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New Year, New Dawn

It’s the time of year when the cycle of our planet begins again. We celebrated the new year on January 1st, and then again on the first full moon and the first new moon after the winter solstice.

The Annishinabe celebrate the new year on the first new moon after the winter solstice. This signified that sun was making its way back to the earth.  The sun is the life giver, and so starts the new cycle, the new year.

In Chinese culture we are in the year of the metal rat.  The rat is the first sign of the Chinese zodiac, thought to have won that title by tricking the ox. The rat is seen as a sign of wealth and surplus in Chinese culture. The rat is associated with the Earthly Branch in Chinese astrology, and the midnight hours. In terms of yin and yang, it is considered ‘yang’ and represents the beginning of a new day.

We are in Aquarius season which is the time when the sun has entered the constellation Aquarius, until February 19th. With the Sun now in Aquarius, you might feel more even-tempered, artistic, sociable, and peaceful in your general attitude to life. Open yourself up to new ways of expression. Investigative nature or spend time learning about science,astrology and spiritual subjects. Now is the time to be your weird self!

The definition of weird comes from the scottish word that means one’s destiny. To be weird is to be most aligned with oneself and their destiny!

This is the perfect year to be you to your fullest potential! Don’t hold back… Be WEIRD!

<3

Raine Dawn

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2019

This year has been so abundant.

So much packed into one year.

The beginning of 2019 started off with learning more about the local connections with environmental organizations on my area, experiencing my first Maryland Association of Outdoor and Environmental Education conference, and recertifying my school as a Maryland Green school! We also were awarded two grants for environmental education projects! I also took the green club on a field trip to Sandy Point state park for a green school celebration! One of the best field trips ever.

 

In March I attended the National Art Education Association convention in Boston. I visited and fell in love with two new museums, the Isabella Gardner Museum and MFA. I learned the importance of networking and sharing who I am with others and found my place with the Caucus on the Spiritual in Art Education.

 

The spring was busy with my student teacher from Towson, who accepted a job this year! We also had our schools annual Arts in Action event!

 

Summer came and my intuitive henna took off. Sharing my gifts with many, some even had their designs become a permanent part of their lives.

 

I painted “en plein air,” at Cromwell Valley park with BCPS teachers.  It was such an awesome experience, and I am so looking forward to it again this coming summer.

I also attended an AVID one day intensive training, where I learned a lot about different ways to teach students, that I have been using this year! I am excited to say that I was asked to attend the week long training this summer 2020.

Working for St. Paul’s summer camp this year was a new experience… all camps combined, in a new location. It was a wonderful summer with amazing coworkers and campers! Visiting Irvine Nature Center and the Senator Theater were some of my highlights!

Then August came… with a bang. Breaking my wrist 2 weeks before school started for the new year. This was by far one of the most testing time for me. Testing my faith and trust that I have the power within to heal and come back stronger than before. Testing my sense of self…. am I my right hand? As an artist I began asking myself, does my identity come from my hands? Can I create even if my hands don’ work the same as they always have? This was a powerful time for a deep dive within.

I healed faster than the doctors have seen from a 30 year old. The whole process from break to out of cast took 6 weeks, and the doctor was so surprised at the amount of healing that occurred. My mobility was about 90% back to normal! I attribute my healing to my mindset, words and movement. I constantly used healing words over broken words. I visualized my wrist healing and strengthening. I stretched and stretched, and slowly got back into yoga, and stretched and stretched.

My 12th year of teaching began and I became an adjunct professor at Notre Dame of Maryland University, teaching Methods in Secondary Art Education. This was a huge milestone for me and my own self awareness. I love sharing my passion for teaching and art, especially with other passionate teachers. It was such a blessing to teach this course.

The workload for 2019 was intense, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So much growth. Like a seedling, breaking through the concrete. Learning when to rest and when to reach. Realizing the activeness of balance. Balance in work, life, love, relationships, creating and resting. The balance of self care and self growth.

2019 was an abundant, and it was beautiful to watch the balance unfold.

Thank you to everyone who shared in this past year with me. I am forever grateful for you. <3  Excited and open to receiving all that this new year has in store.

Migwetch and Gizagiin

Raine Dawn

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