Slowing Down and Mindfulness is the first blog of a series written for Gorgeous Yarns by Lucy Partridge of Ramsical Creations.
We are all too aware that our lives are increasingly busy and that we need to slow down. Yet how often do we achieve this? ‘Mindfulness’ has become the fashionable word of the year, if not the decade, with a multitude of books available for every market, including your cat!? However, this all comes with a caveat of “are we really practising mindfulness in the most beneficial way or has it just turned into another disposable gimmick?”. Mindfulness stems from ancient eastern wisdom but we fail to take this wisdom into living practice. Without working on our mind, we cannot begin to do all those things we want or to help others with good intent. Perhaps the ultimate problem is that we are all too focused on ‘doing’ and ‘achieving’ but what about the most important aspect of life, just BEING.
Knowing the consequences of burnout personally, I realise that slowing down, working on your mind and taking time for yourself is the most important thing we can do. We are so connected now and have so much information at our fingertips that this can often be overwhelming in itself. We are able to cram much more into our days and we have no space to breath. We are able to constantly compare ourselves to others through social media without even talking or meeting up with a person. We have many unrealistic expectations of ourselves. In a very connected world, the feeling of isolation is often all to prevalent and I believe the social media experience can be very de-humanising. Outlets and escape from this are all too important.
Having always been an avid knitter and craft enthusiast, I turn to knitting for therapy and relaxation. This enables me to sit down and concentrate on only one activity. It also has other added therapeutic benefits such as feeling beautiful textures of gorgeous yarns, observing beautiful colours and working practically with your hands to make something unique. Its an investment of time with yourself. These factors are the perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness, being in the present moment and observing all the magical properties of luxury yarns and the art of knitting or creating. An added bonus is you can take it anywhere, to your favourite coffee shop, the beach or any favourite resting spot. A chance to unplug and be with yourself, a rare phenomenon.
Although knitting in itself is a solo activity, it can also be a very social one. Providing the opportunity to share ideas, knowledge and a common passion. “Knit and Knatters” previously associated with our grannies, are now popular with all generations and can be an ideal way to relieve social isolation. It can enable vulnerable individuals, those with mental health concerns or physical disabilities to learn a new skill and to become part of a community; even creating garments for each other. If you are craving some self-care, freedom from social isolation and an opportunity to become more connected, why not indulge in some favourite yarn and pick up those needles.
Look out for Lucy’s workshops coming up in winter in Cornwall.