10 January 2012

My One Word 2012

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes."
~Marcel Proust

I am like a seafarer setting sail for distant shores.

I am not sure exactly where this adventure will take me, but I am confident that I will find the journey exciting.

I have the most sailworthy vessel set to embark on a journey that will take me around the world and back. The foundation of this vessel is strong. It is outfitted with the right equipment. And I have surrounded myself with the most supportive crew.

I will encounter many detours on my journey, each one opening up new possibilities. I will also experience set backs and uncertainty, when the horizon will be shrouded in fog and I will lose my bearings. But I will use that as an opportunity to discover new lands and all they have to offer.

I will become familiar with monsters lurking just below the surface ready to drag me down, but I will also be grateful for the playfulness of the dolphins as they buoy me up and remind me of the spirit of this adventure.

I have a vision for where I am headed, but I am certain that once I arrive there I will be surprised by how much more beautiful the vista is than what I imagined it would be.

{Antique Map of the World by Nekarius on DeviantArt}

I am heading into uncharted territory, forging my own path, drawing my own map.

This may not be the map for others to follow, but rather it will plot where I have been and show me that I had the capability to succeed at this adventure within me all the time.

 For the past few years I have selected a word to frame my year.
The first time in 2010 the word came easily to me. I chose INSPIRE a few days before the end of 2009. But that was so very obvious for me. It was not a stretch, not something that would challenge me, since that is my modus operandi. I realized that I pounced too quickly on that word so in early 2010 I added UP. I am a glass is half full sort of person but I am not always that cheery. Such is the dichotomy of me. UP was a challenge for me. And it worked together with INSPIRE to create an atmosphere that fostered encouragement and enlightenment in this space.
In 2011 I spent a bit more time on looking back at what was lacking in my life and chose a word that embodied what I needed to do: FOCUS. Not that I never accomplished anything, but just that my accomplishments were so scattered and not very impressive when rounded up. I don't mean impressive in the sense that they made me a lot of money, or got me a lot of attention. I mean impressive in that they built upon one another and added to each so that they were all connected and amounted to so much more.
Those of you who select a word each year will attest that not only is it something that will challenge you, if something can go against it to drag you in the opposite direction, it most certainly will.
With FOCUS as my word, I really had to work hard at putting together a plan each month and sticking to it. That is incredibly hard for me to do. I wasn't completely successful last year with some of my biggest goals, but that will change for 2012.
I did FOCUS on much in 2011.
I launched my own line of components that I started researching and planning for back in September 2010. I took several solo vacations to art retreats in DC (ArtBliss), MI (Inspired by Nature) and IL (Vintaj Intensive 2-day workshop). I was surprised to find my 'simple truths' in the Beads 2011 Buyer's Guide and two of my necklaces on the cover of Stringing and Creative Jewelry. I started the 'simple truths' sampler and have been blessed with participants who choose to stay on and many who return. I was honored to have my pieces selected in the top 10 for design contests at Soft Flex and Jewelry Television. And I had a much better plan to handle the participation in the 2nd annual Challenge of Color blog hop.
But there were things that tested my FOCUS last year.
I only did 10 of the 12 Art Bead Scene challenges (still a great accomplishment, but I still might go back and do the ones I missed). I didn't spend as much time with my children as I would have liked becuase I was in the studio so much. I let a major self-imposed deadline pass time and time again, with all manner of excuses. I had the worst time with any paper that came into my studio, and I am still struggling with that (especially with tax season upon me). I seemed pulled in so many directions that it was hard to see what I needed to do when I needed to do it (so I felt more scatterbrained than ever, even despite my focus). And this singular FOCUS has led me to some unhealthy choices that need to change.
But that is the magic of the word that you choose. It will be a rewarding challenge to look back and see with clearer vision all that you did to fulfill it, but you will also see glaring lapses.
This year I am hoping to be a bit gentler with myself. I want to get back to doing what I love to do: creating and writing. I want to see what the possibilities are and chart a path for myself that feels authentic to me. I want to challenge myself to learning some new things, and taking all the knowledge that I have gained over the years, rolling it all together and seeing what comes of it.
My one word for 2012: EXPLORE.
I looked back over the past few years and I realized that every single class I have taken since 2007 has been concentrated on metal. However, I don't really do much with that knowledge. I have learned about sawing and hammering, annealing and etching. I have bought tools and materials to tumble, patina, texture and affix metal. But what I have never done is put it all together. Once I take a class, the knowledge has been stored away, and it does come out an play every so often, but it has not resurfaced until the next time that I take a class. I want to change all of that.
Today, hopefully, I will be signing up for some classes to attend at the Bead and Button show this summer. Last year I didn't make it in because I waited too long for the classes I wanted. I discovered the joy of attending art retreats so I know there are other retreats and gatherings across the country that I would be thrilled to attend, like this or this or this. Maybe I will meet some of you there.

