Spiralling around again

Growing up, I recall my parents hosting a “wine and cheese” party in the first house I grew up in. I think it might have been as my father was getting into local politics, but I was probably around 10 so I’ll go with what my perception of it was.

I do not recall being around for the soirée itself, but I was around for the preparations and I was imprinted with the “hostess” energies from that moment onwards.

When we moved to the house I spent my teen years in, it took me a few years, but once I was in high school, I started hosting my own parties…theme parties at that!

-Toga party- because I loved playing with fabric and wanted an excuse to create a draped gown;

-50’s party so that I could make up a beautiful dress pattern I had found, and I got to make my BFF a poosdle skirt

-60’s in Paris party – I had found another cool pattern and made this amazing black Audrey Hepburn type two piece top and skirt, and a faux stained glass wall piece depicting the Eiffel Tower.

And my high school  friends were so awesome, they came in costume and we had a blast- at least that’s what I recall.

My grandmother also contributed to that imprinting as we usually went to see my grandfather and her every Sunday; there were classic items always on the menu- butterscotch pie, cream puffs, meat pie, baked beans, and various squares and cookies.

It was comforting, it was tradition, it was good.

In the intervening years, depending on where I was living and what my life was like at the time, I have continued to enjoy hosting and offering a safe and funny place for people to sit, chat, meet new folks, and reconnect with old friends, etc.

And about 4 years ago, my anxiety started to get worse, and I had to start looking at ways to reduce my stress. While hosting events and parties was still fun, it was part of a larger picture of “too much”, and I started to cut back.

Retiring from organizing official events was the first step, and when we had to move into the ” interim apartment”, we hosted one party there and then shifted away from it.

This past weekend, we celebrated with friends in our new apartment-one in which my husband has been exercising a joyful amount of decorating savvy, and I get my own studio/room!

So, we cleaned, hung photos and art pieces, prepped food and one friend commented in advance, “don’t go nuts!”….

too late…

And it was nice. I still need to make sure I do not resume the ” Too much” inclinations of my youth, I am happy to have spiralled back to a place of healthy hosting.

 

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Celebrating the Wedge.

I live in a great little neighbourhood that is “just colourful enough” – there are folks from all over the world who live and settle in the variety of rentals and owned homes, and yesterday some of the folks held a party

Awesome block party – #thewedge #lowertown #bordeleaupark

A post shared by Tracey A Vibert (@tavcreations) on Jul 15, 2017 at 4:07pm PDT

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I met people I did not even realize lived so close to me, met lots of dog parents who I had seen many times but did not know their names, and generally stayed up way too late and had a great time.

Once in a while, do something fun in your neighbourhood.

Day off…so…Beer Biscotti (ish)

We tried the French Press Vanilla Stout a few days ago and @wtl rated it an abomination. I was not so harsh, I deemed it bread worthy.


So I poured it into a bowl and added about 3 cups of white flour ( it’s what I had on hand). I also added about ¼ cup cocoa and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon.

I stirred it and left it to percolate. 

For 2 days.

I was really busy.

This morning I looked at it – added enough flour to get a good kneaded bread texture.

Then instead of trying to let it rise any further, I figured just bake it already.

350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

The top sounded hollow so I took it out.

But it was not really full baked.

So I sliced it like biscotti and baked it for about 10 minutes each side.

Icing sugar and vanilla glaze when it came out.

Not too bad.

The morning after – feeling grateful

Last night was the Tribal Fluid show- Ostara Tribal Showcase.Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 6.28.01 PM

It was a lovely event in an intimate theatre at Algonquin College, and had a very warm and connected feeling about it.

Part of this feeling for me was definitely coming from a place of relaxation. I was not in charge, I just needed to be told where to go, when to go there and otherwise could relax in the green room and enjoy the company of dancers of all levels and characters!

Seeing Audra of The Dark Side Studios  and Kala, both of whom I keep track of on IMG_2609social media #notastalker, had met years ago, and thoroughly enjoy seeing the projects they work on through their dance, was fun, silly and totally a laugh and a half.  These women are power house dancers with immense talent and constantly push boundaries and embrace and support others in their journeys. And they are so very down to earth. They rock.

Although the general theme of the show was under the larger umbrella of “tribal“, the performances were varied and creative across the board, with every dancer/ group showing something close to their heart, or testing their own boundaries and trying something new.

IMG_2598It was an honour to both perform as part of Bollywood For Fun, and to be asked to do a  solo.

 

 

On my own journey, I am on the inward part of my spiral, Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 8.42.46 AMexamining my own roots in dance from a new perspective. I began with ballroom/ latin and I am exploring that a little bit – and seeing where that takes me.

