My Word of the Year for 2015 – and an Invitation Extended


Cross the Threshold ©2012 Bo Mackison

The invitation . . .

. . . the invitation to cross the threshold,  to listen to one’s intuition and wisdom.

Water Lilies and Reflection

Reflection of Skies in the Midst of Water Lilies ©2014 Bo Mackison

. . . the invitation to encourage those thoughts, feelings, and emotions, buried in the depths, to rise to the surface.

Open Way

The Open Passage ©2014 Bo Mackison

. . . the invitation to be open to, and accepting of, that which strengthens.

Debi's Tree

Fog and Sunlight © 2013 Bo Mackison

. . . the invitation to listen to that which offers hope.

Sumac Flags Flying

Sumac in Autumn – Nature’s Prayer Flags ©2013 Bo Mackison

. . . the invitation to embrace and embody love and respect.

Choosing my Word for the Year using Desert Wisdom Cards — Part I

Desert Wisdom Cards Set III

Desert Wisdom Cards © 2014 Bo Mackison

Every year for the last six years i have chosen a word for the coming year – a word to guide me, inspire me, encourage me.

In choosing a word for the coming year, I first looked up my words I’ve chosen the last six years – Show Up, Balance, Possibilities, Weaving, Soul-centered, and Wisdom. Some of those words played more significant roles than others, especially the words WEAVING from 2012 and WISDOM from this year, but I always place each year’s word in a prominent place on my desk.

To pick a word for 2015, I pulled three of my Desert Wisdom Cards to help guide me. The cards pulled at random were:


Visibility – A Desert Wisdom Card © 2014 Bo Mackison


  • This is a word I have struggled with much of my life. I see that I used a similar word, SHOW UP, in 2009. I have made progress in this area – from doing art to claiming my role as artist, from creating art in the privacy of my studio to doing nationally juried art fairs and festivals, from making personal books to creating a series of Desert Wisdom Cards, and offering three different sets for sale while also creating and giving workshops based on them.
  • None of this was done without struggle, and there were times when I hunkered down and didn’t show my face for weeks (or even months) at a time. But I have made discernible progress in the process of becoming more VISIBLE, in SHOWING UP.
  • Since it is still something I do with difficulty and much encouraging self talk, it is well worth considering that my word for the coming year would advance my goal of being VISIBLE.



Clarity – A Desert Wisdom Card © 2014 Bo Mackison


  • Lucid, clear in thought, focused. Only in extra-ordinary moments do I capture the clarity I seek – the flow of my creative vision, the words coming together to state my full intentions, the awareness of my place in a tiny part of my world.
  • I tend to wander, find my bearings by examining lots of alternatives, so zeroing in on one clear goal has always been a challenge, improbable and infrequent.
  • Yet, I wish for clarity in vision and I can create small practices towards that goal.



Delight – A Desert Wisdom Card © 2014 Bo Mackison


  • Of all the cards in the Desert Wisdom Card Set, DELIGHT is one of two cards that make me cringe when I pull it as my card for the day. (The other card that throws me is BEAUTY!)
  • Given that response, a response which I choose to notice, how might I infuse the coming year with more instances that provoke/encourage DELIGHT?
  • DELIGHT is a spontaneous feeling. When I look at the past year, I experienced DELIGHT, especially when stunned by stark natural beauty or  greatly amused by the antics of my one year old granddaughter or my best dog, Gracie.
  • Hard to plan for DELIGHT, but easily noticed when it bubbles to the surface. Perhaps I need to hold the intention, then, to be more aware of DELIGHT in my daily life.

Taking all of this into consideration, my practices for 2015 will include furthering my personal work of showing up and being visible, adding small steps to gain clarity and focus, and paying attention to that which provokes delight in my life.

In Part II, I’ll examine choosing my word of the year in terms of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and trans-personal aspects.

And I’ll choose my word for the year.

Do you choose a word for the year? Share your process and/or your word in the comments, if so inspired.




Weaving and Words


Weavings © 2010 Bo Mackison

A popular ritual for welcoming in the New Year- at least in many of the blogging circles that I follow – is to choose a word for the year. This is a word that serves as a focus for the next twelve months, and seems more doable than a slew of New Year’s Resolutions that are forgotten by Leap Day.

Christine Painter in her blog  Abbey of the Arts discusses the choice of a word in depth and asks these two questions.

  • What is your word for the year that contains within it a seed of invitation to cross a new threshold?
  • What word shimmers before you, inviting you to dwell with it until it ripens fully inside of you?

Even though we are a week into 2012, I wanted to post both her questions and my response, first to share, and second, so I have a place where it is safely documented.

Hanging Weavings

Hanging Weavings © 2010 Bo Mackison

My word for 2012 is WEAVING.

When I was choosing a word, I had several ideas. I journaled about the different words, and I found weaving deep with meaning. Since I wrote in concepts and phrases, here’s the journal entry itself instead of trying to sweep that pile of thoughts and words into cohesive paragraphs:

  • Weaving – take the good, the boring, the sad and the happy, the challenges and the gifts — take all and weave them together. And then I end up with a life like an intricate tapestry.
  • Is weaving connected to creativity, to photography? Do I weave a photograph. Like that idea. I take a photo, but the photograph isn’t any photo, it is one where I have added myself to it, I weave myself into all of my photographs, I am a part.
  • Weaving is action. Not sitting while doing nothing. Continued, purposeful action. Sweep the shuttle, pull the beater, tighten the weave, change the treadles, sweep the shuttle, pull the beater, tighten the weave. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. A routine, a rhythm. Living my life with some routine, a rhythm would help pace my days. And calming, the repetition is calming. Add calming activities to my life.
  • But weaving isn’t boring–the pattern is always changing. And life, like weaving, is always changing.
  • Weave fabric. Make something beautiful, functional. And woven fabric is stable, it does not easily get distorted like a knitted or crocheted piece. Make something beautiful and useful from my life. Colorful, artistic, creative. A tapestry?
  • Weaving creates that tapestry. Putting things together, stringing days together, but just one thread at a time, one step at a time. The goal is a finished piece, but mistakes are okay. In all that weaving, but almost impossible to find a misplaced thread. Make a mistake, repair it if you can, make amends if need be, and then keep on going.
  • Weave with ideas. Put ideas together. Weaving is slow. Slow down, give thoughts time enough to turn into workable plans. Might be slow, but you can see the progress if you keep weaving, even doing it slowly.
  • Weaving — a comfort, in the cold or harsh winds, easy to wrap a woven shawl around me for comfort and warmth.
  • Weaving on my path — this kind of journey weaving is never walked on a straight, smooth sidewalk. It requires a weaving in and out, amidst obstacles, with/around people.

WEAVING — a word that will accompany me through this year.