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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter Feast for the Soul Days 2 & 3

Tonight I completed Day 3 of Winter Feast for the Soul meditation practice.  Tonight I put on my Plum Village Meditations audiobook and actually sat for 15 minutes.  It was a fairly good practice for me... I was gratified to find that although I'm a bit stiff and sore and inflexible, I wasn't that fidgety.  My brain, of course, did a fair amount of twiddling, as always, but it wasn't frustrating twiddling, if you know what I mean.  I noticed that I was thinking, and then I tried, at least for a few minutes, to think of my breath instead, or the bell sound.  And then my brain would go off again and I would gently redirect it to the breath. But I didn't feel that sense of failure to do this!! that I used to get when I was younger.  I'm guessing this is a sign of maturity.  I can sit still.

I did my Gratefulness journaling as well tonight.  I was still a little fuzzy-headed from the sitting--perhaps I should have journaled first?--and so I kept sort-of nodding off as I wrote.  But I'm taking that as being in a meditative state, not simply an exhausted one.  I listed about 40 things before my allotted time ran out... and I think I really would have fallen asleep if I'd continued.  I really am grateful for a lot of things in my life.  I have no idea why I wrote number 19, "I am grateful for cheese" but I know exactly why I wrote "I am grateful for fondue." Fondue and all it symbolizes.  I wonder if others would think it odd how many of the things on my list are people I've never met... I forgot to write "I am grateful for Jayannell" but I will go add her now, because without my Accountability Partner I would never have done this exercise in the first place.  Is it strange that I am grateful for Peck, my Wee Tiny Owl, who in real life is a pompom animal wearing a bow tie, and in The Tower is a Spirit Guide who hides under my hair and gives me strength and courage?  The semi-fictional life of Ravenclaw Tower is a remarkable and real place to me... listening to Talk of the Nation today, there was a story about the blog "Tuesdays with Dorie," which is a baking thing... Dorie Greenspan, a cookbook writer, told of her experience of a group of bloggers who wanted to cook their way through her entire book.

She said, "But what's been so interesting is how kind and generous and wonderful. I got really lucky with "Tuesdays with Dorie." They're a wonderful group of people, and they formed a real community. Real friendships have been formed through this group. People had helped one another. Careers have changed. It's been a remarkable journey and one that - as I said, I never could have imagined this would happen."  This, of course, resonated with me--my career has changed , I have formed real friendships, as a result of Ravelry and the House Cup.  And then she added, 

I've watched hundreds of bakers go from being scaredy cats to becoming really, really good bakers with confidence in your skills. 
And the letters that I've gotten from people who've said that learning to bake, which was something that's frightened them, that they did kind of - you know, with self-improvement. You said a New Year's resolution, but many people do take up baking as a - at New Year's - when they're not dieting. But I think that people who started without the skills had become so confident of what they can do, and it's gone to other areas of their lives, that this has really given them - I think of this as the power of baking, the power of community. It's really given them the confidence to do other things. It's been so exciting.
And again--this resonates for me.  Learning to knit really well, to be fearless in just one thing, has led to some fearlessness in some other areas of my life, and ultimately to a career change.  I still have fears... but so many fewer than I did a year ago, let alone 2 1/2 years ago when I joined the House Cup.  So... being grateful for it and all its imagined and half-imagined population and locales makes perfect sense.

Today on the radio I heard this, which I think will be my next journal exercise.  Reclaiming my Personal Story... I think that sounds very therapeutic, don't you?

Last night, on Day 2, I did a lot of mindful knitting... which maybe wasn't as mindful as sitting or journaling, but was still more mindful than when I watch a video or listen to an audiobook while knitting.  I got a lot done on my OWL (talk about developing fearlessness--I'm designing this one, and if all goes right, it'll be a project in a book of designs I want to write.  If you'd told me a year ago that this would be in my personal cards, I'd have said you were nuts.

Exercise: not so much today.  The time I had planned for exercise went to a work phone call.  But it is all good.  Tomorrow I am stuck at home all day with no car as my car gets a check-up, so I will plug in the Xbox then.

Hmmm... knitting pictures...

I didn't get to show these off before because the Barbie was a gift.  She's wearing a dress made of hand-dyed yarn... which I dyed with ice cubes, mind you, just because I had to try it.