Rev 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 words come from my 2009 rev o’ lution which really helped me focus on change and transformation concepts important to me this year.  I thought I would spend this posting reflecting on these eight words….overall, I feel like “operation rev o’ lution” was a success this year!

My 2009 rev o' lution

Trust – This year I learned a lot about what trust really means to me and the relationships I choose to invest in.  Accountability, authenticity, integrity, and responsibility are important qualities I highlighted around this concept when developing and reflecting on my 2009 rev o’ lution.  However throughout the year, this concept strongly developed into how trust in its basic form connects to my experiences of feeling safe, protected, and secure from outside crazymaking.  I have made a lot of difficult choices this year around stopping my involvement with toxic environments and relationships that at one time I believed in and valued, but now, I can no longer support and need to break free from. No more crazymaking.  I saw a D.Waitley quote come through on Twitter recently via @MindtheD that I thought really related to my thoughts around this:  “Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.

Change–  During this year I engaged in a lot of discussion and energy around the topic of change.  I believe in being part of change, living  it, and visioning it, particularly related to my love of the art therapy profession.  Most of this year I was trying to figure out where I might fit in related to this big picture.  How could my work and my efforts reflect my authentic self, values, passion, and a purpose rooted in trust, innovation, compassion,  equality, and empowering community?  After much reflection, I made the decision to invest my direction and commitment towards developing efforts that reflect a vision, understanding, and meaning that I can really believe in for art therapy.  I have really enjoyed the work I have contributed in co-developing new and refreshing opportunities during this year through the Art Therapy Alliance and supporting the mission of the International Art Therapy Organization.  I am proud of these efforts, connection, and the future possibilities that social media and technology can create to help bring art therapists together and showcase art therapy.

Leadership–  According to my rev o’ lution post last year, good leadership is something I wanted to see, be, and understand more in 2009.  Throughout this year seeing, being, and understanding this kind of leadership included figuring a lot out about what this means to me, really understanding the influence of internal and external intentions, and honoring the priorities and values in my life and what/who/where I choose to commit my energy and ideas towards to make a difference. 

Leadership Intention- Something New, May 2009

Openness– At the beginning of this year I had lots of hopefulness and a longing for more opportunities that would bring collaboration, exchanging of innovative ideas, and building community.  This concept in my rev o’ lution has surfaced many exciting things throughout the year in co-creation with International Art Therapy Organization Founder Cathy Malchiodi, such as our Art. Peace. Sustainability Interactive Art Event, launching the art therapy e-zine FUSION, and altered domino making are only a few of the highlights. More are on the horizon for 2010.

Gratitude– Focusing on this concept throughout the year has reminded me to appreciate so many people in my life and what there is to be thankful for despite day to day stresses, expectations, politics, and to-do lists.  These relationships inspire and remind me what is really important in life and what the bigger picture is all about.  In my rev o’ lution this year, I wanted to create more art connected to exploring gratitude and expressing this to others through my art making.  One of the art-based activities I participated in to focus on this theme was  an altered art gratitude book round robin that I found really rewarding.  

Hope Seek Dream Fly- Altered Book Page, June 2009

Health- Over the last seven years I have come to understand better to not take my health for granted and am very thankful for another year free of major issues related to my myelin behaving.  While I still have days where having an auto-immune disease is something I do not have time for, do not want to deal with, or try to forget about- I have actually been slightly more accepting, accomodating, and open (than I have ever been) about what I need to do to keep myself healthly and continue doing all the things I love to do in life.

Calm-  Cultivating calmness in my life always seems to be challenge because I am always up to something and for the most part, enjoy this…  I do feel that I made much progress connected to this rev o’ lution concept (see Trust and Change for starters).   I did finish my mini altered book on detachment earlier in the year, which has continued to be a great visual reminder when I need it.  I have also become better at letting go and saying good-bye to those parts and relationships that are not healthy for me or no longer fit. But still  need to remind myself of these lessons.  My discovery of and addictive art-making with Polyvore this year really helped me reflect and focus more on these concepts too.

Stuff She Didn't Need Anymore- Polyvore Art, September 2009

Voice– My 2009 rev o’ lution and all the above concepts helped make my voice stronger this year through being myself, focusing on what’s authentic to me, and meaningful.  I believe this year I figured out how to best use my voice in a way that I am finally good with.  I am dedicated to using this voice to help, support, and work with others who share the same vision and energy in the spirit of  the three C’s (connection, collaboration, and creativity) to do good and amazing things! 

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7 Responses to “Rev o’ lution Reflections”

  1. Lani Says:

    Beautiful!!!
    Wow, I’ve got to do me a rev o’ lution for 2010!!!
    Can’t wait to see how it comes out!


  2. This is wonderful. Gretchen, you are always an amazing inspiration, both in word and art.

  3. Joanna Young Says:

    This is wonderful – I love the mixture of words and images to both energise and reflect… you’ve given me some food for thought for 2010, thank you

  4. Lisbeth Lanpher Says:

    You’re so inspiring, Gretchen. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.


  5. […] of my transition in 2010 will include a process that already started in 2009, but I believe will only grow stronger. I will be shifting intentions and life decisions to […]

  6. Fiona Says:

    I feel inspired by your artwork and writing on qualites for the New Year, too. Time for me to put my art making to good reflective use!
    Loved the little film you made on your altered book and the music was a perfect fit. Could you email me (privately) the name of the artist and song you had chosen? Really beautiful music! Thanks, Fiona


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