“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn
As an adult, when I think back on my childhood, I notice there are gaps in which I don’t remember what happened. I’m in my thirties, and I’m not talking about when I was 5 years old. I mean from the age of about ten or twelve until I was about twenty-five (okay, I’ll be honest, I’ve been in therapy because of a childhood trauma for the past 3-4 years so really I’ve only just begun to pay enough attention to things to “capture moments”).
That being said, I used to think I had a bad memory—a really bad memory. But as I’ve been on this mindfulness journey, I’ve come to understand that you can’t remember what you don’t pay attention to (except for those darn jingles that snap back into our heads at a moment’s notice…).
Once you begin to slow down, take a few deep breaths, and hear/see/smell the things around you, then will you begin to “capture moments”. And the interesting thing about that is the more you can associate something else with the moment—those sounds, sights, and smells—the more likely you can bring it back to mind later. Each time you hear, see, or smell the same thing, you will likely remember the last time you heard, saw, or smelled it.
The point of mindfulness is to allow yourself to be—be in the moment, right now, as you are. You can cultivate mindfulness in a variety of ways but it all comes down to being in the moment; being aware of what you are doing and why.
With crafting, the point is to perform an action that may or may not result in a polished product. Most of the time when I pick up my needles, I am doing it to make a finished item. But there are times when I begin a project that I know will take me a long time to complete because I want it to be my relaxing, ‘I don’t have to worry about anything’ project. I also like to take the time to knit things that are for me vs. another. Some people will knit squares of a certain size and eventually donate them to a blanket-making cause. For them, the point it to make—and be mindful of others—not to have a final blanket for themselves. Others will make the blanket and then give it to a loved one.
Making a final object isn’t the goal, however. The goal is to practice mindfulness by immersing yourself into what you are making and allowing yourself to be present with yourself.
What’s you favorite way to relieve stress?