2013 :: Thank You + Good Bye

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I’ve always had a thing for New Year’s Eve.  Even when I was little, I felt a strange mandatory pressure to stay up until the apple dropped in New York City…while the rest of my family was fast asleep.  Alone with the T.V., I would do a little New Year’s dance, watch the crowds of people celebrating and eventually make my way to bed, feeling satisfied that I had “properly” acknowledged the passing of another year.

Although I still love a good party on New Year’s Eve, it’s the days leading up to the New Year that I relish now.  I cherish this quiet reflective time nestled between the holiday bustle and back-to-business-as-usual.  The calm in the air is like a deep exhale providing time to think back on the year as a whole and set intentions for the twelve months ahead.  For some of us, it’s also a time to blog :)

*Admittedly, I wrote this post mostly for myself as a way to chronicle, reflect and honor 2013, and to clear the path for 2014, but I hope you glean some insights too…or perhaps you’ll be inspired to write and reflect on your own journey as we move into the year ahead?

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To say 2013 was a big year would be a bit of an understatement.  My words for 2013 were Collaboration and Ease, and I’m happy to say both were in full effect.  Upon reflection, I’m going to add LOVE to the list, another central core message/practice for me this year.

The year started off with a collaborative live painting gig with my dear friend, Lynzee Lynx, in front of thousands of people at the Inspire Truth New Year’s party.  This was truly a potent experience and one that set the stage for a year of collaborative exploration.  I wove the element of collaboration into all of my workshops and was so happy with the results.  Watching my students laugh, play and paint together, while letting go of the “preciousness” of  “MY painting,” made my heart sing and opened the door to a whole new way of approaching the process.

In January, I returned to beautiful San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for my second year of teaching there.  As expected, the retreat was a gorgeous coming together of vibrant women in a magical place.  This view of our courtyard pretty much sums it up.

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Upon my return home from Mexico, I happily moved into the house I spent a year designing and building.  Having lived communally with other artists for my entire adult life, moving into my own space for the very first time was a bit of a dream.  I spent months indulging my interior decorating geek and lavishing in the quiet of my own space.  Moving into my less than 700 foot square house also proved to be a great way to sort, purge and redefine how much one actually needs to live comfortably.  I still wake up everyday grateful for my little cocoon.

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In February, I ventured into new territory by entering the world of online dating.  I’m pretty sure I could write a whole book about my experience (Brave Intuitive Dating!), but I’ll keep it short and say that after *many* awkward dates and misadventures…it happened.  We both felt the connection the second we met, and the past ten months have proved initial spark to be true. I’m beyond grateful for finding this kind of love in my life…and with the most adorable middle school math teacher to boot. #lovethatabouthim

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If you’ve been following along here this year, you probably remember my “Thirty Day Blog Love Affair” that happened back in April.  I mention it here because it was such a sweet chapter in my year.  My intention was to fall back in love with my blog and to re-ignite my relationship with writing and sharing by writing a blog everyday for thirty days in a row.  It worked!  My final post also turned into my name change “coming out” party, a beautiful and vulnerable experience.  You can read about the whole shebang in the most recent edition of Somerset Life Magazine’s.  Woot!

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Another collaborative highlight for me this year was the creation of Soul Shine Studio.  This project is the collective coming together of three of my fave art buddies, Kelly Rae Roberts, Pixie Campbell, Lynzee Lynx and myself.  Together we share a lovely downtown Portland studio space used for dreaming, scheming, gathering, teaching, creating…and chilling.  Our connection has grown so deep as a result of this shared space…a constant source of inspiration, support and hilarity.

I’m also so happy to have connected with Miss Rachael Rice, my rock solid, rock star assistant.  I can honestly say I don’t know what I’d do without her support.

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In May, I had the pleasure of returning to Bali once again (it’s becoming a second home of sorts). This time around I taught two week-long retreats in two of my favorite spots: Amed and Ubud.  I was joined by a couple of dear friends and the whole experience was deeply heart opening and full of adventure…as Bali always is.

Back on home turf, I taught two Northwest workshops: one at Soul Shine studio in Portland, and one in lovely Pt. Townsend, WA.  In the Fall, I journeyed to the East coast where I taught back-to-back workshops in Brooklyn and Boston.  Reflecting back on all these gatherings, I’m a bit overwhelmed by the richness of this “work” I am so blessed to do in the lifetime.  I have met the most amazing people, witnessed huge transformation and walked away a better person for all of it.  I’m truly grateful to walk this path, and so look forward to more next year (I’m leaving for Mexico tomorrow)!

