Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What's in your mind?

This is the full picture that I am using up on my header. For some reason, now, Blogger makes my pictures huge and cuts off about half of the picture when I use it for my header. It's so frustrating. Everything was just fine before. I was happy with my layout, I didn't need to update anything but Blogger seems to feel they have improved things. grrrrrrr
Anyway, this one is for D who told me that it looks like a painting already.
I love the contrasts. I was just driving into the rolling fog bank when I stopped to take this picture. Maybe this winter I will do a watercolor of it.

I think this morning, Ms Hayden and I will spend some time up in the studio. It's gorgeous outside, sunny and probably in the low 70s. I'll throw open the windows and let the studio air out and put her to work on her birdhouse. Then I'll do some major cleanup for the ladies coming tomorrow afternoon.

The plums are getting darker and ready for picking this weekend. I think when Justin and family are down, to pick up Hayden, I'll put him to work, on the big ladder, picking plums.
Last year, overwhelmed with plums I made jars and jars of Plum Chutney. According to D, who snagged some when she was visiting, it's great on steamed rice.
Well, the cupboard is still filled with those jars so I better come up with a Plan B for what to do with these plums. I know, I could just let them fall, for the animals.............nope, can't do that. I can share with them but the residue of "depression era thinking" that I grew up with can't let me just ignore that bounty.

One year I spent a lot of time "looking" at beliefs that I held. I kept a journal and jotted down what I did and then looked back at it and asked myself why? Why did you do that? Why do you think that? Where did that come from? It wasn't wasted effort. A lot of my behavior and thought patterns were a result of how I grew up, what I believed about myself, what other people told me, etc.

Some of it was good, some interesting, some just plain silly at my age and so on. The whole exercise reminded me of my old minister's wife talking about her sugar bowl that sat on her family's table. It had just one handle. When she visited a friend's house she asked what was in the pretty little bowl on the table and her friend looked at her and said, "It's a sugar bowl, silly."
"But, it has two handles."

We've all heard the one where the woman always cuts off the end of a roast until somebody asks her why. She said it was because her mother always did that. She continued doing it because it was ingrained in her thinking not because she didn't have a big enough pan for the roast.

From our behaviors to our thought process we are products of our upbringing, our environment, influences in our lives. And, then one day, for some of us, we hit a brick wall. Suddenly, what we believed, did, thought about, acted out, no longer works for us. It serves no purpose and puts us in a state of frustration or confusion. It's time to get out the pen and paper and start jotting down what's going through your head.

I can't remember the name of the adult education class I took but one of the exercises we did was to jot down every and I mean EVERY thought that crossed our mind when we were experiencing an emotion that we were aware of.

I remember coming home from the class and seeing my husband and oldest son, then 4 year's old, crouching next to some old railroad ties. As I got closer I saw that they were putting tar on the joints and that my son was wearing his GOOD CLOTHES.
It took all my internal strength to keep my mouth closed, smile and rush in the house and start jotting down my thoughts.

Later I took a look at them.

They weren't pretty. They also weren't all correct.

Letting go of old responses to things, old habits, old beliefs is difficult and first you have to be aware of them. Sometimes these things hold us back from being creative. Sometimes they even influence what we create or how we view other types of creative medium.

For some of us it's part of our growth process to STOP and take a moment to look at how our mind is working. What our brain is saying to us. And, then make a CONSCIOUS decision whether it works for us anymore. Is it keeping us in one place? Is it protecting us when we don't need that protection anymore? Is there a healthier belief for us now?

:)Bea Who used to think that trash was just that, trash and now believes that you can create art from it.

12 comments:

  1. I loved reading your blog. Really made me think! It really is funny how we do things with force of habit or how another person shapes us. I also agree about the new blogger, not impressed as there are some bugs that need to be worked out. I haven't put up a new picture to find out for the header, but I see what you mean. Perhaps resizing the photo to begin with will change that. I noticed that on my photos that I can click on mine hit or miss to make them larger, so don't know what Is going on there. Also my font color would change, so I would have to go back and highlite the font and change it to black so it would come up the bluegreen color that I want. Go figure!

    Loved the comment on my blog. You are too funny!

    Also love your cool teapot ensamble!

