Weekly Reflections

In a new thing I am doing directly based on my 52 Cards and  inspired by Teresa Robinson’s inspiration and truthful wisdom on her site and with her own 52 cards I have begun working in this little notebook that I was given by a good friend after she visited China (and married over there!).`

Weekly Reflections Journal

I love it, and I love the pages.  It is pocket sized and I love the binding.  I didn’t want to “waste” it.  I had done one page already last year and then no further.

Weekly Reflections Journal

2013 Found words Collage

Mainly I was working on my 52 cards though in this style.  I did more of those than I shared on here, but I didn’t finish them.  I have wondered whether to share what I had done.  Or to start again at the start of the year.  My wondering turned into procrastination and I didn’t start any cards at the start of the year.

A couple of weeks ago I decided I was not going to share the remaining cards.  Not because of any big secrets on them, but they were done.  I don’t even think I could talk sensibly to them now.  Well, I probably could. But they would be no less done.  And I had no words for them.  So I decided to leave them.

There is a quiet power in that decision of not sharing.  That feeling that everything you create does not have to be shared even if you are blogging and wanting to make a business out of your creating.  That there can be creating that is just for you.

It goes to the very heart of why I stopped blogging for a while.  That  question of why am I sharing this? What is my motivation?  Am I doing it just to garner feedback.  Or just for connection. And what does that mean at it’s very core for me.  And then the question of why we create. All big questions.  Certainly not a track I was envisioning when I began this post, so I will gracefully step off that little track and back on to the one I began on.  :)

So the final outcome is that there will be no more of the series my 52 cards.  But that process of reflecting each week is a powerful one that made such a real difference to my life.  The words that would be found and chosen.  I can’t say enough about it. So incredibly powerful.  Truly.

In that spirit, I missed not doing the cards.  Having that dedicated reflection (and I know I could have done it anytime, but I liked the dedicated time to reflection at the end of the week), and I was thinking about starting it up again when I came across my book while looking for something else.  I saw that first page and a 1000 little twinkly lights twinkled and I realised I could use this little book in place of a card.

Reflections on the past week and an opportunity to use my date stamp!!  Also serendipitous scraps photo bombing. :) #weeklyreflections #artjournal

When I had done the first page I realised that there was space for writing about any thoughts or ideas that had come up.  So my new weekly reflection journal was born. Combining found words and written words, a powerful tool already.  Last weekend after some truly testing personal experiences I came to such an incredible story-reframing realisation about it all, after looking at the words ad then beginning journaling.

#weeklyreflections in my #artjournal

Things I knew in my head, but didn’t really know in my bones yet clearly. And all of a sudden I got it.  The words formed themselves on the page and I wondered what had made those words come to the surface.  Powerful stuff in a gut punching kind of way. So all this to say that while My 52 cards is no longer a feature, my Weekly Reflections are likely to be.

They will be useful to track my journey and progress.  At this stage however just the found words will be shared.  There is also wisdom when sharing and not sharing in knowing where those boundaries lie for each of us.  For me right now, the balance feels right.

How time flies

Especially it seems when you have run out of words.  I have been in some crazy mute stage, that I think looking back over the last couple of years always tends to happen in the same phase.  I don’t know what it is about August-September, but I am back with my right words.  :)

As I type that it may actually be part of my creative cycle.  Also perhaps would have been easier to come back if I did not fight it and beat myself up for not coming here calling myself a lazy person.  Perhaps a note for if this happens next year may be to show myself some grace for September!

In any event I have still been arting, even if I did run out of words.  Also…in big news around here, one of the proposals I was working on for the organisation I was contracting for was shortlisted and they have been asked to make a presentation to the government department in that area and have asked me to help present!!  Which was a huge honour.  Very exciting non art news.

I am four weeks behind in showin my 52 cards so will show those all here today.  My version of attempting to catch up.  Then I have a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT later today.  I can barely keep my mouth shut around it.  Then sharing some mail art and art journal stuff later in the week.  I have already scheduled the posts which makes me feel very organised!!  :)

In other BIG news I got my firs big girl camera.  I finally made a decision and it is beautiful.  A little nerve-wracking to use, but I also got a book on my kindle that I am going to work my way through.  I do however see how you can spend a fortune on lenses.  I did not fully appreciate that before.  Now…oh my gosh.  I get it.

