Driving, Fat Shaming and Habit Triggers......

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Yesterday I drove to St. Louis to install work in an exhibition at St. Louis Community College at Meramac.  I am very excited for this exhibition as I was able to create new work this spring and summer.  I LOVE having this freedom to create work for a space.  I would love to thank Betsy Morris in believing in my art and giving me this great opportunity.  I will be posting the installation process in the next two days.

I was in the car 8 hours yesterday.  I was actually looking forward to listening to some audio books and thinking without interruption.  The first book I choose was the Mindy Kaling book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?"  This is not the most intellectually stimulating book that one would expect for a person on sabbatical....but it was funny and also a bit insightful of contemporary culture in the United States.  You see, I have just binge watched the first three seasons of The Mindy Project this last week as I was weaving/sewing for this exhibition.  This TV show is hilarious and is a must watch for anyone with a sense of humor.  I find Mindy Kaling hilarious!  She is honest and real.  If we are honest with ourselves we all have a bit or a lot of Mindy inside of us.  I love in her TV show she plays the token FAT woman.  She is inundated with fat comments and shrugs each one off as she has confidence and love for her average not skinny body.  It is as if she is shining light on how these fat comments are ridiculous.  Her autobiography discussed her body image and fat shaming culture at length.  She writes that she is a size 8.  Say what?  That is not fat in any way shape or form.  And for a very brief moment I thought to myself that she doesn't have the right to talk about being fat.  But that thought quickly went away as judging someones experience isn't my business. This thought is part of the problem in our society....we are so quick to judge and dismiss someone's experience or life.  Then I thought that being a size 8 in Hollywood is humungous!  

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Shortly after passing through Kansas City on was on to book number two.  I pressed play on the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.  I thought for sure I would listen for 5 minutes and then try to find something else to listen to for the next 3 hours.  But I was wrong.....this was so interesting!  I haven't finished this book and will post an update after my drive back home.  But so far it is very interesting.  He wrote a lot about science, brain studies and how the brain harnesses habits.  I started this book in an effort to help me start to create new healthy habits but also to break my bad habits.  I kept thinking about how this book could help me in many aspects of my life.  Helping students create art making habits, like drawing everyday.  Or my son needs lots of help creating new healthy habits like eating more than 5 foods and potty training.  Duhigg wrote about needing a Trigger for every habit.  For example, if you want to create a habit for a running in the morning.  So a trigger would be to put on your running shoes as soon as you get out of bed.  This trigger will help jumpstart the habit.  It is Trigger, Habit, Reward.  So after the run the reward could be a special coffee in the afternoon, or maybe just feeling healthy and strong after the workout.  I have always known about the reward part for habits, but not the trigger.  During the school year I would come home from school and automatically change into workout clothes.  This unknowingly was my trigger.  Sometimes I would not work out until 9pm but more times than not I would work out. HMMMMM........what triggers could I make for Lucas and his eating or triggers for going to the potty.  I have always focused on the rewards and this rarely works.  Maybe I am going at this all wrong.  The motivator or the reward for Lucas always changes and are usually expensive and very rarely works.  I should turn it around and focus on the trigger.

I look forward to driving home and finishing this book.  I will definitely have more to write about.  I am off to install today!!!

Finding my Center

Finding my center is a journey of discovery, authenticity and renewal.

Somewhere as I was juggling my son with autism, my teaching, my students, my studio practice and my marriage, I lost my center. My world was full of uncertainty, unrest, continual judgment and shame.  I lost my health and sense of identity. Change needed to take place and that change needs to start with myself.

This blog will document my journey back to finding my center.  I will focus on my health as I post workouts and clean/healthy food.  I will focus on my studio practice.  I will create art that emphasizes renewal and daily meditation through the act of spinning fiber into yarn, weaving and drawing.  I will continue to reach out to underserved communities for art projects and experiences.  I will share amazing people that have influenced and added meaning to my life.