Reflection + Aim: A Transition from 2018 to 2019.
...And just like that, we are on the other side of this calendar transition. Ah, 2019!
In 2018, I began this tradition to share the ups and downs of the past year with you all. There is so much power in carving out time to reflect on what I've experienced and get clear on what's to come. This practice opens up so much for me...
I get to honor the growth I felt, how I've been quietly stepping into the person that I embody right now.
I get to imagine possibilities based on that growth. Embedded in those feelings and in my gut (and my intuition).
This process and practice is so powerful. So without further ado, here's a loooong email for you with my Reflections + my Aims:
What went well in 2018
Hosting Not One, But TWO Creative Conferences ☀ ☼
In 2017, I made a commitment to stepping up with Brand New Mornings. And by the beginning of 2018, I was running the whole thing solo. Big order and I stepped up to the plate. With the help of The Wolfsonian-FIU — a museum in South Beach that is an institution — I was fortunate enough to host two conferences for the creative community in South Florida. We had dynamic conversations around activism, learned money management strategies, branding for creative businesses, how to meditate for creativity and so much more. At the end of the year, I honored my intuition and said goodbye to Brand New Mornings, because I'm creating space for so much more that is in alignment with who I am today.
Teaching, Guiding and Sharing What I Know ✎
After experiencing my Hurricane Irma scare in 2017, something shifted within me. I wanted to share more. Teach more. Empower more. Guide more.
Throughout the course of the year, I've taught personal branding to designers, writers and photographer at Miami Ad School, a portfolio school with worldwide reach. My students came up with incredible branding for themselves as creatives, won awards, got published and best of all, they began exploring their inner worlds as an endless source of creative inspiration.
I also began teaching personal branding weekend workshops as a credited class at the University of Florida. There, I would guide undergraduate advertising students through an in-depth branding strategy so they could cultivate their own point of view on the industry. My next class at UF is at the end of the month and I absolutely love going up and having these dynamic experiences with the university students.
And finally, I enrolled in Montessori Teacher Training for early childhood education. Children are the future and Montessori is such a beautiful way of instilling self reliance and freedom from a very early age for a child. Eventually, I'll help my mom with expanding her legacy: her Montessori school. So much of what I'm learning is sparking interesting ideas with my years in advertising, creative direction and design.
CoCreating with Friends ✦
Magic Jungle happened twice in 2018 with my creative friends and co-hosts Ana Victoria and Margarita Calderon. We learned, we grew and really hit our groove with working together. This year we had our second and third groups of women artists, photographers, writers and makers show up and work on their brands, learn about licensing, pricing, branding and so much more... all set deep in the Mayan jungle. Altars guided by the moon, sacred soap making, walking through a jungle art walk and delicious vegetarian meals every day. Magic Jungle is one of my favorite things I get to do in my life and we've recently announced the 2019 dates so if a creative retreat for your business is one of your intentions for these future months, I suggest going over there and signing up for the waitlist... Juuuuust saying.
Growth Through Community ⚯
I joined two group programs last year. Both focused on my personal growth and interests (2018 was The Year of Me, after all).
One was working with Ash Johns on ancestral healing and spiritual guidance. Her process and approach opened up channels of deep intuitive communication within. I'm still opening, still learning, still trusting, integrating and growing. And I'm grateful for the group that came together under Ash's guidance.
The second group I joined in 2018 was Coaching As Activism by Andréa Ranae. I joined to decolonize my mind, body and spirit. It was all that and more. Working within CAA alongside my work with Ash created a desire in me to make abstract art and abstract prose with universal messages to share with the world. I also began experimenting with how I could live in the harsh reality that broken systems like capitalism, patriarchy and general white supremacy and create something new. Bend the reality a bit. Open up to possibilities that help us move into a new phase in society instead of staying stuck in this one. Which brings me to....
Visionary Branding Bundle As A Birthday Celebration ⸈⦿⸄
This year, I decided to experiment with getting Visionary Branding Course - my online course on branding a creative, conscious business - out to more people. For my birthday, I celebrated by doing a sale by bundling up the course, virtual group office hours and digital artwork. The way the sale was structured is what was interesting about it: the price of the bundle began at $4 USD and every time someone purchased, the price would go up by $4 USD. This meant the course was accessible to more people, as the pricepoint is usually much, much higher. Folks across the US got the course along with people in Mexico, Morocco, England and Spain. This type of reach, accessibility and possibility brings me so much joy. It's been humbling to see everyone's brands grow and evolve with the material they're learning in VBC.
