January: International “Change Your Stars” month & “Rising Star” Month

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*Today I thought we would take a trip along the borders of “new age” and hippiedom. Well, not really. The concepts I’m covering today are things we think about, even if we tend to be more of a realist, than a dreamer. These two subjects invite us to put more positive, motivational and inspirational thought and action in our lives on a daily basis.

International “Change Your Stars” Month:

While researching this “International “Change your stars” month, I came across a website changeyourstars.com that has an International “Change your stars” page. I found it interesting that the website was actually inspired by the movie “A Knight’s Tale” with Heath Ledger. I’m sure many of you, like me, have seen and have enjoyed this movie. If you haven’t I highly recommend viewing this movie, it’s very entertaining, throwing some rock music in with the tale that takes place in medieval europe. I feel I should add a brief description of the movie for those who haven’t seen it. I have lifted this description straight from the website:

If you’re not familiar with the story,
it’s about a poor thatcher’s son who sees a parade of knights
riding proudly through the city square and, while being propped up on a stock by his father, confidently says, “Someday … I’ll be a knight.”  A man locked up in the stocks below him overhears the boy and laughs, “A thatcher’s son?  A knight?  You might as well try to change the stars!” (more laughter)  The young William asks his father, “Can it be done, father?  Can a man change the stars?”  His father calmly replies, “Yes, William.  If he believes enough, a man can do anything.”  Young William becomes a squire to a knight and, through a twist of fate, gets his chance to prove he, himself, is worthy of knighthood.  Years later he returns home, finds his father, and affirms he has, indeed, changed his stars.


This site is for YOU!
If you believe enough,
you, too, can change the stars … YOUR stars!

The whole premise of the movie, and the observance of “change your stars” month, is that even if you weren’t born into privilege with the best of situations in your life, you don’t have to just accept it and live your life as dictated by your circumstances. As it was in the medieval times, whatever your surname, was what you did for a living i.e. Thatcher, and . . . you were not allowed to change your status in society, you were stuck in an underprivileged life.

Instead, the reality is that you can change your path in life, you aren’t stuck if you don’t want to be. It takes hard work, time and effort, and it’s not always easy (that’s why it’s often called “following your dreams” because it can seem impossible, and it’s so easy to give way to what you already know your life to be.)

Changing the stars: Your life is not permanently set like the location of the stars, therefore it’s not impossible to change (unlike the stars). You can change your path or destiny, and therefore, change your stars – change your life.

It doesn’t hurt to have a dream and to try and follow it, although it takes continual input of positive, motivational and inspiring information. That’s why it’s so easy for us to give up. To get that inspiration and motivation you need to gear up for your year of changing your stars go here, and find something to give you strength every day of the month for January, get the ammunition you need to go about changing your stars.

“Rising Star” Month:

So we talked about changing our stars and creating a new path for our lives, but how do we go about it.

Well “Rising Star” Month is all about urging people to reach for the stars by designing a personal life plan. It takes place in January because that is the month that people normally review the past year and design, revise or re-design their life plan for the current year.

We are to take stock of and celebrate our past success and look forward to another year of success. The first year we celebrate the month (January) by developing a plan that considers family, friendships, work faith, education health, sports and entertainment. Then every subsequent year we are to evaluate, modify and institute a revised plan. So, therefore every January people “reach for the stars” as they develop or revise their life plans. If we follow this process we will be making the changes that will have long lasting effects in our lives, and avoid becoming stagnant in our goals. We must alway be moving forward.

I thought I better add some information about life plans and how to go about making one. I came across lifeoptimizer.org which gives good tips on how to make your own life plan. It gets you started by asking two questions: What is my destination?  How will I get there? It may be worth your time to click on the link and read through the steps so that you can ensure that your stars are not only being reached for, but changed as well!

One other thing I thought might be worth mentioning: Vision Boards

This where you paste pictures, drawings, and even sayings that convey your dreams and goals in a powerful visual way. And you put the board in a place where you will see it throughout the day. This will insure that your goals and dreams will constantly be in your mind’s eye, not out of sight  – out of mind.

