Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday.

I don't say this in hopes of receiving lots of birthday greetings and nicely wrapped birthday presents. I say it because my birthday is a time of reflection. With it being so close to Christmas and the New Year, my birthday is always a pensive time when I look back over the previous year. I usually spend some time rambling in my journal, but I thought that I would do it here this year instead.

This past year has been an incredible year - busy and jammed packed - but amazing to say the least.

First a few highlights. In 2010 there was my solo exhibit at UNC-G, the National Art Education Association Convention in Baltimore where we presented twice to enthusiastic crowds, the release of The Journal Junkies Workshop and an awesome book launch party hosted by our dear friend Linda, my 7th wedding anniversary, the beginning of my 15th year of teaching, two state Art Education conferences, acceptance to teach classes at Art Unraveled, and the opportunity to meet and inspire lots of amazing people and to share a profound journey.

Next some acknowledgments. I am grateful to everyone who bought a copy of the book, wrote and posted reviews, attended our presentations and workshops, stopped by to see what we've been up to here, on our website, and on Facebook, and emailed or left comments of the most sincere form. I've said it before, but it bares repeating. It is the positive feedback and the knowledge that we are making a difference that keeps the JFJ rolling on. I am grateful to all of the support from my colleagues, my friends, and my family. And the deepest appreciation goes to my wife who whole-heartedly supports my running off to do conferences, workshops, and presentations, and who indulges my hours spent in the studio, and who understands and accepts the money that I spend on hotels, plane tickets, and art supplies.

And finally some personal reflection.

2010 was a year of personal growth. I read a lot mostly on spiritual and creative matters and gained some valuable insight. The Dalai Lama has been a constant source of inspiration and spiritual consideration as I have immersed myself in more and more Buddhist teachings. Patti Digh and Ken Robinson brought home some great points about living creative lives. I feel like my life has much more balance as I juggle work, art, and home. I feel like my relationships have grown stronger, and I feel like I am having a greater impact in the world.

I look forward to the continued sharing of my journey. I look forward to making more art, to inspiring others, to spreading the power of the journal and creativity, to touching the lives of others, and to being touched and inspired in return.

It has a been a great year - not perfect, but great. As a token of appreciation. I am offering up my rules in a fairly hi-res format above for anyone to print out for their own personal use. I created a 6x9 mixed-media piece on watercolor paper. I reworded a couple of rules to take the edge off, and rewrote #10. So, please feel free to print the image and hang in the studio, in classroom, or in an office. Or feel free to collage it into the journal as a constant reminder to make life a creative one.

Thank you to all who have shared this journey with me.