This is my 2019 Year in Review. I encourage you to do your own.
This is a good time of year to pause and reflect. When we take time to harvest the outgoing year, we help pave the way for a heart-centered, soul-aligned year to come.
Make note of the highlights of the year, the major events and key themes, the blessings, growth, and accomplishments, and the challenges and learning. Make note of what you need to release to be clear for the year ahead.
Two Huge Things Happened in the Same Month
2019 was a big year for me. My mother died, the most unimaginable, wrenching anguish and lingering grief, even though, for her sake, I had wanted her to go for years.
In the same month, my book of poems, Fierce Aria,was finally accepted for publication, the culmination of a nearly 10-year journey. Fierce Aria will be available for pre-sale next week! It seems astonishing to me. I’ll send you a link then, so you can get your own copy of what I hope is a little gem of inspiration, beauty, wonder and solace.
Stabilizing Brilliant Playground
Brilliant Playground grew in beautiful ways. I had so much joy in teaching this year—the Artist’s Way, Living Your Dreams, Freedom to Write, Romancing the Muse, Riding the Dragon Poetry Workshop and Convocation of Poets. And I wrote 22 new blog posts.
For the first time in 15 years, I began to find a rhythm of offerings and coaching that feels more sustainable and sustaining. Hallelujah! I look to strengthen this new foundation, so that I can offer programs I have been dreaming for years, to create a deeper sense of community and shared exploration here in the year to come.
Welcoming New People to Patreon
Over at Patreon, where I share my hot-off-the-press creative work, my working methods, and my intimate creative journey, as well as creative tips for my patrons to try, my number of patrons grew from 29 to 49.
This is a vital for me, because like all artists I need tangible support and an audience, in order to keep creating. Patreon gives me both of these. I shared things there once a week, with occasional bonus things.
Otherwise readers have to wait years to see my new creative work or never see it, since the publication process is so slow. For those who would like to see what I am creating now and how I go about creating it, join me on Patreon. You get exclusive benefits there.
Learning a New Medium
I dove into learning about how to use Medium to share my essays and reach new readers this year, and that effort paid off. I shared 15 brand-new essays on Medium. Seven of those were curated (featured) by Medium and eight were chosen by popular publications within Medium, such as The Startup, The Ascent and The Writing Collective. I was also named a Top Writer in Art!
I plan to start including a weekly digest of my Medium posts in my Creative Sparks newsletter for Brilliant Playground, so that you can easily find the topics that interest you.
Changing the Inner Game
I did a lot of deep inner work, and that work brought me greater freedom, peace and joy. One of the most profound things I did was Hiro Boga’s course, Become Your Own Business Advisor.
I have followed and loved Hiro’s work for years, but this was life-changing for me, finally starting to shift old, entrenched patterns around work and money and helping me to form a loving, co-creative partnership with the Soul of My Work.
Her work is extraordinary and like nothing else out there. I recommend it highly.
Creatively On Fire
In addition to all the essays/posts on Brilliant Playground, Patreon and Medium, I wrote and created a great deal:
- I wrote 52 new poems,
- Sent poems and essays to 44 literary journals and got 9 published.
- Shadow Cabinet, my dance-music group, created new work and performed twice.
- I revitalized my regular practice of Contact Improvisation, which brings me so much joy and playfulness.
- I also helped to organize the 3rd Sierra Poetry Festival, an amazing day and full month of poetry events. Now we’re working on the 4th annual Festival, and I can’t wait to tell you who the featured poets are!
Called to Rise
A review of the year would not be complete without mentioning how stressful and challenging our world was this past year—widespread divisiveness and racism, corporate greed and economic inequity, lack of integrity and morality in leadership, gun violence, climate crisis, and a massive humanitarian crisis being committed at the U.S. borders.
These situations call on each of us to rise to what is best in us, to our compassion, our responsibility to act, to share our gifts and our service to our world. It is part of my work here at Brilliant Playground to support you in finding that in ways that bring you joy and aliveness and keep you creating and living in wonder.
It is only by coming together in community that we can co-create the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. Making art is a powerful part of how we do this. Let’s do this together in 2020!