Today is Valentine’s Day. A day that feels more commercial than loving lately. Can you have this loving day without flowers, candy, store bought cards? It doesn’t matter anyway because it is -9 degrees this morning in the Capital District of New York State and when the thermostat dips that low, I’m staying home. There will be one run out to the garage to make sure the car starts and that will be it today. Burrrrr!
So what do you do on days when the temperature plunges. Let me share how my creative day began. It all started yesterday after my Therapeutic Touch class. I drove the 30 minutes to Saratoga Springs for an essential oil class only to park, walk the two blocks in the frigid temperature to a building that was locked. I walked around and even asked a man who was quickly walking past if I had the correct place. I did. My ears began to freeze so I walked the two blocks back to my car with my scarf whipping in the harsh wind. Was I angry you may ask – no because I was thinking maybe I had the wrong location. Once in the car I checked my email and noticed one from the woman who invited me to the class. She was asking, “Are you still coming?” That was sent 20 minutes prior to my arrival. I was at the correct building so I tried calling her cell but it went directly to voice mail. I let her know I had arrived but the door was locked. Then sent an email with the same response. This is the temperature reading in the car at that point in the day.
After waiting ten minutes with no response, it was time to head home. While driving down Broadway, I decided this shouldn’t be a wasted trip to Saratoga so I called my friend to see if she was home. The call went straight to voice mail. I didn’t leave a message but drove over near her home to the Saratoga State Park. There are always two plastic jugs in my trunk in case I am in the area to fill with fresh spring water. Saratoga Spring water is always a treat. You just have to bring a container and be ready to stand in line. It was below zero, how many people could possibly be standing in line? Around six actually. I pulled the scarf up around my head and stood at the spigot. It was so cold standing out in the wind but everyone was so friendly that I felt nice and warm inside. After filling the two jugs I remembered a Trunk show was being held at A Bead Just So store in Ballston Spa. I love beads and making jewelry – truthfully it was only a one time event but such fun. A Bead Just So was only a ten minute ride and heading in the direction of home so off to Ballston Spa.
Wow! That’s all I can say. So many beads of different sizes, shapes, colors, textures – looked like a candy store with so many selections that you could easily become overwhelmed. You can check out the sight by clicking on this link to their FaceBook page:
First I stood at the door taking in the entire store from left to right. Slowly I made my way around the first table to the right – touching and checking each little bin. Then I found beads that sparked an interest – they spoke to my heart and raised my vibration. I spent time in this section lying the various colors, shapes and textures side by side until narrowing the selection down to five strings. Then moved on to a larger table to my right which was filled with more expensive strings laid side by side with each style piled high – jade and turquoise. Very beautiful and if I were a jeweler would have been where I spent my time, I’m an amateur so I moved on.
When in a bead store the shopper moves slowly and mindfully, allowing themselves to truly enjoy the moment. There is a quiet in the air of deep contemplation, similar to the atmosphere of a second hand book store. Shoppers are creating in their mind – blending items to see if they ‘feel’ right together. Time stands still, there is no time for cell phones interrupting the process. Leave the cell phone in the car or turned them off. One can lose themselves and become one with the beauty around them. It probably helped that I spent the morning in meditation and practicing Therapeutic Touch.
In the center of the room was a very large table covered in beads of similar sizes, textures, and designs but in various colors. It was a brownish, orangish with a hint of green day and that is what drew my attention. In my mind I began to see the beads coming together as beautiful necklaces. There were small bins filled with charms – trees, leaves, wings, dragonflies, butterflies, Buddhas, and many more at the end of the table. So many to choose from. I grabbed a small box to lay out my beads and allow for better visualization. That is when I narrowed my choices to those that matched and I could visualize in flow together.
Arriving home I stopped to make some dinner, throw in the laundry, check my email and then it was time. After pulling out a tray and placing a blue cloth in the bottom I was ready. I grabbed the box with my left over beads from three years ago, then emptied the beads, charms, wire and tools into the tray. After staring into the tray, the beads were each released from the strand holding them and then organized into categories. Beads of similar shades together, charms sorted by color – once organized it was time to decide where to start.
The feather charm was the first to grab my eye so that was where to start. My son’s ex-girlfriend, Alee, is a wonderful jewelry maker. Alee presented me with several dragonfly necklaces and earrings over the years. She was the first person to bring me to a bead store and rekindled my love of beads. In the sixties and seventies we had jars of beads in our home – thousands of several colors. We always made and wore beaded necklaces. Not sure where all those beads went, Mom probably threw them out after we left home.
Alee’s technique was to lay the beads out on the table and rearrange until she had exactly what she was looking for. She may have a painting or magazine clipping that would inspire her. Alee is an artist who uses many types of mediums. Beads, feathers, small clippings from children’s books, acrylic and water paints, clay, and such. This is not my style, although it seems much more organized and successful. My technique is to just start placing the beads on the wire and let myself flow into the design. There were changes along the way, sometimes the beads slid off the wire and had to be restrung. It did not matter, I was in flow. I knew each side had to match. That there had to be room at the end for the latch. The charms had to be wired and placed so they would dangle when worn and not look out of place. I went with a metal feather and wing. At the latch I placed a charm that read ‘Made with Love’. What a perfect charm for Valentine’s Day.
It took several hours and nothing else mattered during that entire time. No other thoughts of what I should be doing, bedtime, hunger, thirst, temperature – nothing else mattered for the entire time I was creating.
You may be saying well I have a family, obligations, phone calls, bills . . . What I am saying is, it doesn’t have to be jewelry making. It can be drawing, journaling, cooking, dusting, rearranging furniture, crocheting, dancing, or even painting with food coloring. What is it that can take you to that creative place in your mind, heart and touch your soul.
I have raised three children myself. Being a single working Mom with three children isn’t easy yet we had craft time, making cookie time, dance time, painting time, nature time. If you have children, what better time to teach them mindfulness than when they are young. Learning to be creative will teach them self-care. Isn’t that what we want for our children, to grow up being able to take care of their health and find happiness and joy in life. They want the same thing for you.
If you live on your own and find yourself depressed at times, what better way to move through the fog of depression than in creating. I have been there too. When that fog of depression took its grip over my life, creating was my lifesaver. Especially while I was raising the children. How could I sink when they needed me? Creating held me up and carried me through. It was during these times that I actually created more because it brought me to a place of peace and self-love. That is where we find ourselves and meet the person we were meant to be.
We all have choices and are given one life – well at least this time around depending on your beliefs. Why not take control and empower yourself through creation and self-love. No need to let disappointments get in your way of having a wonderful day – life, just move on. Do something that allows you to lose yourself in the process for a while – without drugs or alcohol. Creating is the best mind and health booster there is. If more people lived mindfully and enjoyed the blessings in life there wouldn’t be time for wars, anger, hatred, depression, stress related illness. . . you name it.
I would love to hear what you create and if you are able to delve into that mindful place within where self-love resides. If you do, please share so others may learn skills and techniques to reach that place as well.
Love and Light!