One of my twenty quarterly goals for the Fall Quarter was to learn how to embroider. Because of finances I unfortunately cannot pick up a new hobby right now. So, that’s one of the goals marked right from the beginning – but you know what? That’s okay. Instead I have chosen to use that space to focus on an old hobby – crocheting. This is something I’ve been doing on and off for quite some time but I only ever learned the basic single stitch. Until today, I didn’t understand why. In the past I felt that other stitches were just too hard, and learning them was too frustrating. So I continued time and time again, to give up.
As you guys also know, I’ve decided this fall quarter to read three fiction books and three non-fiction books. For my fiction books I’ve decided to continue on with the Blossom Street series by Debbie Macomber. Not only has this series been very enjoyable thus far, but it has also given me a lot of real life knowledge. For my non-fiction books I have decided to put my focus into meditation and Buddhism. Now, the Blossom Street series focuses about 70% so far on a yarn store located on Blossom Street and each book brings out different characters and different sub-plots. As discussed by several different characters throughout the series – how is crocheting/knitting supposed to be relaxing and therapeutic when it causes so much frustration? I have often over the years wondered this myself and today, I fell into the answer.
One thing that I’ve always has trouble with is relaxing. I’m always so tense! This is one reason that I’ve chosen to study Tibetan Meditation. Unlike many forms of meditation practices that usually involve keeping your eyes closed and learning to clear your mind of all things – the Tibetan practices focus on keeping your eyes open to the world around you and keeping your heart and mind open to all things. You instead learn how to be in the “now”. You learn how to zone in and focus on how you’re feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally and then you sit with those feelings and you learn to say “I’m hurting today because of…”, maybe you have a back ache or maybe you’re stressed to the max or upset, maybe you’re angry but choose to say “I am okay and because I am here in the present and aware of all things around me and inside of me, my mind can process how to best move forward while feelings these things – even though they may be and most likely are – due to outside circumstances.”
Now, back to the crocheting, today as I’ve been working on learning a new stitch I realized that the most difficult part of this is making sure that your stitches aren’t too tight. I immediately recognized that this was my frustration and difficulty for all of these years. So, I decided to focus my mind on my body and really put in the work to relax my shoulders, my arms, my wrists and hands. With all of the tension gone – the difference in my technique was immediately noted! And because of the effort I put in to relaxing my physical being, crocheting became effortless which then relaxed my mind.
Amazing isn’t it? And I have found there is indeed truth behind this hobby being relaxing. I’ve also discovered a strong link between crocheting and meditation!
Now, I want to take this a little further personally, rather than just sharing my discoveries with my readers. I want to apply this knowledge to another one of the goals on my list, which is actually a goal that serves as a tool to achieving an even larger goal. Remember the purpose of my quarterly goals is to provide shorter term goals the keep me working towards my longer term goals. So, with that, the short term goal is to walk four times a week and the bigger goal is to lose weight. (I promise I’m getting to a point here).
In the blossom street book that I am currently reading “Summer on Blossom Street” the owner of the yarn store is holding a knitting class called “Knit to Quit”. This class was inspired by a character in a previous knitting class held at the shop, who used knitting to curb emotional eating. I will be doing the same because one of the bigger factors in my recent weight gain has been emotional eating as well as eating out of boredom. Since I do not knit and love the slogan in the book I will be calling this part of my journey “Crochet to say nay!” I of course will be sure to add my experience with this in the blog that I post at the end of the quarter.
Life can be so tricky at times. It isn’t life we carry around a pocket book around that tunes us in to al of life’s rules. And oftentimes society has taught us to judge not only each other, but ourselves – unfairly. We are too hard on one another and we are even harder on ourselves! Sometimes, failure isn’t really a fail.. sometimes when we think that we’ve failed, we have actually succeeded at something much greater.
Wishing everyone the courage that you need to treat yourself more kindly and the recognition that we aren’t actually sucking at everything we do!
Until next time.