The picture here entitled "heART" depicts the theme for a Year for Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque.

Add Focus With Theme

Do you choose a theme each year?

“When you are inspired…dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” – Pantanjale, the father of modern yoga

In a world where people laugh about New Year’s resolutions, or brag about breaking them early on, does the thought of being inspired surprise and delight you? When you choose a theme for your year, everything changes. Get ready for surprise, delight, inspiration and wonderful things.

Others tout themes

Dozens of gurus and websites tout the practice of a word, a phrase, a mantra or a theme for the year. It’s an opportunity to remind yourself of a value you will embrace, an action you will take, a sense of self you will use as a guideline for the 365 days ahead.

Themes do not automatically hold you to a standard of action. Your intention and commitment are required for that, but a theme makes a tremendous difference. It can capture your imagination and guide your actions.

I’ve played with themes for a number of years. I’ve used simple vision boards, collages, mixed media on canvas and other ways to keep my theme in front of me. It builds a focus for all the other activities that go into the year. A mastermind group in which I participate has discussed themes for a number of years and our experience confirms their value.

When Karen’s theme was “Roots and Wings” she alternately focused on grounding activities like classes in yoga and expansive ones such as Toastmasters. She figured out “who” she was bringing to her new career in coaching. For 2017, she chose “Expression” as her theme. She explained that her newly-released book means that she will be expressing herself more fully in the world. She said: “My theme is the joyful ‘expression’ of Spirit in everything I do.”

Theme for a Year: heART

The picture here entitled "heART" depicts the theme for a Year for Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque.

©2016, Mary Ellen Merrigan, theme for a year: “heART”

My word for 2017 is “heART”. This year is about combining my love of beads with communication. ART, the bigger part of heart, impacts everything. As the old saying goes, earth without art is just “eh.”

With heART as a foundation, I promise myself a focus on self-love as well as a general love for life. My heART Mentor mural hangs just to the right of my screen when it is in peripheral vision at all times when I’m at the computer. The colorful mixed media piece uses felted hearts as the primary focal for each 3×4 piece.

When I first created these hearts, I had no idea how I would use them. As I assembled heART, I consciously chose to focus on the 12 months of the year. (Read the months left to right in the finished display.)

Each month contains a symbol important to me or indicative of the month. For example, August, my anniversary month, contains a double heart charm. July, the month of my birth, contains a cat dangling from a beaded ring.

The July and August heart segments illustrate Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque's Theme for a Year.

©2016, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Theme for a Year-heART: July and August heart segments, in process

Each month also includes the number of French knots to signify its place on the calendar: 1 for January, 2 for February, etc. The blanket stitch which outlines every segment unifies the whole.

In early December I challenged members of our local Bead Society to choose and express their theme for a year. 

Now that 2017 is in full swing, will you set a theme?