Tag Archives: balance

In Thanks

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Days and weeks are flying by! I have been devoting my time to several different projects, volunteering at my son’s school, and nurturing relationships. I’m going to take tomorrow and Friday to let my to do lists go, and practice gratitude for the good that is.

Next week will be full of preparations for a holiday sale in Quincy, Illinois that will take place on December 6. I’m looking forward to spending time with very dear friends and am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the event. The weekend after that will bring another art and craft sale in Jefferson City, Missouri, and I’m looking forward to that one as well. Let me know if you’re in either of those areas and I’ll give you the details!

I also hope to collect more stories for my newest venture: #WithMyClothesOn. You can learn more about that at: withmyclotheson.wordpress.com

Follow me on instagram (instagram.com/thefreerangeartisan) to see how the sale preparations progress!

Creatively and Gratefully Yours,

Free Range Al

http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheFreeRangeArtisan

See something you like on my blog that is not in my shop? Click “contact the shop owner” and we can easily arrange a custom order.

Good Things!

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A new card design in progress

So many projects! So many special moments! So little time!

I’m participating in a winter sale on November 2 and am preparing new cards (like the one above) for that event. My other creative outlet is the written word, and I’m giving a talk in Illinois on October 26. Preparing for these two events on top of my normal schedule is keeping me very busy.

Do you remember my glass pendants with original drawings?

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I made one that can accompany one of my cards this week as well:

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Another priority is fostering the friendships I’m beginning to make. We’ve lived in our “new” city for a little over two years and meeting people has been a bit of a challenge. Some really interesting and caring people are part of my life now, and I’m very grateful for their presence. I could totally spend entire weeks to myself and be content, but I am making sure that I put effort into nurturing my new relationships just as I nurture my other interests.

Do you find that it takes thought and effort to be sure you spend quality time with people in your life and not become caught up in your lists of things to do? What works for you? What doesn’t?

Wishing You Balance and Fulfillment,

Free Range Al

http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheFreeRangeArtisan

See something you like on my blog that is not in my shop? Click “contact the shop owner” and we can easily arrange a custom order.

Defining and Using Gratitude… with Chaos

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When my son is upset that something is not going his way (which does not happen often, but he is human), we’ve started a practice of making a list of what he is happy about in his life. At first, this annoys him, but eventually his face lights up as he thinks about what he really likes about his world, and we are often able to move on to a more pleasant state of being.

I’ve decided to make sure I do this too when I start to obsess over something I want but cannot have, or if my day does not go just as I planned. My list of wants includes things that just are not possible right now, and sometimes I want to throw fits of my own to release the emotions that comes with that fact. Sadness and frustration still arise, but, since I started making a list of what is good and beautiful right now, I also feel a deep sense of peace and gratitude.

After writing my last entry, I began to wonder if  this practice was leading me to settle for something less and enabling me to not push myself toward a better way of life. I suppose it is possible to use gratitude as a way to settle, but I’m finding that it works as an anchor in my life. I will always want more time to write, draw, organize, read, whatever. I really want to go to graduate school and study theology. While it can be painful, I think that drive will serve me well in eventually accomplishing what I want to accomplish as an individual. Meanwhile, there are some really good things in my world, and it serves me to pause and remember them.

I’m going to define gratitude as the act of acknowledging what is good in one’s life. That does not mean that I ignore or dismiss whatever is bothering me or what I would like to change. It just means that I pause to recognize that which is good.

I think emotions we are quick to condemn can actually serve us. A Friedrich Nietzsche quote  I often visit is “One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star”. Contentment does not prompt change, chaos does, so I do not really wish to be without it. I’ve heard many yoga teachers say to find peace in a position that requires great strength, and I finally realized that is really what so much of life is about. Finding something, it doesn’t have to be peace, in the midst of something that initially seems to be the opposite is something that requires practice, but it can bring a great sense of balance when it is found.

I’m  embracing the gratitude and the chaos today. I’m very grateful that my son is beginning a week of a music, art, and dance camp and that, if something happens, I’m only a phone call away and will easily be able to do what must be done. I’m grateful for the two English students I will work with today and am honored to be a part of their academic lives. I’m grateful that I can pick my son up from camp and learn about his day. I’m grateful that my spouse values what I do. I also wish that I totally had the day to myself to write out several ideas that came up last week, and (I’m not going to lie) I’d like to watch “The Queen” before practicing yoga. Finally, I’d like to spend the entire night designing cards. Actually, I’ve already written about one thought, and the little chickadee and I can do our warrior poses together. Maybe, if I’m not exhausted, I’ll be able to sketch while watching “The Queen” after tucking my little fellow in.

I really do love my present, and I’m excited about the future.

Wishing you peace… with a healthy dose of chaos,

Free Range Al

http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheFreeRangeArtisan

Climbing Mount Pisgah in Oregon

Climbing Mount Pisgah in Oregon