Our-(Unique)-Selves

                                          We have but one life on this earth to live..                                                                          

Earth
Image via Wikipedia, “Earth“, Creative Commons Attribution

                               The number of our days are unknown–                                                                                                       How many may we have to leave our                                                                                                                 unique stamp and viewpoint on the world…? 

                             While some may possess an inflated view of themselves,                                                                             many never realize the importance of their contributions                                                                                            and the value of being who they truly are…                                                                                                                                                                                                      If these are overlooked, it is a loss to self                                                                                                                                                      … but also a huge loss for others.

                            May we recognize the value and importance                                                                                                                                          …of each unique individual,                                                                                                                                                        ...ourselves included.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   (© 2011 Joni Beach)

 Do you acknowledge the uniqueness, affirm the value, and encourage the individuality of your friends, the children  in your family, and yourselves?              (I’d love for you to write a comment and share your own thoughts about this!)

Motivation!

Sometimes life events can bog us down and make us fearful to take anymore steps…                      It is like holding your breath…                                                                                                                                                                        You are not moving backwards…                                                                                                                                                        But, you also are not moving forward…It is more like being in limbo.                                

Stuck in PlaceThis time can be a time of rest…                                                                                                            a time of recharging…                                                                                                                                      or time of incubating new ideas.                                                                                                But, with time, there is a need to move forward… 

Many creative ideas may swirl @ in our heads but the motivation to take that    first step of action is lacking…                                                                                                            Like being at the end of a diving board…                                                                                           and as much as you want to dive in…                                                                                                               you just can’t let go and jump.                                            

 I was stuck for quite a while…                                                                                                     I would make lists…research ideas…and experiment with new techniques.                    But, when it was time to move forward, I would feel too tired to begin.

One day I picked up a  book entitled, Make Your Creative Dreams Real, A Plan for Procrastinators, Perfectionists, Busy People, and People Who Would Really Rather Sleep All Day, by SARK (2004). SARK’s suggestion to take micromovements, or very small actions, to break out of procrastination spoke to where I was.    

                      Micromovement                           Making micromovement felt less overwhelming than considering a large project all at once. She says one option is to “complete your micromovement and go take a nap.” (SARK, p. 89)

I did one micro action. At the end of a chapter in SARK’s book, I found a website, Right Brain Business Plan,  listed that caught my interest. Author Jennifer Lee was announcing a free 2-week video summit on this subject, which was just starting. For 2 weeks I looked forward to interacting daily with people who spoke and understood my language. From this action, I took more micromovements…                                                                                      and slowly tried new things and moved forward…                  

Stepping Forward

 Today in the studio, I am in the process of creating a 12” art quilt. I may choose to donate it to the Studio Art Quilter’s Associaton’s (SAQA) Benefit Auction, which is held in September.           

12" Art Quilt In Process

This quilt will be an expression  of the idea of the sunlight and bright blue sky that is always above the dark clouds…whether we can see it or not…

After piecing the hand-dyed and commercial batik fabrics, I will use

free-motion quilting to add texture and detail to the piece. 

After a time of being stuck, it feels good to experience the movement of the creative process again!                                                                                                                         New possibilities seem to open up…                                                                                                     a sense of positivity is regained…                                                                                                                              and hope is renewed…

♦Are there micromovements you would like to take before your next nap?  🙂  

Life Changes–Unexpectedly Sometimes!

Since my childhood included growing-up in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina, I must mention the tornadoes that tore through those states in the past week or so! Wow, how powerful they were…As a pre-schooler in Tennessee, a storm passed through our backyard and uprooted a massive oak tree. It was a puzzle for a four-year old to figure out what could cause something so huge to fall over. As a second grader, my family moved to northern Alabama. I remember viewing tornado damage in a nearby town and wondering how the houses and trees could be so mangled. These kinds of unexpected life changes produce instant confusion…

Transitions #1
"Transitions #1: Confusion". Free-motion quilting, beading on cotton, 16 x 16". © 2005 Joni Beach.

During the NC storm a couple of weeks ago, I watched the Weather Channel anxiously as a hook-shaped pattern formed on the radar around an area where all my family in NC lives. The actual tornado touched down just past them in a neighboring town. Last Wednesday night, I monitored our weather as we were under an unusual for the Virginia mountains tornado warning. Thankfully, the system turned north and the rotating clouds never formed a tornado that touched the ground.

In Alabama, where I also have family, the city where they live has had little electrical power since Wednesday evening. Gradually the power grid and other daily needs are being restored. A state that is used to having tornadoes and heavy thunderstorms, Alabama has experienced an intensity of tornadoes unusual even for them…These types of life events lead to questions like: How do people deal with and survive this kind of crisis? How do you move forward to restore normalcy? What gives support and sustains courage—provides encouragement?

My recent blogs–Lifeweavings: A Creative Journey, Spring’s Awakening, and Time–Linear or Circular?–have been about creativity in art and life. Coping after these storms is a real life example of a needed time for creative problem-solving—considering the facts, the changes, and all the possible answers and ways of addressing the sudden questions that everyone is faced with…How will we cook food and stay cool in the heat without power? Where will we get needed gas and supplies? How will the traffic flow safely without working stoplights? According to Froma Walsh in her book, Strengthening Family Resilience (2006), creative inspiration and collaborative problem solving help people live forward with positive outcomes. Imagination is powerful in transporting us beyond a crisis and allowing us to solve problems by drawing inspiration from past experiences, family stories, creative envisioning, and new, untried solutions. We can envision new ways of living with the changes to our homes and communities.

Of course, another key to recovery after a crisis that we so often see after a natural disaster is the social support –the immediate aid from other people in the form of food and water, shelter, medical care, money, and clean-up assistance to provide basics and a sense of security. The immediate needs become paramount and the larger global issues of the day are dimmed. As in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, until the basics of life are restored the higher-order needs of living become temporarily of little concern.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Resized, renamed,...
Image via Wikipedia

My hopes and prayers for all who were hit by the storms is that they will have the help and aid they need, as well as peace and hope for the future…

[Image via Wikipedia–By User:Factoryjoe (Mazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs.svg) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]