Workin’ Through It!

Today I had a full day to work in my studio.  Todd had offered to take Cora out for the day so that I could really put some pedal to my metal.  (What a guy!)  And so I sat down set out to work hard and really get some things done.

And then I needed to go to the bathroom. Oh and change my clothes.  Hadn’t it been at least five minuets since I ate something?  I had to straighten up.  The whole studio.  Then every dumb comment that anyone had said to me in my entire life decided to pop by for a visit. Maybe I just needed to sit in the garden, clear my head.  Maybe it wasn’t a wheel day, maybe I needed to hand build.  Maybe I needed to meditate, to visualize myself excited, inspired, ready to bust out! I did.  And went to sit back down, to really get busy now.  Nope.

It was one of those days that wasn’t flowing.  Today I learned that flow of inspiration really is an unessasary luxury some days.  Especially when work just needs to get done. (Especially when one is a Mommy and a whole day in the studio is a precious thing that cannot be wasted!!!)  Today I figured out how to work anyway.  It wasn’t a great day to get innovative, fresh and brave.  Today was for doing some of those more grueling tasks that it would actually be a shame to waste a very creative flow day on.  I did easy stuff, no brainer stuff and I tried to make it fun.

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The Galaxy Is The Limit

I used to feel so deflated about life, and about the future in general whenever I was given one of those “What career path are you suited for?”  quiz thingys at school.  Whatever the results were for me never seemed to quite fit.  At all.  It never sounded like something that I looked forward to doing for the rest of my life, every day, day in day out.  None of the options really got my heart thumping.  

I wanted other options.  I wanted to mark the box on the survey that said “None of the above.”  (there wasn’t one) I wanted a pair of scissors, some glue, markers, glitter- definitely some glitter and sequins!  I wanted to invent my own career.  And it has truly been more of a career shmorgasboard.  I am very far from being full yet and still going back for more.

So far in my life I have been:

*coffee barista extraordinaire,  tarot healer, fire dancer, yogini, festival booth technician, didgeridoo coach, devoted rhythm worshiper a’ la hoop and things that swing, handy-tool girl, mud shaping visionary, art exhibitor, world traveler, home love infusing cleaning fairy, mug maker, ceramic pendant creatress, farm worker, crystal intuitive, crystal shop proprietor, baby maker/adorer and adorner, gardener, family chef, and most recently website goddess and blog writer.

I clearly have a loose definition of “career”and “making a living.”  But I have a very firm definition of happiness, and of what makes my heart go thump.

I have learned on this career path that as long as your bills are paid, the sky, the galaxy (or more) really is the limits.

My Inner Consultant

I have several critics that like to give their 2 cents, and sometimes 5 dollars worth of advice while I am in the process of dreaming and creating.  Most of what they have to offer to me is stifling and destructive, not uplifting and creative.  But I have been working on integrating these shadow sides of my life, and I have been thinking about the gifts I receive from my inner critics.  Namely, I appreciate that they help me have higher standards than I would without them.  I just think they don’t need to be quite so mean about it.  Tonight I have decided to replace the least helpful, and most grueling old sourpuss of an inner critic there ever was.

I have a critic that sounds much like an old crabby grade school teacher who has been at it way too long and no longer remembers that she once liked children.  Her patience and energy is about a dime thick. She has short gray hair, worn in a smart perm, and wears only sensible clothing.  She prides herself on never having broken one single rule in her entire life and whatever creativity she once possessed was long dismissed.  She gives me advice like,”why on earth would you bother to make a thing like that when anyone could just go to Walmart and buy it for less than half what you could sell it for!  Pottery is not supposed to look like that, and you should have gone to school. I don’t know who you think you are!” She makes me feel like I should buy a new wardrobe of sweatpants, turn on my TV, and spend the rest of my life answering phone calls in an insurance office forty hours a week.  With this woman on my side there really is no use in trying.

I would like to replace her.

