While I engage in the odd bit of yoga here and there, I'm not a yogi, nor have I studied the history or philosophy of "the yoga". I am however a collector of wisdom and knowledge from wherever I can get it (it makes me joyful!). I am also someone who has done enough yoga to understand that you get more out of it than simply bodily strength and flexibility.
Sometimes in order to really hear something you need to hear it at the right time, in the right place. This was true of "practice and all is coming" for me. I had heard it before but only really understood the skills part of it. Y'know...the practice and you will get better at whatever you are practicing. That is until a few weeks ago, when the inspirational force that is instagram served it up to me first thing in the morning, and I really got it.
We talk a lot about practice on this here blog; about practicing in the gap and that talent isn't necessary but making is. How we need to practice to get where we want to get to in terms of our ability to make the things we see in our minds eye. However on this particular morning, as I was sipping my morning cup of glorious coffee, it occurred to me that craft gives me something much more than enjoyment in the process, and an end product.
Now I won't try to define what the statement means in yoga terms as that is not my field of expertise, but I am interested in what it means in a crafting practice. In the same way that you learn about yourself through yoga, I believe that this is also true of craft. Craft providing framework that creates the space needed to learn the lessons you need to learn.
It was the word "all" that struck me in relation to my craft. Yes - there is the total joy that is the process; feeling the yarn through my fingers, slowing my heart rate down and settling me in a way that not many things do. And yes - there is also joy in the end product, the jumpers, the hats and the shorts. But the thing that was revealed to me in reading that statement, at that moment, was that I don't often think about the other incredible benefit I have got out of making things; I get the total joy (and often frustration) of learning about myself. What I like, what I avoid, where I get stuck and why I get stuck and what I need. A simple example would be how I have a bit of a problem with stillness ;). Little gems of self knowledge that weren't the intention of the practice, but that come none the less over time, with the practice. Craft slows you down, revs you up, excites you, calms you and lets you get right to into a creative state of flow. And through engaging in that process, over the years, through practice, I've learnt things about myself that have changed me.
Another reason to be grateful to my craft practice? Have you found this to be true?