I want to EXPLORE the limits of what is possible for me. It will take a big leap of faith for me, but I think that I am ready.
It is not that I don't think that I can do it. Whenever I am in a class, I surprise myself with my ability to pick it up quite handily. It is putting it into practice that always stops me.

"All you need is the plan, the road map,
and the courage to press on to your destination."
~Earl Nightingale
  • I want to EXPLORE more projects with metal which means that I have to get my studio in top shape so that I have someplace safe to do it.
  • I want to EXPLORE developing my 'simple truths' and seeing where their modern wisdom will lead me and those who love them.
  • I want to EXPLORE mounting another show that is a collaboration with other artists.
  • I want to EXPLORE the process of getting my work accepted in other galleries and exhibits beyond my narrow field of influence, within my state and maybe even beyond. 
  • I want to EXPLORE my ability to connect with others and inspire their creative lights to shine.
  • I want to EXPLORE my dream of writing a book of my own.
To set off examining this new territory, I need to look at myself as an explorer. I need to see that the whole world is spread out in front of me to enjoy and experience. Explorers need to have the tools to navigate and the knowledge to take where they have been and plot a course for where they are going. They need to surround themselves with crew that will lift their spirits, cheer their successes, point out when they are off course and rally when they are far from land. Explorers need a map to guide them, the stars to chart their course, the winds to fill their sails.
I look at this blog as a place for me to share, but I have to tell you that you have all become that wind in my sails. You encourage me to keep moving forward, to challenge you by the example of challenging myself. You are a valuable part of my success.

I am ready to set sail.
Have you selected a word? What is it?
What is on your map for 2012?



Sarah Sequins said...

"Explore" is a wonderful word for 2012! I'm happy to be a member of your crew. :)

Also, I'm going to the Bead and Button Show this year. So excited to register! I hope you get the class(es) you want! If you end up going, I'd love to meet up.

-- Sarah

Alice said...

I didn't choose a word for this year--I can't even remember what word I chose for last year. Instead I'm making guidlines on how I want to live:

Eat healthier
Be active
Get organized
Learn new things
Be kinder
Manage time better

I'm looking forward to tagging along on your journey for 2012!

lunedreams said...

Oooh this is so exciting! When I hear "explore" I think "reconnaissance." Or like Lewis and Clark charting a territory. Getting the lay of the land, and deciding which way you want to go. Every good traveler does recon. Can't wait to hear where it all takes you! And you will shortly dominate the MAPP torch. Just maybe take it outside, turn the flame dial down to a low, unintimidating setting, and fire it up. Can't hurt anything outside, right? Wave it around, get used to being its master...

Lola said...

Explore is a GREAT word! I had several words lined up as possibilities until I saw the word *SPARKLE* -- my heart had to have it and all the other options immediately fell away. I think, actually, my word found ME! =D Happy trails to you!

Brandi Hussey said...

You know my troubles with the word of the year, so I won't repeat it except to say that you phrased it beautifully - it definitely challenged me, that's for sure!

So while I prefer staying out of it this year, I do enjoy seeing posts about it and rooting people on as they pick their word - it's so inspiring to see! So, Go Miss ERIN!

Pretend I've got pompoms in my hands.

Kim Stevens said...

Ahhh, this to is my word. In 2010 I found acceptance, which led me to much discovery and of course after you discover something, you "Explore" it! haha

In fact I'll be exploring my metals class once again this spring semester after almost a year off. I'm going to tackle the torch - watch out everyone! yikes

SoulsFireDesigns said...

