Tag Archives: Heart Path Story Coaching

Embody Joy

2021 is here, and the wall calendar in my home office still reads 2020. Written in dry-erase marker are events and intents that came to an abrupt halt on March 20. No day retreats, art journaling in-person events, or word of the year in-studio workshops happened. I did not travel to training or business events and instead logged many hours with Zoom.

Steady, my word-of-the-year for 2020, became a daily mantra. Like a child learning to ride a bike, I kept my eyes in front of me and hands on the handlebars. I wobbled a bit but I didn’t fall.

I sat in my studio New Year’s Eve with a few family members preparing to ring in the new year. Much different from years past was the subdued nature of the event. No raucous activities downtown, performances to attend, crowds to get lost in. Just me, two sisters, a niece, and three small nephews cutting and gluing and pondering our intentions for 2021.

I did not reveal my word at the stroke of midnight as in years past. I share it with you now as a reminder that it is never too late to sit down and set that intention.

I knew in October that embody was my word. By December I knew it was a phrase.

Embody Joy

This is the art journal page created New Year’s Eve. It hangs in a frame in my studio to remind me of my intention for 2021. Can you find the word Joy hidden in it?

Maybe the shock of all that happened last year makes setting an intention for this one feel daunting. I look at my planner, already a week behind, and wonder the point of everything. Not an encouraging mindset for someone inviting others to more of themselves!

May I encourage you to try? Take that next gentle step forward. Just as I opened my laptop today and spent 30 minutes writing to you, however imperfectly, spend 30 minutes considering where you might want to go in your story this year. Reach out to be seen and heard with kindness and intention.

Let’s step gently into 2021 ready to embrace all of the gifts and the griefs fully, as only humans can. Let’s do it together.

Happy New Year!

Word of the Year 2020

My word came to me in October. offering two months to ponder and confirm that it was, indeed, the one.

firmly fixed, supported or balanced, not shaking or moving

regular, even, and continuous in development, frequency or intensity

Art journaling feelings around what I desire for 2020 confirmed my choice. I created two practice pages before designing the official page.

The first was arranged at the Intention Day Retreat. It holds the themes but not the word.

This page inspires me as I prepare for 2020!

The second I assembled while processing on my own.

I love the dog on this page.

2019 was my favorite year, yet. Flourish was the exact word I needed to get moving and take steps towards growth. So many good things happened, including the start of my business, Heart Path Story Coaching.

I love that in 2019 my friend, Angela, and I shared the same word! Here is her post about it! I look forward to reading about her choice for this year. We each flourished in our own way, proving that a word can be both general for many and specific to each person.

I recently took an online quiz that offered to choose a word for me based on my answers to questions. It came up with stand.

Looking at my art journal pages, I see how that fits in with the word I chose. There are a lot of standing images, including the dog!

I shared my untitled page during the final art journaling session of 2019. I loved the observations participants made for me. This is the beauty of the process. You choose and arrange images subconsciously that make sense when you and others name what is seen.

I love the polar bear. He is my favorite.

Comments such as This doesn’t seem like you. The seating feels structured and the gears appear rigid, not like the free-flowing Julie I know. But when I look closer at the pattern on the floor, I know that whoever is sitting in those seats is going to receive goodness.

The polar bear was noted. I knew he had to be on the page. Something about his presence and posture evoked the feeling of my word. Another participant said, That’s Steve!

Last year felt playful and open-ended as I set an intention to Flourish. From where I stood at the beginning, I knew that any movement would be forward. I truly felt like a plant that was emerging from the earth, poking its head out of the soil and into the sunshine before twisting and sprawling and blooming in a season of rapid growth.

2020 is calling me to be steady. To continue on a path of steady flourishing. To stand firm in what I have started and work on making progress towards specific goals. It is time to settle into more of an intentional routine.

The structured seating and clock-like gears are my reminders to stay steady and focused as is the runner on the path. Tho people stand on paddle boards, balancing, moving steadily forward. And the snail is playfully obvious.

This is a year to be steady in 2020, a phrase which only came to me after I chose the word.

Now it’s your turn to share. Please do in the comments. Happy New Year!