What didn't go well in 2018
Heart Breaking Open ♥
At the end of 2017, I moved in with someone that I love dearly. But, not all loves are meant to be lifetime romantic loves and by the end of 2018, we had split. I believe that with every experience of contrast, pain and suffering, there's always an opening. However small. However delicate. Mine was to realize the capacity with which I could hold space for myself. I had no idea how vast it was. I could move through life feeling deep sadness and grieve while also feeling joy and freedom and expansion. And this, although very painful, has been such a gift.
Lack of Focus ░
Something about 2018 just. didn't. click. for. me. Oftentimes, it felt like I was running a race that I had not signed up for. This feeling created deep unease in me and I found myself stuck in a downward spiral. The shift for me moving forward: taking extremely good care of myself. As I worked more, got more stressed and felt more lost, I ended up prioritizing "figuring it out" instead of focusing on my own well-being. I've since realized taking really good care of myself is my number one job. More on that in my 2019 intentions...
Self Doubt Running the Show ☹
Between my lack of focus, things not going well in my romantic life, and just generally feeling insecure in 2018 about... everything... self doubt ran my life for the most part in throughout the year. I won't dwell on this too much, because everyone has experienced moments like this in their life. It's hard.
Core Intentions for 2019
As part of my transition process, I like to create some intentions of what I'd like to embody in 2019.
I'm calling 2019 My Year of The Magician because in tarot, the Magician energy is one of taking ideas from the intangible to the tangible. And that's what I'm about right now.
Here are my core intentions for the next twelve months:
Creatively Focused Structure
Year of Deep Self Care ♺
Now I mentioned above that I had a hard time taking care of myself throughout 2018. I stopped feeling like I was drowning the moment I began taking extremely good care of myself. In 2019, I'm committed to deepening that process. For me, this level of self care includes:
eating foods that fuel me 90% of the time — because I cannot live without ice cream and other decadent treats every so often!
movement of my body 3-4 times per week — yoga, kettlebell, walking, biking, swimming and dancing are just some of the things I look forward to doing more and more of throughout my life
creating, sharing, guiding and growing — through making art and writing, through teaching and sharing, through meditation and more
Sharing More Publicly ⋰
With so much inner turmoil, it was hard for me to keep up this newsletter, my Instagram, and generally communicate with you all. I was focused on processing internally. This year, I want to reach out more, share more, connect more. You'll be hearing from me more consistently in your inbox, so feel free to reply and let me know what interests you most about what I do so I can help!
Teaching + Guiding ✐
I'm focusing on this aspect of my business in 2019. Group strategy days online and in-person will be announced in the next week, along with a different way of deep-diving into brand strategy together. I'm also interested in creating more online classes and workshops to work with you all! Which brings me to...
In 2018, I hired a production company called The Stills out of Cancun, Mexico. They've been helping me level up the production for Visionary Branding Course. We're in the homestretch of this process and once it's complete, I'll be uploading it as my first course on Skillshare! So if you're a Skillshare member, keep an eye out. VBC will be a part of your membership soon!
Measuring Success for Manifestation ☽
A friend of mine told me, "What gets measured, gets managed." and I felt the truth in that for me. I'm a quintessential creative and that can sometimes mean I forget to track, but the truth is there is so much information available to me all. the. time. To help guide me. To create more open conversations with my intuition and guides. To generally just... analyze. "What gets measured, get managed," is an entry point for another mantra I wholeheartedly believe in... "What I focus on, manifests." These two statements will be guiding forces for me over the next year as I create more in a focused, committed, consistent manner.
Your Reflection + Aim
This exercise was is always so profound for me. I strongly invite you to carve out some time in the next month for your own Reflection + Aim. Perhaps this Saturday, January 5th under energy and guidance of the new moon? It's up to you. You can choose if you want to share with the world at large, or just journal it out. Maybe it makes sense for you to share it with your best friend, or your dad, or your partner. Follow your bliss.
If you'd like to share your Reflection and Aim with me, know that I would love to read and witness you in your process. Just email it my way!
Just walk yourself through the following:
What went well in 2018?
What didn’t go well in 2018?
What surprised you about 2018?
What are your core themes / core desired feelings for 2019?
What are you aiming for in 2019?
Remember that your reflection and your aim includes your business AND your life. Because your business cannot exist without you.
Thank you for reading and being a part of my life, how I choose to live and my livelihood. For all this, I am so grateful.
wishing you all love, blessings, growth and flourishing in this new year,