I’m a big believer in recapping our years – to look back, to relearn, to rediscover, to celebrate, to grieve, to realize just how far we’ve come. I’ve been recapping my blog posts by years for the last eight years. For those of you who may be interested, here are my yearly recaps:
Today’s post is 2013’s recap.
I always think of that quote by Zora Neale Hurston that says, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” I believe 2013 was a year of answers, insight, and clarity – a big personal growth year for me albeit a little intense from time to time. My word for 2013 was unleash, which I wrote about here. And it’s been an excellent word – one that required a certain level of intentional practice that led to important shifts, transformation, and unleashing of old stories that gave birth to new ways of being in the world. It was also a year of unleashing the block/lock/shield on my confidence – perhaps the single biggest gift of 2013.
As grateful as I am for all the love and lessons of 2013, I’m ready, as I always am when the New Year rolls around, for a fresh start. Before letting you go, 2013, I want to answer a couple of questions that my dear friend Andrea Scher introduced me to many years ago (can’t recommend this practice enough!).
1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2013? (What did you create? What challenges did you face with courage and strength? What promises did you keep to yourself? What brave choices did you make? What are you proud of?)
I’m proud of all the ways I tuned inward and recalibrated my own true north throughout the year. It wasn’t always easy, but I’m proud of the boundaries I set that protected my own journey, and voice along the way. I’m really proud of how John and I have made important choices toward the life we’re creating together, including the decision for him to be a stay at home papa (best move ever). We have been incredibly intentional in our relationship and in our parenting and I want to acknowledge the brave intersection of vulnerability, courage, and dreams when it comes to creating a family and home where we all can thrive. I want to acknowledge all the places where I was open to receive the love, the lessons, the new ways of seeing – in love, in art, in business. I want to acknowledge the self compassion that I showed myself during a few really hard weeks. I’m proud of the ways I navigated motherhood and business this year, fiercely protecting my time around both. I’m so glad I made the choice to create more everyday community in my life – both at work (moving into a shared studio space with others) and at home (neighbor mamas, and more).
2. What is there to grieve about 2013? (What was disappointing? What was scary? What was hard? What can you forgive yourself for?)
The biggest disappointment, and the thing that cracked open my heart to grief was experiencing a heart breaking miscarriage. It was scary, traumatic, and shook me back to a place of uncertainty. I am proud of the ways that my family and friends nurtured, tended, and held lots of space for me for many weeks. Though it was extremely tough, I’m proud of the ways that I fiercely held onto myself in the weeks and months that followed while also allowing my heart to simply grieve and heal.
3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete? The next step is to say out loud, “I declare 2013 complete!” How do you feel? If you don’t feel quite right, there might be one more thing to say…
Thank you for being the year where I re-claimed my confidence and didn’t give it away despite the challenges and hurdles. 2013, I declare you complete!
Some highlights and lowlights include:
– John became a full time stay at home papa!
– Had a real life conversation with one of my creative heros.
– Had a big aha around all the ways I shine brightly, but turn the volume down on enjoying it. Deep stuff.
– Embraced my being a full-on Connectress. It’s part of why I love what I do.
– Starting Facebooking with intention. Result? Over 30K amazing, beautiful Possibilitarians are now a part of our Facebook Tribe.
– Moved out of my solo studio and into a shared studio called Soul Shine Studio.
-Had another aha about how healing works, and how it doesn’t. 2013 was the year of soul lessons.
– Saw Disney World through the eyes of a child.
– Started a brand new manifesto series! And started selling postcard packs, too! What took me so long?
– Had a moment where I felt both quite scared and empowered when it came to my business. Lot’s of life lessons in that moment.
– Traveled to Bali and had a transformative, life-changing experience.
– Answered the often asked question, “Why the tilted heads in your paintings?”
– Embraced that it’s okay to sometimes be a trainwreck. And to also love life.
– Our living room got a big facelift with the addition of some built-in bookshelves. Love.
– Our home office got a facelift, too.
– And we created a new guest room in our little bungalow.
– And a play room, too!
– Celebrated 14 years of togetherness with my man.
– Celebrated new product releases at the January Atlanta gift market – took lots of iphone photos of the showrooms and had a great time with friends. It was the firs time in five years that I didn’t come home sick. Progress!
– Started The Wear Your Joy Project, a daily practice of getting dressed up in our joy, everyday. This practice has been huge for me in 2013.
– More soul work: realizing all the ways we give ourselves away.
– I went to Texas to film a segment for Brene’s ecourse on Oprah.com. Life-changing trip. I can still feel all the ways my soul got rearranged during that trip.
– Pulled out the archives of my life before I was an artist. Wow!
– Added a kid library annex to our little free library in our front yard. Best. Move. Ever.
– Did weekly highlights of some of our favorite products that Nourish The Soul.
– Spoke my truth and then closed my comments.
– Worked harder than I ever have prepping for, and then filming my first ever painting ecourse. Big leaps, big heart for this love project.
– Made a great intuitive move and hired Lacy for all things KRR.
– I then made it my personal mission to assemble my life team.
– Celebrated lots of love and life with True, including his DIY big boy bed, his first DIY haircut, his first day of preschool, and his first big camping trip.
– Shared my thoughts on the mean-spirited comments I often receive.
– Celebrated True’s 3rd birthday.
– Released my first ever line of jewelry, and totebags. Love how they turned out.
– Also released my first ever line of scarves (Swoon!), and some other swoon worthy goods.
– Captured life around here lately. All year long.
Thank you, 2013! Up next: My word for 2014!
