Vision 2019: COURAGE

Recall My Big Vision and Mission for 2018:

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Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung

This vision board has stayed on my bathroom shelf all year as a daily check in.  And as I reflect on a year that just sped by, much faster than expected, I feel the greatest gift of this past year is that I found an ability to speak my truth (out loud).  Even if my voice shook.

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In 2018, I came to understand that my core value is TRUST- to be trusted that I know what I am doing.  And I have been challenged in this regard both by myself and by others many times this past year.  Even today.  Even in this moment,  As I encounter(ed) and work(ed) through those challenges, I hear(d) myself (not perfectly, mind you, and not always in the most succinct way) speaking up.

Inktober was life changing.  Bringing me into a deeper creative process- allowing me to experiment with colour and narrative.

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Molly has been in hiding (as some producers took a stab at her) but I am “taking her back” and my life’s biggest creative project now enters a new draft, a new creative process.  I hear the voices of the ghosts again and a sense of emancipation flows through the work.  (And a relaunch is imminent)

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I explored my 1977 diary on the blog and though I haven’t been working on it of late, being too busy with my bread and butter work, I had a great sense of peace working on it.  A pure comic book version is the ultimate goal.

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I simplified this past year.  Savoured family.  Visited San Francisco.  Twice. Here at home, I retreated from invites.  Staying in with the cats.  Working, constantly working.

I pulled an angel card before I started writing here, asking for a message as to how I should approach working on my Vision for 2019:

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Angel Card bowl by Alison Donnelly.  Angel Card holder, a gift from Emily Cowan.

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The card is blank.

We have to be willing to accept that “drawing a blank” to our questions is sometimes the very best response we can receive. It calls for us to look inward for the truth and access our own authentic power instead of looking to others to tell us what to do or think. – Angela Rider

So as I have been reflecting on the year in the last month, one word keeps circulating in my mind for 2019: COURAGE.

courage (n.)

c. 1300, corage, “heart (as the seat of emotions),” hence “spirit, temperament, state or frame of mind,”from Old French corage “heart, innermost feelings; temper” (12c., Modern French courage), from Vulgar Latin *coraticum (source of Italian coraggio, Spanish coraje), from Latin cor “heart” (from PIE root *kerd- “heart”).

Meaning “valor, quality of mind which enables one to meet danger and trouble without fear” is from late 14c. In this sense Old English had ellen, which also meant “zeal, strength.” Words for “heart” also commonly are metaphors for inner strength.

In Middle English, the word was used broadly for “what is in one’s mind or thoughts,” hence “bravery,” but also “wrath, pride, confidence, lustiness,” or any sort of inclination, and it was used in various phrases, such as bold corage “brave heart,” careful corage “sad heart,” fre corage “free will,” wikked corage “evil heart.” – SOURCE

Why this word?

I have become more and more aware of when the anxiety arises within me.  When the floor opens up and I fall through.

And a journal entry at the airport on my way to an extraordinary adventure in San Francisco clinched the work I need to do in 2019:

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That question often came up this year– what happened to my courage?  Asking myself that question actually kicked my ass into motion even though anxiety feels like a cheese grater scratching at my heart.

Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences — good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as “ordinary courage.” – Brené Brown

And so-

I will use my own esteem heart exercise:

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And focus on the word COURAGE as a tactile connection to my 2019 Vision.

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Head up.  Straight back.  Panic arising?  Yell- BRING IT ON!!! 

Speak.  Speak UP!  

Listen.  Carefully.  Mindfully.

And create.  Create.  Create.

Anytime you write something, you go through so many phases. You go through the ‘I’m a Fraud’ phase. You go through the ‘I’ll Never Finish’ phase. And every once in a while you think, ‘What if I actually have created what I set out to create, and it’s received as such?’
– Lin Manuel Miranda

Here’s to us crawling to the finish line…

Touch me life.  Not softly. – Maya Angelou

And my GOD, life has touched us this year.

Here’s to us crawling to the finish line, scraped, bruised, hoping.  Here’s to our successes and our fucking failures, to finally resting and to re-entering labour.

