In the midst of knitting a sweater there are lots of opportunities to notice the mistakes I’ve made and to reflect on Practices of Repair.
I was a good ten centimeters past this mistake on a cardigan sleeve when I finally noticed it. I’m not a super fast knitter and in a piece of fabric that’s about 20 inches wide this represents a good hour or two of knitting.
The process of noticing the mistake and figuring out what to do next gave me the opportunity to think about Practices of Repair.
As I spend some time with the process I became aware of a few things. As I’ve been exploring there are two earlier posts if you are interested:
1. Mistakes are going to happen if we are alive.
2. Opening up a mistake to repair it feels vulnerable.
Opening up to the vulnerability of a mistake, led me to notice that I could also circle back more often, sooner, to decrease the potential damage caused. I had to leave live stitches open and try to recreate the pattern. I wasn’t good at it. I made more mistakes. This process reminds me of the Spiritual Practice of an Examen.
3. Checking in regularly means less time between the Mistake and the Practice of Repair
I picked up stitches and then had to pull them back because the process wasn’t creating the pattern I wanted. I finally caught the insight that if I would stop at the end of each row and review my work, I could know sooner. I could have less to unravel. I could try again and save myself many stitches.
In our day by day lives, the Practice of Examen is like that row by row check.
Once (or twice or twelve times) in a day stopping to take some deep, nourishing breaths is how the Practice of Examen begins. Listening to the still small voice inside of us (and to the voice of the Spirit), we can check back through the time since we last examined…
Where do I notice things that have not gone as I wanted them to?
Who can I talk to about those experiences to better understand myself and my circumstances?
Is there something that can be said or done to make repair that won’t cause further damage?
Where do I notice moments that help me to feel like my truest self?
What has helped me to feel most free or alive in the last day?
How can I share the joy and energy that have come from these experiences?
Have you ever used a process like this to review your days?
If you want to jump on to the other reflections you can find them by clicking through to the links below: