Little Cabin Knits is a biweekly podcast all about knitting, mental health, advocacy, my new mama journey, and life happenings here in the wilds of Alaska with a little bit of Hygge sprinkled throughout. I’m your host Emily. I am a knitter, crafter, mental health therapist, and explorer of my home state of Alaska
This week’s episode contains:
’Raise a Cuppa
On the Couch
On the Shelf
Personal Skill Set
A Time for Hygge
Andersmillknits on IG and Ravelry
Between Knits and Purls on YouTube
You can find all the show notes on our official website: www.betweenknitsandpurls.com
If you have a question, or comment you can email me at littlecabinknitsAK@gmail.com
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Charming Ewe the official Sponsor of Little Cabin Knits! Link to CharmingEwe
’Raise a Cuppa
On the Couch
Silver Dream Mittens
Knit using Knit Picks City Tweed DK in harbor seal and Primrose
Goldwing by Jennifer Stiengass
Knit using Madeline Tosh DK in Deep and Barbara Deserved Better
On the Shelf
Marshland Sweater by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Knit Picks Provincial Tweed in the Grey, Carmel, Frozen Pond, and Salsa Verde colorways (all the same colors I used for Jeremy's wedding sweater)
Personal Skill Set
The New Year often brings a lot of pressure on yourself. This is the time of reflection, contemplation and revisions of past mistakes, but it is also the time of year in which we can become bogged down with dissatisfaction in our life choices, how we look, what we did, or did not do, during the last twelve months. The excitement of a new year is tempered with the regrets. We may be focused on the things missing in our lives. the list is potential gargantuan including things like dieting, saving more money, even a new life plan. Perhaps you are alone feeling left out in the cold of affection or connection. The month of January can overwhelm us with the things we believe are missing from our lives and the goals we think we need to make in order to attract a better life. These goals are all focused around limitations, regrets, and restrictions thus pressure builds up within us creating anxiety and depression.
This focus on limitations piles up and can create a vortex of emotional struggles. These feelings are all real though and needs to be honored. There are no shortcuts to a better life, however, our perspective along that journey of goal achievement can increase your motivation and security in your internal abilities.
January can represent new beginnings. It can be an opportunity to change your life for the better. This can be a time for new hope and positive change. It is all in the perspective that you take. If you are focused on your limitations than your goals will be focused on restrictions and demands. On the other hand, if your focus is on hope and the belief in positive thinking than your new year will be full of that hope and your abilities to create positive change in your life.
So how do we alter our perspective? I wish I could tell you that there is a shortcut here, but I cannot. It takes a lot of patience and commitment, perhaps even a lifetime of work. However, there is something I can promise you: by attempting this change in perspective all you have to gain is strength and perspective.
1) Awareness: awareness of our personal strengths and growth areas is a powerful tool to have at your disposal. This is not a time to be harsh with yourself but realistic and make plans to utilize your strengths while being aware of areas you may struggle in. For instance: I am fully aware that I am very empathetic to other people. On top of that I have an ability to hone in on another's strengths that they may have forgotten about and that helps my friends, collogues, and clients work through growth spots with the support and encouragement they need. At the same time, I am aware that I often take on another's problems as if they were my own and thus, I have worked hard to create boundaries in this area, recognizing that I am not responsible for another person's success or failures. This has been a hard won battle over the years and I still have to remind myself of it each time as this is an area of growth for me.
2) Acceptance: Acceptance of yourself requires reserving judgement. Accepting your strengths and your growth spots. In other words, celebrate the times you succeed, and be gentle with yourself when things do not go your way, or you find you have to try again.
3) Celebrate: Celebrate the successes both small and large. Perhaps even implement a reward system to help yourself with motivation.
4) Rose colored glasses: I am not saying to look through life ignoring the negative but rather be kind to yourself. See the good in yourself and other's and recognize that we are all trying our best- Including YOU!
