Tuesday, September 22, 2009

thread or threat?

Saturdaynight, as I was picking up my current beading project again - after putting it down when "normal" life started as summerbreak was over - I felt frustrated. I am beading a 3D necklace from a design by Jean Power, but the use of very small 11/0 cilinderbeads sometimes asks too much of the tread. Especially when I have made some mistakes and re-do part of it. Working on my own version of this necklace is a study in patience and concentration in itself, a training in mindfullness.

So I found myself with a fraying thread and the urge not to replace it. Two very incompatible options. Then I asked myself why I would be so stubborn not to finish it and start with a new one? The answers that came to mind were simple:
  • thou shalt not waste a perfectly good piece of material
  • thou shalt finish what thou has started (with)
  • thou shalt not give up
But these thoughts...are they true? Or are they the voice of a thou-shalt demon, that wouldn't let me think for myself, but rather have it that I - without any questions asked - just follow lessons learned early in life? And if so, the lessons being inherently good: are they applicable now?

Then I remembered Robin Atkins' post on witnessing. Robin always succeeds in posing challenging thoughts that keep my mind busy for quite a while. Often I don't realize the personal meaning I find in her posts until I had time to digest them, so to speak. True food for thought! It was the same with this one, but it suddenly became clear to me that witnessing is not only important when communicating with others, but also in a more inner sense. Sounds vague? Let me try to explain:

As of late I have been investigating my inner critic and I found out that she loves to consume a lot of positive energy to spill it out in harsh comments. I let a little of that seep through already in my post walk the talk. So that's who was speaking here when I heard that voice saying I should not... Now, from a witnessing point of view: if I would be witnessing myself, what would I say? How would I build myself up and give me support? I realized that:
  • I should finish the fraying tread and start a new one, because it would stop the frustration and bring joy back into my project
  • I should give up on my tread, because it had become a threat. In no way would starting a new thread stop me from finishing my project.
  • Oh, yes... the thou-shalt-not-waste-stuff... But isn't it just what it is: a piece of yarn? What harm could there be in getting rid of that?
 I made it so and I felt the frustration ooze away. On the go I had witnessed myself and then I found this quote:

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." - Albert Einstein

I rest my case.


  1. Einstein's quote is the absolutley perfect essence of the "witnessing" concept! Forgotten, sacred gift of intuition... We use the servant to hammer down to gift. You've got it, Dees! Let go of the word "should"... Welcome the words "if" and "might"... The gift will return!

  2. Oh, I forgot to comment on LSS. AKKK! I'm not happy when I use it... I too need the flow and feel of a softer canvas. As you know, I use fabric backed with acid-free paper. The paper softens as I work, yet still keeps the work stabilized. Recently, I've become enamoured by thin sheets of hand-dyed felt. Did you see my post about Elaine Hartley's approach, using two thin sheets of soft felt which are machine quilted together. I want to try that too!


Thank you for reading my blog and joining me on my voyage into life with and without beads. I hope it brings you new thoughts and inspiration.
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