Another version of this is the vision journal. Instead of using a poster board you use a notebook to keep your images and writings one place. The book should be placed on your desk, night stand, coffee table or even in your purse (if you make a small purse sized one. I did this for a while for writing down ideas when they actually struck me, because many times I would forget the exact thought and only had fragments. I jotted down a sketch or whatever of these thoughts as they came.) Needless to say, you need to place it where it will command your attention and invite you to look through it often. You should be adding things almost daily if not weekly to your journal.

I found a good website (click here) by Christine Kane that has good ideas on how to go about making your own vision board or journal.

Feeling inspired? I am!

Go ahead and reach for the stars!


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3 responses »

  1. Congrats to whom ever wrote this beautiful piece! Very inspiring, funny I was thinking along these same lines at work today. I work with some rather negative people. They always seem to have too many aches and pains and worry about getting sick. It’s like who can out-do the other on what painful injury they had or have….Not exactly the most uplifting conversation. I always say “Good Morning” to everyone.Since I have been there,I don’t get…”What’s good about it”, anymore! I like my job, and I am very grateful to have one.
    So I say, let’s all jump on this wagon and have a fabulous year, followed by many more…….We can change the stars!

  2. I’m not sure how to send you an artcile, about making a “self portrait” of yourself for the new year. It’s along the lines of your most recent blog. I’ll copy and paste it in this comment box. So you can look at it and see if it might be something “you and yours” would like to do. If not, just delete. No prob.

    This is from an article, in the newsletter, for the magazine: Cloth Paper Scissors.

    Assess Yourself in a Self-Portrait
    I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to take stock this time of year.
    Who am I? Where am I going? Am I on the right path? What do I want to do more of in the coming months, and what should I let go of to make room for that?

    My self-portrait assemblage reflects my love
    of vintage objects, fibers, and writing. I’m also
    partial to the blue-red-cream color scheme.

    I usually do this self-assessment on a legal pad or in a journal. But I’ve been thinking that this exercise could easily serve as a prompt for a self-portrait.

    Rendering a self-assessment as a physical piece of art (rather than a list on a page) would also make it easier to remember and be inspired by my appraisal.

    This piece of art can take any form you want: collage, assemblage, book, art doll, art journal, or a combination.

    A self-portrait needn’t be a literal rendering of your features as I explained in my first book, Mixed-Media Self-Portraits: Inspiration and Techniques.

    Begin with your self-assessment. Jot down words or doodle pictures that describe you right now, your characteristics (funny, colorful, pensive), functions (artist, engineer, domestic diva, etc.), tasks and activities (cooking, running, sketching, driving), and so on.

    Make another list or doodle of anything you’d like to have more of in your life (color, quiet time, art sales, etc.).

    Collect visual representations. Look at your lists/doodles and start collecting things that represent who you are, what you do, and/or what you’d like to strive for. For “artist” you might grab a paintbrush or crayon; “mother” might make you reach for hearts or a nest.

    If you’re looking for more energy in your life, you might search for some orange fabric. If you want to write more, pick up a fancy pen or some text from a book. Quiet or alone time could be represented by a shell.

    You can cut pictures from a magazine, cull found objects from around your house or studio, draw pictures yourself, or combine these visual representations. Either way, don’t spend a lot of time choosing any one thing: let your instincts guide you.

    Note: You may want to do this exercise separately for each part of your life, such as one self-assessment/self-portrait for your art life and another for your personal life.

    Create your self-portrait. Take a look at what you’ve gathered. First, ask yourself which objects and images most represent you and the life you lead—or would like to lead. What really speaks to you? Edit your assembled stash, if necessary.

    Next ask yourself if the materials lend themselves more to collage, assemblage sculpture, or mixed-media assemblage. Maybe you would like to combine words with art, and an art journal or book would be a better choice.

    This self-portrait is for you, so choose whatever you would enjoy doing most. Collect your art supplies and start putting your self-portrait together.

    When you’re done, hang it on the wall or set it on a conspicuous shelf for everyday inspiration and self-awareness. And don’t hesitate to change it or add to it as the weeks go by. You and your art are not static!

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