My Word for 2012 + Fly Tribe Blog Hop

Webs in my mind.

Focus. Focus. Focus!

Yep, focus is the word I chose for myself for 2012. I actually kinda cringed when this was the word that came to me, but I feel that focus is what I need now more than ever. You see, I am the sort of person who gets caught up in so many webs of ideas, goals, and good intentions, only to find it to difficult to focus enough on seeing anything through. I constantly try to “multi-task” out of fear of wasting time, but many times mistakes are made or details are overlooked. However, this all changed recently when I took a tumble that changed my life.

It happened several months ago when the universe actually sent me the message knocked me over the head and forced me to focus. At that time, I was pretty much living life like a great white tornado–spinning around very quickly, but in the end everything is still just an unorganized mess. Typically, I am the kinda girl who exercises on the elliptical while listening to learn-a-language podcasts, reading research studies for work, and occasionally looking up to catch parts of the Today Show on the gym televisions. I often cook dinner while checking email and I bring my iPad pretty much everywhere, including bed. I was twisting and turning around life  just fine, until I the day I broke my ankle…

If you ever need to focus more or just want to get a laugh while practicing mindfulness, try to carry on with your day-to-day tasks while hopping on one foot. My days of spinning in circles have been put on hold for now, as I adjust to life without walking. Since the break, I have gone through so many overwhelming feelings, including denial, anger, sadness, slap happiness, and hopelessness. I have reached acceptance. I accept that it takes every ounce of focus just to make it down the stairs or to carry a glass of water to the table. I accept that I can only do one thing at a time and at a injured snails pace.

Please don’t feel sorry for me. After all, I will walk again, and loved ones have shown so much kindness and support. Even total strangers have been great… opening doors, letting me go first in long bathroom lines (thanks ladies!), and generally getting out of my way as I crutch along through life.

Plus, the word focus really isn’t bad at all. As a noun, it is defined as “the center of interest or activity.” This could be a good thing for my creative dreams and professional aspirations. As a verb, focus means “to concentrate; to see clearly.” My goals around my creative biz are calling me to slowly and carefully take each step needed to succeed.

Speaking of creativity, my dreams have been given wings through the support of the fantastic fly-tribe. I am so proud to be a part of this group of incredible artists and amazing women, who are also sharing their thoughts on their word for 2012. Come join in the fun, get inspired, and learn more about this group of  by following the fly-tribe blog hop. I am beyond excited to be participating in this event! I owe so much to these talented women and I know that they will help me stay true to my word.

So, 2012, as I stand here with one foot firmly planted on the ground, I deem you my year to focus. Now, I’m not saying that I will one day be the guru of concentration. Let’s be honest, I will probably always do squats while blowdrying my hair (please don’t judge) and most likely I will occasionally start projects that I never complete. However, I have really learned my lesson about the value of focus. Although , I would appreciate if the universe would whisper messages to me next time instead of breaking my bones…thanks.

Clearing My Head & Getting My Creative Mojo On

Since taking these pictures, all of the beautiful autumn leaves have fallen. I took these photos while on a long walk through some local nature trails. The leaves were so bright and beautiful, it was as if the trees were lanterns lighting my path through the woods.

Despite my peaceful walk, I recognize that sometimes I feel anxious. Sometimes I can’t concentrate on anything. At times like these, I just can’t seem to tap into my creative side. Instead of writing in my office or creating in my studio, I feel pulled to do other tasks, like the laundry or dusting. Its almost like I’m just procrastinating because I feel so blocked.

I have found that certain activities really help me clear my mind and get my creative juices flowing. One of my favorites is taking long walks or hikes in my local parks. There is something about being in nature that helps me to slow down, feel less distracted, and re-energize. Whenever I have a pressing question on my mind or feel confused about which path to take, a long walk always seems to help me lose myself in the serenity of nature and find my way again.

Nature walks double as photo walks when I bring my camera along. It is a great way for me to relax while tapping into my creative side. Then before I know it, I’m back in my studio downloading my pics and feeling inspired.

A glimpse into my studio.

There are other activities that I have found help me feel more creative, focused, and motivated, such as flipping through magazines, dancing, and unwinding in a hot yoga class.

What about you? What helps you tap into your creative side? Do you listen to music before painting….meditate before sketching ideas….workout before heading to the office? Do you have any rituals, activities, or other ways that have helped you tap into your creative side? I would love to know!