Looking back at 2021: Reflections on Sovereignty

Sovereignty. That was my word for 2021. And what a ride it has been!

I started the year with a sovereignty list. A list of ideas that I had bought into that didn’t really hold true for me anymore. And as usually happens, as the year progressed, I lost sight of that list.

But it didn’t lose sight of me.

I pulled the list out while doing my year end Visioning, and to my surprise, I had achieved almost everything on that list, plus some more!

Sovereignty helped me untangle long-standing issues with worthiness, with being good enough, with truly loving and trusting myself. These are things I had been struggling with since decades, and finally, I’ve laid these thoughts to rest.

Sovereignty helped me focus on what I enjoy rather than giving weight to the opinion of others.

Something as simple as deciding what surface to paint on. There are those who claim that painting on canvas is more “professional” than painting on paper. {Really, where do people get these ideas from?!} And I let those comments disrupt my peace of mind and my love for painting on paper. This year, Sovereignty helped me to listen to my heart, to question and counter others opinions, and to do what I love. The best part? I sold a few of these “unprofessional” paintings on paper, too!

Sovereignty helped me create a container for my writing — a space where I can give free reign to my philosophical, deep thinking bent of mind. A new website that goes against all the blogging/business advice. There’s not much consistency on posting. I’m not spreading myself thin on social media. I don’t even care about page views, SEO, or monetization.

I started that website as a way to flex my writing and thinking muscles, a place where I can question conventional wisdom, work through disruptive ideas, and explore philosophy, mythology, psychology, and more. And with the hope that it would serve as a way-finder and wisdom container for my niece. She’s just 2 years old as I write this, but I imagine her as a young woman, reading those words when she needs them most, long after I am part of the stardust around her.

Sovereignty helped me step away from toxic productivity and embrace leisure.

There’s so much that I can say about this, but for now, I’m just sharing some of my thoughts on hustle culture and the creator economy, and on leisure.

A year-end wrap-up wouldn’t be complete without a mention of some of my goals and projects.

My year in books

I read 71 books this year! I think by the time 31 December rolls around, that may well become 72 or 73 books. I also read a lot more non-fiction this year, which was surprising, because I’ve never been particularly fond of the genre. I guess that’s a change in reading habits, and one I admit that was unexpected and is also welcome!

It’s been a couple of years since I have read so much, and I’m thrilled! It’s the combination of working from home and devoting more time leisure that has helped me to read as much as I did this year.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Book Bingo this year — the monthly emails and interacting with readers, and all the excellent book recommendations I got from the folks taking part in the challenge. So of course I’ve set up a new set of Book Bingo prompts, and made some more tweaks to how the challenge is run. If you’d like to read more this year, why not join in on the fun?

My year in paintings

I had two big art goals this year.

The first was my 100 day project — 100 days of soul-fueled abstracts.

It’s taken me almost the entire year to complete the project, but I have no complaints! I have just two more postcards to finish, which I know will get done this weekend. I still have quite a few of them to share on Instagram, though! You can take a look at all of them by following the hashtag — #100daysofsoulfueledabstracts

I also did my new and full moon paintings + some paintings on canvas board, wood, and in my art journals. All told, I ended the year with 150 paintings. Pretty cool, right?

My second big goal was to make a junk journal inspired written journal. I made 3 of them in different styles and sizes, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with them!

There are a lot more lessons, big and small, that Sovereignty brought my way. And for all of them, I am immensely grateful. But now, our journey is coming to a close. It is time for me to embrace the pause as I discern the word that will guide me through 2022.

Need some help choosing a word of the year, or with making some delicious plans and goals and dreams for 209? I’ve got you covered! Just click here to download the Visioning workbook for 2022!

Before you go, tell me what was the one thing you were grateful for this year?

Posted in Year-end wrap-up.

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


    • Thank you, Lisa! I find that my word tends to take on a life of its own during the year! I’m really looking forward to being more intentional with my word than I usually am next year.

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