12 Things (I hope) I learned in 2013

Sifting the Dust by Marjorie Rose

1. Addictions are bad, but mine to books has brought some heart changing stories into my life. TOP of the list? The highly acclaimed, heartbreaking, funny, beautiful Sifting the Dust by Marjorie Rose. The paperback is now available here.
Lesson: I’m keeping this addiction, I don’t care what you think.

2. In 2013, anything that I accomplished that was worth anything was due to the kindness of others.
Lesson: Being kind is probably the only thing that really matters.

3. When I wrote 5 Reasons Why I Should Never Have Become an Artist, it became my most popular post in 2013. Apparently a lot of people agreed with me.
Lesson: You just never know, so really, don’t try to.

4. I found and lost A Very Big Fear that I didn’t even know I had. Who knew that recording myself on video would be such a game changer?
Lesson: Self-acceptance. You’re never too old to learn it.

5. We lost our beloved little dog Lucy this year in a car accident. But we rescued a gorgeous dog, which we named ‘River,’ from a life of wandering the streets and eating out of bins. You could say that River the Dog wandered right into our hearts. (She still tries to eat out of bins).
Lesson: Losing something precious is terribly painful. But it can open the door to letting in something beautiful.

6. My daughter Mary and I woke up one morning to find ourselves in the middle of a rain-forest at the edge of a fast-flowing stream. And then there were the giant butterflies. Sculptured rice fields. Thundering waterfalls. Massive volcanoes. Lovely offerings. Very Kind People. Bali. It’s just a few hours away, and I’ve travelled the world but I’d never been there before.
Lesson: Never underestimate your own backyard.

7. Gratitude is a one-size-fits-all response to everything.
Lesson: My mother was right.

8. You know that thing where you start the year off by choosing ‘a word for the year’ that’s meant to guide, inspire and steer for 365 days?  Well I didn’t choose one last year. Instead, a word chose me. Not straight away, it took it’s time – first fluttering around my friendships, then working it’s magic around my workshops, only to plonk itself in my paintings, and finally landing in my heart. The word? JOY.
Lesson: I’m starting earlier this year.

9. In 2013 I sometimes I worked 18 hour days, for days at a time. I can’t tell you how excruciating that was for someone whose favourite pastime is lying in bed under a doona with a good book and/or a bowl of noodles.
Lesson: Doing nothing is vastly undervalued. I plan some 18 hour days of doing you-know-what.

10. I noticed I’m getting better at the Big Things. Like (drumroll…) ‘Facing my Fears’ and ‘Embracing Uncertainty’. But I’m still flummoxed by the little things. Like bits of paper on my desk. Or finding my glasses. Or putting my pants on. These often take more time and energy than I care to admit.
Lesson: Take delight in The Little Things while you can still do them.

11. Everything, EVERYTHING I do starts off seemingly impossible in my head. And then, it’s done.
Lesson: Best not to pay too much attention to what goes on in my head.

12. Despite my constant assertion to my husband Gregory that “I am always right”, NOTHING turns out quite the way I expect it to. Fortunately, it usually turns out far better. That kind of sums up 2013.
Lesson: Apparently I’m NOT always right. (Gregory, I hope you’re not reading this)

May 2014 be one of Good Addictions, Incredible Kindness, More Time With Your Mother, Hours of Doing Nothing, And Many MANY little and Beautiful Things.

Here are some of my moments from 2013, photographed by Mary Parker Photography or me. Happy New Year everyone!

Bali

Bali  

Munduk waterfall in Bali

Munduk waterfall in Bali

Little baby Sage, the newest addition to our family!

Little baby Sage, the newest addition to our family!

Mary and River Dog. BFFs.

Mary and River Dog. BFFs.

And I'm off to teach across the country! 3 suitcases and butterflies in my tummy!

And I’m off to teach across the country! 3 suitcases and butterflies in my tummy!

A sign of things to come.

A sign of things to come.

My beautiful and magical host in the Barossa Valley, Kirsty Kingsley

My beautiful and magical host in the Barossa Valley, Kirsty Kingsley

My students in South Australia. What a bunch!

My students in South Australia. What a bunch!

Another magical trip to South Australia to study the mystical text The Seven Valleys by Baha'u'llah

Another magical trip to South Australia to study the mystical text The Seven Valleys by Baha’u’llah

And now I'm heading to Melbourne to teach!! Oh my!

And then I headed off to Melbourne to teach!! Oh my!

