Year of Curiosity

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It’s 2020 and what a year of promise! I’m excited about it already. I love the symbolism that accompanies the auspicious date. The very nature of the number 2020 hints at clarity and vision. For those with the openness to see clearly, 2020 offers opportunities to cast visions and gain personal and business insights.

As is my custom, each new year begins afresh with a word, symbol and song as companions for the twelve month journey. This is my Year of Curiosity and I’m full of anticipation for where it will lead me.

Year of Curiosity title meme

Year of Curiosity – the Word

As is evident, my word for this year is curiosity. I’m thrilled about this word. The definition is “a strong desire to learn or know something; a strange or unusual fact or object”. My intention for 2020 is to follow curiosity, daily, to see where it leads me. I’m curious about everything, and have been since childhood. I love when curiosity nudges me and I begin the “what ifs” or “wonder whys”. Curiosity possesses the power to launch adventures and unlock doors of opportunity, if I will follow where it leads. I am willing to follow.

I looked up the root word for curiosity. It is derived from the Latin word cura. Our words “care” and “careful” come from this root word as well as the word “cure”. At first I found it difficult to see how curiosity and careful can be related. However, I love the connections I perceive with cure, which I suppose could loosely be defined as “take care of”. How amazing to think that we can take care of or cure boredom, stagnation, fear, ignorance and complacency with an energizing injection of curiosity.

I love the paths that curiosity leads me down. This year I’m throwing off restraints and eagerly journeying under curiosity’s guidance.

Year of Curiosity definition
Year of Curiosity definition

Year of Curiosity – the Symbol

As soon as I realized that curiosity was my word for the year (check out this post to see how I choose a word each year), I picked up my childhood copy of Alice in Wonderland. This junior deluxe classic book, published in 1954, has accompanied me throughout my life. I’ve read the story many times. I strongly associate curiosity with Alice and her adventures in Wonderland. As I read through the story again I wondered, curiously, if the rabbit from Wonderland might be my symbol for 2020.

It turns out the key is my symbol. A key unlocks doors so that passage can be gained. Curiosity is the key that unlocks more knowledge and deeper answers and it opens doors to paths that disappear around the bend in the road. Those paths beckon to me. I must follow to see where they lead.

Ironically, after I accepted that the key is my symbol for the year, I happened to glance at the spine of my well worn book. There is a drawing of the rabbit…and a key. That makes me smile. I’ll create an art piece for this year, a sketch of the rabbit holding a key. And throughout the year, the symbol of the key will remind me of my journey and guide me. It serves also as confirmation that I am on the right path by appearing at key times.

Year of Curiosity Alice in Wonderland Book
Year of Curiosity – Alice in Wonderland Book with the rabbit and key on the spine. I believe my younger sister decorated the book for me.

Year of Curiosity – the Song

My song for the year typically arrives last, sometimes months after the word and symbol. Music is important to me and I look forward to seeing what song shows up repetitively, which is my signal that this is the right song.

For 2020 I thought I knew the song…”How Far I’ll Go”, from the Moana movie and soundtrack. And then a Jack Johnson song, “Upside Down” began to show up. That song, from the Curious George movie and soundtrack, even contains the word curiosity in the lyrics. I felt torn between the two songs. When I’m not sure, I wait.

Today, I decided to go ahead and call it, choosing the song “Upside Down”. In the car I listened to the song. It’s a good tune. I like it. Then I listed to “How Far I’ll Go”. Tears filled my eyes. My heart beat faster and I could feel emotions swirling around my heart. I knew. THAT’S my song. The connections between the lyrics and me are powerful. I wrote another post, unpacking this song more fully, and sharing why it impacts me so. Listen to How Far I’ll Go.

A New Adventure is Underway

I’m off, on a new adventure. I have no idea where curiosity will lead me this year or what doors it will unlock. However, I’m here, alert and aware, gazing forward and inward at the same time. Curiosity calls to me, “Come with me…”. I’m eager to do so.

Do you have a word, symbol or song for this year? I’d love to know.

Curiosity Quoye

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Thank You for the Lessons 2018 – I Am Ready 2019

I am very mindful today that a little more than 48 hours remain in 2018. The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is one of reflection on the year past…and anticipation and planning for the year ahead. I’ve done both.

