Ever wondered about the story behind a particular thing? I find it fascinating to think about all the amazing connections, events and people that are all interdependently woven together to make everything possible. The truth of our interdependence at ever level makes me extremely grateful for all those behind the scenes events and people that make my life possible.
In the past, I would tend dismiss things as random or coincidental, especially the unwanted ones. These days I am a little more able to let go the 'illusion of control'' and go with the flow', trusting that things are unfolding just as they should. Remembering to let go and do my best to respond wisely, although tricky and certainly a work in progress for me, is so liberating.
The story behind the tea-towel, is for me a fun example of interdependence and connection. Would you believe, on Monday 100 of us were fortunate enough to be in the Moomba parade, taping to Mambo Italiano', complete with spotty dress, apron and tea-towel. But, the inspiration and skill behind embroidering tea-towels begins with a dear friend, who lives in the country and shares my passion for homecrafts, cooking and chooks. She is a constant source of inspiration and fun and I am very grateful for her friendship and generosity. She is the one who gave me the idea to start to embroider tea-towels.
Many years ago we shared a teaching by Lama Marut and Cindy Lee on 'Turning Problems into Opportunities'. This can be a challenging teaching, especially when things are not going so well. One of the gems that came out of the teaching was 'Never Let a Good Disaster Go to Waste'. My friend embroidered this slogan on a tea-towel and kindly sent it to me. What a great reminder - I still have the tea-towel, although it is a little worn. I have included a picture of it above. (And a beautiful photo of Cindy Lee wearing her POM apron).
I have written a few blogs on this theme, related to times when things do not go as we would have hoped or planned and we are left feeling disappointed, down or disillusioned. These tricky times can be opportunities to learn, grow and develop wise helpful ways to think and be. When we avoid at the temptation to blame, criticise and push away we can learn to find the blessing that is always there in every situation; the sliver lining in every cloud. Dealing with Disappointment is one such blog, you may want to check it out here. By way of summarising, here are some things I find helpful to remember when things don't go as planned.
Six things we can learn from our friend disappointment
1. Empathy and Compassion
Unwanted events can help us understand how it is for others in similar situations. Compassion for all is always best
2. This will change - I won't always feel sad and disappointed. .
3. Kindness to ourselves and others - we are doing out best
4. Overcoming pride
When everything is going well we can become prideful. Unwanted events help remind us we all have things go wrong. Empathy and compassion for all is best
5. Not to blame ourselves or others
We all make mistakes and have unwanted things happen. Being a victim, blaming and criticising ourselves and others in these situations, is never useful.
Apologising & forgiving yourself & others is the kindest thing you can do for all.
So, back to the tea-towel story. I have embroidered many things, that I find helpful to remember, onto tea-towels over the years. Maybe you have one or two, at home at your house. I am very thankful to my inspirational friend, teachers and those that help me with the embroidering Some of the things we have embroidered, include
Over the past year my tea-towel production has reoriented to be part of POM. I love practical things and hence POM products tend to have a very practical nature. I have continued to embroider the tea-towels with lots of help from others including my friend, Hilary. Like the other things I make, I buy and sell them from my little POM shop, here at home, and put the profits into POM. This means I can do what I love to do and help support the work of my friend Tenzin Lektron and the Kandy Women’s Development Centre (WDC) in Sri Lanka.
As you know, my recent trip to Sri Lanka and the visit to the Women’s Refuge Centre (WDC) has provided a wonderful opportunity to work together with the women at the WDC and like the aprons has allowed, yet another interesting tea-towel twist. I have ordered hand woven tea-towels. These are woven and sewn by the women at the WDC. These tea towels like the aprons will have the 'Sri-Sisters' brand. They will be arriving in May.
In the meantime I will continue to make the tea-towels (and aprons too) here and sell them to others and myself too, in support of the WDC. I love the fact the tea-towels and aprons have a story to tell that will involve others at the WDC even more in the near future. It is very exciting and I am very thankful for your support, in so many areas of my life. I am thankful to you all for, friendship,inspiration and encouragement. By kindly supporting POM by buying bread, 'Share it Around biscuits, doing my yoga classes, reading these blogs and buying and receiving POM products we work together to strengthen and enrich the connection between us all. We all have many wonderful opportunities to work together for mutual benefit and to help us feel more connected in the world.. As beautifully expressed by Lilla Watson - "If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then lets work together."
If you would like to order any tea-towels I would be happy to make them for you. Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you re slogan and colour and then get to work. In the following weeks I am planning to get the POM Melbourne Online shop happening and will be putting the tea-towels for sale on there too.
Still planning to revamp the POM website, set up the online shop and plan some hands on crafternoons and workshops, so we can connect and craft together. I am very grateful for the help of some wonderful, young, talented and tech savvy folk - Tara, Alice and Sam. Will keep you posted on our progress.
Thank you for your continued support and friendship
Kind Regards and Best Wishes