Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wings 4 You - Core/Suppressed Values & Must-Haves

Ah, Dame Carla, she knows what questions to ask, yup. This week's prompts, regarding unearthing my core and suppressed values, and identifying my must-have's, opened a couple cans of those squiggly worm-thingies that always go along with digging. Here are the exercises, in the order received and with my responses.

Note: for those of you who prefer short-winded blog entries with lots o'photos, my Wings 4 You entries will not be among them. I'm serious about this process and about blogging it, in detail. FYI.

Describe a high point or peak moment/experience in my life or work up to now. What was happening at the moment? What does this experience say about me? What values were being honored in that moment? What do these values mean to me? How can I elaborate on my description of these values?

I combined two recent high moments, one when I was at my brothers' home playing soccer with them, Ciera, and My Lovely Mother, and another when Mom and I were at their home and I was in charge of making dinner. I had my MuthaCam with me to shoot pictures, which are posted on Undertones. The five of us giggled, romped, shrieked, sweat, fell over, ran into each other, cracked up, ran & jumped, coached each other, hugged, high-fived! It was all about family, love, togetherness, participation, enthusiasm, FUN, exercise, athleticism, sharing, and (with the camera, then the cooking) ART.

All of those things: family, togetherness, love, participation, enthusiasm, FUN, athleticism, sharing, and ART -- define my core values perfectly. The only elaboration I could come up with was just the necessity for me of putting PEOPLE BEFORE THINGS, to have interactions and experiences because those are what form my memories, and this requires an on-going effort (no apathy, no laziness).

Describe a moment/experience in your life or work up to now in which I felt frustrated, angry, or upset. What emotions was I experiencing? Why did I feel that way? What values were suppressed or violated in this situation?

I'll be somewhat obtuse here, because this involves someone other than myself. That, too, is a double-edged sword because I'm nearly certain this person does NOT read my blog, which also both injures my soul and pisses me off royally! Meanwhile: I received an email on which I was one of several folks copied, letting me know someone I dearly love [but with whom I have an on-going complex, challenging, & generally unresolved-feeling relationship] would be off-line for a while due to computer issues. I had previously sent this person a lengthy, chatty, loving e-mail describing recent activities of my family and myself, including various descriptions of my art endeavors, to which I had received no response. Upon learning this person would be incognito, I found myself sarcastic inside, saying 'so what else is new?' I felt frustrated, ironic, sad, angry, and especially I felt (again, & still) invisible AS AN INDIVIDUAL. Always part of a group copy, just a "cc" on a generic line. Hmmm. It seems no matter the discussion, the effort, the letting go of things, this relationship remains deadlocked. And I am hurt and angry at receiving zero individual recognition or acknowledgment. That represents the violated values: no 'personal' love, so little togetherness, just this strenuous and strained kind of generic interaction. I HATE it. I also resent that the effort for upgrades, change, etc., seem only to be initiated by me. I spend more time withdrawing, now, which raises the squiggly worm of cowardice within me -- where is my willingness to make the effort? No matter how long it takes or what the personal sacrifice? ... sigh. This one remains open-ended.

Beyond my basic survival and community needs, what must I have in my life in order to be fulfilled? What qualities are essential to the life of my spirit? What gives energy to me now? What do I most value about myself, my relationships, and the nature of my work? What 1 or 2 things do I want more of, or different?

I require 'moments' - spontaneous or created/helped; connection, feeling an essential, integral, contributory person/persona in my circle of loved ones; FUN!, artistic capturing/expression of those moments; and LOVE. My spirit is nourished by risk, coupled with a safe place, artistic expression, travel (local, afar, via books or conversation), seeing NEW (stimuli), and nature. My energy now is sourced from art experiments, the on-line group I belong to (An Affair with Art), goals, reading, naps, photography, and my changes in diet/exercise routine. I most value about myself: intelligence/creativity, learning 'on my feet', intuition, sense-ory abilities/responses, "vision". In my relationships, overall, stagnation doesn't happen. We laugh, challenge each other, grow, express love physically and verbally and via actions, and we're able to incorporate each individual's autonomy and separate space. I consider my 'work' to be of the personal, not my paycheck-producing 'job' -- so all of the above-listed elements are relevant. I would like more all-of-us-together family time, and more mental/intellectual stimulation at my job.

Revisit what I wrote in response to the above exercises, and pull out why I consider the most important values and concepts that have emerged. Using each value as the beginning of a string, write a series of several related words separated by a slash. When I have finished, number the strings in the order of those which I feel are the most essential to my living a fulfilled, harmonious life.

1. Family/Love/Sharing/'Known'/Safe Place/Challenging
2. Fun/Experimentation/New/Build Our Own Traditions/Relaxation
3. Artistic Expression/Truth/Risk/Personal/Autonomous/Spiritual/Peace
4. Love/Acceptance/Safe Place/'Known'/Together/Sharing/Giving/Expression/ Foundation/Center From Which I Operate
5. Safe Place/Double-Sided/Safe so That I Feel Empowered Toward Risk/Core of Creativity
6. Challenging/Risk/Growth/No Stagnation/Expression/Intuition/Movement/ Process

Actually, I already do quite well at this, thanks to my having read The Artist's Way when it was first released, and immediately incorporated the idea of 'artist dates' into my routine. And my male children are old enough now, with such an array of their own preferred activities, that my studio time abounds.

1. Cup o'java with delish flavored cream, and whipped cream on top
2. Spending & gas money to spare
3. Load my bag with MuthaCam, paints, and a new art magazine
4. Drive to an UNpredetermined location
5. Shoot pictures, draw, read, dawdle
6. Swinging at a park wherever I end up
7. Lunch at a new-to-me restaurant
8. Playing Heart & Sheryl Crow LOUD in my truck & singing along
9. Stop at all interesting antique stores & flea markets & such for photo ops, moseying, & trinket scores
10. 15 minutes, minimum, petting a friendly dog
11. A sit-down on a bench next to an elderly person who tells me a great story from his/her past
12. Finding nifty items as I walk along & pocketing them: feathers, rusty bits, stones, receipts
13. Carnitas or chile relleno for dinner
14. Long hot shower with gardenia shower gel
15. A Double BB back massage followed by making love
16. Sleep -- & sleep IN the next morning, then
17. Upload pictures, save the best, and BLOG them to share my adventure!

And tomorrow, Dame Carla will upload the prompts for our next Weekly Wings session.


rivergardenstudio said...

I just found your old blog and your new name and now your new one! I love your banner and your writing. I am going to try the Weekly Wings Challenge that will be posted tomorrow. Hopefully! Thanks for sharing, Roxanne

Veronica said...

Holy shi* wow, your way with words is totally inspiring. Maybe I will give this a try. Although I am not anywhere the writer you are.
Okay off to check even more

Teresa K. said...

Toni, you completely fascinate me. I believe we are different in a thousand ways. I love reading you and delight in your views and experiences. I wouldn't fart in front of someone else to save my soul, but I howled with laughter when I read about your family tradition of farting into the fire. Girl - you're a hoot and you're welcome to join me in coffee on my porch anytime you're in the neighborhood. Share your art with me and I'll be your appreciative audience. Just dress warmly - my front porch is under four inches of snow!