Tiptoeing

Sometimes when I declare something (out loud) it leaves me feeling frozen, shaky, vulnerable.  If you receive my monthly letters, or if you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I’ve shared (out loud) my intention to write a book.  What the what?  Yes, it’s true.

I have ideas and photos to sift through, and new ones keep coming.  I am dancing somewhere between inspiration and overwhelm.  Though dancing is perhaps a bit generous.  It’s more like tiptoeing.  I tiptoe a few steps, then freeze in my tracks.  What am I doing?  Who do I think I am?  Look at what so-and-so is doing/can do/has done.  I am frozen.  Shaky.  Vulnerable.

 

In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield writes:

Fear is good.  Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator.  Fear tells us what we have to do.

Remember our rule of thumb:  The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.

Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance.  Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul.  That’s why we feel so much Resistance.  If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.

 

So, be assured, that this book is important to me, because I feel major resistance.  I can’t wait to share it with you some day (the book, not the resistance).  Recently, I had the honor and pleasure to talk with Christine Mason Miller about the beginnings of my book on her podcast, The Conscious Booksmith Podcast.  If you fancy a listen, you can find that interview on SoundCloud and iTunes.

My book will be a reflection of the little, of the showing up, of the practice of it all…things we talk about here.  I believe in this practice so much.  Whatever fills your day today, I wish you strength in the doing.  Whether it’s writing a page of a book or washing the breakfast dishes, voicing an opinion at work or knitting three rows.  Show up and do your work.  Value your voice and value your being.  What you say and do matters.  How you say and do it matters too.  Watch for resistance and let it be your ally.  Let it lead you to a truer you today, right now.

Tiptoe or dance full-on.  Do the doing.  I’m with you.

sending a little love, m

 

An Interview + A Giveaway {Deb Taylor}

Today we continue our monthly interview series. A series in which I hope to introduce you to some very special people…individuals who work equally hard at their craft and at living an intentional life. Someone new each month, sharing thoughts on creativity and discussing current work dear to his/her heart. Each individual who joins us will also generously offer some sort of giveaway. It could be a handmade item, a spot in a workshop, a collection of stones or crystals…anything that’s connected to the feature artist’s work and life. Their gift to you is of their choosing. This series will, I hope, create space to explore what creativity looks like to different people; I hope it will also create space to spread a little love through the gifts of our guests.

Today, Deb Taylor joins us.  I think Deb might be one of the first people I got to know on Instagram.  I can’t recall exactly when we connected, but I’m so glad we did.  She’s soulful and playful; she’s a whirlwind and a whisper.  It seems she’s always got her fingers and toes dipped into something.  When you read our conversation, you’ll see what I mean.  She’s talented and super creative and has a really big heart.  I’m so happy to have her here with us today.  Are you ready?  Here we go…

What does creativity mean to you?

It means like breathing.  For me it is necessary in my daily life.  Whether I shoot a random photograph to share on social media or decide which warm beverage to sip in the morning.  The anticipation to cook a colorful meal with exotic ingredients.  I want to create something beautiful every single day.  We have so many opportunities during our day to be creative.  It does not require art materials or much time.  It can simply be the way you slice bananas into your cereal with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Sipping something special from a beautiful vessel.  Or maybe wearing some funky socks or mismatched earrings.

Come on, these things are free and simple and do-able.  I think you will find a smile on your face.  And also inspire others around you.  For example, I streak my hair often with purple and pink.  The smiles and comments I receive from random folks I pass by daily remind me that we are all seeking simple joys and happy moments.  And color!!

Your creative work includes many different media.  What are your favorites and what are you working on/with now?  Tell us about your creative work!

Needle.  Thread.  Fabric.
I stray away from sewing on occasion to play with paints and paper.
Maybe some beads, basketry or stained glass.
But I always return to fibers.  Weaving, slow stitching, visible mending, eco dyeing. Currently I am experimentally with natural dyes such as floral, vegetable and plant matter.
These days I am obsessed with repurposing and salvaging clothing with visible mending.  I am also studying the Japanese art of Sashiko stitching.

Do you have any rituals surrounding your creative work?

Yes.  When I begin a new project, I smudge my area with white sage.  I burn away the old, and call in the new.  Often I will place my materials outdoors during the Full Moon to charge them with new energy.  My work is sacred, so I honor the materials I am working with.

Are there particular relationships in your life (to people, to nature perhaps) that inspire you to create?

When I collaborate with another artist, it always raises the bar of my own creativity.  I often get stuck in my own ideas, but when I create with other artists, I become infused with their energy, which is extremely contagious!
Recently the photography workshops I participate with online have completely altered the way I make photographs. My story telling has become richer and deeper with every photo I make.  I am so grateful for my online community.


You have a new online workshop coming up.  Will you tell us about that?

Miss Mash {To Dye For} is my third online workshop.  I will be teaching various techniques to dye fabrics with kitchen scraps, botanical bundles and rusty objects.  I will offer videos and tutorials for small fabric projects using the fibers we will dye together.  I will hold space in a private Facebook group for sharing, support and developing new friendships.

And now some lighter questions…

What did you eat for breakfast?

one avocado, two slices of tomato, black beans and ginger slaw

Do you have a favorite day of the week?

no.  I prefer every day to be my favorite.

What was your favorite thing you did last week?

I was home alone for 4 days.  I created intensely every single day, without interruption, all day, every day.  I was in my zone!

What music are you digging lately?

