Posted by lisaspiral
Last week was time again for the Women and Spirituality Conference at Mankato State University in Minnesota. I’ve done quite a few blogs on this conference and my experiences at it. (There’s a list of links at the end of this post.) I don’t see any reason this year should be different.
I didn’t take pictures this year. I thought about it. I know the mantra of public speakers is “document, document, document” and still I couldn’t bring myself to dig out my cell phone and snap a reasonable shot. Maybe it was because the fall colors were somewhat muted this year. It’s still a beautiful drive especially along the Minnesota River valley, but it wasn’t “vibrant”. Maybe it’s was because this years conference seemed slightly under-populated. There just didn’t seem to be as many attendees, merchants or even energy as there has been in previous years. Maybe (and this is the story I’m telling myself) I just wanted to be in the moment.
For all of the underwhelming impression, it was a really good conference this year. The keynote speaker, Layli Maparyan, was very dynamic. She packed an impressive amount of information and hopefulness into her presentation. She definitely set the conference off to a great start.
An event like this provides the universe an opportunity to send me messages, and this year was no exception. I gave my workshop Daily Practice Sucks twice, and in both sessions I was asked if I ever did workshops on making prayer beads. This is something I’ve been kicking around, but it was nice to learn that there is a desire out there. In fact I keep getting the “ping” that I need to be doing more with crafting and creative projects.
I am so very resistant to arts and crafts that this is a real challenge for me. There is a phrase that suggests “leaning in” to those things that challenge you. Apparently I’m looking at a year of leaning in. One of the workshop proposals I sent to Pantheacon involved a long term art project. I took a handmade card making class at Gilda’s Club where I volunteer. Last week my GOM girls had me playing with clay. Just in case I missed the point, as I was packing for the weekend my prayer beads broke and I had to restring them.
Perhaps I can attribute that “dullness” I experienced as simply my resistance to what the universe is offering me. I can choose to lean in and stretch my own boundaries or I can live in a “toned down” vision of what’s possible. I’ll even admit that there is some appeal to calm, predictable, and low-key but I know in my heart there is only one choice I can make. I guess I’ll roll up my sleeves and try my hand at some crafts.