And through the years, I've faced many discomforts associated with my anxiety... usually entirely against my will or wishes, but faced them I did! I got a job working a call center. That was fun, as you can imagine (insert sarcastic eye roll here). But, it taught me a great many things about asserting myself, showcasing my confidence and embracing my own genuine awkwardness. None of these things have to be exclusive of one another.
Suck it, social anxiety!
But I have to say, those of us who suffer from anxiety are greatly helped by the understanding, care and attention, and kindness of others. Because even though we may have acquired the skills to hide our discomfort, we still experience it. And it is through the grace of others that social pressures are alleviated, and we are allowed to be authentic... not anxious.
Thank you, Tabatha and James, for the fabulous opportunity, the amazing conversation, great food and a chance to explore relationships with others free from social pressure. And many thanks to the 16 amazing woman who shared the classroom with me. You're dedication to the craft, to perfection and creative expansion, to building an incredibly relaxed atmosphere all helped this socially anxious wire wrapper find a little peace.
Not really. But I'm going with it. Because it sounds cool.
Today I've begun a wonderful journey to meet some amazing folks who trust in me to teach them new things. All the new things. Huge new things. I have all the best new things to teach (in the worst Donald Trump impersonation ever). Perhaps, as I fly over the ocean, I can officially consider myself a globe-trotting entrepreneur.
I'll be traveling internationally for the very first time (Canada doesn't count... I can walk there) and I'm incredibly excited for this new adventure. I'm looking forward to putting faces to names, meeting new folks, seeing new sights and generally rolling around in frivolity and fun!
This, of course, means I'll be (mostly) away from my computer for the next 12 days. While I will do my best to address emails or messages related to purchases, in as timely a manner as possible, I might not be able to address other questions. If you aren't already a member, you can join my Facebook group Wire Wrap Tips & Tutorials, which is filled with good people ready, able and willing to help like-minded creative souls. It's truly an amazing group of people, and I hope you'll check it out. So when I'm not able to answer a how-to, I think these folks have you covered.
And this, my friends, is a (temporary) good bye. I have posts scheduled to my social media accounts, so you'll still see new content from me while I'm gone (which I hope you'll enjoy), and you can definitely prepare yourselves for a photographic bombardment of epic proportions when I return, because I'm already looking forward to sharing the experience with others! Until then, be kind to yourselves and happy weaving!
Self-love is not a radical new concept, but it's one that we often overlook. It's easy to wrap ourselves up, not only in our own responsibilities, but in the lives of others as well. And during this process, we tend to forget a fundamental truth.... that we need to care for ourselves before we can be fully open and able to care for others. That a little self love is transitory and spreads out from the source to embrace the spirit of others. Fill yourself with kindness until it spills out on the earth and reaches the tip toes of others.
I stumbled across an amazing YouTube channel hosted by the amazingly personable Kelly-Ann Maddox, who has been doing videos for her Self-Love September sessions for a few years now. Each year, her audience grows, and her encouragement reaches others... including myself, and I realized I'd really like to share this gem with my audience as well.
You can watch her introductory video to last years sessions below.
Though the concept of self-love may be a little "woo-woo", a little too esoteric or neo-pagan for some, I thought the message was an important one to share, because it transcends religion or ideology. It's just a message of support... and we can all use a little more of that, eh? That we need to be told to love ourselves is certainly a sad state of affairs, I know, but I (for one) am accepting the challenge to love and care for myself as I would my own children. And, as a result, be able to share that affection and attention with others.
Kelly-Ann recently released a Sound Cloud session for creative folks that I particularly wanted to share with you, all about owning your own creative process. This has always been hard for me, as I struggled with what might be creatively "expected" of me, while the work I was itching to complete might otherwise be ignored or unappreciated. We're taught, especially in business-minded circles, that giving the customer what they want is the key to success, whether this aligns with your own aesthetics or not. And this audio clip was a beautiful reminder that sometimes we have to show folks what they want, via our own voice and creative tenacity. This is all about giving ourselves permission to create according to our own journey and not that of others. How many times, as a creative business owner, have your heard "You should make (enter random thing totally not in the least connected to your aesthetic or creative voice)." Or, how about "Aren't you a little too old to play with jewelry? Don't you think you should get a real job?" This audio file touches on these types of ingrained expectations and behavioral patterns. Have a listen!
You know, I gotta say.... I hope there is never a day when you all aren't amazing me with your talent and creativity. I really love these design challenges, and enjoy so thoroughly how a few simple steps can evolve into so many completely unique designs. This speaks volumes to your skills and innovation, and it's a pleasure to be a part of that in some small way. I'm already looking forward to future challenges and hope to see each and every one of these contestants amaze me yet again.
If you haven't checked out the entries in this contest, you may do so buy visiting the August 2016 FINISH IT! Design Challenge Pinterest Board. I encourage anyone reading this to visit, applaud and enjoy the remarkable pieces submitted. They each deserve heaps of praise. Pin and re-pin these lovely works, I say! They deserve to be shared.
As with all FINISH IT! contests, two winners were chosen. One was chosen by his or her peers and one was chosen by a panel of 7 non-participating judges, including myself. The choice was a painful one to make, because there were just too many gorgeous entries. Like... you know... all of them. But alas, a decision was reached and here are your winners!
These amazing entries definitely caught the eye of many and rightfully so! Beautiful work. Deborah wins my own finished pendant, designed for this contest, as well as any 10 Nicole Hanna Jewelry tutorials of her choice, and Ann-Sophie also wins any 10 Nicole Hanna Jewelry tutorials of her choice. Congrats, ladies!
Now, while you all take in the beauty of these entries, if you've yet to see them (or again and again if you're like me and can't help revisiting them), I am off to think up a design for the next challenge! Stay tuned and happy weaving!
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