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A FUN PROJECT FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN'T DRAW!
Dear Ones –
Every year around this time, I sit down with a bunch of magazines, some paste, and an hour of free time, and I start cutting things out with scissors.
Then I make a collage, about what I would like the next year of my life to feel like.
This isn't exactly a vision board (although I do think vision boards are a useful exercise.) It's a lot more random than that. It's not about calling in things or goals or dreams. It's more about how I want to FEEL, than about what I want to ACHIEVE. Mostly, it's just about colors and images that appeal to me for reasons that I do not overthink. I just start cutting and then I start gluing, and I trust the process.
When it's over, I have my visual/emotional wish for the New Year.
I love collage. Collage is the gift that God gave to those of us who cannot draw. You can make a pretty thing without, you know, actually having the ability to make a pretty thing.
I make a lot of collages in my life. I do one before every new project, and another at the end of every project. I do one for every big move, and every new chapter in my life. I do them when I'm sad and can't figure out why, and when I'm so happy that my emotions spill over and it all needs to be Modge-Podged in order to feel real.
These are not masterworks that I make. I don't need them to be GOOD. They are just a visual/emotional thumbprint of a moment in time. They always surprise me, and they always inform me. I keep them in a notebook that is something like a non-wordy diary. For somebody who is so verbal, it's restful for me to just play around with color and shape and image, and to see what that all has to teach me about where I am, and what I want.
Apparently, for 2015, I want to feel an explosion of color, some sense of lazy repose, some magic carpet-action, and the thrill of a whole lot of symbolic circus pony dancing.
Bring it on!
If you like this idea, don't hesitate to borrow it!
At some point this week, take an hour for yourself, grab some magazines, some glue, and some scissors —and see for yourself how you want your 2015 to feel.
It's fun and it's easy and it costs basically zero.
(And if anyone makes a 2015 collage today, and you're not too shy to share it, feel free to post a photo below!)
ps – Some of these images came from an art magazine, and the real artists sampled here (the ones who CAN make original art) are Janet Hill (https://ift.tt/1f76v96) and Jennifer Orkin Lewis (https://ift.tt/1EpzbvL)
MERRY CHRISTMAS, DEAR ONES!!!
Since today is not only Christmas, but a Throwback Thursday, here's a photo from 1972, of me absolutely freaking out on Christmas because we got ice cream — a rare treat.
It's not just the facial expression of insane joy that gets me, but the hands clutching the table as if I am afraid of falling off the earth…I was going bananas!
This is the girl who would grow up to become a woman who went to Rome to eat gelato for breakfast, as a means of self-healing.
It all adds up.
I send you all joy and love and heartfelt good wishes today. God bless you all! May you have ice cream and may you know peace.
Dear Ones –
Thought it might be worth sharing this one again, as many of you head home for the holidays!
Have a wonderful time with your beautiful, insane families, everyone!
(And remember: Breathe, smile, be grateful for the people who brought you life, it's all just a mysterious dance, and never talk about politics.)
Remember This When Your Family Pushes Your Buttons This Holiday
They may get under our skin, but best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert says there are some things that only family can teach us. "I had a great teacher in India who said to me, 'If you think you're spiritual and evolved and enlightened, go h…
Dear Ones —
This one caught my heart: A mother of four, who just left an abusive marriage, and is starting over right before Christmas, penniless. I donated to this beautiful little family, and couldn't help sharing her story here.
So much love to you ALL – and to anyone who is suffering and struggling right now, know that our prayers and thoughts are with you.
Click here to support Ashley's Christmas Wishes by Kendra St. Hilaire
‘Tis the season for generosity, and we have a friend in need! As you are probably aware, Ashley has been through a heck of a lot this year. After so beautifully spending many years growing and nourishing her beautiful babes, her own body has taken a toll and she’s suffered more surgeries and com…
Dear Ones –
I've been thinking about the word "mercy" a lot lately. It all connects with the larger conversation on forgiveness that we've been having on this page recently, but mercy is specifically on my mind right now.
I've been thinking about how the must judgmental and critical people I've ever met also seem to be the most self-hating. This is not a genius observation for me to have made (it's usually pretty obvious, right?) but it's profoundly true.
Haven't you seen that?
Haven't you noticed how people who are incapable of extending mercy to others also seem to be be incapable of extending mercy to themselves? They hold the world, and themselves, to a some sort of impossibly high standard of judgment, and the world (and themselves) always disappoint. You can see it in their faces, which are alway tight and hard and angry. It's a face that says: "Everything is wrong, everyone is terrible, the world is garbage…and I am the worst piece of shit at the center of that garbage world."
(It's the peculiar narcissism of self-loathing, by the way, that always puts you right at the center of a garbage world.)
I've stood in that place, too — when I was deeply miserable. Nobody was good enough for me, back in the days when I detested myself. And what I hated in other people was usually just an amplification of what I could not bear about ME — namely, their human vulnerability and their fallibility. Their fragility reminded me of my own, and I couldn't stand it.
Self-disgust turns people brittle and mean, and that meanness then radiates outward and contaminates everyone around them — and nobody is exempt.
As I slowly learned how to treat myself with care and tenderness and sympathy, I could become more caring and tender and sympathetic toward the other struggling souls around me…for we are all just struggling souls. Again, in their vulnerability, I could see my own — but now I could regard that vulnerability with empathy, rather than scorn.
At this point in my life, the evidence seems clear: If you cannot show even a modicum of mercy toward yourself, then you will never be able to be express full human mercy toward others, either.
This is perhaps the strongest argument I have for learning how to come to peace with yourself — for healing your wounds, and learning how to regard the softest and weakest and most shameful parts of yourself with gentleness and compassion. If you can practice mercy upon yourself, then gradually that mercy will radiate outward to the rest of us. And that will be the end of Judgment Day, every day.
All of which is to say: It is not selfish, to learn how to be loving toward yourself: IT IS ULTIMATELY A PUBLIC SERVICE.