The Benefits of Knitting Circles By: Lisa Akers
I was reading Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and was struck by something very powerful. He said that our growing fear and insecurity about work, finances, the future, and the vulnerability that comes with that fear is really paralyzing our society. Our response to fear is to focus inward - to focus on our own performance and our own concerns with the hope that we will be ok. That was a real scary thought for me, as I see more and more of that in myself and others. Can you imagine what happens to society if we all become hermits?
It is essential to depend on others to succeed to the fullest. It is only with the assistance of others that we can become the whole person that we could be. It is through others that we can develop all aspects of our personality. Our dealings with other people shape our personality and develop our interpersonal skills. No one ever achieved anything great by themselves, and if we continue to hide behind the "I'll take care of just me" facade, we'll never achieve anything great either.
So what does that have to do with knitting circles? Knitting circles have for centuries brought women together to share their experiences, to ask advice, and to encourage one another. It’s a fun environment and a learning environment all at the same time. It provides a place where women can go to find community. Most importantly, it is a place where that community does not stand in judgment.
This kind of community is a large part of what is missing in our society today. By "nesting" and staying home, we have abandoned community. Nesting is a phenomena punctuated by the growing number of telecommuters, work at homers, and internet chat. We’re avoiding people and choosing to stay at home where we feel safe. The internet brings us chat rooms, but we can't hold a conversation in person. Nesting is keeping us from achieving all we can achieve. So, enter knitting circles! Knitting circles are a way to connect with the people who can help you achieve something great.
You must get out of your house to have a circle (or at least invite people over to your house). You will be able to share the common interest of knitting with people who bring varied experiences. You will have the chance to talk to people and share in their wisdom.
You may not solve the great mysteries of the world, and your achievements may never be chronicled in encyclopedias for generations to revere, but imagine the pride of knowing you've changed one person for the better. Imagine knowing that what you had to offer was exactly what someone needed to make a dramatic change for the better. Wow! You might raise a child, coach a business owner, write a book, offer your expertise to assist another, or even just listen and ask understanding questions. When was the last time someone truly listened to what you said? See what I mean?
This is the value of community and the value of knitting circles. Knitting circles bring women together in an environment where it is comfortable to share and ask questions. It is safe to learn something new. It appeals to women of all walks of life and all generations. Find a circle near you, come to one of my Knit One, Share Two events, or start one of your own. You'll be creating a life-changing group that will encourage each to become more than they already are.
Lisa Akers is the president of Be Still & Knit. Her company teaches women how to find peace and stillness in their lives through handwork. By discovering knit and crochet, women develop a new way to take time for themselves and share the love they have as warm clothing! Find out more about Lisa at www.bestillandknit.com or listen to her podcast at www.peacefulknitter.com.