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17 December 2011

Mapping your loss and your grief.

I'm now writing a book called "The Geography of Loss." It is about the unknown landscape we enter (or are thrown into, as if from a passing car) when we experience a loss in our lives. The death of a loved one, a national tragedy, betrayal by a friend, a daughter leaving for college, looking in the mirror and seeing the aging process writ large, the sinking feeling that accompanies those "what could have been" thoughts.

It is a humbling process, this writing. And while you might think it is draining, it is actually energizing, sparking a creativity that has been missing.

I know now, after several years of writing books, that for me the art of book-making is intricately linked to art-making. I used to describe myself as an artist when I was younger, and haven't for years. Why is that? That, too, is a loss.

So in 2012, I am seeking ways to reconnect to art-making as an identity process, a way of finding who I was and who I am. To do that, I'm reaching out to artists. I've always done that innately, as part of my book-making process--you can see that in the ways art is used in Life is a Verb and all the books that have come after that.

I want to take all that to a new level in 2012, and immerse myself again in the art-making itself.

Does grief and loss spark creativity? I think so, and deeply. That's what I want to explore in 2012. And here are two ways I'm starting that exploration in the spring of 2012. I'd love to have you with me for the journey.

Geography of loss another GroovedrumcreateTHE GEOGRAPHY OF LOSS: Creating an art quilt map of your journey through grief

March 17, 2012 - San Diego, California

 

 

 

GROOVE, DRUM, CREATE: A women's retreat on letting go

April 19-22, 2012 near Asheville, NC

 

Perhaps one of these experiences would be a great holiday gift for someone you love--or for yourself! If you'd like a gift certificate for someone after you've bought a workshop or retreat, we're happy to provide one! Just process your enrollment and connect with melissa@pattidigh.com to ask for a gift certificate!

19 days. Let go of letting go.

19daysLet go of cancer.

I want to let go of cancer.  I'll keep the lessons I learned - people love me and will go to great lengths to show it when needed; I am superwoman; I have something to say that people want to hear.  But I'll let go of trying to figure out why it happened, and the remnants of despair as well as the remnants of self-importance that linger.  In 2012 I want to know how everybody else is doing instead of having every conversation dominated by talks of cancer treatment.

I want to finish my book.  Create more time for fun for me and my kids and my love.  Create a livelihood that matches my gifts AND my passions.  I have big dreams for 2012!

-Brandie Sellers 

 

Trust myself

 I want to let go of always doing and saying  what I THINK everyone else wants me to be, do, and say. The tricky part is trusting myself enough to do this.

-JS

 

Open the door

 I want to let go of the pressing need to excuse my house if it's untidy when people make impromptu visits. I simply want to welcome visitors without the condition of the house being a topic of conversation AT ALL, and to release any thought that I may be judged for the way I keep house! If I haven't had time to tidy or clean, so be it!

Advertisers really did a number on our mothers beginning around the 1940s (via images of ecstatic kitchen-bound apron-wearing housewives surrounded by gleaming appliances in 'spotless' homes, and via the introduction of a dizzying array of cleaning products to keep everything at a ridiculously sanitised level), and they planted it into us.

Not saying slovenliness will reign chez moi, but ditching the nagging 'good girl' voice that carps about what I SHOULD be doing domestically will open a door to more joy, more freedom and a clearer head space for creative endeavours like writing and art and hatching new programs for my business. Calling all women to make a worldwide pact about this!

-Susie Surtees

 

I want to embrace

 I want to let go of letting go. I want to make deeper connections with my family and friends and not live so detached. I want to risk being intertwined and not resist interdependence. I want to love full heart and not keep pieces only for my self, which leads to detachment. So I don't want to let go this year I want to embrace.

-Anne ubl


What is your answer to this question: What do you want to let go of, and what do you want to create in 2012?

 You can submit it here and I will post several a day as we count down to the launch of my new 37days site on January 5th, 2012 with a free, online party! Come!

16 December 2011

20 days. Inhale fear, exhale hope.

20daysCreate meaning with art

 I am a quiltmaker. The texture of fabric, the pulling of needle and thread through the fabric, and the creation of a handmade item all make me exceedingly happy. In 2012, I want to make my quilts mean something greater - to make my quilts make a statement, take a stand, give voice to my passion. I want to create works of art that sing with joy, to spread love, to cause minds to open. I will create goodness through fiber. My goal for 2012 is to create twelve story quilts - each with a tale to tell.

-Joshua Durst

 

Let go of worry, create aloneness

 I am letting go of worrying. I want to create a space to be alone, focus inward and get to know myself better.

-Laurie Jacobvitz

 

Let go of old stories; create a simple life of color

I want to let go of "old stories", the way it "should be", the bored and tired blah, blah, blah from my monkey mind. Enough already!

