January Heart

CELEBRATE This Week No. 226

I discovered a new artist this week, Mari Andrew. She offered a twist on heart maps, by mapping her heart each month. I decided to take the inspiration and put it into action.

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It’s been a long time since I created a new heart map and I had forgotten the energy it takes for reflection. I made my January Heart and wanted to make it again. I’m not sure why I feel this way, but I decided to keep the first version.

I hold my January heart and realize the problem.

It’s missing people.

My heart is relationships, not activity.

I’m considering another layer to my January heart, the one that includes chopping carrots while Andy creates broth for the soup this week, and Jay’s shoes slapping the snowy road next to mine for the two mile run. I wonder how I can add my friends who keep my running and writing and laughing. Where should I add the hot tea and egg my parents make me for weekday breakfast? I imagine another layer of good memories collected in the spaces between gritty healing.

I wonder how I capture my courage. I consider adding the part of  learning to wait rather than defend myself or writing the things I’m afraid to write or the part where I’m learning to be the kind of leader who multiplies other’s strengths rather than diminishes their value. Where do I add the name of my new mentor whose presence in my life feels like an extravagant gift?

I stare longer at my January Heart and realize my soul is rooting for me. In order to love others, we must first take care of ourselves. My January Heart is a reflection of caring for my soul.

I hope you take the time to celebrate this week. Maybe you’ll sketch your January Heart or take time to create soup with someone you love. Join in and share your links by clicking the blue button below.


This post is part of a weekly offering to celebrate in the middle of the muddle. I hope you join the celebration!

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Whenever it fits in your life, add your link.  Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

13 Comments »

  1. Ruth,
    I heart your heart map. I love reading about how you love chopping carrots for the soup with Andy.
    Our family loves soup. I enjoyed reading about your noticing and wondering.
    Thank you for being such a great writing mentor!

  2. It can’t be easy to get all the details on a road map, and our hearts are so much more complex. The people aren’t missing… they are right there whispering the words when you start writing from your map. Keep caring for and sharing your soul… it encourages us to do the same.

  3. I liked reading your thoughts about this, going through those little things that are the important details, but finding the “core”, the taking care of yourself first. It feels to me like it is the bedrock that holds all the rest with strength. Thanks for the sharing and the reminder! Have a wonderful weekend, Ruth!

  4. My reading this morning by Scott Walker. . .”I think I am finally understanding that ll God ever wanted me to be was just myself. This is both humbling and unfathomable good news but hard to accept. God created me to just be my best self. And when that happens, God begins to really smile.” Oh, I wish that I could put that on every heart. No need to try and be anyone else. . . every reason to celebrate who we are—each uniquely designed one of a kind. . . I think your heart is perfect! Thank you for always inspiring my writing and my soul!

  5. I love this! A monthly heartmap… what a spectacular idea. I am going to try this. And I loved your description of the other parts of your heart… the relationships, the chopping carrots.

  6. Thank you for sharing your heart map. I love the idea of a monthly heart map and think I need to give it a try in my notebook.

  7. Ruth, I love your post and the twist on using Heart Maps for a bigger chunk of reflection. I am longing to make my own later today based on a reflection of January.

  8. You wrote a wonderful self-care post today, Ruth. I have been thinking about my post but it hasn’t come to fruition yet. I hosted Poetry Friday and I am still circulating trying to read all of those posts and comment in between trying to finally organize my living room and dining room. Christmas is still up inside my house. Your January heart is ” a reflection of caring for my soul” and that is the way it should be. Hurrah for what you have you mapped out, Ruth. See you at your site soon after I have a wonderful friends get together during Restaurant Week.

  9. Just found my first heart map from our old teaching days. Loved the idea then and still now. Yes, why not make a new one–never too many heart maps!!! I’m watching the grandkids later this week and more heart maps will be made! I think the boys will want a football map, however! Thanks Ruth for the heartfelt inspiration.