Tag Archives: mindfulness

Quote

It will never rain roses. When we want to have more roses, we must plant more roses.
-George Eliot

I love this quote and find it very apt most of the time. Being a great lover of books and reading and trying bit by bit to expand my knowledge, I find I fall down the most on getting out and putting all that knowledge to good use. So from now on when I want more roses, I will go out and plant them, literally and figuratively!Β 

It will never r…

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Are you meditating?!

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Are you meditating?!“……that was the question my brother asked me a couple of weeks ago while I was busy crocheting!!! Let me set the scene a little.

We have a small kitchen and like most homes it truly is the heart of the house. In this kitchen there is a really comfy and much coveted armchair, which just happens to be positioned beside our range (a fact that also adds to it’s desirability!) and this armchair is one of my favorite spots to crochet in. Now as anyone who has ever even attempted amigurumi knows, counting is a vital component πŸ™‚ Counting stitches and making sure you are on track is inherent to any well finished piece and I for one take this aspect of the craft very seriously! Everyone in my house now knows not to talk to me or even acknowledge me while I am counting, lest they run the risk of incurring my wrath!!! Also I feel it is important to note here that I like to count out loud (not too loud though, I am always respectful of other people in the room).

On this particular day my brother and mother were having a chat and I was crocheting (& counting) and dipping in and out of their conversation. After a little while of this my brother asked me “Are you meditating…..?!” I looked at him in a puzzled manner until he made an attempt to clarify the question (I had just finished a round and was taking a little break). “It’s just while you are crocheting, you make this weird sound and it sounds like Om, or something like that and I was just wondering if it was some weird way you have of meditating?!” That made me laugh πŸ™‚ I explained that I was only counting the stitches but it got me thinking all the same.

I am a big believer in mindfulness, and try every day to live as much in the present moment as I can. I rarely achieve this, but I like to think that every day, even in some small way I am getting better at it, as the saying goes “Everyday in every way I am getting better and better”, right?! I am also a big believer in meditation and try to practice it for 10mins each morning and night. I have read many books on these subjects and I am slightly aware of the Zen concept of turning every single action, not matter how big or small, into a form of meditation. The interesting and ironic fact that I discovered through my brothers observation is that I actually achieve this state when I am crocheting, without even trying! Isn’t that one of the frustrating aspects of practicing mindfulness though, you have to be aware of what you are doing, but not so aware that you start stressing out and focusing too much and worrying if you are doing it right…..or maybe that is just me?! Phew!

I think ultimately this is one of the greatest pleasures we can have in life; to find something that occupies our minds, and our bodies to the point where we enjoy doing it so much that we relax, let go and just flow along with it’s natural rhythm. Nine out of ten times, crochet does that for me, and I am very grateful that I discovered it. Does crochet have the same effect on you?! Or maybe it’s knitting or drawing or just spattering paint onto paper πŸ™‚ Whatever it is I hope you get to spend some time on it this weekend and that you remember to be mindful…..but just not too much πŸ™‚

P.S. I always like to include a photo of some kind with my posts, so here is a design sketch of what I have been working on this week. I almost have the first prototype made and when I am happy with the pattern I hope to post it here for anyone one that wishes to give it a go. Can you guess what it might be????? I know so difficult, right?!

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And now for something completely different…

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Hey there πŸ™‚ Another week almost over, and here in Ireland summer has officially begun! This week has seen only minor developments in Mr. Art Badger, but a minor development is still a development, right?! Today I was inspired to take a trip back to my past, my younger self, and as a result I have decided to take a leap of faith and post a poem that I wrote roughly 8 years ago! It was the first poem I ever wrote and seen as this week has been one of endings and beginnings for me I thought it a good choice. I don’t consider myself a poet, I just love to open a blank page and write whatever comes into my mind (although I regretfully haven’t done this for some years now, but I would like to start again). This poem was inspired by a relationship between a man and a woman, the woman holding back and never completely giving herself to the relationship, the man being called to war and never returning and the woman living with the regret of never telling him how she truly felt. It would appear my thoughts were a lot darker in my younger days! A big departure from crochet & amigurumi, but what is life without variety?!

 

Down by the river and the willow treeImage

she weeps and cries and thinks of him.

For what is now and is to beΒ 

is bleak and twisted as the willow tree.

For he is gone and will not return

but still she waits and waits forlorn.

To hear his voice, to see his face

still images of him she cannot erase.

She loved too much but never said.

Her soul was his but now it’s dead.

Down by the river and the willow tree

she weeps and cries and thinks of him.

For what is now and is to be

is bleak and twisted as the willow tree.

The colour change(s) :)

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Hi! So this week I have been working on bringing Mr. Art Badger out of my mind and into a physical form, through the medium of crochet. Doesn’t sound too bad? Looking back on the week, really it hasn’t been that difficult, but at the time each day seemed like a wasted one, with no measurable progress being made. Last week I got the basic shapes down, head, ears etc. and I crocheted them all in one colour wool (black) and pinned them in place. So far so good πŸ™‚ However since I am relatively new to this craft (and this is my first ever time creating my own amigurumi pattern), this weeks task has been a steep learning curve!

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A rough sketch of what I want the finished head to look like! Bringing this to life is proving interesting πŸ™‚

Badgers, as most people will know, have a mainly white face with two distinctive black stripes running down the center. There in lies the problem! I was going great this afternoon crocheting away, so happy that it was starting to take shape and actually resemble something close to what I had envisioned, when I began to notice the obvious; when crocheting in the round (and making colour changes) the stitches of each round become slightly askew from the stitches in the previous round. D’oh!!! So I consulted “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi” by June Gilbank (of http://www.planetjune.com), a book that I found so helpful and keep returning to again and again, and was relieved to find a solution to my problem; turn work at end of each joined round! The appearance will be different but I am really interested to see how it takes shape. Maybe the added texture will help create Art’s personality a little more. Or maybe I will have to return to the drawing board all over again. Either way I am determined to enjoy the process and to give myself more credit for each little step I take in the right direction. One of the reasons I love craft is that it teaches me patience, a life skill that I think comes in very handy each and every day in every aspect of living πŸ™‚ I think over the coming days and weeks I will be drawing more and more on my mindfulness skills and meditation techniques, but that is a whole other topic for another day πŸ™‚

P.S. For (almost!) daily progress reports, why not follow me on Twitter or like me on Facebook (links in sidebar) or why not head to http://www.moonofarann.com to find out how Art is getting on and what he has been up too (he tells me he is really enjoying blogging!)