Looking into ourselves using meditation and mindfulness is the big new trend. However, I know many people that use other things to center themselves and meditate. I know people who use yoga, running, cooking, painting, photography, gardening, knitting, or other endeavors. Anything can be meditation, if done in a way that makes you more aware of yourself and soothes you.
I crochet to meditate. There is something about the rhythm, the textures of the yarn, counting, and so on that help me center myself and slow my mind down after a busy day, or to get me ready to face a busy day. The simple act of using a hook to shape yarn to create something soothes me in a way that can only be matched with how lost I can get in a fantastic book or singing a song that I know so well I do not need to actually think about the notes or words anymore.
I have also tried traditional meditation and guided mindfulness exercises. While some have served to soothe and calm my mind, I much prefer using a tactile focus rather than sound or breathing based techniques. I think it is important for everyone to find a way to meditate; whether it with with the expected breathing and mental focus of meditation and mindfulness exercises, the rhythm of running or working with yarn, or the process of sifting flour and kneading dough for the perfect bread. There have been recent studies about how coloring is a wonderful form of meditation.
Here are some of the best books that have come my way that might come in handy if you are looking to learn about meditation, or to turn one of your favorite activities into a form of mediation or mindfulness.
How to Train a Wild Elephant: and Other Adventures in Mindfulness by Jan Chozen Bays
Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss
In Search of the Perfect Loaf: a Home Baker’s Odyssey by Samuel Fromartz
Turning the Mind into an Ally by Sakyong Mipham
Wherever you Go, There You are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Take a Deep Breath: the Haiku Way to Inner Peace by Sylvia Forges-Ryan, Edward Ryan
Meditation for Dummies by Stephen Bodian
If you would like a free class in mindfulness come to our Hypnosis Works! Hypnosis for Stress Reduction & Relaxation program on November 5th at 6:30pm.