Love’s Labor; my SoulShirt™ Process and Surprise Effects – Part 3 of 3

Sharon Barnes CASIGY, Contemplative Handwork, Soul Care

My inner dialogue with my SoulShirt™ continues.

“Ripping stitches out and starting over will take too much time. I don’t have that much time. I had planned to be far ahead of this by now. I hate this. Gary will show up again any minute, and I WILL bite his head off for sure. And if I keep ripping stitches out, the fabric will be mangled and I’ll have to make even more bias strips. Oh well, I have the fabric for it if that’s necessary.” I’d kept ripping stitches during this inner argument and now look, I notice that it’s almost all ripped out and the fabric isn’t ruined after all.

pink shirt workI think of the Amish and how they purposely put one mistake into every creative project to remind themselves that they are not God. “Well, I’ll never have to do that. I have more mistakes than anything else.”

“Remember Thomas Edison, who found 10,000 ways that don’t work to build a light bulb?”

“OK, so far, I’ve found four ways that don’t work to make this circle of fabric. Time to start round number five [pun not (consciously) intended]. Need to replenish the chalk lines- I can’t see the ones I started with.” I re-chalk the circle, find a different way to pin on the fabric strips and stitch─with a different pressure foot and almost one stitch at a time, and voilà! It works this time. “It’s not a perfect circle, but it’s close enough. There’s nothing horrible catching my eye. There’s nothing that I will cringe at when I wear this. Whew!”

sewing and lightI notice that sewing involves taking a needle, drawing a thread through it, and using the needle and thread to bring together two separate pieces of fabric or material. When I sew, I take the needle, whether I’m sewing by machine or by hand, and make the needle poke a hole in the fabric not once, but twice for each stitch. The needle and thread pierce the fabric as they goes down and then again as they come back up. This seems to be a perfect metaphor for connecting our conscious and unconscious minds. Going down to connect with the Unconscious can poke holes in our illusions, our defenses, or whatever is in the way of our lives. Coming up with something provided for us by the Unconscious can also poke holes our consciousness─ sometimes in the same places that were poked on the way down. At other times, the holes appear in completely new places. These holes are the places in us that need to open up so our inner lives can be stitched together.

ring on pink shirtNow my reflections take a different turn.

“What is it that’s so different about this kind of project that I can persist here, but with so many other things in my life, as soon as there are challenges or setbacks, I take it as proof that I’m not supposed to be doing [whatever it is], and (even though it doesn’t happen) I also keep expecting God to give me directions to do something else?

How is it that I can keep the vision of this currently unfinished project in my mind and yet for things which are less tangible, but seem more important to my life as a whole, a vision of the end result often seems to elude me? Or sometimes it’s there, and sometimes it’s not? Hmm . . . . maybe the fact that when challenges and setbacks come, I can’t always stay visually connected with my goals may not have the meaning that I have assumed. Maybe if I approach these other goals the way I do this creative project, I could have more successful outcomes in other areas of my life as well. This is so obvious now; why did it take wandering about with fabric and stitches to discover this?

finished productOnce again, I realize the power of the process of Creative and Contemplative Handwork™ to help me make connections between my inner and outer life, to help get me over a hurdle, to bring me a deep awareness that had been eluding me and that is crucial to my life.

Again, I discover that by ‘playing around’ in a low risk activity, I learn something which can be applied in a much higher risk area of my life, to my advantage.

I access the deep wisdom I (sort of) knew was there, but with which I hadn’t been able to connect.

I am awed and humbled again as I understand that as I pursue the seemingly frivolous it is then and only then that I am able to learn profound life lessons that have eluded me for quite some time.

You may be wondering how to apply this in your own life.

You can use Creative and Contemplative Handwork™ with any type of creative pursuit. I’ll continue to share training tips in future posts in this blog. And if you’d like to have some hands-on instruction and mentoring, read on:

I’m offering a safe, limited-enrollment, My SoulShirt PlayShop in the Denver, Colorado area on August 9 & 10, 2014. By participating, you’ll

  • Experience a fun and funky way to strengthen your personal inner core so you can face your biggest challenges with confidence and poise while simultaneously expanding your creativity!
  • Maintain a grounded, yet hopeful connection to your dreams and goals- so you can reach for the stars while keeping your feet on the ground!
  • Expand your creative problem solving skills so they encompass any difficulty you may face!
  • Have a safe place and a totally risk-free way to learn and practice the skills you need to solve the biggest, toughest problems you face!