27 January 2012

Something Good

"Every day may not be good,
but there is something good in every day."

Hello, bloggees. I have missed you. I have been lurking here or there, coming up for air. But there have been some things that have been happening lately that seem to be swallowing me up whole. So I have had to retreat a bit. But never fear! I am still here!

If you have known me at all, or received an email from me, you may recognize that quote above as my catch phrase. I adopted that one day many years ago when I was having a rock bottom moment where the whole world seemed to be conspiring to get me. I remember that the cheerful girl at the check out seemed to demand that I have a great day. She could not have known that I was having a rotten time and her sugary sweet outlook just fanned my flames. I recall biting her head off. My reaction to her surprised me (and probably her). That day I stumbled upon this quote. And it hit me like a bolt of lightning.

"Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day."

I realized that that poor girl had no idea what I was going through. I couldn't possibly have a great day. But that didn't mean it wasn't filled with good. So I started looking for the 'something goods' to show up. And truthfully, it was painful at first because there weren't any. That's not true. I just didn't see them. Actually, my mood had become a defensive fortress that was not only keeping out those 'something goods' from reaching me and shielded my heart from seeing them. And yes, I do believe that you can see with your heart. That day was like a crack that allowed in the light. I just had to keep chipping away in order for the light to flood on in.

At first I had to look. And look hard. But as time went on, I started to notice that these 'something good' moments seemed to find me. It isn't that those things weren't happening before, I was just too blind to recognize them. And I also believe that my heart was more open to receiving them so that the Universe started sending them my way in abundance. Now not a day goes by that I don't have the 'something good' moment. But lately I had built up those walls again.

I am not a cheerful, smack-you-in-the-face-with-my-bubbly attitude type. I can be downright surly. And while I am definitely a glass half full kind of girl, that doesn't mean that I am always happy. So seeking out the 'something good' moments truly helps me to stay on an even keel.
I have a page-a-day calendar on my desk at work each year. This year it is Mary Engelbreit. There is something about the sweetness in her illustrations and the attention to detail from the tiniest button on the dress of the little girl that looks just like her to the patterns in the background. Today, here is the page.

Late last night I found myself walling up that fortress again. I needed a dose of happy. Since my happy is usually found in retail therapy (even if it is virtual), I found myself at Etsy, which I do find myself every.single.day. (Right now I am buying some really cool things to create three necklaces inspired by poetyr for the upcoming Verse & Vision art exhibit.) I stumbled across a piece of word art. Oh, how I love word art! I love positive messages and affirmations. I love that they can live on my walls, printed on stationery, etched into stone or hung around my neck. I love to read the wisdom of famous or not-so-famous quotes. So I put together a quick little treasury called "Something Good in Every Day". Because with one month down in 2012 I need to stop the spinning and point my toes in the right direction so that I can propel myself forward. So I thought I would share with all of you, just to brighten your day a bit.

'Something Good in Every Day' by TesoriTrovati

There is something good in every day. Go and find your 'something good' today. Enjoy the day! Erin

Dream Greeting Card

Bright Side A4 Print Un...

star - beginning today ...

the glass is half full

Hand Embroidery in 5 in...

Your Possibilities are ...

BE THANKFUL Thanksgivin...

think positive - motiva...

Love Yourself, First. ...

Inspirational quote nec...

You CAN do it

the ultimate confidence...

Hand Painted Comic Drin...

Typography print - Quot...

Authenticity Necklace -...

2012 Wall Calendar - Ta...

I have felt stripped bare by this month. Thank you for landing that punch Miss January.Yes, January is traditionally my fallow time, but this is something more. There have been some personal and family issues that have threatened to block out the sun for me. You know those 5 stages of grief? Denial ~ Anger ~ Bargaining ~ Depression ~ Acceptance. I have attained every level and back again. Sometimes in the same day.
I am not at liberty at this time to explain more about the swirling eddies of murkiness that seem to be engulfing me right now (please know that they are not life threatening, maybe just a little life altering), but I can say that I am finally able to see the clear path even through the muck.

My dear friend Beth Hemmila makes the most lovely jewelry componets from her company Hint Jewelry. Her art is full of good intentions and powerful messages. Beth recently published a book called "Lemonade Mantras." She sent me a little sneak peek of it and there are a few free downloads to try out on her website. Lemonade Mantras is a book and a companion journal with exercises. In her words, "I truly believe that when your heart and mind work together to transform bitter moments into sweet possibilities, you create more happiness in your life and more peace in the world." Amen, sistah!