Three Dimes, Three Words, plus One More

Sometimes to look up, you have to look back. It is that way today. I have to look back to yesterday to understand where I am in the moment and to hold confidence in what is to come.

This is not easy.

Yesterday was hard.

As I walked through it, I found three dimes in three separate locations. If you know my story with the dimes, then you know the meaning. Short version, it is how I am reminded that God sees me and will provide for all of the needs.

So finding three separate dimes throughout the day was especially meaningful.

There were also words.

Three different voices, each wise, each with a unique perspective, spoke truth and kindness to my heart. Via text, in person, and through email, I felt seen by sisters who care.

In my pocket on the way to a conversation was a fourth dime preparing me to believe that God was with me in that space, also.

It was hard. These days there is always one more thing that feels as if it will be the one that breaks me past the point of all repair. But it didn’t and it doesn’t. I should have broken beyond repair long ago, but I am still here. Changed, but still here.

Today a voice from yesterday met me with lunch and conversation and affirmation and dreams, with hope in her eyes. She listened and heard and saw me and spoke truth.

There is freedom in being seen and loved in the middle of the mess. Of knowing it’s not all on me, in spite of what I may think or feel.

To look up over lunch carried into the studio and meet eyes that see is a sweet gift.

It is what bolsters me on to keep going and gives me the courage to engage.

Beauty from the Broken

The package arrived in my mailbox from Texas, courtesy of a friend who attended Brave Day, 2019, and knew that I would appreciate this gift. Tucked inside was a baggie filled with delicious truffles.

I was at the first Brave On event in 2017. It was a kind time of connecting with old friends, making new friends, and meeting virtual friends in person. I wrote about that weekend here. Subsequent years have not worked for me to attend, and I felt the missing of this one deeply.

Seeing a floral package filled my heart with excitement that quickly turned to apprehension when I lifted it from the mailbox, felt a shifting around in the envelope, and heard a clinking noise. Something inside was not where it was supposed to be, a broken-bone sensation, mail-style.

I tried to guess what it was.

Opening the package, I noticed bubble wrap that had shifted. Four loose pieces spilled out onto my bed followed by a bit of dust. Realizing it was the broken handle of a Brave On mug filled my heart with disappointment.

Another feeling sidled up ~ a familiar one. Hope. Possibility followed. Not wanting to give up easily, the wheels in my head began to turn.

Brush-on Gorilla Glue entered the scene. I carefully glued handle pieces together, resting them on my bathroom counter to dry. I re-attached the mended handle to the mug.

It dried nicely but didn’t look fabulous. The initial stages of repair never do. Chipped out pieces had turned to dust, unable to be salvaged. I needed a reinforcement. A covering of some sort.

Enter the beauty of technology and YouTube. A search for mug handle wrap revealed a tutorial using paracord. After a visit to Michael’s to pick some up, I watched this video to learn how to wrap the handle. I also learned to adjust YouTube videos to .25 speed to follow steps in slow motion.

I love the end result!

Friends, this is what I do. I help people take the broken parts of their story and examine them closely. Together we piece bits together, taking as much time as needed to assemble. Then we thoughtfully reimagine , recover, and reframe. The end result is a deep, unique, one-of-a-kind beauty.

Just like my new favorite mug.

Something New

Two weeks ago I walked downtown to secure a business name and apply for a license. This was a huge step, and I am grateful for the support of a friend who has been with me on this path. She took the picture at the top of this post at our celebratory coffee afterwards!

Heart Path Story Coaching is my new thing. You can check it out here.

It is in the early stages. I am taking small steps, making movement. I share quietly with you today, as I work hard behind the scenes. Good things are coming!

To keep up with what is happening, sign up on the site. There is where I will manage all items business related.

Here I will continue to write about the usual and unusual things. Mama duck, art journal pages, deep thoughts. The new space also links to here, which makes for a fun connection.

Six years ago this month I began Composting the Heart, uncertain of what was ahead but knowing that I had words to share. From that small beginning, taking refuse of the heart and mixing it with words of truth, seeds of hope began to grow leading me to this place today.

I am so grateful and invite you, my faithful readers and encouragers, to celebrate this milestone with me!