Here’s to the vigil keepers, the rent seekers, to the quiet and the loud speakers.  Here’s to those giving up, to those still trying, to those still living and to those busy dying.  To the lost and the found, to the travellers and the homebound.  To the newborn and the demented, the clear thinking and disoriented.  To the laughing and the scheming, to the weeping and the grieving.

And I celebrate us all, trembling.

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Strip it down and focus.

Fuck ’em.

Fuck it.

Must.

Entering 2017 like…

trust

All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.
― J.M. Barrie

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Sunday morning coffee shop musings.

Journal entry January 24, 2016

Write out goals –> no, write out PLANS.

What is the difference between goals and plans and by writing goals as opposed to plans, am I not being BADASS enough?

(Thank you, Cat Webb, for defining me as a badass and being a constant source of empowerment.  Check out Cat’s extraordinary work.)

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(Thank you, Wendy Rée, for introducing me to Cat!)

So I wrote out a list early this morning while in the tub (with my parrot staring at me from his perch on the laundry basket)

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… and I feel it’s pretty encompassing for addressing/manifesting/stating short term and long term goals plans.

Then packed my bag and headed to this local coffee shop to work on the Molly presentation.

So, uhm, yeah- working on a presentation to submit to interested parties tomorrow…  That is badass.

Come on, self- lift your head up and admit that.

Badass!

Can a change in attitude change a goal to a plan?

A hope into action?

Change fear into empowerment?

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“Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.” — Leon Joseph Cardinal Suenens

Soul work… my 2016 Toolkit

You may recall, I set my intention for 2016- to simply meet it all with love.  Yet I knew it was important to take the time to do soul work.  But it’s been hard, so very hard to get “started” on it.

Yet- that’s not really correct…  Actually, I have started.

I have been collecting soul work to do’s.   I’ve been preparing.

So yesterday, I thought allotting myself a two-hour window to create a mind-map of my vision and goals would suffice.  I was expecting to be able to share it quickly with my daughter, Anna, and with Patti, over a simple Skype chat.  I predicted an 18″ x 24″ piece of paper.  No, no, no.

This 2016 toolkit is taking a lot longer than I expected.

But I finally committed to it last night.  I created a toolkit last night in an old, recycled journal (a leftover from my work with youth on the Downtown Eastside).  I collected, cut, pasted, organized.  It’s ready to go.  And I’ll do a few at a time.

My personal toolkit contents includes a variety of empowering tools I’ve developed or gathered from my network.  All too good to forget so I just kept adding to the list. A toolkit to visit in bits and pieces, as needed, throughout the year.

My list:

  1. Vision board: take out my vision board from 2013- review it, re-evaluate.  Collage a new one.
  2. Read Anna’s goals and visions.
  3. Write a scenario of my story at age 64.
  4. Where do I see myself in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years: personal, career, health.
  5. Answer the 10 questions that matter list.
  6. Go through current to-do’s and review.  Start a new calendar.
  7. Redo my 12 journal exercises project.
  8. Do core values worksheet.
  9. Mindmap– review old ones, create a new one.
  10. Do the Inquiry process– archetypes and shadow-work.
  11. What kind of bird am I? Study its symbolism.
  12. The Power Path– review in detail and mind-map the monthly forecast.
  13. Answer the Soul Prompts questions.
  14. Explore post-traumatic growth creativity.
  15. Write out the checklist: 25 things you need to let go before the new year.
  16. Write out a bibliography of my favorite creativity books.
  17. Acknowledge my history.
  18. Street art.
  19. Community– build it.  Honor it.  “Remember to rely heavily on your spiritual practice, your allies and your community.”  The Power Path
  20. Redo Peter Breeze’s exercise.  Write a letter to my future self.  Write a letter as my future self to myself today.
  21. Embrace your expertise and take imperfect action.
  22. Re-visit my favorite websites: Rebelle Society, Paid to Exist, Heroic Trading Co, Right Brain Business Plan, Start with Why.
  23. Review my 2013 manifesto and business plan.
  24. Pull angel cards and create daily ritual.
  25. Rethink EVERYTHING.  Scratch that.  Simplify.  Focus on the one goal and let everything else feed that.
  26. And remember- let go when overwhelmed and just meet it all with love!