Snatum Kaur

If you close your eyes right now, what word comes to mind?

BREATHE

And now for the giveaway!!!

 

Deb is generously giving away one spot in her upcoming workshop, which will run April 17-21.  In her words:
Mish Mash { To Dye For } is my online workshop based on eco-dyeing fabric techniques, videos and tutorials for small patchwork stitched projects.
My approach to teaching is very playful, relaxed and casual.
It’s even great for kiddos and weekend projects.
Supplies are common household items.
I will host a private Facebook group for sharing, support and a sweet space to meet new friends !

To enter the giveaway, here’s what you need to do:
Leave a comment below. Maybe tell us what colors you see in your world today. Or maybe just say hello. Whatever you like.

Comments will close at midnight PST on Monday, March 20 , 2017. The randomly-selected winner will be announced here in this post on Tuesday, March 21.  Comments are now closed.

And the randomly-selected winner is…Angela Vular! Angela, an email is coming your way shortly. Thank you to everyone who played along and shared colorful bits in the comments.

And…Thank you, Deb, for being here with us.

Sending a little love your way, m

***

Deb is a photographer, blogger, fiber artist and home-cook vegetarian living in sunny Florida.
She’s also a sun-worshipping red-wine lover, peace-seeking full-moon dancer and beach-combing daytime dreamer.

Here’s where you can find Deb:
Blog
Instagram
Facebook

 

Finding Softness on the Hardwood Floor

Yesterday afternoon, I had a choice.  I could sit at my desk and get some work done. Or I could lay on the floor with my girl.  She was stretched out on the hardwood floor in a patch of sun and she said, “Now I know why K likes to lay here”.  I wanted to be at my desk, wanted to write…because I knew we were heading out in a bit for her ballet class.  But I also wanted to be with her.  So I lay down, right alongside her.  The sun felt so good.  The back door was open (we’re enjoying mild temps before the cold returns this weekend) and a breeze blew over us.  Even on the hardwood floor, there was softness.  The Beatles were playing.  There were corn muffins in the oven for our dinner later that evening.  We talked, giggled, sang.

It was maybe just fifteen minutes, lying like that.  But it was awesome.  I was reminded how good it feels to make a conscious choice.  On another day, the better choice for me might be to sit down at the desk and get work done. But the best choice for me yesterday was to sprawl alongside my girl.  In the sun.  Just like the pup does.

I was reminded of our conversation last week.  Of moving in waves.  This has been on my mind a lot.  Trying to live a life with intention means that I constantly check in with myself.  I don’t have it all figured out, whatever It All is.  As a reader here and, if you’re someone who’s taken any of my classes, you know I understand this as a practice.  An ongoing practice that never really ends.  Some days I get it right.  Some days I totally screw up.  But I keep trying.  I come back to center again and again.  And, sometimes, getting to center is no small feat.  But eventually, I circle back and round and in.

Whether creating art or creating home or creating spreadsheets, we all make choices as we move through our days.  These choices lead us in various directions. But eventually, if we listen and if we pay attention, we circle back.  We come center. We come home.  We sprawl on the hardwood floor and let the late afternoon sun warm our bodies.

Sending a little love your way, m

 

***
There are still a few spots available in the next run of Just Five Things.  Click right here to read about the class and to register.  I’d love to have you join me and us.

 

 

 

 

 

The Waves

656-100

In one hundred words or less…

I struggle knowing how to use my energies best.  Always the ongoing parenting role.  Always the meals and cleaning and laundry.  But also.  The camera and pen calling for attention.  Do I sit to write first thing?  Or do I bake the cinnamon rolls on a cold, windy morning?  I don’t have a set rhythm.  Or maybe I do.  A rhythm that rolls in waves.  So that, some days it’s the writing and some days it’s the cinnamon rolls.  Not set in stone, but floating.  The trick is, I think, to pay attention.  Be with the waves.  No matter what.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

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It’s time to sign up for Just Five Things!

 

 

:: Randoming ::

656apom

Some random things.

I participated in Robin’s free Pilates program last March and it was really wonderful.  You know I like to break things into doable chunks, yes?  Well, she does exactly that…with Pilates.  10ish minutes each day.  You can absolutely do it.  Plus, it’s free!  Click here to read more about it.

Whether talking politics/art/religion/whatever we’ve got to keep our minds open.  Here’s a good read.

Listen to your heart.  It’s not easy when there’s so much noise out there.  This is something I have to work on consistently.

I’m enjoying Christine’s podcast so much.  If you’re a writer, I encourage you to check it out.  The Conscious Booksmith Podcast.

Also, to continue the goodness of our conversation with Christine last week, Christine created a special discount code for you!  Yes, indeed.  You can save 25% off her new memoir, Moving Water, by using the following code at checkout:  MW25OFF (code expires February 28)

You know I love pom-poms, right?  My sister knows this too.  She sent me this link.  Such a fun project.  And, while mine didn’t turn out quite as nice as the one in the post (and I was working with yarn I had on hand), I do love seeing it every time I walk by the front door.

Compassion and some intentional reframing.  Here’s a fascinating read on behavioral economics as it relates to low-income individuals…and (all of our) limited mental bandwidth.

I just found this ombre heart and I really want to make it.

Oh!  And, in case you haven’t heard, registration for Just Five Things is open.  I know some of you have already registered (yay and thank you!); there are still some spots remaining.  Dates for class are April 3-14.

Enjoy the clicks and
Sending a little love your way, m