Sunday, 20 October 2013

Mellow State of Contentment

Hubby thinks it is time I should write about ‘contentment’. Wondering why he wants me to write about this theme. Could it be because when ‘others’ look at me they see contentment?

Contentment is the state of being happy and satisfied. Synonyms: pleasure, delectation, delight, enjoyment, gratification, satisfaction.

Contentment is the acknowledgement and satisfaction of reaching what is desired. As many of you know, I’ve sought this feeling of contentment for a while. Actually, I believe we all, but this post is about me, so therefore I should say I seek complacency (inner tranquillity).  Contentment is marked by the complacency and satisfaction that follows fulfilling a desire or letting it go.

In many ways, contentment, which can be defined as the state of being satisfied, is closely associated with the concept of happiness.

At this actual moment I can truly say I’m completely happy with what I have and who I am. I’ve accepted that I am the type of person who will always be striving for a goal, the type of person who enjoys a challenge, and who enjoys the journey. I will always be trying to improve myself or my situation, no matter how happy I am.

Contentment not only makes me happy, but it has transformed my life the past weeks. I’m completely satisfied with what I have and that is mainly due to my new job. For the first time in ages, I’m completely satisfied with the work I do.

Now, I won’t claim I don’t want stuff or have no desires. I still aspire things and have set myself some new goals. Yes, even after only 7 weeks in this new job.

The upside of being content is that you complain less. It seems that people can even see this contentment on my face. I shine! I have a more positive attitude. I’m optimistic.

All the railway disruptions (and believe me there are a lot) don’t deter me. Okay, maybe they do on the exact moment it occurs, but it doesn’t influence my mood all day.

To improve my contentedness, I count my blessings daily, when feeling a little down I stop and remind myself what good things I’m able to do at the moment. I stop regularly to think whether it’s a need or want. Because, wanting something leads to discontentment. I also reflect on my life, and all the good things in it, on a regular basis. I have daily gratitude sessions while in the shower, during a train ride or just before I close my eyes to go to sleep.

The nice thing about self-contentment is that it leads to confidence. I lacked confidence for a while. It made me anxious! I really believed for a while that the ‘others’ had more control over me than I had myself. I’ve come to appreciate me, again. I’m able to offer myself the same respect and kindness I give to others. I am at peace with myself again and therefore able to stand up for my convictions and be myself.

Why am I content (again)? Because I’ve been able to silence my inner critic. For a while I really became good at picking out and picking on the parts of myself I really liked the least. I was able to voice my faults and undermine my achievements. I’ve rid myself of negative people and organizations. I’m surrounded again by positive people and that makes all the difference. I also work in a positive environment again, and so I feel very satisfied. To remain confident or regain your confidence, you have to ensure that you are surrounded by positive environments – emotionally and physically. So if you have a chance to change your situation, please do. I’m content because the ‘others’ acknowledge my achievements and contributions. I like working in a sphere of influence that acknowledges my accomplishments positively. 

Contentment is something stable. It isn’t as fleeting as happiness. I only hope that I can hold onto this feeling of contentment for a long time!  Can you become a ‘contentment’ junky?

Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs offers many clues on how to balance desire and contentment holistically. By working on each building block consistently you can keep your desires balanced and avoid feeling dissatisfied once you've achieved contentment in one area of your life.

It is mainly because of my new job that I feel content (again). That is because all my needs are being met. What a woman can be, she must be. Self-actualization is the level of need that pertains to what a person’s full potential is and realizing that potential. In my previous two jobs, I wasn’t able to be who I was. My aesthetic needs weren’t being met. I didn’t feel appreciated for my critical reflection on ‘art, culture and nature’. My perceptive skills weren’t highly valued. it might have scared them, to see someone who is so in-tune with all their senses. Senses are physiological capacities that provide data for my perception. We have a multitude of senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. To name a few. We also have the ability to sense temperature, kinaesthesia, pain, and balance, to name some other stimuli.

Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand my world. My perception might not be your reality, but it is my reality. My new colleagues appreciate my perception on things.

