Sucked In and Snowed In

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” ~ Steve Jobs

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Fractal Threading piece in progress.

 

As long as I can remember I’ve lived in my own small world of creative impulses. I can hardly start one project before I am pulled to begin another. And begin it I must before I forget the thread in which called me there. Then I will return to the past project and such the cycle continues. Currently in various stages of progress, I have two fractal threading pieces four fiber art pieces (not including the designs I’ve sketched for several more), four quilts, two crochet felted hats, and four manuscripts. If I scrounge around I will probably find many started projects I’ve completely forgotten.

The last few days have found us in a vortex of snow and ice. Each time we dig ourselves out, it melts enough to re-ice our stoop and sidewalk. The roads have not yet been cleared. I am snowbound. What a perfect opportunity to tackle some of my projects, and yet my soul calls for me to read. How ironic is that? I have the uninterrupted time to create, yet I’m called to withdraw. Perhaps once I follow my bliss I will read what I need and then I’ll grab a pen, thread, yarn, fabric…whatever tickles my fancy! For now, I suppose I will delve into a vortex of words until the next creative cyclone sucks me in.

Where did the Vinca go"

Where did the Vinca go”

No swinging outside today!

No swinging outside today!

A bit too cold and wet to sit on the bench!

A bit too cold and wet to sit on the bench!

No water play today!

No water play today!

Guess the birds won't be bathing either!

Guess the birds won’t be bathing either!

Wylie is ready to play!

Wylie is ready to play!

No need to "whine" about it!

No need to “whine” about it!

Spin Cycle: Vortex

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experiencing The Ornate

It is no secret we are attracted by beauty and mesmerized by the intricate. We often give a passing look, perhaps a sigh. But what happens in that brief pause? Do you feel a connection? Experience a bit of wonder? Do you step into the picture and live it for if only a moment? What is the daydream that flashes through your head? What sensations does your body feel?

Much happens in that brief pause. Something caught your eye or stirred your heart. Fully feel the moment. Right in the present where you are. Then see where your mind  takes you…the past or the future? Find your connection  in the pause.

We know we’re supposed to live in the present. We know we can’t relive the past nor can we with absolute certainly plan the future. What we fail to do in the present is live the pause, to feel the life in the space of time.

A few years ago I tried what I called “living in the gap”. Instead of seeing a bird fly in the sky I watched his wings arc as he glided. I watched the dance of candle flames and watched tree limbs bow good morning to the sun. I found the ornate in common occurrences. I used to share these on my blog. Then I only wrote them in a journal. Eventually I only took notice, and those moments have begun to fade. I need to take the time to notice the ornate within the pause and pulse of life. I’m going to take the time to do this again…for my own benefit. I’m going to share one from the past with you:

January 16, 2012 – Candlelight

The flame flickers and twirls, blackening the jar. Fire arcs and reflects as a half moon in a thimble of melted wax. Three pointed embers of the wick smolder and dance, multiplying into five and returning to three. The flare swirls and rounds into an ocean wave that crashes on the glass bottom. The flame rises as if its escape from the jar is imminent and surrenders momentarily only to regain strength to try again. The three points of the wick lessen to two, one blue eye and one red eye which stare at me in the darkness. Blue and whitened gold suspend above the eyes forming a stocking cap. The flame bows and stands erect, pointing at me as if to say “I am here now in this moment to light your way through this cold, dark night.” The flame stretches, swells, and waves until it disappears, becoming one with the night.

The Path of Resistance

Be faithful to that which exists within yourself. ~Andre Gide

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I find when I resist doing something it is usually the very thing I need to do. Completing the action moves me forward or teaches me an important lesson. Perhaps it is what comes after that I resist.

What causes us to resist doing the things which we feel driven to do? I can only guess it is fear. We fear failure. We fear judgment. We often resist because we think others expect us to be perfect when in fact we have set ourselves up for failure. Yes, we set ourselves up because we are the ones who put the thought in our heads. It is this fear of being less than perfect that paralyzes us. We know perfection does not exist, yet we continue to fall prey.

