Goodbye 2010

Today is the last day of 2010. And as with every passing year, I sit, scratch my head, and wonder where the time has gone. Another year has slipped away, and here I am pondering. I've already reflected a bit on my birthday a week and a half ago, but today I want to reflect a bit more. Looking through possible journal spreads to post, I ran across this one from volume 12, and the question "What is your truth?" struck a chord with me. And so I wonder what has been my truth over the last twelve months and have I been living up to it.

Over the last 12 months, I have come to realize my truth in a few different areas. The first is balance. I feel that I was able to strike a balance throughout 2010 among the various aspects of my life. I have been able to balance work, art, home, journaling, spirituality, cyberspace, and conferences fairly well. Of course there were times when certain areas ebbed and others flowed, but that is life. Things never balance perfectly all the time. But I feel like I have not deprived one aspect of my life to devote energy to another.

The second truth is in the area of spirituality. I have discovered that I am a very spiritual person - not religious. Though I grew up in a Christian household and embraced Christianity as a child, I became disillusioned with the faith in high school and college. For many years I was very agnostic to the point of being almost atheist. I guess that I am still that way, and so it has been no wonder that I have been drawn toward Buddhism, which by the admission of the Dalai Lama is an atheist religion since it does not hold to the belief of a divine creator. There is such logic and rationality to the Buddha's teachings, and I am drawn to the idea that we can achieve happiness from within by training our minds, reflecting on how we react to things and situations, and seeing objects and phenomenon as they really are - empty of inherent existence. But I don't call myself a Buddhist - I have yet to begin really practicing. I have found opportunities for stillness and quiet. I have found opportunities to be present in the moment. I have found opportunities to reflect on what it is that I wish for my life. I believe that these are ingredients for a spiritual life - get still, get quiet, and go inside.

The third truth that I have realized in 2010 is the impact that I can have on people through art and the journal. I have been continually surprised and awed at the reaction that The Journal Junkies Workshop has received, at the excitement and wonder expressed by participants at our workshops and presentations, and at the reception of my endeavors through this blog, Facebook, and now YouTube. To see our ideas of the visual journal and creativity spread has been a humbling experience, but it makes me firmly believe that I am on the right path. Although there are certain aspects of teaching art in a public school that I absolutely love, I feel that I have a limited impact within my classroom. I feel most in my skin when the impact is much wider and broader. I feel that it won't be much longer before I can leave the constraints of public school behind, and take a leap into something greater. I am continually grateful for all those who spend some time with the Journal Fodder Junkies.

And so to wrap this up, I would ask you to ponder these three questions:

How have you found opportunities for balance?
What have been your opportunities for stillness?
In what ways have you found to leap into the unknown?

I wish everyone a bright, happy, and prosperous new year.