I’ll do a year end review on Monday, and welcome 2019 the next day.

Tonight I’m filled with gratitude for all that I’ve learned, for the lessons 2018 offered that helped me to grow and go beyond.

Thank You for the Lessons 2018 - I Am Ready 2019

Challenges are Opportunities

I used to be such a worrier. Anxiety burdened me, creating health issues and robbing me of joy. Gradually I learned to let go of my tendency to fret about a past that was unchangeable and a future I had no control over.

What freedom and lightness of spirit came into my life with letting go. And how my perspectives shifted. Now I am not willing to expend energy rehashing the past nor will I rob myself of present joys by wasting time creating untrue stories about possible outcomes. I learn from the past and let the future unfold, moment by moment.

From that frame of reference, I see challenges as opportunities to grow, to learn, to open up or to let go. It’s not that I don’t have challenges. I do, just like everyone else. What I have learned to do is respond differently. When I feel frustration or the pull back toward worrying, I bring myself back to the present with a word…Adsum…open up my chest and heart chakra…and let go.

I recall this quote…

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” Pema Chodron

…and welcome the challenge as the opportunity that it is. I don’t want to keep repeating a lesson until I get it. I’d rather “get it”, and move on, go beyond.

Thank You for the Lessons 2018 - I Am Ready 2019

Lessons from 2018

This year presented wonderful joys and unique challenges to grow me into the person who will step confidently into 2019.

In random order, I’ve learned…

• To trust deeply, in ways I could not even imagine a couple of years ago. So much is beyond my control. All I can do is respond from a place of trust and faith.

• My intuitive abilities truly are gifts. I don’t have to “do” anything with them or resist using them or hide them away. They are simply part of who I am…nothing more, nothing less.

• People can be disappointing. Not everyone thinks or believes or behaves as I do. My place isn’t to judge them or condone them. I can only offer from who I am, stay open and live as my highest self. Some will walk with me and some will walk away. Either choice is okay.

• At age 60 I can dwell in health and vitality.

• At age 60 I can learn new things. Technology, which is constantly evolving, can be a very challenging arena for me. I’ve pushed myself this year to keep evolving with it. Even when it feels as if my head will explode, I’ve discovered I can adapt, learn new ways of doing things, and grow.

• It’s not necessarily a bad thing, when events don’t go the way I want them to. In fact, when I let go and stay open, better things show up.

• Ongoing conversations with the Divine are my most important form of guidance.

• The desires of my heart provide important clues about who I am made to be.

• Placing expectations on others creates burdens too heavy to be borne. Living in freedom allows me to extend the same grace to others.

• No detail of my life is insignificant to the Divine.

• Life’s mysteries are intended to inspire and delight me, not confound and confuse me.

Thank You For The Lessons 2018 - I Am Ready 2019

I Am Ready 2019

This year has shaped me into the person who now stands on the threshold of a big new adventure in a fresh year. I love knowing that I am not weighed down with unresolved issues nor am I toting baggage into 2019.

There are no regrets. I am grateful for the gifts 2018 offered to me, including the challenges. One of the greatest blessings is knowing that all that happened this year had purpose. All had a part in preparing me for what comes next. I’m being called to step up into being who I am intended to be, at a very high level. There is a trickle of fear…and great anticipation.

2019…I am ready.

Thank You For The Lessons 2018 - I Am Ready 2019

Year of Stories

It’s a fresh new day, at the very beginning of a fresh new year. And that means I am embarking on a fresh new journey. Last night I turned the final page on the book that was last year. It is finished. To paraphrase Brad Paisley, “Today is the first blank page in a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

If you have been walking alongside me for a while, you know what a new year brings with it: a new word, to represent my journey ahead, a new symbol that corresponds with the theme, and typically a new song, or quote, to remind me who I am as I explore the path ahead.

The word, symbol and song/quote are part of a Divine roadmap that I am given, to guide me. I realized years ago that I was not selecting these tools, they were being given to me. They arrive when they arrive, one by one, through synchronicities, signs and sheer repetition. I am usually seeing the next journey come together by September or October, well before the next year begins. There is typically some overlap of experiences, which actually serves as confirmation that I am headed in the right direction.

