*First up, this is not in any way shape or form a sponsored post. This is simply my experience, which I hope, you the wonderful reader of my blog, will find interesting, and perhaps, too, a little uplifting.*
Since becoming sober five and a bit years ago, I have been on a quest. A quest for growth. A quest to discover who I am. A quest to discover where it is I fit into this world of ours. Alcoholism isn’t the cause of the pain in our lives, it is the pain that causes the alcoholism. And when you become sober, you have to learn to live with that pain and discover where it is exactly you fit in.
And so I have been reading, and creating, and writing and growing. Turning over stones to see where it will take me. Some stones have delivered awful consequences and I have had to learn to drop them and move on (not always that easy). But some stones deliver really lovely surprises. They deliver information that feeds me and nurtures me and helps me on my quest. They are the stones that are like breadcrumbs, helping me, guiding me to finding my way. They are the diamonds in a sea of coal.
Pip Lincolne’s new book is one such stone (gem).
Now, I have to be honest. When I first heard of Craft for the Soul, I thought it was going to be a book all about crafts, probably yarn crafts since that is Pip’s forte, and since I am not a knitter, crocheter or any type yarner, I almost immediately discounted it. I thought, “how nice for Pip, but it isn’t a book for me”. But then, in my Facebook feed an invitation popped up to a pom-pom making workshop with Pip at Readings in St Kilda. I live over 50 kilometres away. But I am really trying to push myself out of my comfort zone. I have done Pip’s Blog with Pip course and I have so wanted to meet her for the longest time.
A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. (Author unknown).
And so I went along. On the table was a massive pile of yarn and about 15 or so chairs.
I was as nervous as hell. Taking myself this far out of my comfort zone was a little overwhelming to say the least. When Pip walked in, I have to confess to a little quickening of the heart beat. I am such a non-fan girl type of girl, but I was genuinely excited to be meeting in the flesh the woman that had set me on my writing path. It is moments like this, no matter how small they may seem, that genuinely add to our growth.
And the moment didn’t disappoint. Pip immediately recognised and hugged and kissed me like I was a long lost friend. Her warmth and indeed her humanity is really what sets her apart.
As we settled and set about the very delicate (HA!) task of creating our pom poms, the pile of Pip’s new book sat in front of us. In between pom poms, I decided to pick one up and take a look.
Clare Bowditch of Big Hearted Business fame wrote the foreword. It was written with such evident unconditional love. Then I fingered through some of the pages and it really is so much more than a craft book. In fact, from my perspective, it isn’t a craft book at all. Yes, it has crafts, and recipes too. But it also has a slathering of warm, hug-you-with-a-hot-cup-cup-of-chocolate, advice on how to live life too. How to live a simple life. One with contended moments. One that refuses to aim for the big I-have-the-happiest-life-on-earth pressure. It is gentle. It is kind. And by god I need kind.
Learning to live life on life’s terms is my mission. It isn’t easy. Mostly, people get frustrated as I fumble through life mostly noticing all that is wrong with my life. I find it hard to focus on the good. That is what makes becoming an alcoholic so alluring, so easy. Our life experience has mostly been one filled with negatives and so, as the human brain is wont to do, we learn to focus on that all consuming negative pattern. And people get frustrated, and impatient. And so we retreat. We become reclusive.
And so the gentility of the encouragement in Pip’s book was as comforting to me as my late mom’s crocheted blanket. There is no prescriptive tone in these pages. There is no “do this and if you don’t you are doomed to fail” insinuations. No. As I read the pages, filled with heart centred little anecdotes and bite sized life changing options, with no judgement for where a person might be at with their lives, I dare to hope. I dare to hope that I may one day get a handle on this living life on life’s terms thing. I dare to hope that life in the sobriety lane can be filled with moments of peace of mind and contentment.
Now, I know you may be thinking that I am reading WAY too much meaning into this one little book. But who knows where the meaning in our lives come from. It is said that when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear. Perhaps I am just ready, and this cute little book with its lovely anecdotes, adorable drawings, and frankly delicious recipes, is just what I needed. Indeed I know it is.
As I write this, I am half way through the book. And already I am making small changes. Changes that I have no doubt will have a hugely positive knock on effect in my life. Of course, in order for anything to take effect, some action, some work has to be undertaken. Like the work it took for Pip to write this book. And the work that it will take to implement that gentle advice. But I’m up for it. How about you? Are you up for it too? Can we do this thing together?
*PS Pom pom parties are the BEST fun. I think there needs to a pom pom party revolution. The world would be a far better place for it.*