Year of the Horse 2014

blavatarWell, technically not until January 31st. and not someting I normally pay attention to. Yet this is a circle closing for me, as I was born in the year of the horse and the animal itself is a lifelong love for me. The spirit of the horse is recognized to be “the Chinese people’s ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able.”

As I was contemplating the notion of making a journal based on “Word of the year” – or in my case as a multipod, word of the month, it struck me that perhaps I could use horses as the underlying image theme. The hero’s journey on horseback. Could this be a “the year when I finally return to myself – theme”?

I’m not really a journaling person, (but then I said I never do poetry and began to write haiku!) this blog is the closest I’ve ever come to a diary, and printed calendars I usually fill in for about 3 weeks. So when Quinn asked for our choice of words for the year I really just played along for fun. But then we got a bit of a conversation going and I thought about doing something with words and paints and mulled it over and then – guess what? I won the book!! (what a nice feeling to actually delete something from my Amazon list)

“Inner Hero Creative Art Journal” by Quinn McDonald is a book about silencing your inner critic as well as a collection of actual mixed media techniques that I’m really looking forward to trying out. And the topic, well, we all know how that’s just what I need! It just arrived in the mail today, but I’ll let you know at a later date how I’m getting along with it.

I’ve also mentioned before that for years I’ve had the title and loose idea for a book about Charlie, but been stuck ever since. Is this an opening? Time will tell! Any trick that generates good things is fine with me. Horses are as good a topic to bind together different crafts as any. Can I point my imagery in that direction for such a long time I wonder? I could do with a few limitations…

Charlie & Rollo

Apart from working with key words and the Hero Journal prompts, I’m also going to try out the Bullet Journal, as well as a sidekick to that describing various project ideas in more detail. Out with the post-it/back of envelopes/10 pads system and in with structure! I found a notebook with 4 colour sections to keep similar project ideas in the same general area. In fact my bullet journal does too, in case I want to expand the concept.

I don’t know if I’m a person who likes or benefits from working with key words like this. Not even sure “how it’s done” but I’m not going to spend a lot of time investigating how others do it, I’ll just be aware and see what happens. I know I can’t pick one single one for a whole year – so sue me. But I don’t mind giving it a whirl to see what it does. Unless I get sidetracked of course.

And – I have to make sure this is not just some thing to get me sidetracked from something else. It’s generating a lot of thoughts already. This is meant to be a tool for the work I want to do, not a new, big project in itself. If it’s not a helper, out it goes. You see, my word for January is

Intention/Focus (ok, so it’s two words, I noticed already)

But I fear if I go on, this will be a really long post, so I’ll save the rest for another day. My intention is to make a couple of posts about each month’s keyword, the questions I ask myself, progress, exercises until I run out of interested readers. If I really start blabbing I’ll just keep it to myself and post excerpts. We’ll see. Right now, I’m going to press Publish and shut my brain down for the day.


30 thoughts on “Year of the Horse 2014

  1. Good luck with the words, I hope they work well for you. I’ve been working with one a year for a couple of years now. Less so last year, but mostly its been quite an experience and very helpful.

    So you’re a fire horse then? Me too. It figures :0

    Btw, you haven’t asked for opinions, so I’m hesitant to offer this, but I’d just like to let you know that I developed a way of working with my IC which has had a permanent effect, and requires no ‘silencing it’ or anything repressive. Instead it helps me. Most ICs are actually playing a protective role, they just deliver their message badly, but its fairly straightforward to change that – permanently. If you want to try another way I’d be happy to share. I plan to offer coaching in it at a later date. And if you aren’t interested, well that’s fine!

      1. Weird these replies still aren’t showing up in my notifications :>

        Anyway… That’s okay then! Sorry, didnt congratulate you on winning the book 😉

  2. By all means Pia, share with us your journey to discovery and creativity! I do love to see how others are doing it as I’m on the same path. That we can inspire each other and share triumphs and set backs is part of the process. I also like the idea of using your Chinese New Year animal as inspiration. I will have to do that just as soon as I discover what my animal is!!! 🙂
    best to you,

    1. Actually everyone’s animal for this year is the horse. There are 13 as far as I remember, which rotate in a certain order. I just happen to also have been born in a horse year.

      I’m constantly of two minds concerning these posts. A bit too revealing and personal? Will I regret putting myself out there forever? I still get the most hits on my old plant dyeing posts which are on holiday at the moment, so a lot of readers are not currently getting what they are after.

      Otoh it seems that making a complete arse of myself in public has been a great motivator for doing this introspective work, how odd it may sound. I don’t think I would have started writing these things down without the feedback and “deadlines”. So I see it as a way of hardening my skin too, daring to be vulnerable. I used to live behind an iron mask.

      1. exposing ourselves does make us vulnerable but it also creates friendships. There’s common ground. a language we both understand. I do think you get fewer its for writing vs pictures but write anyway, forget about your stats!!

