Dead Wood Metaphor

20160601_142841One of my first thoughts this morning as I was putting clean dishes away in my kitchen and frustrated that I didn’t have enough cabinet space for everything was, “You must sacrifice some things in order to have other things that you want or would like”.   Whoa, where did that limiting belief come from?  Yes, I know it’s been hiding in the dark corners of my thoughts for at least 3 decades, possibly all 5 decades of my life!  Why is it there?  Why can’t I believe that “I can have it all”?  It may feel like my truth.  But, it isn’t a TRUTH.  How do I shift that into a thought pattern that serves my highest good, changes my personal path to abundance and is aligned to the belief that as a Spark of the Divine I am worthy of “having it all”?  No sacrifices needed.

Yesterday a fast-moving thunderstorm moved through our community.  Many branches and even whole trees came down around town.  They called it a microburst.  A tree came down across the street from our home landing on the neighbor’s house, severed at the base of the trunk.  Today the village tree service is making fast progress to clear the debris.  As I was meditating this morning and listening to the wood shredding going on nearby I realized that my limiting beliefs are like “dead wood”.  They need to be blown away periodically.  Sometimes it takes a pretty strong microburst to do that.  We may inspect our thoughts and “prune” little bits of beliefs that are no longer needed, no longer feel TRUE.  Ideas that may have served us well in the past, but are now holding us back.  Thoughts that may have kept us safe, or were commonly held by our family, friends, community.  But now they no longer work for our current situation, our continued growth.  Pruning can lead to better health, greater vitality.  But still, like the tree across the street from me, we miss the fact that the trunk has a huge portion that is rotting.  And until a strong microburst comes through, it stays hidden.  Buried deep.

Yes, we can prune and blow away the dead wood, but there is one more hidden lesson here and it came from the humming of the wood chipper.  You must transform that dead wood.  Mulch it.  Make it something new.  Something that aids and nurtures the “further growth”.  Make it block the weeds.  Make it feed the roots of new growth.  Rotting wood is necessary.  Don’t just blow it away and pretend you don’t need it.

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Work In Progress:  “Can You See The Forest for the Trees?”  (c)2016-Pamela Penney

So, today as I work to finish a piece I’ve been creating for quite a while I contemplate what needs “pruning” from my thoughts and where, if anyplace, am I hiding “rotting wood”.  (My maiden name was Wood, so this feels “real” to me)  How can I examine and transform the thoughts that no longer serve my continued growth?  How do I use them to feed the change and transformation of my life?   What needs a bigger storm to push it out? The “working title” of this piece has been “can you see the forest for the trees?”  How do my little thoughts keep me from seeing the big picture?   How do I mulch my little thoughts and beliefs to create fertilizer for my growth?

I believe that I will weather the storms and time will tell.  

New Belief of Transformation:  I am Worthy and Can Have It ALL!

What Basket Are Your Eggs In?

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Felted Shaker Eggs

Today I worked on wet-felting a dozen + a few (egg-tras in case of breakage) of my “shaker eggs”.  They are an item on my etsy.com shop (See them HERE) that a woman custom ordered this week for her daughter’s 1st birthday party to give as favors for the other children.  I filled plastic eggs with a variety of beads (so that each egg has a different sound), wrapped them in wool and then with a lot of wetting, soaping and rubbing I created these joyous sounding, rattles that I am thrilled will be adding to the fun of a child’s first party.  This was very therapeutic work today, as the last few days have been busy getting larger artwork finished for shows and deadlines.  This is a little more “mindless” and that can be good every once in a while.

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Basketree by Karen Gubitz

As I rubbed and felted these eggs I stared out the window at Momma Robin sitting in the nest she and Daddy Robin made a little over a week ago.  Everyday I watch them come and go, following the calls of nature.  They picked a particularly interesting spot to set up “housekeeping”.  They chose to build their nest within a woven sculpture by artist Karen Gubitz.  She calls these works her “Basketrees”.  It is a perfect shelter for a bird’s nest.

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Momma Robin warming the nest.

I want to be like the birds. They trust in their shelter. They trust there will be an adequate food supply nearby for their offspring. They trust in each other, the daddy showing up when needed to give the female her breaks from nest sitting. They trust in their environment, in this world.

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Daddy Robin guards the nest while Momma takes a break.

If humans are the higher intelligent life forms, why don’t they create an environment they can trust,  a world they can trust to provide safety, sustenance, blessings, peace, and joy for themselves and their future generations?  I bless the shaker eggs as I send them off to a group of one year old children somewhere in Kansas…Maybe these eggs can be a spark to create this future world we can TRUST.  At least they will spark a little JOY.  That is the basket I put my eggs into because I don’t think that kind of world is just for the birds.

Letters from the Future

The following is a hypothetical letter.  I wrote it myself as though my sister has written it to me 26 years from now on my birthday.  I wrote it as an exercise for a Circle of transitioning Women led by Circle Tender, Susan Lucci that I am a part of.  The assignment was to imagine a celebration near the end of your life and ask some of the guests to speak on your behalf about your life and how you fulfilled your “Life’s Desires”.  In light of the issues our world is facing in the NOW this was very therapeutic for me.  Here is the hypothetical letter from my sister:

Happy Birthday Pam!  Can you believe that you are 80 years old and I am just a couple of weeks from being 79?  Who would have thought this is how the world would be in 2042?  Oh yeah, you would have!  You always believed and you were right, that the world and the humans living here would begin to transform and shift when we were in our early 50’s.  That we could overcome the issues of poverty and climate change during our lifetime.  I always loved calling you on the phone, (remember those crazy old devices necessary to communicate?)  and hearing about the books you were reading about the Unity Consciousness and our Higher Selves.  And that ET’s are Us!