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This year also brought together three amazing groups of “bloomers’ from all over the world to participate in my Bloom True E-course.  I’ve run my course six times now, improving and changing it each time, and I’m consistently blown away by the impact it seems to have on people and on ME.  Every course is truly adventure of the heart and soul, and with each new group, I feel vulnerable, alive, on the edge, empowered, nervous and elated as we move through the experience together.

In September, I released all new videos for the course, along with some reflections on the fear I had to move through in order to film all those videos — stepping out of my comfort at it’s finest, and worth every moment.

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In closing, I’m happy to report that I managed to spend a decent amount of time painting in my own studio this year…a welcome shift from the past couple of years.  I’ve posted my 2013 collection right here for your viewing pleasure :)

Thank you so much for following along on this ever-unfolding journey of art, love, life and growth.  I am forever grateful.  Wishing you joyful moments and abundant love in 2014.

I hope it blows our minds.

xo flora

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13 Comments

  1. What a beautiful wrap-up of 2013! Thank you again for letting me be a part of your 2013 Bali adventure. It was a wonderful, cathartic experience, and it was the beginning of a turning point toward a more positive, authentic version of my life, which I’m continuing to actively work on. THANK YOU for helping to facilitate that. You are truly an inspiration to me, and I’m grateful to know you. Happy 2014, Flora! <3

  2. Wow! Thanks for sharing! Anxiously awaiting the arrival of your new book!
    Cheers, dana

  3. Yes the words vulnerable, alive , empowered and elated does say it all. You are probably tired of hearing it… But the ecourse was truly life changing and the connectivity of the group is just amazing. It has made me make changes for 2014 to continue the journey . Can’t thank you enough. Blessings in the new year.

  4. Happy 2014 dear Flora, so happy to see you enjoying life everyday x

  5. How wonderful everything that you share with us Flora. Can’t wait to take your e-course in February. Thank you for being you.
    Happy New Year!
    Xoxo,
    Mary

  6. So good article and post . Thanks for sharing

  7. Flora- what an incredible year you have had. You so deserve every success, and you continue to inspire me. I am so blessed to have painted with you in Boston, and I hope our paths meet again. I LOVE that you have 3 creative and extremely talented women to support you and share a studio with. I would love to cultivate that in my life. And your boyfriend is a cutie! I am so happy for your love.
    I wish you a very joyful new year! Thank you for opening your life to all of us in such a beautiful and authentic way!!

    Love, Carolyn Mackin Watson

  8. Dear dear Flora .. Your Boston workshop at Hitched Studios was a game changer for me and I’m sure for all in attendance. You licensed me to move into even larger canvas and approach them with no fear. I have committed your various steps to memory as I spiral in and out and back in fluidly with my golden fluid acrylics. This New Year post is lovely and Mr. Blue-eyes is a lucky man. Best wishes in the new year and if there is an opening in your next Mexico retreat, I would love to know about it. Thanks for lifting my creative spirit to the moon and back .. Anne *|*

  9. Thank you Flora for sharing you experiences! Best wishes for 2014! Love!

  10. What a great year….I love that we both spent time in Bali and in San Miguel de Allende this last year!!

  11. I learned alot from your post. Its good to look back and see the good and the lessons learned from difficult times. Thanks for sharing. I created my own year in review…Its an amazing process for setting the stage for 2014. Thanks again…looking forward to creating and being inspired in the new year.

  12. A nice wrap-up of a very busy year! I know you get many thanks for your work, and I need to chime in too. I sit here in my studio surrounded by 5 in-process canvases and 3 completed – all large and colorful and making me think I need a bigger studio! This was the change I needed to grow from a style that no longer served my needs – or my soul. I had no idea how to move on until I found your book and knew in a split second that this would change my life. And, oh, has it! The community of the facebook group also taught me even more. Good job, Flora! I do hope you get as much as you give! Thank you so much for deciding to teach!

  13. a great friend bought me your book for Christmas this year and i ADORE IT! I am a professional textile artist who for years has sewn but recently I have wanted to do more painting! I had no space to do it, no idea how to begin! your book has inspired me to claim a space and i am almost ready to start! Thank you! Gosh how i would love to visit Mexico with you all! what an amazing year, wonderful lady you have an amazing soul xxxx

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