What I absolutely love about this new job – I can listen less to what people say I need to do, and be able to look at what they are doing. I’m learning and can teach ‘others’ what I’ve learned.

So this was my Sunday post on my mellow state of contentment.

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for” ~ Epicurus (Greek philosopher, BC 341-270)

OEQC Veldhoven 2013

Saturday, the 19th was the first day of my autumn break. I drove to Veldhoven in my little VW Up.

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Here it is looking nice and shiny. I’m afraid, after my drive down to Veldhoven it returned looking a little less shiny. Won’t post a picture in its current state. I saw on the faces of some people that they were amazed how fast I flew past them. This little Up is fast! A very big Mercedes, I’m sure my Up would fit nicely on the back seat and there would be still room for someone else, wasn’t that happy. The driver had to show me that his car was faster, and superior. That put a big smile on my face, I can tell you. That was what he saw when he looked in his rear-view mirror.

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I arrived one minute earlier in Veldhoven than Mirjam. Considering where we both live, it was easier to drive separately. I had just parked my car and there she was. She was able to park her car next to mine. What is the chance for something like that to happen?

Here is my impression of this quilt exhibit.

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There were lots more quilts there, but I'm more of a traditionalist quiltmaker and not into Art Quilts, so my eye (camera) wasn’t focussed on the many projects that were on display by textile artists.  

It might only be me, but there weren’t as many quilts on display as there were at previous OEQC’s. Or is my memory playing tricks?

I bought these 2 necklaces from the booth vendor from Kashmir Heritage. Not the best picture, but you get the idea.

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A close-up. This is my kind of necklace! Love it!

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Maybe I should ask hubby to take a picture! It is really hard to take a picture of yourself with an iPhone. My arms are too short (lol).

I also bought this book!

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And saw this quilt at the QuiltMania booth

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As you may gather, I had to buy it. I have been admiring this book from afar for a while. The temptation was too great to resist.

Naturally bumped into some people we knew. I even bumped into my new colleague, who happens to be a quilter too.

I had myself a great afternoon.

Progress on Xmas Stitchery

Christmas is approaching fast! Only 65 more sleeps. This stitchery quilt won’t be finished this Christmas but I’m having lots of fun imagining how it will look when it does.

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Started on the left panel. If you really concentrate you can see the pattern that I draw (copied) on the fabric.

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This is how it will look once it is finished.

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I’m still deciding whether I will make the same centre quilt as in this pattern or that I’m going to make my own design. I’m also still searching for the right fabric. I know there are a lot of red and green fabrics out there, even special themed Christmas fabrics,  but I haven’t found anything that suits my taste. Not to worry, I first need to finish that left panel. I’ve got all the time in the world to find that special RED and GREEN fabric for the centre quilt and borders.

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Saturday, 12 October 2013

Quilt post!

It seems the days are flying by! It has been 4 weeks already since my last post and since our last Bee.

It is time to share another quilt Bee with you. I met some new quiltmakers and sadly missed some other quilters who weren’t able to come because of their busy schedules.

We had one virtual quiltmaker join us. She did some quilting in Turkey, while we were quilting in Putten. ‘Whatsapp’ makes it possible.

The stunning baby quilt is nearly finished. Jannie’s grandkids are pretty lucky. Wouldn’t you love having this hanging in your nursery?

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Yvonne is being creative! Love the apples and peanuts. Can’t wait to see how it looks when this project is finished.

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Quiltmakers – have you ever seen so many in one room?

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Dutch apple pie – appeltaart.

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A happy quiltmaker

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Hand quilted quilt

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Flying geese

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Hand quilting

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A ‘farmer’s wife’ quilt under construction

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This is absolutely awesome. Love this quilting supply notions satchel. Would love to make one, but I think this is too difficult for me.

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Love this label – Made By Me Happy

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This quilt is huge!!!

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The back of this ‘huge’ quilt

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Another creative project.

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What will this become?

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‘Me’ showing off the rightside panel of the ‘Twas the night before christmas – stitchery quilt’

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The above panel

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Stitching the last Christmas tree of this panel. Hope to be starting on the other ‘last’ left side panel soon!

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