Update August 2020. As we start to come out of the pandemic lock down, summer in the Northern hemisphere is here. There is gradual re-opening, but the stress continues. My observation is we are all exhausted, from the prolonged stress and the uncertainty. To add to this, events in the US and Canada have brought the problems of racism to the forefront. As a white woman both my nuclear and extended family are multi-racial. I am learning as much as I can about what I can do to speak out. Here is my current list:
With so much of the conversation around the uncertain times we are living in, I wondered how could I contribute in a calm, powerful, meaningful way. How could I add my voice to the conversation that would add value and be of service?
These Things I Know
I am looking forward to the time when I can hug my friends and travel to see my mom, my sister and my eldest son in Ontario. I want to be an anti-racism ally and to speak out when I see injustice. I have successfully pivoted my business to be relevant in an online world.
What Do I Need Right Now?
I need to rest more, laugh more, spend more time outside. I need to write and sketch and engage in my creative practice to lift my heart. This will allow me to step out and be the advocate I want to be.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you already know that most posts are written from my real life. That I share what is working for me in hopes it will be helpful to someone else.
Today I am sharing my journaling process.
I begin writing with a statement such as “I realize that these uncertain times are a test of my ability to keep my vibration high, to help others with a positive outlook.” Then I get curious.
I ask myself what benefits can come out of a slow down, of staying closer to home? How can I stay grounded in the knowledge that we are safe and trust that life is unfolding as it should? What selfcare tools can I employ here?
Here are my self-care suggestions.
- Keep looking for moments of joy. If you’ve read my first book, you will know that during my treatment for breast cancer I developed a practice of looking for 5 things that brought me joy while walking to the hospital. When you notice a moment of joy, take the time to notice how your body feels in that moment.
- Find ways to connect with one another. Walk with a friend, send a note, chat over Skype or What’s App.
- Buy some beautiful flowers.
- Support your local favourite independent businesses. I have stocked up on my fibre supplies and plan to order take-out from some local restaurants, and buy local as much as I can.
- Plan a new project. I have finished my series of three new mats about love – Unconditional, Intentional and Extravagant. They were inspired by a quote from author, feminist and social justice activist L.R. Knost about “Do not be dismayed…”. You can see the full quote in this blog post. They have been accepted into a show at the Mary E. Black gallery this fall, along with another of my mats called Opening. I’ve hooked two more mats about Courage and am about to put a new design on the frame titled Blossoming.
- Eat well and get enough rest.
Once I have written several pages in my journal I finish with an exercise from page 51 of my second book called These Things I Know & What Do I Need Right Now? This is a journaling exercise that helps me when I am overwhelmed and don’t know what my next steps should be. It is also helpful to stop that feeling of panic or mind spinning as it guides me back to the present moment.
The exercise begins with making a list of the strengths I bring to the situation – These Things I Know. Some of the items on my current list are:
I am well; I have lots to do in terms of submitting for exhibits, preparing for upcoming projects, writing; I am keeping in close touch with my family; Summer is here.
The second part of the exercise is to write What do I need right now? My list looks like this:
Walking; spend time hooking & spinning; trust all is well and is working out; limit the amount of news and conversation about uncertainty; look for beauty and moments of joy.
I hope you will find something in this process that is helpful, and that inspires you.
How I can help
I am available to help with custom designs, whether it is to help you design a mat, or to design and hook you a mat that is based on what you need right now. Feel free to connect with me.
My custom Creative Journaling for Well-Being sessions have been getting rave reviews from corporate leaders and their teams. These can be delivered virtually. Connect with me when the time is right for me to work with your team.