Wednesday, November 20, 2019

November Affirmations and Gratitude

© Jaroslaw Grudzinski /

Thanksgiving, autumn, preparing for the December holidays:  November is the perfect month for looking forward as well as looking back. What worked for you this year? What didn't go so great, and why? Most importantly: what will you still be working on as the year draws to a close? Will you finish your work-in-progress, or does the project need to carry over into the new year, perhaps with new ideas, motivation, and purpose? 

At the start of 2019, I sat down and wrote a list of twelve affirmations for each month of the year. The majority of my "you can do it" messages were connected to my writing and artwork, affirming things such as, yes, I could finish my drafts within my own set of deadlines, or, yes, I could learn to trust my own ways of painting with watercolor.

November's affirmations, however, were a little different, and centered more on reflection, gratitude, and maintaining a positive outlook about my work as a whole. Because the affirmations were less about my personal goals and more about how to simply "stay creative every day," I thought I would share them with you, starting with: 
  •  Everything finds its own space and time.
  • Accomplishment is more than "being finished."
  • "Set-backs" are valuable opportunities for reflection and finding new directions.
  • Every piece I create adds to the greater whole.
  • I enjoy the creative process: mess and all!
  • Step forward, step back, step sideways: keep the dance going!
  • Even the most mundane of tasks can be meaningful.
  • Reflect, review, revise, and remember: creation is an opportunity for contemplation.
  • The creative journey is often more important than the finished piece.
  • "Harvest" is much more than gathering large or impressive results. Search out and celebrate the tiny things, too.
  • I make room for the new by letting go of the old.
  • I keep what works and recycle what doesn't into new shapes, forms, stories, and memories.

Reading this list and "checking it twice" has been a big help during a month when things haven't gone at all the way I had planned back in January. On the days that have been particularly harried, full of long work hours and unexpected snafus, it's been helpful to choose just one affirmation at random and then keep it mind as I rush from one task to the next. Helpful because during this time I actually have been able to a) find a spare half hour or two to revise some manuscript pages, and, b) not worry about the days when I can't. 

Creativity is a continuum; the important thing is to realize and accept that the so-called "bad days" are just as important as the "good." Using my affirmations has brought me a lot closer to understanding--and being grateful for--the process whatever happens. Thank you for stopping by and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tip of the Day: Writing affirmations is fun; turning them into artwork is even funner! For a creative holiday project, how about making yourself or a friend a deck of affirmation cards? Collage is always an excellent starting point: magazine cutouts, pre-made stickers, rubber stamps, and glitter glue are quick and easy ways to add visual interest and variety to your cards.