Goodbye for now

Dear reader,

You may have noticed that I have been unusually quiet as of late.

I could list numerous excuses for not publishing updates over the past few weeks, but I will not.

In truth, blogging has started to feel like a chore as of late, rather than something that I truly enjoy. I have been losing steam steadily over the past few months; supportive emails from fellow yogis and mindfulness practitioners have continued to provide me with the boost I felt I needed to keep going. When I started this blog, it became an outlet for my musings on mindfulness as a lifestyle. I am grateful for having been able to share my stories of intentional living with you. Many of you, over the past three years, have left meaningful comments for me and sent emails that have inspired and challenged me. It has been a pleasure to discover that a sense of community can be found on the internet.

At the start of the new year, I took a step back to consider my goals and prospects for 2018. I have frequently written here about my intention to create simplicity and space amid an otherwise whirlwind pace of life. At this time, there are several new creative projects that demand my focus. For those reasons, I have made a decision to retire Mindful Daydreamer.

I want to thank you all for taking the time to read my words and helping me to create a warm corner in this vast and often intimidating online world.

My warmest wishes to you, and Namaste. Perhaps our paths will cross again in the future.

Kindly,

Katia (Mindful Daydreamer)

 

I have been phubbed

I was in the midst of leading a pilates class, guiding the group through a short meditation and breathing exercise, when a woman on a mat directly in front of me, in the centre of the room, nonchalantly picked up her mobile phone and began to scroll. Before I proceed with the story, allow me to reassure you, dear reader, that the majority of people who attend my classes do not need to be reminded to put away their phones prior to the start of class. This woman, whom I had not seen previously, must either not have been aware of the common etiquette or chose to ignore it.

The following day, I learned that there is a term for what happened to me: phubbing.

Perhaps she felt bored or found it challenging to sit with her eyes closed and focus on her breath. She is not alone in that. Later, however, when I guided the group through a challenging flow that focuses on strengthening the core and upper body, she missed my instructions whilst distracted by her mobile, then proceeded to practise push-ups precisely the way in which I asked the group to refrain from practising in an effort to prevent discomfort or a potential injury.

Questions ran at the back of my mind, and I allowed them to arise as I later drove home. Did she find my class boring? In class, I remained focused and did not allow my thoughts to venture into an analysis. During the drive, however, I felt myself becoming annoyed. I reminded myself to be compassionate, to consider that perhaps she is dealing with a personal issue and that is why she feels distracted. Then again, I retorted, perhaps she is simply dealing with a major case of FOMO.

I know better than to take personally the manner in which a student reacts to my instruction. I do my best to lead classes from an authentic place, but I am in control of very little of what actually takes place on the mats of the people in my classes. I instruct the group to ease into a pose, to breathe deeply, to soften and engage, to remain focused. I am passionate about transmitting fundamental teachings concerning awareness and mindfulness, but the rest is beyond my control.

As for the woman who ignored me in favour of her phone, I doubt that I will ever see her again, but for all I know, she may actually have enjoyed the class in-between texting. One lesson that I have learned from this experience is to resurrect the reminder, at the start of the class, to turn off all mobile phones.

Still, as I conclude today’s post, I wonder about the social implications of an assumed attitude of acceptance of ubiquitous phone use as a means of distraction when a situation becomes in any way challenging. What are your thoughts on that? 


Favourites from around the web:

More about the healing power of nature.

I return to this lesson over and over.

***

(Almost) two years ago on the blog: Writing advice from Kate Morton. While browsing a local secondhand bookshop yesterday, I picked up a copy of Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours, only to find it signed. I smiled gratefully at Serendipity for gifting to me a second book signed by one of my favourite authors.

The Dharma Wanderlust creative method

Guest post by Mr. Wanderlust

Several years ago, we wrote a post to explain the process behind our wooden creations. Since the recent unveiling of our Sea Turtle Collection, we have been pleased to welcome new clients to our website. In addition to our earlier post, we would like to walk you through the process of making each wooden turtle pendant.

