Frog It!

I’m getting into my crocheting crafts as a way to relax, learn, and make things which have practical value for me and to have some fun. start stitch blanket

edges dont align

 

When doing craft it’s not all fun though. I’ve learnt that a new stitch, star stitch, wasn’t turning out like I’d hoped. Rows were decreasing, and I unravelled hours of work but still couldn’t manage to get the rows to line up.

I realised my skill set needed a project that was simpler. I had to do more practise and get experience before going back to the star stitch. Having to unravelled the stitches left me feeling heavy and disillusioned.

frog it

I did some searches online, watched a few YouTube videos and found what I thought was an easier project. A new project naturally called for different yarn and so a trip to the shops was in order.

With new yarn in hand and the recommended crochet hook I settled down to begin learning how to do the stitch, waffle weave. It was fine, I could do it. The problem was the yarn I’d chosen wasn’t right for the stitch and I needed a bigger hook.

waffle weave

 

This time, I wasn’t as disillusioned because I’d come across a new term.

I frogged it!

Rip it, rip it, rip it up!

frog it for waffle weave

Frog it sounds much better than undoing, or unravelling. It even makes me laugh when I’m undoing all my hours of hard work, which helps ease the frustration of having to start a project again or redo a section.

 

The language used makes a big difference. If I’m saying I’m unravelling or undoing, or deleting or unpicking depending on the creative project, then these terms have a heaviness to them, they weigh down my already deflated mood. Whereas frog it, because I’m saying ‘rip it’ over and over quickly sounds like a frog. This makes light of the situation and I don’t feel so frustrated at having to go back a few steps or start again from scratch. I can even have a giggle at the use of the term which lightens my mood and helps me to be motivated to get back into the project.

It didn’t stop there. With new yarn, I started again. But the hook wasn’t big enough, so once more I frogged it.

By going back with a bigger sized hook, and starting again I felt much happier with the forming blanket because I was creating a project to the best of my ability which helped to generate the feeling of satisfaction, progress, and achievement.

Creative projects, like any project can go off track, but with the use of some fun words it can be turned around. And creative projects largely have the purpose of not just of creative expression but also of undergoing a journey, giving a feeling of satisfaction, a chance to learn, exploration and provide a sense of achievement.

And are fun.

When the project doesn’t go to plan why not think of a frog, laugh and get back to it? It’s a more positive mindset that leads to more creativity and fun.

Was there a time when you’ve used positive, or fun words to help you go back and fix up a creative project? Please share below in the comments.

Lilliana

Back to the Plan

The other day when I sat down at a cafe to edit a paper for my studies at University, I couldn’t because I hadn’t brought all the notes I needed. I completed a different writing task, so all wasn’t lost. But then it became difficult to find the time to get back to this particular project, because of course other jobs now got in the way.

Today, I got to go to a cafe and get back to the editing I needed to do. It felt good to be finally getting on with this task, and making progress.

 

Lilliana Rose

clip art coffee heart

www.lillianarose.com

Plan B…

Today I sat down to finally edit a paper I’m writing for my studies at university. I had the printed file of the mark ups, my computer, my coffee, and I was ready. But, I had forgotten the notebook I’d written additional notes in, and after about a minute into this editing project I realised it was a bust. I was frustrated and annoyed at myself, as I was wanting to make progres with this paper. This was the one job I really wanted to not just do today, but right now while I was in a cafe.

However, not all was lost.

I did have a new notebook with me, and as well as other pressing writing projects that needed attention. I sat and wrote by hand. Not what I had planned, but I did make progress, and I enjoyed writing. new notebook

While this wasn’t the project I wanted to work on while in a cafe, by going to plan B, I could salvage the day, and get on with creating. Being adaptive to the situation pays off.

Lilliana Roseclip art coffee heart

www.lillianarose.com

Hectic Time of the Year

Often during the year there are busy moments, but I can’t help comparing them to this time of year – the lead up to Christmas. To me, this time of year feels more hectic than any other, especially in shopping centres, cafes, even simply driving around. It’s like there’s a panic in the air. Deadlines urgently have to be met, jobs cleared before people go on holidays, cooking treats made,Gingerbread.JPG and of course Christmas gifts bought. I find it hard to escape the chaotic energy buzzing around.

In amongst this busyness there are times when I find moments of peace within me, and in my own personal environment. This reminds me how this time of year doesn’t need so busy, and how restful and rejuvenating the sense of peace is when I don’t go into this hectic flow. Sure it’s busier with extra jobs of Christmas preparation but I want to approach this time of year with a harmonious mindset instead of being on edge with rushing around.Christmas tree

Peace on earth, had taken on a new meaning for me. While I’d like peace to be on earth, it’s a long way off and a challenge. What I can do is start with peace internally within me. And when I’m in this mindset I find it more harmonious to reflect on the year that was, releasing it to help make room for the New Year. Also in this mindset I find I reassess what’s important in my life, and how friends and family have influenced my year, and my life journey. I list off people and events to be grateful for, which enhance my inner sense of peace, which in turn evokes a sense of joy within me and I keep connected to my personal life flow. This all hits a deep root of what’s important for me at this time of year.

