Designing for more Curiosity & Insight...
This week is about designing for more openness, surprise, and connection with what I make and create in 2020. Below there are two exercises we were prompted to engage with: pause-gaze-praise and filling your pockets. Both were intriguing and the challenge I found was actually taking the time to do it. How often do we just "not take the time?" Apparently, very often in my case.
Taking the time to just pause and see what is around you and wonder about it is actually quite inspiring and relaxing believe it or not. It brings wonder to the forefront, even for just a moment or two - a definite practice in mindfulness and where you are in the day. It is a reprieve from the computer, phones, paperwork, etc. It is a time to just stop and be present.
What was surprising is how my imagination could flourish in that moment too... "wonder how it was made... wonder how long it took to make... wonder what else I could use this for... wonder how they thought of the idea to make it... appreciating the intricate details I hadn't noticed before..." and, the symbolism of what it means to me and my story behind it.
As I gazed out my window, the first thing that caught my eye were the cattails outside that grow in my little pond. An although they are transitioning to wait for spring's return, I still found them captivating. They are bent and straw-like, some would say dead, but yet on two of the tips they are still that shape you'd expect. One is even allowing its seeds to disperse into the wind. It is sharing its life and preparing for the re-awakening of the spring. How similar to our own personal experiences it can be, whether with family, work, or Self. I am grateful to live in a place with a little wildlife and constant reminders of continuous rebirth.
Filling My Pockets
This process was interesting. Our prompt was to gather 5-7 objects that I'm curious about. What do they show me? What do they mean to me? What do they symbolize that I'd like to create in 2020?
The five things I chose (or perhaps they chose me) were rings from different phases of my relationships and my life: first serious relationship, engagement and marriage, the state of my relationship 30 years later, and where I'm headed. I don't often give the history of my relationships full attention - including the one with my Self - so this was a welcomed opportunity.
As I reflect on what these rings mean to me I remember my first serious relationship and how it ended and how I would do a few things differently. I remember the fun, devotion, and the thoughts of how could this person could love me so much, I just really couldn't understand it. I was 19 at the time and the relationship lasted 3 years - and should have ended about a year sooner but I just didn't have the courage or the voice to do it. Looking back it wasn't fair to him or myself. Since then, I have worked on using my voice more, taking time to find out how I really feel, and to speak my truth with more loving-kindness. Which, is something I will need to have to create what I want to do in 2020.
Next is my engagement and wedding rings - soldered together for eternity. Two interesting things about this ring(s) is that my husband proposed three times and not because I kept saying no but it took a long time to finish it as he was designing it himself.
Things often happen to me in threes: changed my major in undergrad three times, changed my dissertation topic three times, never was at a job longer than three years when I was first starting out... I could go on. The first time was an "almost proposal." We were around a campfire at a cottage and he asked, "If I asked you to marry me, would you say yes?" I was surprised to say the least and wish I would have said something like, "Ask me and you'll find out," with a grin and twinkle in my eye. But instead I said, "Yeah, I think so." I was 22, what did I know? Back then I was afraid of emotion and looking back, a little bit of such a big commitment. But he pressed on.
The second time was at his friend's wedding, spur of the moment to one of my favorite songs - and he knew it, in fact he requested it. I was shocked and this time was quite confident in my yes albeit a little embarrassed because he also told his friend and the DJ that he was going to ask. My husband is often into doing the BIG things to show his love. It took me a few years to really take that part of him in. And again I would ask myself, "How could this person love me so much?" But there was no ring yet, so I think he didn't see it as official yet.
Finally, the third time. This time a friend of mine co-conspired. The ring he had designed, yes he had designed, took a long time to finish and was not ready when he originally wanted to ask me again. So, he had planned with a co-worker friend of mine to propose at my office. I was working in a large office at the time and found out afterward many people knew about it. Funny thing... I answered the phone when he called that day and asked for my friend and didn't even recognize it was him! Yes, he still plays on my lack of attention to detail sometimes :) It was wonderful and finally official.
As I stated earlier, three times seems to be my thing. I've said for about six years now (3 times 2) that I've wanted to write a book. And as I read over this part of my story, if my husband's persistence and depth of love hasn't taught me something, I've been asleep for many years. I have persisted in the past but maybe not with the degree of love and awe I have inside, that degree of vulnerability it takes to keep on going through the tantrums of "it" not being perfect, or letting the doubts and fears rule instead of finding out I was pretty good at writing and expressing myself, and that I do know more than I think. I do have an expertise or two. I know I will need this in what I plan to create in 2020.
The Claddagh ring. According to celtic-weddingrings.com, the Claddagh ring meaning is all about love, loyalty, and friendship. The two hands represent friendship, a heart symbolizes love and the crown on top is for loyalty. We've had rough patches and periods of questioning in our relationship and worked on it and this ring symbolizes what we have now, what we've created over 30 years. It is also what I began creating with myself over 15 years ago. It is what I need to create with my goals, dreams, and work for 2020, with my clients, and beyond to make sure all of it does become a reality.
And the purple ring, well, that helps me to remember my partnership with my husband and what a support he has been through the years. He has one just like it. It is flexible and forgiving, yet strong and supportive just what I need as I move forward in creating my support packs for 2020.
Finally, the ring with the compass directions on it. The symbol of travel, exploration, and finding your way. This ring is the newest. In fact, I just received it as a surprise in the mail for ordering some gifts for someone. I knew something was coming but I didn't know what and it's meaning was not lost on me. I love to travel. I want to travel for work and for pleasure in 2020.
I have often felt directionless this past year (or two) and feel as if I may finally be heading in the right direction now. And even if I am not sure where exactly it is I am headed, I have my inner compass and the energies that be guiding me along the way. It has taken me a long time to trust this and have faith not only in myself, but in others. That I don't have to try to navigate it all alone. In fact, I have come to realize how much I do love collaboration and dare I say, structure. I welcome the many levels of travel in 2020 and where it all may take me.
#WeQuest #BestYear #Quest2020