My word for 2017

Happy New Year lovely people!

Well, here we are again, at the start of a new year and choosing the direction we would like it to take. I always love this time of year- the anticipation and excitement of the potential a new year has to offer. I especially love the reminder that you can change your life to what you want it to be every year... though that isn't just limited to January of course - you can change your life any day you want!

Firstly I'm going to do a quick review of my 2016 word - earnest. Looking back at my words of the year - this was the first I chose that was something to 'be'. Alleviate (2013), inspirit (2014) and give (2015) all felt like actions - things to do to make things happen/better. In comparison earnest felt like something I should be to get through the year - and its definitely helped me with a lot of aspects - work, my 366 project and starting a new lighting design diploma. It also encouraged me when the world was being the world and I wasn't always happy with what was happening... a reminder to stay true to my feelings and to focus on my original intent rather than be distracted (ha) by the emotional landscape around me. So overall, a successful word choice I think, hurrah!

Moving into 2017 I feel like I'm starting in a much more secure position than last year emotionally... yet even with saying that, it took me a good while to settle on my word - even bouncing around a Thesaurus and keeping my mind and options open. I finally settled on it during a conversation with my husband where he said something so obvious and simple, that I felt a little silly that it took me so long to establish what the intuitive feelings I had were pushing me towards.

So here is my word for 2017...

I originally was going along the lines of 'self' - the idea of being true to myself or being authentic to myself... but somehow Thomas and I were talking about the idea of being happy and I realised that happy was what I really wanted to be. And to do that, all I really have to do, is get out of my own way and give myself permission to be happy.

My dear friend Alyssa has also been super inspiring to me recently with her #livenownotwhen hashtag on Instagram and it got me to thinking that I'm always putting something else before my happiness.

"I'll be happier when I can drive." "I'll be happier when I weigh 2 stone less". "I'll be happier with more money." "I'll be happier with, when, in the future... etc.." 

So this year - rather than giving myself something to 'do' to make things better, I'm going to give myself permission to be happy - and its as simple as that... short term at least.

However, as someone who has to maintain my mental health, I also know that happiness is a little more complicated long term... you have to plan your happiness and know what makes you happy - so having this word will also impact my long term decisions for self care with an intent to feel happy in the future. I'm excited about that as a lot of my approach to mental health has been about 'getting through' rather than 'being happy' and I think that mental switch is actually a huge deal in terms of my thinking... the idea that I can and am allowed to be happy... its a very big deal.

As well as choosing my word, I've also embraced my inner hippy with a tarot spread for the year. I didn't actually choose the Strength card for my year card, it jumped... and when that card jumps at you, you take it! I also love that the Unicorn card popped up for my year card too - they both support happy rather splendidly I feel, as I'm pretty sure it will take all my strength and spirit to remember to put my own hapiness first. Overall from this spread, 2017 looks intense and varied with lots of major tarot cards as well as grounding animal spirits. I'll be going into each months cards as they come along but so far January looks steady, practical and logical, which I'll also take!

So there we are, I think 2017 could be very interesting indeed having set such a positive outset intention - but what about you? Have you chosen a word for the year? Tell me about it in the comments and once again, happy new year to you all :) x

An Early Christmas Present for you

I don't usually post on weekends but as its exactly two weeks until Christmas (eeeep!), I wanted to share a gift with you all - my annual freebie calendar download!

Following on from last years format which I really loved - this years calendar features photos AND inspirational quotes about photography. I also realised that over the course of this year I've taken a lot of photos that I really, really love, so I'm excited and happy to get this chance to share them with you in a more personal way rather than just photos on a blog. 

To shake things up, this year is a mixture of photo essays (4 photos together to produce a story of the location/day) and my favourite single photos of the year. I really love how it looks and I think even if I'm the only person to print it out and hang it up - I'm totally fine with that haha. However if you do like what you see... use the download button below and enjoy!! 

As always, thank you so much for reading, for looking at my photos and for taking some of your time to spend here in my little space of the internet - I've always said I have the best readers/friends through this blog and you guys have never proved me wrong!!