The Fiddlehead Life– an Inspirational New Blog Series on Living Well

A Fiddleheads & Floss feature to change your life.

The Fiddlehead Life

What exactly does this even mean? Does this mean you have to be happy all the time? Or doused in some unicorn-birthed positivity?

Of course not. You don’t have to shampoo your hair with glitter and rainbows. You don’t have to chuck your negative human emotions into a garbage bin and pretend they don’t exist–to improve your life, to grow as a person in the direction of satisfaction, wellness, fulfillment.

Fiddleheads are a central figure in Maori art – also known as “Koru” – meaning peace, tranquility and spirituality, along with new growth or new beginnings. The Koru is associated with nurturing and when it contains more than one frond, it represents the strength and healing of a loving relationship within a family or community.

Our consciousness must be awakened through life experience, learning, and awareness. Like the fern, we grow and flourish if we unfurl toward light or truth.

Fiddlehead Symbolism

In short, living a Fiddlehead Life is about living in your truth, living a life of growth, and living your life the best that you can. Even when it’s hard. Even when it is confusing.

Some of the most growth I have experienced in my life took place in times of trauma.

Some of the greatest joys in my life have sprung up out of muddy waters or grown like weeds from cracks in my memory. Life changes us. But as we grow–and we should be growing, learning, emotionally evolving–we can find substantial meaning in the most unusual places.

Strength can come from ordinary.

–Christina Ward, author of “organic”

The journey to fulfillment is a multifaceted one. Sure, some of it is positive mental attitude, but there are also real-life struggles that we all go through and try to pretty up for the camera. There are changes, losses, long lines at the grocery store or the bank when we are tired and feeling underwhelmed by our days-in and days-out.

When we just want to get home and stare at the TV for another night, or crawl into our beds wondering–is there something more? Have I done something of value today?

This is about YOU as a human being in this world, navigating it with your heart in your hands.

If what you desire is…

  • to be a better person (and who defines this?)
  • to love yourself more
  • to love your life more
  • to improve your relationships
  • to become more fulfilled
  • to find inspiration
  • to connect with purpose
  • to grow as a person
  • to understand yourself more
  • to get more fulfillment out of life

–then this is a series written just for you.

Each article will focus on a specific area or topic and offer you real-life solutions, suggestions, or simply a conversation to get your mind moving toward growth. It isn’t about “toxic positivity”; it is about who you are as a human being and where you fit into this world.

It is about addressing the things that keep us broken, or unmotivated, or stagnant in our lives.

It is about –Living your best life. Living a Fiddlehead life.

Join me.

~Christina Ward

–author of “organic,” a poetry collection that sits at the heart of this “Live Your Best Life” movement.

You may find this bestselling collection on Amazon at ORGANIC–FIDDLEHEADS & FLOSS VOL. 1

While you are here, visit the main page here: Fiddleheads & Floss Poetry, and check out the new layout with handy menu tabs at the top to help you find the content you need to see today. On the right hand side there is also a navigation box for “Read Blog Posts by Topic” to help you narrow it down.

When Good Intentions Wind Up in the Ort Jar

Happy Monday to you all!!

This article is based on a project I had begun for my sister: to stitch a lovely picture of her lovely children…now you may not be a stitcher, but there is a life lesson here you may not want to miss…

Before we begin, take a look at the “lovely picture to the right there…yes. That one. The one that appropriately says YUK underneath it. Not so lovely right?

When a project goes DISASTROUSLY wrong…


Now, does that even look CLOSE to skin color? It’s a weird mesh of terra cottas, pinks, and greenish browns….NONE of which look like my beautiful nephew Charlie. I made the pattern with Pic2Pat and wasn’t feeling terribly confident in the colors. I just had this feeling the colors were going to be all wrong. Well, they were WAY wrong. Thank goodness I started stitching one of the faces first and was able to make the decision to trash it NOW and not after stitching a page or two of the pattern. So, I frogged it. About 600 stitches I nipped, pulled, tugged, ripped, and brushed out into little balls of ort garbage and tossed into the ort jar. Disastrous.

Frogging: a term used by stitcher for the action of removing mistaken stitches. We call it being visited by the “frog” and we have “to rip it rip it” taking stitches out…aka “ribbit ribbit” Get it?

Handling Frustration with a Measure of Dignity

I’m bummed. I’m frustrated. I worked with sharp little scissors and my frogging needle and very nearly decided to throw the fabric across the room. How often is it that life has different plans than we do and despite our best intentions, we end up filling our ort jar with those ugly little fuzzy balls instead of snippets of pretty colors from a successful project?

What is an ORT JAR you ask? This is also a stitchers term for the jar we toss the end snippits of floss (the embroidery thread we stitch with) that we cut off. The spare, ending pieces (called orts) are often collected into an Ort jar and later used for a craft project, such as stuffing them into those clear glass Christmas ornaments.

Life often laughs in the face of our intentions. So, we can take our sharp little scissors and out of a blast of frustration cut the whole piece of fabric in half and set it ablaze in the fireplace, or we can nit pick at it until we’ve removed the wrongness, the sour parts, the problem details and hopefully, hopefully at the very least save the fabric. After all, you can brush away the dust and start afresh right? Tonight, I chose to save the fabric. With that. I am pleased.

Not happy about calling off this project, but confident it was the right decision. Handling a decision with grace is always an admirable thing. For now, I am tucking the slightly manipulated fabric into the Aida drawer. It’s back to the drawing board.

Redirect with Purpose

The point, after all, is to make something nice for my sister. Her favorite song is You Are My Sunshine. Perhaps I could design something for her. Maybe I will run across the perfect pattern. The right thing will be in the right place at the right time. I have followed my Lord long enough to know that if I am patient, this will be. His perfect solution rolls itself out right in front of me. If I am open. If I am trusting. And if I am willing to let go of my best intentions, my best laid plans, and brush away the messes I make and allow Him to show me something better. I know it will be something very special to honor my sister and her beautiful family.

Putting my stitching hands to rest tonight.

Although this is an older post of mine, and does read a bit “diary-ish,” I thought the lesson here to be valuable. When things do not go as planned, there is nothing wrong with “quitting.” I have been told a lesson about “not quitting” all of my life, and while that sentiment has it’s value, there is also a wisdom to knowing when to throw in the towel, and pick up a new one. Redirect your efforts and take with you a new lesson. Somethings you will learn the lesson in because of failure. That is ok, just learn those lessons quick before life throws them at you on repeat. All for now folks…have yourselves a fantastic Monday!

For more fun articles on Christina’s stitching adventures read up here:

George Washington Project Makes Front Page!

The George Washington Project – One Year Anniversary

Flosstube Video 1 – Two-Handed Cross Stitching and Parking Method

Christina ~

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