January is new beginnings

 
 charcoal portrait by Angela Amias

2018 is off to a beautiful beginning.

After a few weeks of very cold temperatures here in Iowa, I feel like I’m harmonizing with the slow rhythms of winter. I’ve got hot tea and cozy socks, my journal and sketchbook, and I’m two-thirds of the way through Women Who Run with the Wolves. This book speaks to me on such a deep level, I am slow reading it, drinking in all this woman wisdom. This slower pace, both in reading and in life, is giving me more mental and emotional space to contemplate and remember how to just be.

 
 hand-drawn flower by Angela Amias
 

To that end, I’ve cut back on my social media presence in order to engage in social media mindfully and with intention.

What this looks like for me is rather than hopping on Facebook or Instagram for 30 seconds or a minute during transition points in my day, I’ve now committed to only getting on Facebook and Instagram once per day for a total of 15 minutes (or less.) It’s only been two days of this so far and I can already feel the difference it’s made— less mental chatter and more room for thinking uninterrupted thoughts. And more daydreaming (which I’m convinced is the secret to a good life.)

I spent December in contemplation— journaling, meditating, having long conversations with my spirit in order to discern where my heart is yearning to go this year.

I created a list of 30 gentle wishes for how I want to feel this year, ranging from taking time to savor the minuscule moments of life to learning how to stoke my inner fire and radiate my light. I identified six creative dreams I want to turn my attention to this year. On the winter solstice, I wrote each of these dreams on a piece of flying wish paper, lit it on fire and sent my dreams off into the universe to birth their seeds. It’s interesting. One of my creative dreams for this year is to have my artwork published. And only a few days after doing this flying-wish-paper-solstice ritual, I received word from Memoir Magazine that they are publishing works from my Origin Stories series of artworks. My word for 2018 is magic and this rapid manifestation of one of my creative dreams certainly felt magical.

 digital art daydreaming by Angela Amias
 
 handdrawn element by Angela Amias
 

I’ve also begun work on a new series of fairy tale-inspired artworks.

 
 fairytale art by Angela Amias
 

My vision for this project is to create a series of works with a mysterious, slightly-otherworldly  mood. I am sure this has been inspired in part by reading Women Who Run with the Wolves, but also perhaps by my love of magical realism. I’m not sure where this project is going to go and I’m choosing to let my creative mind lead the way. For me this means leaning into the discomfort of not knowing exactly what something will be before it has become whatever it is. It also means not deciding whether something is “good enough” before it’s has a chance to become what it is. My inner perfectionist is having a mini-tantrum right now, even just writing that.

 
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“Freedom lies in being bold,” Robert Frost wrote.

For now, resting in the not-knowing is my boldness.

much love,

Angela