Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fully Engaged

I do believe I've been putting the cart before the horse when I share my crafting goodness. I've spent a lot of time sharing layouts, projects, mentioning classes I'm taking, new techniques I'm trying but I have not discussed why I do any of this at all.

Lately, I've caught myself dismissing my craft when speaking to those in my life that are not familiar with scrapbooking and play into the notions of this being a silly hobby that is without meaning.

I long to have a do-over on those conversations because by talking down what I do, I am not honoring myself or what I value.

I've been a scrapbooker for about eight years but I'm saddened to say I've only begun capturing my memories consistently a little under a year ago. A wonderful teacher, Stacy Julian, who was the founding editor of Simple Scrapbooks and is a partner in Big Picture Scrapbooking often says you can quite possibly scrapbook your pictures without ever scrapbooking your memories. And that is not something I'm interested in anymore.

I am no longer bound by the ideas of "caught up", scrapbooking every picture or scrapbooking chronologically and have found my voice in this paradigm shift.

I understand that there are some who find that these principles are working and that is fantastic. What makes this all so interesting is the fact that we are not all motivated by the same things.

However, I believe that there are also many who have lost enjoyment of this craft because of the paradigm of "caught up". If this speaks to you I strongly recommend starting with The Big Picture, Photo Freedom and enrolling in The Library of Memories class next year at Big Picture Scrapbooking.

I've let you know where I stand on the great debate of chronology but you still don't know why this matters to me.

I think Mitch highlighted it for me when he mentioned that if anything were ever to happen to me it would be hard to look at my scrapbooks because they would haunt him. This made me realize that if I make authentic works then I leave my presence behind.

Now, I don't want to haunt my family but I do want to leave insight for interested members of future generations who would like to know who we were as a family. And if the Lord did decide to call me before I finished raising my son or living my life with my husband I would like both of them to have a reminder of how much I adored them and my life from my perspective.

Another reason I do this is simply because I recharge when I spend an afternoon with my pictures & stories. As a woman recharging is necessary and makes me a better mother, wife and friend. I've heard somewhere that the importance of taking time for ourselves can be likened to the instructions you receive before a flight. Put your oxygen mask on first in order to be capable of assisting others. I've digressed. I love seeing & touching beautiful papers and elements. I am thrilled when these elements assist me in telling a story. I like the act of writing down the words in my head.

This is why I will probably never go fully digital. For me, part of the motivation is that I love the sensory overload that comes with having my hands on all of this. And because I am no longer concerned with "caught up" I am not concerned with how fast I can go and therefore the big draw for many to digital scrapbooking is not one for me. Please don't get me wrong, I have seen beautiful digital layouts and I absolutely am enjoying hybrid scrapbooking. It simply does not satisfy my personal creative needs.

If I had to pick THE reason I engage in this craft it would because I truly believe there is something extremely validating to my son, my husband, myself and those in our lives by having our life celebrated - both the good times and the bad. You see, I am my family's storyteller, our historian but the label I love the most is Life Artist as defined by Ali Edwards. I am celebrating my family's life through art.

As a result of my faith and my spirit my overriding guide post in life is Love and therefore I highly value expression of love. This craft is another expression along with the words I speak daily.

Yes, I consider what I do as art. I am creating, I am inspired, I am learning and I am living through this process. This is not a silly hobby this is my therapy, a conduit for reflection and growth.

And this realization is why I am so excited about my journey in September. As part of my Have More Fun class at Big Picture Scrapbooking I am engaging in present moment scrapping. "For 30 consecutive days, I will be forgetting the past and letting go of future worries so I can be fully conscious and capture, collect & record the details of life NOW " as instructed by Stacy Julian.

We have been challenged to put aside all other projects in the month of September in order to fully engage in our lives. I am accepting this challenge to go quiet this month.

What that means to me is I am not going to worry about keeping up with projects that I feel like I should be working on. Instead, I will invite inspiration in when its comes as part of engaging with who I am and leave behind the guilt of unfinished projects.

Some classmates are taking a hiatus from the online world but I have decided to continue blogging through September. However, I would not be surprised if many posts this month will simply be sharing my entry or a picture from the previous day.

If you've made it through all my rambling you are truly a loyal blog reader & I sincerely appreciate your patience! I do believe I've said enough and hope maybe a piece of it has touched you to fully engage in your life.



Lee said...

FANTASTIC post. I too am embracing the BPS methodology and learning a TON on this fabulous journey. I've so enjoyed learning from and "meeting" so many through this process. I'm looking forward to this month. THIS project is one in which I believe, at this point, I can fully engage. I look forward to reading your blog.

Jennifer said...

I feel compelled to leave a comment to tell you that your post today really spoke to me. But my typed words seem awkward and inadequate compared with your eloquence.

Thank you for taking the time to blog today. Your words will stay with me far beyond this 30-day project.

Marina said...

Monica, your words spoke to me too. I always dismiss scrapbooking, or don't own up to it, if it comes up in conversation. Why is that?

StudioB said...

WOW great post Monica! I too have taken LOM and am in HMF. It's hard to share that you are a 'scrapbooker' with non-scrappy people which is why I love the BPS community. But you are right, just because someone is not a scrapbooker doesn't mean that we should be ashamed that we are one. We shouldn't demean ourselves.
Good luck with the weight thing, I've been struggling with the 160-163 range for way to long.