This could be a very expensive hobby…

But look…isn’t she beautiful??

My first big girl camera! #veryexcitedSo on to my 52 cards.  Beginning with card 30!!!

Card #30/52

Card 30 was actually painted using my daughters left over paints from when she had finished painting.  I was feeling a bit lazy and didn’t want to get out one of my art journals to put the left over paints there like I normally would. 

I can see here how uninspired I was feeling and trying to reassure myself that my creative mojo was going to come back, so I would not feel like I had fallen from the fly forever. Though honestly I had a few doubts as I wondered about I was really doing here.

Card 31:
Card #31/52The stamp was made with staz on ink.  A new purchase and oh my gosh how I love that ink pad is permanent. Though it is very smelly.  But lovely.  With one of my homemade stamps no less.  :)

Still dithering and asking questions…so many questions.  It really is interesting looking back and writing about it now because it does symbolise my angst about what I was doing.  I had so many plans for posts and really could barely make myself go near the computer!!  Grace for September is clearly needed.  I am going to make sure I have a plan in place for next year!

Card 32:
Card #32/52Starting to take more affirmative action…plugging away behind the scenes and also this week I began creating a bit more.  I think this was the week I had no more contract work and honestly I did not a lot more than rest.  In fact maybe that is why I ran out of words here.  I was so busy writing reports and I had no more to give…watch me make justifications for not posting!?!

Card 33:
Card #33/52And then card 33…I have been much more immersed in art last week.  I do feel a bit better about where I am going and what I have to offer here. I have all sorts of sparkling plans.  :)

I do wonder also as I am writing these words that I stopped my morning pages…I suspect that has contributed to me drifting.  Back to those then without delay!!

To find out more about these 52 cards…found words and images on a playing card, please visit Teresa where she explains so wonderfully the whys of the cards and has such inspiring wisdom in her words.  They guide me every time I read them. 

Thank you in advance for having me back.  I do feel back! :)

Still here

Is it a sign when you have to log back in to WordPress that you have been missing in action for too long??

Gosh.  I just took photos of my latest “My 52 Cards” card and realised that I had not taken photos of the one before that.  Aaargh!!  Life has gotten away from me in real life (evidenced by my laundry pile and library overdue fines) which means I have been away from here as I try and keep up.  I feel like I am so scattered that I am letting a lot of balls fall but I am here checking in, and hopefully semi keeping the ball from smashing heavily down to earth!

I have been working essentially full time in proper paid work which has been great, the extra money will give us some breathing room, that is for sure, and I love the research/analysis work I have been doing.  Work that makes you feel like you are making a difference.  I am especially grateful for sanity that I have been able to do it from home which has helped a lot with managing children, though it has not been without some teething problems as I am available a bit less and things still need to happen…I may have had a couple of unsexy meltdowns as the reality of not been fully available and able to do EVERYTHING became realised by all but we have gotten to here relatively in tact!! .

I would even love it was more permanent, though I think it is only for another couple of weeks so I am making the most of it, though I would have to also be a whole lot more organised if it was more permanent!!  Also I am going to buy myself a new camera, which is also *squee* exciting and I am looking forward to doing the research on that. And then actually buying it.  I will warn you because I suspect I will become very excited about taking photos again!! :)

Still I know I am behind on things including blog reading, but I am trying to get my blog reader back up to day…so expect flurries of comments in little bursts!!  I suspect some of the scattered feeling is also because I have not been doing my morning pages very regularly…note to self!!  But I am trying not to self-flagellate myself with some of my more recent negative self-talk about how crap I am doing and exercise a bit more self-compassion.

So…a bit of an update and catch up.

First I was over here briefly…with this.
Channelling Jackson Pollock

Channelling Jackson Pollock Close up

I cannot stress how much fun this was.  it makes me smile thinking about it even now.  In the middle of all this contracting work, where I have had moments of wondering if I am good enough to do it, flinging paint is a most excellent stress reliever…

And my latest 52 card contributions.

