Friday, December 18, 2009

Gifts of the Season

After a successful and enjoyable open studios event at my building two weekends ago, my attention has shifted to readying for the holidays AND preparing for a New Year. I treat this final month of each year as a time for reflection and appreciation as well as celebration. So in addition to decorating, buying gifts, sending cards and baking, a great deal of cleaning and clearing has continued. Now I've moved on to my office, sorting accumulated files and folders of paperwork relating to writing, teaching and exhibitions from as far back as 2002.

These acts of clearing are having an amazing effect on me. I am letting go. In 2010, I won't be teaching, I won't be developing new lectures, I won't be writing magazine articles. I will truly focus my energies in one direction, adding to my body of work.

The holidays are a time to be more intentional, allowing ourselves to indulge in appreciative thoughts and generous actions that warm us and all those whose lives we touch. So, it is in this spirit that I offer all of you who read my blog some gifts for the heart this holiday season.

#1 --Take a few moments to watch this video about Martin Neufeld, aka The Hugger Buster. This street performer practices Artful Hugging. May we all follow his example and open our arms more often to share caring touch with our fellow humans.

#2 - To return a smile to your lips and peaceful appreciation to your heart, try listening to this short guided meditation from Australia to practice loving-kindness. I woke up hearing these two words in my head this morning and when I googled them, found this lovely short loving-kindness meditation audiotape from the Buddhist Education and Information Network.

#3 - I appreciate every one of you who take the time to read my blog, so please enter my end of the year "goodies" drawing. Just e-mail your name and snail-mail address to me at I will draw several names and mail out happy surprises to start your New Year with a smile!

Most of all, I wish bright and happy holidays to you and your loved ones -- may you hug and be hugged extravagantly and well!


  1. Jeanne, I did what you are doing way back in 2002, no more teaching, no more committee work, but just giving myself time to develop my own work. Although I still look back fondly on those commitments, it has been a very positive shift and I am still excited about what I am now doing!

  2. Hi Diana, it's encouraging to hear that you don't miss teaching. I have loved meeting new people and sharing the excitement of exploring techniques and composing surfaces -- and perhaps I might return to it someday. For the present, however, the work is going to come first.