I've been learning a lot of personal lessons over the past year and a bit. Important lessons about patience, humility, gratitude, and self-care. And I ran away from these lessons as fast as my little legs could carry me. I tried a new blog, deleted said blog, stopped blogging, and essentially slowed my crafting down to a tortoise's crawl. Not such a genius decision for someone whose identity is heavily artistic.
Learning to accept and care for myself as lovingly as I care for my family and friends was something I was determined to only give lip service; I was FINE, I didn't need this kind of thing. 'Pshaw on self-care! I laugh in the face of that!,' I said smugly. Oi vey, was I wrong! But like anything that is important to self-growth and awareness, those little lessons are tenacious buggers and eventually caught up with me. They laid me flat out on my back for three months and made me pay attention.
What I learnt is that I have an incredible husband who loves me without reservation. An amazing daughter who we have taught to be loving and nurturing. Friends who totally understood me and were patiently waiting for me to stop behaving like Chicken Little and come back to myself.
And I did find my way back. I did, finally, sit down and pay attention to myself and the universe around me and opened myself up to positive growth. It wasn't always easy or fun, but it was damn necessary. Those three months I spent at home on sick leave at the beginning of this year were a huge personal challenge. But I got through it. I listened. I learned. And I finally accepted the importance of valuing myself and my own needs. I'm a bit late to the self-care party but I got there in the end!
It was very simple once I decided to stop fighting. Simple acts and thoughts reinforced this decision, such as seeing a display of lovely glass bead necklaces in my local thrift store. I have always loved glass beads - the way they feel cool in your hands and how they sparkle like stained glass when the light hits them. So, I bought the necklaces. I looked at them; hanging them near my windows so I could see the light and colour bounce around. It made me smile.
Funnily enough, rainbows were consistently appearing to me during those months. Not just after rain, either. On Instagram, Pinterest, or on a t-shirt a girl walking by was wearing. Later on, after putting together a small collection of neglected necklaces, I started to take them apart. I restrung them, in rainbow order, and made them new. I wore them with everything and it started to feel like I was carrying a rainbow with me; all that happiness that comes from the sheer amazement of a simple natural phenomenon.
I started making more and more; bracelets, too. I added healing crystals, such as yellow jade (happiness in crystal form, essentially), as well as pretty bits and pieces. The simple act of stringing beads on jewellery wire was so restorative; it was healing. I made so many necklaces and bracelets that I essentially strung my way back to me. The real me. The pink-haired, quirky handmade clothes-wearing, Mary Jane shoe-loving me. ME! I listen to music more, I listen to audiobooks that I love more, I visit my local yarn store for knit night and it's good.
As I was working on one the other night, I thought others may enjoy them, too. Maybe they need a bit of rainbow in their life? Maybe they love the way the light hits the colours and makes it sparkle like stained glass? Maybe a bit of happiness on a string would brighten their day, too. So, I decided to list them in my Etsy shop. Because the simple act of happiness should be shared, shouldn't it?
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I am in the process of putting my blog back together. I had a big email clean out several months ago - you know when you end up with 7 separate email addresses and have no idea how they got there? Yes. Like that. In any case, after I deleted some of them, it totally messed up all the pictures on my blog - it removed them from all my posts. Oof! Slowly but surely, I'm adding them back in. :)
Thank you for hanging around here all this time. I appreciate it.