Friday, January 31, 2014


Here we are at the segue from the calendar New Year to the Lunar New Year…the last day of the first month, yet at the same time, the first day of celebrating Chinese New Year and the arrival of the Year of the Horse.  Gung Hay Fat Choy!

A simple, small collage I quickly assembled today to display with our bowl of "good luck" tangerines.  The horse was made from a recycled "lycee," a decorative red envelope in which lucky money is given along with a horse image from the sticker border of a Lunar New Year postage sheet.
Resolutions and goals for both versions of the New Year have been on my mind.  In years past, I’ve contemplated resolutions and attempted to follow through on them, but they’ve often been too grandiose to accomplish or too vague or broad for measurable success.  I’ve only managed to achieve resolutions in bits and pieces.  I suppose it’s actually this “bits and pieces” approach that seems to work best, taking one step at a time.  Creating focus with a vision board, mind map or art journal have also contributed to better success with my intentions for growth and improvement whether it’s for the New Year or any time.  We can always start anew on any day of the year!

For 2014 (or 4712, depending on how you look at it!), I’m still considering which tangible resolutions and goals will be my focus, but I’ve already adopted an overall mantra for this year.  My dear friend Tina of Tickled Pink Woman assigns herself a yearly mantra, a short statement she embodies for the year, and she inspired me to take a fresh approach to this year’s resolutions with my own mantra.  I settled on a single word which surfaced earlier this month and has remained steadfast in my thoughts – flourish.  Flourish – grow or develop well, thrive, be successful.  I’m focusing on “flourish” to characterize my personal and professional creative work, my health and energy, both physical and emotional, and my relationships with family and friends.  As these areas of my life flourish, I'm sure my heart and soul will flourish, too. 

Ever since this word entered my awareness, it’s been popping up almost daily, and I’m pleasantly surprised and grateful to be reaping benefits from this simple, yet powerful little mantra.  This focused intention seems to be stirring up a surprising amount of positive energy.  For instance, my Plumeria Papercraft business is enjoying much activity during what has typically been a sluggish month.  (Now, if only my physical energy can begin to flourish!  As I’ve shared in a previous post, I still suffer from fatigue, so when the pace of my real life picks up speed, I am unable to multi-task or juggle very well, and blog writing, among other things, takes a temporary backseat.)   

As I’ll be sharing in upcoming posts, this month I’ve been intent on finally making headway in cleaning, decluttering and reorganizing.  I used to consider myself organized several years back, but as I tried to balance motherhood with my former corporate job and its demands, then detoured through my cancer experience, my organizational systems derailed.  In recent years, I'd take a few steps forward, then several steps back as I attempted to rein in the chaos finding its way into every corner of our home.  Although I haven’t conquered the chaos in its entirety (will it ever be possible?!), I’m making significant progress, tackling one drawer, one shelf, one box, one basket, one unruly stack at a time.  This burst of “spring cleaning” feels liberating, and I sense that I am ultimately making room for energy to flow and opening up space for possibilities to flourish!

Meanwhile, I’m also envisioning my “flourish” mantra extending beyond myself and out to others, to all of you, even to my home state of California where our current record dry weather and drought conditions are a serious cause for concern.  I’ve been wishing for rain and yearning for the pitter patter of rain drops on our roof to provide the moisture essential for crops, gardens, natural habitats and our water sources to flourish. 

With our water woes, our yard and garden are looking somewhat neglected, but this morning, after yesterday's brief, but very welcome showers, I found the flourish of a few sweet blossoms, a small ripe strawberry and our "beloved" broccoli from Bobcat Garden.)



May you flourish in many ways!