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Messy and Imperfect Project Overview

Here is an overview of our Messy and Imperfect project. which is short for the real title which is: Life Is Messy, Imperfect And Probably A Fail But Time Is Running Out So Just Carry On And Do What Seems Best In The Moment.

This post provides links to pertinent aspects of this project, so that you won’t have to sift through the archives to find out what you want to know.

If you would like to try this project for yourself, you can start on Day One: It’s Day One, and then continue on thru to the last day: So It’s A Fail, posting your thoughts, ideas, results, joys and disappointments as you go. This is usually an active blog, and if you post, I will notice and reply… and give you the benefit of my own experience and support if it seems pertinent or appropriate.

There is a post for feedback on this project, which can be found here: How Did We Do?. So if you are trying to decide if it’s worth a little time and effort, it might be helpful to check that out.

We also have a Messy and Imperfect Image Gallery, which acts as a sort of visual index to the project. Each image is theoretically linked to the post in which it was shared, but you’ll have to find that link above the image itself because my gallery app is flawed.

Here is complete listing of the daily posts for the Messy and Imperfect project:

  1.  It’s Day One
  2. A Fresh Start?
  3.  Something Scary
  4. Moving Forward
  5. Seeds For Thought
  6. Getting Distracted
  7. Time Thieves
  8. Time Lords
  9. Exploring Altschmerz
  10. A New Day
  11. Ideas To Lighten The Mood
  12. Less Than Perfect
  13. Less Than Perfect Art
  14. Failed Perfection
  15. Deliberate Imperfection
  16. Repairing Perfection
  17. Nothing Is Perfect
  18. Shame
  19. It Matters
  20. Just Be Flawsome
  21. Enlivening Shakti
  22. Joy – Shakti
  23. Expanding Time
  24. Frittering My Time Away
  25. Is It Time For Magick?
  26. How To Really Slow Time Down
  27. Enjoy Every Moment
  28. Be Good To Yourself Therapy
  29. Respect your own handcrafted meaning…
  30. So It’s A Fail

I also just want to say thank you to everyone who encouraged me while I was doing this. This was one of my favorite projects, and I would never have followed through with it if it wasn’t for a good friend who agreed to randomly read my posts and hold me accountable if I dropped the ball. Also, a really big shout out to my wonderful and amazing family who listened to me go on and on about it. So… Thank you! Merci! Gracias!

The Messy and Imperfect Gallery

When we come to the end of a project, I always like to include a gallery of all the images I used to illustrate or decorate each post. Sometimes, pictures really do speak louder than words. Each image is theoretically linked to the post in which it was shared, but you’ll have to find that link above the image itself because my gallery app is flawed. So this is also a fairly simple  way to navigate this particular project.

Also, the images are loaded in random order, because I think this is more interesting.

How Did We Do?

For me, this project was pretty effective on a personal emotional level. Not sure how much it influenced my finances, but it really relaxed my internal critic which made my quality of life much better.

I’m pretty sure I was the only on actually “participating” this time around, although there were a couple of people who did take the time to look at what was posted, which was deeply appreciated.

There was a lot of good stuff that I found and shared, my personal favorites were:

So that’s the wrap up of the project this time around. If you happen to wander into this post, and decide to explore any of the links I shared, I’d love to hear your thoughts, your ideas, and/or your experiences.

So It’s A Fail!

As I was putting this project together, I came across a fair amount of “fail” memes, which are fun! Not sure exactly why we think its hilarious to watch other people fail, but it is. Maybe because we’re so glad that’s not us, maybe because it’s a huge relief to know we’re not the only idiots out there!

Anyway, I was feeling a little disappointed in the singular lack of participation in this project. I expected to be the only one here, and yet there was a small part of me hoping for at least one or two more… And that’s ok. I’ve learned a lot over the course of the project, which was the whole point of doing it in the first place. I can settle for being the only active participant.

So today I thought I’d post a tiny little gallery of fails. Something fun to cheer me up, let me know that I’m not the only idiot out there. And if you have stumbled into this post, or if you have been silently following along, here’s something to make you smile. Enjoy!