My new inner critic is a wise woman with long gray hair and gorgeous flowing clothes made with luscious fabrics, and fabulous prints.  She wears big funky jewelry and has a wonderful sense of humor.  She has spent her life working with children because she is enchanted with their creativity and is energized by their imagination and enthusiasm.  She delights in helping people turn passion into finished product.  Her home is filled with precious handmade objects, rich colors, and magnificent art pieces.  She values the spirit that inhabits things made by hands, by artists, and is happy to pay for it, especially when it means supporting another’s dream.  I will call her my inner consultant instead of inner critic and I will consult her regarding my wild big dreams and ask for her help in turning them into reachable goals.  When I visit her she will make us licorice root tea served in cozy ceramic mugs and we will sit on her red velvet couches and get excited about the infinite possibilities that the future holds.

Aaaaaaaah.  Much better.

Pep Talk Time

This morning on a treasure hunt for my passport (ain’t moving grand?) I came across an old sketch book.  It hadn’t been used but a couple of times before Gypsy the puppy decided to chew it up.  There was a small sketch inside of it, one that I had done on the first buying trip to Tuscon we made right before we opened our store.  It was a drawing of a wildflower.  It was a purple flower with lots of lines and intricate funky details that look like a cross between a henna drawing and the inside of a mechanical device.  The drawing was very much my style. And right then it struck me.

I have a style.  I had almost forgot.

See, a couple months ago I (ambitiously) committed myself to participating in the annual Clayfolk show in November.  It is something I have so dearly wanted to do since moving back to Oregon 3 years ago.  I just haven’t made it happen, yet.  In the last couple of weeks the fact that Clayfolk is in 3 months has hit me like a heart attack.  I seriously need to get my a** in gear.  Like yesterday.

But I have been floundering in the studio since I started taking classes last spring. I have been forgetting to send those sourpussed old hags that are my inner critics to the library to shush happy excited children.  Worse I have been listening to them telling me I should really just get real.  Doesn’t Walmart and TJMaxx offer dishes?  So people really need more stuff in thier lives?  I hadn’t found the roaring surf to quiet unhelpful voices. I hadn’t found that old flow that I used to know how to ride.  Until today.

Finding the sketch helped me remember that I am not walking into this totally blind. Such is the birthright of every person on earth, I have a wellspring to fish, a voice to sing, and a flavor that is all my own.  I also remember that I am not walking into this totally alone.  I have the power of Great Spirit, God, and a thousand angels.

I also have the experience I need.  Not only have I set up to sell, I have sold dozens of things I made.  I have been preparing for this for a long time.

I think this post would have been so much more interesting if I had a picture to share of aforementioned sketch.  Alas, I think I am going to do a mondo major post called “Ghosts of Artworks Past”

Just as soon as I get a camera.

Its all apart of my new declaration.  Inspired by this woman.  I hereby declare myself an artist.

Cherish the Blogging Journey

“Writing is a form of cherishing”

-Julia Cameron, The Right to Write

Now that I don’t have my camera I am finding myself constantly wanting to take pictures of things.  Most of the day I have a constant blog-o-matic blog writing voice chattering away inside of my head- all the posts I hope to write one day when the subject matter finally emerges and comes together.  I usually take pictures all day-  But without a camera I have decided to find an opportunity to convey the majesty of my days in words.

When I read the quote above I immediately thought of blogging because that is what it is to me- cherishing my life, recording all that there is to cherish.  I am also practicing sharing.  Something that is one of my greatest challenges.  I’m good at being private.  Im good at being alone.  I’m good at staying busy enough not to need a lot of company.  But that is so distancing somehow.  Blogging is a way to reach out.  To convey the things that touch me.  I am on this blogging journey to make records of those things that I do, and the things that interest me, the blessings present and all that I have to be grateful for.  I am blogging to push myself to have something somewhat formal in a life that I have created a whole lot of informality.  I am trying to create a public creative outlet in a life that I have created to be so very private.  I am reaching out.

I am writing to cherish not only what it is I am writing about but also to honor that which I am here to do- that which I am still not so sure about yet.  I am here to share, and in being here hope to uncover what it is I really have to share.  I want to open up.  I want everyone to open up.  I want it to be safe to do so, and I am realizing that I am the only one who can make it safe to do so.  Not with the guarantee that everyone will love and accept me but with the strength to love myself deeply enough to recover when they don’t.  For way too long I have not been putting myself out there because I decided it is not safe, I don’t have anything valuable enough to share, and I cannot be trusted to handle myself or anything else appropriately.  So I didn’t put myself out there and doing so got scarier.

