Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ignoring My Inner Critic








The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination.
-- John Schaar

I’ve been working on the slip stitch baby blanket with a new purpose. I’m getting together with a knitting friend who I haven’t seen in a while this week and I want to give this blanket to her new grand daughter. Suddenly, one side of the border is complete…just like that.

I even ran into a snag where I wouldn’t have enough of the green to finish the project so I decided to make a split border that is still symmetrical in both colors.

But at that moment when I realized the green would be short I felt “it”. I could perceive that shift in energy where a part of me was saying, “Put it away for later when you can afford more yarn.” I pmed a good Ravelry friend and together we decided the two colors would be fine. I asked DH and he agreed. That “feeling” instantly left me as the energy redirected itself back into finishing this project.

This blanket could have suffered if I had caved into that inner critic that is quick to want me to give up. But I chose not to listen.

I’ve always felt it is so terribly annoying to have one inner voice of guidance and support and one of pessimism and erosion. But over the years I’ve learned that the emotion that flows with each voice is totally attuned to its motives. That is how I tell if it is my higher self or my inner critic is talking.

Have you ever noticed if you own a Garmin or one of those talking GPS guidance systems that her voice actually seems to change as you ignore her instructions? In the end I can hear the anger in her voice as she says, “RECALULATING,” as I continue to make my own path.

My negative voice is the same way. When it doesn’t get its way it stomps and yells as it has a temper tantrum and starts getting mean. “Not having enough yarn” morphs into “You can’t get this done on time, why are you even trying?”

But you know what? There is so much chaos around me that I can’t control that this negative voice only serves to enrage me.

Many times one negative comment at the wrong time can tear us down or it can empower us. I choose to be empowered.

I’m tired of listening to that negative voice that says I “can’t” do something. We really don’t like the word “can’t” in our house. Can’t is usually a cop out. It is giving up without even trying.

I’m sorry, I’m a gamer and “can’t “just doesn’t cut it. DH and I have spent endless hours trying to one thing in a game. We don’t give up. Sometimes we move on to another area of the game and come back after gaining a little experience but we don’t give up.

So this voice telling me I can’t get this blanket done by Friday just really upsets me. I’m the master of my destiny not this voice. Where does this voice get off telling me what I can and can’t do anyway…and why am I listening?

Ah yes, that is the crux of it all. Why am I listening? I have free will just like everyone else.

But most of my life I’ve spent listening to that negative voice. I’ve let it tear me down and associated myself with its view of me. No more. Really I’m done…I abjure you negative little voice. As of this moment you do not exist for me.

You can stomp your feet and recalculate my life as much as you want but I choose to make my own path where I see fit. You no longer have any power over me. So mote it be.

***** ***** ***** ***** ******




Chances are if you are reading this blog you are part of a community. And I’m not just talking about the one you live in…I’m talking about the one that lives in you.

Our Friday night knitting group is like a balm for my soul. I look forward to it with a child’s wide eyed delight. I don’t know when trying to fit it in to the calendar turned into “this is what I do on Friday…end of story.” But it has…and I love it.

All these beautiful women live in my heart and I am so blessed to know each and every one of them. Together we are making something truly inspirational.

These squares are but a few of the wonderful creations that have already been crafted by these generous women. They are to become blankets and lapghans for the Assisted Living in our community. What started as an idea over coffee has turned into something wonderful. This project continues to grow and transform as each woman adds something of her personal essence to its process.

I am blessed to be a part of this community and call these brilliant women friends.

***** ***** ***** ***** ******

After the blanket my next WIP to work on will be a reversible hooded scarf / hood combo I’ve been designing for a while. I’ve got the basics laid out but haven’t had the time to try out the pattern yet. So that will be where I concentrate my completion energy next. Simultaneously I will be starting the process of creating my Ostra bag for this year.

Every year as spring arrives I decide what spiritual seeds I want to plant and grow and I bring focus to them through color and herbal correspondences. This year I am doing more then that since my goal for Spirit is to plant a garden. So my “seeds” are actually potential plants just waiting for the right combination of factors to come into being.

