Through my work as a textile-recycling artist, I have noticed that making, using discarded materials, builds a sense of contentment, of satisfaction and actually, even - empowerment. Witnessing this transition is why I love teaching my craft.
Recently it has become clear to me that teaching my craft serves people on many levels:
Firstly, it serves me – empowering people really rocks my world.
And secondly participants in my retreats and workshops come for many reasons that usually fall into these categories:
Some students want to master my craft. These folks are sometimes interested in building a portfolio or even a business using skills honed of my tutelage, cause they love to work with their hands and making stuff with discarded materials makes them feel magical. (Makes me feel that way too!)
Others want to delve into a simple process of turning garbage into treasure for fun. That sounds a little dramatic but the truth is that my process opens the door into that realm.
Often I teach students who have been tossing a recycled textile project idea around in their minds and just need the time and space to bring it to fruition.
Some people who come to my retreats just want to spend a couple days with lovely people in a sweet location getting creative with a free easy and empowering process.
In each of these scenarios, I have seen my making process, using discarded textiles to make treasures, move, with osmosis into all areas of one’s life.
Thinking back to my beginnings a young entrepreneur, when my lack of self-esteem and low self-worth, lead me to think that I was not worthy of success. I had made a string of unhealthy decisions in my relationships and living habits.
When becoming a parent, my path shone clear. I needed to turn my sad sack, self-destructive habits into something awesome. It was time to spread the success in my work-life all around allowing me to feel whole, successful and happy in all aspects of my existence. With clear focus I did just that. It took a lot of introspection, counseling, reading, and hard work, but I found a way to feel powerful, kind, and own my awesome. My focus was (and is) super easy as I am wholeheartedly inspired to pass important happy life skills on to my children. Teaching by example – and reminding myself to continue on, owning and assessing my stumbles and character flaws. There is always work to be done and no better work to do.
I have seen employees and students turn their sad-sack life choices into awesome supportive uplifting lives too. Lives have changed and continue to change when people see that they are in fact, creative, able, and good at making.
This awareness came to my life as an epiphany and major changes followed suit. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, got out of a super shitty relationship and made a good way in the world. Years later I married the sweetest man on planet Earth. Ben’s two little sisters, my husband and I now share a wonderful, full life of the perfect mix of all the things we love and prioritize.
Over the last two months I have spent a lot of time thinking about how best to serve our general good as humans on Earth with such widespread despair and turmoil. I am seeking a focus that’s also profoundly healing to me as I transition through a chapter of deep grief. As my new normal unfolds and comfort around how to talk about the death of my sweet son becomes clear I plan to sway back in a direction where I can make global shift happen in the world of textile recycling.
For now I need to find my genuinely happy place (no cliché please). Processing through this time of my life is full of unknowns but I do know that I choose to find joy. I choose to move carefully through this change with mindfulness and honor. It will be wonderful when humor, fun, and lots of live music wiggle their way back in to my days. That is what I strive for, that is what Ben would want me to do, to continue to live my life with all the love, adventure, good humor, mischief, and dancing that has been our history - to live a happy life.
If there is one thing I have learned on this magical path through life it is that happy people are more productive and more fun to hangout with. Happy people are more willing to go beyond themselves into community and environment. While I love to empower through the use of recycled textiles and will continue to do so, I see my path forward encompassing so much more. Right now I am really excited about the idea of taking this journey through the darkness into the light with you. I am really excited to see how all the love and support flowing from my community into my family manifests. The idea of finding a place where I can honor my son, feel connected to him, and laugh out loud with my daughters is inspiring me today.
It is becoming clear through this crazy grief that I can move in the direction of my goals, even just a baby-step at a time and that will feed my soul. To acknowledge that I need a little empowerment and accountability right now feels vulnerable, yet knowing that you are here, reading this is and sharing my path is helping me along.
Are you interested in taking baby-steps in the direction of your goals? If you are not sure what the heck your goals are, maybe just start with the idea of being happy – like you know, really content and happy most of the time.
I am hatching a plan to help me stay on track. If you want to learn more about it, it is called Circle, designed as a monthly subscription. Before I wrap it all up, I could really use your input. Click here to check Circle out and give me your thoughts if you have five minutes.
I bow in so much thanks to you for your support here and hope you feel my gratitude.