When I find myself intrigued and resistant to a prospect I tend to explore the possibilities and educate myself on the subject by study and research. If I feel a passion for it I pursue it.

Part of me wonders if success would feel nearly as sweet if not for the tug of resistance along the way. How can I reprogram myself for success?  I’m going to allow my ideas time to incubate. I will ban perfection from my vocabulary. I will only entertain reasonable expectations. I will forget what other people might think. I will concentrate on how I will feel when I complete the task at hand. I will keep in mind the purpose of my project. Any suggestions? What do you do when you feel resistance to doing the thing you feel called to do?

Shipwreck Or Ship Rest?

Ever feel like a shipwreck, like things just aren’t going the way you want? Determine if the pressure you feel is coming from you or outside sources. If you have set unrealistic expectations readjust them. If someone else anticipates results you’re unable or willing to provide, ignore them and stick to your agenda.

Do you feel down on your luck? Just plain unmotivated? Pinpoint where these emotions originate. If there is an obstacle on your path, remove it. If it’s a person who gives you negative feedback, you need to disengage from conversation about the subject. Decide if you are doing everything you can to accomplish the task. Have confidence in your abilities.

Do you feel depressed, like you’re slowly sinking into the sea? Perhaps you can blame it on poor navigation, faulty equipment, location, or even the weather. If you look long and hard enough you can blame most anything on someone else rather than take responsibility for our own contribution to the situation. Practicing gratitude and positivity go hand in hand with attitude and perseverance.

There are times you merely need a new assessment, a fresh perspective. The water might be shallow enough to wade to shore and navigate the journey a different way. When you approach the situation from the outside the scenario isn’t the same as from the inside.

We are often told a certain way to perform a task. We are not all wired alike. What works for you might not work for me…however, we can still reach the same destination. Some people plan things while others wing it and they are both successful in their endeavors. When we rely on our inner GPS rather than someone else’s we have a better chance of navigating the course set before us.

Just because you sink the boat doesn’t mean you can’t swim. Take another look at whatever is holding you back. Be grateful for the opportunity. Employ your talents. Trust your instincts. Sail, swim, soar, or use whatever means you have to get where you need to go. Safe travels to you.

Fractally Everything Flows

“Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” ~Leonardo da Vinci

This is a new to me (embroidery) art I'm exploring. I call it "fractal threading" though I don't really know if it's a practiced form or not...I can only find fractal in digital, painting, and quilting with fabrics rather than threads. At any rate, I'm loving it!

This is a new to me (embroidery) art I’m exploring. I call it “fractal threading” though I don’t really know if it’s a practiced form or not…I can only find fractal in digital, painting, and quilting with fabrics rather than threads. At any rate, I’m loving it!

Patterns. Design.  Sequence. Links in the chain. Pieces of the puzzle. Signs…they’re all around us. In fact, we exist in patterns and sequence from our body parts down to our DNA. Life consists of seasons. We live in cycles of birth and death.  The ebb and flow of the tides are cyclic. As night drifts into day and day back into night, we experience times of creative activity and periods of rest and rejuvenation just to begin another creation.

Like phases of the moon we are not always fully seen. We don’t cease to exist…we merely don’t choose to use all that we are. In fact, many don’t tap into their source because they have never experienced a connection.

Have you ever noticed a crack in the sidewalk? In that tiny space life emerges. We are much like that…possibility lingers in the void.

We are each born with a deep desire to create. To create what? Something from nothing? Anything from everything? The choice is yours…what is calling you? Have you ever felt that churn of creating in your stomach? The pulse of birth in your fingertips? Awareness arises when one is sensitive to energy and in tune with the physical body. Creation from this yearning is the claiming of spirit.

Anyone can learn a skill set whether it is writing, painting, photography, sewing, etc. What stirs the creator deep within and drives him forward shows in the result. The moving experience to the viewer is the difference between a product and a piece of art. For example I will use my favorite artist and painting. I’ve seen many imitations of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. While I find the reproductions beautiful, none excite and fulfill me quite like that of Van Gogh. Have you ever felt this way about a painting or a song?

