Thursday, March 24, 2011

create the work you love.

as you know, i've been struggling lately. lots of different factors in my life are adding up and making things very difficult for me. and although i know that i am making good choices, choices that are best for myself and for my family, it is really hard. one factor that i have mentioned is my health. a couple months ago, i sought help from a naturopath because i was feeling ridiculously exhausted all the time. she's the one who recommended the 3-6 month detox diet. i did that for 6 weeks and felt miserable, definitely worse than when i started.

so i called and spoke to a different naturopath, for a second opinion. she said that because i was feeling worse than when i started, and because of other, quite personal reasons, i should stop the detox and come in and see her. yesterday i had an appointment with her. she did bloodwork, asked me a lot of questions, and talked with me for two and a half hours. she says that i am suffering from adrenal fatigue. it is a condition that is not uncommon for women, especially mothers. basically it means that my adrenal glands are not working properly anymore, due to long term stress. the result is that i am extremely exhausted all the time, yet have difficulty sleeping. i never feel rested. i am also often depressed and irritable. she is also afraid i may have some heavy metal/ chemical poisoning due to my work and she is investigating different methods for testing that (and i am investigating better ventilating techniques and safer alternatives to some of the chemicals i use). anyway, there's not a whole lot to be done for adrenal fatigue, aside from reducing stress, resting more, eating healthy (really cutting down on sugar and caffeine, good thing i quit coffee!) and exercising, and taking some key herbs and supplements. but it was a big wake up call for me that i need to be taking better care of myself.

while i was waiting for my appointment i was browsing through some books for sale at the wellness center. this one caught my eye:

i know i always talk about how lucky i am to make a living doing what i love and how very very grateful i am for my silver sparrow designs. but lately, due to the factors i am talking about, i've been feeling much more negative than positive. i haven't been focusing on my love and passion for what i do. i've been focused on the other, bummer things that are going on in my life. and often when i go out to the shop, i am just sort of tinkering, undirected, unable to really start and finish a project. i think that's why i have been so excited about rivets, it has given me something new to study and navigate and decipher, and sparked a new flame for me in my shop. so when i saw this book, i thought that it would be good for me to read, to remind myself that i really am doing it, i am making a living doing what i love, and what a fantastic thing that really is.

and right away, as soon as i started reading it, i realized how much i needed that message. the whole "spiritual dimension of entrepeneuring" thing is serious. (i do realize i am rambling here. thanks for listening.) do you believe in the secret? i absolutely do; it's how i started my business in the first place. and this new book reminds me that i haven't been focusing on the results i want. i've been bogged down with my problems. for example, i've been all bummed out because it seems that nobody loves my new riveted pieces as much as i do, because they're not selling on etsy. there are many possible reasons for why they are not selling~ they are a bit more expensive because they take longer to make (soldering is much quicker than riveting.), they are sort of a new style that may not appeal to my current customer base, etc. but i think the reason they are not selling is because when i made them i was afraid that they would not sell. i was nervous about taking a jump away from my usual designs and i think i sort of convinced myself that nobody would like them.

so, tomorrow when i go out to the shop to work on some new pieces, i need to be feeling good about what i am doing, positively connecting with the pieces i am making, thinking to myself about the kind of person who will purchase the piece when i finish it, filling the piece with love and intention for its future owner... the things i used to do but seem to have forgotten a bit lately. and the other thing i need to remember, that the book also reminded me of, is that my work, my passion, my jewelry really does fulfill a need; it is a service. perhaps you don't agree with that, but it has taken me some time to come to that conclusion. i really, truly strive to create work that has meaning for people. i want my pieces to have significance to their owner, to bring lightness, clarity, strength, whatever the individual person needs the piece to provide for her. i want my work to bring flight to your soul. and i have received so many beautiful, wonderful, love-filled convos and e-mails from my customers, telling me about the significance that their particular piece has for them and it makes me so happy! that is one of the major things that i love about what i do, my joy and my passion brings joy to someone else. it's a really beautiful thing. like rumi says, "let the beauty of what you love be what you do."

i am not exactly sure what the bottom line of all of that is, but i feel much better having written it. please feel free to share your experience with any of what i am talking about in the comments. i love hearing from you. and, not to get all mushy, but thanks for being there.


mamabeaks said...

first I am sorry that you are feeling ill....... and I have to let you know that your jewelry really means alot to me. I only buy things that I feel a spiritual connection with. Your jewelry and you give me that feeling. Yes your jewelry brings me great joy........ the rivited pieces, I LOVE them. I just don't have extra money to spare right now otherwise I would have me a new pioece of jewelry. You should just know that you do make people happy and that is such a good thing!!!!! love you!

