Welcome 2018!

I may need to change the name of my blog.

You see, I am in the midst of doing some exercises that I do each year to help me let go of the passing year and welcome the new one with a clean slate, set intentions and get clear about how I want to feel in the coming year.

Two of my favorite exercises come from the work of Susannah Conway. She generously offers a free Find Your Word program each year, and this year I am deep in the midst of it. Some people do it before the year ends, but I do mine the first week of the new year, in tandem with another process I have learned from her: Unravel Your Year.

With her Unravel Your Year workbook, I go over the year and look at what happened. I celebrate the wins and I embrace the lessons. I identify the things I want to keep doing and the things I would like to change. I ask myself what I want more of in the year ahead, and what I want less of. I envision what I would like to be doing and how I want to feel in the year ahead.

There is so much in both of these free programs — I am barely touching on the content here. I get so excited about them that I just had to share them with you. I highly, highly recommend them! (Thank you Susannah Conway!)

But back to my blog and the name of my blog.

I am in the midst of these year end/year ahead processes and am choosing my word or phrase for 2018. So far words like SOAR, BELIEF, SHINE, GOLDEN, REAL, YES and RISE are coming up repeatedly for me.

I began this blog as an attempt to start moving myself out of my self-contained shell of introversion, secrecy and shame and into the world where I could be seen, known and heard as I really am instead of the presentations I had so artfully created and utilized throughout my survival years on this planet. Hence the “skinny branches,” as I was moving out onto the skinny branches.

But now, I am finding that I want to fly. I want to leap off of the skinny branches and soar to new places, new dimensions. I want to test my wings in the sky.

So I have a dilemma. I love the name of my blog and it has meant so much to me. But I am ready for more than just life on the skinny branches. Do I change the name of my blog, or do I just keep growing and writing about it and let the name stand?

That will be a question I live for the new year, amongst many others.

Maybe that will be my word for 2018: Question.

I am not afraid of living in these questions today, of being “in process.”

2017 taught me how to really allow for that. Unexpected events of the year got me questioning everything in my life. And I mean everything. It was scary at first, and I am still in the midst of it so cannot tell you where it has brought me exactly, but I can tell you tat I know in my gut that it is very important and that where I am going through it is very good.

So we will see what lies ahead.

More to come.

However you choose to usher in the new year, I send my very best wishes to the world and to you for much peace and love in 2018.

A gift I also want to share with you today on this first day of the year is a wonderful 2018 welcoming resource by one of my favorite people (and bloggers) on the planet, Lisa Adams.

Her post today was just too beautiful, inspiring and nourishing not to share. She is a chef amongst her many talents and gifts, so it makes sense that her blog posts are always nourishing.

Enjoy! And Happy 2018!


Word for the Year

I came to 2017 eager to find the word that will be my north star, my guide, as I navigate through the unknown terrain of the year ahead. I found a wonderful exercise last year through the work of Susannah Conway, and through it, I have have dug and delved to discover the words to serve as my anchor for 2017, that encompass what my spirit needs.

Last year, my words were EXPAND and CELEBRATE. I chose these words because I felt I needed to start going beyond the ingrained Protestant-shaped boundaries from my upbringing that were keeping me modest, careful, polite, protective, cautious and introverted. I wanted to get more comfortable with putting who I really am and what I really think and feel out there. (This blog was a big action in that regards.)

In my work as an actress, I wanted to go deeper and start letting myself be seen and heard on a deeper level and to a greater scope. To start to go beyond what and who I knew. To expand my circles.

In my relationships, I wanted to connect more with the people already in my life, and allow myself to make more genuine connections with people who I wanted to get to know.

I also wanted to begin to really focus on celebrating all that I have and am, and that I do in my life. I tend to focus on what I have not done and what I feel I am lacking. I really wanted to develop the muscle of celebrating my accomplishments and all that is working in my life. My strengths. Even my so-called failures. To celebrate my life, my self, what has happened, is happening and that I am working towards. Little things, big things. All of it.

I can see now that these focuses really were a through-line for me over the past year. It has become second-nature for me to recognize the good in what I am doing each day instead of only seeing what I have not gotten to. I can more easily have difficult conversations. Certain interactions are becoming easier and I feel much more authentic and seen and heard. I know that I have been getting to some exciting work within myself in my acting. Going deeper than ever before.

I have more work to do in these areas. I am a work in progress. But much movement was made, and it was exciting and gratifying. Very gratifying. Sometimes blissful even.

This year, after looking at how the year unfolded and making plans for what I want to bring into 2017 and create more of, and doing Susannah’s exercises, I discovered my words for the year.

(It is always a bit of a challenge for me to pick just one word. Thankfully, there are no rules around this, so I get to do it however my soul sees fit! I chose a main word, and also have a supporting word, along with many words and phrases that these mean to me for my life for the next year.)

After much soul-searching, I had narrowed it down to five:

Curiosity, Courage, Stretch, Soar, Creativity

In the course of the exercise, I found that DARING really encompasses all of those words for me. I am a big fan of Brene Brown, so when I started to create a Pinterest Board to support my Word for 2017 and the name of her book kept coming up, I knew I had found just the tweek my word needed to make it THE ONE!

DARING GREATLY. I am in love with this phrase and it just lights me up.

I want to put myself out there personally and professionally in ways that go deeper and more authentically than ever before. I want to soar, to go beyond expectation, to extend, to reach out, to amplify, enlarge, expand. To live full heartedly and be willing to take risks and try out new methods, ideas and experiences. To utilize courageous behaviors in order to find out more about the things that I am passionate about. To doubt my fears and my judgements and be brave enough to be curious instead to find out what limits really exist, if they even really do! To live from my curiosity and not my fear.

I am keeping STRETCH as a supporting word. Just saying that word makes me want to move. I want to use everything I have learned to the fullest extent of my capacity and then go even further until I reach the point of failure so that ultimately I keep stretching that fullest point further and further. I had a taste of that this past year when filming the lead in a feature film. It was amazing to use everything I had and go farther than I imagined I could and be in the space of beyond-the-whole-of-what-I-knew. From that place, I could keep truly learning and growing. I realized that that is the path of the artist, the craftsperson, and I do not want to turn back from that path.

Not just for my professional life. In my personal life, too, I want to be adventurous and go deeper. Push the limits of my comfort zones. See how connected I can feel to the people in my life, and nature, the world, even. Daring greatly and stretching to be truly intimate in my relationships and in my work.

I created this through Tagul.com to use as a reminder of what these words mean for my year:


It is my touchstone as I move through the year’s unplanned challenges and unexpected opportunities for growth (aka when the shit hits the fan.) It is my guide as I choose how to spend my time and the way I choose to feel as I spend it.

What will your word for 2017 be? Happy digging.

#findyourwordfor2017 #susannahconway #daringgreatly #stretch