        1. Oh, I don’t worry about my stats as such, but I do enjoy if somebody finds my contributions useful. The exchange before the exposure.

          1. I did discover that I was born in the year of the Snake. Which is not all that flattering in some ways. I think being born in the year of the horse may be better. But this is supposed to be a good year according to Chinese astrology so I’m optimistic!! 🙂

          2. That’s because we think in the superficial mode of which animals are visually cute or not. But symbolically, and if you look up the traditional qualities of the snake, it’s actually not bad at all.

            “They often have a good temper and a skill at communicating but say little. They possess gracious morality and great wisdom. They are usually financially secure and do not have to worry about money. They have tremendous sympathy for others and would like to take actions to help ther fellow human beings. They are determined to accomplished their goals hate to fail. Although they look calm on the surface, they are intense and passionate. They have a rich source of inspiration and understand themselves well. They are people of great perception. Women under the sign of the snake do well in housework but are irritable.”

          3. The housework and irritable part is certainly true!! I would have to ask friends if the rest sounds like me as it’s hard to accurately asses oneself. But at least I don’t sound too badly according to what you just said. 🙂

          4. When it comes to housework I’m definitely of the reptilian persuasion myself…. 😉

  3. Det er spændende så parallelt vi blogger. Jeg havde tænkt mig en blogpost om røde heste japansk (kinesisk) nytår og årets tema, men du kom mig nok engang i forkøbet. Så måtte jeg jo skrive noget lidt andet. Heste og at skrive bøger er heller aldrig langt fra mine tanker for øjeblikket.
    Jeg ser frem til at høre hvorden det vil gÃ¥ dig og Bullet notes. Mig passer det som fod i hose 🙂 Endelig en kaotisk orden. I det hele taget ser jeg frem til at høre mere fra dig og dit liv.

    1. PS. det der ord, er det bare et, man roder frem af sin egen hjernekiste efter bøn/meditation/røgelsespinde/ofre/stilhed/brusebade (det ikke ønskede bedes overstreget), eller findes der en random word generator et eller andet sted 😉 ?

      1. Synchronicitet sker oftere og oftere for mig synes jeg, måske er jeg bare blevet bedre til at lægge mærke til det. Jeg vil da gerne høre hvad du har at sige om røde heste, vi er jo trods alt ikke tvillinger!

        Nøgleordet for året eller måneden er som du siger noget man hiver frem fra sit inderste, enten fordi man helt bevidst ønsker at arbejde med et bestemt emne/perspektiv, som fx. taknemmelighed (jeg har ikke hørt om nogen der arbejdede med negative ord), eller fordi det præsenterer sig selv under meditation. Der er sikkert nogen som bruger tarotkort o.lign. I dit tilfælde kunne det også være en specifik helgen, hvis egenskaber og symbolik du ønsker at bruge, lære om, føle tæt på, inkorporere i dit liv. En slags årets guide i den form man nu ønsker, og så ellers holde fokus på det tema.

        Det går fint med bullets, men der bliver mest puttet todo ting i, som så ikke bliver krydset af fordi de ikke er helt simple. Men det er fint at have dem ét sted fremfor diverse forhåndenværende sedler.

        1. SÃ¥ var jeg ogsÃ¥ nødt til at finde mit kinesiske dyr. En okse 🙂 Jeg føler mig ikke særligt okseagtig.
          Årets helgen som tema, ja nu har du jo læst min blog, og set, hvad der kan ske 😉

  4. I love the ideas you have for journaling. And if they don’t work? Abandon them and do something else–something that feels better. Sometimes building as you go is better than planning out every plank before you start. I see value in both. As a recovering perfectionist, I will add that too much time is lost in making a bad idea into a perfect one.

  5. yesss! 🙂 I’ve been offered a Chinese NY calendar and it says (in French): the horse is cheerful, popular, but quite impatient… skilful with money and always a winner! He gets along with tigers and dogs, never with rats! 🙂 Btw, I’m a mountain goat, so I’m safe and saved! 🙂
    * * *
    have a great year, dear Pia! stay healthy and “cool”! sunny thoughts from Toulouse, Mélanie

    1. It’s turning into animal farm around here, LOL. Goats are great fun! Intrigueing creatures.

      I think perhaps I’m only a pony, or perhaps a mule, because I don’t recognize the skill with money thing. At least not the making of it, I can handle it quite well when I have it I guess. 😉

  6. I love ponies and mules, too: they have strong and determined personalities… btw, there’s a French expression:”stubborn like a mule”! 🙂
    * * *
    @”Goats are great fun!” – I do agree… we love all goat cheese(s) which are very popular in our region… 🙂 last but not least: almost 2 years ago we met a British couple in Key West, Florida whose pet was a tiny and cute goat called Jackie who used to sail with them everywhere… 🙂

  7. Aha! I was born in a horse year too, a wood horse.
    I’m just starting to get around to reading some of your posts (the deadline, always the deadline), and really enjoying how your mind works.

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