Nikki said...

I am actually having you make a custom piece for me as we speak and I would just like to say that you have my dream job. In fact, after reading your blog a bit and looking at all of your beautiful creations I kept thinking to myself "How can I possibly, someday, somehow, do that?" To be honest you have inspired me to take some jewelry making classes and somehow fulfill my dream of being a silversmith and doing something I love. So if it means anything, for me you have been an inspiration. And how many times does one get to hear that in a lifetime?

I know sometimes it is very hard to see the light in what seems like a lot of darkness in life but you will find it. For me, it usually starts in my son's eyes and brightens from there. :)


Yes I agree, you are an inspiration! I also make jewelry and someday dream of doing it for a living, right now it's very difficult to make a lot of things considering the price of silver, but I do what I can with the materials I do have. I read your blog daily and I am always so impressed with the pieces as well as the productivity you posses, keep on making beautiful things!

Silver Sparrow Designs said...

oh, you guys are so wonderful! thank you so much. it really does mean the world to me to hear these things. linda, the fact that my jewelry brings you joy is priceless. and and that my work and my business inspire you guys is amazing; i am honored, and i truly appreciate these affirmations and reminders.

nikki, i am happy to offer any tips and advice for metalsmithing; that is so awesome that you are takng classes! i am sending you a convo now...

seven13, hang in there! the cost of silver MUST go down, right? i am glad to know you are checking in each day.

C said...

Your jewelry and your blog has been an inspiration to me. I love the jewelry and I want more..I am waiting for more bracelets because I do not wear rings. Your blog is the reason I started my blog. You gave me the courage to go for it. I love your creativity. I love reading about your family and friends. I hope you find your inner peace. Thank you for being brave enough to share "You".
You are a gift.

marie bell said...

and, thank YOU for spilling it all out: the feelings, the health issues, work, your putting your self and your family first in your life.

good to read your words, kristi.


Anne Marie said...

I just wanted to say that your blog is an inspiration to me! I read it often, and appreciate how much you share of yourself, your life and your love of creating. I too, am a jewelry maker. I am also a single mother of a wonderful four year old little girl. I am so inspired by your life. I sympathize with your struggle to balance family, art and health issues. I hope you continue to find happiness in whatever path you choose to take. Your work is just stunning! Truly an expression of your lovely soul, it is wonderful to see that beauty expressed in your work! Much love to you and appreciation for all the inspiration you give to others.

6512 and growing said...

Kristi, I wish I could spirit you away from all your stress for restorative vacation. I also just want to say I'm sorry that you're in such a difficult stretch. You are so very brave and so very loved, and I take relief knowingthat your nature is to always turn towards beauty and light.

I'm glad you got some answers, re: adrenal fatigue, and hope there are some practical, applicable solutions.

With love,

Silver Sparrow Designs said...

aawww, you GUUYYSS! you are so fabulous. i am going to figure out how to print the page of comments and carry it around with me, post a copy out in the shop.


cynthia, i am so glad you adore your special bracelet. i've actually go some new bracelet designs in the works, so stay tuned!

marie, as always, thanks!

anne marie, lovely to meet you! you are so sweet and i am so very glad you're her.

and rachel, i love you. i actually am taking a vacation next month! another little music road trip and i can hardly wait!

all of you gals make my world go round...

nancycreations said...

Your riveted pieces are fantastic they're awesome, I truly understand your feelings on everything you wrote about. I am always in self doubt about my jewelry because it is different but then so am I . I think as artist we are always afraid our art is not good enough. I love to create, my soul requires it to sustain life its a part of me . I am a very positive person about everything in life except my jewelry and I love creating it although I have been on etsy for a while I really didn't start really getting involved with it until about a year I am stubbling around trying to find my style and create a line just stumbling around your jewelry is amazing the riveting peices are wonderful especially the ring change is a good thing something new is a good change as artist we are constantly evolving you are very inspirational to all of us.

Stacie @ said...

Sorry to hear you're feeling ill. I follow your blog in my reader (but I'm rarely caught up). As a fellow smither- want to tell you that I LOVE your work & find you to be an inspiration. I also think you have the cutest little girls- I have boys. Keep rockin it girl- those riveted pieces are the BOMB!!