My word for 2018 is “story”. I am very excited about the intention of writing a daily story. We tend to think of stories as fictional tales, but a story can describe a historical event or person, or present day ones, or they can enlighten and teach, entertain or encourage. Every person, every object, every event has a story connected to it.

In fact, it is our stories that connect us to each other…highlighting the ways we are alike or the intriguing ways we are different. They draw our compassion or our scorn, that make us laugh or cry, they give us courage or make us afraid. Stories are so powerful. William H. Gass wrote, “The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.”

I love that quote! I intend to be an alchemist this year, capturing my world by way of my words. I want to be mindful of the kinds of stories I am telling, and make sure they entertain, inspire, uplift, encourage or challenge, in positive ways.

My symbol for 2018 is a feather quill. The feather was the initial image I was given, and today I spent time studying the rich symbolism connected to it.

Feathers, by their connection to birds, represent freedom and flight, suggesting a heightened perspective of the world, and the ability to see the bigger picture. Think a bird’s eye view as it soars above the earth. They also represent travel, and not just physical travel, but traveling with the mind and spirit.

The feather signifies communion with the Divine, and finding a feather is considered a message from Spirit. I frequently find feathers. I expect to encounter many this year.

And, feathers are connected to abundance and growth, levity and lightness of being. Finally, they represent communication. A feather quill is a universally recognized symbol for writing and storytelling, making it an ideal representation for me. I don’t own a quill pen…yet…but I believe I soon shall!

I just received my song for this year within the last few days. I have been captivated by This is Me, from the Greatest Showman movie and soundtrack. It resonates deeply with me. What a powerful song to stride confidently into this new year with, singing out, literally and figuratively, I am brave, I am proof, I am who I’m meant to be…this is me! This song’s message provides an important foundation for using my voice in telling the stories I will tell.

The first day of a new year, while it ushers in keen anticipation, is always a bit disorienting for me. I just completed 365 days around a different theme, and I became attuned to receiving inspiration. Today I stepped into unknown territory with a map that is added to daily, as I journey, and a set of divine clues, to be opened one at a time. I don’t plan out what will happen, because I don’t know! Instead I set off down a new path and I will see where it takes me. I can trust that guidance will be given, at the right time. I can trust as well that the journey will be playful and enriching and it will provide me with many opportunities to learn and grow…and write stories.

I mentioned yesterday that I felt a bit reluctant to leave my Year of Inspiration. I used Alan Rickman’s quote as the foundation for my daily experiences, making life a little more tender and art a little more robust. It felt odd today, knowing I would not be typing one of those bylines into the blog post categories, or into the blog meme.

As I was gathering info this afternoon, looking at quotes about story, I was delighted when my guide from last year popped up unexpectedly. It felt like a fond send off from an old friend, as I am swept off on the next adventure to I know not where.

“I like it when stories are left open.” Alan Rickman

Good advice. I teared up, and then laughed. Me too, Alan. Me too.

Journey 2: Spinach Smoothie 10 Day Cleanse

spinach smoothie 2

There is something so inviting about a clean slate. The freshness and newness sparks creativity and begs to be filled. The new year offers such an invitation. With the passing of the old year, I release all that occurred, the good and the not so good, and feel energized and inspired to begin anew. No wonder so many begin diets or start to exercise again or make changes in their businesses on January 1. It I Is the closest thing possible to a “do over”.

I love stepping into the new year with my new word and theme. In my mind, when I was a child, December and January were 12 months apart. I saw a year ending. And then a new year beginning with no connection between the two events. It truly was as if I stepped through an open door, into the new year, and then the door closed behind me. And far, far down at the end of the road, December waited. I was almost to my teens before I made the shift that allowed me to see that December and January were side by side, so to speak, and that December flowed right into January. I still like that distinction between the old and the new, however.

