I’m taking part in Quest 2018, which is a group of heart full “artful” entrepreneurs actively asking, “how can we shape a life of work, artfulness, and connection differently in the 21st century?” Part of this exploration is visioning how to map and live our best year ever in 2018.
I’ll post responses to this inquiry here. Follow along if you’re inspired.
Best Year bonus #BestYear
Find a quiet, private place. Then, follow these instructions:
Imagine your best possible self at the end of a year from now. In this case, imagine you are in December 2018 looking back upon how you have shown up for 2018. See yourself in a specific place as if you were looking back upon the year: maybe a favorite chair, a deck or balcony, a mountainside.
As your best self “looks back” upon the year (2018), reflect upon and write in intimate detail your response to these questions:
I am sitting on the back patio of my home in Berkeley. It is around 2:30 in the afternoon and the golden light will soon turn to shadows. It’s cool but not cold and I’m drinking a mug of Mexican sipping chocolate. There’s a feeling of reflection and also appreciation with how I’ve shown up for this year. I know that I worked hard, faced some fears and really put myself out there. I feel content and also eager to continue building on what I’ve created in 2109.
How have you shown up for your best work? What kinds of distinct activities have you been engaged in?
I’ve made a practice of visioning through journaling. I see that this helps me refine what I’m working on as well as synthesize ideas. Taking this time in the evening also means that I’m ending my day on a note of inspiration. It keeps me grounded and looking forward to the future.
This grounding is helping me to say no when I need to. I’ve been better able to assess if an invitation or opportunity is in alignment with the direction I’m heading and this focus has helped me deepen in the projects that support this focus and cut distractions. I’ve been very intentional about where I spend my time, how and who with.
I also ground myself through ritual. Part of this includes taking time to tune into my subtle body and connecting to intuitive wisdom. My confidence in this pathway for knowing is strengthened by this practice and has helped me navigate my world with more meaning.
I’m writing daily. I’m religious about protecting this time for my craft. This writing is personal and it’s also in service to connecting people to their bodies, spiritual and physical nourishment and speaking my truth about being a brown body in this world. I write to inform, connect and express.
I’m continuing to teach weekly InterPlay classes in which I’m discovering as much as I’m leading others. This regular engagement has naturally lead to embodiment workshops for Black Women and those who identify as disembodied but are curious about “all this embodiment work.” These workshops help people connect with their own bodies and gives them a taste of the wisdom it holds. It also gives people a sense of the group body and a felt sense of this connection, which is always available. Finally, there’s an exploration of what it means to “belong” and an assessment of how we might bring rituals of belonging into our lives. Maya Angelou says: “You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all.”
I’m holding a “what if” around taking one-on-one clients with this work.
Black Women Gathering is a vibrant community of women. This is my place for field study as well as healing my own wounds around being “Black Enough.” There’s more to explore here though most of this is happening through being in community and feeling. The POC sit I organized earlier in the year “body, mind unwind,” is now self-sustaining and I’m able to attend as my schedule allows.
What have you been making or creating as part of your best work?
I’ve created a guide/book/course specifically for disembodied people to begin to establish a connection to their body. This is something that could be done in the comfort of their own home rather than having to go to a scary class. There may also be video and audio components. Part of this includes developing my own website: kelseyblackwell.com
The time that I’ve committed to writing is allowing me to put more of this personal work into the world. These are essays about the body, food, being brown, hair and more. Because I’m putting out high-quality content, my newsletter list is growing. I’m reaching more people.
I’m curious about creating something for POC specifically, though at this point am unclear how my tools can best be of service. I’m holding this inquiry and trusting what arises.
I’m leading more embodiment in retreats in my spiritual community.
I’ve lead a workshop(s) at InterPlay and the Center for Transformative Change.
I’m holding a “what if” around leading my own embodiment retreat at a land center.
Who have you engaged and how has your work positively impacted them?
Disembodied white people are beginning to feel a connection to their body and to the wisdom that can arise from this place.
POC looking for connections to other POC and a place where they can feel what they’re feeling without filtering.
What have you done differently that has stretched you?
I’m putting myself out there consistently – showing up at community events, on FB, Twitter and Instagram. Just as I was writing this, someone approached me about leading embodiment at Impact Hub, a co-working space in Oakland, to lead movement in exchange for exposure and a free membership. Wow.
