When I look back on 2023, one word comes immediately to mind: F*ck. Yeah, I know we’re not supposed to swear. But sometimes we just can’t help it. The past year is one of those times, and I know I’m not alone. It seems many have gone through twisted-up tales of crazy over the past 12 months – which means things are destined to go up from here.

Indeed, 2024 can be the best year EVER – but only if we sweep out the old to make room for the new.

And we’re not just talking clearing out the top shelf of the fridge that’s jammed with old jars of capers and peppers that expired somewhere back in June. We’re talking about sweeping out the old way of thinking, doing and being – which is what gets us into a pickle in the first place.

The Pickle that Was 2023

And boy, was 2023 a pickle. The year began with a juicy holiday bonus from my employer at the time. They fired me. The Boston-based company I had been with for two years had been purchased by a Brazilian company that promised not to make any changes.

I guess firing every single member of their U.S. marketing team in the first week of January didn’t count as a change.

Next up was tangling myself up in the “Now what?” I had been a busy freelance writer and artist with many clients prior to shaving most of them off to work for the Boston-turned-Brazilian thing. So yeah, “Now what?”

Thus began my phase as a ping-pong ball. As was my custom, I started grabbing for outside sources to find the answer. My first grab was for an amazing spiritual business coach. While all her guidance was spot-on, my main premise wasn’t.

I think I’ll do grief coaching. No, I think it’s more like joy coaching. Wait! Maybe that’s not my calling at all. The coaching is fine, but all the social media outreach was driving me bonkers. I have to do something where I don’t have to direct message people all day long.

So I ping-ponged to my next outside source, an energy mechanic who helped me untangle so many tangles – but left me freefalling into… I don’t know what.

The energy mechanic’s mantra was: “Break the patterns!” So I broke them. And broke them. And broke them some more.

Routines and concrete action have always been part of my makeup. Yet I untangled them all so much that I didn’t know what I was doing, where I was going, or how to do anything else than go on big long nature walks every day.

That worked great until a man I passed on one of them started masturbating. Next.

I then reached in the art direction, especially because all this art just started exploding out of me. It’s essential to note that I had decided then would be a great time to wean off the antidepressants I had been taking for the past 19 years.

Hey, if things are going crazy already, might as well add another ingredient to the soup.

Weaning off the medication has been a ping-pong ride within itself. My creativity shot through the roof. But so did all these emotions that had still been trapped in my fibers. Whoa, what a ride.

So I decided to ride it into the world of SPD – or surface pattern design. My quirky illustrations need to be on every lunchbox and greeting card out there, right? Or maybe I want to go for album covers and T-shirts. Or what about Rynart patterns socks and paper plates? Ugh! Too much to think about. I couldn’t even narrow down an industry.

Heck with it. Sometimes being a Gemini makes your head hurt.

Industry indecision aside, the big irony about the surface pattern design choice is that I had just spent the previous several months BREAKING patterns – and now I wanted to purposely create them?

I have yet to finish the SPD course I signed up for.

It’s about here I slumped into a huge ball of confusion, ready to reach for the next outside source to save me – only to realize none of them would.

Living in the Magic in 2024 (and Beyond)

Looking for answers on the outside is not the way to go. It all has to come from the inside.

This is not to say all the guidance I received from outside sources is not valid. It is. It is valid and very, very good. But it’s best used as a supplement to help me along the journey my soul truly needs to follow – not the end-all of what I must do or become.

Only I know that. And that’s on the inside. The inside. When all those world-constructed layers and habits are stripped away, who am I? When I eschew the outside world’s conformity, expectations and demands, who am I?

When I follow that burning desire inside my soul, who am I?

Who we are evolves. We are not the same people we were 10 years ago, or even yesterday. So things that worked for us 10 years ago, or even yesterday, may no longer apply.

It is here I step into the direction of my soul. I was born to create. Serve as a channel for the divine to create things that carry the message of freedom, hope, laughter and love (while hopefully making you laugh a few times, of course).

And if this game plan gets me into yet another pickle, I’ll let you know with a column moaning about it.

But I don’t think it will. In fact, I KNOW it’s the right path to follow because it feels true. Authentic. Natural. Fueled by love.

That’s what living in the magic is all about. Opening up your eyes, heart and soul to let your God-given gifts spew forth. And then sharing them with others for the highest good of all.

Wow. That sounds phenomenal. And it sure beats the heck out of 10-hour days chained to my desk for a company in Brazil.

Let’s move away from the manic of 2023 and into the magic that awaits in 2024 and beyond! Who’s coming?!

Stay tuned for magical creations I will be sharing with YOU! throughout the year.