12 Simple Words for 2008

December 28, 2008

Recently I was going through some old computer files and stumbled across a list of saved words.   I can’t remember where they came from or who wrote it, but reviewing and sharing my thoughts about the list seemed very timely with the New Year quickly approaching and reflecting back on 2008.

BEGINDo something you have always wanted to do.  Something that I have always wanted to do that I did in 2008 was learn how to make small films.  This has been on my “to do” list for many years now and I just never got around to it. In July, I taught myself through researching tutorials on-line and did a short film of my Visioning Collages and a few others since.  I’ve discovered that I really enjoy this new form of self-expression and the creative process involved with putting the film together.

LAUGHLaughter is the direct route to the soul.  It broadens your perspective, keeps you healthy, and makes an unbearable situation easier to deal with.  I find that laughter is a huge coping mechanism for me and seriously contributes to my overall well-being.  I think there’ s a lot in my life that I couldn’t manage unless laugher was involved or I was surrounded by people in my life that make me laugh and remind me not to be so serious all the time.

BELIEVETell yourself you will succeed at whatever you are doing at the moment.  I think many of my collages over this year and the past reinforce this attitude. They become a visual affirmation for me to stay focused, work hard, do my best, and make my own reality. 

TRUSTTrust your inner voice.  Trusting my inner voice was a BIG one for me in 2008.  I made some difficult decisions early in the year that had me walking away from something I really loved doing, in the name of integrity. Speaking out about what influenced this was even more important.  Standing up for what is right is important to me and just being a silent bystander on the sidelines was something my inner voice was not going to be OK with.  I am very proud of trusting my voice this year.

PLAYDon’t forget to have fun. In 2008, this included going to Vegas  in April and playing blackjack, meeting Crispin Glover in May and seeing his slideshow again,  watching Lost (over and over and over), subscribing to satellite radio, listening to the Cure’s new album, 4:13 Dream (gotta love The Only One), making altered art books, and laughing at Kevin’s simple, yet very funny take on situations that stress me out.

CREATECreativity maintains balance in our lives. I did A LOT of art-making this year- for myself, for others, for my sanity…

CONNECTNurture the connections that uplift you. This year I was inspired to dive into the world of LinkedIn and to create the Art Therapy Alliance, a professional networking group for art therapists, students, and like minded individuals who support art therapy and want to connect more with others who share this same interest.  LinkedIn and the Art Therapy Alliance has connected me to so many new and interesting people, as well as help me strengthen my existing professional relationships and contacts.  

SEEKDon’t live strictly inside your comfort zone. Allow yourself to grow by exposing your vulnerabilities and insecurities. There’s something to be said about courage, taking risks, and doing something that has never been done before.  2008 presented many opportunities for me to go outside of what is known to me and work hard to rise to the occasion with authenticity, confidence, and leadership.

CHOOSEWe can’t always choose our circumstances, but we choose our attitude towards them.   While this has not been easy for a control freak like me, I have had to learn a lot about this over the last few years.  I had a better attitude in 2008 and I hope 2009 will be even better.

APPRECIATIONAppreciate the good in yourself, others, and what you appreciate about your life in this moment. What comes to mind here is thankfulness and gratitude for friends and family in my life.  What’s truly good in my life are the relationships and friendships I have. So many who have helped, empowered, supported, encouraged, and listened to me throughout the year-  and this has not gone unnoticed-thank you!

WRITEPutting your thoughts on paper can organize thoughts and make dreams more concrete.  I use to keep a daily journal for years and years, but in the last 5 years or so what use to be daily entries have become lists. Every year I make a list of things that I want to do- for fun, for my professional life, artist self, for my health, others, goals, crazy ideas, etc.  Things on the list that I did well this year were managing my health better, saving $, doing more art, going on vacation, as well as presenting and teaching more.  I suppose launching this blog provides me a nice opportunity to begin writing more!

RELEASEGive yourself permission to relax and let go. I must admit that I have not done very well with this one in 2008– I have really tried to work on letting go and relaxing more (I swear!), but this is so very hard for a workaholic like me.  I even started a mini altered art book on detachment in October that is still not anywhere finished.  I did try to say no more- if that counts for anything.  I hope I can take letting go a little more seriously in 2009.

What words helped you survive and thrive in 2008?  Stayed tuned for 2009 and my rev o’ lution!

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8 Responses to “12 Simple Words for 2008”

  1. cathy Says:

    This was a great read– it reminded me of what is important to focus on in 2009 and what got me through Y2008. I am actually finishing a needlepoint for the first time during this decade! Now I only have 5 more to go! I am staying tuned to both our revolutions…


  2. Thanks Cathy–! Glad you enjoyed the posting and that these words also helped you survive 2008…. Onto great and amazing things ahead in 2009- and best wishes with finishing the needlepoint– -gretchen

  3. Don Cutcher Says:

    This has been a year (2008) of ups and downs and the word “change” seems to resonate with possibilities as we enter 2009. This has also meant a new definition for the word “risk”, in the sense of personal and professional endeavors. The word “trust” has also become an extremely important word and way of presenting myself to a larger professional audience that I had been somewhat silent to until 2008 and accepting that only sometimes the good guys do win!
    May 2009 bring us contentment and growth.
    Don


  4. Hi Don- I agree– change, risk, and trust resonate with me too-Simple words with important meaning– I think you should also add “fearless” to your list— 🙂 Here’s to a great 2009 for all of us! -gretchen

  5. Michtarts Says:

    What a great list. For 2009, I am adding POSTIVE….. I need to change my attitude about the up coming year!
    Thanks Gretchen.
    Mich


  6. Hi Gretchen-

    Stumbled upon this post while reading your 2009 Thanksgiving post. Thank you for sharing your word list and your candor about making hard decisions and honorning one’s own truth. I’m going to start thinking about my own list for 2010.


  7. […] o’ lution Reflections December 17, 2009 Similar to last December and my 12 Simple Words for 2008, I have already started to reflect on what words would be on my list for this year.  Many of these […]


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