Sewing has an ability to bring together people from all walks of life, it is not an expensive activity (unless you want to spend a lot, then you can!), you can sew at pretty much any age, and some have been sewing all their lives, some complete novices inspired by recent television programmes and some have not sewn since they were at school, and now recently retired they have found the time and inclination to try it again. An unlikely group of friends thrown together round a table because we all want to learn to sew.
WHY? This quotation sums it up nicely. “I like to surround myself with creative people. They love life in such a contagious way that can’t often be put into words” (Rachel Wolchin) Well, as we become friends in our sewing classes, discussions move from the weather to other matters and it became apparent that we come from all walks of life. Some are counsellors, lay ministers, doctors, mums, hairdressers, beauticians, business owners, secretaries and many more. What I have found is that almost all of us have found that sewing offers a positive outlet for stress, and mindfulness. Mindfulness is about learning to live in the present, and appreciate and observe what is happening now. Sewing requires concentration on the present task in hand, allowing our brains have some down time from the daily grind of our lives, where we spend so much time planning the future and dwelling on the past. It is a positive activity where at the end we are able to feel a sense of achievement for what we are learning, even when we make mistakes, it means that next time we are less likely to make these mistakes, and we try to look for these positives whilst we are sewing. The unpicker becomes our best friend!
It is a hobby where we are able to talk to others whilst sewing. Through our conversations I have discovered that a large number of my students have suffered from depression at some point in their life, and all of them find that sewing is mostly therapeutic. I have no experience of depression myself, but I can clearly see the benefit sewing can bring to peoples’ mental health and have witnessed people visibly relax when they start to sew. I am not the first to notice the connection between mindfulness and sewing. There are lots of blogs and articles on the internet about this connection. I urge you to read them and perhaps they will inspire you to take up sewing, if not with me then with someone else, for it is a skill that you can take with you wherever life leads you.
There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done, one is called yesterday, and the other is called tomorrow, so today dust off that sewing machine and get creative!
How has sewing helped you to be more mindful? I would love to hear your comments.