2013 OLW “stillness” review

be still necklace OLW 2013This may be the last OLW blog hop since the class is moving to Ali’s website and there will be a Facebook group.  I still plan to check in here on the first of the month because I work to deadlines.  🙂 The blog hop has helped me be accountable and get the assignment done. Looking back at my January intentions for “Stillness, ” I see how far I’ve come and how much work still remains.  I did slow down, but I still flutter about unnecessarily quite a bit.  Some intentions I was successful with, like capturing moments with my camera, not judging others as much, checking in with my goals.  I was good at noticing nature but terrible at making time to enjoy it. Stillness feels scary.  It brings up unsettlement and restlessness.  I have to push through that to get to the other side.   I have learned that it’s easier to just surrender to the present moment than to fight it. As I say goodbye to my word this year, I want to remember:

  • It is a dance – a bit forward, a bit sideways – but my word was often with me (so I did make progress).
  • The unsettled feeling will lessen over time.
  • As a reminder to be gentle with myself and relax, I’m going to move my vision board to my bedroom.OLW vision board stillness
  • Gratitude and happiness grow out of noticing present moments.
  • I want to sit in nature more to better connect with spiritual calm.
  • Creating art = a calm mind.  Do that more.
  • The answers are always within.  Listen.

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2014 OLW This year, Ali is running the class through a password-protected area of her own website.  Each month will include two main features: a reflection and an action.  The reflections will be something to think or write about and the actions will be something creative – an opportunity to do something beyond writing. In the past that’s included things such as a photography assignment, a collage, a vision board, creating a playlist, etc.  Every 1st of the month, I will share with you what I did with the prompt.

“Mindfulness” in 2012 showed me how much unnecessary mental chatter I have. “Stillness” showed me that I need take better care of myself and make decisions (since I can’t do it all).  I didn’t even have a chance to ponder a word for 2014… I was guided toward the word “cherish” and I accepted it. “Cherish” means appreciating myself and taking care of myself.  It means noticing the beauty and light in ordinary moments.  It means loving and singing and being grateful.  

So here’s to new beginnings. I wish each of you a very joyful and peaceful new year.

You can view all the past OLW posts here.

Regular blog content will resume on Monday, January 6.

* * * * *

Lee: http://thelinarstudio.typepad.com/embracelife

Cheri: http://cheriandrews.blogspot.com/

Margareta: http://www.paperpilekitten.com/

Naomi: http://www.poeticaperture.com/

Mrs. Wookie: http://mrswookieswanderings.blogspot.com/

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18 Responses to 2013 OLW “stillness” review

  1. Do you meditate? I learned how from a video game, called “Journey to the Wild Divine”. It is my favorite game, by far, so peaceful. It comes with a biofeedback sensor that measures your skin conductivity as well as heart rate, and it really can teach you to calm down. For me, that was the hardest part of meditation, calming the chatter in my mind, learning to let it go away. I have to admit that the Journey is a little bit like visiting Boulder Colorado, during a glorious sunny summer day. It has the high tech aspect, the hot air balloons, the mountains, environmentalism and the Naropa Institute. It’s no accident that it was written here, quite a few years ago now. The graphics seem a bit under-powered today. Your mantra “be still” reminded me of meditation.

  2. Naomi says:

    It looks interesting. I will watch the website video and learn more about it. Meditation is something I find challenging because of what you mention… the chattering mind. I sometimes focus on just slowing my heartbeat and exhales that feel relaxing.
    I am so glad that we’ve become friends. Happy New Year to you and yours. 🙂

  3. Happy New Year Naomi! I’m anxious to see how you manifest your word “cherish.” I learn so much from you, I’m sure it’ll rub off on me! I think you did well with “still.”
    janet forrest recently posted…One Little Word 2014My Profile

  4. Becky says:

    Interested to follow your ‘Cherish’ journey!

  5. Thank you so much for keeping company on this year long journey. I’ve enjoyed your monthly updates very much. Looking forward to 2014! I’ve just decided on my new word. 🙂

  6. Caroline says:

    What a wonderful word! I read in the comments about meditating…oh that would be a wonderful way to bring stillness into your life. I love meditating and could not imagine not incorporating that stillness into my day. Wishing you much peace and happiness in 2014! xo

  7. Naomi says:

    Right back at you, Caroline. I would love to know how you learned to meditate. I just bought a dvd that I’m hoping will guide me.

  8. Naomi says:

    “Focus” will be wonderful! I am looking forward to following along.

  9. Naomi says:

    We seem to benefit from each other’s progress. I’m looking forward to gaining more momentum just by watching all your projects. 🙂

  10. I love this post! I can relate to your feelings about stillness and can assure you, it does get easier with time. I had a coach give me an assignment to sit and do nothing in silence for 10 minutes every day. It was so hard but it got easier and easier and now I love those times.
    Michele Bergh recently posted…Life Lesson 43: New Experiences Bring JoyMy Profile

  11. Andria says:

    Happy New Year! I see some similarity in our thinking: my word last year was “simplicity” (evident in your vision board) and my word for this year is “relax,” which I will be discussing in a blog post soon. With homes and families and children and creative pursuits and blogs and such it’s necessary to check in on being still and relaxing once in awhile, isn’t it? Best of luck for your intentions in 2014!
    Andria recently posted…A New Home for My TapesMy Profile

  12. Amy Putkonen says:

    Hi Naomi!

    I am so glad that you are DOING OLW this year! Yeah! I am too. My word is nature and I am having such fun with the word. I wasn’t sure if you were doing it or not because I had not seen you on the FB page. (Probably easy to miss with so many doing it!) Looking forward to see what you come up with for cherish! Thinking of you lots as I gather my own thoughts on my word and creating this wonderful new year! 🙂
    Amy Putkonen recently posted…A New Year :: A New ChallengeMy Profile

  13. Deirdre says:

    Hi Naomi—I just found your blog via a link you left on Ali’s OLW Facebook group (and now I can’t find it to leave this comment there!). Thanks so much for sharing your blog. My greatest passions are my family, photography and books—so I’m sure to be back here. Are you on Goodreads? I’d love to connect there as well!
    Deirdre recently posted…letters to our sons | December 2013My Profile

  14. Susan says:

    If you have an iphone or ipad there’s a wonderful app called Breathing Zone. Basically it’s a mandala that expands and contracts to the breaths per minute that you set. You can customize it for sound and color. I eliminated all sound and have a basic black background and become lost in the breath. I’ve found my mind doesn’t wander nearly as much as during regular meditation.

  15. Naomi says:

    Thanks for recommending this, Susan. I just got the app and look forward to trying it out.

  16. Naomi says:

    Deirdre, I’m so happy to meet you. I think the OLW Facebook group is going to help us meet many kindred spirits. We sound so similar! I think I am on Goodreads so I’ll find you…

  17. Naomi says:

    Thanks, Andria. I know we are kindred spirits. 🙂

  18. Naomi says:

    I have given myself the very same assignment of sitting still. For some reason, I felt compelled to do it in my closet. No idea why! I have trouble making myself do it so far, but it does help me calm down when I do it. 🙂

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