I want create a simple life of color, beauty, joy and peace. No details - just grow stepping stones under my feet...just like the line on a poem my friend wrote for me.

-Marcela Iglesias

 

Inhale fear, exhale hope.

In 2012 and beyond, I need to inhale heaviness, exhale lightness.  The world is a dark and dreadful place for so many people. From across the street to across the globe the levels of fear are palpable.  I want to inhale the fear of the world and exhale the lightness of hope through whatever means are at hand: art, laughter, words, love.

-Mary Walker

 

What is your answer to this question: What do you want to let go of, and what do you want to create in 2012?

 You can submit it here and I will post several a day as we count down to the launch of my new 37days site on January 5th, 2012 with a free, online party! Come!

11 December 2011

24 days. Inhale lightness, exhale heaviness.

24daysWhat do you want/need to let go of and what do you want to create in 2012?

 

Let go of my measuring stick.

In 2012, I want to let go of my measuring stick.  I want to throw the judgment ruler away  - that inner measuring stick that I use to compare myself, my work, my husband, my kids, my creative “product” to some perfect ideal.  I’ve had that stick a long time and it has outworn its use.  It blocks my joy, stifles creativity, lessens me and tarnishes my relationships.

Certainly I want to create more art in 2012 – more photographs and more writing.  But really I want to create more expansiveness – to live with hands and heart open.  I want to create more wonder  - to really treasure and incubate wonder.  I want to create a sense of trust- to really believe in positive outcomes, for myself and others.  And finally, I want to create a sense of gratitude – for who I am, where I am, what I have, and what I can still be.

-Jeri Leach

 

To let go of the me that craved attention and approval

I want to let go of the old “young” me…that craved attention and approval; that longed to be others’ version of successful; that wanted to know everything; that yearned to have all the answers; that desired to be loved AND I want to create the young “old” me…that values paying attention to others and lifting them up; that aches to be who I am and nurtures my gifts, that embraces that we know so little; that delights in the fact that all answers lead only to more questions; that desires to love…period.

-Lori Lohmeyer

 

I need to let go of matching other people's socks.

I need to let go of matching other people's socks. I used to see sock matching and rolling as an act of love--that was back when the feet were smaller and not adult sized as they are now. They are grown ups. Who I love. They can match their own socks...if they want to. If they don't? well, that's their business.

-Sharon Page

 

What is your answer? You can submit your answer here. I'll feature a few each day from now until January 5, 2012. On January 5th, I'll unveil what I am creating in 2012 in a free, online party! I would love for you to be there. Information and registration is here.

25 days. Letting go. Creating.

25daysPeople around the world are answering my question: What do I want/need to let go of and what do I want to create in 2012? Here are a few of their answers:

 

To create a more unified "me"

I want to let go of regrets. Regrets feed into my fears which feed into my failures. I want to be able to move forward and be successful and happy with each day and knowing that even in the smallest activites there is success and happiness

I want to create a more unified "me" since becoming a wife and mother, I've let go of the principle pieces of myself that kept me refreshed and energized to encompass my "new" roles. I want to incorporate them all so they become the best of each part of me and formulate a "whole" person

-Tiffany Craddock

 

Let go of judging.

I want to let go of the need to judge everything, I want to live in the space that creates.

-Janet Smith

 

it is the healing that that matters most to me

It has been a year of transition in which I have discovered that making art is not my greatest passion. I desire healing the earth and it's inhabitants in what ever way I can. Art and words may be the vehicle, but it is the healing that that matters most to me.

I want to let go of the relentless shame and lack of self worth that keep me from feeling using my power for good.

I want to create a healing arts program that will help me through an illness I face, while helping others do the healing work they need to do.

A dear friend from the other side of the world gave me these words to focus on as I build my dream.

Grace

Endurance

Determination

Simplicity

HOPE

Thank you Grace! Hope will be my beacon.

-Gwyn Michael

 

You can submit your answer here. I'll feature a few each day from now until January 5, 2012. On January 5th, I'll unveil what I am creating in 2012 in a free, online party! I would love for you to be there. Information and registration is here.

10 December 2011

26 days.

26daysIn just 26 days, I'll launch my new online home. After 7 years of writing 37days here, I've been working hard to create a new space for myself, one full of images and words and full of strong offers for those who visit needing inspiration.

To celebrate, I'm throwing a free, online party on January 5th (the 7th anniversary of 37days!). I'd love for you to be there. You can learn more and register here.

As we make our way toward a new year, and this new space, I'm asking you to answer the question I ask myself at the end of every year: In the new year, what do I want/need to let go of, and what do I want to create?

Submit your answer here, and I'll post a few answers each day as we count down to the party, the new start, the launch for me--and for you.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Let go of the deep self-hatred that eats at my soul.

