Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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A Year of Mindfulness: Water, Water, Water

Happy Monday! Ready to start this week’s mindfulness practice?

Before we get to that, did you practice silly walking last week? Come on, it’s okay. A little silly walking in the privacy of your own home is a great way to break the negative voice from taking over. How can anyone stay annoyed when they use silly walking? Just thinking about it flips my negative thoughts.

This Week’s Mindfulness Practice: Water

With the number of forest fires that have torn through the west this summer, becoming mindful of water seems rather timely. This week, we are asked to become aware of water in all its forms, both inside and outside of our bodies and our homes.

Did you know that your body is 70% water? Saliva, blood, urine, joint fluid. We take in water all day long. Tea, oranges, soup. Without water we’d be a pile of dried up cells & salt.

Becoming aware of water, we realize how miraculous a substance it is. Water is liquid, solid, gas. It is a substance we take for granted until we run out of it (drought) or have a problem with it (overflowing toilet.)

When it comes to mindfulness, consider how water moves. It flows without hindrance, over rocks, under bridges. What if we allowed our mind to be light and flexible, flowing (like water) with situations as they arise and change and not with energy-sapping resistance?

If water is muddy and left undisturbed, the sediment settles to the bottom and the water clears. When your mind is agitated, can you still the mind and regain clarity like the water?

This week, become aware of water in all its forms and how precious it is. This week, become aware of how your mind can become light, flexible, and clear, like the water.

Reflection:

Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water.
Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it.
So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one
can do it. -Lao Tzu


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A Year of Mindfulness: Saying Yes

As we continue our journey in mindfulness, we were asked last week to let our hands rest. This practice resounded with several of you, especially those of you who use your hands every day as part of your job. As I write this, my right wrist is starting to ache. A good sign that I need to take a break and give my hands a rest. Because we use our hands frequently during the day, it is easy to forget and neglect them. So be mindful of your hands. Be kind to your hands and let them rest.

This Week’s Practice: Saying Yes

Hmm, I’m already finding this practice a challenge. This week we are asked to say yes to everyone and everything that happens. The purpose behind this practice is to recognize if the impulse to disagree is really necessary. Is it possible to simply nod or be silent and pleasant?

How often do you take a stance that is negative or oppositional? When someone is speaking, are you aware of your thoughts forming defenses and counterarguments? Can you resist the desire to disagree if the issue is not critical? How often do you automatically think “Oh no” duringĀ  a typical day?

When you are asked a question or are having a conversation with someone, become aware of your body language (tensing muscles, crossed arms), thoughts (“I don’t agree with….”), speech (“That’s a stupid idea”), or actions (rolling the eyes.) These may all be automatic, negative responses or reactions. Can you turn these around into positive reactions? Or perhaps no reaction (ie: the “silent and pleasant” comment above.)

As Dr. Bays states: “Not expressing opposition helps us to let go of self-centered views and see that our personal opinion is actually not so important after all. Saying yes can be energizing, since habitual resistance is a persistent drain on our life energy.”

So this week, try saying yes (if the situation is not dangerous to you or others), or nod pleasantly, or be silent, pleasant and neutral. Make note of what happens.

Reflection: If men would consider not so much wherein they differ, as wherein they agree, there would be far less of uncharitableness and angry feeling.- Joseph Addison


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Dr. Funk Meet Mr. Wall

Green Puffer Fish Ornimal, Amy A Crawley, 2011, Sold

Ever since the Artspace show wrapped up, I’ve been in a bit of a funk. The show was a huge success; best show I’ve done in a couple of years. Attendance appeared to be up. The Ornimals sold well. The functional art sold well. I added new people to my customer contact list. I came home tired from a job well done.

Riding the High

I was excited when I came home. The doom and gloom of the past year, in terms of the economy, seemed to be a distant memory. I even received a few last minute orders for more Ornimals. And then I sat.

I know from past experience that it can take me a couple of days to get back into the swing of things. It’s that time when you’re coming down from one event and preparing for the next event. Dr. Anne Paris, author of Standing at Water’s Edge refers to this period as “moving out of immersion.” Moving in and out of immersive states is a normal part of creation.

Yet that didn’t help me from feeling overwhelmed with filling the last few orders before the holidays. And then there were the other things on my to-do list that also needed to be addressed. Those things that I’d put off while getting ready for the ArtSpace show. And there were appointments that I’d made too.

I’d look at my to-do list, look at the clock, try to get myself out of my chair, and succumb to the computer instead. Funk had met the wall.

Resolution

Now this time wasn’t completely unproductive. Because of the success of the Ornimals, I started investigating new display options. I made notes about target markets & how to better market the Ornimals in 2012. And I did catch up on a couple things that I put on the back-burner in the run-up to the show.

But in my head, especially at night, I’d berate myself for not putting my hands back into the clay. The negative voice loomed large in my head. I questioned everything I was doing whether it was related to art, business or not. I felt like I’d run smack into a wall. Everything on my list seemed “too big” to accomplish and I was only destined to fail.

On Monday I decided to take a walk. It wasn’t exceptionally long (that is becoming a little less desirable as the temperature gets colder.) But it was enough to clear my head and improve my attitude.

It only took me a week to get there.

I spent this entire week working on the special orders. Two were shipped out today. I hope to have the last piece in a final order completed next week. I need to keep riding this wave of momentum and do the work. Resistance is futile.

Then it will be Christmas and New Years. Time for a welcome break…before it all starts up again.