Here it is, that time of year where we look at what is working well in our lives and we also look at the things that might not be going so well. Millions of people will toast to a brand new year and a brand new “them” at midnight Dec 31. Will you? What are you resolving for 2012?
For years and years I made (and failed at) new years resolutions, but everyone doesn’t fail! I am however in the majority though, statistically. This morning I read that out of those who make new years resolutions 22% of folks fall off the wagon after a week, and after 3 months 50% just give up altogether on them. Depending on where you look the statistics are a little different but still unfavourable. If you have found yourself disappointed and discouraged in the past with resolutions, or just plain not had any success with them, why not set a sankalpa instead? Sankalpa is a Sanskrit word from the yoga tradition meaning will, purpose or determination. The word san means “highest truth” and kalpa means “vow.”
A sankalpa is an internal vow you make to yourself. Its like planting a seed within. Its private. Its similar to a resolution only instead of focusing on what you don’t want (want to give up etc), you focus on what you’d like to bring into your life and manifest. Instead of saying “I won’t” you say “I will” and you see and feel your vision it in all it’s glory. It’s a resolve that resonates deep within your core. It’s a good intention that brings you into alignment with your highest self and your greatest good. It may sound a little hokey but its really quite powerful.
There are lots of ways to practice sankalpa and I highly recommend it. And if you’re not clear on your sankalpa? Just be open to receiving it and it will come. Maybe it’s a new energy you‘d like to cultivate? Or something you have already been working on for a while? Or it may be something entirely new you’d like to manifest. You can begin each day with your sankalpa. You can reflect on it often, meditate on it, or bring it to your awareness anytime your mind is quiet and receptive. Some good times to focus on it would be: at the beginning of a yoga practice, during shavasana (deep “on purpose” relaxation), meditation, relaxing in the tub, walking in nature, or any period of mindfulness (cuddling your child, eating, walking, chores etc.). You can journal or recite a mantra, or you can simply get quiet and breathe while you focus on what you are inviting into your life. It's important to not get your ego involved or invested. Try and remember that you aren't trying to fix anything about yourself.
We are always growing, changing, and evolving, and with a sankalpa we’re not attached to a specific outcome so that means never beating yourself up or getting upset or disappointed, so there isn’t ever a reason to throw in the towel. And real change doesn’t happen over night anyways. We stay very much in the present moment as the seeds grow and things evolve. And lastly, remember the practice of ahimsa (another sanskrit word) which means non harming-non violence. Its really important to practice your self compassion. We aren’t pressuring ourselves. We are already perfect exactly the way we are. We really are. We are just living with intention in the constantly changing flow that is life. Right here and right now. Good luck to you and all the best in 2012!
But... the question of what to write on still haunts me. I am on a somewhat restricted budget (I have decided to finally buy a new car in 2012... I will not spend another winter in a car without heat), so the economic factor is an issue when it comes to finding something awesome to write on. And with fountain pens, you really have to keep the pens and ink in mind when you buy stationery. You don't want to be halfway through your epic description of the crazy woman who was changing her clothes while driving down the highway at 80 miles an hour only to find the back of the page is littered with a mirror image of the words you just put down. You also probably don't want the ink to have feathered more than a Charlie's Angel haircut, either.
I have only really begun to look for an economic way to procure a small collection of stationery. Currently, I am using a ream of 28lb bright laser photo paper I bought at Staples. I have yet to find an ink that it didn't like, even with my Noodler's Ahab pen at full flex. I'm sure there is one out there, but my preferred method of consuming ink is in the form of sample vials from Goulet Pen Company, so if it's there, I bet I'll find it. (Tangent alert! The De Atrementis inks are gorge, and I must has them all)
I found a PDF of a narrow width template for printing lines on paper for yourself somewhere on the FPN, and have exclusively used that to print and use for my primary writing paper. This has served it's purpose, but I am getting bored of looking at nothing but white and black lines. During my searches for stationery last night on Etsy and various places I could find, I saw a common theme with printed stationery - a border around the entire page in various colors.
With the ruler, I measured out an even border on each side of the page. If I ever do this again, I'll be sure to modify the line template to remove the margin, as well as skipping the whole 3-hole punch deal. I keep all my current active writings in a 3-ring binder with me at all times, and I was just using the paper that I had on hand. After I decided on the right border size, I would then outline it in colored pencil and begin the fun part of coloring it in.
Of course, now is the time I start looking for other ideas on what to add to my homemade stationery collection. I will eventually be buying some descent quality high class stationery (or even low class, really ugly, or just down right hilariously bad stationery), but for now, this will suit me just fine. Perhaps I should get a custom embosser with my name on it or something. The absolute next thing on the list will be getting a small collection of stickers and stamps to use to further decorate the pages/envelopes I fill with words. I've always preferred the handmade look to printed or manufactured items, so this is perfect for my tastes.