I’ve been showing up for myself and my work, not putting it to the bottom of the list, which I see is in service to showing up and helping others.
I believe that I’m smart enough to lead, publish, attend and show up in spaces and in conversations and fight that urge to stay “safe” in the comfort of the worlds I’m already in. There’s a sense of expansion because I have confidence in what I have to offer.
What 1, 2, or 3 big goals have you reached?
I have a website.
I’ve have useful content on this website that may include a free guide/videos
I’ve attracted a larger following on my blog due to writing helpful material about the body and putting it out into the world via my blog and/or other publishing networks.
I’m writing a book about accessible embodiment for people.
I’ve lead my own workshop(s)
In the process, what challenge has your best self met and how?
I’m completing things I’ve started. Sticking with them rather than stopping and starting as I’m inspired.
I’m not waiting for the muse. I’m writing even when I don’t feel like it. There’s some real discipline here.
I’m religiously carving out time to create ways for people to access my work, which may mean sending it to magazines, creating videos, finding a publisher, etc.
I’m meeting my own internal challenges around the things I’ve been unable to face (mostly money and challenging family dynamics)
What skill set or craft did you learn or improve upon?
Deepening my own connection to my subtle body.
Learning more about embodiment practices and the wisdom of the body. Working with Carolyn North and exploring other body wisdom teachers.
Honing myself as a writer attending a regular writer’s group and applying to VONA.
What 1 habit did you add, adjust, or drop?
Feeling more confident in saying no.
Trusting myself to take on the right projects.
Putting my best self forward – dressing for my day.
And overall, how have you felt throughout the year when you’re engaged with your best work?
It’s been hard. I feel myself meeting my edges, but I also feel alive. Like my life is on purpose.
Week One: #Purpose
From Caroline Adams Miller
It’s often said that ‘you can’t keep what you don’t give away.’ What will you give to others through your best work in 2018 that will positively impact them so that you might keep it, as well?
I straddle two worlds as a bi-racial person and I’m finding in my work, two audiences. There are areas of overlap, but the vision of what I’m in service to differs. The overlap is the importance of connecting to the body so we might feel a deeper sense of “belonging” to ourselves and thus in our world. This reconnecting with our body is a path bathed in vulnerability, honesty and joy. For white people, I’m offering a sense of discovery and new awareness. For POC, it’s space to be fully expressed, represented, heard and counted as important. Of course, there’s overlap in these values, but I don’t, for instance, enter into my work with a white person with a goal of helping them feel more heard. The truth is, the inequality we live with fractures us all. No one is winning, so I understand that white people also don’t always feel represented, but leading with this is not a primary objective though experiences of this impact are honored.
If I had to boil it down, for both audiences it’s about connection to self and other. This happens on mental, emotional and spiritual planes. What I’m giving feels like: Joy, Possibility, Worthiness, Connection, Expression and Play.
What do you need to do in 2018 to ensure that you live without unnecessary regrets and have that kind of fulfilling purpose and impact on others?
To show up. Honesty and vulnerability come naturally for me. But because it’s hard not to be so raw, I can hide in the comfort of familiar places and people. It’s time to be in the world and in conversations with “important” people sharing my truth and vulnerability about whatever is emerging. I am a warrior.
From Katie Dalebout
How are you going to make space in 2018 to create what you really want that will be for the greater good of humanity? What ritual might help your mindset make space?
I like this idea of daily devotion. I meditate every morning. After my session, I can jot down, “What I’m devoted to today ______,” in a notebook. So easy and such a guiding star throughout my day. Today, it’s gentleness and honesty.
I’m also really liking this idea of nightly journaling. Every night I share one gratitude in a gratitude jar that sits on my dresser. I can add a paragraph or two (perhaps in my devotion journal) about my values and vision for my work. I see how my gratitude can be an easy entry into writing about my vision. Sometimes that word feels big and unapproachable, but if I access it through something that touched me, that’s an easy way in. As a body person, letting my felt sense lead the way is very helpful.
What habit or activity might you stop to make space for fulfilling purpose?
Showing up for others before I show up for myself. It’s so easy to put time for my visioning and creating on the back burner while I put out someone’s fire or avail myself to witness another’s pain. I’ve got to start putting on my own mask first and that means carving out the time and not answering the phone or emails. I’d like to devote regular time for this. Daily. It’s gotta be like eating.