Boundaries

"Play Date" ©2010 Ayn Hanna, 10.5"x11", Textile Painting (cotton fabrics mostly hand-dyed by the artist, cotton threads machine and hand stitched)

Up until a few hours ago, I thought my word for the year was going to be BREATHE.  In fact, I have a draft blog post almost completed about why I was choosing that word.

And then it hit me smack in the face during an encounter with a colleague at my day job today, my word for 2011 really needs to be BOUNDARIES.

BOUNDARIES

Because I need to start developing better ones across multiple areas of my life to be able to spend my time and energy on that which truly matters.  And there’s so much attached that’s connected to or an output of having good boundaries.

Developing healthy boundaries, and then honoring them when they are challenged, is not only being adult and professional, it’s acknowledging to myself that I matter.  It’s a confidence builder to set and honor boundaries.

Setting boundaries at my day job (where i’m aghast at times how far some will push across them) can be tough, but oh so necessary.  It also creates conflict (makes others uncomfortable) to go against the status-quo, stand up for oneself, and be the voice of what needs to be said, in a room where there is no air because the elephants are everywhere and no one’s acknowledging them.  But when I stop and think about how NOT having good boundaries here impacts so many of the other important aspects of my life (like time for family, my art, my exercise & health, my stress level), it’s much easier to re-assert myself and re-draw those lines that get trampled so often.

It’s also not just about the day job.  It’s acknowledging that little voice inside, that burn in the gut, each time a boundary gets breached.  The first part of that is awareness, and then being able to respond appropriately (ok, tactfully) in the moment  comes next.  I’m getting better at this, but increasing my focus on this word will help me keep developing this skill.

My ultimate goal for choosing BOUNDARIES as my word for 2011 is to be able to have more FUN, spending more time on the things that really matter to me.  So, it’s not a major shift from my FIERCE JOY focus of 2010, rather an evolution of it.  And during those times of conflict, when I’m having to address a line being crossed, I’m also going to keep my other word, BREATHE, close at hand.

(By the way, the image above is a new textile painting I just made for the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Association) organization’s traveling trunk show, “This is a Quilt”.  This is to be an exhibition of small pieces that will be used for educational purposes, traveling by request, to help teach about how broad the definition of contemporary quilts can be.  The first place these will be displayed will be at the SAQA annual convention, which will be in Denver this year, May 19-21 at the Brown Palace Hotel.)

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2 Responses to “Boundaries”

  1. Valerie Says:

    Like “This is a Quilt”…..I sense movement, a pouring out, really like this image Ayn. As your words evolve, so does our art. May yours continue to flow. 🙂

  2. Barbara Says:

    Aynie, I like how you made the connection to your word choice from 2010 and how it is all a growth and evolution to the next year. You inspire me daily! Thanks for sharing your process. B

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