More small steps from 2013:
* Delighted to be featured in GiftBeat. It’s the first time they’ve ever featured a licensing artist for their BizBeat profile on the front page, and I’m just so thrilled. See/read more here.
* Shared my thoughts on the mean-spirited comments that come my way.
* Began prepping for and then filming my first ever painting e-course. Nerves, stress, and full blown joy.
* Realized how red shoes and cowgirl boots led me my heart home. And The Wear Your Joy Project was birthed.
* Introduced my first ever Holiday line. Love how it turned out!
* Walked into a store and saw the most beautiful display of my products. Made my heart leap.
* Assembled my life team.
* Spoke my truth and closed my blog comments.
* Reached then passed 25K FB friends! Huge gratitude for my online tribe!
* Announced that I would be a guest on my friend Brene Brown’s new E-course with Oprah!
* Had a conversation with Koren over at How She Really Does It about all things trust and faith to create the life that is waiting for you. Listen to the podcast here. Thank you Koren!
* Began to feel the pull and inspiration to something bigger. Then, took one very scary steptoward that call.
* My son, True, turns three and my heart nearly explodes.
* My book, Taking Flight turned F I V E!
* Took a look at my archives of writing about my journey into the creative life and stood in gratitude for the unfolding
* Enjoyed some lovely exposure via this piece on Food Truckr.
* Got brave and shared what’s in my closet (hint: lots of color)
* Was featured over at Big Hearted Business as one of their Inspiration Bombs. Felt really in my power for the interview.
* Put out a call for Kindness Warriors + fellow Possibilitarians to join me in creating a fun + meaningful display of collective kindness!
* I had the privilege to be interviewed by one of my art heroes, SARK.
* Took a look at the older version of myself as a Social Worker with a dayjob and celebrated how far I’ve come
* The summer release of new products made their debut with a few new formats. Adore them! Perhaps my most favorite batch of new canvases yet.
* Proclaimed that slacking off is beautiful. Gave myself a lot of self compassion + permission to stop over doing it.
* Shared thoughts on success and embraced redefining what success means in my life.
* We launched an awesome store locator on our website, making it easier for you to find stores in your area that carry our products!
* Moved studios again and this time to share a big, gorgeous, sun-filled space with three other creative women. Here’s the tour of Soul Shine Studio .
* The Kelly Rae Roberts Collection with Demdaco was ranked #1 in the “sentiment” category in GiftBeat, and we were also given a “thumbs up” on the trending report. To be ranked (esp #1!) in their polls is awesome news – thank you, retailers and buyers!
* Embraced technology + changed up blog comments. Kept the ‘old fashioned’ way + added comments via FB login.
* Beth Nicholls and I were thrilled to have our second article published in the amazingWhere Women Create BUSINESS, summer issue.
* I turned 38. 38! Spent time thinking about all the events that lead to here, how it all feels like a beautiful orchestra with resounding celebratory highs, and delicate strong lows.
* Traveled to Bali. Total life changer all about allowing + awakening!
* Honored to have my art on the cover of the May/June 2013 issue of New Connexion – PNW’s journal of conscious living.
* After writing in my blog for 7 years, I finally decided to turn all of that content into books.
* Never before have I felt more scared or empowered when it came to my business.
* Delighted to have one of my art projects included in this book published by Northlight in Spring 2013.
* Self portraiture became part of reclaiming my confidence.
* Interviewed in this amazing book written by the iconic Lilla Rogers herself.
* Thought about the journey, how our hearts are never alone and how success isn’t about what we’ve accomplished, but more about who we’ve become.
* We went worldwide! Big big big deal! My gift products went worldwide with international distribution to the UK, Cananda, Australia and more.
* Delighted to find nearly 150 reviews on my book’s Amazon page! It’s been almost five years since the release of Taking Flight. I’m just so grateful.
* Poured myself into writing new manifestos. Here + here.
* Explored my voice. Our voices. They are so precious. Beautiful. Important. And they change the world.
* I said Yes to Growing. Yes to Healing and decided NOT to turn down the volume.
* Hosted the Hip Hip Hooray Giveaway Party for the new + improved Sponsorship Program. Total blast + huge success!
* Explored Breaking Open and gratitude for our cracks.
* The most hope-filled tribe EVER started coming together, The Possibilitarian Tribe.
* Total full circle moment for me.
* I embraced being a connectress, celebrated my tribes + gathered a group of beautiful women on the Oregon coast for a weekend dubbed The Radiate Sessions. Through that magical weekend I found my confidence again.
* Re-launched sponsorships program with a lot of heart + soul.
* Beth Nicholls and I were very honored to speak at the Right Brainers Business Summit.We talked about why it’s important to start with soul when it comes to your business, gave tips on how to generate explosive growth + profits and how to keep going in the face of fear + burnout!
* Feeling quiet, private over many weeks. Good, grounding, and important.
* Was featured in Sundance catalog. Totally thrilled!
* Newly designed and fully updated Flying Lessons Ebooks debuted and hosted one day successful sale. I love doing these. I totally felt like I was sitting at the registrars desk in the dept. of Creative Business Dreams!
* My Hello Soul Hello Business partner and I were honored to have an our first column published in the beautiful, brand new publication called Where Women Create BUSINESS.
* The much anticipated jewelry line, tote bag line, ethereal Christmas line, and brand new home decor + gift products debuted at the Atlanta Mart! Key showrooms at the tradeshows included Demdaco and Creative Co-op. You can see the goodies here and a tour of Atlanta showrooms here.