Have you ever felt that sensation that travels from your abdomen to your throat, like a yearning for escape? Perhaps that is your spirit in search of voice. Let yourself be heard.

Reaching Beyond

Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is. — Albert CamusMontebello 064

We are born to thrive, to grow physically, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. If circumstances prevent this, we adjust to our conditions, invent new perspectives, or learn to prosper with what we’re given.

We first learn to survive what we feel is holding us back.  When we begin to fight our confines we become aware of our potential. Though we are shaped by our environment, we are not defined by it.

When you strive to do more than survive, you learn to thrive. You not only find your truth, but you grab it with both hands and soar into the world. You blossom.

Sometimes it takes a change in attitude and increase of effort to shift from surviving to thriving. We must be willing to step outside the box.

If you are afraid of the world you are merely surviving in it. If you see the world filled with possibilities for your undertaking you are thriving.

It comes down to adapting to circumstances or exceeding them.  I’ve spent the larger part of my life conforming. It was the comfortable thing to do. That was before I realized I had the means to exceed my limitations. After all, if I was the one who set those limitations I could certainly change them. What a wonderful realization, like a burst of freedom. What if we all learned we are limitless? What amazing things we could accomplish!

The key is to always ask yourself what more can you be or what more can you do. If you’re honest in questioning, the answers will come.

We tend to think life is about choosing sides when the reality is to find your own space.

Being a survivor in this world is a wonderful thing, but know it’s within your potential to be a “thriver”.

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Trusting Spirit

Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see. ~Carl Jung

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There are days, even weeks, things flow effortlessly. Synchronicities appear more often. Then I become focused on doing instead of being. When I remind myself to just be, the thing I was focused on occurs naturally. I wonder why I am sometimes so intent on pushing things along. Perhaps, it is human nature. Maybe it is my own stubbornness. Regardless of the reason, I know the solution…follow my joy. That joy is here right in this moment.

 

I trust I am where I am supposed to be. What will be done will be done in proper timing which might not be mine; nor will it necessarily be what was the focus of my original intention. Sometimes I tend to forget when things aren’t panning out and I’m guided elsewhere, that is synchronicity as well. You see, there are times I get the connection immediately and other times I see it after the fact. And there are times I see no signs at all…those are the times I need to look inside rather than outside.

 

Though things were not falling in place exactly as I wished, they are slowly coming together. There are times I need to learn another skill before proceeding. Or a better idea occurs. Ever had this happen to you? I’m finding the more patient I am, the more content I am with the results.

 

Today I am…

 

quietly listening

 

right where I need to be

 

trusting the voice within

 

following my spirit…

 

What are you doing today?

 

Following My Joy

“With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” – Dr. Wayne W Dyer

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The attitudes of those we most often associate with rub off on us. I’m sure you’ve heard that laughter is contagious. Well, so is a positive outlook. It took me a long time to realize I was strongly influenced by the mindsets of those around me. Negativity had seeped into my being. My emotional, spiritual, and physical health suffered as a result. Knowing I held the power to reverse this process was the knowledge I needed to motivate me to make changes. In the past few years I’ve altered my thinking and my actions which has resulted in getting in touch with myself.

I surround myself with positive like-minded people. Ok, I’m really not all that social, but I do avoid people who drain and strain me. I read uplifting material. I take time for a prayer/meditation practice. I soothe my soul with quiet solitude and feed it with creative endeavors. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of a situation, I approach it as a life lesson. I find I grow in some way, whether it is in wisdom, strength, or acceptance. I learned happiness is a choice. These practices resulted in an ongoing inner peace I’d never experienced.

So, where am I going with all this? I suppose my point is I’m not making a New Year resolution. I’ve introduced many new practices to my daily life such as awareness and intention.  I choose to no longer call them New Year resolutions as they are now part of everyday living. I choose to follow my joy.  Instead of making specific goals pertaining to my arts, I am focusing on the art of discipline in practicing these creative endeavors. I’m in tune with my spirit, and I trust it to lead me on this journey.