Merry Christmas, may this time be safe, peaceful, and a joyous time as 2017 comes to a close.

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

outside christmas trees

Forget the To Do List

After years and years of making lists, I’ve come to the realisation that I’m not a list person. While that’s the advice given and share in the motivational world, make a list get it out of your head, it doesn’t work for me. I prefer to keep it all in my head.

I might forget particular jobs this way but even with a list I’ve let some projects go unattended, especially since I have so many lists each for the different areas of my life.

Blank to do list
blank planner

By not making a written list, I can adjust the order of the jobs as I need to in my mind depending on other priorities that might come up during that day. By having this flexibility it means I can allow my intuition influence over what gets done as suited for the day, my mood, and what else is happening in my life. It’s a more harmonious approach, my anxiety levels are reduced, and I don’t feel like I’m forcing myself to get things done or that I’m weighed down by shoulds and should nots. This way my mind can rearrange the to-do list in a flexible and intuitive way, the way I like to approach life.

Of course my ego protests. It voices its doubt, and that there’s no way this creative approach will work. I’ll never finish projects or make progress and it will, as in my life, will be a mess. This is life. A mess. For sure, there are times when lists are helpful. But when my life is just as productive and less stressful when I take a more fluid approach, I notice that maybe these goal driven approaches aren’t for me.

While I do have a strong logical brain, I also have an equally strong creative brain. Based on how unpredictable life can be, how chaotic it is, and how one is really not in control, it makes sense to be able to switch between the two, and give the creativity, the intuitive side just as much value as the logical and planned side.

My dad always kept the details of the farm and breeding of the sheep in his head. There were a few notes in the dusty Elders notebooks in the ute. Your mind is good at remembering what’s important but it’s not usually a finite situation. There’s a limit for how much can be remembered at one time, maybe this can be extended or maybe not. But this is the amount of memory space you have to work with. Over loading it will only lead to a form of shut down. So by working with what you’ve got can actually be expansive. It’s a more feminine approach. Women do it all the time, and no it’s not necessarily about multi-tasking. But more understanding what you’ve got to work with, head space, time, personal energy, environment, other people and then making the best of that in an extraordinary fluid balance that may change without warning or throughout the day multiple times.

It’s not surprising I’m finding I work better this way. After all a big tell tale sign is how I approach my writing. There’s two main ways, connected by a spectrum, pantser or plotter. I’m a pantser. I fly by the seat of my pants when I write the story and characters all come out organically and I don’t plan (like a plotter). It means I often think of plot twists and points on the fly, and come up with ideas spontaneously rather than getting weighed up in the planning. This style isn’t for everyone. What’s important is to recognise what works for you, and then go with that. There are times when you need to switch between the two approaches left or right, logical or creative, planned or unplanned, or maybe even straight ahead in the unique balance which works for you.

the to do list
writing the daily list

Are you a list maker? Does it improve your approach to getting jobs done, and reduce stress levels? Or do you find it easier to have the mental fluid list and do just fine that way? Let me know if lists work for you or not in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by,

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

 

Life Flow

When writing I try and spend a lot of time trying to get into the creative flow, where the ideas seem to slip off the end of my pen. It feels magical when I create like this. There are so many possibilities. I’m relaxed, happy, and feeling capable of anything. On a side note, it doesn’t mean what I write is perfect and won’t need editing, that will need to be done later, first the words need to be written, and when in a creative flow this happens more easily.

Writing in the flow is also when I’m not pushing through a block, or dealing with doubt, or obsessing whether or not the story is any good. When in the flow I’m at peace with myself, and my surroundings, and what I am creating. This extends into life, not just when I’m writing.

The other day, I had an entire day of being in the flow. I was relaxed, and I moved gracefully from one job to the next. I felt at peace, even when things went wrong. I kept a level-head and problem solved then moved on. Reflecting on the day, I couldn’t help see how being in what I term my flow that this is how life is meant to be lived. I was fulfilled, and satisfied. And I did it without trying or setting my intention to be in the flow, or to get certain jobs done that day.

By doing so, I felt and experienced what a day of being in the flow is like. The way it felt will be my compass to find this flow again, something I can tap into when preparing for a day or when turning a negative day around.

Something else I got out of the day was how this flow is similar but also different to the type of flow I experience when writing. This flow wasn’t a creative flow. I didn’t write that day. It was more like a graceful dance throughout the day moving both the good, the bad and the ugly through me. I experienced the emotions, and feelings, and then let go as the dance continued leaving space for new sensations to be felt.

