Living in a big and busy city like London, we inevitably become moulded into what this city makes us: people who are always striving for success. We compare ourselves with those around us, uncomfortable when we come out like the worse one (at least in our heads). We are made to think that we can’t settle for the minimum.
To be honest, I think that’s part of the beauty of living here. People, places and who we are are constantly changing. We are always learning new things from new people and experiences. This can be tiring though.
This morning, I felt that tiredness. My emotions were in the driving seat. "Am I just kidding myself?” “This weaving thing is a pipe dream! Why did I ever think this was going to work?” “What right do I have to think that my work will be better than anyone else's?” “I’m not entrepreneurial, why did I even think this could work, if I’m the one who is making this happen?” And so on.
But I decided to fight it. I picked up Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday and started reading. And in the space of an hour, I learned some great lessons that both inspired me gave me the kick up the weaving butt that I needed.
Here are some quotes that stood out to me:
Too often we react emotionally, get despondent, and lose our perspective. All that does is turn bad things into really bad things. Unhelpful perceptions can invade our minds - that sacred place of reason, action and will - and throw off our compass.
We decide what we will make of each and every situation. We decide whether we’ll break or whether we’ll resist… Our perceptions are the thing that we’re in complete control of.
Starting a business from scratch is (surprise, surprise!) harder than I thought it would be. It would be weird to not come across challenges, but this book has helped me ground my emotions a little bit more. We can’t control those, but we can control our reactions and how we deal with things that are unplanned and difficult. It is in those moments that we truly grow.
So, what will become of this weaving journey? I don’t know exactly. My impatient and anxious heart demands to know precisely what will happen, but I need to learn that the process and the journey is what makes it exciting and worthwhile. I need to keep reminding myself that the successes will be even more sweet because of the obstacles.
As Haley Nahman wrote in her newsletter Maybe Baby yesterday “You’re allowed to set your own rules around what success looks like. You’d sooner fail by letting someone else choose.” I definitely won’t be letting my anxieties choose what success is.
I’m going to choose to not hold onto success too tightly. If I put too much pressure on it to fulfil my every need, it might crush me. Instead, I’m going to stick to a plan and see what happens. Just like when I'm weaving a piece, the outcome might be different from what I imagined, but I need to remember that's what makes it so exciting!
What I’ve been working on
Inspired by Abakanowicz’s show at the Tate Modern, I was mesmerised by her huge woven pieces taking on a persona of their own. They felt like alien presences.
I am interested in the feeling when confronted by the woven object. Abakanowicz, 1971
Here’s are some quick sketches that aren't 100% there but it’s a start in developing ideas. Feels kind of weird letting you all in on this stage!! (A little more abstract than CRISPS!) I’ll be writing more on this after some more experimentation.
I’m also writing scripts and plans for filming tutorial videos that will go with my Backstrap Loom Kits. These will enable you to learn how to set up a backstrap loom from scratch for tapestry weaving, learn how to make patterns and finish your pieces. Keep your eyes peeled for work in progress for this! You can buy a Loom Kit already if you're interested.
Backstrap Loom Kit
Hope you’re all having a good start to your weeks. As always, thanks for reading!
Until next time,