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  2. Thoughtful post, and will carry a few musings with me from it throughout the day. On an immediate note, I've found my blog header photos work well fitting my blog when sized around 650 pixels in width and 400 in height. I resize photos with Photoshop software. Do you have something like that?

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  3. Came over to get caught up - I am so grateful that although you have given up on some projects this summer you continue to blog. I find it fascinating that you spent that amount of time to review what influenced your thoughts and caused you to feel/think the way you did. I cringe to think how many of us kinda bumble around not even questioning why we behave and react the way we do. Where with practice, we can actually decided each moment ourselves!!! The saddest realization I've had is having some lifelong friends who remain 'stuck' in being unhappy or critical and fail to see that they are duplicating their mother or father and can't drop the habit. One of my best 'newer' references is the list of cognitive distortions...my 23 year old daughter taught me about. From that sprung a line I often use - feelings aren't facts!
    Bea - I would come back year after year to Grammy's Camp too - lucky Hayden!
    That is one kick-ass tea set!

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  4. Good one today Bea - very thought provoking! I may have to get a notebook and start writing! I do know that I HAVE to iron a certain way. My grandmother taught me that first the collar, then sleeves, then yoke of the back, then the sides and rest of the back for ironing a shirt. Even if I try I can't do it another way because it's just ingrained in me that it's the 'right' way to do it LOLOLOL Guess the ironing police wouldn't come after me though LOL

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  5. It does look like a painting! I really enjoyed your post. I often have to remind myself to question why I am thinking something. I like the idea of keeping a journal just for identifying emotions and questioning them.

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  6. beautiful picture
    i love foggy things..i did my practice on digital techniques using a fog picture today
    so
    we are both in the fog today i guess.. :)

    insightful post thankyou for making me think!

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  7. Yes, things we learn growing up are ingrained in us to a certain extent, but as we grow older we learn that sometimes those things may need to be changed, even little things. My mother, I learned as I grew older, had OCD, and many other mental disorders, and I have learned to unlearn what she taught me, and have become a much happier woman. I was happy growing up and I still loved her of course, but I did not want to be like her.

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  8. First off,,I love the photo as it is in your header, and think it will make a fantastic painting!
    My header is shrunken, and I just gave up and left it that way.
    :-D

    I needed to read this post this evening,,,,thanks Bea!

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  9. I really enjoyed this post and the powerful message it contained.

    Years ago, when a friend was having marriage problems, she would call and her voice was so bitter, I suggested she tape her thoughts and play them back. I decided to do the same for a week. It was a real eye opener to me, but not to her. She couldn't hear the bitterness in her voice. What I learned was, I over rationalized nearly every situation. Like I said, a real eye opener. Of course, taping my thoughts also helped me evaluate my tone and mood.

    Really great post.

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  10. Thanks for bringing up beliefs. As the other comments attest, it is powerful and universal stuff and you and I have had that conversation over and over. Last night I revisited my professional LIFE AS A LAB blog and started to catch up on the year that has passed since my last entry. Your blog today reinforced the next entry after so long (a coincidence-you and I know better)...a review of Dr. Martin Seligman's LEARNED OPTIMISM model. --Thanks for reminding me to share with the bigger audience one of the tools that has been so pivotal in my work with coaching executives.

    Incidentally, I'll take over any plum chutney ,,, I'm almost out. Last weekend I was touting it to my visiting college friend. Glad that I forgot to give him the jar I promised.

    AND--love that you used that gorgeous picture...also, thrilled you like your teaset! Remember, even if you aren't in the studio today --you are creating memories for Hayden. That's big creativity. xx00 D

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  11. Lucky for me I have no beliefs, other than to be kind to people, not because it's right, but it's much easier.

    What you're describing might not be beliefs, but being set in your ways. It's good to examine your thought process once in a while, but not too much. George Burns once told Gracie Allen that she had the best comic timing - she thought about it and lost it for a few days, until she stopped thinking about it.

    I think we remain the same person we were at the age of 5 - we never change, but we learn. If calling your boss an asshole gets you fired, you won't do it at your next job, not because you've changed, but you've learned (hopefully).

    Great header.

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  12. What a great post Bea. My mind is now in a whirl! Should I be doing this or that? Why? How? I always feel I've bobbed through life rather like a cork - time I made some conscious decisions maybe?

    xxxxxxxxxxx

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