Being in this life flow isn’t only good for well-being but also for generating creative solutions, innovative ideas, intuitive insights both personally and socially. It’s when you are in this frame of mind when solutions surface, even simple things like a particular way home which ends up saving time. Overall, it’s a more peaceful and harmonious way to untangle thoughts and focus is balanced with you and your environment, which is better than forcing an outcome, which is often driven by modern life and work goals, and the pursuit of success.

Now I’ve done it and managed to capture the experience and compare it to the creative flow I’m very familiar with, it will be easier for me to slip into this flow of life in the future – starting with tomorrow.

Desktop Clutter

I’ve been meaning to de-clutter my desktop on my computer for years. Uh-um. Many years. Over time the clutter; countless sticky notes, files I didn’t know where to put, images I needed quickly, the odd e-book on my tbr list, and Excel spread sheets that looked lost in the multiple files.

And it annoyed me, a lot.

Every time I logged on to my laptop I couldn’t face dealing with the clutter of information that at one point I deemed important, maybe even vital for my life. Turns out this information wasn’t that important, or it had been superseded by new files, or with new information in the ever changing world we live in. A lot of the information had lost its value. I had more recent photographs of myself to use in posts. I’d written new stories and increased the number of new releases on my tbr pile. So it sort of became easier to ignore the mess on my desktop and not deal with my filing. But it was silently irritating me. I’d become an electronic hoarder! Unused files sat on my computer, like an unworn dress in my wardrobe waiting to go to that party where there was no invite ever coming.

I’ve tackled clutter in my home, and regularly set aside clothes or items to sell, donate or throw away. Yet on my computer it gradually became more difficult to see the background image and even the files as they began to cover each other.

I needed help! But this was a job that only I could face. I had to otherwise the clutter would build up again. There’s so much electronic information to manage and I didn’t have the system in place nor could I work out one to implement.

What changed this situation around for me? I got a new computer. I had actually gone to the length of putting off getting a new computer because I needed to clean up my desktop. With my computer failing I was given the push I needed. For years I’d put off the job because I thought it would take too long, I didn’t have the time or filing system I needed to address the issue.

De-cluttering my desktop didn’t take long, especially considering the number of files and sticky notes I had to sort through. The task was made easier because having waited so long some files simply went straight to the trash. I wanted to do the job now because I knew the clutter was causing a noise in my head and mixing up my thoughts. I needed to clear the files to give myself some head space. Plus I needed to migrate files from the old to the new computer and I wanted this to be organised and not a chaotic mess. After all, when starting on a new computer I didn’t want to bring over the files that were no longer useful. I wanted to use this as a fresh start.

Even though I’ve spent a lot of time de-cluttering my house I was blocked with my computer. Instead of dealing with it I ignored and avoided the situation even when I knew better. It happens, things sneak up and stay with us not necessarily even hiding in our blind spots.

It took me a while, but I got there. I found the time and motivation to help me get the job done. Of course, now I’ve de-cluttered my desktop, I have extra head space, clearer thinking and feel more inspired every time I log on to my computer. Hopefully this will last and I won’t revert back to old habits!

Balancing Act

I used to wish for time where I could write uninterrupted. Through life events I’d rather not have happened, I found myself able to take time out from a full time teaching job to write. It wasn’t quiet the romantic idea I had in mind, and as time went on, I needed to go back to work to earn money.

Then began a time of inner conflict as my job drained my energy. I found it difficult to have the time, and space I needed to find the inspiration to write. But slowly I began to adjust. I learnt to carve out time for my writing (this has taken two years to achieve) and find a balance between work (which I do enjoy) and also my writing (which I love).

It hasn’t been easy.

In the process, I’ve found some hidden benefits to not writing full time.

On the ground level, work has provided a chance for me to have a break from writing, and it takes me away from spending too much time alone. As much as I would love to, it’s not healthy for me to write all the time, spending long hours each day alone with my imagination. The real world calls me to be a part of it. Teaching primary school children is a big reality check.

When at school I’m listening to student’s stories, usually about how they are so excited and proud to have a loose tooth. I’m reminded how when five I used to show off my wobbly teeth to adults. I see now from watching students my finger was in the way, and no one saw my tooth, but not once did they let on, just as I don’t now. While working, I’m also interacting with adults, sharing stories, ideas, and teaching practices, which stirs up emotions, memories, just like a wobbly tooth.

At work, I’m interacting with a lot of people, I’m talking and listening, and while this doesn’t feed directly into my writing it helps me to feel part of life. Meeting people at work provides an outside influence, it draws me out of my head and into the real world, and it stirs up sparks of creativity within my mind. It also gives me a chance to help others and provides further purpose to my life.

It’s a complicated relationship between work and writing. I express myself differently at both places. But by realising these two areas of my life can work together in harmony is freeing.

I never thought work and writing could find a balance. But now, my ideas flow just as much whether I’m teaching or not and that’s a good position to be in.