Friday, January 28, 2011

Miss Crafty Smarty Pants

I am a Crafty Smarty Pants.

I like to weave and design and make things beautiful....steel rings, embroidery thread, beads, hair...words, images, principals and morals....I like to integrate things and make them whole, more than they were before, but still possessing their individual beauty within the whole construct. 

Last week I was constructing a pretty decorative headpiece and had all these grand ideas about how it'd come out.   My fingers were flying weaving and twisting, knotting and braiding and I realized I had not stopped to think about the best way to do it before I started in on it.  I had in my hands at this point a pretty braided twisted weaving line of about an inch.  Looking down I realized I had a tangled nasty rats nest of embroidery thread coming down from it.  Not only did I start with the piece at the wrong end, but I also didn't take the time to pull each strand through - resulting in an hour spent untangling a gigantic knot.  There were times I gritted my teeth and restrained myself from yanking things around.  I had to use a soft and consistent touch to ungnarl the beast of fraying threads that seemed to be actively defying me.  There were times I would stop, take a deep relaxing breath, look back down, and feel like it was squiggling back into knots while I was looking away.  Patience wins in the end, however, as I finally got a strategy that worked to unravel the tangles and undid all my work.
So I looked at everything I had un-done, all my beads and clasps and tools and options before me. I had a simmering popping exploding ideas of creative genius of what I wanted to do.  I grabbed a pencil and a piece of graph paper and immediately wrote something at the very top of the page. 
Think Before You Act.

I immediately started sketching out designs - side views, back views, detail views.  Things were crossed off, things were adjusted in the middle, loops were created and then moved....and I left room and space to embellish as I wished. Then I set out with my thread and beads and steel rings and started again.

While my fingers flew, weaving their energy into the knots of the strings, keeping pressure at the places where things could fall apart, pulling strands through one at a time to ensure no tangling, I started meditating about the phrase that struck my frontal lobe like lightning. 

The phrase was so simple, so obvious.  How often it's forgotten though.  How it's so true to everything from crafting a decorative hair piece to approaching my career to how I handle my personal relationships.  Not thinking before I act costs me so much time and frustration in having to un-do everything that wasn't working because I hadn't really thought about what I wanted and how I was going to achieve that goal.

Halfway through my piece, I realized I had gone too far - I was planning some beaded loops and pieces that were going to be in particular spot per my plans and I had glossed over that.  So I stopped and wrote down the next directive that seared across my frontal lobe -

Follow Through on Your Plans.

Follow through.  Thoughts and plans are useless without follow through.  This applies everywhere.  Doing what you're going to say you will do.  Being on time.  Holding true to your word.  Being dependable.  Reliable.  Having forward thinking and a proactive approach reduces hassles, mistakes, and reduces miscommunication.  It's so simple and basic, but so essential.  Most of the time, it's the simple and basic things I know but I don't fully grasp or completely understand - deep in my core, that make the biggest differences in my life.

I'm awe struck sometimes about the beautifully intricate and simplistic and spasmodic ways my brain works.  Why simple phrases that change how I look at life are generated when I make a pretty bauble.  It's so interesting.  Life is flowing around, out, through me and I draw from things these concrete directives that are like signposts guiding my way towards the future I want. 

Think before you Act. 
Follow Through on Your Plans. 

Imperatives I roll around in my brain like I would a fine wine on my tongue.  I draw my spirit and essence around those phrases, tasting the way they would flavor my life interactions and how it would color me as a person.  These sentences that flare across my brain I mull over and if it's a tasty tidbit that strengthens my pillar of character, that brings me closer to being the person I know is inside of me, that enriches my life and bestows me with wisdom - I weave those phrases together, string them along. I put in gems of my personality like accents in this beautiful tapestry I'm creating that tells the story of who I am. 

Who's up for a crafty night?

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