I've always been curious about mindfulness, but I didn't know where to begin. So as a New Year's resolution, I googled "mindfulness" and "Chelsea NYC" and I signed myself up for an 8 week MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) course. I have to say, it has been really life changing! If you're a fan of the KonMari Method of decluttering your house (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo), imagine that kind of life altering philosophy, applied to your daily life!
In our current "ADHD theater" world, we fill up every "spare minute" of our day with stuff, most likely on our smartphones--with social media, games, photos sharing, texts, online shopping, "useful lifestyle apps" (like recipe, diet, or workout apps), videos, news--and then synching our mobile phones with our laptops and friends/co-workers/family via google chat/docs, Whatsapp, or Evernote, to make sure that we are "connected," anytime, anywhere, with everyone and everything. It makes us feel efficient and productive, making us masters at multi-tasking. We feel modern, evolved, tech savvy and totally awesome. But really.... Are we?
I've never been a good multi-tasker, and I thought I just lacked that particular skill set, or maybe I needed "just one more magical app" to help me. Studies show time and again that we aren't meant to multi-task, and yet we put it on a pedestal--we fill up our schedule with stuff, we fill up our homes with stuff, and we fill up our to-do lists with stuff. Somewhere, somehow, someone convinced us that "more" was "better." But for whom?
It's easy to point the finger at other people, so of course, I did! I used to give the hubs grief: "How do you function when you're doing stuff on your laptop, while listening to music on the overhead speakers, with the two football games going on in the background on the tv splitscreen? I can't deal with all your NOISE!" I thought I was pretty good at not multi-tasking, but when I did my MBSR homework on the first week (we had to pay attention to consciously doing only one thing at one time) I realized that I am guilty of multitasking, too! I was in the habit of reading my morning newspaper while I ate breakfast. I turned on the tv to catch up on my DVR when I'm cooking dinner or folding laundry. I caught up with personal emails when I drank coffee. I realized, that I do a lot of stuff on autopilot, too.
Lately, I've been practicing mindfulness meditation, and "becoming friends" with my thoughts--noticing how much my mind wanders during my daily 15 min meditations, and practicing how to bring it back to the moment, in a non-judgemental way. I'm trying to do only one thing at a time. It was totally hard at first to give it up! I wanted to listen to music; I wanted to "save time"; I wanted to do SOMETHING as I ate my meals. But after 8 weeks of practicing doing less, I saw that I was definitely noticing more! I felt more focused and energized, I was more patient (according to my husband and kids), I had greater appreciation for what I was doing (personally and professionally), and I was slowly getting better at "choosing" what I wanted to do with intention, and learning to say "no" to the things that didn't matter.
So...I was thinking about this mishap (below). If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen that all my silicone molds melted and were destroyed last year, and since I stored all my molds by item categories (like "rings", "pendants," etc.), the melted silicone also destroyed all my rubber molds, too.
Don't worry--I'm not closing up shop!
I was upset and disappointed that 200+ original molds were gone (20 years worth of work!) but I do also keep all the original prototypes in a separate box, which means, if I really wanted to make another mold, I could. I think the "old me" would have freaked out and cried and thought about the incessant "what ifs," but now, I think, "It happened, what do I want to do here and now? I have choices!"
I've been ruminating on where I want to go with JanetJewelry. After much thought, I've decided that I'd really like to focus on getting back to the silversmithing--that is what I love doing most, and what I feel differentiates my jewelry from other jewelers, so I will be doing less beadwork with semi-precious stones, pearls, and glass. That's why most of my inventory of these items, is now is on Clearance! I'll still work with semi-precious stones here and there, but I want to get back to doing more wax work and limited edition special items.
In the process of streamlining and decluttering my life, I'm doing the same to the studio!
Clearance items are first come, first served, and while supplies last! Enjoy the jewelry and the savings!!!