challenge with Dr. Jen Clark (get on her mailing list if you’d like to do one!) where we did a little bit of dancing each day to connect with body wisdom and then created (with words or paint or whatever!). Dancing felt so freeing and fun and so did the art making! That was revelatory! I’m going to dance a larger painting to life this month using this idea.
17. I noticed that the seasons just get evermore ridiculously beautiful each year! There were the apple trees in our yard at dusk. And, of course, the lilacs and peonies brought me a boatload of ecstatic joy too.
18. They say the road in life narrows and that feels true. A doctor’s advice (don’t worry! I’m ok..) has me committing to be kind to my heart by cutting alcohol completely out of my world. It’s mostly fond memories of buzzie dinners with my husband or a dear friend that I grieve! Is there something that you used to do that felt good that, in all honesty, no longer does? Have you stopped? If not, why? I am grateful for this clarity to be alcohol free.
19. Artists dates are so important! Taking myself to the Minneapolis Institute of Art this summer kept my soul fed for a long period! So many ideas, feelings and projects bubbled up! If you go, bring a journal, markers and money for coffee or lunch!
20. I learned about Tertons from my dear friend Inger kenobi who is a Tibetan Buddhist! These are special humans who were born with the ability to connect with a piece of land or a stone and bring forth ancient texts from the lineage and put them into words. The tough translation of terton is “treasure revealer”…and in a way this is what I think all of us are in a tiny way! When we make art, create or paint- we reveal a never before seen treasure!
21. Swimming alone naked in Lake Disappointment (Boundary Waters Canoe Area), caressed by the sweet pure water— with an eagle flying overhead and feeling my mom’s spirit dip so close to me makes me want to prioritize more time in wild untouched places with friends!
22.I loved collabing with my youngest to create this sort of silly (but also very earnest!!) video about my morning habit stack! These habits are so important that I made a course to help you create your own!
23. It hit even deeper in 2022 that when you practice something every day, you get better at it! Sounds obvious but actually doing it will ASTONISH YOU. That’s why this year is like to commit to make a piece of art every single day, no matter how small! I’m thinking I’ll tie that habit to when I text my sponsor Judy each day.
24. Speaking of Judy, this year I also learned that my friends are THE MOST NURTURING THING IN MY LIFE. Walking with them, having coffee with them, going out for dinner with them, co-creating events with them is what nurtures + supports me!
25. This quote and this art I made struck deep into my being. I want to continue to emerge powerfully into myself. “Aging is no accident. It is necessary to the human condition, intended by the soul. We become more characteristic of who we are simply by lasting into later years; the older we become, the more our true natures emerge. Thus the final years have a very important purpose: the fulfilment and confirmation of one’s character. ~ James Hillman Art| Sarah Seidelmann “Becoming Who She Really Is” Find prints + more HERE.
26. I took myself to Florida on a retreat to do yoga and be alone. I met wonderful yoga students, swam in the ocean, learned how to make a new green smoothie,memorized the Gayatri mantra and got to have 2 beautiful meals with my oldest child! It gave me the necessary space to be with myself. Retreat is important.
27. I felt the loss of Buddhist teacher, Thicht Naht Han deeply. I think of him often and didn’t realize how precious his teachings were to me until he was gone. The documentary about his life (kind of) made me want to cut off all my hair and become a nun.
28. Reading Inger Kenobi’s “How Do I Look?” made me think more deeply of my own journey with style and shopping and the ongoing search for a satisfying outfit. It’s funny and thought provoking and will change the way you dress + shop!
29. My other top books! I read + sampled dozens more (unlimited free samples are the BEAUTY of Kindle!) but these stood out.
Year Book by Seth Rogan (on Audible!)
When Things Fall Apart by Pema chodron
20th Century Boy (a memoir) by Duncan Hannah
The Perfect 100 Day Project by Rich Armstrong
Hold Still by Sally Mann
The Gift by Lewis Hyde
Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt
Goodbye Things by Fumio Susaki
What to Remember When Waking (Audible! version is best!) By David Whyte
I reread Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer when I was in the jungle too- what a gift of a book!
30. Probably my PEAK moment of 2023 was discovering that two of my children (one acting as make up artist and other acting as photographer) collaborated to make this portrait of our Charlie as Frida Kahlo. As a mom I feel this was a pinnacle moment! For me, if you are using your gifts and doing that with another- that’s as good as it gets!
31. I ended the year with a new diagnosis of Atrial fibrillation. I am doing just fine and, blessedly, have fabulous medical care. Like all things I never wanted to happen, it’s already proving to be a gift. To remember that I’m mortal and that (as my teacher Thicht Naht Han says) I am of the nature to grow old, get disease and die is powerful. Everything shifts about how I’m thinking of my priorities, my work, my marriage and it is good.
32. The films that stood out for me: “Marcel with the Shell On”, “Everything, Everywhere All at Once”, “Ticket To Paradise (not Oscar Winning but fun!)” Bevis and Butthead Do the Universe is on my list!! The number of films I haven’t seen on the 2023 MUST SEE LIST is astonishing! I love movies!
33. My marriage was reborn (and is still in process of learning to find its way!) and that feels the sweetest of all. Mark and I have been together for 31 years and relationship is THE CRUCIBLE for spiritual growth–wow!! I am grateful to all of the books, helpers and friends who supported us on this journey to get where we are. This quote (below) on marriage is so precious to me! Seeing each other rocks.
“A marriage is many things, and barely any of them are safe. A marriage, at its best, is challenging, dangerous, complicated and meaningful, and requires, like anything of true value, a certain amount of sacrifice and a certain amount of work. Inside it exists sorrows and joys, both big and small, and failures and triumphs too. But within this complex marital vortex there is, for me, a constant that never waivers – and here lies my safe space. My safe space is in the regard of my wife’s gaze. By this I mean when I look into the eyes of my wife I find a beauty, and this beauty has a moral value, of goodness; a goodness that manifests as a kind of benevolence. And that goodness reflects back and elicits my own goodness and, in turn, the necessary goodness of the world. Within this incoming and outpouring of reciprocal regard lies our mutual protection which is my saving and my wife’s saving. Put simply, we see each other, and through that seeing we want the best for each other, without condition – she has me and I have her. There, in the benevolent eyes of my wife, is my safest space and my truest privilege.
Love, Nick Cave”
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