creativity planning & productivity

Planning for a productive 2017

December 27, 2016

planning productive 2017

2016 and the Six of Swords

Like many people, I’m reflecting on 2016 and planning for a more productive year in 2017.

This year has not been the easiest of years. It’s been something of a threshold year, a year of transition as the Six of Swords has continued to pop its head up to remind me. There’s been a series of shocks, wake up calls and disappointments. There’s also been some very proud moments and shining lights pointing the way ahead. And recent times have been full of quiet intuitive work that is laying deep foundations for a different future.

The Six of Swords image of traversing water with a whole bunch of cargo in tow speaks volumes. As Monicka Clio Sakki explains in Playing with Symbols:

The Six of Swords can also mean that you will go through a period of evaluating your past, putting aside any stress, anger, resentment and pain you may have experienced. You will come to realize that because of those painful experiences you can now advance. Gather what is most important to you, and make the choice to flow into the passage that is now in front of you. The wind is in your favour, and original thinking will take you far.

six of swords

A different future

The phrase ‘a different future’ keeps coming to mind suggesting that I need to make change to get the outcomes I am seeking. For too long, I keep doing the same thing and expecting that things will change. It’s clear that the work needs to start from deep within. Another card that keeps stopping by is the beautiful Sacred Pool from The Enchanted Map deck. It seems to often arrive reversed, in what Colette Baron-Reid calls ‘the protection position’, reminding me:

Dimming your light serves no one. Turning away from the truth that is reflected in the stillness of the Sacred Pool keeps you in denial, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

sacred pool

There’s no denying there’s been a sameness to my goals year after year for a while now. However 2016 has been a year of finally breaking through and beginning the crossing that is taking me to a different place. This heralds an exciting year in 2017 where real change takes place and that original thinking bears fruit.

Planning for a productive 2017

I’ve been preparing for a while now but the next period into early January offer a perfect opportunity to reflect on 2016 and to plan for 2017. Mercury Retrograde currently also favours this period of reflection. I’m keen to learn from the past to create this different future, gathering together the critical pieces to take forward. The spirit of Quiet Writing and its various aspects of writing, introvert strengths, process, connection and intuition is the heartbeat of the future. It is the summary of my passions and Core Desired Feelings I wish to share from my corner of the world to yours:

creative, intuitive, flowing, poetic and connected

My ways of planning a productive 2017 will focus on 4 key interlinked tools and strategies:

1 Reflecting on 2016 learnings and mapping the landscape for 2017

There’s great power in reviewing the learnings from the past and working out what to take forward. We can easily forget some key happenings and focus on the negatives. We need to step back and look at what we have learnt over the experience of the whole year, not just more recent events. Taking a special day or a few hours to dive deep, reflect and consider future plans is exceptionally valuable as we transit the line between years.

I highly recommend Unravel your Year 2017, a free annual workbook, developed by Susannah Conway that guides you through reflections on 2016 and planning for 2017. This will be my fourth year of working through this process. So it will be great to see where I have made progress and where I am setting the same goals over time and not getting anywhere (cf above Sacred Pool). Time for some breakthroughs this year I believe.

planning

2 Setting a Word for the Year

There’s also positive and quite enigmatic energy to be drawn from setting a ‘Word for the Year’. Again, this will be my fourth year in finding a word that acts as an intention for the year’s focus. This year’s word was WRITE and here I am writing now and focusing on writing, my life’s passion, as a central tenet of the way forward.

I’m still reflecting on my word for 2017 though I have an inkling of what it might be – more on that and reflections of my previous words’ impacts in a future post. Finding a guiding word for 2017 is covered in part in the above workbook. I also recommend Find Your Word for 2017 – also developed by Susannah Conway – as a way to work through this. It comes via a free 5 day email class you can do at your own pace with excellent resources. There’s also a private Facebook group where you can connect with others working through their word-finding processes. There’s fabulous energy engaging with others on their word journeys.

3 Seeking a Goddess to guide you in 2017

Having a goddess to guide you through the year is also a powerful experience. Amy Palko is offering 2017 My Word Goddess Readings for the 6th year running. This is the second year I’ve chosen to work intuitively with an accompanying goddess. My first year has been full of insights and connections to word of the year and overall planning around theme and intention.

Amy creates the goddess readings through a special intuitive reading also helping to choose possible words as a touchstone for the year.  The goddess guiding me in 2016 has been the Lady of Beasts with a focus on what I want to nurture in my life. Creativity, writing, introvert strengths – these have all risen to the fore as productive areas to invest time and energy. This is all in line with my word of the year and plans.

My guiding goddess for 2017 is Pele – Goddess of Irrepressible Passion and Hawaiian volcano goddess of fire, so watch out! I’ll be looking for a bit more fire, energy and action in 2017 and my word of the year and plans will reflect this. I’ll be excited to dive into this exploration and reflection in more detail in the coming days. Amy’s goddess readings are available until January 31st (Cost 25 GBP) at the above link.

4 Intuitive Tarot and Oracle work

And there will definitely be some intuitive tarot and oracle work over the next days to usher in the new year as positively and wisely as possible! The Ace of Wands has been making striking appearances already, echoing that sense of beginnings, initiation, ignition and creation.

The next posts will feature reflections on 2016, plans for 2017, my word of the year and goddess and oracle/tarot work as it unfolds and how it all fits together into an exciting and productive year ahead for Quiet Writing. And of course there’s a year-long journey of opportunity ahead to weave word, spirit and intention together.

Would love to hear about any special ways you are reflecting on 2016 and planning for 2017 or any plans you already have underway! Do share your thoughts in the comments.

Thought pieces

The labyrinth symbol: I was drawn to this labyrinth symbol, chosen at random from a page of planning images. I’ve always loved a labyrinth symbol but it was great to cross check to find that it is the perfect image for this planning journey:

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. It represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. (from Crystallinks.com)

This spiralling into our centre and then channelling this light forward into our work in the world in new ways is the essence of planning. I like that it is ‘a meandering and purposeful path’ not necessarily a straight line.

Labyrinth photo via rzwo via Visual Hunt

start up

 

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