I need to find some way to let go of the deep self-hatred that eats at my soul a little more each day, each year. To do so, I likely need to forgive myself, though for the life of me I can't figure out how to do so. It probably will come through some form of creating, but I feel silenced even in that area. I want 2012 to be the year where I accept my flaws and move forward... but I have not one clue how to do so.

-Jenna Hatfield

 

I don’t want to live in these shadows anymore

I need to continue letting go of secrets. Though I came out more than a decade ago, I only recently became more open at work about my sexuality. It’s been incredibly freeing and has helped get the ball rolling for other aspects of my life. I blog under a pseudonym, which means I can't share a lot of what I write with people. My house is usually a horrific mess, so I rarely invite anyone over and fear drop-bys. I don’t want to live in these shadows anymore. I need to bring light to myself and teach myself how to breathe again. I think it will really help with the depression that occasionally pins me to the ground. I want to create an online space where I can share my writing and drawings and openly communicate with my readers. I want to create a living space where guests are welcome, a home whose foundation isn’t shame and embarrassment.

-Chi Sherman

To let go of stuckness, of stagnation.

 To let go of? It would have to be the feeling of stuckness, of stagnation. It is not true that I am stuck or stagnating, but the feeling is there. The feeling comes from fear. The feeling comes from holding back. So, I want to let go of fear. And holding back.

To create? I want to create health, health on various levels: financial, physical, spiritual, emotional. Especially financial and physical. Which would let go of fear and holding back. Which would create health. Hmmmm. I spy a circle. T'was ever thus!

-Deb Reynolds

 

To let go of feeling that I cannot make a difference.

The news this morning while driving to work; Virginia Tech gunman, Syria, Occupy (name your city), environmental summit mtgs, financial crisis, border wars, drug wars, wars against each other. I need to let go of the sense of being overwhelmed by our earth's crises, wars, and the disenfranchised. To let go of the thought that our troubles are so complex and how are we ever going to find a resolution. To let go of feeling that I cannot make a difference, that i'm just one person. I, we must create a sense of resilience, perseverance, determindness, can do, will do, and to imbue this effort with love, kindness, vision and community.

-Esther Louie

06 December 2011

30 days.

30daysWe learn so much from each other. We have such great capacity to hear from each other now. We are a community of shared experiences.

Readers from around the world are sharing their answers to this question:

As we end 2011 and begin 2012, what do you want/need to let go of and what do you want to create?

You can share your answer too, and resonate with the wisdom of what others are saying:

 

I'm a caterpillar molting and it's hard.

What do I want to let go of? I want to let go of the feeling that what I have is not enough, and it comes with the feeling that I am going to crawl out of my skin. After 16 years of living one role, I am now living another and I've not figured out how to do it. I'm a caterpillar molting and it's hard.

What do I want to create? More words. I want to write more thinky thoughts about the things I love: being outside, mountain biking, running trails, and riding my horses. I want to go from telling about them on my blog to explaining why they're wonderful and essential.

-Kathleen

 

I will be cultivating curiosity.

I keep thinking I have let go of control - and keep finding that I haven't.  I think it has layers I wasn't initially aware of.  So once again I'm letting go of control with the understanding that life is a mystery, there is no such thing as control,  maybe there's karma (I just don't know), maybe there's intention, or maybe it's all just random.  It doesn't really matter as long as I remain open to what *is*, and not the "if only."  So this year I will be cultivating curiosity:  about what is, about my response to it, and about what opens as a result. And that also gives you my guiding word for the year.  Like Alice, I find myself the most curious of all to see what will happen next!

-Tammy Vitale

 

Creating books of wisdom

I am letting go of my need to be involved in everything that passes me by. I want to watch quietly from the sidelines now while I spend time creating books of wisdom for the young ones who are coming up behind me.

-Eileen Korponay

 

I want to stop wondering what I did wrong as a mother.

I want to stop flagellating myself for not measuring up to somebody else's idea of a "good mother." I want to stop losing sleep over my adult daughters' choices and stop wondering what I did wrong as a mother. This will create vast open spaces in which I will cultivate a gentle, loving relationship with myself and then a gentle, loving relationship with the world.

-Peggy

 

Create love.

Let go of fear. Create love, just a love that sees the good in everything.

-Anjali

 

In 30 days, I will launch my new 37days site. I hope you'll join me for a free webinar, "Your Dream Has a Heartbeat--Listen to It," on January 5th to celebrate! You can get more information and register here.

05 December 2011

31 days. Let go of anxiety, become you.

31daysReaders from around the world are sharing their answers to this question:

As we end 2011 and begin 2012, what do you want/need to let go of and what do you want to create?

You can share your answer too, and resonate with the wisdom of what others are saying:

 

Let go of anxiety, and helicopter parenting, and fat

I want to let go of anxiety, and helicopter parenting, and fat; and I want to create calm, and mentoring, and energy.

