My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #772: Finding My 'Zen'

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-28-2012 11:24 AM 1732 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 771: Looking Ahead Part 772 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 773: Tying Up Loose Ends »

I am in the final stages of ‘organizational mode’ today, and while that is very beneficial to me, it doesn’t always make good reading. A I sit here this morning and try to come up with something interesting to write about, I am afraid it is one of those mornings where a juicy topic eludes me. Some days are just like that.

I spent the day yesterday doing many small and pesky tasks around the house here. I fine tuned the files and folders on my computer. I proof read my latest pattern that I am adding to the site today. I even got some sewing done. While all of these things are helpful and necessary to make my life run smoothly, when things progress the way they should, there isn’t much to talk about it seems.

I find that a bit ironic.

Finding a good balance in my life has been something that I have been working toward for quite a while. Those of you who read here every day have seen the ups and downs that I have experienced from day to day as a designer and have followed me through the process. As recent as a couple of weeks ago, I was admittedly a bit frazzled, feeling quite overwhelmed at the many things in my life that were demanding my attention.

I talked about these things here, and I received advice from many as to how to get things back under control and manage things. When I mentioned that I was going to take a short holiday, many of you (my friends) cheered me on and wished me well, telling me how I deserved the time for myself. It seems that many of you knew that for me taking the time off was much more difficult than the work itself. It truly isn’t in my nature.

But I did take some time, and by doing so it not only gave me the break that I so badly needed, but it also refreshed me and made me hungry for my work again. It certainly didn’t take a long time for me to be away enough to miss it.

Now I am back however, and I feel rested and refreshed and I need to find a focus to kick me back into a higher gear again. The latter part of this week has been slow by my standards, and in mentioning this to Keith last night he replied something to the effect that ‘we have it all.’ In thinking about what he said, I do believe he is right. We have jobs that we love. We have a decent place to live and live within our means. We have good friends and family around us. We have each other. It is a state of living that most people spend their entire lives striving for.

I looked up the formal definition for the word “zen” this morning. While I knew vaguely what it meant, I wanted to see what the formal definition of the word was. We frequently hear about people “finding their zen” and I was curious to see if this was perhaps what I am experiencing. While there were many different definitions that were listed, one in particular stood out to me. It read as follows: ”Complete and absolute peace”.

Could it be that I have found my zen? I wonder. There has never been a time in my life that I have been so content or at peace with things. Of course there are some day to day issues that do and will arise, and I will deal with them as the come, but for at least this one moment in my life, I am at peace and I am content. Completely.

No wonder I feel odd.

It is to me like chasing the brass ring on a carousel and finally catching it. What do you do with it now that it is caught? You may look at it and admire it for a bit, but then what?

I am so used to channeling energy into solving problems and putting out small fires (and large ones too!) that now that there aren’t any that are in my life at this moment, there is part of me that feels a bit lost. I am not complaining about this in the least, I am just making an observation.

There are those of you who may think that I am ‘asking for it’ simply by the fact that I am stating this out loud. One thing that I frequently say to Keith (who is not quite as optimistic as myself) is the phrase “from here on . . . it’s smooth sailing!” He used to cringe at those words and say to me “why do you have to go and jinx things! It is like you are inviting trouble!”

But I don’t feel that saying them invites trouble. I feel that it puts me on a path of optimism and hope and allows me to focus on all the positive things about any given situation. And that to me is a great asset to have and a key to being happy. I like being positive and I know for a fact that having a positive attitude helps me have a better day. It really does matter to me.

So now here I am in this ‘good place’ that I have been seeking. It seems that I have focused on positive things for so long that it has become quite a habit for me to do so – and a good one at that. I have caught my brass ring. But instead of just looking at it and admiring it, I want to use that energy that I have to focus in a new direction – creating. And that will be fun and exciting.

Whether or not I have ‘found my zen’ remains to be seen. I realize that living in our world is a kaleidoscopic chain of activity – continually changing with every second as energy flows from ourselves and others that interact with us. I don’t for a second think that now that I feel I am in a good place, it will remain unchanged and stagnate there for long. But I will take these moments and enjoy them and use the positive things in my life to inspire and influence me and with any luck, the result will be an amazing burst of creativity. And I will enjoy each and every moment.

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be clam in your heart. – Unknown

I wish you all a peaceful and productive day!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

8 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6860 posts in 4032 days

#1 posted 07-28-2012 11:43 AM

Hi Sheila,

Is the opposite of zen, nez?

If so, that’s were I am. LOL


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2973 days

#2 posted 07-28-2012 11:51 AM

LOL, Lee! Believe me! I have plenty of ‘nez’ days! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2857 days

#3 posted 07-28-2012 12:29 PM

Ahhh yes Sheila. Sounds like you’ve found it. I think life “levels-out” sooner or later for us all. Even tho the waves get high in my ocean, I still get through em, and, I can’t even swim.. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2973 days

#4 posted 07-28-2012 12:50 PM

I don’t mind getting wet either sometimes! It happens to us all! :D


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3071 days

#5 posted 07-28-2012 04:53 PM

Hi Sheila, As to what do you do when you finally catch the merry-go-round ring? You go after another ring and then another! Ride backwards to make it interesting!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3773 days

#6 posted 07-28-2012 06:41 PM

I’ve found that it isn’t the brain cells or the feelings. It’s the heart that knows what is right. Sometimes it is very quiet, and I need to demand that it let me know what is right. Then it does.

Have a great day!

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View ronbuhg's profile


121 posts in 2201 days

#7 posted 07-28-2012 06:54 PM

” Zen” is peace in your heart and harmony in your life…’s that ? dont know if I saw that somewhere or just thought of it….if so I hope the author will forgive me for not giving him/her due credit…. and…..on the next project, wishing everyone a great day and be safe as always !

-- the dumbest question is the one you dont ask !!

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2973 days

#8 posted 07-28-2012 07:48 PM

Hi, Erwin! I hope you and Edith are doing well! I so enjoyed the pictures you sent me a while back. Yes, setting new goals would be one thing to do after achieving them.

Ron – I like your version of “zen.” As I said, I needed to look it up myself and there were a wide variety of interpretations available. It is good to feel peace in my heart. Believe me – it wasn’t always like this. I am just trying to figure out what to do with this sense of ‘calm’ that I have now. Turning it into new projects seems like a great start.

I wish you both a wonderful evening! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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