Respect your own handcrafted meaning…

There’s a plot of land inside your skull.
It is small and yours.
Touch it, feel the pulse of rain and sun.
You may think it’s too simple for a proper garden.
That wealth or fame won’t root there.
These are horizon thoughts.
The horizon is not your home.
This is.
Tend the garden.

Often, we hear that to be the hero of our own story is to seek praise and increasingly complex forms of ownership. We hear this from people who need us to participate in this shared fiction, either to validate their own participation or because they want to sell us something.

Yet, again and again we see that those who gain wealth or fame must wrestle with the sobering truth that external validation does not change the fundamental fact that we all live within our own internal gardens accompanied by whatever we’ve coaxed to grow there.

Respect the peace you grant freely to yourself.
Respect your own handcrafted meaning.
Respect the intimate comfort of small pleasures.
Respect simple consistency over grand intensity.
Respect the bedrock truth that your worth is not tied to your possessions or achievements.

And also this:

Moss is 300 million years old.
It is at home on every continent.
No roots. No towering trunks,
yet it tasted the air before the first feather,
before shrews stirred the leaf litter.
When your mind hisses like a kettle,
look to your elder, to the green lessons
of soft, simple quiet beneath the sun.

~The Cryptonaturalist

Be Good To Yourself Therapy

I found a cute little book in my personal library. It’s called Be Good To Yourself Therapy. It is a very simple short little book that details 37 rules for coping from day to day. There is some really good stuff here. Enjoy!

  • 1.  Trust yourself. You know what you want and need.
  • 2.  Put yourself first. You can’t be anything for anybody else unless you take care of yourself.
  • 3.  Let your feelings be known. They are important.
  • 4.  Express your opinions. It’s good to hear yourself talk.
  • 5.  Value your thinking. You do it well.
  • 6.  Take the time and space you need – even if other people are wanting something from you.
  • 7.  When you need something, don’t talk yourself out of it. Even if you can’t have it, it’s OK to need.
  • 8.  When you’re scared, let someone know. Isolating yourself when you’re scared makes it worse.
  • 9.  When you feel like running away, let yourself feel the scare. Think about what you fear will happen and decide what you need to do.
  • 10.  When you’re angry, let yourself feel the anger. Decide what you want to do; just feel it, express it, or take some action.
  • 11.  When you’re sad, think about what would be comforting.
  • 12.  When you’re hurt, tell the person who hurt you. Keeping it inside makes it grow.
  • 13.  When you see someone else’s hurt face, breathe. You are not responsible for making other people happy.
  • 14.  When you have work to do and you don’t want to do it, decide what really needs to be done and what can wait.
  • 15.  When you want something from someone else, ask. You’ll be OK if they say no. Asking is being true to yourself.
  • 16.  When you need help, ask. Trust people to say no if they don’t want to give.
  • 17.  When people turn you down, it usually has to do with them and not with you. Ask someone else for what you need.
  • 18.  When you feel alone, know there are people who want to be with you. Fantasize what it would be like to be with each of them. Decide if you want to make that happen.
  • 19.  When you feel anxious, let yourself know that in your head you’ve moved into the future to something scary and your body has gotten up the energy for it. Come back to the present.
  • 20.  When you want to say something loving to someone, go ahead. Expressing your feelings is not a commitment.
  • 21.  When someone yells at you, physically support yourself by relaxing into your chair or putting your feet firmly on the floor. Remember to breathe. Think about the message they are trying to get across to you.
  • 22.  When you’re harassing yourself, stop. You do it when you need something. Figure out what you need and get it.
  • 23.  When everything seems wrong, you are overwhelmed and need some comforting. Ask for it. Afterwards, you can think about what you need to do.
  • 24.  When you want to talk to someone new and are scared, breathe. Don’t start rehearsing, just plunge in. If it doesn’t go well, you can stop.
  • 25.  If you’re doing something you don’t like to do (such as smoking or overeating), stop. Think about what you really want. If you’re stuck and can’t think clearly, talk out loud to someone.
  • 26.  When you can’t think straight, stop thinking. Feel.
  • 27.  When you’re in need of love, reach out. There are people who love you.
  • 28.  When you’re confused, it’s usually because you think you should do one thing and you want to do another. Dialogue with yourself out loud or on paper, or present both sides to a friend.
  • 29.  When you feel harried, slow down. Deliberately slow your breathing, your speech, and your movements.
  • 30.  When you have tears, cry.
  • 31.  When you feel like crying and it’s not a safe place to cry, acknowledge your pain and promise yourself a good cry later. Keep your promise.
  • 32.  When somebody does you wrong, be actively angry with them.
  • 33.  When everything seems gray, look for color.
  • 34.  When you feel like a baby, take care of the baby in you.
  • 35.  When somebody gives you a gift, say “thank you.” That’s all you need to do. A gift is not an obligation.
  • 36.  When somebody loves you, just accept and be glad. Love is not an obligation. You don’t have to do anything in return.
  • 37.  If one of these rules seems wrong for you, talk about it with someone. Then, rewrite it so it fits for you.

