Crafting for your Soul

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Kiddo : Mumma can you please help me with this…I can’t seem to find my sock. {School bus at the gate}

Door bell rings: Maid just turns up late.

Phone messages ringing….Did you figure out the production issue?

I am running late to work and thousands of issues already piling up. Brain in organizer mode, appointments to keep up, meetings, pick ups, drop offs etc etc!!!

Great start to the morning!!

Is this a typical start to the work day?

Have you felt times when you feel that life is taking over, the walls closing in. When is the last time, you have indulged in your hobby or leisure activities to unwind yourself? When is the last time you spent time with yourself? These and many such questions often plague us throughout our lives – personal or career.

As a wife, mother and a working professional, I was always hounded by these feelings. As a woman, wanting to balance home and career, it has always been a tight rope-walk. Once you are a parent, your me-time is the kids time. I set back my hobbies, me-time and pursuing my goals at one point of time in my career, as it became too much to handle productively on all fronts. Getting that quiet time, to think or rest was a luxury in all probability. I loved classical dance, meditation, learning new things…but it all took a backseat and then it almost vanished. I had to always think on the feet, immediate responses and decisions to be made, no time to analyze, deadlines, less sleep, be proactive and alert – be it in my job or personal life. It had to take toll somewhere!!!!

It starts taking toll on your mental peace and well being, relationships around you and then slowly creeps in to your work and work relations. Hectic workplace/being in achieving mode, leads to employees/workers following habitual methods or techniques to deal with the situation. I was in autopilot mode. I missed viewing the problem/situation in different light and missed an opportunity to reframe the problem and think about different approaches or innovative ideas for potential solutions. My mind was clouding.

>> How the cloud cleared?

During my sabbatical from the corporate, I went back to doing nothing to being bored. According to a couple of studies, it is said boredom actually sparks creativity, increases productivity, stimulates problem solving and new ideas. This I experienced with myself which led to the creation of an upcycling venture. It was a 360 deg turn from corporate to hand crafting.

I have been exploring a lot of different art and craft since childhood and I find them highly therapeutic and meditative. I would have these bursts of new ideas in the middle of the night for which I would maintain a pen and a book at my bedside, lest I do not recollect it in the morning. It felt like breathing and being alive again during that phase.

I would greatly encourage everybody to go back to your school/college days and pick up that activity- be it reading, sports, crafting, sketching, painting, writing, doodling, singing, playing an instrument etc. It just frees up the mind from the shackles of routine and monotony.

Personally what I discovered the benefits of indulging in crafting were:

  • Creativity: When our minds are cluttered with to-do lists, targets, goals, metrics, milestones, deadlines to achieve, it is difficult to come out with fresh new ideas consistently. Indulging in a creative hobby for sometime in a day or week, raises you above the noise and turmoil. It provides a space, a blank canvas to rewrite a new story/idea/technique/strategy.
  • Confidence – You are the master and the winner in your own space. One need not be an artist to draw or a master craftsman to work with your hands. It is just the joy of creating and visually seeing it build up how you pictured it in your mind, that causes a shift in your confidence. When you go back to your challenges, you are equipped with clarity and a new zeal of confidence to face and find better solutions to overcome them.
  • Mindfulness – Its almost single focus, meditative, trance-like when one is working on a creative hobby. (I can just write a whole article on mindfulness and crafting!!!!). There is a sharp awareness about what emotions is a particular activity evoking and how our brain analyses and responds to it by releasing happy, calming hormones. It quietens the brain’s and body’s fight and flight responses. It encourages single -tasking rather than multi tasking as an effective technique. It is all about experiencing that current moment – Right here, Right Now.
  • Perspective – Putting oneself in others shoes and trying to understand how a particular product/service would impact them or what feelings would they evoke in them. Creative people think about it all the time. It is second nature for them. When you break the daily rut by indulging in a creative hobby, it gives you a chance to view the same scene differently.
  • Connectedness – Art/craft or in general any creative hobby are highly immersive techniques to get connected to the most innermost feelings or emotions. They are highly therapeutic in nature and grounding. You respond rather than reacting. Being a kinesthetic learner, I connect with emotions, learn, process and memorize efficiently, when I work with my hands.
  • Rewarding – The act of creating itself is the “Reward”. We always tend to approach the problems with left brain analysis – practical, logical, scientific, objectively. Engaging in art/crafts helps activate the right brain creativity, intuition, emotional connect, thoughtfulness, subjectively. The productivity after an immersion in a creative pursuit is a great reward for oneself.

Crafting is my doorway to connecting to my higher soul, it is my yoga in motion, meditation with my hands. What is yours?

Friends, I highly recommend you to identify & connect back to yourself. Take a pause, deep breath, step back. After all, 

Self-love is not vanity, it is Sanity!!! ~Katerina Mayer.

 Find out what was that space that belonged to you and where you find yourself in the most joyful and happy state! I would love to hear from you what is that creative hobby you miss or love to immerse yourself in. Is there something that you are still pursuing and how has it been adding value to you?

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