I laughed so hard in Melbourne - with old friends and new friends :)

I laughed so hard in Melbourne – with old friends and new friends 🙂

Even more SCARY: being on VIDEO for the first time with Jarrad Seng (who thankfully, was not scary!)

Bloopers. Not my finest moments on video, captured by Mary Parker Photography :)

Bloopers. Not my finest moments on video, captured by Mary Parker Photography 🙂 

My last group of students for the weekend workshop: Take Flight. We did!

My last group of students for the weekend workshop: Take Flight. We did!

Painting for Beginners - the LAST one for 2013. A gorgeous group!

Painting for Beginners – the LAST one for 2013. A gorgeous group!

Beautiful art made by beginners in my ONE day painting workshop

Beautiful art made by beginners in my ONE day painting workshop

Opening Day at JOY, my eighth solo show. I loved the day :)

Opening Day at JOY, my eighth solo show. For me it was pure JOY 🙂

JOY was hung by a wonderful band of kind helpers, here's a few of them.

JOY was hung by a wonderful band of kind helpers, here’s a few of them.

One of my favourite JOY moments at the show!

One of my favourite JOY moments at the show!

A mini children's workshop to end the year...with these two gorgeous monkeys

A mini children’s workshop to end the year…with these two gorgeous monkeys

My beautiful mum, Shantha, and my kind sister, Padma share a moment

My beautiful mum, Shantha and kind sister, Padma share a moment

Greg and me at the end of 2013.

Greg and me at the end of 2013.

Goodbye and Thank You 2013!

Goodbye and Thank You 2013!

THE END

 

Comments 34

  1. Just in case # 12 mysteriously gets deleted I’m pasting it here for two good reasons:

    ONE – This proves I actually read the whole blog all the way down to number 12 (and enjoyed it all immensely I might add). I loved the photographs!

    TWO #12 suggests the possibility that sometimes I am right? (Just putting it out there)

    **12. Despite my constant assertion to my husband Gregory that “I am always right”, NOTHING turns out quite the way I expect it to. Fortunately, it usually turns out far better. That kind of sums up 2013.
    Lesson: Apparently I’m NOT always right. (Gregory, I hope you’re not reading this)

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      ooops, I’m caught out, husband! I didn’t think you read my blog 🙂 At least not past the first couple of lines, especially when the cricket’s on!!

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      Oh thanks so much, blossom! Hey your favs are my favs (again, we are kindred spirits across the miles!). I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – ‘meeting’ you was one of the gifts of 2013. You nearly appeared in the pics, but I decided not to embarrass you 🙂

  2. As always, what a joy and inspiration to read your posts!!! I’m so honoured to have been along for some of the ride 🙂 love you!!

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      Hey there PB, you are too kind! Hey you appeared in 2.5 of the pics, that’s a record (the 0.5 was Lenni!) I love you back 🙂

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  3. Wow! You sure have had a very busy 2013! You’ve earned a lot of 18 hour blocks of doing nothing – but that may be one challenge that proves too difficult 😉 I’ve always known that Greg is sometimes right, so it’s good to have that confirmed 🙂 Happy 2014!

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  4. Oh M I love so so much about this post. I love # 2 on your list, I love ALL the things in your list but mostly #2. I so believe in the power of kindness and I love hearing to hear it has impacted the life of other people.

    And I love the photos Mary took of you while you were shooting your video. Priceless! And so you!

    Bring in 2014 gorgeous one. I can’t wait to see the next step for you (your online courses!)

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  5. Love it all, Mal. YOU bring JOY to so many of us! If I can return it in some very small way, I will be happy. And your wonderfully inspired husband matches you just right! Both of you are sometimes right – it all evens out.

    The photos are just as magical as you are. Never let that magic fail in either your photgraphy or Mary’s (her pics are funfantasic!)

    May all your dreams for 2014 come to fruition, and with prayers following you three around, I am hopeful that many of them do.

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      Robin my dear, you are often in my thoughts. Your unwavering support has been so kind and loving. I hope that you have some beautiful moments in 2014, and find joy and solace in unexpected places 🙂

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  6. As always, I love reading your posts but this one was special for a number of reasons – I want to go to Bali, I still love your work and your happiness, gentle personality, enthusiasm for life, courage when needed, and kindness are catching and lovely to read and somehow feel part of.

    I wish you the best for this coming year

    Did you run a workshop in Bali in 2013??? If so, are you doing one in 2014?

