So, one of my RENAISSANCE themes/ojectives this year is "I" — meaning, me. I don’t believe anyone can experience a true renaissance if they are overly focused on themselves, so this "I" thing is not really a selfish kind of "I" so much as it is a deliberate attempt at a greater awareness of who "I" really am. I want to be more conscious of what I think, what I say and what I do and then explore why I think, say and do these things, so that I can get where I want to go.
My editor’s note in the Jan/Feb issue of Simple Scrapbooks issued a challenge to readers to capture "I" statements throughout the year and then use them to see patterns, of what I call constant change. I have learned as a scrapbooker that life is constantly changing, at what seems to be a faster and faster rate. I have also become more aware and grateful for the things in my life that can stay constant if I choose to nurture the constancy. For example, my relationship with my husband will change and evolve, but my love and appreciation for him can be a constant if I nurture and care for it. I can expand my understanding of spiritual things and the universe, while still keeping constant my faith and trust in God. And, I can grow and develop my creativity, as I realize and prioritize those rituals and routines that keep constant the flow of inspiration and ideas. I hope I haven’t lost you (and I might I just add here, that I really appreciate the chance to think out loud and attempt to express things inside of me on a blog. Seriously, how cool is this?)
I have recently been reminded that I am the type of person that likes to find meaning in EVERYTHING (more on personality types coming soon) and so I’ve assigned a cosmic reason to the loss of my post last Saturday morning. Snicker if you want, because as we all know in the logical side of our brains, it had more to do with my internet connection and nuances in the function of my blogging service than it did with anything cosmic – but, losing that post has caused me to contemplate what it was I really wanted to say, but didn’t. I spent an hour creating a post that was a highlight of things, when what I really wanted to do was go deep, and truly explore this topic of change and some of the dots related to change (and especially personal change) that I’ve been connecting lately.
I listened to a podcast from Fast Company magazine, interviewing the author of a book, titled Change or Die.
I was fascinated! The author reminded us of the things that cannot
change us — things that can be summarized in the categories of facts,
fear or force. Examples he gave, smokers know the facts about smoking,
and yet they continue to smoke. Drivers universally fear the
possibility of an automobile accident and yet they still exceed the
speed limit — and then of course there’s the parental attempt to force something with a teenager and how very ineffective that generally is (I’m
abbreviating these so I can get to the good stuff) … So, if facts,
fear and force cannot change us and we truly want to change, what is
the secret? The secret to change lies in behavior itself. I hate to
over-simplify something that can be incredibly difficult, but if you
want to change, the trick is to identify the behaviors required by the
change and start to implement them in your life.
OK, this is HUGE.
author of this book said of all the case studies he researched and
shares in the book, the one that most profoundly affected him was a
project called Delancy Street, in San Francisco.
Delancy Street is a very different and very effective rehabilitation program that was founded by Mimi Silpert, who’s family came to
American as immigrants. When they landed in San Francisco harbor, a
family that had been here three years gave them some very important
advice – essentially that if you want to be an American, you’ve got to
start acting like one. Mimi has built Delancy Street on the same
principle. To admitted, you must have hit rock bottom (substance abuse
and prison record) and be willing to participate and work with one or
more of the businesses they run (restuarant, flower shop, book store,
moving company, etc..) Delancy Street doesn’t offer psychiatric
counseling to explore or try and explain your past, they simply teach
the behaviors of middle class America and expect you to do your part. I
hope you’ll take a few minutes and follow the link — it really is an
amazing foundation and story.
does it mean for us? So many things in life are a process and yet we
often want to skip to the step or steps that are most fun, or seem most
productive, initially. And you can do this for awhile, but when you haven’t
invested time and energy into steps and routines that build a
foundation for the fun stuff, you will end up eventually feeling
overwhelmed and dissatisfied — or you will be ineffective in meeting
the demands of yourself and others. The scrapbooking industry as we
know it is about 10 years old and I think one of the challenges we face
today is that of sustainability – how do we (as publishers, manufacturers, educators, retailers and consumers) keep our energy and
enthusiasm stoked for the long haul. Our efforts have been primarily
focused on output (ideas and instruction for the end result — pages
and projects) when in reality it isn’t more ideas or projects that we
need, but a shift in focus from output to input. We need to determine
and implement the behaviors that will sustain all the parts and pieces
(steps) that contribute to the process of creative expression. The
reason my Library of Memories system works is because it is a system.
Things like uploading, selecting and printing digital images is a
regular behavior (routine) of mine that keeps pictures flowing through
my system so that I remain acquainted with and inspired by my life. I
received an email from someone who had purchased Photo Freedom. She
said something along the lines of …
this is going to take a lot of work — I was hoping you had the secret
quick fix to my issues, but I can tell, I’m just going to have to dig
in and get working.
The thing that is so
cool, that you won’t realize until you do invest time and energy into
supporting behaviors is the personal payback — my system isn’t perfect
and it isn’t 100% up to date all of the time, but I can seriously go
downstairs to my studio, put my hands on pictures and create at the
drop of a hat and I have, as suggested by the title "photo freedom" –
I’m free to act on inspiration and free to create.
So, long post. Here’s the take away …
can change. Whatever it is you want to be or have — identify the
behaviors required to get you there and start implementing them as
often and as well as you can and the rest will take care of itself.
and please, share your thoughts …