* 'present' me here... I started writing this post towards the beginning of the year, I last edited it in May and finally am posting it now. Why? Because it's helpful to look back on what I was trying to accomplish and my word of the year has profoundly helped me through 2021. I hope this encourages you to chose a word for the upcoming year and provides some inspiration.

Here I will share my focus for 2021, the struggle I have with presenting myself and my technique that is helping me to achieve the things I fear. In striving to accomplish tasks and putting myself out there to be able to share my passion and inspire others, there are also moments of doubt and it's easy to get lost in a fog of 'have tos' and the dreaded imposter syndrome. I can be my own worst enemy and small self-sabotaging behaviours take place almost daily but I'm working on it!

Each year I pick one little word, as a guide and reminder of my intentions for the year. Usually I post this at the start of the year but, with time being so strange during lockdown, it's taken me until now to gather all of my thoughts into this post. Last year my word was 'clear' and despite it not having much of a chance (with most of the year spent at home) it has served me well. In actual fact maybe the events of 2020 gave me more focus, allowed for clearing stuff out and prioritising what really matters. 

So this year my intent is to maintain that same clearness of thought and build on what I've started. All the little changes I've made and the drive that I have, will result in good things and a stronger, more confident me.  

I am SUPER excited about all the projects I have in the works, good things are happening and I am putting all my effort into being me. Doing what I love. Not taking on more than I can handle and connecting my abilities with what I enjoy. For the most part, in my career, that is teaching. I have always been a teacher, it's what I do well, and I am thankful I have been able to teach online with CraftyMonkies. Reaching people in a different way felt so strange at first but it's amazing how intimate it is and it's wonderful seeing people create and learn from home. It's so easy for all of us and the live classes allow for amazing interaction. If you're interested in learning more, check out the list of classes or see the available playbacks.

It fills my cup to encourage others and share my passion for quilting and stitching. It's not always easy for me to get that point across without coming off like I'm doing a hard sell. Do I want people to take a class with me, do I think it has value, will people learn and create beautiful projects, do I want to sell my patterns... yes, yes, yes, yes! Yet every time I mention my patterns or classes I feel like a bad salesperson or that I'm bothering people or I don't even know what. It doesn't feel good. But here's the thing, if you're not into it or you don't want it you won't be interested. For those that do, all I am doing is sharing information and you can buy a pattern and take a class if you like. So it shouldn't be this hard for me. The anxiety gets to a ridiculous point and I battle through it because I love designing and teaching so much that I can't give up.

So I've been trying to come up with ways to make it easier, to be able to talk about my projects and share video of myself without cringing. 

First I have been listening to music. Music that pumps me up, puts a smile on my face and gets my mind right. Funnily my last pattern release was inspired by a Gwen Stefani song and this track has been on repeat

That line 'I'm recycling me' led to a bit of an epiphany. I'd always wanted to get back my confidence, to lose the anxiety and go back to the 'old me'. Of course that's not possible, there's no way, but I can recycle. Save some bits, take the good stuff that's going on currently and mush it all into something else. Still myself, with everything I've experienced and learnt, still original just changed. 

Maybe that doesn't make sense... this post is completely train-of-thought and leads to how I came to chose my word.

Secondly (and this is where it gets even weirder) I have created an alter-ego. Stay with me! For those times when I just cannot seem to counter the doubts in my head, when I have to make a video or call or try and market myself... I become 'Lolly'. Before you click away or think I've lost it completely, this was an idea my husband had - conceived when we were chatting about my anxiety and self-doubt. He said why don't you pretend to be someone else, still myself but with the drive of someone who has presence and confidence. So who would I be? Dolly Parton, every time! No excuses, no hiding. Dolly is herself, I mean she's the on stage /public version of herself but doesn't she do it with such grace and honesty. Like Beyonce has her Sasha Fierce persona (explained so well in that clip), it is a great way for me to overcome nerves and get it done. So Lolly is my Sasha Fierce. It's like acting, which I did a lot of when I was younger, and while I'm not pretending to be someone else - it allows me to be clear in what I'm presenting; the strong, confident and capable version of myself. My word for 2021 is lucidity - I like that it works with my name too! Light and clear.

Stay tuned because I have an exciting project coming up relating to the word of the year! Here are links to my words from previous years if you'd like to read more:

2020 ~ Clear
2019 ~ Fortitude
2018 ~ Centre
2017 ~ Shift
2016 ~ Enthusiasm
2015 ~ More
2014 ~ Better

And ALWAYS channel Moira Rose, such wisdom!