Saturday, March 30, 2013

Community (And I Don't Mean The TV Show)

I spent my week in the company of some of the most loving and wonderful people I have ever had the opportunity to call friends and co-creators.  It was tech week for my friend's wonderful new play, Anything But Brilliant-a love story.  I have to add here, it is a brilliant piece of work.  Part performance art, part well acted play, part essay on love, life and death and all part love and pure honest creativity. 
Last night was our first preview before people.  Some friends, some fellow members of the theater community, some of the big money donors and of course the cast and crew.   Moments before we opened the house for seating, I was struck at the magic.  My friend had spent three long years fearlessly creating this play and with his partner, raised the money to make it happen in all aspects.  I've been lucky enough to be with them on this journey.  I was struck at how all the creative elements came together and from where we started on a bare stage in a small work shop room.  The show is opening for public viewing for the month of April, and as it does this, it closes a chapter in my life.
For me that means, it is time to honor the lessons I've experiencing and to put them to work in my everyday life.

It has helped me realize that when we create, we spend time alone with our creating and creations, yet there has to come a time to step out into the market place with our creations. We all need community to enrich our lives. To connect in the physical with others.  We don't create alone, and it is important for sanity and positive movement to acknowledge the need to be apart of something bigger than our little tiny world

As this chapter comes to a close, others are already starting be plotted, taking shape and are asking to be written.  For today, I'm savoring the last scene, the last words and all the magic that it is bringing.
Perfect for a Spring day.

What step will you take to start to write a chapter that you will share with all of us?

Until next week....create to feel great!
13 project 39 to go.

So in honor of Spring...I created a lovely Lavender Lemon Shortbread.  Made even more special by using the pan Broadside gave me as a Christmas gift.   They get embossed with symbols of the British Isle.  Rose for England, Thistle for Scotland, Celtic Knot for Ireland, and Dragon for Wales.
I dipped the backs in chocolate.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The A.N.Ts Go Marching

This week I heard a new term in reference to negative thoughts.  A.N.T.s or Automatic negative thoughts.
What a unfortunate image to place on these highly industrious insects.  Yet I love this.  What is an A.N.T.?
It is those little thoughts that pop into our minds at all times of the day.   Everything from "Well, that was stupid."  "Now why did I do that stupid thing?" to "I'm really not good enough." And everything negative in between.  Much like the insect ants, these thoughts carry away bits of our self worth,and our positive attitude. Much like ants, they are power and strong.  Any wonder why some days we are just flat out cranky?
Over my life time, I have owned several ant farms.  I love watching ants carry away pieces of food many times bigger than their bodies, they do this to feed their nest of fellow ants. I know first hand, that negative thoughts do not feed us in a healthy way.  So, what if we flip an A.N.T. to an A.P.T.? (automatic POSITIVE thought) and allow positive thoughts to feed us.  Allowing bits of positive thoughts to feed us all day along, and allow the real ants to go about their work and we don't pin negativity on these little guys.

How do A.N.T.s work in your life?  What would be your A.P.T. (Automatic Positive Thought)?

Until next week create to feel great...
12projects complete! 40 to go!

This week's project... a cool little fabric box.  We are using it in the play I've been working on
Anything But Brilliant -a love story.  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Listen Up!

My Granny use to say, "God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason." We are really geared to listen.  Listen to others.  Listen to ourselves.  Listen to intuition.  Listen to the needs of our bodies.  Listen.  Real listening takes being silent.  I don't know about you, but sometimes the space of silence is filled with being uncomfortable and pain.  So, I fill it up with mindless chatter.  By doing that, I miss out on most of my life. Then when stuff happens I don't know how I missed it or worse yet, how to deal with it all.

The process of MickeyGrrrl in hospice, has really forced me to take a look at this.  To be in the space of silence with her, in order for me to know what to do to ease her transition.  At first I resisted this silence, this just being.  I felt like if I talked and talked and talked what was happening would just go away and MickeyGrrrl would be fine and all would be well.  I would haven't to deal with anything.  I wouldn't have to feel anything. This plan was making me crazy and depressed.  My only choice was to be still.  To listen.  MickeyGrrrl was telling me everything I needed to know to help her and to help me.  It was calming and life affirming.  I'm by no means perfect at this silence and listening thing, but it is an area to work in.  I'm feeling and seeing the results.

Stephen Covey says "In emphatic listening, you listen with your eyes and with your heart.  You listen for feeling, for meaning.  You listen for behavior. You use your right brain as well as your left. You sense, you intuit, you feel.  Empathic listening is powerful because it gives you accurate data to work with."  
Now that's livin'!