Last year I bought the containers but never had the time or energy to focus on using them. This year I am ready to have herbs again. I miss them so much! I have felt this longing to go out and snip a sprig to put in a soup or when someone is ailing I feel this need to make some fresh tea…but my herbs were gone.

This year I’m going to fill this aching need to work with the Earth and watch as the elements come together and create new life. I’m going to make tinctures, poultices, compotes, bouquet de garnis, sauces, teas and add beautiful fragrance and flavor to my dishes. Mmmmmmmm.

I wish you all a blessed week of creating your dreams in all you do. :)

Bright blessings,
Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Circumstance

Change is created by those whose imaginations are bigger than their circumstances.

-- Unknown source

I often think the circumstances for a project to make it to completion is not that different from a seed growing into a flower. There has to be some alchemical formula that allows us to take matter and turn it into something else.



What keeps us knitting on one project from beginning to end while others we stash away for another day? There has to be some spark that keeps us interested and focused on completing our project.





You have seen this blanket before (and as my sister said, “Is that the same one you were working on two years ago?) and most unfortunately certainly will see again.



What makes this blanket so hard to finish? It is not the fact that it is a blanket and bigger then a normal project because I’ve finished blankets in a weekend. The stitch doesn’t bore me I like the slipping and the interweaving of color. What circumstance…what magical formula…am I missing in order to complete this blanket?



I’ve been meditating on this quandary this week because my knitting isn’t the only thing to suffer from this missing equation in my little world. My life seems balanced by the things I have to make time to do and the things I can never seem to fit in.





Last week I made two items that I was very proud of for two very dear friends on their birthdays. There seemed to be no struggle, no problem to stop me in either of these projects and they were completed faster then I had projected. One was a short row wash cloth and the other Who. Both had challenges and were fun to knit. But previously I had made that wash cloth and it had taken almost a week to complete and this time I finished in two days.





It boggles the mind. Now this wasn’t a happy go lucky week with a lot of free time either. Nothing was different with the time I had to complete these projects…so what made them flow…like water through my fingers to their completion?



One thing I did note was that with Who I used double points the whole time. I actually adore dpns where many years ago I used to fear them. And that is when it hit me…I’ve grown as a knitter. I will try almost anything instead of shying away from it like I used to…that does not include steeking, that still scares the willies out of me.



But I digress. I think that maybe one of the elements of finishing a project is what you carry with you. I’m not talking your cable needle, stitch markers and life-line (though those can be very useful), I’m talking about the skills you have as a knitter. You may not be aware that if you are up to mindless knitting on a project…congrats…that’s a skill. A new knitter will look at you in awe as you knit and talk at the same time without missing a stitch.



I’ve picked many projects out of my skill-set and then set them aside because I’ve ripped too many times or I am just so frustrated that knitting is impossible. But then a year later I may go back and say, “Why did I have trouble with this?” Then again the pattern may be wrong and the skills necessary for the project seem to be rewriting and designing and new way to knit the piece. Its all in the circumstance…and each project has different pluses and minuses that add or detract to it being completed.



But in the end it is me that is the final component to a project being completed. I think from now on if I decide to give up on a project I’m going to list why on a piece of paper so that in the future I can understand my reasons and see if I have overcome them yet.



For now this blanket will travel with me. I really want to get it done. I’m not going to set it aside again.



Since this year started I’ve finished everything new I started and steadily worked on past WIPs. My meditation showed me that in each thing I create is a little of my energy just waiting for me to reconnect with it. As I finish old projects I can feel what circumstance was greater then my creativity and caused me to stop. I can see that I have grown from that moment when I gave up on a particular project and that I myself have become part of the creative equation.



Bright blessings,

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)

I almost forgot…Birdsong won the Blogiversary Contest and her gift package will be winging its way to her! Congrats Birdsong! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Blogiversary!





















