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Reflections on my Word of the Year 2022 - "Listen"

I have chosen a word of the year for the last two years, and both years the word chosen has been incredibly helpful and insightful:



2021 - Forge


Forge /fɔːdʒ/

verb


1. To move forward in a determined way although progress is difficult

2. Create something strong, enduring or successful

3. Make or shape (a metal object) by heating it in a fire and hammering it



In January 2021 I chose the word "Forge" (read my reflections on it here) as I knew it was bound to be a tough year to endure - peak-pandemic, a terrible-two's-toddler and rapidly shrinking time to work on my business. So I knew it would be tricky - little did I know that only a few months later my marriage and relationship of almost 20 years would break down in quite a spectacular manner. These events have naturally had a significant impact on my life since. But by the end of the year however, things were looking up and some balance was being restored. I had successfully forged my way through a gruelling year!





2022 - Listen


Listen /ˈlɪsn/

verb


1. To pay attention to someone or something that you can hear

2. To take notice of what someone says to you so that you follow their advice or believe them



So in 2022 I chose the word "Listen" (read more here). I pledged to listen to my body and my own needs, honouring rest when I needed it and to trust in my intuition. I wanted to spend more time in nature and allow it to be a place of solace and rejuvenation.

The year started off well, but mid-way hit a pretty serious bump in the road and my life turned upside down yet again. But returning to my chosen word provided unexpected comfort. It became a much needed reminder to refocus at multiple times throughout this year, to believe in myself and listen to what my body was telling me.

I have come a very long way this year, both personally and professionally, and I have become much more skilled at listening to my mind and my body in that time, which benefits all areas of my life and business.



Photo credit: Suzanne Johnson Photography



Burnout


As the rawness and intensity of my life situation somewhat settled around autumn-time, to my delight I was able to return to focussing more intently on my business which had had to take the back seat while I kept my head above water in my private life. It was the run up to the busiest time of year and I hit the ground running. It was a joy to be able to spend time on my business and to find intention and joy in it again. But I must admit I worked so hard, for every hour that was available (the run up to the festive season is inherently very time pressured) and I was running myself into the ground.


I may have been listening to my body towards the end of the year, but I wasn't heeding it. Telling myself 'next week I'll take a day off', but inevitably something else would crop up - another work commitment, another winter bug... And I consciously chose to burn through. Time was of the essence in the last quarter and I wanted - needed - to make the most of the peak season in the run up to Christmas. It was amazing to be able to see the fruits of my labours, and I don't regret doing it, but of course there is always a payback from this kind of mental and physical exertion.




Lessons learnt


I've learnt a great deal this year. And that makes me happy! I love learning new things and developing my skills. And even the things that I know I've not been so successful at - I was far from perfect scheduling downtime into my weeks, and I can always improve on my time management and various other things, but these are all lessons learnt which I will take into this new year. In 2022 I learnt the incredibly valuable skill of self-compassion and kindness. Once I became aware of it, I was shocked at how I spoke to myself and I've got so much better at showing myself grace and learning and encouraging rather than berating. It seems a simple shift but the difference it has made to my wellbeing and growth is astronomical.




Successes


Despite everything this year has chucked at me, I've made some achievements I'm really proud of.


I had my most successful launch ever in the Spring, with the Birch Collection. It was a nerve-wracking release as it was such an incredibly personal collection - the Birch tree symbolises new beginnings. For me this represented navigating the end of an era and the subsequent divorce, but it can also be for more positive milestones too, such as new motherhood, marriage, or moving somewhere new. You can read more about the meanings behind the Birch collection here and view the collection on Etsy here.


I've worked really hard with my Gallery stockist this year, they're a fabulous team at Beside The Wave Gallery in Falmouth. Between us we've spent a lot of time discovering what their customers really like and it has really paid off.

As a result, my turnover has doubled this year - which is incredible and I've had some fabulous feedback from lots of lovely new customers. It's a beautiful setting there and I'm very grateful to the team's hard work - and for their discerning customers! Well worth a visit if ever you're in the area.


I've worked with the lovely Cornish jewellery supplier Kernowcraft in the past, writing a tutorial for my Eco-Silver Pebble earrings (here), and they kindly invited me to record a mini-series of video tutorials - two of which have been published so far with the final instalment to be completed very soon!

- see how I make Labradorite & Silver cluster earrings here

- see how I make a beautiful Turundu Garnet and gold-filled bracelet here - this design was also featured in the top customer designs of 2022


Keep your eyes peeled on my social media and newsletter for when the final video is ready, it will be a silver necklace featuring a beautiful Lapis Lazuli briolette and handmade clasp.


There were lots more wins in 2022 but these were my firm favourites.





Looking forward


It's certainly been a(nother) rollercoaster of a year, but with challenge comes growth and I can honestly say I've grown more this year than I ever have. More indeed than I ever thought possible!


I've delved deep into me, my business, and what my reasons are for doing what I do.


I certainly don't have all the answers - far from it - in fact, I think once that process has started, it becomes a lifelong quest, as opposed to something with a finite beginning and finish.


I hope that your year ended with reflection and compassion. A sense of building towards the future; growing and learning, without judgement or need to be a newer, better, version of yourself.


Because my darling, you are good enough just as you are ❤️



Here's to 2023!




Photo credit: Suzanne Johnson Photography

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