Monday, September 28, 2009

Free Spirit Tip #2

Color like ya just don't care. Scribble, doodle, free form draw - without thinking! Pick up a marker or crayon and explore, play and be free!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fiber Speaks

Simply put, my yarn cubby has been whispering to me lately. " with me. Make some scarves. Psssst....seriously....get to makin' some scarves. Yo....what are you waiting for? Make some scarves, already."

So today, I stopped ignoring those voices and pulled out a yummy, light yellow, baby alpaca yarn, and found an old felted flower that has inspired an idea for a new scarf.
I've been working on the computer so much more these days as I'm developing my Creative Adventure e-course, so getting my hands on some fiber has been long overdue and it feels amazing.

Your Personal Reflection: Is there a particular project that has been inside your head or heart for a while now? Are you ready to get your hands on it?

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Freedom to Play

I took Kestan to a new play group the other day. He is definitely an observer and needs his time to study and assess new surroundings before he dives right in. For the first 10 minutes, or so, he squeezed my index finger tightly as he slowly walked me around to each station. Once he started to feel more comfortable, he let go of his grip and joined the other children playing puzzles, jumping on mats and stacking blocks. Eventually, he was just one of the kids laughing and running and yelling "mommy...more!"

One of the stations included buckets full of toys and cups for scooping and sifting through rice. I loved watching how involved he got as he explored and experimented. He felt the rice in his hands. He tried big cups. He tried small cups. He tried to scoop up the little plastic doggies. He tried to see how many doggies he could hold in both hands. He threw the rice in the air. He gave the rice to mommy. He was focused. He problem-solved. He created. He played.

Soon another mommy and her 20-month-old daughter joined us for "play". I was surprised to see how controlling this mother was, especially of a child so young. The child was not allowed to spill any rice out of the bucket. She would reach in for a spoon, try to bring the spoon closer to her so she could touch the rice, and mommy would grab her, both arms around the child, and got very close to her ear. Sternly, she said, "Do not spill the rice. You're not doing it right. Keep the rice in the the bucket, Grace...Keep the rice in the bucket."

I watched as the little girl struggled, not knowing what to do, or how to play. More tentatively, she'd reach in the bucket for the spoon, and every time she spilled some rice, her mom was all over her. Again, Grace reached for the spoon. Slowly, she lifted the spoon of rice. She kept it over the bucket. She seemed somewhat frozen. No smile. No experimenting. No problem-solving. No sensing or feeling or playing. Just sitting there, waiting, looking for approval. She looked up at her mommy. Mommy praised her, "See, now you are doing it RIGHT."

And we wonder why so many of us lose touch with not only our creativity, but with our ability to trust ourselves. And it's no wonder why so many of us have a fear of trying new things, especially creative experiences, for fear that we won't know how to express ourselves and we won't know how to do it "right".

Now, I'm not suggesting that this mother has ruined her daughters creative future. But I do see how judgements, restrictions and fear, that we experience as a child, can play a significant part in how we view ourselves and the world around us when we are adults. Gratefully, we are resilient beings!

I believe the freedom to play is SO important and as I become more aware of how I choose to nurture my child's own creativity, I can't help but use these moments as opportunities to look at my own life. How do I nurture my creativity? When do I let my fear of not "doing it right" get in the way of trying something new? Do I give myself the freedom to simply play, for the sake of playing?

So today, I observe my judgements around the issues of "right" & "wrong". And I give myself full freedom to plaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

Your Personal Reflection: What early memories do you have, where an adult may have stifled your creativity? How do these experiences have an effect on your life today? Do you feel creative? What's one creative thing you've been wanting to try, but haven't because you're a little (or a lot!) scared? What's one thing you can do, today, to let yourself play?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

As I was getting out of the car today to go work in a coffee shop, this spray-painted word on the concrete caught my eye. What does it mean to purge? The definition of purge is - to free from impurities; to cleanse; to make free of something unwanted.

I guess for me, I see "purging" as the act of letting go. I have to ask myself, what am I ready to let go of? What purging can I do, so that I can release the old, the unwanted, the clutter that fills my mind, my body, my home (which is just a reflection of what's going on in my mind/body)? And what will happen when I purge? Will I be scared? Why is it hard to let go of things I "think" I need. Do I really need to hold on to critical self-judgements and negative talk? Does that really bring a sense of comfort and well-being into my life? Do I need to have things around me in order to feel valuable or important? Can I feel comfortable in my own skin without those things? Does filling my body with toxins really make me feel better?

I want to purge. I need to purge. I know that the more I purge, the freer I feel.

Your Personal Reflection: Become an observer of your thoughts and actions today. Pay attention to what you think about, what you say, and how you behave. What are you ready to purge and let go of? Are there thoughts, things and behaviors that you are ready to release? How does the idea of purging make you feel?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wow! Yesterday turned out to be a whirlwind of voting for the "Shine a Light" contest. I put the word out that Free Spirit Knits needed 50 votes, and man, you guys delivered! We hit the goal just under 22 hours from the time the nomination was entered (Thank you, Chris!).

