25 January 2015

.snow day.




It's been a very dry New England winter, cold but dry. So when I woke up yesterday morning I was surprised and a little excited to see the huge snowflakes rapidly falling. Maybe it was just the change - the new energy that it brought. I've always loved fresh snow for it's ability to make things feel so quiet and calm. I walked to my jewelry studio and the city seemed so zen - like the snow had forced (allowed) all these busy people a chance to slow down - to take a breath. Or maybe it allowed me to take a breath from the city. 

20 January 2015

.expectations.


Expectations.

Always seem to sneak up into my mind without me even noticing. This weekend I was still on the mend from the flu and embracing this cold weather I delved into myself and spent 14 hours between Saturday and Sunday in the jewelry studio working on a new collection that is slowly revealing itself to me. It's really magical to watch the process unfold and feel myself tense up and let go as the  pieces morph into what they will become. BUT expectations. Saturday right in the middle of that strong free flowing river of creative energies something occurred that made my body tense up, heart sink and my eye well up. The shift in energy was so dramatic. 

What happened?

I knew exactly what happened. I didn't get what I wanted. I gave something with hidden expectations. When it was returned NOT in the way I wanted I gave it all my disappointment/energy. This is a thing that I do. I keep looking outside. I keep grabbing onto something. I keep doing things for something. I woke up this morning and was graciously reminded that nothing is going to come back in the exact way that I want/need/expect. By giving out all my good energies with expectations I only end up draining myself.

Stop running away from myself. Stop searching outside of myself.

When I acknowledge that love/validation can only be found inside of myself ONLY then I can appreciate anything that IS given to me as gift - love. To truly realize that I am receiving the best that can be given (which will most likely be different than I want/expect) in that moment  - the best, that is beautiful. 

Oh winter I don't know if you have even taught me so many lessons.
Much Love.

08 January 2015

.weather for the soul.

a central washington winter a few years ago.
I woke up this morning to a broken furnace and no heat at my house. The outside temperature was 1 degree. One degree. I am not a winter person. I’ll take a summer day any day – everyday.

I was complaining about the weather to a friend who is a New England native and they said, this weather is for the development of the soul. It stopped my words and made me think. The development of the soul? I've been thinking about those words today and realized the truth in them. The way in which winter/bitter cold forces me to dive into myself/move slower/just be in a way that I find so challenging.

In this way winter offers a gift to me that the fun lightness/energy/fun of summer never could. I rode my bike to work yesterday, it was 16 degrees. I've never ridden my bike in weather colder than 20 degrees. It was a shocking stinging pain despite all the layers. I found a new level of endurance and mind over matter in the cadence of the ride, a determination and focus that I had to access.

And then I read this quote in another blog this morning:

“When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. . . . Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.”

- Hermann Hesse

All thoughts flowing together, all we have is this moment. Express gratitude for the elements that help us dive inside to that place to better understand “home”, to develop our souls or open our eyes to new layers of awareness. Whatever words you associate with the process of understanding all the things we don’t understand.

Much love to you all.
Stay warm and embrace the season. 

01 January 2015

.2015.


“These are times of decision, of change, of choice….it’s time for something to go, something to be removed. Anything that is inhibiting, holding us back, it can be a belief it can person, it can be a job, it can be a country…It can be anything that is holding us back. Now needs to go…it’s like we are being stripped of our known familiar sense of security, sense of identity, sense of who I am.”

“…So what is coming up now for so many of us is a new future…birth of the new always requires the separation from the known, familiar, secure past. It can be beautiful, it’s a flowering, it’s an opening, it’s a creation, and it can be very scary…

“…Now is the time for planning this future, and it’s a very good time for doing that and preparing ourselves…the ship’s gonna leave the port, the new paradigm is going to take off, and now we are packing our bags and have to decide what to leave and what to take….you cannot take everything with you. Now it’s time to choose.”
mysticmamma


What a sweet tender trying year this has been. I hold SOOO much gratitude for the pathway that so gently slowly brought me here.

I stayed out way to late/early last night for New Years Eve but the beautiful part of that is due to lack of sleep I had a slow day which allowed me to keep a quiet space for reflection and processing. I took time to reflect on some of these questions. I highly recommend doing this activity.

2014 was a travelling year for me. A year in which I visited all corners of the states by car, bus, bike and plane. A year of travel that forced me to let go of my control (plans) and let myself feel/face that discomfort.

Someone asked me once "What is the best gift you've ever received?" I had to really think about what the question was asking and when I understood I said "the kindness of strangers". People ask me, Why do you travel so much? Why can't you stay in one place? And the only way to answer these questions and what I was so fiercely reminded of this year is the kindness of strangers (humans). That powerful human connection that can only happen when vulnerability is being practiced. I am not good at being vulnerable but traveling (the unknown) forces me to be vulnerable, to ask for help - to accept the help - to practice gratitude for the kindness of strangers and kindred spirits alike. It's in THAT space that I can see the world/humans/my journey in the most beautiful/purest of light. This year has been SO fruitful and overwhelming and exhausting because of vulnerability.