When I began belly dance, I did not perform to middle eastern music, and I have maintained that as part of my general repertoire. As I explore the realities of cultural appropriation, and a constant examination and re-examination of my choices in regards to this beautiful dance form, there is a lot of soul searching going on, and while I have no clear answers, I do want to respect the culture, and be true to my own love of dance from my own place of honouring it.

IMG_2593As I say, I have not come to any conclusions other than I can constantly strive to respect the source of the dance, and try to represent it in an elegant way, educating people with my own limited knowledge and re-directing them to more educated master teachers to spread awareness and appreciation for this gorgeous dance form.

So back to gratitude, as I do have that privilege of working with amazing performers and community members.

Great job Tracy and crew – it does get easier. Keep notes, repeat what worked, adjust what didn’t, ask for help when you need to and I hope you get today off!

Click on this one to see more!
Ostara Tribal Showcase

 

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Calming measures: almond cookies

Some days I need to settle my molecules with the calming effects of baking. Building heat is off making it hard to focus on work. So dual benefit of warming part of the space plus…cookies! 


Original recipe :


Oven 350 degrees; bake on parchment lined cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes ; makes 30 cookies.

My variation- same baking info:

  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups ground almonds/almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons white chocolate mini chips 

66 calories per cookie.

Enjoy.

That mental health stuff…

Yesterday was the Bell Let’s Talk day so, that’s cool. Folks started sharing, and Bell will give money – that’s a good thing.

I saw someone post that they “did not need Bell to tell them to talk about mental health issues.” and I thought, wow – shouldn’t we be supporting both the big and small initiatives that bring positive attention to mental health issues?  Why put down something that might be the ONLY WAY others will even begin to feel like they can talk about it.

Now there is a counter-argument to the Bell adventures well expressed here, that addresses a larger issue of our present love/hate relationship with technology. But until  something takes out all of our infrastructure, this < internet and phones> is one of the ways we reach each other.

And yes, mental health should be talked about all year long, and my social media streams are FULL of people taking the initiaive on their own to share their stories and  express their situations throughout the year. But that’s the social media stream of me, a creative person with creative friends from all walks of life who have created our own safe community in which we can be purple whacky on occasion, as we know we are not alone.

Thank you, Bell, for doing something to bridge the gap between those of us who are struggling daily with a variety of issues, but do have a safe place to talk, and those who would be dismissed or treated with disdain if they really told people what was going on in their minds.

I also read this article and shared it – so here it is again – loads of the people who do not feel comfortable talking about it are high functioning…”anxietists “< that’s not a word. I’m being lazy/creative>:

https://themighty.com/2017/01/high-functioning-social-anxiety-mental-illness/

So, if you have read this far, here’s a bit of my journey. I’ve done therapy a couple of times with different levels of therapists.  One test I took to determine my level of anxiety < I had developed random panic attacks> put me at 60-65% on the scale. 50% meant you were fine, and not really needing therapy, so I was just dipping a toe into the pool of purple whacky.

When I had first talked to my physician about the panic attacks, I was told by this very athletic woman to,” Just go for a run”. Hi, have you met me. I don’t run unless it’s to catch the bus or my dog.  and even then…

Her tone was dismissive, reinforcing the voices already in my head that told me to get over myself already.  I know what I have to do to be healthy – eat better, exercise more, get proper sleep…blah,blah,blah.

But there are the other voices that say, “You are self employed, and cannot refuse work, so you must work as much as possible;  and YOU MUST BE PERFECT WIHT EVERYTHING YOU DO. You must do all the things, you don’t have time to cook a proper meal so just grab something quick and yummy.”

I try to exercise regularly < dancing and walking> and try to mix things up every once in a while with different activities to prove to myself I’m not totally out of shape – which by the way – is how I feel in my head most of the time.

I try to eat healthy and prepare meals, but reality in my world, I have a niche clientele that I predominantly cater to and “Bridal season” is even longer now than it once was. And convenience is a thing.  But yes, I feel guilty every time I choose something easy and hopefully semi healthy over fresh – but budget and time are factors, so that’s a thing too.

AS I type this, All I can hear is – excuses!!! these are just excuses!!!

So, yeah – it’s constant.

And I should get to work. because while I know that work is a distraction from focusing on me, I also have bills to pay and clients that I want to serve in my best possible way.

Oh, and in my sewing business, when I don’t achieve the perfect finished garment – OMG – it’s a shower of self doubt, why do I do this, I’m not good enough to claim I can do this. I do make to not express my disappointment in myself nor be a disappointment to my clients < I know there are some unresolved issues in there>, and I apologize to those  clients who have seen the darkness creeping out through the cracks in the veneer.

But we are supposed to talk about this mental health stuff right?

sprocketmeditation

OHM