But now I want to.  I want to stop running from what intimidates me.  I want to stop running and let the waves of my fear crash over me so that I can stand solid like a rock.  I want to stop and let them make me strong.  I want to experience having a dream and believing in it even when other people don’t. And when they do too of course. 🙂

When I think of my dreams, I can’t help but think that I am living a great deal of them right now.  In fact so many of my dreams are true.  And there are many more to come.

I dream of writing, a whole lot more writing! of my ceramic studio in full swing, of gardening, canning, baking, biking.  I dream of bee hives, and worm farms.  I dream of turning our website into a full-time job for yours truly once Cora is a little older.  I dream of canvases being painted and a dream cob house being built by us in the forest.  I dream of dresses being sewn for my little girl and sweaters knit and Halloween costumes, and easter egg hunts.  I dream of family traditions being started, and nurtured year after year.

Oh yes I have dreams.

Most of all I dream of opening, opening up to the world like I haven’t been hurt by it.  I dream of being the fool, trusting, naive.  I dream of sharing more.

My Camera Broke.

Yup. The little rectangular complicated tangled hunk of digital metal that captured the radiance of my life over the last 3 years has gone kaput.

Its final moments were wonderful though, it accompanied us on a family business trip to the Oregon Coast.  The last days of its life were spent photographing a foggy, and drizzly town and beach stroll in which we all ran around flapping our wings like segulls.  And we will be most grateful for our trusty(or so we thought!) Nikon Digital Elf for capturing it for us.

It being August, and 100 degrees where we live, I forgot to pack winter clothes, which probably would have come in handy. Thankfully, we all survived and even enjoyed the cool overcast.   Me and the Nikon Digital Elf love how rebellious bright colors look under gray skies.

Ooops!

I frequently complain that Todd doesn’t take enough pictures of me.  This’ll shut me up.

A sculpture made of plastic washed ashore.

Renegade ride on a rocking horse.

Well said.

Crystal Thursday- Crystal Magic

Today, I am working in our little treasure box of a crystal shop sitting here wondering how I can possibly begin to put into words the profound experience of crystal healing.  It feels like I am setting out to capture a rainbow. (Ironically that is something that crystals are prolific at doing, maybe I should just ask them?)


Iceland Spar- calcite
I have experienced crystals in many different ways.  For me they are enchanting, beautiful, soothing, energizing, fascinating, and precious.  But there is even more to their magic and beauty than meets the eye, or even the heart.  Crystals have the remarkable ability to heal, support, connect, inspire, and ignite passions within us.  The magic of crystals is subtle, but it is profound
Crystals become activated by our willingness to become transformed by them. When we hold a crystal or even stand near one and become silent inside we enter vibrational conversation.  They speak to us and we respond.  Not in words but through sensations they transmit ideas that are pure and whole and in sync with universal truth and with universal order. Our stories are transmitted and the messages that get sent back to us are the gems of our experiences.  We learn that in the painful moments of our lives that there is always an opportunity for transformation.  We can re-vision our hardships until they are no longer problems, no longer blockages but perfect building blocks of a solid and wise foundation of now.
The crystals themselves are molecular structures fitting together in perfect formations, formations following universal laws of creation.  Like all objects of matter, they have an emanation, an aura, as do we.  It is here that our paths cross with the crystals.  It is here that we relate to them.  They are a bridge to a more perfect union with the divine order of creation. They support vibrations of perfect order, they hold the light when we feel dark.  Our energy, our vibrations can absorb and mimic that of the crystal.  They teach us lessons of sacred geometry and they give us a window into what it can feel like to be in sync with the vibrations of the universe.

Crystal Thursday- Peridot

This week I wanted to write about August’s Birthstone, Peridot.  Its happy fresh color and energizing friendly vibe certainly do conjure up the hot days of summer in my mind.

