art · Creativity · Knitting · Memoir · Spinning · Yarn

Self-Care, Creating, and Grounding

You’ve probably heard tell that the full moon a couple of days ago on the 14th was a super moon. Danny and I made a point on that night to drive out to an area with less light pollution and fog to get a good look at it. We drove south a little ways and stopped at a spot called Oyster Point, and the moon really was a sight to see there. Big, bright, and stunning hanging out over the bay. A rather romantic setting actually.

Besides being a romantic backdrop, some people believe that the full moon means something more, that it brings powerful energies and change. Last night, the night after the full moon, I felt inspired, and I challenged myself with trying a new experience: I attended a full moon meditation ceremony. I discovered the details of the event while searching for information on this month’s moon, and it just popped right up in my search engine results. I thought, “What’s stopping me? When in San Francisco…”

Reflecting on Tuesday’s ceremony, I will say that it was a comfortable, positive, very calming, and centering meditation. I am still processing what I may have gained from the experience and why I was drawn to go to it in the first place, but it felt very much like a caring thing to do for myself.

This is a creative, reflective blog space, and I very much want this to be a politics-free zone, so I am not going to go into specifics or sides or any of that. I don’t want to have those kinds of discussions here, but we all have to admit, it’s been a heck of a year and a real heck of a week. Like many, I feel drained emotionally and mentally, and I’m even a little physically depleted today from fighting a cold bug that’s been going around. In general, I find myself a little out of sorts, at a loss of what to do next, and wondering where to go from here. I know that what I crave is some real self-care. Self-care, I believe, is very important and something I, unfortunately, often forget about.

It has been interesting for me to reflect on the kinds of things that I have been drawn to in order to find comfort and healing this week. Here are some of them.

  1. Community. In addition to spending time with friends, I find myself really wanting to reach out to even more people, particularly those with like-minded fiber-y interests, and to connect. I have been researching knitting and handspinning groups in my area this past week, and I’ve already attended two knitting groups that I’d never tried before last weekend, and I am trying out a new spinning group this Sunday. It’s difficult to explain the rejuvenation I feel after spending even just an hour or two with friendly people talking about their interests and passions and sharing in their laughter.
  2. Spirituality. Not that my spiritual side ever really stopped being important to me, but I feel as if I have a renewed passion and vigor for it in my day-to-day routine right now. I’ve been meditating and praying more, and I have been fitting in the time and effort to create more of a sacred space at home, utilizing things like incense and candles as well as filling my living space with meaningful symbols and music, which has been very comforting for me. Going to the moon ceremony was a very nourishing environment for my spiritual side, and it reminds me that I should try to discover similar events in my area.
  3. Art. Creating is always something that gives me great joy and a feeling of wholeness. This week, I have been drawn to handspinning a little more than knitting or crocheting, which is a new occurrence. Knitting is usually always my go-to craft that takes up most of my creating time. Handspinning still feels very new to me. I know that I haven’t practiced nearly as much as I’ve been wanting to, but I have nonetheless found it to be a very grounding activity. I would even call it a handspinning practice, because it reminds me very much of having a meditation practice, much more so than knitting or crochet. Since this summer I have been spinning with a Navajo spindle, and it brings me comfort that I am partaking in an ancient craft, one that even predates knitting, when I spin with it. I feel connected to spinning’s history and tradition, which gives me a small sense of belonging to the world.
  4. Journaling. Writing has become the ideal outlet for my thoughts and feelings this week. I find that once I write down my thoughts, they don’t feel quite so overwhelming. I have been trying to set aside a block of time, first thing in the mornings, to sit down and just write out my thoughts in a very stream of consciousness kind of way for three full pages. Sometimes I surprise myself by what comes up in a single entry. For instance, there were times this week when I wrote about thoughts that I didn’t even know were bothering me, or I was able to work through and answer some of my own questions, creating deeper insight.
  5. Nature. I’ve been going for walks and runs at the beach more this week. We are lucky enough to live close to the coast. Pacifica, an intimate beach town on California Highway 1, is only a few minutes drive from our place. Like handspinning, the beach feels very grounding to me. I have actually been wanting to take my drop spindle to the beach with me this week, but it has just been too windy and foggy, which is fine for running but not so much for sitting and spinning. For those days that I couldn’t make it to the beach, I put on some headphones and listened to recordings of ocean waves or thunderstorms, and that seemed to help center me.

These all seem like small things individually, but as they come together, I believe they make a positive difference in my daily well-being. Every little bit helps.

The 2016 Wool Symposium, hosted by Fibershed, is this Saturday in Point Reyes Station, which I am planning to go to with some fellow wool enthusiasts. Wonderfully woolly photos to come soon hopefully.

“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort. “

– Deborah Day

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