Yes, I remember when you were younger that you would get frustrated and discouraged that you weren’t sure how to bring your value and implement your desires in the world.  And you were disappointed that your work didn’t really support yourself.   That you always had to rely on your husband’s income for the survival of your family.  But remember, that was back when we had the old money and banking system.  You were one of the few who believed we could find a better way to “survive”.  Oh yeah, not survive, but THRIVE and flourish.  And that abundance was a “basic right” that All Humans were born to on our planet Earth.  And you were correct.  Just see how fast that concept came to be accepted and implemented?  And your energy, faith, and creative vision were a part of our collective ascension into this new flourishing life for ALL.  You helped others SEE that this was possible.  You helped me see it, even though it meant I had to transform my own business and livelihood away from helping people file their annual income tax returns. (And pay the taxes!  Oh, remember how horrible it was for people to have to do that every year?)  The fact that there are so few people suffering and “in need” now, and that we no longer pay for WAR and military expenses as a nation has really made it so much easier for people.  And I much preferred helping people decide what to do with their abundance and decide how to best share their wealth and “pay it forward” as they used to say!

Oh, and remember that summer evening under the stars when our children were young and we were sitting around the bonfire in my backyard?  The kids were running around in the dark playing on their “walkie-talkie radios”  (Talk about old-time communications!)  You pretended to talk to them like an alien from “Planet Micro-Brew”.  A few years later micro-breweries were everywhere!  And then a few years after that the Earth made peaceful and mutually beneficial contact with Advanced Life out in the Universe.  It was like you could SEE it that night looking out at the far away stars above our fire.  You also had a way of looking into the Flames of the Fire for “Life’s Answers”, too.

I thank you so much for being my older sister, my friend, guide, mentor and visionary.  You’ve always been there when I’ve needed you.  It’s so nice now to be psychically connected so that we don’t need to worry about the phone to communicate anymore.  Now, whenever we need to we can hear, feel and KNOW how much the Other One cares and loves us.  Even when we are apart.  Oh yeah, there is no such thing as “apart”.  We are each our individual spark of the Unity that is Life.  Thank you for making the Soul Contract to be the spark that guided me into this life with you in it.  As you Know, I love you.

Your Sister, B~

Note:  I went searching in my gift card pile for the perfect card to imagine having this letter written on and I found this.  The artwork is by Helena Nelson-Reed.  The Synchronicity of this card’s message goes beyond “perfect” to DIVINE!

 

Shame (Part 1)

Oh, Dear.  I may really be just about to step into “it” today.  But, here I go.  I intended this blog to be an honest insight into where I am in my head and heart.  And the last few weeks have led me to questioning our collective and personal “shame”.  So, what is it?  Why do we have it?  Does it still serve us?  If not, how to we rise above it?

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“Shame” a work in progress.

So, how did I get here?  Well, the last few weeks I have started a new piece for the She Said/He Said exhibit coming up a the Groshek Gallery in Chicago.  I had an inspiration to do a Tree of Knowledge/Adam & Eve/ Paradise piece.  It has caused me to explore my memories of my childhood Sunday school lessons regarding the origin story (myth?).  April has also been a month of reflecting on a turning point in my own relationships.  I don’t want this to get too “long and involved” but, I do want to share enough detail that this makes sense.  So, I’ll do my best.

So the story of Adam and Eve for me is about “shame”.  We learn shame very young and, I believe usually from our parents.  (Confession: I’m a parent, I know I’ve fallen into my shadow and used shaming to attempt to solicit the behavior I desire from my kids).

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Every book contains a lesson.

Last Saturday I went to see comedian, Jen Kirkman where I bought her new book, I Know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself.  As I was listening to the Prince soundtrack and waiting for her to come on-stage I started reading the introduction to her book.  She starts out with “Ugh, my parents are going to read this.”  (I know what she means!) She then goes on to quote another of my favorite funny people, Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul).  He once said that people should make their art, whatever it is, “as though their parents were dead”.  And why is that?  I think it is because we worry about “shame”.  Not that we will cause our parent’s to be embarrassed by our work; but that they, our first source of “shame” will bring on that bad feeling within us again.  (Please Note:  I love my parents and don’t wish to cause them any embarrassment here or elsewhere nor do I wish they were dead, but when I stated I might “step in it” this is it. I just believe that we must rise above this concern for feeling shamed in order to “grow up and evolve”.

And how appropriate that only a few days after the death of the musician Prince while listening to his “Pussy Control” I was reading this book introduction and ruminating on “shame”.  Prince was a successful artist who by all outward appearances, rose above a concern for self-shame.  In fact by many recent reflections on his life his ability to be his true self and express his true artistry is greatly admired (and envied) by his fans and others.  And that is my point I guess.  Can we really do our best most creative work if we are in a place of shame?  And can we really bring to the world the healing and solutions needed if we are not creating from our highest, best self?

Well, I have gone on here for a bit, and while I have a lot more rolling around in my head and heart regarding the story of Eden, I think I will continue on another day.  You see the story of the Garden of Eden includes another figure,  Adam’s first “wife”, Lilith.  And she takes me on another “thread”.  So, rather than try to cover too much “ground”, you will have to wait for “that stitch in time” and for the rest of this story.  In the meantime consider the role of “shame” in your life.  Is it holding you back from being the highest, true-ist expression of your “self”.  What would you do if you didn’t fear (the feeling of) shame?

Please see Shame: Part 2 HERE

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.