Detachment as Offering

I like to start my week with yoga class as often as I can.  I have been going to Ahimsa Yoga here in Oak Park for a bit over a year now.  I’ve been an on and off again practitioner of yoga since my knitting teacher loaned me a book of poses when I was about 13 or 14 (yes, that makes it 40-ish years of yoga!)  Synchronicity brought me to Ahimsa.  Last winter I created my textile art piece titled “A Stitch In Time Saves” (the inspiration for this blog moniker) to publicize the One Earth Film Festival and my work was hung on display at Ahimsa.  So this monday morning I made it to my class where my lovely teacher and now friend, Jackie shared an Inspiration deck from which I could draw a card.  My card for today is “Detachment“.   Perfect, of course, as I’ve been making an effort toward the goal of detaching and letting go.  I spent much of last week cleaning out my basement and detaching from my physical “stuff”.  Now, time to work on my attitudes, thoughts and beliefs~

Coincidentally I cut out a page from the May/June 2004 Yoga Journal during an art making session a few weeks ago written by Sally Kempton on Detachment.  She writes, “the way I ease myself toward detachment is to practice offering…….I offer up whatever it is that I’m doing, whatever I’m intending or wanting, or whatever I’m trying to get free of……Offer the fruits of your labor to God.” …..”Offering our actions helps train us to do things not for any particular gain or personal purpose but simply as an act of praise or gratitude, or as a way of joining our consciousness to the greater Consciousness.  Offering our desires, fears and doubts loosens the hold they have on us, reminding us to trust in the Presence- the source of both our longings and their fulfillment.”  There is no expiration date on this advise!

Then I spent a little “art journaling” time before working on some commission pieces that I need to make headway on in my studio this week.  (And I did make some great progress this afternoon!)  Here is my journal entry embellished with my tree imagery and the Yoga Journal article with wood and bark texture~

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And here is the the work I made progress on in the studio today.  First, an acrylic and mixed media canvas.  The working title is “Can You See the Forest for the Trees?”

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Can you see the Forest for the Trees?

And I’m working on this sweater vest for a client made from Salvaged Cashmere, some of which I hand-dyed.  This is “a Stitch In Time Saves“~

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A Stitch In Time Saves…..a salvaged and hand-dyed cashmere creation by Pamela Penney Textile Arts

I am pleased with the progress and enjoy the process.  I remain detached from the outcome and welcome the work as it evolves.  And I like Mondays~



How to Measure $uccess

Yesterday was the Full Moon Eclipse and I am just now documenting my intentions for the month. (I usually do this with the new moon.)  I am taking advantage of this powerful moon energy to assist me in visualizing my dreams and manifesting my goals.

The past two weeks have been a productive time for me.  I made some strides at getting several commission pieces underway and I have made a lot of progress on cleaning/emptying my basement.  Yesterday I spent a great deal of the day cleaning my studio, washing and waxing the floors.  I also took time off last week to enjoy and relax while my daughter was home on spring break and had the chance to see my sister-in-law, niece and grand-nieces last week while they were in town.

I have also recently come to the realization (while working on taxes and cleaning out files in the basement) that it was 20 years ago, 1996, that I started my business, Pamela Penney Textile Arts.  While it is always easy for me to fall into looking back at where I came up short, where I could have been more successful, and wondering why I’ve worked so hard for so little; today I choose to celebrate.  I honor my choice at times to put family and community ahead of financial gain.  I measure my success in the number of lives influenced and inspired.  I give gratitude to my husband and family for supporting my endeavors.  I give thanks for the flexibility my work has allowed for my time and energy.  I am proud of the creations I have manifested in the last 20 years and hope that they have blessed the lives they have become a part of.  I most of all give deep gratitude to the Universe for blessing me with the life I dreamed of as a young adult; a creative artistic life blessed with healthy happy children, a supportive and loving husband, great friendships and a funky studio with all of my supplies/space to work, and my own strong and healthy body/mind/spirit.

It is also coming to my attention that the next two decades will take me into my “advanced years”.  In some ways I feel like I am at a cross-road yet, still unsure of which corner to turn next.  Although twenty years can fly by very quickly, a lot can be accomplished in that time.  In twenty years at the age of 74, how will I measure my success?  How do I take the next few steps to lead me on that path?   I move into this full moon to new moon cycle with ease and joy, opening up to new opportunities for growth and continued learning.  I give gratitude for the past while being open, excited and ready to take on the future.  I step through this portal with the knowledge learned through my past experiences and let go of the burden of my past failures and mistakes.  I open myself further to new avenues of revenue, support and “success”.  I measure my success on my terms.

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While it is important, the measuring of revenue is not the only way to measure success.

Vernal Equinox ~ Balance

The balance between light and dark.  The day is equal to the night.  In less than a couple of hours the sun will be centered over the earth’s equator creating perfect mid-line balance.  I had a vision today of myself on a trapeze flying through the air, swinging from one extreme to the other.  I do that.  Usually, I am fluctuating back and forth from my doubts  over to faith and optimism with glimpses of Truth beyond my understanding, rarely pausing for long anywhere in the middle.

About a year ago I read a very enlightening book, The Gene Keys: Unlocking the Higher Purpose Hidden in Your DNA, by Richard Rudd.  As part of the book you have the opportunity to go to and get your own personal Hologenetic Profile.  This unique set of “keys” unlock the mystery of your “path”.  My path starts with my Life Work of gene key 63.  In the shadow aspect this key shows up as Doubt.  I often feel the pull of my logical brain, bringing me back to the dark places of doubt.  Doubt of others, doubt of myself, doubt of the Universe.  But when I can let that go and push my trapeze out into the vast middle space toward the unknown I find the Gift of this key:  Inquiry.  “Inquiry is about remaining open without finding a definitive answer to life”.  The more a person can inquire more deeply and openly, the more apt one is to uncover something more complex, something new and something that will push one forward to a new level of understanding.  And when I let the momentum of my trapeze swing from Doubt on through Inquiry to take me to the highest vibration of this key I reach the Siddhi of Truth.  Yet, somehow in the great paradox that is the human condition, the Truth is found within the Doubt and my surrender to it.

