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even when you fall down on day one

As I write this, it's a new decade, and I'm sitting in my new home and new studio space which is slowly coming together, on the first day of a new year.

Because of our move over the holidays and life just generally moving at a breathtaking pace, I have not yet had a moment to really reflect and lean into all that is beginning to take shape before my eyes. I'm really looking forward to a little mini staycation, where I can carve out some uninterrupted time to lay in bed surrounded by my notebooks and journals, float in the new huge soaking tub with yummy oils and candles, and catch up with myself to properly recognized and acknowledge all that this year has brought into being, as it truly was a year for the books. If it only had been that my separation was reconciled our family reunited, that would have been monumental all on its own.

Yet, it also became the year I found my dream job (or really, it found me) as Executive Director of Squam which officially begins today , moved homes (twice!), threw a huge joint 50th/16th surprise party for my husband and son, gifted myself Yoga Teacher Training for my 47th birthday, was part of Embody Love Movement'scurriculum audit and rebranding to broaden there mission and reach, spoke on two panels about Diversity and Equity, worked at Girls Inc. with some totally inspiring tweens, sashayed into my 7th season with the Slutcracker, and helped to create 3 Squam retreats and launch our 2020 programs. I have to say that I'm in pretty big awe of it all. So much unseen emotional labor and love went into all of it. Admittedly, I am very tired ;)

As I looked ahead to 2020, I thought my Word of the Year was going to be INHABIT - to dwell in, and really take up space in the big, beautiful life I have somehow managed to create. A decade ago I would never have thought this was where I would be. Even a year ago, it would have never occurred to me to even wish for some of the things that came to be in my life. While, inhabit, will certainly be working it's magic in the background - I think it's more a deep deep craving I have in this present moment - I have come to know, just in this single first day of 2020, that SOVEREIGN is my true work. It's the daily, moment to moment, practice of showing up for myself first, with sturdiness, consistency and authority, that I really need as my touchstone.

Though everything I've learned over the past decade, this is my new and truest compass, and it's where I fell down on the very first day of the new year. Instead of staying in the nurturing stream of self care and quiet I began my day with, which is what my spirit was really longing for, I chose to put other people's desires before mine and let my plans go. And so I watched my day unravel a bit, and payed very close attention to how the gremlins began to chatter, how the uncomfortable feelings roll in, and the friction that was created in this one act of self abandonment. When SOVEREIGN appeared on my Inner Alchemy collage cover, and I understood.

I love how the ritual of creativity unearths these deeper layers and meanings, and my intuitive collage practice has always been a steady guide for so long, I know now, when she speaks, I should listen. We all are our own highest guru, in this way.

So I'm sharing with you my process and a visual tutorial for how to create a custom cover for any kind of journal or planner using Inner Alchemy collage - the magic ingredient is sticker paper (and of course YOU!). It's such a lovely devotional practice to gift to yourself at any time, and I love the way it becomes a visual record of any given moment. And you never know what magic will be revealed! You can also see a bunch of my old covers spanning the years, here - so many stories and dreams, as little bits of collaged love.

Happy creating!
Happy new beginnings!
Happy new year blessing to YOU and all your heart is longing for.

xo, Mindy