Struggling to carry on in a climate of uncertainty has expended most of our patience and enthusiasm. With many of our expectations regarding this global situation having as yet gone unresolved—it’s understandable that some of us feel like throwing in the towel. As each day offers up yet another round of political volleyball, hopes of improving the situation seem to evaporate. With many of us feeling vulnerable, and with no end in sight, the list of things we “know for sure” dwindles on sometimes an hourly basis.
Finding ways to handle the resulting stress is quite “essential.”
I usually head for my quilting room or my writing desk when I need to decompress. Quilting is my art, and because I’ve done it most of my life, it’s a “muscle memory” experience…To make it more challenging, I select patterns and projects that I’m unfamiliar with. Freestyle writing has the effect of freeing up mental real estate by dumping a ton of wandering information onto a page. Regularly releasing stress and anxiety can open the soul to the possibility of light.
The image of the whimsical bicycle on this post is the result of my needing a focus project. I saw the pattern and it was love at first sight…I knew I had to create it. I also knew just by looking at it that it would be difficult, but I bought the pattern without hesitation. As expected, the process was labor intensive and at a level of difficulty I didn’t know. So I decided to make a practice quilt—which is the one pictured here. After its success, I made one more—for a special gift. Practicing saved me countless hours and disappointment as it reduced the number of mistakes I made in the second quilt. I can only tolerate starting over so many times…
Have you ever imagined how your life could be happier by expecting to find at least one treasure in each day?
In his book, The Little Book of LYKKE (pronounced Loo-ka): Secrets of the World’s Happiest People, Danish author Meik Wiking suggests that becoming aware of simple pleasures can be the start of a happy life. He suggests the following to get one’s creative juices flowing:
-Volunteer—find something you believe in, and lend yourself to it
-Seek opportunities to practice random acts of kindness
-Be a good listener
-Take care of your health
-Try to find balance in your life by focusing on things that matter most
– Move your body every day. Intensity isn’t the goal—just get the blood flowing
-Enjoy time in nature as much as possible
-Smile—even if it’s hidden by a mask, if you’re smiling, your eyes will light up!
The inclusion of Wiking’s “list” is meant to offer suggestions. Don’t take it as absolute, and be flexible by making it your own. It’s included to spark imagination and variety, not for any kind of evaluation…personal or otherwise. Intentionally begin to identify what makes you happy. Jot your thoughts down, and keep them wherever you can retrieve them easily. As you keep the intention fresh and the motivation alive by adding new thoughts and feelings each day, you’ll begin to watch your ability to spot treasure in your life that otherwise might remain unrecognizable.