Source: Be Good To Yourself Therapy by Cherry Hartman

How To Really Slow Time Down

Here’s a nice little article that I found really thought provoking. It speaks to how our perception of time seems to speed up as time goes by, why that happens, and what we can do to slow things down. Very interesting.

What we remember as “life” is the aggregation of our various experiences and moments that stretches from childhood to old age. While the minute-by-minute sensations are forgotten, the key moments and experiences — that jolt, change, delight or elevate us — remain long in the memory.

However, a fact of our “remembering” is that not all moments or experiences are remembered equally. Some experiences leave a lasting impression while others don’t. An experience of 10 years ago leaves a more lasting memory compared to one of 8 months ago.

And a strange fact is that we tend to remember more from late adolescence and early adulthood than from any other time in our lives. Various scientific studies have shown that experiences of adolescence to early adulthood tend to take an outsized chunk of our memories. This phenomenon has been called the “reminiscence bump.”

Of this phenomenon, 19th century British Poet Robert Southey wrote:

“Live as long as you may, the first twenty years are the longest half of your life. They appear so while they are passing; they seem to have been so when we look back on them; and they take up more room in our memory than all the years that succeed them.”

Why is that?

The Magic of First Moments

Scientists found that the human brain transcribes novel experiences better than mundane ones. For instance, a 1988 study found that 93% of vivid life memories concern unique or first-time events.

Therefore, the reminiscence bump seems to coincide neatly with the period of life that are stuffed with “firsts” (first relationship, first job, first time driving, first kiss, first child, first time leaving home, first time learning a skill). What happens is that the novelty of these “first moments” create such rich memories that the time of high school, college, and university appears to last forever.

Author Joshua Foer, in Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, writes that adolescence and early adulthood is

“the period that’s the most varied and exciting, that’s when you’re hitchhiking across the country, going on lots of dates, having interesting encounters and learning about things for the first time.”

“You’re going to remember your trip hiking across Peru”, Foer explained, “more that the year you spend sitting in your office doing the same job you’d been doing for the past five years.”

Indeed, most of us know the feeling well, how four years during your forties feel like it zoomed by in a flash. As we grow up and our lives get busier, time seem to fly by faster and faster. But of course, we know time is moving at the same rate as it did during adolescence when the days seemed to stretch out infinitely. So what changed?

Our perception of time.

How We Perceive Time

David Eagleman, a neuroscientist who extensively studied our brain’s perception of time, calls time a “rubbery thing” that changes based on novelty and mental engagement. His profile in the New Yorker, written by Burkhard Bilger, explained:

“This explains why we think that time speeds up when we grow older,” Eagleman said — why childhood summers seem to go on forever, while old age slips by while we’re dozing. The more familiar the world becomes, the less information your brain writes down, and the more quickly time seem to pass. “Time is this rubbery thing…it stretches out when you really turn your brain resource on, and when you say, ‘Oh, I got this, everything is as expected,’ it shrinks up.”