This morning I awoke pretty frozen by anxiety (a variety of typical right-now reasons).

Larger scale inner RESETS are often accompanied by intense experiences of some kind that threaten the ego and false personality and may even cause one to feel like you are going a little crazy or completely falling apart. The Power Path January 2016 Forecast

Instead of drowning in it though, I dragged myself through the morning then finally  yanked out the toolkit I prepped last night and dragged it to a coffee shop, grabbed a coffee and sat outside and forced myself to write through tears, through fear:

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Journal entry January 13, 2016

After I got that out of my system, I addressed item 19:  “Remember to rely heavily on your spiritual practice, your allies and your community.

I texted my daughter and my friend/agent Peter for some much-needed good vibes.  Got some fabulous get your head out of your ass (Anna) advice.

Everything is as it should be.  U just need to allow (Peter).

Draw an angel card (Anna).

The sun came out as their multiple texts rolled in.

I decided to continue on the self-care focus for the rest of the day.  Do the toolkit.  Do the toolkit.  So I am taking my time, allowing, trusting and doing it.

For example:

Item 11: what kind of bird am I?

My sister-in-law asked me that question the other day as we reflected on my street art project.

After much thought, I really feel it is the Sparrow.  I always stop and observe birds.  But there is something in particular that I connect with in the Sparrow.

The Sparrow reflects self-worth.   If a Sparrow totem has entered your life, ask yourself if you know your own self-worth.  The Sparrow will show you that even a common little bird can triumph.

The Song Sparrow reflects the chakra energy awakening from the heart and throat.  It reminds us to sing out our own song of dignity and self-worth. [source]

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Item 12 The Power Path January 2016 Forecast mind-map:

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Item 1: Review vision board from 2013:

My nephew, Henrik, fully immersed himself in the process with me
My nephew, Henrik, fully immersed himself in the process with me, Feb 2013

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I look at pertinent quotes on the 2013 vision board and make a found poem:

How to survive going nowhere?

What she said:

We change into our capes in a telephone booth-

and take on the world’s evolving challenges.

Referring to myself: 

Ways to stay up in the air?

New York

Item 24: Pull angel cards and create daily ritual.

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Beauty is the quality of being pleasing, especially to look at, or someone or something that gives great pleasure, especially when looking at it

The conception for beauty is used or studied in art, sociology, social psychology, and culture. An “ideal beauty” is an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection.

The experience of “beauty” often involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. [source]

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The journey continues.  I will indeed meet it with love and trust I’ll have some pressing issues sorted.

Everything is as it should be.

Much love, Kat

 

Magical thinking and Christmas knickknacks.

Christmas is here- magical time of year.  One of my favorite and one of the hardest.  So true for many of us.  It’s a time of joy and connection, of reminders of loss and longing, of financial hardship and worry, a time of creating and sharing and giving…

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I love surrounding myself with old Christmas trinkets and treasures and the past…

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… a reminder of (and gratitude for) my childhood filled with joy and belief in magic. A time of magical thinking.

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My brothers and I in Sweden, Christmas 1967. My mom when a little girl, on the right.

I love all our collected Christmas treasures.  I’ll spend time simply looking at them, touching them.  They are magic to me.

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the draw of magical thinking and the need to find connections and signs, to fall back into trust.

What would happen if I simply met all my worries with love?

With trust?  

With a don’t-know mind?  

Simply allow the magic?

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Check out:

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… you are wired to find meaning in the world, a predisposition that leaves you with less control over your beliefs than you may think. Even if you’re a hard-core atheist who walks under ladders and pronounces “new age” like “sewage,” you believe in magic.

Magical thinking springs up everywhere. Some irrational beliefs (Santa Claus?) are passed on to us. But others we find on our own. Survival requires recognizing patterns—night follows day, berries that color will make you ill. And because missing the obvious often hurts more than seeing the imaginary, our skills at inferring connections are overtuned… We look for patterns because we hate surprises and because we love being in control.  Emotional stress and events of personal significance push us strongly toward magical meaning-making.

