Reframing: the new and the old

January 2, 2013

Happy 2013!

I spent New Years day recovering from a serving shift that ended at 2:30am. But, recovering in the best way: hanging out with Ben in pajamas on the couch, reading, going on a walk, making slow cooker magic, and closing out the 4th season of The Wire. And, although I’m very concerned about the way that drugs are affecting children on the Baltimore streets, 9 hrs of sleep have brought me to a very content and calm place.

I followed suit with many and pondered 2012 a lot this week. Like years passed, I used my friend Betsy and her sister Molly’s tradition and came up with 3 words for the past year, and 3 for the year to come. My temptation was to think of the year in terms of its challenges. It’s the hard thing about being an ambitious, perfectionistic person: its easier to see the shortcomings than the successes. So I was reminded about this: the gift of reframing. 

You see, I was sitting down for a beer with a wise friend in October, recounting the summer of unexpected challenges and chaos that Ben and I had been experiencing, when she (in wise friend fashion) said something amazing: My biggest mentors- and some of the most successful people I know- aren’t people who haven’t encountered major life hurdles, but they are people who are able to take these hurdles and frame them as positives. They are people who are able see how challenges work towards making them stronger, teaching them valuable life lessons, and contributing to the larger trajectory of their lives.

Bam. Thanks, Maggie.

So, it would be a major disservice to 2012 (and to what the past 12 months have helped me grow towards) to remember it merely in terms of the challenging and sticky. 

2012 was the year I invited in more of the things that I want in the long-term of my life, and let go of a lot of the things that weren’t serving me. I met some new and incredible people. Ben and I decided that many of our favorite moments in life are spent exploring and eating food in new places, and so made time to visit Los Angeles, Denver, NYC, Chicago, Columbus, the Cayman Islands, and Marquette. We decided that financial stability is not just for squares-- and neither are gym memberships. I faced a fear of being under water (literally) and became SCUBA certified. I decreased my teaching and limited projects to those in alignment with my future goals-- and those that made me inspired and excited. 

2012 was a year of brave stuff. In January I knew I wanted to work with artists and creative business owners on building their businesses and sharing their message, but I didn’t know how or if this fit in with the videography business that Ben was already busy growing. I read every book I could get my hands on about creativity and entrepreneurship, I took classes, and I wrote plans. We got branded by the folks at Braid Creative. I developed a method and tested it out on my first five clients, refining my process as I went. We decided that our business ideas were going to need more space, and moved to the duplex that Ben owns with his brother and Dad. Small Art was started as a way of implementing the ideas for art making & viewing that Ben and I believe most in. We made our dance film (and I worked on Meronymy) to keep our own artistic process moving, something we want to make more of a priority this year.

I found my words for 2013: release, curate, choose.

‘Release’ because time and time again I've seen that I can do more with less. By releasing the temptation to juggle all of the things at once, I can focus my energy more effectively. ‘Release’ means avoiding the temptation to do everything on my own. And, ‘release’ insists on letting go of fear and diving in.

‘Curate’ because I’m feeling drawn towards a life of minimalism and selection. I used to make dances where I would put all of the things on stage: food, tables, filing cabinets, chairs, wagons. Now I want one thing to stand on its own. Now I want a wardrobe with only the clothes I actively wear, and to own just 3 coffee mugs. I want to get rid of all the things, and only hang on to what I truly love and what’s truly beautiful and functional.

‘Choose’ because much of life is a choice, buddies. It goes back to the reframing: we get to choose how we see things, and how we proceed. We’re in the drivers seat. I choose how stressed I want to get about something. I choose what gets my energy. I choose to be an active participant.

This space:
I’ll continue to write in this space as a more personal accompaniment to the writing I’ll be doing for our McGinley Motion blog (more later this week on that). The Artist Series will continue in a more abbreviated way (shorter, more shaped interviews), and I’ll be sharing the results from the client work I’ve done over the past six months. I’m committed to sharing our business-growing journey, and capturing the artistic projects we’re making. 

I want this space to primarily serve as a resource. I started it to work through my own creative dilemmas. I’ll be posting exercises and tips that aim at helping creative folks expand their business trees- getting clear about and sharing the message of their creative endeavors. 

Here’s to the gifts of creativity! There’s a lot to be excited about.


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