The Stillness of Winter


I remember a time
When the icy crust
Of Bridgit lay upon
The land like a
Crystalline calling
Of things to be.
Meditate with me now
On hues of ivory
Blessed by a grip
Of relentless indifference.
Invite the stillness
Within the quickened
Rhythm of your pulsing heart.
Feel your mind solidify
With each passing thought.
Allow the chilled air
To penetrate the deepest
Concealed places of your essence.
Tolerate your body losing
Its warmth to the unfeeling
Handshake of Winter.
Become numb in the tranquility
And experience in your core
The essence of being.



************************************************************************************

Today I've been blogging for 4 years! Can you believe it?

The winter winds are whipping through here with the power of a freight train. But those snows are from years past. I just felt I owed it to Winter which is not anywhere near done even though yesterday was sunny and warm...it was just a lull.

So in honor of the groundhog being right and a wonderful 4 years of blogging...I'm having a contest. Leave a comment in this post and on Sunday I will have my son draw names out a hat for some goody yet to be determined...but it will be nice.

Thank you to all of you who have made blogging a wonderful experience. I've made so many friends and learned so many things. Blogging has truly blessed my life because of all of you! :)

In love and light,
Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

When the World is Quiet

Sock yarnSock Yarn

Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.

-- Hans Margolius

There was a moment last week when it had snowed and the kids were playing, the TV was going and people were talking and I stepped outside and it was quiet. Absolutely silent. While I love the sounds of a house well loved and family abounding…the stillness was awe inspiring.

I’ve been able to recall that moment when everything gets crazy and find serenity within the chaos…which if you know me…is the sig I use on my e-mail. For years I’ve used that sig but it was only this previous week where I could really say I understood what it meant.

Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace within the storm.

This led me to want to knit a spiritual circle scarf. I’ve done this with jewelry before but never knitting. I have the most beautiful Alchemy sanctuary in all the elemental colors. So I’m working on a mantra for each element to weave into the stitches.

But after inquiring how others bless their spiritual works it seems most people tend to bless them when they are done. They do not feel that they can knit and keep a mantra in focus at the same time. One person on Ravelry stated that her offering could only inspire one to swear like a sailor for that is the only mantra she maintained during the working of the project.

Which is fine. Everyone has their own path. But I would like to knit this scarf in mindful meditation from beginning to end.

There is an anime character I love named Belldandy. Besides being the nicest, sweetest, kindest woman imaginable, she knits. In one episode she knits a sweater for her love and in each stitch she puts her feelings. When he wears this sweater she wants him to know how deeply she cares about him. The sentiments of love and devotion are imbued into the yarn. The sweater is a symbol of her deep bond with her love.

That is how I want to knit. I figure if I can cultivate that moment of stillness in my heart and then add my devotion and respect for each element then I can truly create a wondrous circle scarf. I know that each time I use it I will feel the presence of the elements.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Last week we bid a tearful farewell to my Uncle. He was a beautiful person who gave to his community and loved his family. I really didn’t know him and it saddens me. My son wanted to go to his funeral. I told him that it was okay for him not to go because it would be long service and my Uncle would be happy he was enjoying the beautiful day. My son said, “Mommy I’m sorry I didn’t know him. I think that I should start getting to know all the people in my life better before their gone and I never get the chance.” *sniff*

My Mother has never really gotten along with her sister and she kept us from associating with that side of the family as much as possible. I’m not sure what causes these chasms but I know that it divided our family. Even so there was a place of honor for my Mom by her sister at the funeral. Unfortunately, she was unable to attend. My Aunt seemed to miss her sister in this time when family should mean everything and I wondered what could cause a family to split so?