So, tonight as we move through the transition from Winter into Spring, as the Sun is ever so momentarily balanced over our equator, I surrender to my doubts (Dark) and then I push off into the unknown territory of further questioning and inquiry, reaching for more truth (and Light).  Balance in nature is not stationary, it is an allowing of movements back and forth sometimes big, sometimes small, always moving, only momentarily in the center points or on the extremes.  I let go of my extremes with faith, I do not hold on.  I also do not get stuck hanging in the middle.  I swing knowing that I will swing closer to the Truth with the momentum of joy and with the acceptance and trust that wherever I am in the arc of my flight, it is just exactly where I am supposed to be.  Striving for Balance.  Yin and Yang.  Light and Dark.  Equi~Nox.  

En~joy the Swing into Spring!  

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Mesa Clearing and Activation 2016

We just experienced a solar eclipse.  Did you feel it?  I ask that because those of us in the USA were not be able to see it.  But, the energy did affect all of us here on the Earth Vessel.  This will be the only total eclipses of the sun in 2016.  It gives scientists the rare opportunity to really study the Sun’s Corona.  It is a rare opportunity for all of us to use the energy of the shadow brought to light, to really clear out what is in our shadows and bring into the light what we would like to focus on over the next 6 months.

On February 20th, I worked alongside a few of my Moon Medicine Circle friends to cleanse, clear and give gratitude to what I had been holding on my Mesa over the past year.  My Mesa is a small metal tray that I hold crystals and meaningful objects to work with their energies for meditation and healing.  Here is what my Mesa looked like going in to the ceremony:

Old Mesa 2.20.2016
Mesa before Clearing 2.20.2016

For the clearing of the old I used my pendulum on each item to feel the energy and determine what pieces would stay and what pieces would be cleared.  I also used Himalayan salts and smudging to clear old stuck energies.  Here it is after the clearing:

Cleared Mesa 2.20.2016
Cleared Mesa 2.20.2016

The cleared Mesa left me with just a few special items and a lot of open space for new opportunities over this coming year.  In the North I have raw amethyst and in the East I have topaz crystals that I picked up at a little gift shop last October while hiking through a forest preserve (and talking to the trees) in Southern Illinois.  In the Northeast is the lovely pine scented candle that my daughter gave me as a gift for Christmas.  The South holds a piece of ash from a fire ceremony last December and a special stone my friend Karen brought back from South America while there studying shamanism.  In the Southwest is the wing of a grouse that gave his life by accidently flying through my brother’s kitchen window, breaking the glass.  My nephew cleaned the bird, saving me the feathers!  And my brother’s family had a special dinner that night.  The West holds a sea shell from my friend and Transitions Circle Facilitator, Susan.  And in the center is the Selenite Heart that I acquired in February along with a drying rose from the funeral of my friend Lisa’s mother a few weeks ago.   These are all very special treasures.

Last night into early morning the New Moon and Eclipse occured creating a special portal for Activating the New Mesa.  After blessing my Mesa I left her near the window to activate with the dark moon energies.  This morning I lit the candle and felt guided to add a few new items.  This is my Mesa today:

March New Moon Mesa 2. 2016
Activated Mesa 3.9.2016

First I wanted to add the beautiful cotton handkerchief, a gift from my friend Jane.  It has a lovely crochet butterfly and edging along with some amazing fine thread work in the center.  I then added the new fossil stone that looks like it has a leaf print on it that my friend, Lisa gave me for my birthday last Friday. Then a small pinecone jumped on too!  And finally, to bring in the energy of my paternal grandma who came to me in a dream last night, I added three metal leaves from a broken necklace that were from her jewelry box.  Grandma, I hear you.  I feel your love and guidance (there is that dance word again!) I look forward to heading into my “new year” with you by my side.

I urge you to do something to honor the special energy of this portal provided to us by the Universe.  Offer just one small ceremonial clearing and one little thought of what you would like to see manifest between now and early September.  If you allow the space and the ideas/thoughts the Ancestor and Star/Planet Guides are just waiting to be invited in to assist you in creating your dream come true.  Ajo!

Mindful Mending

Today the month of March is coming in like a lion here in Chicago.  It is snowing, just an inch or two predicted, but the thermometer indicates a very chilly 27 degrees F.  It is the day that I should get all of my bookkeeping together for the annual income tax submittal to the IRS.  But, I’m not really feeling motivated yet for that. So, what is the perfect task for a day like today?

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I think I will snuggle up under this beautiful vintage heirloom wool blanket that my friend Marie requested I repair for her.  The label indicates that it was produced by The Orr Felt & Blanket Company in Piqua, Ohio, U.S.A.  “This gorgeous coloring is inspired by the famous Holland tulip.”

This special blanket is in near perfect condition except for about a two foot stretch  where the crocheted edging has pulled off.  I am lucky to find a small ball of wool yarn in about the same weight that matched the color near perfect.  (Perhaps just a shade lighter, but only I will notice!)  I study the slip stitch, chain stitch pattern of the existing stitches and I think I made a nearly un-noticeable repair.  Once again, A Stitch In Time Saves just in time for a few more chilly days this spring!***

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***If you are in the Chicago area and you would like to learn how to do your own crochet repairs (or knitted or sewn)  Check out our “sister website”  You may just learn to save a piece of American Textile history and leave a little more landfill space un-used!