(Photo by lilbullgirl)

Peridot has been used in jewelry and healing since the time of Egypt (and probably before that) as a symbol of the sun and is associated with warmth, illumination, expansion and growth.  Peridot’s bright happy green color is aligned with the energy of abundance and with the 3rd and 4th chakras. This stone is cleansing of the aura, and energizing to the process of healing.  It can accelerate growth as it helps us face our past mistakes, release guilt and accept responsibility.  It promotes self forgiveness and acceptance which can in turn help us become open to receiving with grace. It reminds us to look toward our own higher selves for guidance and to be released from old unhealthy patterns and habits.  Peridot is a stone of moving forward, leaving guilt behind, taking the wisdom and growth that only experience can bring.

“Work is love made visible.”

A thing I like to do is pick up a book- which ever one is jumping out at the moment, and turn to a random page in it.  For me, it works as an emotional and spiritual support system.

Somehow, what is on the page is always the exact perfect thing I needed to know at that moment.

The other day I opened Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, a book that should be in every household if you ask me.  And here is what it had to say to me.

“You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.

For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the season’s and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission toward the infinite.

When you work you are a flute who’s heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.

Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?……..

……And what is it to work with love?

It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from the heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.

It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in the house.

It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harves twith joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.

It is to charge all things you fashion with the breath of your own spirit,

And know that all the blessed dead are standing about you watching.”

This passage reminds me what a happy work song my days are singing right now.

Today was a song of helping my sweet little sugar plum pick out her own clothes.

Running to town for a trip to the library, and to pick out some winter vegetable plant starts.

Digging in the dirt, and the sunshine, preparing the soil for aforementioned vegetables.

Having snacks, practicing drinking water from cups without lids.

Making homemade garden burgers out of lentils and zucchini.

Playing airplane, reading books, watching horses, chasing lizards, checking the garden for cucumbers, counting cows….

And ending this sweet day with a gorgeous sunset walk with my favorite girl.

I am reminded how precious this time is.  I am reminded to value the “work” of our bonding.  I honor the time spent pouring love into our home life.

Too often I begin to feel ambitious.  I begin to think words like “career” and “daycare.” I begin to discredit and devalue doing dishes, and laundry.  I forget that my beloveds eat off those dishes and wear those clothes.  But there will be a time for that in the nearer than I even want to believe future.

For now I want to revel in the great big luxury of being here, at home with my precious girl.  I want to pour a solid foundation in our home and our hearts of binding love glue.  Love glue that will carry us through the busy years when she’s in school and we are not spending all day everyday together.  I want to beherenow for my girl,to revel in every shining golden moment of babyhood that is fading so fast.  I want to give her all of me while we are still home together.

Crystal Thursday- The Shiva Lingam

I’m quite aware that it has been some time since I have posted a Crystal Thursday.  I am proudly playing the do more things badly card and hereby declare myself an imperfectionist.  Just in case anyone had a different idea about me. 🙂

I do however look forward to getting back into the rhythm of celebrating the precious kings and queens of the mineral kingdom here each week.

Without further ado, I present a stone most exotic and imbued with historical and spiritual significance. The Shiva Lingam.

The Shiva Lingam is a cryptocrystalline quartz that comes from the Narmada River in India, one of India’s seven holy sites.  The forces of this sacred river tumble the stones into their unique elliptical shape. The stones are gathered by villagers during the dry season once a year, hand polished and then sealed using ancient formulas of waxes and oils.  Shiva means “auspiciciousness” and “linga” means sign or symbol, and these stones are a devotional symbol to the Hindu God Shiva.  The symbolism of this stone is teeming with depth and meaning in the Hindu tradition as well as the modern metaphysical application of this stone.  These stones contain the union of male and female energies; the unusual shape of the stone representing both the cosmic egg from which all of creation is born as well as the male phalice, the active and intentional force of creation.  The red coloring in the stone represents feminine powers that inspire the act of creation.  The shiva lingam symbolizes the power of unifying polarities, embodies the powerful vibration of Mother Earth, and stimulates the forces of kundalini activation.  It encourages loving acceptance towards other ways of being, expanding our willingness to integrate our own shadows with the light of conciousness.