Its only been in the last decade that I have been open to receive from others. I grew up with privilege all around me, which continued in the early part of my adulthood. Then, as things happen, life changed and I was a single parent struggling to make ends meet and working my fingers to the bone. I learned that if I wanted flowers, I had to plant them in my own garden. I discovered that I had to earn and pay for what I wanted, and so set my sights on our family needs first.
Most material objects are really only meaningless trinkets. A person can gather and hold onto it all as if it gives us value. Until one day, all the stuff needs dusting and almost pushes us to the wall of our homes because it takes up the space.
When I opened to receive, it wasn't so much for things as it was opening to receive friendship and love, kindness and nurturing. Joining some of the swaps brought that. And of course, it has brought me some insights about myself.
I have two quilts left to finish for this year. This pic represents the project I started for the teacher gifts at the preschool. Left to right here is the table topper for Halloween, one for Thanksgiving and finally the project for Christmas.
Teachers at this preschool exchange gifts for each of the months; 'You've Been Boo-ed' for October, 'Thanks for You' in November, and 'Elfed' in December. Teachers usually spend their own money for their classroom decorations and curriculum. In giving to a teacher at this little school, it helps her with that expense, but it is also giving to all the kids, which in return, gives to our community. How I receive from this is in knowing that a better world is created by helping make happy adults who teach and work with happy children, who grow up to run the country.
Most of the fabrics pictured above have been given to me. Most of the fabric I have has been given to me over the last few years because I was open to receive. Yes, they were left-overs from stash others had that they no longer needed, or from estates other quilters left behind. There is a sort of divine power that exists in the world and in each of us that makes all things possible and precious if and when we are open to that flow.
Its not about shopping, or gathering, or hoarding as much as it is being part of a system that shares resources. We have to give to receive, and in my case, receive to keep on giving.
In some swaps I have participated in, the giver has sent far more than the swap requirements. Generous people out there! They find a joy in giving. And now, I find a joy in receiving. And there is an evolutionary growth necessary to receive. Sometimes what I get is not what I might buy for myself, and rather than whine about it not being the right color, or style...whatever....I figure out a way to use it in my fabric art and make something I like from it. It is re-purposing and may become re-gifting.