Tag Archives: leaf shaped pouch

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

 

New brooch & thoughts on knowledge

I took the day off yesterday. It’s the second weekend in a row that I set aside writing assignments and artwork for one day. It is as though I were tapping into a natural rhythm after years of neglect.

Quiet. Silence and quiet. I have been thinking about that a lot lately. We misunderstand what it means to embrace silence. There are many ways to do so. It is not merely about shutting up; it is about listening and thinking, deeply.

Jacob Barnett, a young man diagnosed with ADHD, repeatedly invited his audience at a TED talk to “Stop learning, start thinking, start creating.” This was his premise: “In order to succeed, you have to look at everything with your own, unique, perspective.” The starting point for this must be a form of silence.

He paced the stage explaining how we spend too much time delving into conventional learning methods and not enough time thinking for ourselves. He has come to the conclusion that he cannot help but think for himself. This thinking advanced him in his perception and understanding of the world, so much so that he is ahead of his peers.

Learning demands that we stop focusing on outside information, on text books, on culture, and start turning our ears inward and asking, What do I know? Who am I? How am I inspired by what I know and see? What can I become as a result of this? How do I perceive myself in the midst of all of this? How does this help my journey? How does it hinder it? What can I change? Perception begins inward.

Yesterday, I watched an interesting movie on Hulu, titled “Disfigured”. It featured two women, one overweight and one anorexic, dealing with their respective personal body image. I especially enjoyed the tone the director chose to give to scenes where a group of men and women meet to discuss how society views people with “imperfect” bodies. It felt like they had filmed an actual group. Also, the parallel between the perception of the anorexic woman and her heavier friend’s was a brilliant way to highlight our twisted views of our bodies, regardless of their actual shape. I highly recommend it.

Meanwhile… the Beech Leaf Gift Pouch has inspired a new Brooch Pouch. I finished a first prototype today. I’m quite pleased with it. The button serves as a weight, keeping the flap down. I like to use the brooch pouches as a pocket for a daily goal or words of inspiration written on a small, folded piece of paper. A friend who got one from me keeps a lock of hair from her daughter in hers.