I think another reason so many begin a diet or exercise with renewed vigor is because we’ve eaten so many sugar and calorie laden foods over the holidays! This was certainly true for me. My journey today led me to try a spinach smoothie, as a teaser. Tomorrow, having tried the smoothie and liked it, I’ll begin a 10 day cleanse, drinking three smoothies a day. My sister Linda provided the Woman’s World article for this inspiration.

I like the idea of a cleanse right now for several reasons. I want to reset my body’s eating habits, after weeks of not being as mindful as I’d like to be. The smoothie is nutrient dense and balancing to the body. I look forward to feeling a surge of energy that is sure to accompany the removal of sugar from my diet (again) and the inclusion of good-for-me power foods. And, although it could be seen as boring, knowing exactly what I will be having for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next 10 days frees my mind from having to think about what I will eat. I can turn more energy to other pursuits, such as writing.

Here is the recipe, as suggested by Woman’s World:

2 cups of fresh spinach blended with 2 cups of water. Puree until liquefied. (This happened almost instantly and I used a regular blender set to high speed.)

Add ½ avocado OR 1 ½ teaspoon of coconut oil OR 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed

Add 1 scoop whey protein powder OR 1 small container full fat Greek yogurt OR ½ cup silken tofu OR 1 Tablespoon unsweetened almond butter

Add 1 cup fresh or frozen berries

For my smoothie today, I used fresh spinach leaves, coconut oil, Greek yogurt and frozen blueberries that had been picked locally. I blended well and drank. It was tasty, with the blueberries being the most prominent flavor. I think next time I will add crushed ice in place of some of the water, for a thicker smoothie.

Spinach is considered one of the healthiest foods in the world. This dark green leafy vegetable is extremely high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Benefits include lowering blood sugar, cancer and asthma prevention, curbing appetite, improved skin, hair and bones, lowering blood pressure and promoting a healthy digestive tract. Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant ratings, meaning it is beneficial for the nervous system and brain health, for cancer prevention and as an anti-inflammatory. What a powerful combo to consume! The coconut oil, flaxseed or avocado add necessary healthy fats, while the Greek yogurt, whey powder or almond butter adds protein and keeps hunger at bay.

I’m excited about this cleanse. It will jumpstart my healthy eating and transition me back to an overall, and ongoing, healthier lifestyle. I have places to go and things to do! A healthy, strong, vibrant body gives me someplace to live, while I’m on my journey!

spinach smoothie

A Word Chooses Me

Beyond

New year, new opportunities for growth and joy! Every year I choose a word for the upcoming year. The last two years, a word has chosen me instead. This year the word that chose me, as my theme for 2014, is BEYOND. I wanted a different word. And yet through synchronicity the word kept showing up and it was confirmed, beyond doubt, that this was my word. Everything else fell into place quickly. The symbol for 2014 had been showing up for months…a bird outside its cage, representing moving beyond that which limits and into freedom. This quote from Michael A Singer’s book, “The Untethered Soul”, states “Ultimately the word ‘beyond’ captures the true meaning of spirituality. In its most basic sense, going beyond means going past where you are. It means not staying in your current state. When you go beyond yourself, there are no more limitations. There are no more boundaries. Limitations and boundaries only exist at the places where you stop going beyond. If you never stop then you go beyond boundaries, beyond limitations, beyond the sense of a restricted self.” That speaks deeply to me. I desire to move beyond my comfort zone and limitations of my own making and into places of freedom and growth and opportunity. I was inspired by Lu Ann Cahn’s journey beyond her fears and limitations and feelings of being stuck. She did one new thing each day for a year. You can check out her story in her book “I Dare Me” and here on facebook at Lu Ann Cahn. I have adopted Lu Ann’s idea and I am excited about what will unfold each day as I too experience new things and in doing so, move beyond my comfort zone! Some days will bring down old beliefs and push me to go where I have never gone before. Other days will be about having fun trying something different. It promises to be an amazing journey. Lastly, while watching the movie “Frozen” with my granddaughter, sister and great-niece, my song for the year was revealed. “Let it Go” captures so beautifully the desire to stop holding back and just let go. The lines “The fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all. It’s time to see what I can do, test the limits and break through” underline my intention for this year. I’m excited to see what surprises unfold and where my journey will take me! ‘

I’ll post each day with my new experience.