Wednesday, January 9, 2013
So, have you figured out your one focus word for 2013 yet? I have been going back and forth between community and emerge, but this morning settled on Community as my intentional focus for 2013.
With all the scary stuff that has been going on for the last few years economically, as well as socially (the two do go hand in hand) I think that this idea that you can hole up and stay safely away from it all is unhealthy and perpetuates the sense of alienation I see gaining traction. What I am doing is reaching out and opening myself up to my family and friends, online and offline, and concentrating on what I can bring to the table regarding how to make the world a saner place to live. I can't do that by being a hermit. A lot of us that are active online, especially during the day if we have work-at-home jobs or are retired, can get into the rut of getting up, checking online social networks and calling it a day for staying in touch. For myself, I aim to radically change my own behavior.
So what to do?
A good place to start is to connect with your feelings. What calls to you? I think it is important not to do something because it looks altruistic if you don't really feel it in your bones. Whatever strengths and interests you have to offer naturally need an outlet, and you can build a great community by concentrating on what is important to you.
Last year, I connected with a great group of women at artBLISS, and have been invited back. I am busy working on class proposals so I can get back up there and further deepen and expand upon the friendships that were made doing what I have a passion about...teaching what I know about handmade jewelry.
Some things I am doing offline is scheduling a weekly visit to a nearby assisted living facility where my neighbor finds herself these days. She loves to talk about the Spirit and I like to listen. We don't share the same religion/spirit practice, but who cares? I learn from her and love listening to her viewpoints, and she gets a chance to hear herself think...which is what real friendship is all about.
I have decided to volunteer for some more responsibility with my co-op gallery. I am going to be taking on the Marketing duties which will force me to interact more with my new community and physically get out and meet more people. There is only so much you can do with emails and social media.
I am going to sign up for some offline classes here in my neck of the woods. I am also going to try and teach some day classes here in my town about jewelry fabrication. I want to keep my footprint small for the most part, and connect with people right here.
Shayne and I have obtained a membership with a music club here, and we are going out to support local musicians a couple of times per week. I am meeting people from all walks of life by doing this, and enjoying some locally produced mountain music too!
Focusing on Life weekly photograph challenge. She mails out a prompt, and we blog hop our interpretation of it on Saturdays. This is a great way to interact with your life and community with your camera, and share your thoughts and impressions with the online community you are a part of.
Tracy Statler of Make Bracelets is doing a great challenge too...she is hosting a blog hop based on a piece of jewelry that goes deeper into a focus word or phrase as it relates to an area of your life that you want to improve or change.
Another one that a local friend of mine has started is Pay it Forward 2013! I have already connected to a woman in the next town over, and via this online blog challenge, I am going to physically meet someone new to add to my creative community locally. Having our online and offline community co-mingle is awesome, isn't it?
The above blog hops are hosted by women that I have met in real life...and we are able to deepen our connections online with is just so cool...
In a completely different vein, I was invited to join an Intuitive Heart Community that is getting started in a few weeks. Women from around the world that are interested in opening up their hearts even more and connecting will have a nurturing environment to do so online. Check it out if this resonates with you.
All in all, 2013, for me, is about connecting more on a deeper level and looking to excavate more of what I can bring to my own community...hope your New Year is off to a great start! And Thank You to each of the glorious women that write for Love My Art Jewelry and to YOU too...for holding all of us up as we search for more meaning in our lives...what comes from our hearts through our hands, and out into the world.
Posted by Stacie at 11:29 AM