Tag Archives: beech leaf

Daily Practice & Autumn Leaves

You’d think that after years of managing websites and social media accounts for various businesses, the first order of the day for me would be to light up the computer screen and acquaint myself with the status of the world. This, however, has never been the first order of the day.

Years ago, I’d sit up in bed for an hour or so, journaling. I grew tired of this over time and sat up to read various spiritually oriented texts instead. I have embarked on a new practice over the past several months. It does not matter how busy the day ahead will be, this is nearly always first on my list.

I sit peacefully for a moment and then randomly draw from a stack of Celtic Wisdom Sticks. Each stick has a symbol on it. This refers to a short text in an accompanying booklet. Each text is written in such a way as to apply to an aspect of one’s life journey or challenges, and each text ends with a question. This is the part I especially enjoy.

A typical use of these tools and questions might be to address a specific issue or difficulty, but I prefer to allow the question to inspire my thoughts, spontaneously. I spend a few moments writing this. It adds an unexpected dimension to the day, one that is always constructive and surprisingly on target.

Today’s text suggested that, “If your resolve is firm, there is an opportunity now to go ahead… there is no turning back.” It concluded with this question: “Is this enterprise worth the risk?”

As you might gather, my current goal is to make art the core of my life. Many emotions arise from this journey, ranging from absolute trust to debilitating doubt. Is it worth the risk? Absolutely. The following thoughts came to mind.

We have learned to live as though our lives were a performance for others to judge, not for ourselves. Saying what we are, what we do and what we are capable of doing provides the illusion that we are acceptable and absolved in the eyes of others. But only BEING to the full extent of our vision and talent can absolve us in our own eyes.

And then there is opportunity.

The saying goes. “Live as though this is your last day.” As profound as this notion may be, it seems it often trips us. In truth, we must live as though the next bright opportunity is at hand. If it is the last day, the prospect of having to catch up on unfinished business can stop us in our tracks. Time is too short. Might as well sit and count our blessings; make peace with our losses.

Precisely. We must take the time to sit, count our blessings and make peace with our failures, as though it truly were the last day. But then, we must stand in joyful expectation of the next opportunity to BE more; to be all that we meant to be. That opportunity is just one choice away, always. And time is at hand to be filled with purposeful activity.

Then, today is not the last day, but the beginning… or perhaps it is the last day we fail to begin.

On the workbench… Autumn-colored bits and pieces coming together to form a new batch of Beech Leaf Gift Pouches.

Autumn Beech Leaf Gift Pouch

 

Laughter in the storm

Yesterday was not a very good day. Let me rephrase that. Yesterday was probably a fine day, but I was moody.

I’ve noticed something interesting over the past few years, more precisely since I’ve begun to work for myself and thus spend more time at home. My mood changes with the weather. Even if I try to avoid this, it just creeps up on me. I am not even sure it is a matter of light. I can be perfectly cheerful on a grey day, but when it is stormy, well, so am I.

ps - 012814 - blt

Writing for social media can be exhilarating. Actually, most of the time, it is. Seeing the audience respond is fascinating. Some are discreet, others quite playful. It is much like developing a relationship and I often tell my clients that the most important aspect of social media is to develop a voice. And it must be a genuine one.

On an emotionally off day, like yesterday, keeping the conversation going can be tricky. Sometimes, it is best to pull back and allow a bit more silence. Inevitably, however, at some point one person will post a comment that just brightens my day. In that instant, I remember that, in spite of my momentary sadness or anger, I am doing what I love to do and I am grateful. More than this, I am reminded that it is always in the midst of others that I am uplifted, even if it is a virtual encounter, on a computer screen. I need to remind myself to not be such a hermit all the time.

I ended the day with a long phone talk with my sister. I really try to make it a point to not indulge in much complaining, but I am far from perfect. There are a number of concerns on my mind these days, aside from my occasional one day of questionable moods, and I have come to realize that a bit of venting, in the right context and with the right people, is actually good medicine. It’s all about processing, and processing requires honesty, even if it means speaking harsh words for a moment. Even if it means a bit of swearing too.

My sister and I compared notes about situations we find exasperating. It’s funny how, though we live 200 miles apart, our respective experiences seem to mirror each other. Thus, we took turns bitching for a while, until our respective perceived problems led us to see that we too are part of the human comedy. At that point we usually turn silly and laugh like little girls who cannot stop giggling. This is great medicine indeed.

Meanwhile, I am working on another batch of Beech Leaf Pouches. With Valentines’ Day approaching, the gift pouches seem to be going fast. I enjoy making these and have been pretty good at keeping a daily evening schedule for artwork.

This evening is a bit different. I am writing from a table at 158 Main. I brought my tablet so I could write this while I wait for the  server to bring out dishes. She places them on the table for me to snap a picture before they are taken to their proper destination. I am slowly building an image library and will sit here on occasion at breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner to this end. Pictured above, the BLT on rye I enjoyed tonight.

Slàinte!