Essays

Practicing Patience: An Exercise in BEING

Patience is not my strong suit. In fact, as the saying (sort of) goes, I was too impatient to stand in line when they were handing out patience in the Spirit realm before I took human form. Sitting around, waiting, drives me nuts.

But the reality is, practicing patience is an exercise in BEING. All dreams can come true when we operate from BEING, because BEING is where joy and ease live. So, if the purpose of life is to live with joy and ease, then patience truly is a virtue because it keeps us present.

Image credit: lessonslearnedinlife.com

Ants in my pants…

I’m talking about patience today because I’ve really been struggling with it lately. I’m in the middle of something that, when the outcome is revealed to me, will create a great deal of change in my life. This is something I’m excited about and eager to embrace. I’m ready to move forward into what will be a new phase. (Don’t worry: when it happens, I’ll tell you all about it.)

The issue is there’s still no firm answer. Each day, a tiny bit more drips into my awareness, teasing me. All the plans in the world won’t bring the answer any more quickly. All the visualization won’t do it either.

Instead, I must be patient and trust the Universe to deliver the outcome in its own perfect time and for the highest good of all. This is what BEING is all about, and it’s something I’ve forgotten to focus on in my excitement.

Trust the Universe…

BEING is all about staying present. The past can’t be changed. The future isn’t written. And the truth is neither past nor future can ever be entered as moments in time. The only time that exists IS the present but I, like you, find myself building castles in the sky for a future I’d like to manifest.

There’s – mostly – nothing wrong with building those castles. I’m grateful for the direction they give to my vision. They help me to feel the feelings that will bring them into my reality. They give me something on which to focus my energy.

But I said there’s MOSTLY nothing wrong in this. That means there’s a tiny bit of wrong and it is this:

When I attach to the vision of those castles, I remove myself from the present. When this occurs, my excitement and eagerness turn into anxiety and tremendous impatience. I want those castles NOW but the now when those castles exist hasn’t yet come to be in my timeline. The impatience sends a strong signal to the Universe, resulting in a mixed message, and the Universe always delivers based on the strongest emotion.

Instead of delivering on the gratitude and joy I feel when I imagine this new path, the Universe holds back the outcome because it knows I’m impatient. It breeds impatience like rabbits.

I don’t have room for all those impatient rabbits. Instead, I’ve got to let go and trust the Universe. I’ve got to be patient. I’ve got to remember the best thing I can do for my vision is to BE, and then do that.

With joy and ease…

I’m confident the outcome I’m anticipating will become reality. I wrote this essay to remind me to be patient and trust the Universe to deliver it in its own perfect time. I’m releasing the outcome, I’m practicing patience, and I’m going to only BE for awhile.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to sit on my hands and overdose on Netflix (although that is an option). BEING means I’m going to focus on what I choose to do in each moment and let everything else go. I’m going to immerse myself in gratitude for the lesson and revel in the joy of my vision. And one day, easily, effortlessly, my vision will be real.

What about you? How patient are you for the castles you’re building? I’d love to know.

xo


Interested in my art, my writing, my poetry, or learning more about bringing consistent joy and ease into your life? Then let’s talk!

Contact me to schedule:
* A virtual coffee
* A private (virtual) art show of my art
* A commissioning conversation to discuss hiring me to create a textured fiber painting uniquely yours

If you enjoyed this essay, and it feels aligned, please share on social media or via email. If you liked it, someone you know will probably like it too!

Creating a Tree of Life

When I’m creating feelings out of fiber, the feeling I want to create next always rises up while I’m working on another feeling. This is why I’ve been able to create feeling after feeling for the past 3-½ years. But something weird happened when I was making Joy. No new feeling arose. Instead, I felt the call to create something completely different.

(c) 2021, Hilary Clark, “Joy”, Fiber, 34-1/2″ x 24″ ~ $1800

My feelings series includes twenty-one different pieces, ranging from Depression to Joy, Anguish to Serenity. While I don’t believe I’m done creating feelings out of fiber, I do believe my intuition when it suggests it might be fun to create something different.

A couple weeks ago, I posted several images on my social media accounts and asked people to vote on the piece I’d make next. In an unanimous sweep, a Tree of Life was the popular vote.

Tree of Life graphic found as a free download

The other images included a Wheel of the Year and Planet Earth. Apparently, I’m drawn to making something circular.

The image shown above is the concept I’m going to follow as I create my version of a Tree of Life in my bright, bold, abstract style. I’ve barely begun the work on this piece but I can see it taking shape in my mind’s eye. I’m looking forward to watching it become tangible. This is the template for the canvas and then the canvas itself.

