January 2021: A Note from authors Hope Katz Gibbs, Cynthia de Lorenzi, and book designer Cindy Seip — Your 2021 What’s Next Journal — If you are like us, it’s with a sigh of relief that we say Hasta La Vista, Baby to 2020! After months of living with the coronavirus pandemic, a polarizing presidential election, and homeschooling our kids, women everywhere are asking the same question, “What’s Next?” and “Where do we go from here?”
That’s where Your 2021 What’s Next Journal comes in: With our award-winning photographer and book designer Cindy Seip, we have created an aspirational, informational, educational gut check guide to help you master your world, one month at a time.
This journal is designed to inspire you to envision your future. The prompts on the pages that follow each Truly Amazing Woman of the Month encourage you to express what’s in your mind, body, spirit, soul — and especially your heart — as you make your way through 2021.
What you’ll need: Grab any and every art supply you desire that will help get your creative juices flowing — that perfect pen, paintbrushes of all sizes, markers, the 64-pack of those waxy sweet Crayolas that you loved as a kid. Then unleash your inner artist.
You’ll find inspiration here on BeInkandescent Health & Wellness magazine, which guides us through a variety of essential areas:
Mind: Each section will offer you a Writing Prompt where we invite you to scribble your heart out as you release on these pages any thought that comes to mind. Be positive when inspiration strikes, and feel free to dump out any concerns and fears flow, too. There is tremendous power in writing things down! Go to town expressing your thoughts and feelings about each Writing Prompt of the Month.
Body: Experiencing every day allows us to release stress and build strength and flexibility. From yoga to cycling, you’ll get turned on to new ways of connecting with your body.
Spirit: We’d be remiss not to include an Affirmation Prompt each month because we believe mindfulness and meditation are essential to personal growth.
Soul: We believe that creating art is your soul speaking to you in 3D. Using the Art Prompt that you’ll find in each section, go to town decorating your pages with whatever flows through your fingers. Hearts, flowers (perhaps Georgia O’Keefe is an inspiration, or doodle a daisy), a sketch of your kid or cat, or the view outside your favorite room. Use those art supplies to unleash your pure imagination.
Heart: Last but never least, each month, we also offer a recipe by a professional chef who shares her favorite dish. This Heart-Opener — a Love Prompt, if you will — is to remind you that the key to true happiness is loving yourself and wholeheartedly loving others, come what may. What better way to do that than through preparing, and sharing, a meal with others?
Clean, Cleanse, Release. Repeat
While people from around the world are eager to close the door on the past and begin anew — with a collective sigh of relief — we find it most useful to clean house, so to speak, before ushering in What’s Next. To that end, we suggest you perform a Cleansing Ceremony. Please invite your friends (virtually or in a small gathering outside), family members, or celebrate it all by yourself.
Here are some of our favorite ways to let go, with a little help from ancient traditions:
Smudge: Buy a bundle of beautiful sage (available for less than $10 at natural grocery stores or online), light it on fire, and travel around every inch of your house, letting its earthy scent burn off the negative energy that needs to go. A common practice in feng shui, as well as Native American and Eastern traditions, smudging makes room for the positive vibes you will ring in on January 1. Cynthia and Hope practice this ancient ceremony regularly. Hope shares: “If the scent of sage is too strong, a few sticks of your favorite incense work, too. Tie them with a red string, which represents strength and power, and smudge away.” Cynthia’s tip: “Leave a bay leaf in the corner of each room to invite abundance in.”
Pick a mantra: A word or sound repeated aids in concentration, especially in mediation, believe practitioners of Hinduism and Buddhism. They have practiced this contemplative version of the song for thousands of years. A similar ritual is practiced by yogis, who for millennia have believed that repeating a simple phrase has the power to interrupt negativity and invite change. The reason: “Sounds are vibrations that create specific states of being,” writes Sandra Ducey in her book, Malas, Mantras, and Meditation. She explains that repeating words can help to heal us. In Kundalini yoga, mantras (and mudras — how we hold our fingers during meditation) are chanted during class to enhance the practice’s power. Om Shanti Om, for instance, is a mantra said to bring peace. Om (a sacred word also recognized as a sacred sound) purifies the mind and soul; Shanti is the Sanskrit word for peace.
Write, burn, release: One of our favorite things to do when we are full-throttle determined to let go of something that once served us — but now needs to leave — is to write down on a piece of paper all of the things that are bugging us.
- Write: Get out that legal pad and put down on paper all of the perceived negatives you experienced in the past year. Everything. Just pour it out on the page. Then, please take a look at your list and add to it until you are sure you’ve got it down there.
- Burn: Ceremoniously roll it into a ball with all the passion you can muster, and toss it into a fireplace, outside grill, or a burn-resistant metal can. And let that baby burn.
- Release: As you do, perhaps with a glass of your favorite wine in hand, sit back, relax, and watch all that negative energy evaporate up in smoke. Nice!
Please scroll down to check out the Table of Contents and learn about What’s Next from our network of Truly Amazing Women!
We look forward to going on your 2021 Journey with you: We invite you to connect with us through our magazine and teaching portal at www.InkandescentWomen.com. Cheers to a year filled with exploration and growth as you make your way through 2021 with us. — Hope, Cynthia, and Cindy #Inkandescent™ Publishing Co.
Table of Contents: Your 2021 What’s Next Journal
December 2020 — The Art of Saying Goodbye: Intro by Cynthia and Hope: See Ya 2020!
January 2021 — Happy New Year: To Your Good Health: Dr. Caryn Iverson: What’s Next in the Pandemic?
February 2021 — Spread the Love: What do you want for yourself? Lovern Gordon, creator of the Love Life Now Foundation: What’s Next in Self-Love
March 2021 —Women’s History Month: NASA’s Linda Cureton: What’s Next for Women Around the World?
April 2021 — Tax Time: The perfect time to make peace with money: Rita Cheng, CFP®: What’s Next in Finance for Women?
May 2021 —Mental Health Month: Dr. Gayani DeSilva, a child psychiatrist and author: What’s Next for Kids?
June 2021 —National Safety Month: Cyber-security expert Alexa Raad: What’s Next in National Security?
July 2021 — To Your Independence: Girls for a Change director Angela Patton prepares black girls for the world — and the world for black girls
August 2021 — National Family Fun Month: Reality TV Celeb Brianna Ruelas: Who Doesn’t Want to be the Next Rock Star?
September 2021 — National Self-Care Awareness Month: Professional Soccer Player Johanna Lohman: What’s Next in Beauty
October 2021 — Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Filmmaker Tracy Schott, “Finding Jenn’s Voice:” What’s Next for the Awareness Movement
November 2021 — Laughing Your Way to Gratitude: Kelly McDermott: To Hell with What’s Next — What’s New?
December 2021 — Wishing you a Glittering New Year: Fashion designer Laura Lee: What’s Next for Looking Fabulous?
January 2022 — Here Comes the Sun 2022: Looking forward: Outro by Hope and Cynthia