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 www.genekeysgoldenpath.com 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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More on Synchronicity

Synchronicity is the language of our Higher Self and Divine Guidance. If you were God you would use a more complex way of communicating than our human language, right?  Besides, we are given free will here in Earth School, so the subtle language of Signs and Symbols leaves it up to us to be open to our intuition, to have faith and trust in our inner connection to the divine.  We can choose to hear and listen, or ignore with our free will.  So if we choose to, how do we see and hear the divine in our everyday lives?  Here are some examples of how I was “spoken” to over the past couple of weeks.

2016-02-11 07.44.42-1I was inspired to drop in to my local “rock shop” as I call it.  Inner Arts Studio is just down the street from my art studio and I love to go in a gaze at the crystals and smell the wonderful incense.  I selected a Selenite Heart as it was a few days before Valentine’s Day.  Selenite, named after the Moon Goddess Selene, is thought to have properties that help with clarity and cleansing the energy in spaces and auras.  I carried it around in my pocket for several days, during my jury duty as help with clarity seemed appropriate.  A few days before Valentine’s Day I was putting together a “care package” of chocolates and goodies to send to my daughter who is away at college.  After I got everything in the box and sealed it up with packing tape I realized that the Selenite Heart was missing from my pocket and wasn’t on the table.  I looked around several places and decided it must have fallen into the box.  Oh well, she will have an extra goody in her gift, I thought.  I sent her a text message to look for it in the bottom of the box.  Later that day after I returned from the post office I decided to look around my studio one more time to see if I could find it.  As I went to lean over to check behind some items for it I “stabbed” myself in the left side of my chest with a metal pole from a display stand that was poking out of my storage area.  Ouch, I was going to be sore there for a while!  And then I realized, I had put the stone heart in my bra, next to my own heart.  I was being told “loud and clear” where I had put it!

Then a few days ago I was collecting some thoughts in a little note pad for this blog.2016-02-22 17.12.37 (2)
The note pad was a little “passport” that my friend and artist Lisa Nordstrom of Art Gecko had put together a few years ago for an event in the Oak Park Arts District.  She is a creative mixed media artist who among many things creates unique journals and notebooks from old book covers and pages.  I had used the remaining pages in this pad to write some short comments about the first few posts I was planning.  I noted how I loved words that include the word “Dance” within them (see this post).  And then I turned the page of the book to this>  Lisa had stamped some words and images on some of the pages.  The next page had the word “Dance!”  More Synchronicity! Another Divine message.  What messages are you receiving?  Are you paying attention? Think of Synchronicities like I do, as the  little sparks that light up and confirm you are standing right where you are supposed to be and illuminate the next steps along your path.  Thank you for joining me here on my path I hope my words help illuminate your journey.

Note:  I finished this post last night, but felt a need to wait until this morning to publish it.  Perhaps it needed one more read through?  No, I woke up to seeing this article in the Elephant Journal about Synchronicity and today’s 11:11 Leap Day Portal by Alex Miles.  Maybe you will enjoy the synchronicity of it too!

 

There Are No Coincidences

A coincidence is a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances which have no apparent causal connection with each other. (wikipedia.com)

Only Synchronicities

Synchronicity is a concept, first explained by psychiatrist Carl Jung, which holds that events are “meaningful coincidences” if they occur with no causal relationship, yet seem to be meaningfully related. (wikipedia.com)

So, I promised that I would share what led me to “A Stitch In Time Saves”.  Just over two weeks ago I was required to call the Cook County Civil Court to find out if I needed to report for jury duty the following day.  My adult son had received a couple of summons letters over the previous year and hadn’t even been required to go in.  I on the other hand was within the range of last names from C to S that were to report to the court building by 9:30 the next morning.  Ok, I’ve been through that several times over my lifetime.  You sit for a few hours, sometimes even in a courtroom while they ask a dozen plus people some questions about whether they could be impartial.  I was immediately sent up to courtroom 2104 and mine was the first of the potential juror’s names to be called up to the jury box.  I answered all of the questions to the best of my ability and by about 2:00 pm. I was told I could go home for the day, but plan to return the following Monday by 9:15 am.  The trial was estimated to go two weeks.

Well, that was a change in plans.  My plan for the following week had included driving to Michigan to help my parent’s as my mother was coming home from the rehabilitation center following her open heart surgery.  At least the Court was going to have a 4 day weekend the following week for President’s Day.  So, I thought I would just delay my plan to go visit my hometown and family.  I have faith that I am always guided to where I am supposed to be, doing what I can do to serve best.  For some reason this was where I was supposed to be for the next couple of weeks.

