…. pay it forward
I took an unscheduled break over the past three days to work on the Pay It Forward project that I started in January. I am almost completely finished the 11 gifts that I made for people who ‘signed up’ for it. The inspiration for these past three days has been solidly sitting with the concept of doing something kind for someone else, without a thought of getting anything in return, and with each of these 11 people themselves as I created something special for each individual.
It has been a lot of fun to sit with each person and pairing them with a piece of artwork, knitting, jewelry, photography or poetry that might be something that they like. Oh, and by sit, I mean, I sit and meditate/ contemplate what it is they might like, based on what I know of them. I have enjoyed the entire process. Each person has inspired me. That’s my gift to myself.
I can’t help but think now to how something seemingly innocuous as a status someone posted on Facebook (and it’s also happened to me on Twitter as well, or other places – brief sparks) can inspire something much bigger in a person. Creating something by hand for someone else, whatever that might be – can not only make that person’s day brighter, but your own as well. I haven’t even given the gifts yet and I am feeling happier having completed them. It’s simple. Kindness doesn’t have to be complicated.
This is just a glimpse of some of the gifts… a tease really. The project really was so much fun, I might consider doing it again sometime in the future. Once everyone has received their gift, I will post proper photos of each one just for fun.
today’s inspiration… donkeys
It might have not been ‘just another” full moon.. but I enjoyed it the same way that I have enjoyed every full moon this year. This time, however, I stood in the field behind my brother’s house, shivering and on tiptoes (because I was too short to see over the wooden fence) with my daughters, my brother and his girlfriend, watching the moon rise.
Spending time with family and watching this moon was a big source of inspiration for me this weekend. It will be interesting to see what comes from this during the next few weeks. Good things.
It may just be a unconscious reaction to all of the green worn yesterday, but today, almost everyone was wearing red at work, including me. Red, as a result, has been my inspiration today. Actually it is most days because it is my favorite colour… one of many favorites. The colour red, for me is happiness. That is what I have always associated it with. Being happy. Making those kinds of mental connections to colour makes me think about how useful it is to do that. We are conditioned in so many ways, on so many levels to make these kind of connections. My daughters have both played games in school that encourage stronger mental conditioning to make links. It’s been proven in a number of different studies that these connections/ conditions also improve memory…. however, I am questioning today, whether it is a good thing or not. Maybe yes, maybe no… or at least there are limits. It’s useful to have a good memory for school, work, putting your pants on every day… but what happens if you come to rely on those connections too much? When I do, that’s when I start having mental lapses. It happens – sometimes when I am talking to someone, sometimes when I am writing. I will write or say one thing, and something else will come out. It makes me laugh when it happens. I sometimes don’t catch the lapses for awhile – which makes it even funnier. Now, as I am sitting here contemplating connections and what it has to do with the colour red… I am making a list of the things that red makes me think of… which also makes me think of the song “Doesn’t Remind Me” by Audioslave. And now I am reminded of something else – a ‘condition’ called synethesia… which is when someone assigns personalities to numbers, and likely colours as well. Anyway, I digress.
Red, this morning, had nothing to do with my mental lapses or leaps. It was just the colour that inspired me when I woke up to wear it. It made me smile when I walked into work and saw an unplanned sea of red. There were a lot of dressed like twins jokes floating around. I will say though, I think I am a slave to connections and even more so to patterns. Red for happiness, for love, for the heart, for beauty, for strength, for stability, for fire…. for many other things. Thank you Red for what you do for my brain. You sweet inspiring little champion you. 😉
That is my inspiration for today. Sometimes, I put walls up. *snort* yeah ok all the time I put walls up. Distance between myself and others. I don’t generally like to draw attention to myself. I am definitely not comfortable if I am put on display and if I have to do public speaking it will only be a very brief or specific reason that I do it. It’s not to say that I have never been on stage before – I have certainly, many times. I did theatre in university, dozen or so plays in high school and elementary school, even sang on Parliament Hill as a child. I am not sure what happened when I got older, but after having children I withdrew from the stage for the most part. Now, it makes me uncomfortable to be front of house (unless I am doing something for work for example, it still makes me uncomfortable but it’s for a good cause so I do it).
Today, I found out some news that made me very uncomfortable. Something that I did for a tv program aired several times – I didn’t know it was going to air more than once. It’s not a huge day (deal, I meant deal) – it’s actually very good for work, great exposure, but I really wish someone else was doing the interview instead of me. I was mortified when staff and clients came up to me to say they had seen me on the weekend (one in Canadian Tire of all places on all of their TVs) it got me to thinking about walls and barriers that I put up that keep me from being creative. Ok, sincerely it got me thinking about how much I don’t like people watching me now, and how I used to not care so much. I will spare you the mental mumbojumbo and musing, but it was a slow change for me from one extreme to the other. Being uncomfortable is a signal. It’s a signal, a sign, a good ole slap in the head to pay attention. It screams, “Time to dig in and explore”. No more time for hiding. I know this. I know this from my dharma studies, I know this from my work with Sandra Jensen and Diving Deeper Writing workshop. Heck I even know from recent events that I need to tackle this head on. It, my gut tells me, will inspire a great more from me creatively. Be very freeing. I can feel that much.
For some reason, the children’s song “Going on a lion hunt” is playing through my head now.
“Going on a lion hunt, going to catch a big one. I’m not scared. Uh oh, there’s mud ahead. Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, can’t go around it, gotta go through it.” … ah yah. Let’s go! I have my work cut out for me 😉
the inspiration today came from that moment when the sun was just past setting and the sky takes on the most beautiful blue – just past dusk. I love this time of day, when the stars are just starting to come out…
As if to play a trick on me, my body decided to wake up extra early this morning… an hour before my alarm was set to go off. The irony is, with daylight savings, I was awake two hours earlier than I normally am on a week day. It is one thing I dislike about daylight savings… the psychological effect it has on me. I think about losing an hour of sleep and I am bound to become tired. It is trivial of course, in light of the tragic difficulties people are facing at the moment in Japan and Libya… not even the levity provided by the antics of celebrities ( *cough* no need to mention names, we all know who) should distract from the devastation. Not to mention the recent earthquakes in China and New Zealand or the flooding in Australia. It is a time of great upheaval for many people. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant the change they may be experiencing in comparison to the major events taking place around the world. Panta Rei. Everything changes. That is not to be flip about change… instead, this is a phrase (shared by a dear sweet friend of mine almost ten years ago along with its counterpart which I adopted as my own personal slogan for a long time – Estin Enai, but I will save that for another time.) that I draw a great deal of inspiration from, not to mention comfort. Everything changes. No matter how shocking it might be, change is one thing we can count on in this life. How we weather that change I think, speaks more about our own integrity and willingness to be open to whatever is meant to arrive… There is true strength in being courageous and open to change… because it’s coming whether we want it to or not.