Before I go back to coloring and watching a rather horrible movie on Netflix, I'd like to thank The Missive Maven for her very generous welcome on Twitter. I am both excited and honored to be a part of the letter writing community!
My first pen-pal was in third grade. Teachers across the county would organize a pen-pal exchange, and once every two weeks, we would exchange letters with each other. It opened my eyes to a world that I had known nothing about before hand.
I stopped writing anything by hand in high school. Term papers, essays, and research all required large amounts of information, and it just became much more practical to digitize everything. The amount of time I spent doing homework alone removed any chance of me even writing to enjoy it. Now, in my adult years, I have a stable job and a decent income, I have some free time to divide among my various hobbies. I decided that writing, and more specifically, letter writing, would be one of them.
This blog will be about my journey into letter writing, and everything that it includes. Stationery, pens, and other assorted goodies. And... soon... very soon... the documentation of an empire I shall create with just the written word alone. Muahaha LOL
would you like to join us?
i worked up our new kits last week and asked my dear friend danyelle of dandee designs to style and photograph them for me. a quick little collaboration that will hopefully have us all doing the same thing this coming new year's eve night.
making resolutions. together.
the kind we'll want to keep.
download your printable resolution kits here.
print as many as you need. and be sure to let me know if you post about your goals! i'd love to know what you'll be up to this year.
Parece-me que a Rede Globo, que é Espirita por convicção resolveu se render ao enorme mercado GOSPEL da atualidade, que vende "qualquer coisa" em "qualquer ritmo", usando o nome de Cristo, e citando trechos do texto Bíblico fora de contexto e sem qualquer conexão, como mercadoria, e atualmente mercadoria que está vendendo muito, pois está na MODA ser cristão, mas ser CRISTÃO LIGTH, ou seja um cristão que pega o que me serve da palavra de Deus somente, que pega só o que me serve, e o resto se joga fora.
"If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem wonderful at all." MICHELANGELO-Renaissance sculptor and painter who spent 4 years lying on his back painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
thinking i'll post it tonight - so my mother can take my thoughts with her to fernwood tomorrow.
the grief surprises me sometimes. but as soon as the ache begins – i remember it. i shake my head, bury my head in my hands and take a deep breath. i’ve felt the familiar for a few days now. a heavy quiet - sitting right on my heart. i expected it to come with the putting up of lights, the sipping of hot drinks, of mittens and boots.
i didn’t make the trip this year. my yearly trek over the mountains. for a 9thand 9th shopping trip and christmas card making with my mother. for lots of reasons, really - i’m not there this time. am wishing for it, tonight.
we started our tradition when lucas was a babe. two thousand and seven. i met briana then. at carlucci's bakery. in the back corner table. cath couldn't wait to share her with me. she sipped hot tea and chatted birth and life for an hour or so. the next year was the 'change is coming' house meeting. we exchanged gifts at the salt lake city library. two thousand and nine was a blackwelder booth at the beehive bazaar with in + out burgers after.
last year on these days – i was in that city with my three dearest friends. i’d imagined that we’d have a free night to huddle together at briana’s. that she’d teach us how to make homemade marshmallows and i’d get to share her space with the holiday trimmings up. we didn’t try very hard to make it happen – other adventures came up and instead of an entire night in her company we got a quick hello as she hurried out the door with my mother on their way to a holiday gift exchange.
a few days later after my friends had gone home to their families – baby charlie and i headed out for The Children’s Hour with my mom in her li’l red mini. bri wanted to meet up with us. to share hot drinks. to snuggle charlie. to catch up for a minute before i headed back to washington. we kept being in just the wrong place at just the wrong time. we kept missing a meet-in-middle. and i wasn’t trying very hard to make it happen, either. i was feeling selfish and wanted my mom to myself - and so it didn’t.
i love looking back in retrospect. to see things for how they were then and how they are now.
i am wishing for a different story tonight. am wishing i was looking back at homemade marshmallows and good music. at tea shared on 9th in mugs with mittens.
tonight the grief came with the words to winter song.
…that you’re not where you belong... inside my arms.
am wishing that she was with the people she belonged to tonight.
am wishing that she was with candice. that they’d trimmed that tree together.
that she was with cath tonight. while chuck’s out of town. giggling and tincture sharing. up so late.
am wishing she was with tess and that chubby baby. knitting him some first christmas gifts and making felt birds together.
am wishing she was with rachel and that belly.
and i guess that maybe… she is.
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. ~ Buddha Quote ~
I've have had quite a few yoga students confide in me lately. This isn't always the greatest time of year for everyone.
I have likely posted this in the past, but I just came across it again in my documents and thought I'd repost. There are some real words of wisdom written here. Keep your chin (s) up and don't lose hope! You know who you are...
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and the Divine. It was never between you and them anyway. -Mother Teresa
HERE is an article I wrote for Vancouvermom.ca last week on stress reduction and mindfulness over the holidays (and anytime).