The Joy of Adornment

Anything can be art, and anything can be adorned with love.

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Allow me to introduce Nemo and Mo, my newest pocket journals. I love bringing these along with me to pass the time with doodles, thoughts of noodles, and any passing musings.

I bought a few acrylic markers awhile back (initially the whOops color scheme for my street art stickers) and have found their utility lies far beyond just making stickers but instead decorating anything and everything. My work gloves, my pencil sharpener, pants, storage bins, metal tins, anything that has some space for me to decorate.

It’s a simple act that I rarely put much thought in to, but I can tell you that seeing that adornment always brings me some modicum of joy. Not only that, but it’s helped me reduce my environmental footprint by enjoying what I already have all the more.

Why not surround yourself and your objects with love?


Last night I talked for awhile with a family friend who visited Frida Kahlo’s home and was reminded of this idea of adornment. After being in a bus accident, Frida had to wear a plaster corset for most of her life to support her spine. Most of these corsets she adorned with her paintings.

Obviously she’s adorning an object that’s imbued with far more power and challenging emotions around it than I am, but still she’s making the same choice:

to decorate, to adorn, to share her inner world with us and the objects around her.

What could you adorn? What’s something you have to use but don’t really enjoy? Start with that, then draw on it, paint on it, tape it, use whatever supplies you have however sounds like fun. The point is to imbue the object with some remnant of joy and playful exploration.

Then just notice how you approach it, how it feels in your hands whenever you use it. See if you really need to buy a new one or if you can just decorate what you have in to being a loved object.

I think you may find that object to be a little more cherished, and if that’s not a blessing then I don’t know what is.

The Ever-Present Threat of Doing Enough

Should I do more? Have I done enough?

I’ve long intellectualized the idea of enough. I’ve weighed it in my mind, considered it against a known quantity, against the shadow of death. I’ve often asked myself: if I die tomorrow, have I done enough?

Always this comparison has left me not measuring up. I can do more therefore I should do more. There it is, the Should Monster. Easy to identify but far too intelligent to merely crumble away and disappear upon inspection.

I’ve encountered it again and again on the field of battle as I try to defuse the threat of doing enough that creeps in throughout the day. But I’ve only focused on the mental struggle with it, and while occasionally I’ve won the fight—I still am losing the war.

That has been the story until recently. The battle has slowly and quietly slipped from my mind. Yes I can still hear the rumble and rustle at times, but now it feels far more distant and disconnected from me. Almost a memory, or a reminder of the past. The secret? Not using my head.

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The less I think about the answer to the question of whether or not I’ve done enough and the more I feel the answer the better.

I’ve done enough when I no longer feel like doing more. I’ve done enough when I feel I am tired and want to go home. I’ve done enough when I feel I have offered my best attempt.

Death, legacy, fear, and so on aren’t really brought in to the equation any more. It’s just me trying my damnedest at being present. Sometimes that involves some intentional breathing, but most of the time it just means trying to ascertain and accept how I’m feeling. I try to listen, to pay attention, and to trust my body to tell me.

Some days are easier than others, listening to yourself takes both effort and courage to undertake.

Honoring yourself can be quite trying, but I can assure it leads to the path of connectedness. Connected to myself and to my body. Connected to others and my energy level to best interact with them. Connected to the beautiful unfolding of the world happening all around us and the many wonderful creatures that fill it.


I hope you want to join me in deepening all of our connections, especially our own. I invite you to consider slowing down and listening to what your body/emotional space are telling you next time you are thinking you didn’t do enough or that you should do more. Use that doubt/fear as a catalyst to connect with yourself.

See what feelings arise. Honor them by acknowledging them and then trust yourself as you allow yourself to merely make another step along your journey of being alive. Trust that there is no rush and that your path is far more complex and interesting than you could ever imagine.

Enjoy your exploration pal.

Hello!

I’m Andrew and I look forward to sharing this journey of life with you.

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Our life at the smallest level is merely time: years, hours, minutes, seconds. How we spend that time is the task laid out for each and every one of us. With each decision, each moment we carve out an identity; but we can always change—that’s the beauty of it. All things change.

So will this blog, but for now I am setting it off to the sea of the internet with the intention to honestly explore the experience of being alive and to share that with all of you. I hope along the we both grow deeper as individuals and closer as a group. Thank you.

 

We’re all together here on this earth.

It can be confusing,
it can be hurtful,
it can feel overwhelming,
it can be exhausting;


but that’s all right, it’s okay:

this is our first time being us.