Home – my word for 2016


One of my favorite books is Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D. It’s been one of those books for me where I can open a page and learn a new lesson about “Life.”

I decided that I would choose a random page from the book and my “word” for 2016 would come to me. Sure enough, it did.

I opened to page 285. I had highlighted a couple sentences from a previous read. One sentence was, ” Whatever revivifies balance is what is essential. That is home.”

Home. It struck me. My word for 2016 is Home.

As Dr. Estés writes, “It is right and proper that woman eke out, liberate, take, make, connive to get, assert their right to go home. Home is a sustained mood or sense that allows us to experience feelings not necessarily sustained in the mundane world: wonder, vision, peace, freedom from worry, freedom from demands, freedom from constant clacking. All these treasures from home are meant to be cached in the psyche for later use in the topside world.”

Home is not just the physical place that we go to find a comfy bed and be with family. It is the place of the psyche where we are at rest, where we feel at peace with the world.

As Dr. Estes says, “The vehicles through and by which women reach home are many: music, art, forest, ocean spume, sunrise, solitude. These take us home to a nutritive inner world that has ideas, order, and sustenance all of its own.”

I couldn’t agree more. All of those words, listed above, music, art, forest, ocean spume, sunrise, solitude bring me to home – to my center, they ground me to my home place and help me to feel alive, to feel one with the world, to feel in balance. And that is what I strive for – to be in balance and at peace with the world.

I also love the fact that we have just finished the 1st phase of our home remodel.  The last 6 months of 2015 was taken up with finding our new home in Maple Falls and remodeling it and now it is time to focus on not the physical place of home but the mental place of home.

I like that the word home can represent so many different things symbolically. And although I’ve included an image of an actual house with the word HOME in it at the top of this post, it is not the physical sense of a building that I want to focus on but the symbolic use of the word home as in coming home to the self.

I know that my art and painting brings me home. So I plan to do more things that bring me to “home” in 2016. I think a little soul work is a good thing to focus on. As Estes writes, “When you focus with soul-eyes, you will see home in many, many places.” I intend to find more of those places in 2016 and return to my sense of home.

If you like the little house artwork above, go to my Etsy Shop for a digital download of whimsical homes>.

What is your word for 2016?


“Transcend” Lotus Painting Celebrates My 2015 Word

Lotus Painting

I finally chose my word to represent 2015. It has been a tradition for many as the new year approaches to choose a word to focus on to set the intention for the year.

Actually, last year, I don’t think I chose a word. But “Focus” was my word for 2013.

This year I chose a word a little late in the game. It was January before I finally decided what it would be.

It wasn’t until I painted this lotus painting before I knew. I titled this lotus piece “Transcend.” And then I knew that was the perfect word for me.

Lotus Painting

“Transcend,” 8″ x 8″, acrylic on paper, © Lindy Gaskill

I love the shape and symbolism of the lotus. When I started this painting I didn’t know that it would turn into a lotus.

The lotus symbol is used a lot with yoga and spirituality which I study so it was no surprise that a lotus came to life in this painting.

A lotus emerges from the waters of a pond with beautifully shaped petals and gorgeous color, symbolizing youth, beauty and life. The word transcend came to me as I gazed at the painting and felt a lift to my spirit. A floating feeling came over me.

The reason I like the word “Transcend” is because it feels so much like what I am trying to accomplish with all the changes going on in my life.

tran(t) send/
verb: transcend: to rise above or go beyond the normal limits of (something)

For me, it’s transcending the chaotic feelings of change. I could have chosen “change” as my word but that didn’t feel right. As I didn’t want to focus on change but rather transcending change. I liked the idea of rising up and going beyond change.

I want to let peace prevail instead of the chaotic feelings that often come with change.

We made some big decisions in 2014 to sell our house in Prescott, AZ and move half our stuff to Washington state and half to Mexico. People do.

Our house sold this past winter so it was a sure thing that “change” was happening and fast. The key is not to let it become overwhelming with all the tasks that come with moving. That is why the word “transcend” appealed to me.

I like looking at this painting and repeating the word “transcend” to myself. It calms me.

This is perfect for how I want to feel the majority of the time. Peaceful and calm and accepting the “now.”

Being here right now in this spot is where I am supposed to be. I like that.

What is your word for 2015?

Focus is my word for 2013

Okay, I have to admit I’ve had a little trouble focusing lately.  You might say I’m easily distracted.

It drives me nuts! I start one thing and then I’ll move to another project and start working on something else  and then a thought comes along and I stop what I’m doing and move to something completely different and you get the picture – I’m not accomplishing anything plus it’s not a good way to run a business!

So Focus is my word for 2013. If you don’t know about choosing a word for your year to, excuse the pun,”focus” on, then let me tell you a little about it. Some people choose resolutions to start their new year but others choose a word as their mantra or guide for the year. It is a word that sets the intention for something that inspires you or something you want to accomplish or feel more of during the year.

Lots of people blog about it and in the past I’ve been a little skeptical and haven’t participated. I thought how does a word just come to you as people talk about on their blogs.

But then, this year, just a few weeks ago, a word did come to me. It just appeared in my mind and wouldn’t leave until I wrote it down and now here I am blogging about it.

So this can be really inspiring – rather than making another new years resolution that you may or may not keep – choose a word as your mantra and guide for the year. Here’s mine:


For me, Macmillans dictionary says it best, “to concentrate on something and pay particular attention to it.” And then there is my own definition – “stay on task.”

Then I created a Focus action plan.

I figured out what I really want. Getting a clear picture in my mind is part of my Focus action plan and this helps me to achieve my goals. So I made a list of what I really, really want.

I also downloaded the Leonie Dawson 2013 Incredible Business + Life Workbook and Calendar to help me make this plan.

It was just what I needed! It came with all kinds of ways for me to get organized with the workbook questions and a calendar I can print out and use in combination with my online calendar. I created a notebook dedicated to accomplishing my biz goals for 2013! And not only my biz goals but my life plan goals too!

Taking action with individual tasks with deadlines and focusing on what I want gets me motivated to achieve my goals and this is leading to results! Yay! I’ve already accomplished some of the things I set out to do this month.

One of the main things is to not get too distracted by too many things. That’s why I choose my top 3 items for the day. I’m calling these my Focus Goals. I like creating my own program to follow.

I also posted the word FOCUS in my studio and at my computer which definitely is helping me to stay on task.

I’ve also implemented an online calendar with my schedule of my top 3 tasks for each day that I write down in the a.m. after I’ve showered, ate breakfast and brushed my teeth!

Narrowing my task list to 3 items keeps me focused so I don’t get distracted. This is really working for me so I’m glad I chose the word “Focus.”

Do you find staying on task to be a challenge? And what are you doing to stay focused?

And have you chosen a word for the year? What’s yours?