All of that sounds like a dream, doesn't it? But also, a lot of hard work and a lot of retraining of your mental state to get to that point. I highly recommend taking on the challenge though as you will feel peace within yourself the more you come to a place of acceptance and nonjudgmental thought regarding yourself overall.
In the meantime, perhaps the best method to begin this process is to start rewriting your goals. Instead of focusing on what is wrong with you focus on what is good with the intention of promoting that good within you.
For instance, weight is a big goal for millions of individuals throughout the world. But instead of focusing on the weight you wish to lose; focus on the life you wish to lead. Do you want to be more active? spend more time outdoors? eat more family dinners? All these things have the same end result of weight management or getting healthier but without the judgmental goal of say "loosing 20 pounds before summer vacation."
Feeling lonely? Perhaps a lack of connection with those in your community or a life partner? Instead of telling yourself to "just get out there and socialize" take stock of the things you enjoy and make a goal of joining a local group that meets around that same topic. Again, maybe it means you join a gym, a biking or hiking group, a knitting group, book club, or you simply look to reconnecting in person with friends of years past. But by changing the verbiage you use around the goal you change the internal dialogue from one of lack based to strength based.
The week before New Year's I start contemplating the year as it comes to a close. This year one thing kept popping up for me. I lived this past year in a lot of physical pain and anxiety. While pregnant I was very sick, on bed rest and then in the hospital. I worried about my job performance, if I was going to be a good enough mom, and if I was being a good wife. I kept "future tripping" as we say in the industry, that I would fail or lose my job, or that Mr. Radio would leave me even though he never once gave one indication that he was unhappy with our marriage. Then when Jimmy came, I worried every second that I wasn't doing enough, or being enough. I worried that he would stop breathing during the night as so woke up at least 15 to 20 times a night just to check on him. I worried that I wasn't physically able to be a good mom since my health was so poor and I had such a slow and painful recovery. I worried that I wasn't giving Mr. Radio enough attention. I worried that I wasn't giving my dog enough attention, or that, again, I would lose my job. All these thoughts are judgment based and focused on a lack.
This past week, as I recalled all these anxious thoughts, I had this past year I did something I utilize with my clients and coworkers all the time: I fact checked. I went through each concern and logically worked through if any of them were valid. None of them were. I even spoke with Mr. Radio about my fears, and he relayed such love and devotion to me that my fears were layed bare as groundless. Jimmy was not only okay but thriving, Mr. Radio was and is very happy and ecstatic to be a father and my husband, my job was going great, and while Watson still has a lot of health concerns (an old dog with diabetes will have that you know), he didn't exhibit signs that he was unhappy or jealous of the new addition to the home. In other words, all my fears were judgmental and not based in fact.
So, as I contemplated all this the word "content" came to my mind and I decided to base all by 2023 goals around that. My goal is to be content and secure in my relationships, to recognize and name my blessings, to fact check myself when anxious thoughts arise and to recognize my good works and the happiness that surrounds me in this beautiful life my husband and I have created. Those are strength-based goals. Those are goals removed from pressure and self-judgment but also goals that will see me happier, healthier and dare I say more content, then if I had placed different pressure focused goals on myself for this new year.
I invite you to contemplate your new year's resolutions and think about how you can reframe them to be strength based and removed from self-doubt, judgment or pressure.
A Time for Hygge
In the Hygge lifestyle there are guidelines that one lives by and at the forefront of those is "come as you are." This thought process relates the belief that you are wonderful just as you are. So be yourself, allow and accept others as they are and accept all as they present themselves to you.
We've talked before about this concept, in fact we were just talking about it in the last segment. Come as you are also means accept yourself without judgement. Be okay with your strengths and growth spots. Allow yourself to be real and trust yourself. To live in nonjudgement is a life of self-compassion and healing. It is comfort. It is joy. All things hygge.
“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”
“Don’t believe every worried thought you have. Worried thoughts are notoriously inaccurate.”