Tag Archives: meditation

Advent Meditation Crochet-along



(Image courtesy of Pixabay)

What a great idea this is! The blog, Crochet Between Worlds, is running an Advent Meditation Crochet-along throughout December. Starting today, for four weeks, they are releasing an audio tutorial for a seasonal ornament. There is no written pattern or picture of the final item, so you have to listen carefully as you crochet and follow along.

This sort of focus makes you forget any other pressures or concerns you have, which is perfect when so many people are stressed out over so many issues.

Here’s the first post about it.

I’m doing it. Are you?

Day 9/100-Day Self-Connection Experiment



The meditation continues. The last couple of days’ sessions have frankly been full of thoughts. I gave a presentation on Wholistic Nutrition on Saturday and since then I have been mentally rewriting or adding to it, but it would probably have been good to actually spend time updating the slideshow so that I can stop the ideas from running around in my head.

I am currently sticking with 45 minutes a day. Anything less was too short to get my mind clear.

I haven’t watched more than a few of Kyle Cease’s own videos. Everyone is going to have a different experience, and he talks about his own, and I need to focus on my own without expectation or judgment.

So today, after 8 days of really getting nothing, I had a bit of a breakthrough. A question arose which I was able to sit with.

“Where am I?”

In other words, where is the “I” that is running the show? Am I in my brain, where I hear my daily narrative, my thoughts? Am I in my heart, where I feel love and compassion? Am I in my dan tien, the belly, where I feel honesty and integrity, or am I in some other place? My big toe? The air around my head? Some other “place” altogether?

Where does the life force come from that animates the cells after conception and the fetus’s heart starts beating?

Am I Nicola? Well, no, because that persona is a temporary me for this particular lifetime. This body is a temporary one. It is a vehicle. But where is the driver? There is no visible driving seat!

Who is behind the thoughts?

From “Where am I” to Who, How, What, Which, Why. Huge questions to which I have no answers but by keeping the mind curious and open maybe some answers will come.

I chose the image above because I spent part of my meditation time in outer space today! “I” went above the clouds, to the blue sky beyond, then it was nighttime and I could see stars, I looked at the earth which got smaller and smaller, I touched the Space Station and dodged a piece of space junk, and I held hands with millions of other consciousnesses who were out there too.

A good start to the day!

(Image from Pixabay. I am using this site all the time for my other blog. Creative Commons pictures, no attribution required.)

Fabulous Friday


Let’s see, what do I have to share with you today? I probably should have got out of bed earlier this morning. I was up at about 7, and had to be at work by 9.15. So the first thing was to grab my lemon water and cup of tea, and then get on with making a pot of chili. It took about an hour to get everything going in the pressure cooker but it was a great way to use up the beans in the fridge and freezer, some spinach, Swiss chard, a couple of mushrooms, some grated carrot, a partial can of diced tomatoes and so on.

We used to have “refrigerator soup” most Fridays before I started working at Fabricland, because we always did our weekly shop on Saturdays and it was nice to clear out the wilting vegetables. Our routine is not so set in stone any more, because my shifts are all over the place. This week my only shifts were a five hour stretch last night plus an eight hour one today. I had a busy morning but because we are open until 9pm on Fridays we have more staff arriving at lunchtime to see us through to closing, and a couple of us were able to leave early today. So I’ve only actually earned ten hours worth of pay this week.

So to get back to the chili, and the fact that I put in a couple of loads of laundry and hung one load outside on the line, and had to eat breakfast and make a lunch, I didn’t have time to meditate this morning. And I actually missed it! It’s only Day 4 but I already feel it’s something I want to keep doing. So when I was told I could go home early if I wanted, I jumped at the chance (as usual) and fitted in my 35 minute session before dinner.


I also had time to review the slideshow that I have put together for a presentation I’m making tomorrow night. This presentation, which I’m calling Wholistic Nutrition, has been scheduled for months and I had started writing things down and mulling over how it was all going to come together back in May or June. With the deadline looming, I discovered Google Slides, which is a free Powerpoint type tool which is easy to use. Using the material I wrote weeks ago, plus some text from my blog posts on Grains, Greens, Berries and Beans (my whole-food plant-based blog), plus some nifty photos from Pixabay (free Creative Commons pictures), I found that doing a slideshow was a better way to get my thoughts in order and present everything attractively.

I sound like an advertisement, don’t I!

