11 August, 2015

The Opposite of Grounded


Whatever you want to call it, that's how I've been feeling lately. It's been hard for me to focus on anything, let alone quilting. Yet I think it is because I haven't been quilting that I feel this way.

My best friend leads meditation and teaches yoga, among other things. She is a very grounded person. Quite often we've discussed the comparisons between a yoga practice and quilting. I get the same benefit as a committed practice from sewing. It is a meditative process, this sewing stuff. I calm down and gain focus. At the end of the day, quilting grounds me.

I found this definition from a random article. Regardless of the source, the sentiments describe the exact feelings I have. It wasn't until I was talking to my friend that I realized that grounding was what I didn't have.

"To me, being grounded means being fully present: physically, emotionally and energetically. It means your mind is not wandering or pulling your energy elsewhere. Your heart and soul are not searching somewhere in the past or looking into the future."
- Catherine Warner

The spring was quite momentous. I turned 40! You Inspire Me To Quilt came out! My childhood home was sold. So much going on. A lot to celebrate and enjoy. I spent so much time with friends and family, never have I felt more loved and happy.

Other than some hand sewing, however, not much has happened in the studio. Not only are the girls are on summer break, we helped my Mom move and went on a 2 week road trip. My soul is calling for a few days tucked away into my sewing room with no interruptions.

Too bad for my soul, it isn't going to get that. Instead I need to piece together little bits of time and put it in the schedule. The reality of 3 kids and summer break means there isn't a lot of time. Especially since my guy isn't in the mood to nap much anymore. So a little bit of PBS kids here, skipping the Daily Show... oh wait, and an early morning there to feed my soul and bring me back to grounded.

Quilting keeps me focused on the present, on what is right in front of you. In fact, if you don't pay attention you can seriously hurt yourself! And now that quilting is my business my mind is constantly on other things and I am forever planning, plotting, and perceiving things incorrectly. It has taken me away from the immediate process and the benefit of that. At the same time, my desire to quilt is taking me away from my family and the focus they deserve. Not to mention the state of my house.

Long story short, I need to get my s*%$ together. Clean and create a space both physically and mentally for all the things I need to focus on. Keep purging in the house to make the space clear of the extra, distracting things. Carve out a dedicated time for sewing and stick to it. Internalize my influences and inspirations for the time being. And hang on to my family now, laugh with them and make life epic all the time. Even if epic means nothing but playing with the sprinkler.

In the meantime, here are a few snippets of our recent road trip. Calgary to Vegas to Arizona (oh, Arizona!) and back. With stops in Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming for good measure.


Anonymous said...

It's been that kind of summer here too, a wee bit scattered. Hand quilting grounds me and I've often thought of it as the perfect meditative activity (at least for me). Even if I can get in just a few moments at my frame before I leave for work in the morning, it makes a huge difference. You have had quite summer so give yourself a break. Your pictures are lovely - hold on to that beauty.

Anonymous said...

Well I was wondering what you were up to. Hadn't seen a post for a time. Family ahh family, yes time well spent.

Leanne said...

I have lots I want to chat with you about all this. First there is being in this moment, a thing I love about yoga. And then there is grounded in your life, in the short, mid and long term. Some days have many things, and being distracted trying to do them does not necessarily mean you are not grounded generally. I also think that maybe you are finding that having two full time jobs, mom and quilter/writer/teacher and trying to do them constantly in the same hour or minute is, not surprising to me, impossible, and it is no wonder you feel scattered. And then there is creating time for you - your hobby or art time, which is another block, outside of the quilter/writer/teacher job. Many change to another artistic/craft/hobby when quilting becomes their job as they can't carve out the play time otherwise. So many things to discuss.

Sandra W said...

Isn't the Grand Canyon one of the world's great places?
When I went there I tried to imagine galloping along on a horse and then suddenly running into the Canyon. These men (mostly) must have thought they had arrived at the end of the world!

Closer to home--there's the Buffalo Jump near Saskatoon. So the buffalo are running along and don't know enough to stop--keep on going and plunge to their death.

Your post was a good reminder of "being here now."
And like other commenters--I also wondered what you were up to. The answer--life.

Luch said...

Your photos look amazing! Like you had a great family trip! As for being grounded, I love Leanne's thoughts above. And I agree summer with multiple kids at home is tough for grounding as there is much going on in many directions. Best of luck for finding some time for whatever grounds you. (Sometimes, I just need a break where I sip coffee and do nothing else...and think only about the coffee...and breath...that helps me when I'm short on time for the stuff that grounds me.)

Caroline said...

I'm there with you, I too need to get my :"@# together and define some space for sewing. I've got 3 teenagers and would think that life would be a bit less chaotic... Anyway... I've followed your road trip, looks great... roadtrips are the best for keeping family together and it has become our 'holiday mode' for many years now.

MariQuilts said...

Always hard to find that balance isn't it. The quilting soothes and grounds me as well.

Pauline Perry said...

Wow those pictures are awesome. I recently saw your Oh Canada quilt on Canadian Quilters page on Facebook and I would really like to buy your pattern - I love your maple leaf it is the best one I have ever seen. Love your quilt.
perry94022 at hotmail dot com

Mossie said...

You were in Arizona!?! My home sweet home! It looks like you enjoyed some of those amazing northern parts of the state. That's where we go sometimes during the summer to escape the crazy heat of the capital.

lindaroo said...

Unconnected from creative focus: that's me, too. And I've just returned from spending a week in northern Arizona with my mom and my sisters; so filled with love and beauty and breathing space. I'm not sure I'm ready to focus again, until I've absorbed some of this free-floating into my soul. May it inspire me, and you!

ES said...

As a mum of 2, with one on the way, I sympathize! But my most important thing to remember is, to not beat myself up because I couldn't get EVERYTHING done. I have to cut myself some slack otherwise I am my own worst critic, I have slowly become much happier when I manage to mostly get stuff done, most of the time!! (not everything ALL of the time).

Charlotta said...

Seeing your family on the edge of the Grand Canyon sharpens your senses, doesn't it? They could all be done in one second! Hopefully that's not what you thought! I'm glad you got to travel with them, they look like a lovely and fun bunch and worth spending time with. I'm sure everybody at times has trouble setting boundaries and priorities. All you can do is keep practicing, and keep reminding yourself of what's important. Good luck.