Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hidden Meanings In Junk Mail Part 1

During quiet stretches between blog posts, typically the opposite of quiet describes what’s happening in the real time of my daily life!  In the past month, I celebrated our daughter’s birthday (multiple occasions including hosting her first sleepover party!), tackled the dreaded, unavoidable task of tax preparation (while trying to reclaim my long lost organizational skills in the process), taught adults and children how to craft paper posies in a weekend workshop and an after-school enrichment class, volunteered at school in my two roles as classroom aide and art docent, participated in SoulCollage® facilitator training (a most profound experience, both personally and professionally…will be writing and sharing soon) and accomplished some private writing. 

On top of everything, I decided to assign myself a month-long creative challenge – assembling a simple collaged daily “mantra” or inspiration from each day’s junk mail or newspaper.  Actually, this challenge initially began as a very simple collage of any sort, but within the first week, I noticed I was always incorporating a word or phrase into each piece, so the challenge evolved into an uplifting collaged message each day.  If I skipped a day or two (or three), then I caught up on the missed days whenever I could make time to do so.  I was practicing discipline and flexibility simultaneously!  On some days, ideas flowed easily, while other days required more effort depending on what I found in the mailbox.  In the end, I created a collection of 31 small, but mighty reminders of how to live each day with inspiration, creativity, mindfulness and gratitude.  I owe author, blogger and artist, Valerie Storey, a thank you as her blog post about mini-projects prompted me to finally take action on my own challenge when I realized a "mini" approach would be more easily achievable and likely much more rewarding than a grandiose plan.
I rose to the creative challenge, exercised my creative "muscle" and found the hidden meanings in junk mail (and the Sunday paper!)  Here's the first week...
#1 "Passage To Blue"
envelope lining + Anthropologie catalog
find your pathway to relaxation

#2 "New"
Bounty ad in Sunday paper
new growth is always possible (inspired by
new growth observed in nature during Spring hikes)

#3 "Bright Life"
Provident credit union offer
life is brighter with a colorful, creative perspective

#4 "Create Joy"
Chase offer
we can bring joy to ourselves and others through creativity

#5 "Go"
Boden catalog
seek and discover new experiences, adventures
and inspirations

#6 "Building Blocks"
HELOC offer
when we build our life on a solid foundation of values,
we can rely on our inner strength and stability as we grow

#7 "Start Today"
envelope lining from Delta Dental statement
take a step any day, start today
Do you enjoy challenging yourself creatively?  Have you ever completed a daily challenge within a specified time frame - one month, quarterly, year long?  I hope you'll share here!