Friday, January 20, 2017

New Things in the New Year

I can't believe it's been weeks since I last posted! I had great plans for my blog this month but something abnormal happened after the holiday slow down. I actually slowed down again! My calendar this month has remained relatively free of activity and I have embraced it. I've had three weekends in a row with nothing planned and I've been hibernating and enjoying it. This slow down in my calendar has fit nicely into the direction I want to go this year and has enabled me to bring back some soul practices that I let slip away.

Find a window of time that cultivates a restful heart.       ~Shelly Miller, Rhythms of Rest

This year restoring my spiritual health has to be a priority. As an introvert, periods of quiet time by myself are needed to restore my energy. A combination of slowing down at least one day a week and spending time daily reading Scripture, praying and journaling move me to healthier places. I've spent a lot of time over the past few years learning ways to try and keep burnout at bay, learning to understand how I am wired, and which activities best restore my energy. Yet, even with all of this knowledge, I find I can easily fall back into old habits of distraction, habits of over-commitment and running off of adrenaline - all of which result in unhealthy areas of life for me. In these weeks of slowing down I have found such refreshment from restoring those soul practices.

In the midst of all of this another strange thing happened - my word for the year changed. In December I had chosen the word "restoration" for 2017. It felt like a fit and I lived with it for well over a month, thinking about how it flowed nicely out of 2016's word "rest". I was doing some reading and journaling a few weeks ago and it seemed that the word "whole" kept popping up. This happened again and again over the course of a few days and slowly the word started resonating with where I have been lately and with where I want to go. Whole fits the picture of health I want for all areas of my life. This is the first time since I started the practice of selecting a word for the year that I've changed my word.

I am once again joining Ali Edwards One Little Word (OLW) community to develop ways to keep my word active throughout the year. Last year I used her binder system for journaling my word. While I enjoyed trying a different style, I found I wanted to return to more of my own style of art journaling and mixed media art. I had intended to make a journal but then I started seeing posts on Instagram of these wonderful Traveler's Notebooks that people were using for planners and art journals and I was drawn in! If you are not familiar with a Traveler's Notebook, it is a leather cover with elastic bands inside to hold a variety of mini notebooks, called inserts, that are like the signatures you make for books.The various notebooks you place inside can be used for a variety of things such as calendars, note keeping, to-do lists, sketching, memory keeping, and on and on. Japanese company, Midori, makes the original Traveler's Notebooks, but a number of companies and people have developed similar ones know as Fauxdoris. I read and watched a number of reviews and ended up purchasing a Nomads journal, which was about half the price of a Midori. I figured I'd start out with this one and see how I like using it before purchasing something more expensive.

Two things happened as I explored this new Traveler's Notebook (TN) world. First, I decided to do my OLW journal in a TN sketch insert. Then as I explored the many uses for the TN I decided to use it for a planner as well using inserts for my calendar, my weekly organization planner, and idea notebook for my blog art and creativity. I have been happily organizing it all! In the past I've had my calendar binder which held my overall calendar but then was mainly used for work stuff. Then I had a smaller notebook that I used to organize my art, blogging and other creative pursuits, as well as my Etsy shop stuff. The TN helps me pull all of it together in one notebook - ideally. I say "ideally" because I actually may need to add a second TN for my art journals, but I'm going to live with one for a while and tweak my system. But even if I do add a second one their size (4.25x8.25") is nice enough to fit in a purse.

I purchased a variety of inserts, some Midori and some from a shop I found on Etsy, Yellow Paper House.

I set up my notebook with my 2017 calendar, a weekly to-do insert, a insert for the details of my creative life, blog and Etsy shop, and an insert to record significant Scriptures and quotes (kind of like a commonplace journal). That filled up my TN so my OLW journal and other art journals are just separate right now as I sort out using my TN.

So that's how my new year has begun - full of slowing down, refreshment, and organizing! Next week is busy so I'll see how well I navigate while trying to keep up with my soul practices.:)

How are you starting your new year?

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