I found one ad which asked, as a subtitle: DO YOU OOZE CUSTOMER SERVICE? . . .

I like to believe that I don’t ooze anything . . . the very description makes this genre of customer service job sound that much more slimy to me. No thanks.

Wishcasting Wednesday:

What is your spirit wishing for?

I had to pause for a moment on this one — but inwardly I’ve known what to wish for: my spirit is wishing for spark (a blend of lightness and spunk, as I think about it).

Wishing out loud feels audacious and bold — but boldness is precisely what I need as I continue to look for a job in a tough season.

When looking for a job, I find the cold calls especially challenging as it takes a lot to screw up my courage and fight past the peskier feelings of shyness which get in the way! So, “spark” makes me think of self-ignition and pulse, and a kind of ease and flow as opposed to struggle and push. This is my wish — I can picture my spirit flying with the aide of a spark or two!

Thank you.

Sit-In and Write-In for International Rights (December 10th)

Dec 4th, 2009 | By Erin Fagan Galle (full article: Edwards Magazine)

“Rita Mahato has been threatened with assault, rape, and murder because of the human rights work she does in her home country . . .

. . . As a young Canadian woman living in my current period of time and circumstance, I am very lucky to have the freedom to exercise my basic human rights on a day-to-day basis without fearing for my life. I cannot take this freedom for granted: in so many places around the world, the act of expressing an opinion or belief—or of simply being different—can incur the threat of violence, persecution, imprisonment, and even death.

For this reason, I am participating in Amnesty International’s 6th Annual “Write-A-Thon.” Thousands of people (14,000 at of the time of writing this article) have registered throughout Canada and the world to write and mail letters in support of human rights on and around December 10th.”

More . . . Amnesty International Canada

Full article: Edwards Magazine

December 2nd, first full moon of the month

As I worked, very warm colours (golden yellows especially, and reds) popped out to me and seemed to defy any notion of December darkness or hibernation. I ran with this! A little busy, but there is a lot of busyness in my dreams these days. I am still looking for a job, and I have all kinds of questions swimming within me about career, employment, personal direction, and so on. In all honesty, I’ve felt quite bummed out the past few days but this helped me ease up on myself considerably.

I was also drawn by ideas of personal power, potential, risk-taking, celebration/gifting (Christmas is coming). I feel like I am bursting at times lately with so much I want to say and do and be and try and yet I have to fight the fear so much along the way. I like to imagine myself as that tiny but mighty lady in red, in the lower left-hand corner, pushing some columns out of her way . . . this is all metaphorical.

This is my first full moon dream board, so of course I went into it trying not to be too perfectionistic about it. As much as possible, I tried to just select what came to me along the way and not get too hung up on the look of it in the end. That all said, I quite like it and I know it will do me good to look at it the rest of the month as I pound the pavement and dream big.

Another participantwrote this of her experience in recent days, not unlike mine, where this day and this activity has helped to break loose from darker, shivery feelings:

“Yesterday was particularly rough, one of those fabled “dark nights of the soul” where every self-doubt and every insecurity came out to play and take over my thoughts, coupled with a wave of fear. Today, though, I was able to shake it all off somewhat. Oh, it is still lurking behind me, breathing down my neck, but I’m not listening to it, and it’s not choking me. This is a powerful day, the first of two full moons this month, with the rebirth of the Light on the way, and, as the piece above said, time for spiritual alchemy, evaluating life, and knowing I’ll survive the dark times if or when they come.”

For more information on what and why I did this bit of scissors and paste art tonight, visit Jamie Ridler’s site

Cheers.

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”
— Bob Dylan

I like the idea and I aspire to live it in some way — to be “a success” because I say/believe so, and not on other people’s terms excessively.

Approval of others — it smells sickly sweet, like burnt stovetop chocolate icing. Gross and completely inedible and certainly of no nutritional value, but the hint of cocoa aroma is there. Let’s face it — I do love chocolate, and I am also highly attracted to approval. I have allowed myself to be wooed too easily by false niceness (switched jobs for it, even, more than once) and the reverse: I have let myself be just completely crestfallen by even the hint of negative feedback from certain people whose feedback probably was never that important, or that negative, to begin with. This needs changing — no more settling for crappy chocolate! 😛

For most of my life, especially as a teen and twenty-something, I’ve attached a lot more meaning on what other people think (or what I think other people think – logical stuff to base life decisions on) than on what I believe of myself. I used to believe, whether I admitted it or not, that my performance as a student or as a worker (as reflected in the feedback of others who seemed to know better than me) was a massive, integral and conclusive reflection of who I actually am as a person — and I continue to catch myself attaching value judgements of “good” or bad” and “right” or “wrong” on what I do or do not do or could do or should do or could have done and yadda yadda. All crap, really. I am aware of it, and I catch myself faster, but it is still there humming away in the background of my mind in my day to day.

