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Friday, August 12, 2016


In my ongoing quest to find an effective form of meditation por moi, I’ve hit on two things that might do the mind calming trick.

First – knitting. I learned how to knit in grade school but have never done more than a basic stitch and never completed so much as a scarf. Why not? Eh, this was the late ‘60s/early ‘70s – knitting was just SO Becky Home-Ec-y, Republican, find-a-husband-and-pump-out-the-kiddles. //shudder// REAL feminists didn't knit! *cough* I was young. Very young.

Why start with the knit action now? A couple of my fellow widow friends shared that they found the repetitive process, (with pretty results!), to be relaxing, soothing – helpful in their time of overwhelming sorrow. Yeah, I could do with some of that soothing shit right now.

Naturally, I Googled knitting as meditation and scored gold. The first hit is a NY Times post: The Health benefits of Knitting.
a snippet:
Dr. Herbert Benson, a pioneer in mind/body medicine and author of “The Relaxation Response,” says that the repetitive action of needlework can induce a relaxed state like that associated with meditation and yoga. Once you get beyond the initial learning curve, knitting and crocheting can lower heart rate and blood pressure and reduce harmful blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Betsan Corkhill, a wellness coach in Bath, England, and author of the book “Knit for Health & Wellness,” established a website, Stitchlinks, to explore the value of what she calls therapeutic knitting. Among her respondents, 54 percent of those who were clinically depressed said that knitting made them feel happy or very happy. In a study of 60 self-selected people with chronic pain, Ms. Corkhill and colleagues reported that knitting enabled them to redirect their focus, reducing their awareness of pain. She suggested that the brain can process just so much at once, and that activities like knitting and crocheting make it harder for the brain to register pain signals. More of Stitchlinks findings are available at their website.
I should’ve looked into this a lot earlier. The Amazing Bob and I could’ve BOTH been knitting.

Second – making light catchers. This is, potentially, a similarly relaxing, focusing project. I’ve had it in mind ever since Jenny, Jen and I were at the Surgeon’s House B&B in Jerome, Arizona. Many of the ones there were made from bits of old, junk jewelry. Boyhowdy, I’ve got loads of that laying around. While at the craft store for yarn, I picked up some strong, yet slim colored cord and thin copper wire. I’m gonna get busy wrapping and stringing the beads and baubles.

High tide’s happening right now. I'm off to sit on the bottom seawall step and have the chill water wash over me. Watching the waves, having them cool my mind and body is also meditative.

Then I’ll come home to knit, doodle, craft and brush my hot kittens.

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