Saturday, September 24, 2011

How Was Your Day?

In her classic, "The Game Of Life And How To Play It", Florence Scovll Shinn, talks about how our thoughts and words not only effect our current life, but what we create in the future.   She tells the story of a man stuck doing work that made him miserable everyday.  Everyday he would come home from his work and while he ate dinner with his family, he would recount every miserable, negative detail of his day.  He did this everyday.  This effected his life in everyway, even the days he wasn't at work. Mrs Shinn suggested to him that he look at what he was doing to himself, with his evening recount of his day.  She challenged him to come home, enjoy his dinner with his family and not say anything about what happened at work that day.  She reports, with that simple, yet challenging step, his life was transformed.  He discovered that the work has that awful, but not the work he really wanted, and was able to create a better form of work for himself at a higher pay. Mrs. Shinn did most of her work in the 1920's and 1930s, I wonder how that advice would go over in this day and time?  We live in the "get it off your chest, don't stuff it" age.   I don't think Mrs. Shin was telling this person to just stuff his feelings, I think she was challenging him to look at his life and work in a more positive light.  I have talked about how I think words and what we talk about and how we talk about ourselves, our lives, and others, effects the present.   Mrs. Shinn wrote that it effects your future as well.  If we feel that the past is negative, the present is sure to be negative and the future will be just as negative.  Why is that?  Well, for one thing we are taking our negative selves everywhere we go.  Soon it is all we know.  What we focus on tends to be what we create in our lives.  Do we really need to give negativity a voice?  If we do, can we do it in a way that moves us or keeps us positive?  I'll be the first to say I love a good vent, yet I'll think before I vent.  If I can't move on and not get this a voice, then I'll vent and vent quickly.  Get over it and look at how I can get into a positive mind set.  Lately, I've discovered that by not venting, not giving voice to the negativity, that there really is no need, as I'm too busy in a positive present and good things coming to me in the future, turning positive thoughts into positive things.

Okay...time for a check in...Are you giving voice to negativity in your life?  Are you willing to take the "No Complain. No blame. No whining Challenge"?   Do for a week.  Note what happens in your life.

Until next week...create to feel great! 

49 projects complete! 3 to go!  Finish line is in sight! Wow!
This week's project I designed a pencil/journal case. There are pockets for pencils/crayons and a pocket to slip a sketch pad in.  Velcro closes it and I'm good to draw on the go!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

If I Had A Hammer- A Tale Of A Thursday

This summer, I've been doing a ton of improvements on my house.  Lots of cleaning, painting and floor laying.  I know, Broadside and I own at least two hammers.  I can never find them.  Since they are considered "community property", I know the man I love takes these hammers out to use them and puts them back in hidden places.   This lack of being able to find a hammer was creating a point of frustration in me this week.  Thursday morning, I wanted to hang some decorative plates I had uncovered in the basement clean out.  No hammer was to be found.  I had some other errands to run that day, it made sense to just get another hammer, and put in my studio where I know I can always find it when I needed it.  Off I go on my morning errands.  I plan my trips carefully and I live in a neighborhood where I can do a loop to get the things I need.  First stop was my paint store, where I'm now a Preferred Customer. Yes, that's how much painting I've  been doing.  The people there are friendly and knowledgeable and really are artists when it comes to matching a paint color.  Next stop post office.  As I got back into my car, I noticed a bird had decided my car would look great with a huge spray of poop all over it.  This really looked like the job of more than one bird or bird artists at spraying a car with poop.  My favorite DIY car wash was just down the street, in the loop.  I had cash and coin.  I needed to add a stop to wash away the bird art.
I was wearing pants, that had only one small pocket and were loose fitting (this detail will be important to the story).  I got my quarters for the car wash and put them in the small pocket and attempted to also shove my key ring in there.  I began to wash my car, after about 6 minutes, I was getting the signal that I needed to add coins.  Not wanting to waste time, hurried to dig coins and car keys out of that small pocket.  I didn't want to lose my keys so I tucked part of the key ring into the waistband of the pants. I fed the car wash meter and went on my way cleaning my car. 
As I was finishing a guy with a sweet looking face, walked by the opening of the car stall.  He gave me the thumbs up and smiled.  I smiled and nodded.  I finished up with my car and tugged at my waist to get my car keys.  They were gone!  My heart leaped into my throat and I ran back to the place where I was plugging coins, ran through the car wash area, I looked under my car. Looked in my car and purse. The only person in that car wash was the guy who gave me the thumbs up.  I just knew he had found my keys and had taken them.  In my panic I ran through another parking lot looking for that guy.  I found him.  I asked him if he had seen my keys.  He said no and offered to help me look.  I said that was okay, I needed to call my husband.  As I walked back I heard the guy say, "You'll find your keys.  Nothing ever gets lost."  I saw his smile, as I went back to my car a dug out my cell phone to call Broadside and inform him of the stupid thing I'd done and to come help me.  As I waited in my car for rescue, I kept thinking, here are two of the things I fear the most- loosing my keys and asking others to help me out of an emergency situation.  I've got some work to do here. And do I really believe that nothing is ever lost.  What is lost can be found?
Broadside showed up and we combed the car wash.  We finally gave up.  With new keys in hand, and more errands to do, now making a set of keys, I rejoined my loop.  I sort of finished up my errands.  I had a headache thinking about where those keys might have gone, and how stupid and upset I had been that afternoon.  When I got home, I started hearing a rattle as I walked. It was coming from my pants.  I felt around, went to change them and found my keys!  They had slid down the leg and caught on a thread.  I was relieved, embarrassed and happy all rolled into one.  I instantly heard the guy at the car wash voice.  "Nothing is ever lost."  He was right.
That day I had to face and work with two really unfounded fears. And learned a lesson that nothing is ever lost.   So, as for lost keys, I now have extra sets and I've placed them where I can get them in case my keys go hiding again.   As for not asking people to help me.  I'm looking at that one.  And setting in place ways to get more comfortable with that idea.  It is mainly just realizing that folks don't mind helping.  I don't and do when I can.  Why is that different for others?
I think that guy with the happy round face was an angel. Nothing is ever lost, is a great concept.  I hear all the possibilities of life in that statement.   I'm grateful to that guy for those words.