Heading for happy #26/52

This one was done in the midst of been so exhausted from working and mothering (is there a difference sometimes) and I look at it now, and see how emotionally heavy I felt, but still somewhat positive and on track towards the bigger picture. At least an awareness that I shouldn’t get hung up on the heaviness, though with my depression journey I am always especially conscious of feeling heavy, to keep a careful eye that it doesn’t go further.

My last one was this:

Here #27/52

A lot lighter, also done when we were just home from spending a weekend on my Aunt’s farm a few hours away. I did not a lot more than read my kindle and soak in the sun, and it gave me some breathing space from everything that was so needed.

Reflected by the words I chose!! :)

I will be back tomorrow with another post and more photos! So as not to wear out my welcome.

The life we live daily (card #25/52)

Wow.  Nearly half way.  This practice has taught me such a lot about myself.  Today’s card is very reflective of the latter half of my week as well.

The painting on the front is a painting I did a couple of years ago on a diary page that I have saved in my collage box to use at some stage.  This week I did not feel drawn to a lot of words and when I saw her I felt very drawn to putting her on this week’s card.

Our daily world (#25/52)

Eight weeks ago someone that my beloved used to work with closely was diagnosed with cancer.  This afternoon we are going to his funeral.  He was only 45.

It has taken up a lot of my thinking.  Eight weeks.  The difference that that amount of time can cause to a person’s dreams and very life.  A wake up call of sorts for the rest of us as we sat absorbing the news very shell shocked late last week.  At the start of the year he and his wife still had their dreams and future in tact.  His wife’s future is now very different, and the reality of that is unimaginable for me.  She has been in my constant thoughts.  His whole family have.

It has also made me think think about what I would do differently with only eight weeks.  It won’t be made up with the big ticket items on my list-of-things-to-do-before-I-die.  It will in reality with only that amount of time be the life I am living now.  So is the life I am living now, the life i would choose to be living if I had only eight weeks.

Generally I am grateful to say it is.  There is not a lot I would choose to change or regret about my life as it stands right now.  It would be my lost dreams of a future and missing my children’s future moments that would cause me the most distress.

It has also made me think about the potential of things I want to do but haven’t because I am not sure what I am doing, or how it would all work or what I have to do.  And I don’t like to fail. In eight weeks all my chances and choices could be removed from me, and then one of my regrets would be the life I have not lived and the chances I have not taken even if I bomb wildly.  At least I would have tried.  I won;t be living in the not knowing one way or another, a live only half lived.

So.  That is where I am.  This week.  Looking at those actions that make up my everyday private world, the real live, not those grandiose dreams that go on our lists of things we want to do.  What are we doing in the here and now.  The life we live daily is the life that counts in the end, that says who we were, who we are.  What is it that makes our lives now, the ones we want to be living and that we won’t regret.

The power of eight weeks will be the most lasting legacy he has left to me, it is up to me how well lived my eight weeks are.  A paradigm shift if ever there was one.

Inspired to note my week’s reflections by the 52 card project that Teresa is doing.  Her words are worth reading anyway in my experience, but her words about this project in this post sum up perfectly what the project has meant to me.  “It was my way of leaving bread crumbs to mark my path“. These cards are indeed my breadcrumbs to my path.  Every single one.

Having just read this post, it also astounds me how much it ties up with the thoughts behind my card this week, and the thoughts in my head.  Synchronicity across the oceans.

Live your life well. xx

Dream so much more (Card #24/52)

{Deep breath}  Card #24.  This year is spinning by.

This card was made in the middle of some very left-brained contract work, taking a brief pause because I am committed to doing this on a Sunday even if Sunday has other plans (combined with my procrastination Spring Cleaning of the house!!!)

Dream so much more (#24/52)

I grabbed what was around me at first, but there were words missing, so I grabbed another magazine, and the other words actually came from an insert in the magazine that fell out on the way.  As I picked it up I saw it was for fitness equipment and I was going to throw it in the recycling, but a couple of the phrases grabbed me on the way.

I wonder sometimes if those finds are serendipitous or laziness because I was on a tight deadline, sometimes I wonder what influences the other.  Sometimes I maybe think too much!!  :D

In any event this was the card that was finished last night.