With joy and ease…

As I usually do, I’ll post a progress update at some point, so I hope you’ll continue to follow along with me. Until then, may your days be filled with joy and ease and lots of bright, bold color.

xo


Interested in my art, my writing, my poetry, or learning more about bringing consistent joy and ease into your life? Then let’s talk!

Contact me to schedule:
* A virtual coffee
* A private (virtual) art show of my art
* A commissioning conversation to discuss hiring me to create a textured fiber painting uniquely yours

If you enjoyed this essay, and it feels aligned, please share on social media or via email. If you liked it, someone you know will probably like it too!

Want More Joy & Ease? Go Exercise

If you feel like you’re drowning under the isolation and pressures inherent in this pandemic that keeps. lingering. on, might I suggest you get some exercise? Moving your body is a great way to reconnect to joy and ease.

Detail view of Serene, one of my fiber feelings.

Into the deep end…

I used to be a swimmer, part of my high school team. I wasn’t Olympic caliber by any stretch of the imagination, but I could win sprints in butterfly and freestyle. Which is saying something because I was always the shortest competitor so I had to be extra fast to beat a longer reach. A powerful kick helped.

The feeling when my hand touched the wall at the end of a race and I stood to discover I’d out-swum all the other girls in the pool was AH-MAZING. Pure energy rush.

However, the most impactful thing I carry with me from that time in my life isn’t satisfaction from winning a few races, but rather the feeling of weightlessness that comes from being in the water. To me, that weightlessness feels like ease.

There’s no struggle. There’s only flow.

Into nature…

These days, I rarely swim and it’s not from lack of access to a pool. My exercise interests have changed as I’ve aged. However, on those occasions when I do get in the water, the joy and ease always returns.

Instead, I’ve found more satisfaction from exercising in nature. I’ve discovered long walks or bicycle rides produce that same sense of weightlessness in my heart. It’s not unusual for me to go into a sort of trance during a walk as I connect to the natural world around me. When this happens, I feel I’m floating along the path. I always giggle a little when I “come to” as I realize I’m almost back home. Time disappeared; there was only ease and flow.

The same holds true with my Pilates practice, even though it requires concentration and focus as I flow from position to position. My body feels powerful and that too produces the weightless sensation of ease.

Into your body…

Exercise drops you out of your head and into your body.

When you’re in your head, your thoughts spin and whirl, a speeding carousel of pressure, anxiety, to do lists, and shoulds.

When you drop into your body, thoughts quiet as you intentionally move your limbs to walk, to run, to swim, to flow.

Answers come through as you move. You can hear them, sense them, feel them because you’re not focused on your head. Instead, you’re focused on the beauty of your body in motion which opens you to joy and ease.

If you’re struggling with any sort of overwhelm, go exercise. I’m certain you’ll reconnect to your joy and ease quickly and effortlessly.

I’m certain of something else too. When you’re done moving your body, that overwhelm or struggle will have loosened its grip and I’ll bet you’ll see a solution where before you only saw problem.

With joy and ease…

What are your thoughts on exercising to reconnect to your joy and ease? Please share in the comments.

xo


Interested in my art, my writing, my poetry, or learning more about bringing consistent joy and ease into your life? Then let’s talk!

Contact me to schedule:
* A virtual coffee
* A private (virtual) art show of my art
* A commissioning conversation to discuss hiring me to create a textured fiber painting uniquely yours

If you enjoyed this essay, and it feels aligned, please share on social media or via email. If you liked it, someone you know will probably like it too!

How Social Media Impacts Joy

I have a Meh / Hate relationship with social media. Lately, that relationship has been impacting my joy.

Detail shot of (Feeling) Joy, one of my textured fiber paintings

The Meh side…

At least once a day, I consider deleting my Facebook and my Instagram, often my LinkedIn, and occasionally my Pinterest. This isn’t actually a new thing – I’ve had this debate with myself since the day I first joined Facebook back in late 2008 (my gateway platform).

But I never do.

Part of the reason is the Meh side of the relationship. This side is a stew of Like and Love because social media helps me stay connected and in the know on the lives of extended family and friends. I’m a horrible correspondent so social media is how I stay connected and engaged. If the only resources I had were text, phone calls, or email, odds are high I’d disappear off all radar.

I enjoy seeing what others are up to. I am grateful for the opportunity to express my sympathy when something goes awry. I find humor and inspiration in the memes others share. I learn about new places and have vicarious adventures.

In addition…

As an artist, social media is a handy tool to share my creations. It allows me to broadcast these essays further afield than my subscription list.

