First of all, I want to share a glimpse of the birthday celebration and trunk show at Yarns Unlimited last Saturday. I took lots of pictures, but the revelry, sugar and caffeine must have gotten to me, because they are almost all blurry (sigh), but you can see the trunk show and a little of the shop here at least.
This was such a fun event! The day just flew by with lots of laughter, and knitting and cake eating! Knitters really are some of the nicest people in the world (if I do say so myself)...supportive, joyous, creative, and funny...these women love to laugh and have a good time...practically perfect in every way! It's been a while since I've had a day in the shop and this one was spectacular...knitters beginning new projects, hunting for yarn, lots of inspiring people ticking off the items on their holiday knitting list, beginners and true experts, and surprisingly, lots of really young knitters (like 9 and 10 year olds). These kids are so amazing to me—many of them have worked their way through hats and socks and sweaters and they all have tried their hand at designing for their dolls. I love how these little people have no fear or inhibitions around their knitting—they seem to be completely free of the second guessing and insecurities that sometimes plague us as we get older. It makes me so happy to see their enthusiasm and joy in creating, and the fact that they are completely free from negative thinking chatter is a glorious thing to behold!
I've been thinking about internal chatter and creativity a lot lately. For the past couple of weeks I've been taking a wonderful online course by Marisa of Creative Thursday. I can't say enough good things about this course—it's really gotten me thinking. One of the topics that has come up in the course is intention and blogging, which has brought up the question of how much of your "self" you are comfortable sharing online. I'm still trying to find the balance there. I don't want this to be a place for venting, I want it to be a place where I will feed my better self and connect with others. At the same time, I want to remain honest and true...so...I am going to indulge in some shameless self-reflection for the next few minutes—be forewarned and move on if you feel the need—I won't take it personally.
Needless to say, there has been much pondering around here lately...about happiness, the creative journey, my life at home and at large, about balance and congruency. Two of the questions that Marisa asked in the first week were, what do you love about what you create and what does success look like to you. A lot to think about, right? This has been a real chance to step back and take a hard look at what makes me happy, where I want to go and how to get there, how I tick, what makes me wither and what makes me thrive. I tend to be one of those people who is always running to the next thing—waiting has never been my strong suit. It's not that I'm not a self-reflective person, it's more that I feel like a total slacker if I'm not doing something productive. I want to do...fill in all the gaps with activity or productivity—that's not to say that I'm always productive, but it is to say that if I'm not, I am as likely as not, to berate myself. I don't know if this sounds familiar to anyone out there, but I can't believe that I am unique in this.
I have had some wonderful opportunities in my life and have gotten to go places and do things that have challenged me, given me great joy and even some measure of success. As a parent, a teacher, and a friend, I know that love, creativity, dreams, and individuality need to be nurtured. As a mom, I feel with my whole being, that it is my great privilege to nurture the souls in my keeping, to encourage them, to guide and empower them, to hold their hand and to patiently and lovingly watch and wait for them to find their way, and then to let them go. It's not rocket science, I know, but I am struck all of a sudden by the fact that I and, indeed, many of my friends do not nurture ourselves in remotely the same way. How can my creativity thrive, my best self emerge, or my way become clear if I am perpetually striving to fill the gaps and being critical of myself. For today, just for today—mind you—baby steps and all—it is my goal to parent myself as I would one of my kids, to give myself a little leash, to encourage myself to make choices that make me feel good—whether that means sitting and knitting on something that may or may not turn into something productive, taking a walk in the woods, doing the dishes or just moodling. I'm not saying that I want to be an enabler of my own lethargy—after all sometimes what makes me feel good and able to be happy is getting things done and living in an orderly space, but sometimes, in those in-between, not-so-sure times a I might want to try a little tenderness.
Here's wishing you a little tenderness this weekend wherever your path may lead...Alison