Thursday, February 04, 2010

Thank The Rain for Falling

Thank the Rain for Raining Flying Girl Wish
lizard print felt, button thread, felt, thread, fiber fill, silver chain, silver embroidery floss

Today I thought I'd join in with Magpie Girl's 8 Things I Have Learned in the Past Little Bit.

So here's the kind of stuff I've been learning:

1. Don't leave the living for when life is better. You'll miss out on opportunities, fun, new things, old favorite things, and just generally be less happy.

2. Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a friend. We generally don't beat up on friends for imperfections. We support them, rather than tear them apart. And sometimes, instead of mothering other people, try mothering yourself. Remind yourself to eat well and sleep enough. Give yourself unconditional love. Give yourself time outs for bad behavior. Treats just because.

3. Say YES to life. The one that you have. Yup. This one. Not the one that you'd rather have, or the one that looks great when you see others living it. Not the one that you'd have if you were cooler or richer. This one. Yes, this is your life. Yes, it is great. Yes, it is giving you so many gifts that all you have to do is accept.

4. Be Brave. Lately, if I realize I am putting something off because it frightens me, I have to do it. Face the fears. If you are afraid of something, and it doesn't actually offer a danger to your life, there must be some reason why you are afraid. Chances are because you really want something attached to the fear. There are some high stakes there, and you are afraid of the outcome if you go for it. So, be afraid, and do it anyway.

5. Baby Steps, Baby. This is how I manage to get anything done, because it all seems to overwhelming when you look at the big picture. So don't. Don't look at the big picture other than to orient yourself as to direction. Look instead only at this baby step you take down this road. This page of writing. This question to ask someone. This day of to do's. This "yes." This apology. Don't read into what any of it "might" mean. Just take the one step.

6. Rest. Allow yourself to go fallow. Allow yourself to sleep late, or go to bed early or take naps. Allow yourself to not be so busy all the time. It doesn't mean there's something bad about you if you are not always gogogoing. Stare out the window and drink tea. Doodle aimlessly. Watch dumb tv. Take a hot bubble bath. Accept that you are not a machine and that you need down time.

7. Nothing Is Ever Wasted. All those great ideas that you had and didn't do anything with? If they really are great, they'll be back. That education you don't seem to be using or career you left? You gained valuable skills and experience that you can pull on. Those books you've read your whole life? They've gone into the soup of your creativity. The friends who are now scattered across the world? There's always facebook, email, or good old snail mail to renew your friendships. The point is, don't mourn the loss of things no longer in your life. Realize that they have made your living so much richer, and are still giving to you, even now.


and lastly
8. Thank the Rain for Raining. Much like the last one, nothing is ever wasted, valuing the dark times of life can be the most valuable experience. We think we are failures when we fail at things. When things don't work out or we make mistakes or we don't do what we feel we should have done. It makes us feel bad about ourselves. It makes us feel as if we are worth less. It makes us want to give up, maybe. But the metaphor says something. We look at rain storms as something bad, taking the sun away, right? But no. Those dark clouds, bringing wind and rain and cold, they also bring nutrients, they clear the air, the help us take stock.
Hard times make us better people. Pain makes us more resilient. Loss makes us value what we have more. Lack makes us think creatively to create new solutions. So don't feel bad when times are bad, but accept the struggle as a really good, intense master's course on yourself. And quite possibly, those tough, rainy times will lead you to where you need to be for a new season, a new path, the flowers to bloom.

Oh yeah, and if anyone has any hints on photographing black and white things, I would appreciate some suggestions. Either the white is washed out or the black loses all detail. I'm stumped.


Rachelle Mee-Chapman said...

I needed your reminder to be kind to myself and to thank the rain for falling.

Thanks Rowena!

JES said...

Photographing b&w things: try this...

If you can help it, don't use the camera's own flash (unless you've got one of those pro-type cameras whose flash you can detach). The main idea is to light it from the side rather than from straight-on; if the light comes in laterally, you get all these tiny and very little interesting little shadows which provide texture even on the white surfaces. If the light's too harsh/shadows too sharp, you can light it through a gauze-type fabric to scatter the light.

Let me know if that doesn't work. Or, alternatively, if it does. :)

~Leslie said...

These are nice! Especially the one about living your life...and being kind to yourself.

I appreciate your perspective. Thanks!

IvyC. said...

Lovely artistry - I like the blending of tones & textures.. love your Flying Girl series of work!

Beverley Baird said...

What a thoughtful list - words to live by!

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