One of the things I like to collect when I go just about anywhere is smooth rocks and stones. They speak to me of so much, rough grand surfaces polished and smoothed out over time. Pieces of shells also come into this collection. A friend of mine once went to Lisieux, France to the home of St. Therese and asked me if I wanted anything – just a stone. I carry this one around in my back pack. My very own treasure.
Each experience I have offers that opportunity to smooth out my rough edges or knock chips. How I embrace that makes me more of who I am.
This morning I listened to Annie’s Quilting Stash Podcast with Mary Lou Weidman and thinking about a conversation with my sister when I was in Maine earlier this month. Mary Lou speaks about looking for the blessings or good things in life, particularly when we’re annoyed or disheartened or have some incredibly rough live changing event happen in life. It’s not so much about looking through rose colored glasses or seeing the silver lining in every cloud, it’s about embracing our emotions for what they are and dealing with them. Mary Lou has had some difficult things happen in life (son with leukemia) and makes the most colorful and whimsical quilts. Through her son’s illness she began teaching so many hospital workers and others how to quilt. This lead to the whimsical story quilts that she makes and is so well known for making. It’s about the process. We do get through and are blessed in the process, blessed with learning something from whatever our experience.
This brings me to the conversation with my sister that I appreciated so much. We were discussing a very specific project that I’m currently working on and am struggling with. Partly it’s because of me and the area’s in my life where I’m aware that I need to grow and partly it’s the project. (Again this is an opportunity to grow and meet some personal goals I’ve set for myself.) My sister’s big advice is when I get into these difficult situations is “think of something wonderful”. This changes the body chemistry from that “fright to flight” mechanism that gets my back up to a calmer state of mind where I can begin to ask questions and deal with difficult situations a bit differently. This will be so incredibly helpful during meetings. I’m realizing this will help when the opportunity happens when I can really begin teaching quilting. Each quilter will bring their own difficulties in each part of the process.
I’m also approaching any quilt entries with the same kind of outlook, taking the risk, doing my best at the moment, and learning what I can from the process. I’m very nearly done quilting the NY Beauty Quilt. Next Saturday it goes into a quilt show where it will be judged. I’m very much looking forward to getting the judges comments so that I can get some guidance and direction in growing as a quilter.
As I was walking on the treadmill this morning I was thinking about quilts I’ve made over the years and what I’ve learned from each one of them. Each quilt has taught me something incredible, honed and deepened my loved of quilting and the skills that I bring to the quilt frame. And I know that there is so much more to learn and grow…exciting isn’t it?!