It takes immense energy (luckily, I am determined) to keep reframing, adjusting, and asking myself continuously why it matters so much whether so and so says whatever about whatever I do or say. To consider myself, no matter what I am doing or how well, and say to myself: “I accept this and I am acceptable to myself as is”, and even if this isn’t “perfect” then that is okay too. And there is so much more to me, like my loving relationship with my husband and the connections I make with friends, family and acquaintances: the important things.

The main thing is that I am working on it all the time, even when it hurts to push past the gunk and the gross stuff that has built up so much over time. Only I can do this work.

I turn 30 in a little over a month — which is both nothing, as in just another day/year, and yet is something milestone-ish. We all grow up with interesting ideas of what our lives are supposed to look like at 30 — for me, even with all of my other achievements and good things, I keep checking my career status or lack there of. The one definite bar I have set for myself: I am registered for an 8K run on January 25th, Robbie Burns Day (I am very Scottish ancestrally).

And no matter how fast or well I run it in traditional terms, doing it and completing it because it is what helps me feel good: that is the point.

My former colleague, Sharon, writes posts which often make me nod, snicker and sometimes shake a fist at stuff that equally irks me. She has been living with her fellow, a mathemagician (that does sound cool) , in Oxford England for the past year. Ergo, we have the Accidental Brit.

I have been following this story coming out of Uganda about a new law which criminalizes homosexuality with heavy jail sentences, threat of the death penalty in some circumstances and (especially frightening) requires all those who know/suspect of another’s “deviance” to come forward to authorities and “name names”. Sharon writes about this subject, and a strange eureka of pride for the stand taken by PM Stephen Harper on the matter. I love this piece because I had the same sentiment when I read about his interactions with the Ugandan president:

Pride . . . in our PM(?) for taking this stand

Now, if only it weren’t so gross to watch this same PM represent Canada on climate change and the environment. Ugh.

Incidentally, I am participating in Amnesty International’s “Write-A-Thon” in honour of December 10th, International Human Rights Day. I have no money to speak of for donations to causes, but I am capable of writing multiple letters in a day and I am also capable of documenting the lead up and process of this event for the next several days. This is an issue which has always stirred me up inside, even as a kid.

And here I am, the last day of Art Every Day Month and, at last, the end of November. I started this yesterday with a layer of gesso which I textured into fine ripples (best tool: paper towel) and left to dry overnight. This is my first ever attempt at something recognizable (eg. a vase with flowers). My husband, the realist and talented landscape/portrait painter, declared “It is actually a something”!

It was not a great day for me, in a respect, as I heard disappointing news about an interesting job which I had interviewed for. It took some muster to get into a less bluesy mind frame after dinner. I guess I could have channeled that into the painting, but I chose not to — I wanted something bright and lively. I started with yellow, my favourite colour, because I felt a need for it. Not normally a fan of pink, but this is the colour I jumped to in order to stand out against the silvery blue.

Because it was mostly a great day, the above notwithstanding. The organization I interviewed for, ostensibly, liked me and I came really really close to getting the job, and I have awesome references, and the HR officer cited upcoming jobs in January if I am patient and wait (and they will let me know). Yeah, so, I am valid in being glum on one level but, on another, the possibilities are out there if I focus in on them.

I was I did some enjoyable volunteer work doing what I enjoy best: writing, editing and a little desktop publishing. I am going in to this office, another non-profit, for a few days this week — I’ve missed the odd pleasure of going in to something everyday and being productive in a personally meaningful way. Money, yes, is nice (!) but the routine is the most valuable bit.

An important and beautiful routine, for me, has been playing with art this month. I need to keep this up the way I need to get exercise so many times a week and drink water and eat colourful veggies daily. Therefore, I will stick with Creative Every Day for the remainder of 2009 (December has a recyclable objects theme) and into 2010. Thank you for the journey, Leah!