What do you think about the statement - nothing is ever lost?

Until next week create to feel great!                                          
Oh, and P.S.  I never did buy that extra hammer. One of them is around the house somewhere.

48 projects complete 4 to go! (The last month!!!!)

The project of the week is a tote bag.  On it's way to a Swap-bot friend in Serbia.   It is unusual for me, because I'm working at getting comfortable with mixing prints (my friend wanted mixed prints.) and quilting aspects.  Maybe if I learned to quilt, I'd start getting comfortable with mixing prints.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mrs. Remington And The Temple Of Fear

Fear.  The word often strikes, well fear, into our very being.  It's a part of life.  Countless books, workshops, movies have been created around fear.  Over the years we've been told to, "Feel the fear and do it anyway", "Be Fearless", "No guts, no glory", "Face our fears" and to "Just Do It."  Oh, and that classics of classics, "We have nothing to fear but fear it's self." There are a million and one other platitudes on what to do with fear.   I'm guilty of using them.  I'm of letting fear get the better of me and paralyze me into in action.  I know fear is a very powerful force.  I think it is so powerful, that it would be nice if it just went away- didn't exist.  Yet it does. Until recently, I would get frustrated with it's existence.  What in the world am I suppose to do with my fear? Let it just get in my way and not doing anything?  Or if I am really suppose to "feel this fear and do it any way", aren't I just dragging this fear along with me hoping it will just go away, only to return?  So, what do I do with this fear?
Through all my years of reading and workshop/seminar attending, it wasn't until last week that I came to the conclusion that fear is an indicator of areas in my life I need to do the work.  If I'm afraid I won't have money.  Well, it is time to figure out how to make some more money.  If I'm afraid that I won't have energy or health or I'll get ill.  Time to look at how I can get healthier, obtain my energy and boost my immune system so I won't get ill.  If I'm afraid of the future.  Time to figure out what I can do in the present to build a stronger future.  Looking at fear in this light, makes it a gift. There is always going to be fear.  It isn't just going to walk away. Yet, why drag it aroung with you or worse, let it drag you down and keep you from living a rich full life?  Fear is the place to start digging for the treasure. By looking for all the treasure or the gifts, it de-fuses the fear, in a sense it goes away- at very least it isn't a parlazing powerful force. Oh, and since it is a fair re-gifting your fears.  By that I mean tossing your fears on others.  Your fears are your fears.  They are for you and you alone, they are your lovely gifts, for you to discover the treasures.  Or if you prefer, look at fear like an archeology dig.  You can put on your Indiana Jones hat and grab your whip and get to work on your very own adventure.
What fears are you wishing to "just go away"? Is it time for you to enter your Temple of Fear? Are you ready to go on your own archeology dig or open your gift?
Until next week create to feel great!

47 projects complete. 5 to go - no way- really?
This week's project is inspired from Japan...thise cute little (well they can be as big as you like) gift pouches.
They start out as square fabric pieces sewn togehter....corners turned down and casings made for drawstrings.  When pulled up...the look like cute little flowers!  So, cute!  I can't stop making them!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's An Inside Job

In last week's post I wrote about making the tough choices and making decisions.  That post was brought about by my comittment to myself and making changes in my life.   I'm proud to say I've been working very hard on my comittments, my health, my attitudes, my reactions to what life gives me.  It is a ton of work.  Well worth it, as I'm noticing some changes in my energy levels, my creative creations and my physical appearance.   With all this personal work came a restlessness with my home, my living environment.   I've been working on that as well.   The things I've tolerated for years, in my big old house, are now annoying and unacceptable.  It is like I'm becoming a better more evolved person, so why not live in a much better environment?  Oprah is fond of saying that our living enivronment is an outward expression of what is going on inwardly and on an emotional level.  I never gave much creedence to this, until lately.  Now, I'm seeing this.  So, as I work on myself inwardly, I'm also drawn to work on my living environment.
This is the "after".  I'm not very good at "before" photos.
I've been a one woman home improvement crew this summer.  I've cleaned my basement, painted and sealed my basement mud room, painted and decorated my upstairs bathroom, preped the front of my house for more painting I've cleared mountains of clutter and this week I laid flooring at the top of my stairs.  This project was critical for me.  Everyday for the past 16 years, I've really hated the look of this area of my house.  The preivous owners, did an awful job in this area.  Now it is open and fresh looking.  Talk about shifting my attitude.  Once I finished this job, I was dancing on the floor.  I felt like I had a new house.   This is my project of the week. Actually, all the work I'm doing on myself and my living environment is a project of a lifetime.  I don't think it will end, and least not for the forseeable future.

So, how is your envrionment- both inside you and where you are living? Is there termoil and clutter or are you feeling free and clear? 

Until next week...create to feel great!
46 projects complete! 6 to go!