 

What happens when you open yourself up? #journal #truth

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April 28, 2015

What happens when you open yourself up and share some painful truths?  Say that you are with a (safe) person and the door opens to have the conversation.

What happens first?

The heart beats a little faster.

And your breath gets more rapid and shallow.

Perhaps the bile rises a bit in your throat and the stomach feels a bit acidic.

The gut speaks.  Trust that gut.

Does the door remain open?

Perhaps the (safe) person gives some reassuring yet challenging feedback.

Will you keep the door open?

Allow the bodily sensations?

Trust that it was OK to expose yourself to sharing those deep truths?

Or will you restitch- unfinished?  Unresolved?

Or allow the healing process some time- some much needed new infusion of wisdom?

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Did something unexpected happen? Laura asked. #sfo #reflection

I had a wonderful conversation about my San Francisco trip today with my incredible friend, Laura Mack.  As always, she managed to ask powerful questions that nudge me to reflect.  Did anything happen during the trip that was unexpected?  Hmmm…

The art event was amazing- and not unexpected.

The street art filled my soul with glee- expected.

The photoshoots delighted- expected.

Friends, new and old, were amazing- expected.

San Francisco was a dreamland- expected.

Working on business with my daughter seamless and empowering- expected.

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But what was unexpected was my lack of anxiety.  What was unexpected was that I felt deserving of feeling good.

My journal entry on Noe Street, the Castro, San Francisco August 20, 2013 [unedited]:

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What is it like to wake up to a morning in SF with the place to myself?  My mind wants to wander to a place of anxiety- yet at the same time my heart feels strangely at peace.

TRUST is a word that comes up regularly in me.  I can and will trust that the flow I am feeling is the start of trust or the depths of trust or the familiarity of trust.  Have I actually ever felt the theme/emotion/state of trust?

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TRUST- definition:

trust- reliance, confidence, strength

I looked around the room last night, as Anna’s friends were bouncing off the ceiling and joyously sharing together, and was touched by how we find ourselves in this cottage apartment in the Castro because of our work together, because of my art.

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Is it hard to imagine because I do not allow myself to trust it?  Is it hard to allow myself to relax into it because I do not allow myself the time?  Is this trip about taking a break or stepping into it?

Such a fascinating time to simply let go of the old “unquiet heart” way of doing things and softening to accepting that I deserve this right now.

Is it hard to imagine because I don’t need to imagine it because I am already living it?!

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Money lives in New York.  Power sits in Washington.  Freedom sips cappuccino in a sidewalk café in San Francisco. 

– Joe Flower

The Sketchbook Project page 3

THE SKETCHBOOK PROJECT 2011 TOUR

Theme: And Then There Was None

Page 3 Transcript

Friday October 8, 2010

Westfield San Francisco Centre

At Nordstrom Espresso Bar

2010 October 2010

15:52

San Francisco

What do I think of when I think of “and then there was none”?  When I first chose the theme I thought about

  1. Mom’s death
  2. The official end of the divorce.  Support payments stopped.
  3. My childhood
  4. My kids growing up.

Hilarious to get this forced time to start the Sketchbook in a mall in San Fran.

Achy body.  Must take Tylenol.

Maybe I could think about “and then there was none”:

DEPENDENCE

No more trying too hard.

More letting go.

More surrender.

More trust.

More trust.

More trust.

More trust.

No more fears no more barriers no more self criticism no more money worries no more undervaluing myself no more exhaustion or being pulled in too many directions no more obscurity or misunderstanding.


See page 1 at The Sketchbook Project page 1

See page 2 at The Sketchbook Project page 2

See page 3 at The Sketchbook Project page 3

See page 4 at The Sketchbook Project page 4

See page 5 at The Sketchbook Project page 5

See page 6 at The Sketchbook Project page 6

See page 7 at The Sketchbook Project page 7

See page 8 at The Sketchbook Project page 8