I have never before chosen a word for the year... but I think you have inspired me again... I think my word for this year is "believe". Because I am always full of hope, but I don't know if I have ever believed in myself truly. I would like to learn to! And to believe that good things will happen for my family... yes, believe. It is time to believe in myself as thoroughly as I believe in those who inspire me, like you. Thank you, Erin. And I hope that your exploring takes you everywhere you've ever dreamed and beyond... to places you have never even imagined but that fill you with joy and inspiration!

indigo heart said...

explore. such a beautiful word. i wish you well in your endeavors! my word for this year is transform. i'm really excited about this because it's my first year choosing a word. now i'm a little scared, too. challenging, huh? but i don't want to be that stick-in-the-mud i used to be! i will renew! i will change my character! i will metamorphosize into something beautiful! i've already lost forty pounds. yay! i'm coverting my ginormous room into a bedroom/studio. yay! i'm on the path and it feels great. wish me luck!

Ema Kilroy said...

Oh my. You have just summarized me. Minus the art retreats (lucky you). I am going to check out the links you posted. I hope your vision for bringing your explorations to a more complete state come true. You have given something to think about. Thanks for sharing.

Stephani Gorman said...

What a beautiful,creative and thoughtful post! I can so relate to not putting what I have learned into play. Thank-you for sharing your plan to explore! You have inspired me.

Jennifer Jangles said...

Clear is my word. I need to clear some things out of my life, I need to clear my mind of worry, and I want to have a clear career path going into 2013.

I love your word Erin, can't wait to see where it takes you.

Tanya said...

Wonderful posts. I cannot wait to see where your explorations take you. I know you will do well with all of your goals .. the results will be fantastic.

CreatingCures said...

Enjoy the journey as you Explore! ~~T

rosebud101 said...

Explore looks like a great words for you! I know you will do that very well!

My word again is: Hope! There is always room for more Hope!

buy rift account said...

Great! such a wonderful post.. really enjoyed reading this one.

Unknown said...

Always such Wonderful words from you Missy Erin! All the time! My word for 2012 is LEAP! How do I just *know you will succeed? You will too! ox

CraftyHope said...

What a fabulous word for the year!!! I know you will have a lot of fun exploring all your opportunities. Best of luck as you move forward.

Off the Beadin' Path said...

You really put your all into this post, Erin! Now that it's revealed, Explore is just the right word at the right time for you, for all the reasons you described. I expect a great year for you with few regrets. Remember your compass!

Lori Anderson said...

EXPLORE gives you SO much leeway and it's a strong word! Think about the explorers and how they had NO idea where they were headed, and what wonderful things they found!

I picked a word for the first time this year -- I did that in large part because of watching YOUR words!

Cindy said...

Erin, you picked the perfect word. I didn't chose a word for 2012, but if I do, can I borrow yours? I love it!
What a recap of the year you had in 2011. You sure accomplished so many things - and we finally met too (who would have thought seeing each other on two occasions, actually). I hope you reach many new and exciting destinations as you EXPLORE in 2012, and I look forward to reading about your journey along the way.

Joann Mannix said...

Oh Erin, what a beautiful post! And I love the words you choose, so insightful, so motivating.

As i read your post one word kept ringing in my head, over and over. It's not a fancy one. It's not really an inspirational one, but it encompasses what I hope this year will bring and that word is NOW. Right Now. It's time. "I have a vision where I am headed, but I am certain once I arrive there, I will be surprised by how much more beautiful the vista is than what I imagined it would be."

God Bless you, my darling girl, as you undertake this new year, as you evolve, as we all evolve.

And on another subject, I need a gift for my sister! I'll email you this week. Another bracelet for her, perhaps? I'm not sure what that piece is in your header, but I love it. We'll talk.

It is always good to come here. I always feel so uplifted when I'm here.

Bits of Learning said...

Miss Erin! What a wonderful word, explore!
I can't wait to follow you along in the adventure!!

I finally found my path so my word for 2012 is "journey".

The Cabby Crafter said...

Thank you for sharing Erin. Lovely!
Craft wise my word this year is: CHALLENGE. I'd like to challenge myself in being more creative in jewelry design and paper crafts. I also challenged myself to join as many challenges as I can - the first one I joined was with Vintaj... yay!
On a personal note, my word is TRUST. In this new year where there is so much uncertainty, I realized that I just have to put my trust in God for without Him, I can do nothing.

Beth Hikes said...

What a beautiful word for 2012!! I love your goals and your energy is giving me a kickstart today. By the way, the picture for your header is super cool :)


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