visioning this creative life

Brainstorming text -- filling up a page with freewriting
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Still feeling my way into this brand new year — look at the green still behind its (our) ears. Look how it still carries dew on its tips!

Have you read your Free Will Horoscope (courtesy of Rob Brezny) for 2011? (As a Pisces, I am mandated by the League of Glittery Fishes to pass on excellent horoscopes.)

Thank you to everyone who donated to Writing Ourselves Whole over the last few weeks! Your support is so needed and deeply appreciated and help to create the spaces for writers to transform themselves, in powerfully-engaged community, through their words and vision.

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I spent a couple of hours last night, surrounded by candles and firelight, playing with a vision for the first five months of this year. I took several sheets of paper (recycled workshop flyers, actually), and wrote down what I want my life to look like in May: what regular writing will I be doing? What workshops will be happening? What will my playtime look like? I wrote down each activity in black pen, letting myself free-associate: massage next to Writing the Flood next to Erotic Reading Circle next to acupuncture next to create call for submissions next to… all over the page, rather like a mind map without any connecting tissue.

Then I created similar sheets for each of the four previous months, with this question in mind: if that’s what’s happening in May, what needs to happen in Jan, Feb, Mar, and Apr in order for May to look that way? Again, I just free associated and dreamed (no right answers, nothing set in stone) and let things be possible. If I want to be seeing an acupuncturist by May, maybe I could get recommendations from friends in March? Maybe I could go for a first appointment in April? If I want to learn more about bookmaking for a project in the second half of the year, maybe I research bookmaking classes in Feb?

Put it down. Let the visions grow. Activities I’m certain about went right next to activities that will be brand new to me, that are uncertain, that are not yet planned.

Then I took four colored pencils (because, in this time of rebalancing, I’m most interested in four different areas of my life: family/home/love, writing, writing ourselves whole, and body/self-care/healing). I colored each item on each of the five sheets with one or more of the colors: some of the activities clearly belong in just one category, and some of them belong in two or more: dance class with the Mr, for instance, belongs in body/self-care and in love/family/home; monthly newsletter belongs in writing and in writing ourselves whole.

When finished, I could look over the next several months and have a sense of how I’m best accomplishing this re-balancing investigation that I’ve undertaken, which I describe this way: How do I make it so that it’s no longer an option to offer writing workshops for survivors of sexual trauma while also not maintaining my own self care? How do I get accustomed to taking care of myself — rather than being accustomed to exhaustion, over-busyness, martyring self for the ’cause’?

The survivors workshops begin again in May — so, this means I must begin some significant self-care practices over the next months. This work is on the front burner for now; establishing these routines will mean that I can get back to the 8-week survivors workshops. This is about self-supervision.

What do your New Year’s visioning practices look like? Please feel welcome and invited to describe them here — share that creativity with other readers! We can all use new ideas as we craft and carve out and make up this playful celebration that is our life!

Thank you for reading, for reflecting back and visioning forward, for the ways you turn your imaginings into so many different sorts of craft.