-Cel

 

I want to be me again. I want to wake up.

I need to let go of the toxic people in my life! they've come in, caved in the walls and forced me down. i need to stand back up again. i need to believe in myself like i did before i let them in. i want to create a life where i stand on my own two feet, and i jump on my impulses, and i laugh heartily and dress up every day. view life as a party when i wake up instead of dreading the sunlight. i want to be me again.

i want to wake up.

-Olivia Kay

 

Set things aside

Next year (or sooner) I want to be able to set aside the things that consume me but are not productive or healthy.

Slowly I am seeing that I can be more artistically creative. My challenge is to allow myself to pursue those possibilities.

-Katherine Helms Cummings

 

 

04 December 2011

32 and counting. Let go to create.

32daysMy free online launch party and webinar is in 32 days! I have no idea how to work the technology! I'll be busy figuring that out! Almost 400 people have already signed up - I hope you will too! Details are here.

To celebrate, folks are submitting their answers to the two questions I always ask myself at the end of a year and the beginning of another:

What do I want/need to let go of?

What do I want to create?

I hope you'll submit your answers. I'll post a few here every day as we count down to January 5th, the day on which my new site will officially launch!

Here are a few beautiful submissions from readers. We can learn from each of them:

 

Letting go of stagnation

-Kyeli

As 2011 comes to a close, I'm letting go of stagnation. Since developing arm pain, I've let myself sit and flail instead of write and create. I'm giving myself time to grieve the loss of how things were for me, then picking myself up, dusting off, and moving forward.

At the dawn of 2012, I'll be creating my first novel! I'm going to channel my writing time into writing that, and I'll be taking a few art classes and doing my own illustrations for it. I've got a couple of short stories that'll get their day in the sun, too!

I've already begun the moving forward process, and I'm eager and excited to dive into 2012 and all the creative juice it holds! Whee! 

 

I just want to be the real me

-Shawn

I want to let go of this growing sense of insecurity I've developed in myself. I want to let go of the hardships this year has brought. I want to let go of the self-doubt that has invaded my soul this year. Next year, as I've already begun, I want to create an Authentic path for myself. I want to be able to stand in my own power, live life to the fullest by walking to my own edge and no one else's. That's it, really. I just want to be the real me -- imperfections and all -- next year. For once and for all.

 

I want to let go of my fear of not being good enough.

-Michelle

I want to let go of my fear of not being good enough. I don't start things (art, classes, writing) because I know nothing I create will be good enough. I want to remember that the journey is as, or more, important than the destination. 

I turn 50 in 2012 and I want to give myself permission to be mindful of the process of aging; documenting and celebrating my milestone by honouring who I am and who I can be.

02 December 2011

34 days to let go and create.

34Just 34 days until the launch of my new site. I hope you'll join us that evening for my free launch party of the new online home for 37days. It will include a short webinar called "Your dream has a heartbeat--listen to it," lots of freebies and prizes and fun, a tour of my new office and new blog, and a celebration of dreams.

For the countdown to that party on January 5, 2012, I'm asking readers to answer these two questions:

What do I want/need to let go of as I end this year?

What do I want to create in the new year?

You can join in and submit your answers here. I'll choose a few every day to post here on 37days.

 

Let go of fear. Create a place of being.

-Cheryl Bakke Martin

Let go of...Fear and self doubt...which leads to procrastination, anxiety and circles - as in, "going in circles." Underneath all this is letting go of the notion that I'm not doing enough...to contribute...to be anything more than another starving artist. Seriously?...paralyzing. Enough, already!

What I want to create? Meaningful and inspiring work in the world, and to do this I must focus only on the beautiful, inspiring work, take time to get grounded, quiet, and plug in to the creative source within, and trust that it will all work out all right. It's a place of being rather than doing, and it doesn't feel anything like fear...at all. It feels peaceful and joyous - you know, the kind of joy that wells tears up in your eyes because something is just...SO...right.

 

I want to create my life story.

-Maria

What do I want to let go of?

I want to let go of everything that keeps my heart from being open and happy. The weight of lies, regret, guilt, responsibility, obligation, and expectations is unbearable some days. I want to let it all go. I want to write all my burdens down on a piece of paper, tie a balloon to it, and just let it fly away. In grammar school we used to let balloons go to see whose would travel the farthest. It’s okay if mine doesn’t go far. The simple act of releasing it all would be enough; I hope.

What do I want to create?

My life story. Not my mom’s story, or my friends’ or the story of the man I love, but mine. I don’t know when I became so pleasing. My story has a pink Christmas tree. It includes watching the sunrise every morning and not always washing my hair. It takes steps forward even when it wants to go back. It has tears instead of forced smiles. It has extra servings of spaghetti and tea in fancy cups. It has more hand written notes. And it has more of me.