Explore: Defining Joy
Share: A Reflection of Age 5

Share: A Declaration + Toolbox for 2017


In 2016, I published one blog post. One.

Overall, 2016 was a hard year for me. A year of adjustment. And because I am Learn + Explore + Share and Learn + Explore + Share is me, the blog (like me) spent most of the year healing and making a new way.

Today I'm here on the blog to help usher in a new year here at Learn + Explore + Share and to declare what I'm setting out to do and be in the coming year.

For 2017, my main focus in honoring my joy is to concentrate my energy on a project that I am bringing into being. It's a project close to my heart and something I don't yet fully understand. It's a project I'm still testing and exploring to see whether I'm the right person to do the job of bringing into being and whether what I envision for this project is what it wants to be. For now, I'm keeping the subject close to my heart until the time comes when (and if) I have the words and confidence about what it will be.

Despite all the mystery and elusiveness of this project, I do have something to share with you: the tools I am using to honor this project every single day. (I'm ten for ten; so far, so good!)

Here's What I'm Using Daily from my Joy Honoring Toolbox

  • Routine. While every day does not look like yesterday or tomorrow, I start each day with a routine that works for me. It includes some  of the tools listed below. Routine, for me, is a rhythm and a comfort and takes away the questions of what and when and why. I just do it because it's part of the rhythm of carrying my Self through life.
  • Morning Pages. Julia Cameron introduced Morning Pages in her book The Artist's Way. Writing morning pages, three longhand written pages of stream-of-consciousness, helps me clear out the clutter of my mind. This practice also helps me gain clarity as I turn possibilities around in my mind and examine them from various angles. Everyone's practice with Morning Pages is different; for me it takes about 20 minutes each morning.
  • Year of Creative Habits. Last month I registered for this course and joined an online group of creatives who are committed to making creativity a daily habit. You can find out more about this practice here. Part of what I did to prepare for this practice was to clear a space where I will practice each day. You can see photos of this creative space on my Instagram feed, and you can see what others are up to if you look at the hashtag #yearofcreativehabits.
  • Instagram. Even though I'm doing this creative practice for myself, I use my posts on Instagram (@learnexploreshare) as a way for me to be accountable to me. I like creating collections of images for myself so I can look back at my progress. I enjoy following artists, writers and others who are honoring what brings them joy. If you're on Instagram, I hope to see you there!
  • Life-Changing Magic. Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up instructs readers to focus on keeping what brings joy rather than targeting what to get rid of. I've spent a lot of time exercising my Joy Detector have become good at knowing what to keep: in my space, in my life, on my calendar, on my to-do list. 

vision map Learn Explore Share vision board workshop minneapolis

  • My Vision Map. I created the Vision Map above back in June with the expectation that its meaning would unfold with time. I created this Map by using my intuition, by choosing what my heart was drawn to, by choosing what brought me joy (without necessarily knowing why). I created this Map before the project idea came to me in October. It's been interesting to me how my Vision Map has been guiding me in the past few months. It's clear to me that the direction I'm going in the coming year is inward. If you look at "Grow," one of my first Vision Maps, this current Map (which has yet to be named by a Word) is quite the opposite.

{Speaking of Vision Maps, on Saturday I will facilitate my I-don't-know-how-many'th Vision Mapping Workshop here in the Twin Cities. There's still room for a couple people to join us!}

And there you have it. This is my declaration that I have launched into a new project in this new year. How are you honoring what brings joy in your life? Do you have goals or projects? I'd love to hear from you in a comment here or via your favorite electronic platform.

Cheers to 2017!
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