So much gratitude and love for everyone reading these words may they remind you of the challenges from this past year that have strengthen you and help you to let go of the ones that weakened you. THIS is a brand new moment of infinite possibilities.

Much love to you.

26 December 2014

.turquoise.


The Native Americans honor turquoise as a sacred stone due to it's ability to absorb negative energies. Turquoise is believed to bring strength and healing to the wearer of the stone. Is that why it's such a feel-good stone?

I finished the turquoise holiday commissions. It was really special for me to be able to create these pieces. They have such a southwest energy to them. I was daydreaming about Joshua Tree while I was making them. Have you been? It's such a magical place. So combining the magic of Joshua Tree and turquoise I made a collage to show off the aeo wares. 

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday filled with warmth, good eats and reminders of love.

onwards and upwards to 2015.

-------------------------
www.aliciaeo.com

24 December 2014

.happy eve.




Today one year ago I was picking up my sister at the El Paso airport. She was picking me up at the end of one road and helping me start on a new road.We celebrated Christmas with a paper tree taped to my bedroom wall and our family’s famous Christmas morning sticky buns before loading up the last bits into my car and heading west on I-10. 

I think about that moment and feel a warm wave of nostalgia - all the FUN we had on the open road - exploring the warm winter days of the beautiful southwest. I am so grateful to have a sister who is my partner-in-adventure. Wish we were doing it all over again this year!

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

19 December 2014

.studio time lessons.

The process of creating/creation/creativity is one I have traveled so many times and yet it seems that I still find myself reacting to the ebb and flow of it all. I am back in the studio. I am so excited to be back in the studio and actively creating wares. Whenever I return to a studio space after a while I have to find my rhythm and balance all over again. The process of creating. My emotions flow from excitement to overwhelmed to overstimulated to frustrated to angry to emotional victim (in the worst/most stressed situations!) and then...balance.

I was commissioned to make earrings and a pendant for the holidays. I have a tight deadline to get them in the mail and a very busy work/life schedule this month. Last night I went into the studio late to “finish” the earrings and start on the pendant. It had already been a very long day and I had already restarted the earrings 4 times. I was quickly transitioning from a place of frustration to anger. I started finishing up the earrings with polish but something still didn’t feel right. I was in the final polish phase and one of the prongs broke off. I was so frustrated. It was late and realizing I was going to start the earrings all over for the 5th time. I called my sister for some design/logistic support, as I always do. I was so tired and just started listing off all the reasons I could validate my victim label…I haven’t had enough time, I haven’t been in the studio for a while, I  don’t have the materials I needed, I don’t like working with stones, I don’t have a local store to go to, I have too much work this week, I have too much going on, I am not inspired in the city….just feeling the role of emotional victim establish roots in my mind and body. I started to hear what I was saying and started feeling the knot in my stomach tighten as I added to the long list of victim validations. It wasn't working. It wasn't helping. I wasn't moving forward. I went back to my bench and pushed the earrings aside and started working on the pendant because it knew where I wanted to go with the pendant. I started feeling stronger and confident in the piece. I felt energized to be progressing on it. I ended up staying super late but I finished the pendant and started working on the earrings. A design idea/solution for the earrings came to me as I was finishing up the pendant.

I realized/acknowledged for the first time in a while that this is just the process of creating/creation/creativity. It’s the ebb flow of things but when I hold onto a phase or react it only dampens the process and holds me back. I was graciously reminded to let go. To not hold on so tightly. To not react to things so strongly. I need to see one side in order to understand the other side – that is how it will always be but the emotions of that process are within my power.

And then this morning I found this on a blog I love,

“The search for security is an illusion. In ancient wisdom traditions, the solution to this whole dilemma lies in the wisdom of insecurity, or the wisdom of uncertainty.”

“This means of the search for security and certainty is actually an attachment to the known. And what’s the known? The known is our past. The known is nothing other than the prison of past conditioning. There’s no evolution in that…”

“Uncertainty, on the other hand, is the fertile ground of pure creativity and freedom. Uncertainty means stepping into the unknown in every moment of our existence. The unknown is the field of all possibilities, ever fresh, ever new, always open to the creation of new manifestations…”

“In your willingness to step into the unknown, you will have the wisdom of uncertainty factored in. This means that in every moment of your life, you will have excitement, adventure, mystery…”

“When you experience uncertainty, you are on the right path so don’t give it up. You don’t need to have a complete and rigid idea of what you’ll be doing next week or next year, because if you have a very clear idea of what’s going to happen and you get rigidly attached to it, then you shut out the whole range of possibilities…”

I need to remember to be more open to this journey. To let the process take me where I need to go. Whether I am in the studio or at work or with the newness of 2015 - it's all the same lesson.

YES YES YES!