I just spend an amazing, abundant, inspiring 7 days doing the Winter Residency at Penland School of Crafts in the mountains of NC. I honestly cannot think of a better way to start my year than 15 hour days spent in a studio surrounded by really great tools and incredibly dedicated artists- experimenting, pushing boundaries, failing and succeeding. I want to put in words what makes that experience so powerful- I don’t know that I can do it justice.
I seem to be into lists lately so I will go at it that way:
Dedicated, intentional time
Long uninterrupted days
Openness to experimentation and failure
Conversations with tears, laughter, beautiful nerdiness, the obsessions of makers…
The history of that place and seeing the work of creative hands everywhere
Early morning silence so thick that the wind sounds like a train
Meeting Elizabeth Brim
Having a family that supports me wholly.
While at Penland an article was shared with me about stress reduction and happiness by a fellow artist Laura Fortune. I really enjoyed the article and was truly struck by the segment on gratitude. The basic idea is that being grateful, even just wondering what we might be grateful for, releases dopamine and serotonin in our brains helping to focus on the happier things. Gratitude is my guiding force these days- just can’t help but feel and be abundantly grateful for the opportunities, experiences and people in my life.