In the winter months I relax by watching TV by either knitting or crocheting. Doing something with my hands helps me to settle. Once I’ve eased into a rhythm, the counting of stitches moves from having to be thought about to a feeling, which happens naturally, and I slip into a meditative state. While my hands are knotting yarn into a scarf or beanie or cowl, the opposite is occurring in my mind – the thoughts are being untangled, events of the day are being unknotted and decisions processed with potential options considered and perhaps a resolution reached.
If I knit long enough my thoughts quieten, and the meditation deepens which is nurturing for my soul even if it only happens for a moment. My inner rhythm comes out in the pace I stich, making a physical connection to myself and how I feel. I can see if I’m stressed, the stiches are formed tightly. And so I can adjust, watching the stitches loosen as I knit. If they don’t loosen, then I know I still need to relax. So I take a few deep breaths, and try to release the thoughts or feelings that might be troubling me. This isn’t always easy, but as the stiches form, I have a visual of how I’m feeling, which becomes the focus towards relaxation, instead of the thoughts or feelings.
It’s also always rewarding to create. It’s a big part of my life, not just with my writing but also my craft. I feel it’s a different sort of creativity to when I’m writing, while I’m making something practical like a scarf (I keep it simple!) I’m seeing my progress and when I finish I can feel I have achieved a project, which is rewarding in itself. But its also a journey, not just physically making something but also an inner journey one that’s unfolding in secret as the length of the scarf increases. The scarf almost becomes a sign of how much I’ve meditated, my thoughts hidden in the stitches, captured in time and held outside of me where they can no longer trouble me.
While on the exterior, maybe it looks like I might be avoiding certain jobs, or putting off problem solving or planning, while I take time out to knit and crochet. The reverse is actually occurring. I’m allowing myself time to meditate. I’m mentally dealing with the problems, events, or planning at my own pace. What might look like procrastination, I’m really doing as the old saying goes “A stich in time saves nine.”