Her book is just like I would expect from her. So wise and knowing, but with a giving spirit. It would be an honor to meet her one day and spend time soaking up her goodness and light. But since we live in different parts of the country, having her Lemonade Mantras nearby is the next best thing, and after trying out these free exercises, I realize that I need this more than ever. I don't know how she does this, but her words always reach me when and where I need them.

One of the worksheets that I printed from Beth's book is called "Guerilla Peacemaker." There are some issues going on in my life right now that seem to be out of control. When I read through this exercise, it hit me squarely between the eyes.

"Sometimes a trigger event stimulates such an intense physical or emotional response in your body that a quick and easy strategy is necessary to immediately change your negative thinking so as to remain present and focused. Like a guerrilla force you need to make yourself small and adaptable to move through the experience without being big and reactive where you may cause harm to yourself or others."

There are destructive behaviors and there are punitive behaviors that we engage in when faced with situations - trigger events, as Beth calls them - that threaten to spin us out of control. I sort of link this to a 'fight or flight' syndrome. When faced with conflict, I want to tear it down and run away. But that isn't helpful to me and certainly doesn't make the situation any better.

I cannot change the situations that I have been faced with this month. But I can change my reaction to them. That is the only thing that I have control over. I like that the worksheet leads me to recognize the trigger event, name the destructive or punitive behaviors that I feel, and then asks the questions, "What can I build in this moment? How do I appreciate this experience?"

I will tell you that my first instinct is definitely not to build on these things and I doubted if I could even appreciate them. They are lemons of course, and they suck! But that is what building lemonade is all about. Pushing through the sour taste and adding your own brand of sweetener to come out with something delicious and satisfying on the other end. I told Beth that instead of lemonade, I might add raspberries and a buttery little crust and make those raspberry lemonade bars that I saw on Pinterest instead.

Ohh! I have a 'something good'... I finally, FINALLY was able to purchase a bag from Lori Plyler of Studio Waterstone. I love her work. I have coveted each new bag she has made. I have dragged my feet and let all the great ones slip away. No more. She had a sale and I snagged this pretty little number.


It makes me so happy to feel the soft fabric and know that someone I admire created it. Rest up, Miss Lori! Make more bags this spring because I know I will need another one!

This month I have had to really work hard to live up to my own mantra, that quote above. But I think that after writing this, Erin has got her groove back.

And that is a 'something good' to celebrate!

P.S. Next week I plan to share with you the next "Challenge of..." blog hop theme. I am still tweaking the idea, but I think it will be a good one. Sign ups will begin on the blog on February 1st-4th with a limit of 100 participants (last time we had about 60). And hey! It's a leap year and we should have a party on it! The blog hop will be scheduled for February 29th. Stay tuned...

Your turn...
Tell me a 'something good' that has happened to you this month.


Libby Leuchtman said...

Just stopping by to say Hello to one of my favorite bloggers! Love the post today. I too have backed away from my blog for a couple of weeks to reflect. Glad to see you back.

indigo heart said...

such a lovely post, erin. i hope this grief doesn't swallow you whole for too much longer. my something good this month was being accepted in jeannie dukic's echo creative club. it's so much fun to be pushed out of our little holes we've made for ourselves, and challenges do just that for me. i hope i make it into your challenge! can't wait to read all about it. i, too, have read the little free downloads of beth's; just brilliant, isn't she? very profound and deep. wishing you peace through your pain.

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

So sorry that this month has not been good, but I hope it turns around for you. It must be January or the weather because mom has been down too. I think she needs to sit under the sun lamp more ;-) Love, love, love the bag you got from Lori. Her bags are the bomb!!!! I drool all over the keyboard when she posts new ones. I also love her watercolor she has been working on, it is fabulous. Good thing this month is getting back into the swing of things in the studio. It has been so much fun sawing, making beads and enameling; it has helped my mood out a lot to be creating again.
Big hugs to you Erin. Take care!!!

EmandaJ said...

This month has been a tough on for a lot of folks, hang in, hang on. Tomorrow is a clean slate. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

beth hemmila & hint jewelry said...

Erin, soul sister, thank you ever so much for sharing everything that has been going through your mind this month! I feel so much more connected knowing that you too struggle with all this stuff that I laid out in Lemonade Mantras. Thank you for being there and thank you for voicing your own struggle with looking for the positive. It's good to be here with you and to read this words. Can't wait to see where it all leads :)

SummersStudio said...

