February 1, 2018
Zen in the Art of Knitting
Knitting is an hobby, I’d always thought I would hate. I’d watch family members knit and crochet with speed and skill, and dyslexic me, couldn’t make sense of it. Being left handed doesn’t help either. Left is in fact Right, in my mind. Piano was the same for me, frustrating and confusing. I loved playing the piano, but I eventually gave it up. As a kid, you don’t have the mindset not to quit. You get frustrated and give up. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self not to give up.
Even typing was a challenge for a while. I remembered, when I was learning to type, I couldn’t think of left hand, right hand, because I can’t relate to that. I make 4 lefts, trying to make one right turn while driving. Every.Day. So putting me in front of a keyboard with typing tests, telling me which letters to type with which hand was a nightmare.
Knitting and piano were optional, typing was not; it’s a necessary life skill that I needed. I began to visualize the keyboard, look at it as a pattern, and memorize that pattern. I realized I could apply the same logic to knitting. After all, as obvious as it is, knitting is a pattern.
– 573PH3N H4WK1NG
In my travels to Madison, Wisconsin, I learned to knit from a friend and I promptly became part of her sofa with tea,
and blankets, knitting the hat I was determined to finish before my flight home. Mission accomplished.
In an instant, I knew I’d found my zen. There’s nothing like picking up a relaxing hobby, where the end result leaves you feeling accomplished. Knitting is that for me.
I’m here to encourage you all to try and find a relaxing hobby, one that uses your mind and body, and make it separate from your physical fitness practices. In other
words, something that helps you pass the time at home: keeping you off social networking for just a bit longer.
This is what helps recharge my batteries, and I hope will do the same for you. Whether it’s knitting, sewing, or making jewelry, there are so many ways to express yourself artistically, and have it become a beloved hobby that you can share with others.
The benefits of a hobby like this:
Active Meditation – rather than sit and try to meditate in the traditional way, a quiet eye, hand coordination hobby relaxes a portion of the mind, while allowing the rest of the mind to quietly focus on the task.
Improved Coordination – Cognitive skills such as eye hand coordination, improved reflexes and fine motor skills are all benefits of knitting. Those suffering from Parkinson’s, stroke, dyslexia, and mind many neurological diseases: dementia, Alzheimer’s, MS can benefit from the mind, body connection from knitting.
Improves Memory – with use of the fine motor skills becoming quicker and easier, memory improves. Don’t underestimate the healing power of the mind, body connection.
New Stuff -the sense of accomplishment in making your own accessories and sharing that with others, in the form of gifts, completes the mind, body, spirit connection.
*I began writing this blog the same day RIchard Branson posted his “Letter to my Younger Dyslexic Self” which you can read here.