Can Bead-weaving Save the World?

So, there I was, in December of 2001: fresh out of college, armed with a degree in environmental science, and ready to save the world. But things don't always work out the way we plan.

After a few years working in non-profit community development, dealing with politicians and bureaucratic government agencies, I found myself suffering from a serious case of burnout. At the end of every workday, I found myself spending time with my bead-weaving as a way to relax and let go of all the stress that built up during my day. Even better, when I traveled for conferences and meetings, I made a point of seeking out any cool local bead shops.

Eventually, my life started taking a new direction, and the bead-weaving was leading the way. The more I got into my bead-weaving, the happier I was. I found myself doodling jewelry designs in the margins of my notes at meetings, and my days off were spent, naturally, in front of my beads.

It made me realize that maybe, just maybe, if I were going to save the world, I had to save myself first. And the way I would save myself was through my bead-weaving!

We all know how bead-weaving is a great way to relax at the end of a rough day or a busy week, and I even use it as a form of mindful meditation.

But can bead-weaving save the world?

Here's how I see it: when I get stressed out, or overwhelmed, or I start to feel sad, my beads are always there for me. All I have to do is pick up my needle and thread, and in a few minutes, I can feel my heart rate slow down, and my thoughts get clearer. By the time I've spent a few hours with my bead-weaving, I feel happier. I even look happier! And all that happy, calm, relaxed energy I have gets passed on to anyone I meet — the cashier at the grocery store, or the clerk at the post office. 

I see it in my students, too. Even when we're tackling a tough project like tubular right-angle weave, we can relax and enjoy spending time with each other and enjoying the process of bead-weaving. We end our classes smiling and happy, and then we go out and start spreading that good energy around to everyone we meet!

So, do I think bead-weaving can save the world? Yes, I do. When we make ourselves happy by doing what we love (like bead-weaving), we can't help but spread that happiness through our actions and our words. We're making the world a happier place by making ourselves happy.

If you're ready for a whole lot of happy, check out the 2012 Beadwork Collection CD. All six 2012 issues of Beadwork magazine on one searchable CD, including all of the content from the print magazines. You'll get all of the fabulous Designer of the Year projects, plus product reviews, tips and techniques, and fabulous bead artist profiles. The 2012 Beadwork Collection is also available as an instant download, so you can get all the happiness of 115 bead-weaving projects and instant gratification, all at the same time!

What do you think — can we save the world with  bead-weaving? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your thoughts with us!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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