We never really got the full deets. I think it had to do with love. But I never understood the whole mess. And now with Mom being so confused, I’m not sure we ever will. *sigh*

I’m not really sure about a lot of things. My SIL had her car repoed at 1 something in the morning and thought we should know. She seemed surprised after 5 months of missing car payments they’d be upset and take action. Just like the income taxes last year…she found it incredulous that they didn’t get more back on their taxes but ignored the fact that if you do not pay the mortgage then you cannot get the interest income back in your taxes. *hello*

Maybe it is just me. But I stand within this ball of revolving chaos that surrounds me and I just don’t get people. I mean I never claim to be perfect and I’ve done very stupid things. I’ve been in debt and gotten in trouble. I’ve been so broke that having Mac & Cheese once a week was an event worth celebrating since all my other meals were Ramen Noodle soup. I’ve been at the end of my rope and I’ve drowned my sorrows in a bottle. But you learn and go on and it may take some time but isn’t that what it is all about…you learn and go on.

And when you are standing in the silence it is all about you. There is no one to blame for your sight is clear. You can see how each decision contributes to the whole of the tapestry that is your life. You can forgive yourself for your mistakes and see that they are much like an error in knitting; only you know they are there. When you look in the quiet waters of the soul and you see the reflection of your true self do you know her/him?

I didn’t. Most of my life I have loved myself but I haven’t really known who I am. Maybe that isn’t really true. What I mean to say is that I had negative connotations that connected me to those times that I told you about above where you learn and go on. I learned to stay connected to them so I could blame myself for my mistakes. Blame is so much easier then acceptance.

In the crystalline pools of my soul I met my true self and I hugged her. I feel different…full of light and buoyant. I feel like I took a step towards something so big that the ramifications of this moment are still cascading through me…maybe they always will. I know that there will be many more trips to the pool and each one will bring a new understanding as each layer of my true self is revealed.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Heart Scarf

Finally I would like to show you my heart scarf that has been on the needles forever and I just don’t know why. The pattern is mine, the knit is easy. I love this scarf. The way the colors dance and merge is just beautiful to me. I combined Cascade 200 with Trendsetter and I’ve been so happy with the results. This scarf will be my red heart giveaway that we participate in every year at Fair. I hope it finds someone who loves it as much as I do.

To you and yours may love abound as Valentine’s Day draws near. I send all my dear friends a *hug and a smile*

Happy crafting,

Bright blessings,
Ruinwen
:)

I've Been Deemed Creative

Breien nominated me for a Blogger Award. Thank you so much. I'm really honored! You should check out her blog. She really does knit in her sleep...her Fair Isle is amazing too! :)

Now it is my turn to nominate 7 people for a Blogger Award, as the rules are... and I copy:
The official rules are as follows:

1. Copy the award to your site
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers
4. Link to those on your blog
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

Here are my 7.

1. Knitnana - not only is she an amazing person but she is an awe inspiring creatrix. She makes the most beautiful bags I have ever seen IMHO and knits the most delicate of lace. She strives each day to save a little of our planet and is one of the sweetest people know.

2. All Things Heather - not only is she a super mom but she always throws herself into her crafts with all her heart and soul. I've seen her steek at 2 am, make beautiful mosaics and she IMHO is the best dyer of merino that I know.

3. Pixie Purls - is an amazing new designer that really cares about the things she creates. I am always amazed by her tenacity and beautiful spirit.

4. Marnie Talks - She is a wonderful designer that pays attention to all the small details. Her patterns are pure magic. But what I love the most about Marnie is her zest for life and living each day with all her heart and soul.

5. The Woolen Rabbit - is another amazing yarn goddess. She spins and dyes the most beautiful yarn. She paints her world with beautiful hues that can banish away the darkest of winter's days.

6. My Poetic Path - this beautiful woman paints in words that inspire and uplift. Her poems touch your soul and her kindness shines through every letter. She is a pure gem.

7. A View from Sierra County - demonstrates a life well lived. She is one with nature and her gentle spirit is a respite when one's soul is weary. She is an avid knitter, spinner and lady of many talents.

There that is my 7. If I could I would cut and paste everyone I know because all of you are wonderful creative people...each in your own special way.

