Usually, when I feel out of balance, I write, but writing hasn't comforted me lately. Dark thoughts written down deepen into complaints, a lack of gratitude and discontentment, which seem more solid when I record them in a journal. Since writing hasn't offered solace, I've turned to other trusty guides - my feet, my mat and my wheel.
I discovered long ago that one of the most effective ways to cope when depression rolls over me is walking, or rather, wandering. Wandering, which is nothing more than walking without any purpose other than to put one foot in front of the other, soothes me in a way like no other physical activity. When I'm down, if I can push myself out the door (sometimes, that's a struggle), I roam our nearby park or scout through city streets. There's no destination, no plan. I walk, for hours and hours, if possible, but even a short jaunt helps. If I head to the park, I may take my camera to record some of the things I observe in what I've come to think of as my Sanctuary. Mostly, I just walk.
Quite often, I end up at the yoga studio. This week, I longed for slower, more gentle classes, so I wandered over for Renew and two meditation classes, one a Yoga Nidra and the other a class in which I absorbed the sounds of students playing meditation bowls. I crashed another Yoga Nidra that Donna was teaching at the university. When I was at home, I meditated before I rolled out of bed in the morning. When I didn't feel like hauling my butt off the couch, I meditated there. As my mood began to lift, I wandered again, this time into my fibre room where I spent a lot of time at my wheels, playing.
I'm preparing to teach Level 4 of the Master Spinner Programme at Olds College in June. When I was hired as an instructor for the programme, I decided that I would work through each of the workbooks in the five levels, so that I would have a thorough understanding of the requirements. Each level is intensive, with homework that requires many skeins of yarn to demonstrate one's competency. Over the past year, I worked on Levels 1 and 2. When I was asked teach Level 4, I went straight to it, only to discover that I can't do my best job of this level without working on Level 3, so I'm in the middle of a crash course on both. This involves a lot of sampling and calculating. Counting treadles, twists and wraps per inch is like counting the breath in meditation - they help me focus and stay present. If I want to do an accurate measure of angle of twist, I have to pay attention to the yarns in front of me. It does no good to dwell on past mistakes; I can only use them to improve the next batch of yarns. I could fret about the time constraints I'm under, about the deadlines which beckon from an ever closer horizon, but that doesn't get the work done. Staying in the moment and working through each requirement is the best way to head to shore.
The world is still spinning wildly, churning up the waves, knocking me about in my little boat, but I feel as if I'm regaining a bit of control over my reactions to being tossed here and there. Eventually, the waves will settle; life will calm again and we'll continue on our way. Until the next time.
|Level 4 Samples: Base Yarn of 2 Ply Alpaca/Wool (Bottom); Tufted Yarn of 2 Ply Alpaca/Wool with Mohair Locks (Middle); 2 Ply Boucle of Mohair Locks plied with Wool Singles|