Creativity KAL ~ Week 4
Hi everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! We had a busy one here with birthday parties, friendsgiving and night out with a few new friends where we live. It was so much fun but not enough time knitting! I need to catch up a little on the Cozy Thoughts sweater to stay on schedule.
On to this week's topic - getting through failure. I veered away from talking about this in our Spring KAL but this fall I want to come back to it. It may not seem relevant to what we're doing with our knitting but I've found through my own experience and from podcast gusts that making and knitting helps them cope.
Each week on the podcast, I ask my guest how they get through failure and hardship. It's so interesting to hear people open up about tough times and how they managed. I think about this a lot, as a parent - how do I teach my boys to cope with this well and also as a business owner - I'm constantly dealing with failures or putting out fires - I think that just comes with the territory. So here is what I've learned on my own and through my guests.
For about a long time now, I've shifted the way I think about hardships and failures from 'this is happening TO me' to 'this is happening FOR me'. I'm not sure where I picked this one up but it's had an effect. I used to just repeat my failures over and over again in my mind - beating myself up and replaying it all daily. I would say to myself, how could I be so dumb and naive. I can't change the past though, whatever mistake it was happened and I messed up big time. Now I choose to look at those mistakes as my best teacher. They taught me to be crazy careful about my finances and to focus and not to try too many things at once. I'm positive that that experience makes me a better parent too. I recently listened to an interesting podcast (but warning, a little out there!). The podcast was the Lively Show, episode 242 with Jacob Lieberman. In that episode he said something along the lines of, "Life provides us with what we need in our to experience to live our maximum potential – this is not always obvious to us." I think that's something I believe deep down and it has helped me get through tough work things - there's always a silver lining, even if that is just an opportunity to learn.
There is one book that I talk about a lot on the podcast called The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. It's had a profound effect on how I think about hardships as well. This quote is my favorite: “Everything that happens is a chance to move forward, even if it is on a bearing that you did not anticipate. We must try to be objective, to control your emotions and keep an even keel, to choose to see the good in a situation, to steady your nerves, to place things in perspective, to revert to the present moment, to focus on what you can control. This is how you see the opportunity within the obstacle” I don't think I could say it any more eloquently than that. The idea of keeping things in perspective and controlling your emotions is so good. Can we keep the broader perspective and realize that even within a week, definitely within a year, this pain will fade. Sometimes in my own life when something particularly bad happens, I let myself have a 'mourning' period. I allow myself to be upset, cry etc but the next morning (or whenever all the bad emotions have passed) I pick myself back up and try to follow this, seeing the best in the situation and focusing on what I can control to make it better. Usually the thing I turn to that helps me stay calm again is my knitting too. It soothes me and I think there's some magic in the repetitiveness of it to stop my monkey brain from going in crazy thought loops. It helps me get back to a place where I'm able to see the good, think about what I've learned and start planning next steps.
Alright lastly there's a quote from Elizabeth Gilbert that I want to add to. She says, "Failure has a function. It asks you if you want to go on making things." It's so good! If you're anything like me, making things is just part of who I am. I would still do it if I failed forever at it because I can't not do it. I love creating kooky yarns, knitting, and running a small business. Most of all I love feeling like I am creating the life I want, exactly as I want it to be. Sure, I have a seriously long way to go but I love feeling that I'm on the right path. Does that idea resonate with you? Does this post help you cope at all? How do you normally think about and cope with failure? AND especially do you also use knitting/making to move through it. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Big Hugs ~ Amy