Tag Archives: Gratitude

In Thanks

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behind the scenes 264

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

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July 16th’s Creations and Views

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My son is attending an art, music, and dance day camp this week, so I have been able to devote concentrated periods of time to various projects these past few days. Today is the day I set aside to focus on adding pieces to my Etsy shop.

I’m pretty excited about the new additions to my Owl section. Introducing:

Wilma

Wilma - my husband says she looks very surprised

my husband says she looks very surprised

George

George - for dignified fun

for dignified fun

and Patricia

Pretty Patricia

very purple

Ever since an awesome artist friend taught me how to wire beads to make a bracelet, I’ve been hooked. They’re quite popular at the Farmer’s Market, so I decided to see how two pieces do in my Etsy shop:

Etsy Owl Necklaces and Bracelets 003

Etsy Owl Necklaces and Bracelets 030

There were quite a few more things I wanted to do, but the weather was so wonderful I could not resist the call of the Katy Trail. The ride was breathtaking:

Katy Trail and Garden Pictures 008Katy Trail and Garden Pictures 010Katy Trail and Garden Pictures 012

I could not help but be amazed by the sky today:

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Sometimes I have to remind myself to look up when I’m outside, and I’m always glad when I do.

I feel really good about what I was able to accomplish today, although the best part was being available for a hug from one of my favorite fellows:

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I may not be a published writer yet,  I have a long way to go before I can call myself a successful Etsy seller, and graduate school is still a dream, but I call this day beautiful and good.

Beautiful and Good Thoughts to You,

Free Range Al


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

 

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

 

A Theatrical Break and a Practical Return

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The past two days were absolutely wonderful for me and my little chickadee (thank you, dear husband, for making them possible). My son and I drove to Springfield, Missouri to see Tent Theatre’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” with some very special people and enjoyed time with a dear friend the day after the performance before returning to our nest.

Missouri State University’s theater department puts up a tent every summer to showcase  fantastic productions. My parents took my sisters and me to see Tent Theatre for as long as I can remember, and I was so excited to be able to share that experience with my son. I’m delighted to report that he loved it, so this is a tradition we can easily continue.

Tent Theatre

Tent Theatre

Watching the performance sparked a great many thoughts that I’m itching to explore in the future – Happiness, Tradition, The Human Spirit – but today is a day full of errands and Farmer’s Market preparations.

My polymer clay owls are very popular, and I need to make several more this evening. I also need to replenish my polymer clay crops:

Carrots, Sweet Pea Pods, Strawberries, and Apples

Carrots, Sweet Pea Pods, Strawberries, and Apples

It is terribly easy to fall into a sensation of being overwhelmed with what I think “needs” to be done, but I think my yoga practice is helping me return to a deep feeling of gratitude. Of course I would have loved to have stayed in Springfield a bit longer, or to have an entire day to make what I want to make, but I am grateful that  I could be there when I was, and I am fortunate to have the resources to go where I need to go and replenish our cupboards and refrigerator.  What is ready will be ready for tomorrow’s market… sometimes creating positive experiences and a comfortable home takes precedence over creating material items. Okay – time to create some lunch…

To Life!

Free Range Al


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