12/28/11

Creating Care

Concerned about loved ones and having just finished the book Hunger, I was in a bit of a funk as my husband and I visited Bethlehem PA. I vowed to return to my joyful heart as we stopped into the historic and allegedly haunted Sun Inn, which George and Martha Washington visited. 
Looking around the once posh antique kitchen, I was reminded how lucky we are to be living at this time, in this place, in the US. Most of us have modern conveniences like running water and electricity, the opportunity for education, and some choice in where and how we live and work. Most of us don't need to make our own candles, hunt and butcher our own meats, or spin our own fabric. Most of us need not worry of a flaming death while cooking over the open fire. In fact, most of us here are materially better off than at any time or place in the known history of the world. Our biggest worries and imbalances are often rooted in complexity and excess instead of insufficiency. 


I may not be able to cure the hunger or suffering around me, much less of the world.  I can care deeply that others suffer, while still cultivating joy within. We can feed our own spirits, letting go of worry, sadness, and struggle and instead creating care through attitudes like love, gratitude, hope, and joy.


I wish you and your family a joyful holiday season and time to renew and refuel spirits with positivity and care. 

12/21/11

Happy Winter Solstice

Today marks the shortest day of the year, where darkness engulfs the light. 
Various traditions invite us to shine light into the darkness by stringing colored lights and lighting candles. Similarly, we can invite light as love and joy into our hearts by shining an internal light into our shadowy parts and consciously releasing our own darkness. As lightness makes it's way back into the darkness, the days get brighter, lives lighten, and we can shine our light in all we do. 
I like to play music, dance, and do yoga to chase away the shadows and invite back the light. What do you do to lighten when you're feeling the darkness? 

12/14/11

Creating Friends

There's a heap of craft supplies festering in my basement "to do something with someday" and I have a small group of friends that come together regularly to create. Usually we work on our own projects while eating, chatting, venting, and laughing our way through the evening. It only seemed logical to start using up some of our surplus stuff as we recently gathered to "pimp" a Barbie doll


Yes. I'm aware it sounds a bit immature for adults to spend an evening altering a doll. Yet, it was interesting to see what surfaced as we worked, inadvertently exposing our individual personalities and quirks as we created. I'll share just a few observations.


"Anne," who specializes in organization and efficiency, though never having played with dolls, predictably began and completed her doll in half our time, following through with her well-thought-out plan and happy with the fashionable result:
The rest of us, impressed, doubled our efforts.


"Carrie," incredibly talented and ever questioning, started strong with a concept, painting Barbie yellow (the color of the third chakra, which gives us our unique strengths and confidence), added some funky leggings, and then got stopped, unsure of how she wanted to finish. The rest of us agreed we liked her just like she was:
"Eva," a skilled crafter with a terrific creative energy who latches onto an idea and immerses herself in one creative project at a time, felt that perhaps she put just a little too much bling on her doll. To the rest of us, she looked perfect: 
And I, who likes to improvise on any of my fledgling ideas and see what develops, let loose and managed to start two Barbies, which I have since finished. In the spirit of sharing among creating friends, here they are:

At the end of the evening, our friendships had grown, and perhaps we found a little subconscious self-therapy in the exercise. 


What do you do to share creative energy and create strong friendships?