Thursday, 19 February 2015

One Little Word: February

Some of you may have read my previous posts about my One Little Word for this year, Gratitude. I am posting my thoughts about how my word is impacting my life on a monthly basis and these posts will be a little more personal than normal so feel free to skip them and come back next time (when there will be some books I promise!).

Each month there are prompts to help us think about our words and this months' prompt was a vision board. I used to do these all the time at school but haven't done one in years so it was actually really fun to do one again. It may also have slightly led to a bit of a magazine buying binge, but the less said about that the better! (Plus I discovered some new magazines to be grateful for - see what I did there? It's driving Rhys nuts :-p) Basically the idea is to go through magazines or newspapers or whatever and pull out words and images which you are drawn to. I ended up with so much stuff I could easily make another three of these and I'm hanging onto the rest in anticipation that it will be useful at some point in the not too distant future.

While I was making the board I found myself thinking about my childhood, during which my parents and siblings and I used to do loads and loads of collage making, painting and general craft activities. I started thinking about how grateful I am to have those moments of learning how to express myself creatively when I was a young child, before I became so aware of what I was 'supposed' to think about things and how I was meant to react. Also those craft sessions are where I learned to really talk to my mum and sisters. While we were all distracted doing something else we would chatter away about things - often not anything particularly deep and meaningful - but it helped me to know that these were the people who would listen to me when I needed them to. And also listen to me when I talked (and am still talking) vast quantities of crap.

When I first read about this prompt I was lukewarm towards it. I didn't see how it was going to help me to focus on my word and implement it more into my life, as January's prompts did, but now having done it and stared at it and taken a little time to let it sink in, I'm starting to see a lot of things in it that I didn't notice before. As I was cutting out words I was thinking 'oh great, these are all the things I need more of in my life, this will help remind me to calm down, breathe, make art, simplify etc', and then while sticking everything down tonight I looked at it again and thought yes, these are the things I need more of, but more than that these are all things I already have in my life and need to make space and time to be grateful for them rather than taking them for granted.

Also, on a trivial note, the making of my board itself did not go entirely to plan - first the carefully arranged images fell on the floor as I was transferring the board for sticking, then the spray adhesive was running out and didn't stick properly, and then I couldn't find any decent glue to attach the words with so I had to use PVA which ended up all wrinkly despite my epic efforts to only use the tiniest bit. I decided to embrace it though, and use it as an exercise in being grateful for what I already have! It's not perfect, but not much in life comes out the way we mean it to and a lot of the time it's awesome despite that.

To find out more about One Little Word check out Ali's website.

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