The opening statements by the plaintiff’s attorney led us through a tale that started with an emergency admittance of the patient to a major hospital, emergency surgery that lasted many hours, known complications during surgery with some delayed documentation of some of the procedures, and several necessary follow up surgeries during a month long hospital stay.  In his last “opening” sentence the attorney indicated that our decision would all come down to our judgement of a “stitch” that was created during the first surgery.  There it was I thought this is why I am here, to judge a stitch.  As a textile artist the stitch is my domain.

Surprisingly, being on a jury was a good opportunity for me to practice non-judgement.  I worked hard to remain open minded for two weeks, listening to all of the evidence before coming to my opinion.  I was also very fortunate to serve with a group of really pleasant people on this jury.  (If you have to spend that much time having lunch and breaks in a small room with strangers, you want them to be nice).  In the end, after some careful discussion of what we each heard and observed in the courtroom, we all agreed on a decision.  It is my hope that the process of this trial helped the family of the patient find answers, peace and closure.  In that way it may have served a higher purpose.

And for me, this process led to some deeper thoughts.  I always joke that as an artist, mother, teacher, wife what I do is important, but it isn’t exactly “brain surgery or rocket science”.  As a self-employed artist and teacher, I do the work that I do so that I can remain flexible to the needs of my family and my community.  I am available to change course at the last minute, jump into roles and tasks that I didn’t anticipate, but are needed in each moment.  Yes, this can often frustrate me, and lead me off track and delayed in my own plans.  But, I believe it is important.  I believe in “being in the moment”.  In the end the decision did all come down to a “stitch”.  Was it a stitch that saved in an emergency surgery situation?  Or a stitch that lead to further complications? Those were the questions the jury needed to answer.  In one AH-HA moment last week I remembered that I had created a wall hanging a year ago with the title “A Stitch In Time Saves“.  And then this all started to make sense.  I have been trying to connect all of the aspects of what I do and give it a name, at the same time holding space for a larger purpose and a path forward.  I create fiber and textile art primarily out of salvaged and re-used materials, I teach sewing and art as a way to relax and find enjoyment, and I practice energy healing and stitch as a method of mindful moving meditation.  A STITCH IN TIME SAVES is a title that encompasses all of those aspects.  Coincidence?  I think not.

A Stitch in Time Saves

Who am I and Why am I Here?  I believe Guidance has brought me to this place in time and location.  Everything up to this point in my life has brought me to this Now. (and if you are reading this it has brought You to my Now)  For some reasons that I don’t even know yet, Guidance has directed me to start sharing ME and my I AM here.  What is this Guidance that I refer to?  My Intuition? My Inner Voice?  My Higher Self?  I have my theories, but I’m not sure it matters.  What does matter is that I have had a pretty good history of listening to whatever that guidance is and it always serves the “lower me” well.  (Side notes:  I love any words that have the word Dance within them.  And I find it interesting that the word Guide is both a noun and a verb). I believe I am here to post what I Hear and what I Learn.  If you find my stories interesting, entertaining, or helpful then I welcome You.  If you do not, I wish you blessings on your own Path.

So today is the first day of the rest of my life (and yours),  and many Signs are indicating that on a cosmic level (yes, I believe our stars and planets are sending messages from the Heavens) today is the beginning of a “New Beginning“.   Today is the Full Moon.  I resonate with this message from the full moon update by Starseed Astrology: “Meditate on how best you can serve the world and how best you can develop or diversify your skills, services, and professional value.”  (Wise advise even if you don’t believe in astrology).

I also drew “The Fool” – the zero card – the beginning- as my card of the day today (I have an app on my phone which posts a daily tarot card for me).  “When the Fool appears in a reading it is time for a new adventure….Don’t make all the decisions about your path, or make assumptions about how it’ll be before you embark…Trust in the Universe to keep you safe, then take the leap into the unknown!” And yet another reason I am here.  HERE @ A STITCH IN TIME SAVES.

I look forward soon to sharing what lead me to a stitch in time saves.  What it means to me and how it got it’s name.  Until then, welcome to my New Beginning.

A Stitch In Time Saves. Penney 2015.LR
A Stitch In Time Saves (c) Pamela Penney, 2015 fiber and salvaged materials