I ended up putting the whole thing together in a day, with a couple of tweaks since, and I even had to get a bit of advice from my techie sons about changing my display to incorporate two screens, as my laptop will hook up to a projector. I feel a bit nervous about relying heavily on technology, and just in case my speaker notes aren’t visible while the slideshow is playing I will be printing them out.

FullSizeRender (1)

I do actually have two WIPs to show you. I have finished and joined Parts 1 to 5 of the Everything is Cool and Groovyghan CAL 2016. Part 6 is a long strip that attaches to this piece, and I had to wonder why it was made separately when I could just work it straight onto the piece I already had. So what I did was crochet a row of sc along the edge of the joined blocks (after I took this photo) instead of making a row of foundation sc, and whilst I have a few extra stitches I think it will be okay (famous last words) as I think the pattern repeat for part 6 is a multiple of 5 plus 2, and I have 172 stitches. This is only five more than the pattern calls for so I think I’m good.

Good grief, that photo makes the blocks look so wonky. There’s going to have to be some serious blocking when all the parts are joined.


This is my other WIP. It’s the Kanata Kerchief Tank, available as a free Ravelry download. It’s a pretty top, made quite simply with four large squares, partially joined and finished to make the shoulder straps. It calls for a DK yarn so I’m using a new yarn to me, Scheepjes Linen Soft, and a 6mm hook.

I figured that this top should be the priority, so that I can wear it this summer, and then I’ll probably follow that up with the toddler dress with the pink Linen Soft. I’m really looking forward to making that.

I also managed to binge watch Season Six of ‘Suits’ on Netflix this week. There are only 10 episodes and I’m 99% sure there won’t be another season, considering how it ended, but I could be wrong. (Who, me?)

Wishing you all a happy sunny weekend. Have fun, stay healthy, be happy!



100 days self-connection experiment


Something a bit different today. I recently came across a video by Kyle Cease, who I’d never heard of before, that inspired me to make some changes in myself. I can’t remember which video it was – it was shared on Facebook by a friend – but he talked about being a people-pleaser and it really resonated with me.

I tend to only speak my mind with my close family, and even then I often feel I have to rein it in for fear of upsetting people. Yes, it’s good that I don’t want to go off on a rant and get all worked up, because that tends to alienate people, but even when I speak emphatically while keeping my cool I often feel guilty afterwards. Like when I was staying with my mum when I visited in June and a couple of times I ended up talking about veganism and how I felt vegans were misunderstood.

Going back to the video, Kyle mentioned an affirmation that we can use to help us move away from being people-pleasers. I was really struck by a comment he made about being inauthentic and bland when we are sitting there being passive, and I thought Yes, it’s true. I was six years in the Tao, studying religious teachings from many religions and while I found it very helpful in becoming a calmer, more accepting, person, I also found it dampened down my personality.

The affirmation is this:

I am independent of the good or the bad opinions of others.

Hoo-wee, that is a big one for me. I have spent my life seeking approval from others, being self-conscious because I was wondering how others saw me, having this image of myself that I have tried to maintain as a nice, caring person.

I am now trying to bust out of this shell of self-limitation. It might seem small, but I have worn a bikini at the beach and at my friend’s pool because I wanted to work on my tan despite not having a “perfect” body, by the standards of the media.

I have decided to speak up more instead of letting it slide when people say something that sparks a reaction in me. My friends seem to have no problems setting boundaries and saying what they think, so why don’t I?

Kyle Cease has a segment on his website called the 100 Day Self-Connection Experiment. Back in 2015, he decided to meditate for two hours a day for 100 days and make a short video about his discoveries about himself every day.

I have never been a meditator so I decided to start small. The last three mornings I have got out of bed, drunk my glass of lemon water and taken a cup of tea back to bed to do my sitting. He does not use any special techniques, and neither do I. I started with 20 minutes the first day, and have increased the time by five minutes each day. I just sit there with my eyes closed and when the thoughts come up I try not to attach to them or follow them down the rabbithole but come back into myself and the present moment. I find a good way to bring myself back is to focus on my breath, or the feeling of my hands touching each other, or the sounds coming in the window.

I have enjoyed these sessions though there haven’t been any breakthrough moments yet. It’s probably too early. And I am trying not to have any expectations or attachments. I have watched the first few of Kyle’s videos though I am not using them as a guide or something to compare myself to.

I’m sharing here because this is something I wanted to write about and this blog is not just about yarn, believe it or not! It’s about my life too. And I felt that talking about this might help someone else.