The Dream Keeper

The Dream Keeper

Since 2010, instead of making new year’s resolutions which have generally fallen by the wayside within a few weeks or months, I’ve been choosing a single word and using it as a guide to navigate through the year.

A single word is a powerful thing. It’s a simple reminder of all the things that you want to achieve throughout the year, and it also provides clarity and focus to help you stay on track. Unlike resolutions, a single word also comes with no rigid expectations. A word is flexible, which means you can continuously adjust and modify things as the year progresses.

I’ve found that by using a single word to guide me through the year, I can achieve so much more than when using resolutions. I can set goals that are achievable in the long-term, and I even get to see some of my dreams come true, simply by letting the word be a guide rather than a rule.

My word for 2018 is transformation, and this year as well as choosing a word I also made a visual reminder – a piece of assemblage art that I can hang on the wall and which represents my word. I called it The Dream Keeper.

The Dream Keeper

The purpose of the Dream Keeper is to keep my word safely tucked inside the mini-journal, and to be a daily reminder of my word, my goals, and my dreams. When life gets busy, it’s easy to forget that we have goals and dreams. They seem to get left by the wayside as we struggle to deal with life’s challenges. I find that having a reminder of some sort is a perfect way to remember to get back on track sooner rather than later.

When I make intentional art, or art that has a purpose such as the Dream Keeper, I like to use personal symbols and metaphors when sewing and stitching. It makes the artwork meaningful and gives it a strong purpose. The symbol on the front of the mini-journal represents a Firebird which is a mythical bird that from time to time spontaneously bursts into flames and is then reborn from its ashes. The Firebird is a powerful symbol of transformation.

The Dream Keeper

The Dream Keeper

Make you’re own Dream Keeper

I really enjoyed making the Dream Keeper and it hangs on my wall where I can see it every day. It reminds me to make sure that I do something every day toward fulfilling my yearly path of transformation.

If you’d like to make your own Dream Keeper using personal symbols to create meaningful art, I’ve made this project available as a mini-online class. You can find details and registration here in my online classroom.

What’s your word for the new year?

If you’ve chosen a word for 2018, share it in the comments below. I’d love to know how you imagine your year will unfold.

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7 thoughts on “The Dream Keeper”

  1. Julie-Anne Rogers

    My word for next year is ‘Fitness’. I have had a couple of years of illness and not only has my physical fitness fallen by the wayside, so has my creative fitness. Both will be my focus for the year. I started doing your word for the year exercise about 5yrs ago and it has really helped me focus. Much easier and more sustainable than a New Year’s resolution!

    1. What a great word Julie-Anne. Creative fitness is high on my priority for the next year also. I wish you the best of luck with your word!

  2. Completion is my word for 2018. I retired in 2016 in August, on my 70th birthday. I have been hoarding things that spoke to me with mixed media pieces in mind. Here I am looking at the new year 2018. I have stacks of watercolors, boxes of embellishments and other supplies waiting to be used. In the past I have created many things…beaded embroidery, jewelry, trinket boxes, primarily to sell when times were hard. I found that production of artwork chosen with money in mind takes all the fun and creativity out of the process. Working a 40 hour week sapped my creative spirit. My goal for 2018 is to use up my stash and create work that has meaning for me.

  3. I believe my word should be “adventurous” which I chose from your body of listed words,I didn’t fill out the other sections because I already basically know that my life has been unfolding quite nicely since mid 2016.

    I started a new journey at that time, first sifting/sorting up parts of my more visible life. Some of the stuff was sold, but then I grew tired of that and felt that the freeing up might be better suiting to gifting. People said that was stupid, you need money to move to a new rental…

    Then as the time draw nearer, I realised that I had more than enough money to move, and even with the move, and a change of status here in NZ [retirement gov’t benefits] came into play – I have noticed that the non-selling v the giving-gifting has meant I have some how acquired abundance – in all kinds of ways…

    This has allowed me to become ready to be more adventurous and that is starting to unfold through my art-making…so I believe that “adventurous” must continue – thanks for the idea.

    [btw I’ve never been fond of NY resolutions…]

    1. This is one of my favorite words and you can be adventurous in all sorts of different ways. I hope this word guides you through the year in wonderful ways.

      1. On a family clan f/b page I manage, I suggested that each select a word – as per your idea – so far 3 of have (all women); 2 selected: relax and the other chose: reflection. I intend to follow-up with them every so often to see where their “word” led them.

        All these women led busy lives, one has teenagers, one has a not well paid job/family issues, the other has a first child and a busy but well paid job.

        I have just me to work with and I’m already well “relaxed” and make “reflection messages” to myself anyway…

        1. Thanks for sharing. I hope your family members follow through with their word throughout the year and see wonderful things emerge.

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