Thursday, January 19, 2006

Learning the habit

I think about updating this blog but I haven't quite managed to turn thought into action. So, I have decided to give myself a little incentive: I'm planning a trip to the fabric store next Saturday, Jan 28th and for every day that I update I am going to reward myself with 2 fat quarters. They'll probably be out of the sale stash and if I buy 12 I get an additional 20% off. Today counts. (yeah me, I'm getting 2FQ!)

Life is returning to a new normal around the house. Both girls are starting the second semesters of the junior years - Jess in college and Allie in high school. The holiday decorations have been put away, although I'm still using the Starbucks Christmas mug and the neighbors still have a snowman on their lawn. Dave (dh) is traveling next week so I will have lots of studio time! Surprisingly I have gotten more done than I thought I would this month but I still beat myself up for not doing more. I had tea with a friend yesterday after I had finished my Journal Quilt for January. We, among other things, discussed happiness and she suggest I read Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman. Right there on the back of the book is a link to a test to "find out how happy you really are". I haven't taken it yet - maybe later!

I completed another weekly collage (wk03)- beginnings III. While the collage itself may not look "happy" doing the work has been inspiring. I had stumbled upon the Journal Quilt Challenge 2006 and a Collage-a-Week Challenge about the same time. The collage theme for the first month was: self-portrait. I had been reading and exploring issues (creativity, self, spirituality) and reflecting on how I've changed - I react less I observe more (tried this in my 30's and 40's, took the wisdom of my 50's to get there, go figure!)

When I started thinking about doing a self-portrait it had to be in terms of where I am with my own life - not just the outside but also the inside - and my own conscious awareness that we create our own lives. Harnessing that "creativity" is what I'm working on (life/art/self/soul - the whole package!) Saint Bonaventure talked of three modes of attaining knowledge - the eye of the flesh, the eye of reason, and the eye of contemplation. To be a creator is to perceive knowledge with three "eyes" and give it meaning in the world and bring it to form.

The collages for January were born from this:

  • beginnings I - conscious awareness

  • beginnings II - flesh

  • beginnings III - reason

  • beginnings IV - contemplation

  • I was struggling with what to do with for the Journal Quilt Challenge. An easy solution was to use the first collage - it was done I liked it, why not. While working on the next two collages (which seemed to take on a darker mood), I decided that the JQC needed to "summarize" this journey. I'll call it 'beginnings V - happiness' - working from the realization that happiness is a state of mind - a state of consciousness: an awareness that I can choose to experience my life in whatever way I desire.

    I think I'll go take the "happy" test now.

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