I have missed you. I'm in a lurking sort of mood without a lot of words these days. January, despite being my birth month and therefor something to look forward too ;-), generally kicks my butt in ways I never see coming. And this January is a very trying one. But one of the things that I do is to find time each day for gratitude because sometimes it is just too easy to let the negative overwhelm you. I've always loved your 'something good' and think it is a wonderful way to live. I hope whatever is happening in your life will come to it's end, whatever that may be, and that each day will become easier with many 'something goods'. I

Brandi Hussey said...

Seeing this post is a "something good" for me!

I've missed you, Miss Erin, but I hope you've taken the time you need to get straight. These things can't be rushed (I've tried, doesn't work, and yes, there were tears of frustration), so if you need more time, I say take it.

You know I'm here if you need to vent.

Stacy Rajab said...

Sometimes as rough as times may seem, things could be much-much-much worse. Keep your head up! :)

diamond rings said...

Love the blue bag, so cute. From engagement rings

DogsMom said...

I am another one who has been irregularly lurking for a while. Things have not been optimal for blogging and I do not feel open to share it all. Bits and pieces slide through the cracks now and then.
Since I can not afford to go shopping, virtual, second hand or otherwise, at the moment I have been entering contests.
Please come visit my blog where I am listing new giveaway opportunities fairly often.
(I can do those posts ahead of time.)

My great news is that I have been WINNING contests too.

Rebecca said...

Such a lot to respond to here Erin....I'm so sorry that you're going through such a lot right now - whatever it is, I hope you have love and support around you (as well as here in cyberspace of course, where you have it in abundance) and that you can get through this difficult time. You'll be in my thoughts. I am very excited to see what your next 'Challenge of.....' will be (really, VERY excited!) and I love your bag. I have been eying up Waterstone bags for some time (especially her wee clutch bags, absolutely gorgeous!), but the postage to the UK in understandably pretty high so I've held off for the time being. I love your treasury too. I love your positivity and wonderful 'can do' attitude. So typically American to my thinking! I admire it so much. We Scots are definitely a glass half empty nation and whilst I do adore the self-depricationg humour of my nation, the negativity that we sometimes have as our general mindset can be a little exhausting! So know that you are loved and admired and looked up to. Support coming at you from across the waves!

Therese's Treasures said...

Great post, sorry to hear that things are not hunky dory for you right now, but your head is getting in the right frame of mind. I love Lori's handbags and I missed her sale, but congratulations to you for being able to snag one of her bags. I have an old worn leather jacket that I would love to have a handbag made out of it.
The good thing that is happening for me so far this month is that I have lost 6 pounds! I probably would have lost more if I were also working out in some fashion or another. I did buy a workout DVD so that is a step in the right direction, right!
Take care and know that you have a whole lot of us out here in blog land pulling for you.

Alice said...

It's never easy to be positive when negative things are happening. But you are right in that every day there is joy and a ray of hope if we just look for it. I hope you get through this icky part soon.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about the next 'Challenge Of'

rosebud101 said...

I hear you!

Lori @ Studio Waterstone said...

Erin, I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles. I can SO relate to your feelings and attitude. This month has been extremely tough from realizing that I have to step back to the anniversary of my mother's death. But in all the difficulties, you have to find joy and hope in each day - never to be swallowed up with sorrow.

And on a happier note, I'm happy to hear that you're loving your bag. Couldn't think of a sweeter recipient. :)

Take care.

Copper Diem said...

what a great thought. i tried to remind my self of this today - very nice perspective

maryharding said...

I am sorry to hear that you have been having a tough time. I am so in awe of how beautifully you have found ways to turn your outlook around. Many good things have happened for me in January. I always try to reflect on them, mark the moment. Certainly as you do too. Kind of like storing up the good so we have plenty to draw upon when things get tough. Sounds good but I know it is never easy to pull through periods of sadness and feeling lost. My thoughts are with you.

Cindy said...

Erin, I'm sorry to hear how tough this month has been for you. I just want you to know I'm thinking of you. I know for myself I went through some tough times in November and December and it was awfully hard to blog and remain upbeat, so I took some time off. Thank you for sharing and we're all here for you!

Shaiha said...

This really has been a hard month with my husband struggling with depression and other health issues. The good thing is that we have finally found a doctor that listens and it looks like we are on an upswing.


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