Our brains process familiar information quickly. But when new information is introduced, it takes our minds longer to organize and synthesize the data, making the experience more memorable. The memories made from fresh and exciting experiences are so dense and vivid that they create the perception that time is slowing down.

So, as it happens, the novelty of the “first moments” of early adulthood — where almost everything seems varied, new and novel — (appears to) slow down time and create rich memories. On the other hand, as we get older and get into the rut of routine and fall into predictable patterns with little or no pattern interruption, time (appears to) speed by.

So, how can we apply this knowledge to ‘slow down time’, break life’s monotony and create more enriching life memories?

1. Learn New Things

Learning is said to be “from cradle to the grave” but it’s only so in theory for many people. Many never pick up a book after college, or venture to learn a new skill long after traditional formal education is over. They settle into a comfortable stale routine from which they never escape.

The key however is to never stop learning. Actively seek to be a student of life. Come at everyday with your mind open, ready to squeeze all the learning you can get. There’s a whole lot to learn and life never stop teaching, if we never stop learning.

Go out of your way to harness the magic of more first moments. Read new things, ask questions, try new activities, learn to play a new instrument, cook a new recipe for dinner…

As a child and young adult, you asked questions about everything, you wondered about a lot. And even now at 30 or 50, life continue to reveal it’s beauty if you don’t lose your sense of wonder or stop asking questions.

Life is short, yes, but when you harness the power of first moments, frequently thrusting into the unfamiliar, doing and learning something new everyday, you can make it feel much longer.

2. Visit New Places

Few things have the power to snap us out of life’s monotony or push learning into overdrive than visiting places we’ve never been to before.

When you find yourself treading in the unfamiliar, you tend to pay more attention. And that’s the beauty of it. Your brain is alert, your senses are heightened, you take in new sensations at a rapid rate — you are truly present.

Visiting new places gives your brain the much needed stimulation and you’re forced to break old patterns. You can learn about different cultures, visit places of historical significance, meet wonderful interesting people in a way you’ll never be able to if you’re just reading from a book.

Sometimes visiting new places might not even mean traveling halfway around the world. Even simple things like exploring more of your immediate surrounding, taking new route to work counts, being more aware or conscious of your immediate surroundings helps you create those beautiful, longer-lasting memories.

3. Meet New People

Meeting new people is to come face to face with someone who has experienced life differently than you. Our experiences, memories, perception, worldview are all different. Thus, coming together can be a wellspring of new learning opportunities in a way we might not have even imagined.

And here’s a fact: everybody has something to teach us — even if what not to do.

Meeting new people forces us to slow down, to make more effort to process and understand a different perspective and makes sense of new things like names, facial features, body language, accents etc. And the potential is almost endless: new possibilities, lifelong friendship, and ample learning opportunities.

Summing It Up

What’s the common thread through this examples? Experiencing something new, different, novel. Because the truth is, it’s easy to settle into a routine where life becomes a blur, a hamster wheel of repetition — which tend to make it speed away from us.

The key to slow it down and enjoy enriching experiences is to intersperse routine and predictable patterns with randomness and novelty.

  • Try new things.
  • Do new things.
  • Learn new things.
  • Meet new people.
  • Visit new places.

That’s how to slow down time and create new meaningful and long-lasting memories.

Source: Jude King

Is It Time For Magick?

If you want to try your hand on time spells and move time faster when you are in a situation you don’t like and move it slower or stop it altogether when you are in a situation that you would like to prolong, these simple spells might be something to try.

Speeding Up Time

This spell is designed to make time fly, or at least feel like it is. Begin by outlining your altar with roses to form a circle. Next, light three candles and place them upon your alter. Cast your magick circle and repeat the following words:

“Father time by these candles three,
make my days, hours and minutes flee.
I cannot wait as the candles burn.
Time, time, quickly turn.”

If the candles are blown out, assume that your spell worked. If not, repeat the process at a later time until they do.

