Hello, my friendly lovers of fibers and yarn, my creative souls who tune in to read what I’m sharing! If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you will note that I am quite willing to share all the vulnerable bits of my life, both as a fiber artist and a human being – because they are both part and parcel of who I am and what I do.
Recently, I started a group for other artistic types who are, in some way, on a path like my own: abundantly creative, often upbeat, but still struggling with the darker places in life via anxiety, depression, stress management. Folks like us often turn to our creative outlets in order to keep those things at bay, because using our hands is a good way to take that negative energy and turn it into something beautiful. I’ve been doing it my whole life, without really realizing what I was doing until I was much, much older. It recently occurred to me that – of course! – I am not the only one who does this, or who would benefit from this sort of direction of energy. Thus, my group Bound By A Thread was born. We recently started a Facebook group, which is currently open to anyone who signs up through the email list on the linked page, hint hint.
If you’ve subscribed to the mailing list already, you will have received the link for Binding Intention, my free lesson/exercise that teaches how to create a special knotted cord that you can use to set intentions, bring focus to your meditation, or use as a fidget device to relieve stress, anxiety, or excess energy. [You can still get this for FREE if you join the mailing list!] For me, working with yarn in a variety of ways is my preferred path to calmness and stress release. I often spin with a spindle or one of my wheels while following a directed meditation or letting my mind drift into a reverie – and that will sometimes reveal the most amazing breakthroughs!
There are two really great philosophies that pertain to using repetitive work to gain a result:
- build your focus and intention into every step of the process, building energy towards a specific goal
- lose yourself and your conscious thoughts about the result you want in that process, letting your mind drift
The first method is what I cover in Binding Intention. The second is exactly what I’m referring to in the main image at the top of the blog post: “Sometimes, you have to forget what you want to remember what you deserve.” Or: sometimes we ask for things that are too small, we sell ourselves as too small – by erasing the preconceived notions of what we think we want and letting our subconscious take over, we allow ourselves to find the right path and choices naturally.
Letting that energy flow naturally, and learning to trust it and our subconscious… that can be pretty scary, especially when we’re taught that we have to be in control of everything. That’s a huge trigger for anxiety for a lot of people! But that’s why practicing letting go via our creative endeavors can be a great way to learn to trust that inner voice and relax in a way that doesn’t feel as dire.
Here’s a few ideas for meditative creative work:
- working with watercolors or acrylics on a wet paper: just let color drip randomly, or swirl color across the paper without looking
- save every bit of leftover fiber from your spinning or felting projects. Work on spinning a yarn or felting on a blank piece of felt, pulling random bits out and using them without thinking about it. Just let it happen.
- make a string of randomly selected beads into a necklace – you can pour them into one bowl if that feels right to you
- choose a specific embroidery stitch you’d like to practice; cut threads ahead of time in random color selections, pull from these without looking and add your stitch wherever you stick the needle each time you change color
- My boyfriend does this one: divide a page into sections, then fill each section with lines. He tries to make each line the same length and thickness, but I’ve done it with curves, using varying pens, and that also is satisfying.
Have you tried a creative meditative method like this before? What were your results? I would love to hear about your experiences with this process!
This post is part of the Bound By A Thread series. If you would like to learn more or would like to join the private Facebook group, you can do both by visiting the Bound By A Thread page!