Today Andrea Springer of The Knitting Savant is guest blogging for us on our November theme, gratitude, and how her perspective shifted “from lack to abundance.”
My friend Patsy posted this question on her Facebook feed today: “What do you think about before falling asleep at night?” It was easy to answer. The end of my day is reserved for counting my blessings.
Several years ago, my life appeared to be in a rough patch. I was recently divorced, underemployed, and unsure what the next steps in my life were going to be. I won’t say I was adrift, but I was at the proverbial crossroads. Some would say I was standing smack in the middle of the intersection dodging traffic.
During that time period I was at a get-together with friends when one of them – again, Patsy – mentioned keeping a “gratitude journal.” She went on to talk about an article about these journals and how they had been helpful for people experiencing depression and loss. The conversation worked on me for a few weeks until finally I found a blank journal and a pen and started writing.
Over two years, I documented at least three things each day that I was grateful for. I stashed the journal and pen under my pillow so I wouldn’t forget to write them down. I filled one book and started another. Today, I read back over these entries and realize that to an outsider, some of things I wrote down seem trivial – hardly blessings at all. What I’m able to see in retrospect is an evolving shift in focus from the things that appeared “wrong” in life to an understanding of how much of life is so very, very good. My perspective evolved from lack to abundance.
If you read through these journals you won’t find as many references to material things or to money as you will to family, friends, and of course, knitting. There’s nothing like a period of “wandering in the desert” to remind you of what you truly value. Knitting gives my hands a purpose, freeing my head and heart to wander off and work on other ideas. And while knitting may appear to be a solo activity, when done in the company of others it can build a supportive community. I found “my knitters” when I was at the crossroads. They helped me discover a new path and continue to bless me at every turn.
My gratitude practice continues. I don’t keep a written journal any more but I still use those last few minutes before sleep to remember the blessings in that day and say thank you. No matter the situation, I remember I have what I need. It is an abundant life.
Andrea Springer wears many hats. She’s a knitter and knitting instructor, life coach/consultant, public radio show host, wife, stepmom, daughter, sister, friend, and volunteer. Andrea is passionate about helping people express themselves through knitting and maybe helping them to uncover additional gifts and talents in the process. You can follow her blog at www.knittingsavant.com.