Slowing Time Down

Draw a Pentacle on your right hand with a blue pen. Visualize a sand clock as you draw with the sands falling slower, say:

Core go round,
power be bound,
interrupt the nature’s course,
time slow down,
I cast the spell
I say these words.

The spell will last for 24 hours or until the pentacle is erased, naturally or washed, so try not to get sweaty hands.

Freezing Time Spell

Draw a Pentacle on both hands. Clear your mind of all thoughts. This is essential for any and all spells to work well. Concentration on the task at hand is essential always and always. Chant the following:

“I call forth the goddess of time.
While the time is going by.
By second, minute, hour and day.
Bring it up as I say!
Bring the time up on my mental screen,
I call forth the goddess of time,
So mote it be!”

At this point you will be able to do with time as you wish. Freeze it, speed it up, move it forward or back.

Disclaimer

As usual, the more powerful you are, the more powerful the spell is. If you haven’t spent enough time practicing and studying, your spells won’t work. You must develop natural inner power in order for this freezing time spell to work. Learn as much as you can. If you are trying to jump in and do this spell with no experience, no work, no study, and no practice, chances are very good it will not work. You have to develop respect from the elemental spirits in order for these spells to work.

Again, the key to success with this freezing time spell is your natural power and inner skill. The only way to develop this power is through practice and study. The more spells and rituals you do, and the more study you do, the more in alignment you become with the natural magical forces of the universe. Then, and only then, will you be powerful enough to cast a freezing time spell.

Sources:

Frittering My Time Away

I just spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out what to talk about or share next. And in the process, I did a substantial amount of frittering about online and on my phone. And then, suddenly, voila! I found this little piece from the Chicago Tribune! It is cute and fun, and looks delicious.

Frittering away a fall afternoon

Fritters fritter away so little time. Thirty minutes to prep. Two minutes to crisp. One to munch. Thirty-three minutes isn’t frittering. That’s practically staying on task.

There are more effective fritterers than fritters. Consider the Internet, designed to delete whole afternoons. Or the leaf-dropping tree, capable of raking up an entire weekend. Or the World Serious, which requires the seriously observant to slump on the couch for a week, staring morosely and mumbling: “Bad call.”

The fritter, by comparison, is a fleeting distraction. All it requires is mashing cheese, shaping balls, then rolling them in flour, egg and breadcrumb. The triple jacket ensures a crisp outside and melting inside.

Hot from the pan-fry, the fritter goes nicely with a fall salad. It’s a pleasant diversion from computer, rake or couch. And always a good call.

Ricotta fritters

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 2 minutes per batch
Makes: 16 fritters (enough to accompany 4 servings of salad)

Ingredients:
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 slices white sandwich bread
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • 4 ounces mild goat cheese
  • ½ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese*
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Note: *Ricotta should be firm. Pour off any visible liquid. If ricotta seems very soft, drain in a cheesecloth-lined colander for 1 hour.

Grind: With food-processor running, drop garlic down the chute, buzzing it to bits. Break up bread and add to food processor along with a pinch of salt. Grind to fine fluffy crumbs.

Prep: Line up three plates: One holding flour, one holding egg mix and one holding the breadcrumbs.

Mash: Drop both types of cheese into a clean food processor. Swirl smooth. Briefly pulse in zest, chives, thyme, pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Shape: Use a 1 1/4-inch ice-cream scoop (or a tablespoon) to scoop cheese mix into balls. Drop the balls first in the flour, rolling to coat; then in the egg, rolling to coat; then in the crumbs, rolling to coat. Pat each ball into a disk, about 1 1/2-inches across and ½-inch thick. Let rest, uncovered, 15 minutes.

Crisp: In a heavy skillet, melt butter into oil over medium. Scatter in a pinch of salt. Add cheese pucks without crowding. Crisp to a golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining pucks.

Serve: Serve fritters alongside any salad. Enjoy.

Provenance: Inspired by TWO Restaurant, Chicago.

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We just completed a Messy and Imperfect project, and expect to begin a new one soon.

You can visit our current project page to find out more about what we are working on. Check out the About The Project page if you are curious about the concept.

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