When I create a new textured fiber painting, I can share photos in my feed to brighten the feed of my friends.

I can publish tiny excerpts of the novel I’m writing to entertain and build interest in reading the completed book.

I can “advertise” work for sale and reach a broader audience, if the algorithms are in my favor that day.

Through social media, I can participate in groups that educate and support my artistry and my business side. This is useful.

The Hate side…

But then there’s the Hate side. This is where social media impacts my joy, and maybe it impacts yours as well. I frequently feel obligated to scroll Facebook and Instagram, like if I don’t open the app and start swiping up, I’ll miss something.

It feels like something I HAVE to do or SHOULD do, rather than something I WANT to do. I grab my phone and glue my nose to the screen, even when I’m meant to be doing something else.

Having a computer in my hand doesn’t make me more productive. It makes me more distracted. And joy is found in being present.

It’s an addiction…

Social media is an addiction and all addictions prevent us from feeling true joy. In the moment, immersed in the addiction, we believe we’re experiencing joy, but we’re not. What we’re really experiencing is a simulated, flat, false imagining of what joy feels like. What we’re really doing when we scroll and scroll and scroll is escaping from reality, from connection, from ourselves.

And that’s not how I choose to live. I want the reality, connection, myself, which means I need to break the addiction.

I used to smoke, for over 20 years. Breaking that addiction was WORK but it finally happened for good and all when I was ready to quit. The same applies here.

While it may not be practical to completely dump my social media accounts – I do appreciate the Meh side after all – it can be possible to distance myself from my device so I’m no longer reliant on scrolling to escape.

And that’s what I’m choosing to do. I’m going to study when I’m glued to my phone and then take the necessary actions to break the pattern. I’m going to start putting my phone out of reach when I’m working, reading, cooking dinner, making art, watching Netflix. I’m going to take a breath before leaping up to grab the phone to scroll so I can be more intentional about my reasons for doing so.

And through it all, eventually, I’ll reduce the impact social media has on my joy. Through it all, I’ll break the addiction.

With joy and ease…

There are plenty of resources out there that talk about social media as an addiction and how it’s altering our brains (if you haven’t seen it yet, go watch the Social Dilemma on Netflix as a place to start learning).

We’ve become ridiculously dependent on our devices and that dependency is impacting our joy. That breaks my heart. Joy is our birthright, the whole purpose of our human existence. Navigating the social media hurdle is just one of the many lessons to learn as we find our way back to joy.

I’m curious…would you consider yourself addicted to social media? How do your social media habits impact your joy? Let me know in the comments.

xo


Interested specifically in my art? Want a piece in your home? Then let’s talk!

Contact me to schedule:
* A virtual coffee
* A private (virtual) art show of my art
* A commissioning conversation to discuss hiring me to create a textured fiber painting uniquely yours

If you enjoyed this essay, and it feels aligned, please share on social media or via email. If you liked it, someone you know will probably like it too!

(Feeling) Joy – New Work!

(Feeling) Joy – New work completed!

I began working on this piece in mid-November. It doesn’t usually take me 2-½ months to create one of my textured fiber paintings; however, in order to really savor Joy, I slowed myself and my process, focused on #15minutesatatime. It worked. Joy is still my primary emotion.

I hope you enjoy my expression of Joy as a tangible piece of art, brightly colored and vibrant with light.

(As I always do, I’ve written a poem that goes with this piece. To read it, please visit my poetry website – www.piningforpoetry.com.)

© 2021, Hilary Clark, “Joy”, Fiber, 34-½” x 24”

I write a lot about joy and ease in my essays. I believe joy is our birthright. I believe living a life filled with joy and ease is the true purpose of our human experience. I believe sharing our joy, through compassion, generosity, gratitude, and love, is a spiritual imperative. This textured fiber painting is my way of showing you how Joy feels to me.

Joy lives in your heart, lit up in technicolor glory, vibrant, radiant, bouncy, like Tigger, already, always present if you only allow yourself to feel it. I hope you choose joy in your life.


Joy is available for purchase for $1800 and would look fantastic on the wall of your home or office (or home office 🙂 ). If you’d like to own this piece, you have two options:

1) Contact me directly and let me know you’d like to buy Joy.
2) Visit my Etsy shop and purchase it there.

xo


Interested specifically in my art? Want a piece in your home? Then let’s talk!

Contact me to schedule:
* A virtual coffee
* A private (virtual) art show of my art
* A commissioning conversation to discuss hiring me to create a textured fiber painting uniquely yours

If you enjoyed this essay, and it feels aligned, please share on social media or via email. If you liked it, someone you know will probably like it too!