Practices That Nurtured My Heart This Year
As the year is coming to a close, I like to take the time to reflect back on the year as a whole. Honestly, it feels like just yesterday that this year started! I really don’t know where the time went. But as I sit and work through Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year workbook, I’m reminded of all that time that has passed, how much happened, and what I ultimately accomplished.
I began a whole heap of things at the start of the year, and while some just didn’t stick, others became a habit that I’ll be taking with me into 2024. I just wanted to share a few practices that I started this year that really nurtured my heart.
My Jar of Artist Dates
In the springtime, sometime in late March, I had this idea of compiling a list of Artist Dates I would like to go on as the weather was getting warmer. I wrote a very long list in my journal but to make it tangible, I decided to empty out a sewing jar, write all the artist dates on strips of paper, fold them up, and drop them into the jar. The idea was to pick a date out of the jar at random every week and that week I took myself out on that date.
The catch: I had to go out on these dates by myself.
I got the idea partially from Julie Cameron and The Artist Way, but the jar idea was all my own. I felt this challenge needed a bit of spontaneity for me to continuously want to go one them. Because I’m not the person to go out and do things by themselves—and what I mean by that is, I’m not the type of person to go out to social events where they know absolutely no one by themselves. I’m an introvert at heart and I’m incredibly socially awkward. Being with people makes me both anxious and drained. I’m just not a “people person.”
But because of this, I meticulously chose the dates I included in my jar. 1/3 of them were things that I already do on my own that I genuinely enjoy doing. 1/3 of them were things that I’ve always wanted to do but for some reason never found the time to do. And the last 1/3 of them were things that I’ve always wanted to do, entertained the idea of doing, but scare me completely shitless that I just never get around to doing them. I thought it was a good balance of things.
I completed a lot more of these dates than I thought I would this year and I’m already planning on continuing the practice in 2024. The thing I learned by taking myself out on a random date is that I live a lot of my life in fear—fear of what people will think of me, fear of being the awkward one, fear of the unknown. Just fear in general.
There’s nothing wrong with doing fun things by yourself.
I had to learn that. Honestly, I feel like going out on these artist dates—especially to all the social events I ended up attending because I put them in my jar—made me feel a bit more confident in myself, especially in social situations where I don’t know anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still terribly awkward. But what I learned was that the people at these events generally feel the same way as I do, we’re always there for the same reasons, and whether we know it or not, are all looking to get the same sort of things out of it.
We are not all that different from one another. And learning that has helped me not take myself too seriously in social situations with strangers but also not to shrink off into the corner either. I’m really looking forward to spreading my wings a bit more in 2024.
My Soulscape Journal
Another practice I started at the beginning of the year was keeping a separate journal for journaling my hopes and dreams, and prayers to the Universe. This journal became my Soulscape Journal.
This journal started as a place where I could journal my gratitude and manifestations. I did Gabby Bernstein’s Manifestation Challenge in it. But as I got more and more into the Law of Attraction and Astrology, and I took part in more and more webinars and live online workshops, I started using it as a place to collect notes on what I was learning and how it applies to myself, and ultimately I began to journal in tune with the Moon cycle. My Soulscape Journal is now a place where I do a lot of inner work journaling and manifestations, and write my prayers to the Universe. I’ve also been attending a lot of live journaling workshops lately and all my journaling for those workshops find their home here too.
I absolutely love this journal and I can’t wait to continue the practice in 2024.