NOTICING THE SIGNS…
If you are like me, crocheting can turn into a stressful activity and make you get stuck in your head, drifting away from the present moment and out of your body – this can lead to dissociating where you shut down your body and emotions, feel numb, lose track of time and neglect doing other things during the day because crocheting takes up everything.
Dissociating can be good in smaller doses and it is something most people recognise – have you ever read a book and drifted totally away from your life and into this story? But if it happens too much or all the time it can lead to feeling disconnected and losing touch with yourself and even forgetting to breathe.
For me not being present when crocheting looks like this:
– Thinking about how the item is gonna look
– Forgetting to breathe
– Fixating on visualizing putting on the item/ weaving in the last end/making the last stitch
– Thinking about where to take photos, what to wear with the item
– Crocheting way too fast to reach the goal quicker
– Worrying about wheter or not the item will look good/fit
– Neglecting other areas like eating, drinking, bathroom breaks, socializing or even personal hygiene.
It’s not that it’s bad to sometimes think or act in this way. Visualizing and having a goal is also important, but when it takes over it can turn crocheting into something toxic and even an addiction.
But often this overwhelms me with all the things that needs to be done to get the item done, I’ll become too fixated on finishing the project rather than being present, being in the Now – and therefore be mindful about the process.
IT’S NOT ENOUGH, SO I RUSH.
My problem is that I get a feeling of urgency, I feel that was is here now is not enough, I think that it will be better once I’m done with the project. And I feel this lingering feeling of not having enough hours in the day, I am behing and time is running out for me, so I rush.
Then today while sitting with my crochet and thinking these thoughts I looked over at my herb table where I have planted seeds in soil. No sprouts are visible. I started to think, that I can focus on watering the soil and giving it enough sunlight – focus on the need of the seeds day by day, or I could get fixated on the future — when the herb table is filled with green herbs. Then I thought, but then you’ll pick the herbs – and then there will be no more herbs left, the soil will be empty again – no seeds and no sprouts and I’ll have to sow again and it all starts over. And I could see how this related to my crocheting and addiction to it and to always being one step ahead, not really enjoying the Now.
UNDERSTANDING THE CAUSE
Being constantly in the future prevents me from living. It tells me that something better is just around the corner. The same phenomenon happens when I go into a PTSD flashback, just the other way around; I feel that danger is lurking around every corner and I can’t be present.
I like to notice why I’m having difficulty being present. Writing this now is an attempt to do just that – be present about why I can’t be present today. Notice what I feel and why I might feel that way.
Often it stems from feeling of mistrust and uncertainty about me and my life, so drifting off into the future becomes an escape into “something better”, where the tasks are done, the kitchen is clean, my hair is washed, my bank account has more money etc.
CAN BE A TRAUMA SYMPTOM
Escaping into the future can be a life saver if you have experienced trauma, this is what saves you, if something bad is happening to you and the pain of being in the moment is worth than dying. Then it’s a relief to drift away in your mind, to avoid experiencing the pain in the present.
Mindfulness and being present can’t be forced. You can’t do anything to become mindful, it’s actually more about not doing.
If you’re doing a lot, racing through your projects, thinking ahead all the time, rushing around and trying to reach the finish line, you’ll continue to race. Because it’s not about the things and the race, it’s because of something happening right now that you are fleeing from. But know, that it’s okay to flee, understanding the “why” is so crucial in both being aware of what is happening and being able to change it.
When I can’t see a clear cause to my stress I notice that it’s just because that’s what my brain has been taught – even though there is no danger in the present. I have been used to driving on a road of fear and stress and it’s what it has known most. I need to create another road aswell, a road of more peace and being, so I have a contrast to the old road.
LEARNING TO TAKE MY TIME
Sometimes I just need to put the work away to do (or not do) something else completely. Brew some tea, watch a comedy series, go for a walk, breathe. I think it is also about appreciating what is here and now – even if what is here and now is an unfinished project. Think about maybe sharing your unfinished project and romanticizing the process more than the product.
Today I’m practising to tell myself “There is nothing to do”. Everything that is happening or that “needs to get done” will get done in its own, I can’t force it – well I can, but I won’t like it. I’m enough and I’ve done enough.
And sometimes it’s my fear talking, it’s the fear of not earning enough money to provide for myself, the fear of being forced to do a regular job that will slowly kill me, the fear of being trapped in an enviornement that is not good for me.
I sometimes think, that if I can just do and do at 200 km/h, then I can relax for a few days.
No! I can relax and still earn money. Just as the days I’ve been the most productive I don’t sell a single product. And yes it’s uncertain and I don’t know how the future will look, and that’s okay. I can take my time, I have time, I don’t need to rush, I’m enough. I’m really enough.