The first words to be glued on were “Starts”, “so much more” and “a shortcut”.  The other words slowly built up around them.  Despite the gaps between those words I love the way the other words fit in to the gaps, last night there was “no time for playing” so words were glued down straight away or discarded.  Reading it now, I love the way they fit together to fill the space.

Part way through I wondered what I was going to end up with, but in the end it works out…if I keep listening to my gut about what words to use, and don’t try to force other “maybe” words in.  There is a lesson in there as well! haha

I hope you all have a fantabulous week filled with life and love and laughter. Also tingly spines!

This card is made on a playing card from a deck as per Teresa’s inspiration over at Right Brained Planner.  A weekly moment of pause and reflection on a playing card, easy to fit in but such a powerful practice.  Teresa’s post this week talks about avoiding having everything in final format, a lesson I needed to hear at just this moment.  The draft version is sometimes enough.

Reflections on time

My card for last week…card #23/52.

I didn’t realise until the card was finished that there were a lot of time references on the card…even an old clock hand from a long broken clock. Clearly time and my use of it has been in my mind recently (quite a lot actually).

Time reflection

I have been aiming to do at least one thing a day towards creating the life want and have reorganised the way I use time and prioritise my time so it was interesting to see what phrases I was attracted to this week.

The card background was some of Victoria’s art, she can be quite prolific, and in an attempt to avoid cleaning up she then gifts me all her efforts so I end up tidying it…such a generous (and very clever) soul.

At the moment I have a lot going on, some art stuff, some contract stuff, a to-do list that is growing ever longer with household chores, but so far I am keeping my head above water…though sometimes I have moments that I wonder (household chores are missing out on attention until the weekend this week). Overall though, it does feel like things are coming together and doors are beginning to open for me that I am very grateful for. Hello tomorrow indeed. :)

To find out more about this project of weekly reflection on a deck of cards check out Teresa’s words here.  My cards are totally inspired by her wisdom and affirmation which I am very grateful for.  :)

My 52 cards reflections

I have two cards to post in my 52 cards series that are inspired by the generous, wise and inspiring Teresa Robinson.

I cannot recommend the practice enough, a tiny collage on a playing card. It does not seem like a lot (which encourages you to continue), and yet the benefits I have seen in my focus have been so much more than I could have imagined. The act of finding words each week, or where they come from, always makes me gasp. I tend not to go into it with a search for particular words, but look through pamphlets and magazines I have collected for any that jump out at me.

I then begin sticking them down, some that once felt like they could fit, don’t feel right after all and so there is another selection phase that goes on. In every single card I have done in this collection I have been struck at the application of the words to something going on in my life, or to things I have been thinking about, or journalling about, or talking about. Even if not immediately obvious.

Such a powerful practice, my stack of cards have become very precious to me!

My first card to be shown today is card #21!!!!

Questing #21/52

I am feeling like I am at a cross roads a bit. Just a bit unsettled, both good and bad energy and this card is very reflective of that feeling of being on a precipice, where you are not entirely sure where you are going, or going to end up but you step forth anyway with trust. In yourself, and those you have chosen to make connections with.

Also trust that all those little steps we are making and actions we are taking are adding together to create the life we want and put the dreams we are dreaming into reality. Sometimes we need a reminder when doubts and fears about where we are going begin clamouring. Trust and faith is where it is at. And showing up and taking those steps anyway, despite those voices.

{Deep Breath}

My second card was for week 22! So far along already, the little steps really do add up! :)

Noting #22/52

For this one I grabbed the doodles that I did while talking to someone on the phone and taking notes and put that under some pattern tissue paper.

I have just noticed that I used the word quest in both cards!! This card was much more all over the place, which is how I was feeling a bit last week. A bit drifty and behind on everything. This card was really about be noticing all of it, the good and the bad, of which there was both. Sometimes I get very happy surprises as well…the top clipping with the arrow, was the flip side of a word I had put in my “maybe” pile, I decided to use it, but when I turned it over to glue it, I liked that side much more so that is the side I used.

And that is my reflections on the past fortnight! It has been very full. :)