You Can Do It! Add Affirmations to Your Crochet Process
AFFIRMATION: the word can conjure images of a fake-it-till-you-make-it smile said into the mirror as you try to convince yourself that your negative self-talk isn’t true. Affirmations can feel cheesy or false or even like a spiritual shortcut. And yet, they work. Somewhere along the way, they morph from awkwardness into soothing practice. Incorporating affirmations into your crochet process can produce surprising improvements that ripple throughout your life. And it can be a lot easier than you might think.
AFFIRMATIONS AND CROCHET
There are many ways to practice affirmations, so why tie them to your crochet process? First, it is a lot easier to recognize what you love about yourself when you are doing something you love to do. Also, since you crochet regularly, you don’t have to do anything extra to incorporate affirmations into your day. And if you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk while crocheting, this is a fine place to start making positive changes so that you can celebrate your creative life.
Crochet is naturally rhythmic and meditative, so it pairs nicely with affirmations. When we repeat affirmations as we stitch, we ingrain them into our belief system, loop by loop. We stop even hearing the words we are saying, but somehow they move inward, beating in time not only to the stitches, but also to our heartbeat. They reverberate deep inside of us and help to eradicate those negative messages that can play like broken records in our mind. The repetitive stitching action helps facilitate this rhythmic motion inside our psyches.
UNCOVERING NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
First, you need to uncover your negative thoughts about crafting. This can be done by brainstorming a list or simply by listening carefully to your own thoughts while you crochet. Some common negative thoughts that come up for crafters are I should crochet more, I should crochet less and be doing something else, and I can’t do this [particular technique].
Do you find these thoughts, or similar ones, traveling through your brain as you work? Practicing affirmations will help you embrace the idea that crochet is a joy and an expression of your unique creativity; it is colorful and it is wonderful. It should be done with the playful abandon of children and the intense passion with which artists create. Simple affirmations will honor your crochet time.
Some terrific affirmations for crocheters are “I am a maker,” “I am learning a new skill,” and “I love creating for myself.” See the chart at left for suggestions for “translating” your negative thoughts into positive affirmations.
CROCHET WITH AFFIRMATIONS
This process will work with any type of affirmation, but begin with affirmations that specifically support your crochet. (As you continue your affirmation practice, you may wish to address different areas of your life, letting your crochet help you grow in other ways.)
Are you ready? First, pick an affirmation to get you started. To help with this, see the chart and find a negative phrase that slips into your mind. Then, select a simple crochet pattern that doesn’t require focused attention—for instance, a large granny square, a simple half double crochet scarf. Find a quiet space. As you stitch, repeat your affirmation over and over. Say one word for each stitch, or even each step of a stitch. Find the words that feel right to you; a three-word phrase, for instance, might be particularly well suited to a three-stitch shell pattern. If you find your mind wandering, bring it back to the words. You might even try saying the words out loud.
Let the affirmation fill your mind. It will find its way to your heart. As you continue this practice, you can experiment with variations. For instance, try saying a longer affirmation at the end of each row. You might say, “I am a maker,” throughout the row, then end the row with “I am a maker making a beautiful, unique project.”
Play with it, try it, see how it works for you. Celebrate every fiber in your work with every thought in your mind!
KATHRYN VERCILLO is the author of Crochet Saved My Life and Hook to Heal. An entire chapter of Hook to Heal is devoted to working with affirmations in crochet. Kathryn can be found at her crochet blog: www.crochetconcupiscence.com. Published in Interweave Crochet Fall 2016.
Make a beautiful, unique project today!