Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mindfulness

Long time, no write. Mostly because I'm feeling badly about not giving you more pictures, but also because I've been working through stuff and still trying to get this apartment in working order. The good news: I'm back to painting, and yes I'll eventually get to a picture here and there. Also knitting. Knitting is teaching me about painting and my learning style and just in general how to "be".

For instance, lately I've been working on the back of a sweater and have "ripped" it out about, oh, ten times for various errors. So that means I started it over and over again. Now, I could get frustrated and give it all up (and don't think that didn't occur to me) but instead I'm trying to learn from it. See, knitting is a process of mindfulness and meditation for me. That's the whole reason I got into it, well that and getting out of the house once in a while to see people or else I will lose the ability to speak. (Dealing in images does that to me, just totally shuts off the verbal language of my brain.)

So, what has all this ripping done? Well, it told me that I was not being mindful, focusing, paying attention, whatever you want to call it. So, finally I sat down and spoke the word for the thing I was doing (knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, purl...) to remind me to focus. The world dropped away and I was enclosed in this bubble. Just like meditation, thoughts came up and I let them but I kept my focus on the knit, purl, knit and they passed right on through. Fast forward to painting today, all those voices that interrupt me came on (like "can I really do this?" or wondering if I have the talent to get it right, which is pretty much the same thing) but I could let that come, recognize it and let it pass through as I got to the important stuff, the task at hand.

The painting process in itself if a meditation. It makes me stop and look, and look again, and see what is before me. As an added benefit, it slows down time. I experienced this the other day too. I decided that when walking my dog Leon, instead of rushing pell mell, I would slow down taking in one breath for one step and exhaling with the next. Yeah, it took a really long time to get down the street, but in the meantime, I saw, really saw everything around me, the leaves on the trees, the wonderful contrast of shadow and light in the early morning, the rings of water around the ducks and I really felt at peace. Knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, purl, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. It's all good.

1 comment:

Hui Nih said...

Hi Kim, get to know about your blog from Lybil and shall drop by often too :)

p/s: Nice meeting you last week, do keep in touch!