As 2011 draws nearer with each passing day, I find myself engaging in much reflection. The fabulous prompts from Reverb10, the daily photo prompts from Tracey Clark ‘s Picturing the Holidays class, as well as my good fortune to be teaching a journal-writing class, are also facilitating my reflecting and my looking forward. I’m realizing that 2010 was a good year filled with tremendous growth, new opportunities, and connections.
December 7’s Reverb question on Community helped me see some of this as it asked, “Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?” In reflecting on this, I truly began to see the ways in which I both created new communities and delved into other communities that were new to me through retreats and classes. I feel so grateful for the amazing new connections I’ve made this past year, and am excited about deepening my ties to those communities (and new ones) in 2011.
I’m still reflecting on December 8’s prompt written by the incredible Karen Walrond on Beautifully Different. She asked us to, “Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.” I’m not so sure about the beautiful part, but I do know one thing that makes me different is the way I take risks in seeking out what I want. I firmly believe that you don’t get anything if you don’t ask, and the worst the person can say is “no.” And if she/he says “no,” well, you’ve lost nothing. But the only way the person can say “yes” is if you ask. This guiding belief is what enabled me to meet with the rockstar psychologist in New York. It’s what urged me to gather a creative group together in the city where I live, and what led me to invite women I admire but haven’t necessarily met to a creative retreat this coming June. And even though I don’t always get a “yes,” like when I asked Gretchen Rubin if she had time to meet with me for coffee, at least I asked. I tried. After all, Gretchen’s not going to email me to ask for a coffee date! So I think that’s what makes me different–I put it out there. I ask.
Today’s Reverb prompt is Party: “What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.” I’m not sure I have an answer for that one in terms of a party. The gatherings that rocked my socks off this past year weren’t necessarily parties, they were more like long weekends. Squam Art Workshops in September rocked my socks off. My time in New York this year (in May and November) was incredible. Those experiences were so amazing because of the generosity of the people with whom I spent time. Those trips rocked my socks off because of the energy and creativity they spurred inside me. Better than a party.
What are some of your reflections on community, that thing that makes you different, and a party or other gathering that rocked your world?