Special thanks go to Chandra (my very first vote!), Holly Hughes, Jeff, Lindsey, Matt, Mom (and friends), Steve, Mike, Rondi, Molly, Judie, Jim, Tracy, Alex, Madison, Chris D, Julie H, Brad Sneed, Lissa Rankin, Jen & Jeff, Katie, Kaley, Steve Curtis, Katherine, Mona, Noelle, Tom & Carole (and friends), Ben & Meghan, Mike D, Corinne, Le-Ann, Ni, Kacee, Lindsey D and everyone else. (Let me know if I missed you!)

Now judges, like Ellen DeGeneres, will vote for their top favorites, and another voting process will be under way, starting September 24th. To learn more about the process and prizes, click HERE.

Your Personal Reflection: Is there someone in your life that you've been meaning to thank? Take some time today, give them a call, or write them an old fashioned letter, and give 'em some thanks!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

To Inspire

Free Spirit Knits has been nominated for the "Shine A Light" contest as an inspiring small business. I need your help! By the end of today I need to have at least 50 votes to be considered by the judges. Could you please take a few moments and cast your endorsement? Click HERE.
(You must register on the site first, then follow links to ENDORSE Free Spirit Knits.)

As I continue practicing dreaming BIG and believing in myself, I am excited at the possibilities that manifest and unfold. Being included in a mix of such amazingly compassionate organizations is a great honor. And winning such an award would be a welcome gift to help expand my business ideas on a bigger, bolder scale to so many more people.

This contest has offered me a great opportunity for self-reflection. I've had to ask myself, "What do I want Free Spirit Knits to represent?" "Where do I want it to go?" "How do I want it to grow?"

So I wanted to share with you why I started "Free Spirit Knits" and what it means to me to "inspire".

About 8 years ago a friend asked if I wanted to learn how to knit. My first reaction was, "Why? Sounds boring." (How limiting!) But I gave in and was hooked ever since. When I learn something new I want to share that enthusiasm with others. So naturally, the more my knitting obsession took hold, the more I wanted to bring others with me! And that's when I really started to see that even something like learning to knit, can bring out the destructive behaviors - fear, self-doubt, negativity - those nasty things that keep us from being our true selves.
Many women I met had the desire to learn something new, but had such a fear of breaking out of the box. If they made a mistake, they wanted to tear out the project, or made an excuse or decided to give up. I want to inspire knitters and non-knitters that being creative is something we ALL can do. It's something we MUST do. So the idea of Free Spirit Knits started as a place to show others how playing with yarn, and trying new things, and doing something that you love, can be a meditative, spiritual, creative experience. I started my first program "Knitting & Giving" because I saw women's joy that came from feeling creative, discovering new things about themselves and how much they loved giving back to those in need. Click HERE to learn more about this collaborative knitting circle.

Free Spirit Knits has grown way beyond knitting. I now see it as a place that "knits/links/joins/unites/connects" us to mindful awareness, self-discovery and inspiration to live a life of vibrant authenticity.

To be free, to live free, to FEEL free, is a gift we all can enjoy. My goal with Free Spirit Knits is to provide you (and myself) with opportunities to grow. Opportunities to expand. Opportunities to think a new thought. Try a new thing. And ultimately, to see what you already know. That your wisdom, your beauty, your strength, your peace, and your creative potential live within you ALL the time. You CAN live a happier life, everyday, doing the things that bring you bliss.
Through inspiring art, yoga, life coaching, connecting and my soon-to-be E-Course ("Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery), I see what Free Spirit Knits is today, I see where and how I'd like it to grow, and I am OPEN to the endless possibilities that the future holds.

Your Personal Reflection: How can you be a source of inspiration to others?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My First IPhone Blog Post

I recently purchased my first IPhone and I have to admit I am completely smitten. One thing I know for sure about myself is that I'll never be a nine-to-five kind of girl. I have always wanted to be able to work from anywhere, at anytime, and with my new phone I am now more mobile than ever!

Just last week I ended a part-time job I've had for over 8 years and one of the reasons I left was because working from home was not an option they were willing to give me. Getting my babe out of daycare and being able to work around his schedule has been a priority for me. It seems that when I continue to stay focused and be clear about what I need, the tools, resources, inspiration and support seem to present themselves. Welcome, IPhone.

Now I can tweet, check Facebook, post on You Tube, and even blog all while I'm pushing a swing. Well, in theory that's what I COULD do, but since I'm practicing being more PRESENT and I heard Kestan say today, "no phone mommy", I know that being more mobile should not interfere with the precious time I get to experience with my child. My intention is to use my phone wisely, as a tool to help me be more efficient with my time and enhance the way I create, teach and connect.

So I did honor Kestan's request and put the phone down. But a few minutes into our tickle session I couldn't resist picking it back up to record his sweet laughter. Hmm, I guess my next lesson will be to learn how to insert audio recordings into a blog post. Or maybe I'll pick my favorite recipes out from my Whole Foods app. Playing pac man sounds fun. Hey, I can check the weather. And did you know you can balance your budget, edit videos, and even practice yoga all on these phones. Man, being mobile is exhausting! Thank god it's nap time.

Your Personal Reflection: What tools might help you be more efficient with your time? Do you think technology, and your use of it, makes it easier, or harder, to live in the present moment?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Free Spirit Tip #1

Eat fresh, local and totally scrumptious foods! These tomatoes came from our garden. They are so amazingly good and vibrant. I swear just eating them makes me feel happy.