We are pleased to donate 20% of the sale of each item from our Sea Turtle Collection to Sea Turtle Conservancy, the world’s oldest sea turtle research and conservation group.

I usually work in the evenings after my 9-5 job, karate lessons, clean-up at home, and the Wanderlust Juniors’ bedtime, so there is not much time left before I myself have to head to bed. Still, I make the most of every spare minute.

 

Day 1:

Once I know what design I want, I choose the wood. I have a variety of wood in my collection, in all shapes and sizes. While some of the lumber I use is already cut to a specific suitable thickness, other wood comes in logs or blocks that have to be sliced (or ripped) with a bandsaw to achieve a workable thickness. For this particular piece, I chose to use Yellowheart.

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So many choices! Black Limba; Cocobolo; Wenge; Purpleheart, and Yellowheart. All our wood is obtained from sustainable sources. For every item sold, a tree is planted. We believe in giving back to the earth more than we take away.

This piece of wood was larger than I needed it to be, so I cut it into a workable piece slightly bigger than the final piece. The remaining wood was reserved for another project. No waste here!

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Seven holes were drilled and then it’s off to the scroll saw.

The thin blades of the scroll saw reciprocate up and down. I guided the wood onto a very thin blade and maneuvered it around to cut out the design. The blade I use is very thin (0.008 inches thick) and can break easily if the wood is pushed too hard or too fast against it. For each of the holes, the blade has to be dismounted, looped through the hole and remounted onto the scroll saw. The cutting here takes time, as the walls between the cut segments are thin and can break if one is not careful.

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Once the holes are cut out, the turtle shell starts to take place. Next, it’s time to glue on a backing and let it dry overnight.

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Day 2:

Once the backing is dry, I return to the scroll saw once more to cut the outside shape of the turtle.

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Next, I choose the inlay. Anything can be used as inlay, but I like to work with crushed stone, metal, glow-in-the-dark material, and crushed shell. For this pendant, I used crushed shell of different colours. I temporary blocked all the holes, leaving one exposed, and then carefully filled it with the inlay material. This process was repeated for the remaining holes, working one at a time. I then filled everything with a low-viscosity epoxy. Once the inlay is in, it’s time to let the inlay cure overnight.

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Day 3:

Once the inlay is solid, it’s time for the next stage: sanding, sanding, sanding and more sanding. For this, I used a variety of files, sanding pads and power sanding tools. Starting with 80 or 150 grit (depending on the density of the wood) and working up to up to 1500 grit makes the pendant smoother and smoother as it takes the final shape.

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In the middle of sanding at about 400 to 600 grit, I drilled the hole for the eye in which I placed the finding to which to attach the necklace chain or cord.

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Once the hole had been cut, I continued hand-sanding and shaping until the pendant was ready for the next step. Once satisfied with the sanding, I applied the first layer of natural oil onto the pendant. The oil slowly penetrates the wood and adds luster. I wiped off the excess after about an hour and left the rest to sit overnight.

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Days 4, 5, 6

Each day, I applied a coat of natural oils onto the surface and wiped the excess after letting it rest for at least an hour. This process is necessary to allow the oil to build up for a long and lasting shine. I need to wait about a day between layers, so this process adds time to the work. I do not coat my pendants with lacquers or any hard curing top-surface treatment because such treatments can wear off after the piece has been worn and handled. I like to keep the wood natural. I have noticed that the more I rub or handle the pendants coated with multiple layers of oil, the shinier they become over time.

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Patience! The pieces are awaiting the next layer of oil.

 

Day 7

Almost ready!

After about four (oh yes!) layers of natural oil, the pendant was buffed using a high-speed linen buffing wheel.

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I added the hardware and took a few photos of the finished piece before adding it to our website

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So there you have it. This is how a piece of wood is turned into a beautiful pendant in one week. I hope I have answered any questions you might have about how each piece is created.

If you have additional questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.

Thank you for reading,

Mr. Wanderlust (Pawel)