I haven't read the book, nor seen the movie, although I probably will - who doesn't love Julia Roberts? Everyone seems to have an opinion, though. I've been a little busy lately so I'm still on the fence about whether I should take the time to read it. I know people who absolutely LOVED this book and others who claim it's self-indulgent drivel. By a rich lady no less. I have a blog so I know all about self-indulgent drivel, LOL. Chances are good I'd love it.
If you haven't heard, the bestselling book, Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, is about a woman who is desperately unhappy with her life and decides to take a yearlong journey around the world to find personal and spiritual fulfillment. It's been touted as great for it's honesty and enlightenment. Oprah endorsed it. It's also been slammed for the author's self-absorption and superficiality.
I haven't been in the author's shoes. Or even close. I've had my own struggles over time, however, and most of you have had them too, I'll bet. Having kids just doesn't allow you to become too self-absorbed, LOL. And what I know is this - that when things get tough, quilters know that they don't have to travel the world to escape - quilting takes them on a journey right where they are.
In addition to tough, our lives get so busy at times - we become slaves to the calendar, e-mail, errands, traffic, the TV, our kids. Most of us share this though - quilting is the thing we've found that brings us back. Sometimes we need to be reminded of that. Take a breath, steal a few minutes, make a small project.
And, like the author says - eat some good food, too. No need to travel far and wide for excellent food, though. Proof: I made a mean Beef Stroganoff in my very own kitchen last night! Indulge in some chocolate. Take a walk in nature.
There's a Botanic Garden with waterfalls and a Japanese garden a few minutes from where I live. I walk there sometimes if it's not too hot outside. I'm thinking I should bring some quilting the next time I go and just stop and relax after the walk.
No time for a quilt? Here's a pincushion that will take you all of a 1/2 hour to make: Cut 1-inch scrap strips and sew together. Trim to a 3 1/2" x 4 1/2 " rectangle. Sew some decorative stitches along the seams with colorful thread. Cut a piece of fabric the same size for the back. Right sides together, stitch 1/4 inch all around, leaving an opening. Turn right side out, stuff, and sew the opening shut. So cute. Therapy, I call it.
Right now I'm in the process of hand quilting the next quilt for the American Schoolgirl Club - "Clarissa's Garden." Oh my, you're going to love it. (Yes, I know, I'm behind, please forgive me. You WILL get your patterns later this month, I promise.) When I quilt without watching TV, I'm oblivious to time or space - my mind quiets and my focus turns inward. If I have a question, sometimes it gets answered while I'm quilting. If I'm upset, calmness returns after a bit.
Do we need to go to a mountain in Tibet to find peace? Maybe not. Confucius said: "No matter where you go, there you are." The spiritual journey is usually a journey within ourselves, no escaping that. I don't feel like I need to go anywhere to find a balance - I just quilt.