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      Marilyn what lovely things to say, you are so warm and kind! You were definitely a part of my ‘dreaming’ in 2013, so our lives were interconnected for awhile there 🙂

      No, I didn’t run a workshop in Bali, I went there with my daughter for three days for her 21st birthday. I wrote about it here: http://www.maliniparker.com/news/a-lizard-at-breakfast-a-snake-at-my-doorstep-and-flowers-on-my-pillow/ It was a magical 3 days in Ubud, and we had a driver who took us to wondrous places (1-2 hours from Ubud). We actually never went to any beaches, so there is SO much we didn’t see. I highly recommend you invest in a driver if you do go 🙂

      Many happy times to you in 2014, Marilyn!

  7. Beautiful Malini, the post and you.

    A number of things strike me there, but mostly I think meeting you this year somehow has turned into much, much more than a workshop birthday present to myself. Something else has happened and I am not sure exactly what thing/s you said that weekend, or since, but it has had a huge impact in my life. One that I believe will begin to show its fruit by the end of 2014 going by my study schedule for this year.

    Thank you beautiful, joyful lady, you’ve shown me something special, now I just need a bit of hardwork, belief and patience, 😉

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      Oh my, Deborah. Your words are a gift to me, thank you so much. What an honour tosomehow be a catalyst for change in someone’s life. I am grateful to you for being open to the possibilities 🙂 And truly, you’ve summed it up well. We ALL need hard work, belief and PATIENCE 🙂

  8. One thing I learned during 2013 is that you don’t need Oprah Winfrey if you have Malini on your side? Seriously your readers need to know how important your support has been to me at critical points along the journey when the writing project hit brick walls. Malini had read some early drafts and would smash though my brick walls with her indomitable spirit, outrageous humour, incorrigible determination and her belief that the story had an audience.

    Thank you Malini for your inspirational blogs, friendship, artworkshops and for just being in the same world!

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      Marjorie your book is a GIFT to humanity. Who knew that the horrific events of all those years ago would link us all in this strange way, all around the world? I am honoured to be part of your journey, and I am BEYOND honoured to know you.

  9. Hey Malini , Reading your blog, reading all the return mail that your friends, students and Family have written shows the impact that you as a person have had in others lives. As they say, truly inspirational, kindhearted and unique. Someone like me whom takes a long time to find a path or journey in my life that I feel is worthy of my inner effort, I gave my self a decision in life in 2013 to take control of me, who I am and what I am worth to myself. My class with you has brought out something. People have made immense comment on the Art that I had created with your Teaching… I was and still am surprised at what you instilled in me through you being in my life in this latter part of 2013. I feel honoured to have met you and a pleasure to have been and continue to be a student. I love art though have not painted for over 35 years, have now returned to something that I now feel I can pursue again but this time with heart and soul. I look forward to the next Class and like all the people above and below that have said and will say, you are one of a kind, you should feel so proud of your achievements. I hope I can feel the same in my coming years, Best wishes to you and Thank u.
    x Splinter
    PS blog #12 WTG Greg!! all the best to u too

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      I can only say that I am honoured to have played a small part in your life in 2013. You have a wonderful life ahead of you, I have no doubt whatsoever. A very special person with a very big heart 🙂

  10. Malini and Greg,

    Greetings from Snowy Rhode Island – although by the end of the day we’ll be back in Sunny California. Wishing you all the Joy you can create!

    love,
    Bryn and Sherna

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  11. Thanks Mal, I really enjoyed reading this post, so entertaining and insightful!
    I love all your 2013 photos, so joyful! xxx

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  12. Hello beautiful Malini,
    What a beautiful post, I was smiling the whole way through. It was such a pleasure to meet you in 2013 and we are all looking forward to seeing you again soon. Much love, your friend. Kirsty xxx

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      aaaah Kirsty, the Magical Person of Seppeltsfield, SA 🙂 You taught me so much in the few days I spent with you and your amazing family (and turkey, chickens and dogs!) I smile when I think of you, beautiful lady. xox

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      Hi Karrlin, thank YOU for stopping by 🙂 And I love your WOTY! Wonderment is a beautiful word with which to guide us through any journey.

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      I found this post today, nearly a year later, Suzanne, and it was fun to read, although a little sad because Greg is gone now, and I just never expected him to be when I wrote it. Everything changes, but that’s how we grow 🙂 x

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