*hugs, love and light*
Ruinwen

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Happy Imbolic / Candlemas / Groundhog Day

Everything is made of light; everything is alive. The Great Mystery of life has little to do with intelligence. The universe is not an intellectual process. The intellect is helpful; but our hearts are the wiser part of ourselves.
-- Mellen-Thomas Benedict

I finished the Sister's shawl and my Hemlock and they both came out different then I wanted. The Sister's shawl I bound off way too tight but the multicolor edge was beautiful. Yet when I wear the shawl it wraps lovingly around my like it was made for me. The Hemlock...I have no idea what happened but it wraps lovingly around my lap. It was made to be a lapghan...so maybe these two knits decided to adopt me. They are both beautiful regardless of how they wear. And that is two finished objects in a weekend...that is a *pat* on the back even if they aren't up to my idea of perfect.


I really can’t look at these to FOs with anything but gratitude. Really the shawl doesn’t pucker and the bind off doesn’t look tight when it is on. Maybe it wouldn’t wear so well if the bind off had been looser. Right now it holds me in a sweet acrylic hug and since this is a knitted representation of my “sisters” then that is a powerfully beautiful thing.
The Hemlock is still stunning. I have no idea if the thick cotton was the wrong choice or if I had have gone up a needle size would have made a difference. As I was making it I thought about how nice it would be to have something to wrap up in that was pretty. I thought about the green and beautiful nature feel of the cotton and I think it just bonded with me.

So these two FOs are mine. I think they chose me. I believe many times the yarn doesn’t want to be what we are urging it into and it makes a project impossible to continue. But I’ve never had a project decide that what it wants…is to be with me. I am impossibly humbled by both these projects. Punxsutawney Phil has said in Groundhogese that we are to have six more weeks of winter. (You might want to check your current groundhog as there is one for most regions in the US and Canada)

Winter to me, is the time that you either use the things you gathered over the previous year or a time to draw deep within. The Norse rune Isa (ice) means introspection. When things are frozen you can look at them from all sides. Water is emotion…when you freeze your feelings you can see them from a different point of view. Isa holds the key to how we internalize things.

Last week I had a tough time getting my head and heart to agree. But I believe that after thinking about it and talking to wonderfully supportive friends and family I’ve come to an understanding. Any emotion can be heartfelt. And my anger came straight from my soul. When I “froze” that moment for introspection I came to see that my turning my back on my SIL was for my family’s highest good as well as my own.

When you block someone from sending you e-mail they can’t send e-mail to your address and you don’t see them if they do. When you abjure someone unfortunately there is no magic button to keep them from meddling in your life especially when there are children involved. You see them devastating someone you care about and want to do something, but you can’t.

I don’t want my anger towards this situation that continues to revolve around my happy home to control me. Yoda said, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” I don’t want “hate” to become a way of life for me.

Imbolic / Candlemas was Sunday and I created a day full of meaning, love and fun for all that I could. In the morning I hung with friends after pouring salt into the carpets. Salt grounds negativity and brings harmony. I smudged my room with dragon’s blood. I just love the smell but it gets rid of negative forces too.

I am so blessed to have so many friends and I feel like I just connected with another wonderful person on Sunday. And then our house was overrun with children from all over the place.

Over the years we have tried to make “kid friendly” rituals for the holidays followed by a big feast. We decorate a sheep with flowers filled with hopes and dreams for the growing season to come. Our feast consisted of Stromboli and cream of potato soup. I’ve come to realize that a feast is any time that we come together as a family to celebrate something special. I’ve stopped trying so hard and just letting the moments flow. I’ve learned a lot about flow from the kids…they are wise teachers.

So my heart tells me that my SIL does not control my actions. Anger is not a way of life for me. My heart is full of love and light just like it always has been. And for once…my head agrees.

Bight blessings! May the seeds that you plant by your thoughts and dreams manifest into glorious fruit.

Ruinwen
:)

P.S. They have given a year for the lead law stuff to get hammered out so hopefully they will find a way to enforce the law without stifling crafters on limited budgets.