Creating A Compass For 2011!!

My Joys,

Now that we have entered the New Year 2011!! with our bells on and dancing feet we find ourselves smack in the middle of the life we had before only with some new expectations, renewed hope and a consistent (albeit somewhat nagging) desire to implement those changes that we not only want, but need. We need them because we chose to focus on important things like health, lifework, love, money and connection with self, or spirit. A lot of the changes we want to make can fall into these five categories.

For myself, I enter into a somewhat extensive process, starting on Solstice, December 21 of shedding skins and molting feathers, and enter the new year somewhat naked of old stories. Burr. Good thing I was by the fire. The good part of shedding – is then you get to choose what you want to “CAUSE” and bring into this New Year you have been given and you want it to be a good one, yes? Of course. I think even a hard year like last one was for many of us, has redeeming qualities in the lessons. Some good ones, huh? (ouchie)

Last year, was the hardest year my life, and it was able to be digested in grace because I continued to work on what my heart wanted to create in terms of my own life purpose. I continued to stay focused on MY OWN SOUL WORK during the process. I literally took refuge in the shelter of my passion for life. My own pain, was put to work when I was able to get up and choose it even if that meant crying into the canvas, or my beer.

My life purpose, in essence, saved me from certain undoing. Last year, I had a doozy of broken heart, which is still being mended, may never fully heal, but was able to TEACH me during because I gave this ole’ heart something to do with all those tears and broken bits. I painted. I prayed. I wrote poetry. I gathered with loved ones. I learned to breath and pray a little prayer wheel Mary gave to me. All the while having on my knees kind of life crisis moments. Good thing the kitties would come and lay at my knees and purr while I whined and whimpered. And there is something magical about any hard time, if you give art to the fire of its burning. It’s called the blues. Tear jerking, foot stomping, head hanging, sweet sad blues. We make music out of sorrow and it gets transformed – not eliminated – but transformed into something we can use.

And so this morning, I am going to continue to pack up my gallery life (I have been a gallery owner for 13 years now) and when I woke up my heart was stuck to the back of my chest. Then I thought of you – my community of seekers, wanderers, sages, wild-folk, Cosmic Cowgirls and Cowboys and with a heave h0000o I got myself up and came to write to you. Just knowing I could write to you – and share something with you – got me up and out and ready for my day. This is the power of art in action – and love is at the center of all of these choices. I aint sayin’ it is easy – in fact it is not easy. One of the reasons it is not easy to put art in the service of suffering is we have been led to believe we need to be inspired to create – you don’t. You just need to pick up that drum or pick up those cowgirls boots or pick up that brush or pen…and begin right in the middle of the valley of tears.

Calling Your Tribe - Illustration from Her Evolution

Circles of Life – A Compass For 2011 (or any year on any calendar)

What I wanted to share with you is the SUPER DUPER simple but profoundly deep process of choosing your actions and themes in the primary spheres of your life for 2011. If this is all you did – and you just kept reading it once a month, it would have more impact that not doing something -because at least knowing where you want to go, and being willing to state it in writing are the first parts to drawing it closer to you. Life purpose, is at the heart in the middle of all of it. This process is a suggestion, a homeopathic remedy, make it your own.

This is My Year – Creating A Compass Creative Practice

  1. Read all the steps first so you know where we are headed and it can aid in the design.
  2. On an piece of paper or in your journal draw a heart in the middle leaving some space around the sides.
  3. Then write: This is My Year at the top or another phrase that has you CLAIM this year as YOUR OWN. It is afterall, YOUR YEAR!
  4. Draw five spheres around the heart as big as you can fit, kind of like a flower with a heart center. If you have to start over a few times to get the design how you want it – do.
  5. Choose five primary areas you want to create a theme/intention/desire around and write them on the outside of the circles. Write in nice handwriting as you will like it more later. Suggestions might be: love, money, work, health, connection, creativity, God etc…you choose the right ones for you. And of course…you can have more than five but if you get too many it can get too complicated and not as focused, we want something you can SEE and USE throughout the year.
  6. Write a prayer/mantra/affirmation for each one. One sentence is best. You might try working these out on another piece of paper first. It is not as easy as it sounds but if you keep working on honing and refining it will distill.
  7. Then, for the middle, the heart, write the overarching theme, prayer you want to work with in 2011, the one that encompasses all the others. This is the one that should either be aligned with your purpose if you know it, and if you don’t know it, it points towards it.
  8. See if the ones in the spheres are truly aligned with the one in the middle. If not, adjust it. Start over as many times as you need to get one that says what you want.
  9. Sign it and date it. Congratulate yourself for taking this sacred time to design your year. GOOD WORK. I am proud of you.
  10. Hang it up on your wall. Read it daily or monthly or find the ritual that works for you. Let it inspire you towards actions that bring you closer towards your life purpose. Commit to taking one small step towards your purpose daily, weekly or monthly. The important thing is to choose, even if it is a tinsey teensy step – you take it – and hold yourself accountable for it.Feel free to share this post with your friends or community!

Blessings to each of you as you move forward into your year. May you remember always that you can CHOOSE how you will show up in your life. We cannot always choose our circumstances, but we can choose in advance how we will respond/react and how we will interact with our lives, from a place of self knowledge, and power and possibility – we can choose who we will be.


Shiloh Sophia

p.s. In 2011 my new greeting instead of Dear Ones is going to be My Joy. This was inspired by the Bishop of San Francisco from the Orthodox Church, on the Feast Day, January 2, who reminded us that Saint Seraphim, an ascetic monk who was born in 1754, greeted all of his visitors with My Joy – and the Bishop said, this is not just for Saints, and he invited us to also regard one another, indeed any and all, as my JOY and to see one another in the light of that joy. I was inspired in that moment to call all of you, My Joy.