Championing Crochet’s Comfort

feel betterFiber arts, whether knitting or crochet, have long been known to have a calming and positive affect on the people who participate in them.  In this article on Lion Brand Yarn, the author gives us several different ways to meditate using crochet.

I love to speak about one of my very favorite books, possible my favorite book entirely:  http://www.amazon.com/Crochet-Saved-My-Life-Physical/dp/1478190450/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425224849&sr=1-1&keywords=how+crochet+saved+my+life  . (sorry this came out so messed up, but I asked for assistance from the WP wannabe helpers, and they were nowhere to be found. 😦 ) I’ll probably be all over the place, because I can’t remember where the author wrote about what, but I’ll try. She mostly spoke about crochet, and I liked that. It made me feel special, because there are so dang many books out there for knitters it’s enough to make one’s head spin, light up, and fall off.

The author went through a deep depression before she wrote the book. Plus, she didn’t yet know how to crochet. So the woman did piles and piles of scarf after scarf which she either kept or gave away. How extraordinary is that? I can barely keep track of the 3-4 projects I have going right now, and she’s whipping these off for her friends and neighbors.

Thirdly, Vercillo includes a score of other people who write about their experiences being helped by crochet, and each tale is simply awe-inspiring. I can’t remember now if it was Vercillo herself or another crocheter who introduced the “3-stitch Crochet Meditation.” It’s so simple, you’ll want to laugh but you can’t because it’s that important.

All you have to do is take your hook and your yarn and empty your mind. Then you start a chain: 1, 2, (Did I turn off the iron?) START AGAIN: 1, (I wonder if Peter’s mother will have a problem with my dress tonight.) START AGAIN.

You get the idea. It’s lovely and oh so simple to catch on to. Don’t worry. It takes lots and lots—AND lots of practice to get to be good at it. But what’s the rush, right? No hurry scurry. Take it slow, dude.

If you’ve read this far, God bless you, Gesundheit, and thank you for not smoking.

Take A Nap!

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pooped Things can get pretty hurried and fast-paced during this time of year. Although taking a nap is generally a good idea under normal circumstances, during the holiday season it should be a rule. 😉 

I posted earlier this month about dogs, and how we should try to be more like them. Animals know intuitively when they need a break. Dogs are not far removed from their wolf ancestors, who needed to conserve energy for hunting and gathering. When I take my Lucy out for a walk, you would think she’s on a hunt. Her nose is constantly to the ground, unless she hears a noise. Then she has to see what’s going on. 😉 But when she’s not playing, walking, eating, or otherwise occupied, she sleeps.

I find it difficult to sleep during the day due to some of the meds I take for bipolar disorder and CFS. But this is what I do when I know I absolutely need a nap and I’m having trouble. I go into my bedroom, close the blinds, get a light blanket, and turn on a cd, maybe Sleepy Rain: With Delta Brainwave Pulses. I have other cds I listen to, including a Brahms Lullaby for babies. 😀 Hey, whatever works.

Just be sure to get lots of rest this holiday season. It helps your immune system fight off these nasty colds and flu that are making the rounds.

Peace out.

Positive Limits For Ourselves

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As someone who has teetered on either the manic or depressive side of bipolar, I’ve never been very good with limits. I’m not good at saying no to other people, let alone myself. I’ve only recently discovered, with the help of my sister and my sponsor, that no all by itself is all that’s needed. No long, drawn-out explanations about why I can’t do this or that . . . just – no. 

So – in keeping with the theme of taking care of ourselves, I’m still in a bit of a funk and awaiting lab results on Monday that may tell me why – I’m setting some limits. They are subject to change, because I’m new at this, and it’s okay to change our minds while we’re learning.

My therapist taught me to think of all of my “stuff” as one big file cabinet. So, for instance, I’m in the “blog post” file drawer right now. All the other drawers are closed and locked. This is all I’m focused on. That’s one way I limit myself. It’s also known as mindfulness. I learned this technique when I spent two years in a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy group. I could spend a whole blog post on mindfulness; we won’t go there right now. 😉

There are seven days in the week. I am committed to post in my blog on six days right now. So far I haven’t made it all six days. That’s a work in progress. I won’t post on Sunday. Sunday is a worship and decompression day for me. Another limit.

Some people lift us up and some people – well . . . they don’t. Whether their intentions are well-meaning or not, I can’t say. I only know that my hope is to surround myself with people who lift my spirits and tell me the truth in a way that doesn’t blow me out of the water. 😛 Limits. A very good thing.

I am reading and reviewing books for a blog, the first to appear on the 20th at Readers Realm. I love to read, and I love to review, but I also need to let myself rest when I need to.

Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep (which hasn’t happened at all lately because I’m ill), remembering to eat something, keeping hydrated, petting Lucy and staying connected with people on a regular basis are all crucial.

Attending at least 3-4 Al-Anon meetings is my most important of all issues on here. Without Al-Anon, sometimes I think I wouldn’t even be here. 

What are your limits? What are your no’s in life? How will you take care of yourself this weekend? 

Peace out.