Crafting A Beautiful New Year

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It is the last day of 2016, and for so many of us this has been a hard year. As we exhale 2016 and look toward tomorrow–a new start, a new day, a new year–it is a perfect time to think about what a beautiful life can look like. Even knowing as we do that beauty doesn’t preclude pain, that life still includes heartbreak and stubbed toes and sad days, we also know that building in time for big dreams, little rituals, and everything in between can make the days brighter.

So, if you are feeling like it is a good time to think about the years — to reflect on the past one, to welcome the new one — here are a few beauty school questions to take you into midnight. Not exactly resolutions, not exactly a to-do list, but instead a way of feeling into where we all are. And the more we each know that, the more we can offer a lit candle to the world, to the country, to our neighbors, and to one another.

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Set the mood, if you can. Pour yourself a cup of your favorite tea, or make a latte, and curl up with your journal and a pen that feels really good to write with. Put on your favorite music. If you have a blanket that makes you feel like a bunny rabbit, bring that along too. If you love crystals, or sage, or tarot cards, add those too. Anything that will make you feel the most like you.

Jot down your highest highs… Write down what worked, what were your wins, what were the moments that felt the best? Scroll through your photos to remind yourself of the moments that warranted remembering, from a concert that changed you to a really beautiful salad. Where did you hit your stride at work? When did you feel loved? Did you march, or make signs, or yell as loud you could? What felt good?

…and your lows. When did your heart break? What didn’t work? What do you want a do-over for? The rejection letter, the loss, the dark space.

Does either list lend itself to a lesson or two? How do you WANT to feel? How do you NOT want to feel? What people, places, and things, are part of what works for you? The friends who brought art supplies or soup or wine over, the project you nailed, the corner of your home you made cozy…

What is on your wishlist for 2017? More adventure? Cooking classes? A typewriter? Time in the morning to meditate? A trip to South America? A new love? A dress that says, “hi”? A revolution? Krav Maga lessons? New sneakers? New job?

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How do you want to feel in 2017?

What will you do to feel that way…

…in the mornings
…at the end of the day
…in the next month
…in the next six months
…by the end of the year 

For example, if you want to feel SPARKLING, which I do, you might start the days with something creative…painting, writing, reading Rumi, making some kind of mess. And you might end the day closing your eyes with a prayer of gratitude for the brightest part or person of your day. And in the next month you might want a dance class enrollment checked off, and in the next six months a new job that lights you up, and by the end of the year have a business plan, a book proposal, or a trip abroad in the works…

If you are the praying type, say a prayer for the world and the work you are going to do in it this year. If you are the candle-burning type, burn away the sadness and grief and honor the space of what comes next. And when the clock strikes midnight tonight, close your eyes for a heartbeat and think of your word to yourself and kiss the new year.

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And if you’d like to set these dreams down in art, come make vision boards at this art studio with us in January.

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