Saturday, 9 August 2014
Needle felting and staying in the moment with a sleeping mouse
Staying in the moment is something I don't find easy. And I know I'm not alone! Being a human being with a mind full of junk and noise and clutter is hard. Let's face it!
Animals seem to have it sorted. My dogs just live for today. They don't seem to worry about what just happened/what happened last year/what's going to happen tomorrow. They're all about what's happening now. And that has to be a much more peaceful place to be. I can't prove it, but I'm pretty sure they don't go about their day with this incessant chatter and worry about the past and the future going on in their heads like we do.
I don't know why it's so difficult to stay in the moment, I'm not a psychologist. But I do know that during the times when you are really in the present, you know about it! You feel a true peace, and the noise shuts up for a while. Some people achieve it with yoga (I tried it a couple of times, but I got bored and fell asleep) some with meditation (I once went to a meditation class, held in a sports hall, but it smelled of B.O. and I couldn't stop thinking about the B.O. and then I kept wishing I'd taken the bread out of the freezer, because now I'd have to have toast when I got home, instead of a sandwich and I'd really rather have a sandwich etc) Some with positivity self-help books. (ok, I stayed awake with this one, but trying to force yourself to feel ok about things when you really don't, didn't work for me. And some with therapy. Yep, that one works.
But whatever method you try, it doesn't make you stay in the present with a still mind all the time. That would just be weird, and unobtainable. I think the point is to get as many of those peaceful times as you can, and just know that it's fine to have all this noisy rubbish going on the rest of the time. That way you're not fighting it, you're accepting it. We're humans, and humans are pretty messy and complex, that's just the way it is.
Now to the needle felting. Well, that's my method. It might not work for everyone, but it works for me. That isn't the only reason I do it, but it helps to have something that that makes you feel calm and peaceful while you're doing it. I can't say there's one way it works for me, it's lots of things - it's probably the repetitive movements of the needle shaping the wool. Then it's the shaping and working the wool, and then it's the brilliant moment when the wool starts to look like a little animal. And you almost want to say hello to it! (I don't say hello by the way, ahem, um well maybe I might have done ;) ) From there it just develops more and more, and when you're working on the finer detail, it keeps your mind focused just as much as when you're doing the more repetitive needle poking movements at the start. The whole process is completely brilliant, I have to say!
My sleeping mice seem to be very popular and I've been so touched by all the lovely messages I've had about them. I think maybe they appeal to people because the mouse is so peaceful and so in the moment. When I make one, I've noticed that lovely feeling of calm goes up just a notch. Maybe that shows in the finished piece.
I also want to say a big thank you to Heather & Gary from Little Ram Studio (They make the most stunning lino cut art) for featuring one of my sleeping mice on their gorgeous blog! Thank you so much guys x
Love, Mrs Plop xxx