Wednesday, March 29, 2017

More and Less | March 2017.

Instead of sharing little updates about all of my intentions, this month I'm going to dive deep into just one. In last month's recap, I mentioned a "new practice" around mindfulness.

With a huge debt of gratitude to Kat (first her beautiful inspiration and then a chain of emails full of great advice!), I started daily stitching in February.

My "plan" when I started last month (and wow, was February 1 really only 57 days ago?!) was a monthly journal. I cut a piece of linen, acquired a dozen or so balls of size 8 perle cotton and dove in.
February 6

It took less than a week ... and I stalled out. I saw the first daffodil blooms, but had no yellow thread. and I stressed about the stitches (I did some crewel embroidery as a teenager, but that was eons ago!) to use. It wasn't very mindful!

I'd just started reading Marianne Williamson's A Year in Miracles; I decided to focus on a few lines from each devotion and simple running stitches. It worked. I enjoyed the creativity of choosing a thread and deciding where to place the stitches. But after that, my mind was free to meditate on the words.
February 28

For March, I simplified my approach even more. I limited the number of colors and planned to use only straight stitches, horizontal and vertical lines. The simpler approach and rhythm of the stitching was exactly what my mind needed...
March 4
... until I started struggling with the devotions. And the simplest solution of all presented itself. I'm using this stitching time for prayer.
today

Of all the daily habits I've attempted, this one has been the easiest. I look forward to the time and whereas I couldn't always "find" 15 minutes for yoga, I've had no trouble finding it to stitch! I like, too, that I'm making something with those minutes (and it's not knitting). I haven't decided what I'll do - if anything? - with the finished pieces. I'm thinking I might stretch them over a canvas board (the pieces are about 7"x9" so would fit nicely over an 8x10). or maybe I'll wait until the end of the year and do something with them all together. Welcome your ideas!
March 29

15 comments:

  1. How fun that you are stitching daily. I have love seeing Kat's pictures too. I look forward to hearing and seeing more of this project.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your stitching is really lovely, and I especially like how you changed and adapted it until it became what you wanted for mindfulness and prayer. I love simple solutions! You and Kat have shown this as such a worthwhile practice that while I can't really imagine myself actually stitching, I will have to read Slow Stitch and possibly give it a try. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This work looks so peaceful. What a wonderful way to enjoy two practices together. Your colors are lovely Mary!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is just perfect for all the reasons you listed and especially the time you spend with your morning solitude, quiet time and practice - MSQT&P!
    Down the road you will come upon a way to display/combine...it will just show up! I know that. Stitch on...and thanks for the inspiration and sharing.
    Cheers~

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, my! I LOVE IT! Every bit of this! The looking out the window, the frustration, the devotions, and the prayer time. It is all gorgeous Mary - oh, so incredibly gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing this intimate and beautiful part of you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Making the project your own is what creativity is all about. How peaceful to make your thoughts and devotions visible.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think a project like that is much like spinning - it's the process and not the result that matters. Good for you for finding a way to make it work in the best way.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is so lovely Mary. What a beautiful way to spend time. Your stitching is beautiful and I agree with Honore that the way to display it will become known to you. In the meantime, enjoy your quiet, focused time.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a wonderful way to really make something your own, while making it even more meaningful. I really want to give the whole idea some thought.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well, I'm glad you are finding time for stitching because your stitches are beautiful! And I can see that your stitching time would lend itself to a time for prayer. I find those horizontal and vertical stitches very peaceful and calming to look at. And as for what to do with the finished pieces, it sounds like you have a good idea.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love this, especially using this for prayer time, it reminds me of a rosary. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think it usually takes some time to fit a new habit comfortably into our lives. It looks like you've found that sweet spot! What a beautiful way to spend time in meditation and prayer each day, Mary. Your stitching project is just lovely -- and it appears that you've found a way to just . . . let it flow. XO

    ReplyDelete
  13. That's wonderful, Mary! I love how you're making it work exactly right for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. beautiful stitching and I love how you simplified March. Sounds like a meditative and mindful practice JUST like yoga :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is so cool. Embroidery is something I want to add to my "habit" list.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the feedback!