Something I love about knitting is that very early in a project, I know whether it's worthy of continuing or not. What might strike me at first is an idea -- perhaps based on a photo in a magazine or something I read on a knitting blog that sparks a desire to knit something. Or I might see a fiber or a color in a yarn store that speaks to me and makes me want to pick up needles and knit. Most often, however, I gravitate to the project that helps me learn a skill - knitting cables or lace, for example. But the primary thing that is so satisying about knitting is that I don't have to knit a thing for very long before I know whether I want to finish it. If it's not looking or feeling "right" to me, I have no problem abandoning it and unraveling it and either starting over with different materials or setting it aside altogether.
I've been listening to a wonderful new podcast at Creative Thursday. For some unknown technical reason, I'm not able to listen to more than the first four episodes, but perhaps I listened to the ones I was meant to hear -- I can figure out the technical issues later. If you're struggling with the whole idea of creativity, I urge you to at least listen to the first podcast (no ipod required -- if you're able to read this blog entry, you can hear the podcast).
I spent some time on the phone on Saturday with somebody who was going through a crisis, a breakdown. This person is in a highly creative field and surrounds herself with creative people . . . and yet . . . it was a crisis of huge proportions. And I totally understand that the source of these feelings are often cognitive dissonance and discontent -- the realization that the life one is living is not the life that he/she intended to live. While we might feel imprisoned by our circumstances, geography or our careers, the truth is that it all boils down to a making a choice to either accept something or take steps to make changes. Often that change requires our doing something about ourselves. To put it simply, it involves our doing something about our thoughts. Thoughts are the source of everything that's possible to change about ourselves.One of my favorite quotes is "Don't think about what you don't want." I'm guilty of that when I worry about things. The worry takes on a life of its own and begins to manifest itself in the way I look, the way I walk. It defeats me. Think instead about what you DO want. Think about it often. Expect good things and invite them.
I once had somebody tell me that she didn't like to go look at nice homes because it made her so unhappy in her circumstances and made her feel hopeless about her own life. I could never understand how she could be willing to deprive herself of thinking of positive possibilities, much less enjoying the fact that others were able to achieve their goals. I love nothing more than to celebrate the accomplishments of others. We are all on the journey to achievement of something -- and who do we REALLY hurt when we don't allow ourselves to celebrate the good fortune of others?
Knitting has honed my instincts about things -- about people's behavior and motivations. It also helps calm my thoughts while giving me an opportunity to do something creative and tangible. It's more productive than daydreaming but the results are the same. I think it's a lot like gardening or cooking -- you have something to show for all the time spent being in "the zone" or that feeling of flow you get when you're doing whatever it is you love. For me, it takes me to a place in my mind where I begin to believe that ANYTHING is possible. Does knitting do this for you or do you have something in your life that's similar? I'd be interested to hear.