I recently set out on a hike with the intention of filming my fourth installment of the short whittling series I’m making for my YouTube channel. It was a beautiful day, bluebird sky, salmon were roiling in the cool water beside the trail, great temperature. I was walking through the dappled shade of hemlocks and budding beech and birch; by all accounts should have been in a great mood!
But I was feeling stressed. I had set out with a mission in mind and whenever I tried to make that happen, something would come up to challenge me – technical issues, passers-by, fumbling my words. I just wasn’t having it.
I needed to relax and enjoy the moment
It was clear that I needed to just sit and take a few breaths, drink some water, and just enjoy the experience for what it was. So I sat in the sunshine and whittled this… thing. It’s kind of nothing, I call it a whirly-doo, or a windy-whatsit, and at the time writing this it is broken and long gone.
Whittling these little whirly-doos is something that I really enjoy. I don’t really think about it that much while I’m doing it, but as I drift through my thoughts the shape takes place. Minutes may drag into an hour or two.
It made for a good chunk of relaxation in a day that I was steam rolling through, even if I didn’t end up filming anything that I could use afterwards. Whittling as a mindful practice, as an active meditation, can help me be in the moment, pause, reflect, take stock. It may not ‘fix’ the problems I’m having, but it can certainly set me up to deal with them in a more productive way.
With the isolation protocols being relaxed, it feels like spring is extra welcoming this year. Enjoy responsibly, all!
How have you been enjoying the spring weather?
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