Monday, 22 April 2019

Sunshine, Birdsong and a Mindful Exercise

The sun has been out in all it's glory here in the UK, which means that we've taken out the garden furniture from storage in the shed, and have started to turn the garden into somewhere nice to sit and relax. It's taken a while for us to get to this point, and in truth we still need a new table and chairs, but I think for this year, we can use what we have before investing in something new. Like many, our budget is a little tight at the moment and this year we're working extra hard to be resourceful and use and improve what we already have. We've invested in some spray oil to feed the chairs and table so I'm hoping that once they've been sprayed with the oil, they will look a little less forlorn. Perhaps a few crocheted cushions won't go amiss and would brighten up the garden as well as depleting my yarn stash.

I must admit that I'm not a keen gardener. If you ask my husband, he will quickly tell you that he can't get me to help with the gardening 'for love nor money'. The fact that we have a great selection of plants that are now giving us privacy, is all to his credit.

I have all the excuses in the world - and all of which are not 'real' excuses. In fact, it's a little bit like 'The Little Red Hen' - have you heard the children's story where the Little Red Hen has some wheat that she wants to grind into flour and make bread. But nobody will help her so she does it all herself. The story takes you through the different stages of bread making and ends with a beautifully baked loaf by The Little Red Hen. Then all of her friends want to eat the loaf, even though they wouldn't help to make it. Well I think my husband is the Little Red Hen and I'm one of the lazy friends who wouldn't help. Whilst I love to sit and enjoy the garden, I don't want to help maintain it.

Just to balance things out though, I will always do the housework when hubby is gardening, so that it's fair, and I do love to clean so it works really well for us. Do you have your own preferred jobs?

So thanks to Mr. Rowe, I can hopefully take some work outside in the weeks to come and enjoy sitting in my outdoor 'office', listening to the birdsong, the wind rustling through the trees, children playing, lawnmowers chugging, traffic roaring, and all of the noises that are there around us, that we often don't notice.

Here's a great mindful exercise for you to try if you find yourself with a few minutes to sit in the great outdoors and knit or crochet.

Settle into your seat and place your knitting or crochet down for a moment. Close your eyes and spend a few moments noticing your breathing. As you relax, listen to the sounds that you can hear. Concentrate on the louder, nearby sounds and pinpoint one sound to focus on, such as a birdsong. Listen to it's melody and how the notes are strung together. Breathe deeply as you listen and feel how your body reacts. Try to receive the sound without judgement, without responding. Notice the sound arising and the sound passing. Notice the pauses between the sounds and also note the sound of silence.

After a few moments, pick up your knitting or crochet and as you work on your mindful project, continue to hear the sounds around you, noting their comings and goings.

Using our senses in our mindful knitting and crochet can bring us into direct contact with the present moment and to what is happening around us. When our senses are engaged, our minds are less likely to find the time or space for thoughts and emotions.

You can practice this simple exercise anywhere and it's a great way to train your senses to be aware of the present moment. As you practice this exercise more and more, when you hear a birdsong, you will naturally tune-in to the sounds as your body memory responds.

Happy mindful knitting and crocheting,

Lynne xxx