Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Appreciating the Task at Hand

I have been working really hard at changing my stress level. 

I can't change a lot of what is stressing me but I can change my way of being and how I look at my world on a day to day basis.

This all came to me while I was away teaching a week long workshop at Snow Farm in Williamsburg, MA where the pace of my life came to a screeching halt and I found myself strolling down the paths to meals, the fiber studio and to my simple room.

So here are some of the simple changes I am working on:

In general, whatever I am doing (except art making) I have a tendency to run through all the things in my head that I still have to do. It is a fast paced, frenetic loop where I hardly have time to breathe before mentioning the next thing on the list.

Now I am trying to run through the loop only once, then I have to completely focus on what I am doing. Because the reality is that I don't really mind cleaning house, grooming the dogs, washing the dishes, folding laundry, racking leaves or working at my part time job in a copy center. There is always something new to see and the chance for artistic growth to happen.

Also, when I walk up the stairs to my front deck everyday I am only allowed to run through the loop of endless outside chores (including tending to my gardens for the first time in years) once. Then I have to find something lovely outside to focus on like the hardy flowers that have continued to grow despite my absence!

I guess what I am doing is forcing myself to live in the present a lot more. The reality is that all that hyper, crazy, mental energy is actually slowing me down and bringing me down, while the simple beautiful aspects of day to day life are passing me by.

So this morning when I had my cup of coffee I didn't look at emails, I didn't even read or knit - I simply drank a fabulous cup of coffee and looked out my windows on this beautiful spring morning.

Then I noticed the lovely shadows playing on the shed wall. Hmmm, how can I turn that into a stencil or silk screen?

If you'd like to see my latest finished Art Journal page click here.


Abby Digital said...

What kind of work are you doing at the copy shop?

Regina B Dunn said...

I, too, see great promise in those shadows for some kind of surface design. Go for it!

jeanne Marklin said...

One of the tips I learned a the SAQA conference was to write your list down so it didn't keep circling around in your head. Plus, you get to check things off as you do them!
Be Here Now is a great, quick book about living in the present.

Cheryl Rezendes said...

I'll have to check that book out Jeanne! and making lists is always a good way to go. I knew someone who used to say that her lists were so long that she had to start making lists for her lists!