Handmade crafts are good for you in many surprising ways.
I hope you will engage in a craft as part of your serious psycho-spiritual practice. Handmade crafts aid in developing intuition and have other important cognitive, neurological and social effects. As Strategy of the Spirit #5, it is another practice that increases wellbeing, spiritual intuition and awareness.
Why Connect Crafts to Spirituality?
Clearly, there is a lot of conflict and confusion in the world regarding “spirituality”.
What is it? How do you develop it? Is it simply a set of intellectual beliefs, occult symbols or specialized rituals? I think that misses the point. I feel spirituality is a natural capacity of human consciousness. Like any other latent talent, it must be developed through practices that enhance it.
Perhaps we can all agree that beyond a set of cognitive beliefs, we need practices that will increase our capacity for empathy, peace and patience. We need to do things that hep us experience the Unity and interrelatedness of everything. Practices that help us respond to life with Love and Joy. So how can engaging in a craft do that for us?
The Benefits of Handmade Crafts
Like Strategy of the Spirit #4 (Geometric Play), crafts that engage us in the tactile, spatial, and visual develop “right brain” intuitive processing. This is the territory of spiritual experience. Crafts prime the brain to be more psycho-spiritually receptive. Hands – on crafts have been part of all the world's Wisdom traditions and training.
- Christ was a carpenter
- Ghandi spun cloth
- Eastern adepts wove carpets and did calligraphy
- Native Americans did beadwork, etc., etc., etc.
The benefits of the focused meditative attention required in any craft are many. (Any knitter will tell you that ten minutes into a knitting session their whole body relaxes, often with a sigh.)
There are neurological reasons why working with our hands in a real three-dimensional way is essential for full intellectual, emotional and spiritual development, at any age. Working a craft develops brain cell networks that are highly interactive and widely distributed.
In our computer age it is even more important to consciously engage in a craft that keeps us “embodied” and connected to the 3D world this way.
There are cognitive, social and neurological benefits to working on any handcraft:
- highly stimulates the brain and aids cognition as we age
- increases an internal sense of “locus of control” and impulse control
- maintains fine motor skills
- reduces anxiety and depression
- increases emotional stability
- increases ability to delay gratification
- ongoing lessons in patience and perseverance
- develops self –esteem through skill improvement and task completion
Crafts can be an oasis of calm in a very hectic world.
It is an area of life where we get to choose what pleases us!
So what craft is calling you? Will you give yourself permission to find a workshop? Take a class? Find a teacher? The possibilities are endless:
Calligraphy Metalwork Whittling Woodwork Knitting Sewing Pottery Rug Hooking Quilting Wood burning Clock making Origami Quilling Mosaic Tile Needlework Basketweaving
If you feel you might be one of the Creatively Wounded? Click here!