On New Year’s Eve, I was out with friends, fully masked, vaccinated, boosted, and cautious. Our world has instilled caution in me, counteracting the one-time rebel who thought she was invincible. The table discussion turned to making resolutions, and one of my companions said she didn’t make them any longer because she’d found another way to guide and welcome in the new year. She chooses a word that is like a theme for her year. The word she chose for 2021 became a filter through which she could look back and see how all of the manifestations of the year played to the theme of that one word.
Three years ago was the last time I performed a ritual of creating a vision board on New Year’s Day. This year, a friend who has seen me through a fairly tragic time while dealing with her own losses made a pact with me to revitalize the ritual of making the boards. We worked all afternoon without the backdrop of Bowl Games, black eyed peas sizzling on the stove, or any other distraction, save her cats. But before we did that, we wrote down and discussed the things we found necessary to relinquish and then we took them outside in a pot and burned them, spreading the ashes on her cat cemetery behind her house.
Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book: Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear says, “Creative entitlement simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that—merely by being here—you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own.” Being the writer that I am, imposter’s syndrome can waft up like the odors from Mt. Rumpke at any given moment. So I battle fear and it is exacerbated when I live in a form of isolation that is not of my own making.
As I worked on my vision board, the word that kept appearing before me was/is Magic. In the coming days and weeks, I will continue to look for those moments that delight and surprise me. My board is filled with images that bring me joy. Deep woods walking, autumn color, old houses, the smells of home, and phrases like: Let it Rest, Let it Rise and Pen to Paper. The one that speaks loudest right now comes from the magazine called Magnolia: Look Around, You already live in the Magic you’re searching for.
I invite you to think about a word that could focus your intentions this year. What is it that you want to accomplish in the world? What inspires you? Words like Magic, Vitality, Presence, Peace, Laughter, Joy, Perseverance? The list goes on. Then, collect those old magazines, get a foam board, a glue stick, and start cutting and forming that vision for 2022. If we create our own mindset, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.
Tina Neyer is a writer, coach, educator, and faculty member for the Conscious Living Center.