Are you comfortable with silence?  Do you allow yourself the space to be in silence, in order to listen?
Until next week create to feel great!
11 projects complete 41 to go!

This week's project came totally from listening to MickeyGrrrl.  She asked my to make her a Crane Chain.
I know the story of the 1000 Cranes. She told me this isn't what this is about.  She wanted 18 cranes to represent each year of her life, strung together with jewelry, because that her. The Grrrl Queen.  Jewelry and birds what could be better to honor her?  I've never done origami, but I found this easy to do to as the Grrrl sat by my side and slept.  I can't say I worked this in total silence as MickeyGrrrl was purring or snoring through most of it.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Good Person Would

This week I let go of a couple of activities that have been less than rewarding.  One was a class that was becoming so steeped in negative energy, I spent more time wondering how to handle the negative energy in order to get through the class.  I finally said, "I'm done.  I'm not going back."  I then found a wonderful positive replacement.
A part of me felt odd walking away from this negative class.  Like I owed to the teacher to stick around, even after many attempts to politely discuss my concerns with her about the class.  I was essentially a paying customer, I did owe this person a thing.  Yet I kept thinking a good person would stick this out and if I leave now she might get her feelings hurt (even though I know I'll never see her again, and if I do I can just smile and move on.)
It got me thinking about what a good person would do.  What is a good person?  Who is this good person anyway.  It all boils down to not hurting myself or others.  Honestly, I don't think this person is going to be hurt by me not showing up to class.  I think if I stuck it out, there was a possibility that I could have wound up hurting myself and many this teacher. (Yes, the negativity was just that bad).
I also feel a good person takes care of themselves.  Is true to what they believe and value. I'm believing more and more that there is no place in this world for negativity.  And if a person is in such pain and has suffered so much...get help.  Life really is better walking on the sunny side of the street.

I value positive thoughts and actions, which come from a place of love...always.  As RuPaul would say, "If you can't love yourself.  How in the hell are you going to love some body else."
If there is such a thing as a good person, then I can say this...A good person would love themselves and others.

Until next week...create to feel great!
10 projects complete.  42 to go

It is almost time for my garden!  This year for the ease of planting radishes, beets and carrots, I made me some seed tapes.  So easy.   Take paper towel or toilet paper or napkin.  Cut into strips.
Mix up some flour and water to a paste.  With a small paint brush dot the paper strips in the planting distance for your seeds.  Drop the seeds on to the paste dot.  Allow to dry.  Seed strips.  I also
marked what the seeds were on one end of the strip.   Come planting time, set the seed strip on top of the soil and cover with dirt. Water.  Boom!  Seeds are off and growing!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Keep Going

I took this photo while I was out one day on one of my many walks.  It hit me right in the middle of my forehead, as I really didn't want to be out on my walk that day.  I was bored with my fitness and health program.  I felt stuck.  I was truly five minutes away from giving up all my progress and heading for the ice cream store.
I knew it was time to get creative.  As stood there looking at this sign, I started to think about what was causing me to want to give up.  Once I identified that I was just bored out of my mind with walking, with taking care of myself (odd thought, but it's me), just flat out bored.  I then asked myself what could I do to shake this up and shift my mind set?  The first thing that came to mind was to change up my walking routes.  Walk to places I never walk to.  I could do that in the moment.
So, I did just that and as I walked I forced myself to turn off my music and walk in silence, in order to allow some creative ideas to come my way.  On that day I walked over 8 miles, and when I got home I had a slew of new ideas to jazz up my health program.

Winston Churchill is often quoted as saying that when you are going through hell keep going.  I think that's true.  When the fires are at our backs, we want to just get the hell out of there.  But what happens when we are just flat out bored with our progress in life and work towards a goal we say we want.  It is often easier just to give up.  That is the time to really check ourselves before we wreck ourselves and all the progress we've made up to that point.  That is the creative call to arms as it were.
Because without engaging ourselves and our creativity at that point we will give me.
Once we give up on something we tell ourselves really was an important goal or dream, we start planting seeds of negativity in order to make it okay. 
Yes, sometimes a dream starts to take on another form or maybe it is really something we need to let go of.  But why did we want it to begin with? And what dream is now replacing that dream we are letting go of?  Important questions to ask, if we give up a dream and don't want to just sit in a garden of seeds sown with negativity. And yet, before you do give up on something.  Wait just another five minutes or so.  You might be amazed at what will happen.
Until next week...create to feel great!

9 projects complete! 43 to go!

For the project of the week... Scissor holders.   I can now protect the tips of my sewing scissors