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give yourself permission – with Julie of Uglibeads

It was an unsettling week for me. Try as I might, I couldn’t quite get in the groove. In a creative sense, in a general life sense, in any sense. I’ve heard from many others that they have also been feeling a bit ‘off’ lately, and truthfully, I do feel a little better knowing that I’m not alone.

Perhaps it’s the changing of the seasons. Some mis-alignment of the stars and the moon. Or, it’s possible that we’ve been affected by the heaviness of the many heartbreaking things going on in the world around us. Of course, yesterday, 9/11, was a somber day of remembrance for many.

If you need a place to pause and reflect here, you are welcome to borrow this bench. It’s ok. I’ll wait. I sat on this very bench for many, many moments of quiet reflection on my recent holiday.

As creative people, we tend to be more sensitive than most. We truly feel the horror of tragic events, whether close to home or across the globe, and we deeply empathize with the suffering that people face in those situations. It can be very difficult to know what to do to help.

Lately, I have noticed that when I start to feel helpless about these sorts of things, my creativity suffers. I feel stuck. The happy energy that usually propels me forward is in short supply. The flow is blocked by a heavy feeling. In a way, I almost feel guilty sitting down to make beautiful things. When there are so many people who have so little, art feels like an incredible luxury. 

But it’s also a basic human need.

Maybe it’s a song that keeps hope alive. A treasured piece of jewelry that serves as a reminder of someone loved and lost. Or a found object that adds beauty to an otherwise hopeless place.

In a world where suffering still exists, we need all the hope and beauty we can get.

If you’ve been feeling a bit weighed down lately, for whatever reason, may I suggest taking some time this weekend to hang out in your creative space. If creativity is your gift, the first and most important thing you can do to make the world a better place is to use that gift to its full potential.

Give yourself permission to feel inspired. Surround yourself with things that make you happy. Books, magazines, plants, candles, inspiring quotes, crystals, photographs, mementos, or… nothing at all.

If I’m feeling down, I dig through my collection of beach stones. I love to sit in the morning light and arrange my latest beads among them. That’s my happy place.

It’s ok to enjoy yourself. It’s ok to feel joy while you’re creating or thinking about creating, no matter what is happening in the world around you. It’s a fabulous idea to make something beautiful, even on a terrible day. Especially on a terrible day.

So, the sooner the better. Get to that studio. Sit down at your table. Sort through some beads. Cut some cord. Wrap some wire. Light up that torch. Melt some glass. Hammer some metal. Roll some clay.

It’s hard sometimes, I know. But we’ll do it together.

xo

Julie

f a c e b o o k : www.facebook.com/uglibeads
i n s t a g r a m : @jules_sontag

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15 Comment

  1. Reply
    Rebecca
    September 12, 2015 at 11:53 am

    What a rule beautifu, post Julie, and full of things that I needed to hear. I haven't had a bad week, but I've had a full week – one full of emotions and thoughts, and I think I'm leaving it feeling a little overwhelmed. I am so that person who constantly over-empathises – feels the weight of the world on her shoulders and in her heart. I agree, it's nice to feel that we are not alone in this sometimes daily struggle.

    1. Reply
      Rebecca
      September 14, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      *truly beautiful!* (typo before)

  2. Reply
    tracy evans
    September 12, 2015 at 11:58 am

    I feel "off" as well. For me, the back to school time, while delightful because it frees up some much-needed me time, also means i have to make order of the three month chaos of having kids home. it's overwhelming. then i feel guilty for crafting and making jewelry.

  3. Reply
    Heather Wynn Millican
    September 12, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Oh Julie, your words resonate with me.
    Thank you for your sharing your talents and lifting us up 🙂

  4. Reply
    Karen Z
    September 12, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    thoughtful blog . . . suits my mood this morning to a 'T'. Think I'll head to the beach awhile in search of stones, glass & water spouts. Need a recharge myself today!

  5. Reply
    Karin G
    September 12, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Thank you Julie for putting words on my feelings. It feels good.

  6. Reply
    Janet Bocciardi
    September 12, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    There was a moment during your auctions yesterday when I found myself laughing. I felt almost guilty since I had been so sad earlier in the day mourning the losses of 9/11. Then I got past it and realized every moment could be like that. We choose what we focus on and the feelings go along with it. I changed focus and chose to feel gratitude for like-minded individuals, feel wonder in your creativity, and make something beautiful myself. The day ended with some "bench sitting" as the sun set.

    Beautiful post, Julie that is worth going back to from time to time!

  7. Reply
    TesoriTrovati
    September 12, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Oh! You are mighty beautiful, Miss Julie, with the soul of a poet. Your words are much needed and pack a powerful punch of truth. Enjoy the day! Erin

  8. Reply
    Aimlesswriter
    September 13, 2015 at 3:53 am

    Wonderful post. Thank you for the inspiration.

  9. Reply
    Julie Leake
    September 13, 2015 at 9:44 am

    I could have wrote that myself !! Bieng my name is Julie too! And those words fit perfectly in my head ! Love it !

  10. Reply
    BluMoon
    September 13, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Julie, I have been feeling just the same the world suddenly seems to have gone mad with hate and I feel so helpless, certainly creativity goes out the wondow. One of the reasons I joined the Art Bead Challenge was to try to destress and get some creativity back, I also read and spend lots of time on my Tai Chi to help relax, just sitting in the garden for a little while and watching the birds and flowers really helps I find too. I am usually such a happy person no depression and don't get stressed easily, we each do what we can to keep ourselves together in these trying times I think.
    Jackie

  11. Reply
    Pat Denning
    September 13, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks Julie! I've been out of sorts for the last month and a half. My mom passed away the beginning of August and I just haven't had the desire to create. Mom was always the first one to see anything I made and she was my biggest supporter. There is a part of me that wants to start again (at least I have some ideas). Maybe I just need to take some time to reflect.

  12. Reply
    Julie Wong Sontag
    September 15, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Thank you all for the lovely, thoughtful comments. Dear Pat – I tried to locate your email address to send you a little note, since it's not likely that you'll check back here – but I wanted to say how very sorry I am for the passing of your mom. That is a huge loss. You'll know when it's time again – but in the meantime, just take very, very good care of yourself. Ideas never expire. xoxo — julie

  13. Reply
    Jean Baldridge Yates
    October 10, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Really beautiful post, with an honesty and sensitivity which reflect who you are and how much you respect and love others and care for us, too. I appreciate that. Your beads uplifted me as well!
    jean xox

  14. Reply
    Eileen The Artful Crafter
    October 10, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Very powerful post, Julie. Thank you so much for your wonderful insights. They really touched a chord in me.

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