The Video Intro to the Blog by Christina Greenhalgh Founder of Spaceform
We are often really touched by the reasons people chose particular pieces and what part of your journey our little pieces become a part of in your lives. We don’t often find out much but sometimes we hear snippets about pieces if they get chipped after years, or fall to their demise on concrete or suchlike when people open up about the sentimental value something holds, and what replacing that very same piece means to them. Sometimes it’s possible to be replaced and other times we just don’t have another the same… You know who you are if you have been in touch for this same reason! In any event we love your stories… the thought that the pieces become so personally important much of the time, is a real honor.
It occurred to me that it really is about people and how we communicate to each other and when we find or have an idea for a vehicle to express ourselves in a particular way that we feel is deserving, in that moment we might act immediately, or sometimes we let the moment pass and end up frantically looking on-line for the earliest delivery of something reasonable! When we do take the time to prepare, there can be nothing more deserving. Making someone you love happy or feel appreciated, or simply smile is the best thing ever. The intention of our work is about connection, acknowledgment and appreciation. Simple really but so very important to consciously address.
When you make something yourself you can feel shy about giving it – will the person like what you have done, should I give it, or is it silly? Sometimes I feel the same about offering some of our pieces, but then hearing stories makes me realise again that actually our pieces really make people happy! It’s ridiculous that after over 20 years, still I feel the need for reassurance! Crazy, crazy, but, I guess we all do at times and that’s the whole point!
As I get older, and when I think about the digital revolution that has occurred over the last thirty years, I am astounded how easy it is to communicate to people, Facetime, Whats App video messaging, things you only dreamed of as possible interactions a couple of decades ago. Social media helps us “stay in touch” to a degree, good perhaps that we can share experiences and recommend events, share jokes, and photos and videos etc, but sometimes social media can make us guilty of generating more of a “this is me” culture rather than a “and how are you?” culture. (Please do feel free to comment on our Facebook page if you feel differently). People can become less focused in the moment with one eye on the phone, half watching a film, half messaging friends… even half talking to you and half messaging someone else… We all have friends that do it! Sometimes we do it ourselves (AGGHH!). The screens feel somehow a part of ourselves, like they don’t count, but they do. Attention is attention, meaning we have to stop what we are doing to respectfully talk and engage, with someone else. It doesn’t come under the multi-tasking bracket, it comes under the partial attention bracket! (See New York Times Article, How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price)
It becomes increasingly important to find time, and have time to communicate how important people are to you and not just presume that, ‘they know” it. Reaching out and saying thank you or simply doing something that feels inclusive makes everything in the day a little nicer and a little brighter. Putting our screens away, and looking in to someone’s eyes that matter just to spend the time listening to our friends, partners, children... You wouldn’t think it would take too much to do this, but somehow culturally we have to re-learn this part of ourselves when other exciting things come in to our lives.
I row competitively within my age group, and when we work on the catch (the start of the stroke when you catch the water), typically the finish of the stroke needs more attention and then as the finish improves, we have to remember to not lose the focus on the catch… The cycle is endless and although seemingly simple, demands absolute, in the moment attention… and so it is the same in life, that whatever we are interested in we can’t take it for granted that the rest is ticking along so well… we need to constantly make certain we make the most of life for ourselves to live well, and for those around us.
Community, family, people are stronger when they are engaged with life and with each other. I have noticed an organisation called “The School of Life” which focuses on developing emotional intelligence. They run a variety of programs and services and design products that are concerned with living wisely and well. One of their products is a set of cards asking a 100 questions, as a toolkit for your relationship. They believe that good interaction starts with a good question… I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that there are actual products helping to lead us back to a more connected life, but then isn’t this a little what we are doing here? Prompting thinking, prompting ideas, prompting your own expressive thinking with our personalized pieces or perhaps we are offering solutions. Whatever the root is, if it results in a feeling of being more connected, then I’m all for it!
More recently I was taken by a book called “More Time to Think” by Nancy Kline. It is one of those rare treats in life. Nancy created a global organization based on “The Thinking Environment” and over years developed a methodology to help people become more confident to develop their own independent thinking. It can be deep in our subconscious that we are regurgitating the beliefs of others people’s thinking, desperate for advice and seeing others as experts around subjects we are living and breathing ourselves. Particularly believing thoughts of people that we admire above our own. Recognizing our own thinking, I mean really thinking and being true to what you really think is the greatest gift to develop for someone and the greatest gift to have open up to you. This culture is about developing a listening culture, real listening, and I mean, without interruptions, (not something I am naturally very good at!) to encourage the thinker to really develop their own thoughts, and absolve their own assumptions to turn things around. This methodology is also accomplished with a finely honed series of questions depending on what the needs of the thinker are. It’s worth a read, it really is, it shows great insight in to how we think.
I want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to do what we do. We hope that we help, in a small way as a vehicle for you to express yourselves heartily to help acknowledge and engage further with the people you love, or simply feel are deserving of appreciation. This is what we hope for our work and what inspires us to develop.
Please do feel free to make comments on facebook https://www.facebook.com/Spaceform/ where we have uploaded an introduction to the blog. We would love to hear your thoughts.
Left to right: Katherine (Kitkat), Christina and Corinne.