Category Archives: Peace

SOUL SOOTHING ACTION BY KEEPING THE HOMELESS WARM AND SECURE AND REPURPOSING THROUGH ART

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NEW BLOG POST

Below highlights how Musa Macenyane soothes her Soul by making hats and mats for the homeless.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a crafter. I was always looking for a new project, new craft or a new creation. In 2010 while working in corporate America, I began to look at waste and think “how can I create something from all of this waste?” I began to look at everyday items in a new way.  I began ‘repurposing’, creating creations from everyday items. I began making coasters from cardboard, bags from plastic grocery bags, and jewelry from various paper products. Utilizing my craftiness in a new way was exhilarating.

Then in the fall of 2015, I saw a news story about a lady who was feeding the homeless in Humbolt Park out of her own kitchen. I was amazed by this sister’s spirit of service. I reached out to Carol Boyd of Humble Heart and asked what I could do to help. She said whatever assistance I could provide would be greatly appreciated.

I knew I couldn’t feed the homeless three times a week like Carol did, but I could craft. So I started on my “Hats for the Homeless” project. Last winter, I made 35 hats and donated them to Carol to distribute while she was in the park feeding. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I began using my crocheting plarn (plastic yarn) skills to create mats for the homeless to protect them from sleeping directly on the ground. In the spring of 2016, I, along with a group of Sistahs, who wanted to make an impact on the lives of others, organized a purse project to distribute hygiene products to our Sistahs affected by homelessness.

We filled over 40 purses with hygiene products, and Carol was able to distribute to the ladies on the street. Currently, I am again in the throes of the Hats for the Homeless project. This year, my goal is that with the help of my happy hookers (crocheters) and chicks with sticks (knitters) we can make 100 hats to donate to Humble Hearts.

I continue to craft and create gift items from repurposed materials, but serving others makes me tick. I enjoy utilizing my craftiness to serve others. Crafting to serve is what I do for me.

Musa is a social worker and dedicated and creative crafter. She is the owner of Chiseko Artistic Endeavors, a company dedicated to crafting through repurposing. 

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LET’S GET REAL, LADIES ARE YOU REALLY TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF?

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Let’s face it, we put up a good front when it comes to keeping it all together. We like to feel good about multi-tasking (the experts say we women are good at that),  about having a list, schedules and a synchronized routine for getting through life. We get a high from ticking off the boxes on our well crafted lists, and we can recite sequentially everything we “accomplished” that day.

What we won’t admit to is how damn tired we are. We convince ourselves that as long as we got all our errands done, our household tasks completed and we got that promotion or some recognition at work, we have it all under control. Do we, though?

If you have a family, when  was the last time you announced to family members upon arriving home from work that before you do anything (aside from an extreme emergency) for anyone, you are going to take 20 minutes in a room alone to meditate, unwind in the tub, sip a glass of wine or have a pleasant exchange with those in your household expressing why you are so glad to see them after a long and hard day?

If you are single, like myself, when was the last time you ate a meal without talking on the telephone?  Did you remember later what you even ate?

Even if you did perform some perfunctory self care, of these things, how much of it did you savor? Do you remember what it felt like?  Or did you do the usual by rushing through it so you could get to the next thing?

I am slowly learning that if I complete all my tasks, but I’m not present during the process, especially when im just trying to get to and rush to the next thing, I’m doing myself an injustice.

We have done this for so long that we think this level of functioning is normal.  So today I commit to doing it differently.  Yes, I will still maintain my lists, but I won’t trip when everything on it doesn’t get checked off.

I often say that I love myself, but when I don’t take time to breathe and tune into my relationships with people, I have to question that.  After all, life is about the people in it, not how succinctly we got through the day.

I’m making the commitment to do it not better, quickly  and efficiently, but with great care and more importantly — LOVE.

 

 

Traveling to Be Still

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Traveling to Be Still

Do you hear that?  Of course not — I’m in Oka, a little area about 45 minutes away from Montreal, Canada. I have been to Montreal on two other occasions, and each time my hotel accommodations allowed me to be smack dab in the middle of the city. I have always had easy access to shopping, restaurants, and a boat load of fun. The Botanical Gardens, St. Catherine Street and The 1976 Olympic Village – these are just a few attractions that represent Montreal.

Oka, wow!  To be in Oka. I am here for a business meeting on behalf of an organization where I serve on the Board of Directors. In all honesty, aside from this meeting, there is no way that I would be here. However, I am glad my travels this time didn’t take me to the heart of Montreal.

Here in Oka, I can really hear myself think. I am breathing air not mixed with fumes. Here in Oka (I know it sounds like a song), I am surrounded by a lushness of green, compost bins and great walking surfaces ideal for rigorous hiking.

I have never been one for camping — too many bugs, mosquitoes galore and no big box stores close enough to distract me from uninterrupted peace — but this place makes me forget all of that and causes me to JUST BE STILL. It’s still enough to actually recognize that there is a side of me that really enjoys spending time with nature — still enough to look out of my window and stare at a beautiful Peony (even if it is surrounded by ants). Still enough to be still for a change.

Ahh, Oka! #thisidoforme