Crochet Blog Awards

Every December over on my crochet blog I do a series of daily posts recognizing my favorite crochet bloggers for the specific cool things that they are doing. One of this year’s winners, Crochetbug, wrote this very lovely post on her blog today that included the following:

“It is an absolute delight to have my work recognized by Ms. Vercillo. To say that she is tireless in her efforts to promote crochet is an understatement, and her encouragement is a reminder to me, in this season of giving, that sometimes the most important gift is the one where we acknowledge of the humanity and efforts of those around us who do the many things (large and small) that make it possible for us to carry on with our lives.”

I was so touched by the post and the sentiment!

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Applied Spirituality Final Post

I recently shared that I’d done a creativity/spirituality process for a grad school class. I shared my original proposal. Throughout the semester we did forum posts with updates about our process and progress. I thought today I’d share the final post that I did at the end of the course, which I titled Looking Forward.

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A lot seems to be happening for me, in me, around me lately … because of the work for this course, because of the work in this school. And while I thought about sharing some of that here, particularly in regards to what I’ve been continuing to do for Applied Spirituality, I’ve decided that what’s more important for me at this stage is to look at what it all might look like moving forward. What did I get out of this? What will I take with me? What will it mean for the people I encounter personally and professionally in the future?
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What a Life Perspectives Study Says About Me

I recently participated in an online Life Perspectives Study run by a graduate student in psychology named Ivan Nasilev.

The Request for Help

Here’s what prompted me to participate:

Interested in contributing to psychology research and learning more about yourself? This study being conducted by the Institute of Psychology at the University of Heidelberg focuses on how different life perspectives and well-being measures relate to each other. More specifically, it aims at investigating how many empirically distinct kinds of optimism there are, and what positive and negative effects they have on psychological well-being and human health.”

Research background

“Even though “optimistic” and “pessimistic” are terms regularly used for the description of people in everyday life, in psychology research there is still no agreement of what “optimism” exactly is. Some research groups see it as a general positive expectancy of the future, others as a specific way people explain the causes of things that happen to them. A third viewpoint focuses more on whether individuals tend to focus on positive or negative aspects of situation when both are given. Finally, another stream of research speaks of “unrealistic optimism” in risk assessment and its possible consequences.

While some of these concepts have been very widely researched, there is still little understanding to what extent they reflect the same underlying processes or how they possibly differ from each other. Answering this question may reveal important insights on which aspects should be trained and how their development can be better approached.”

Study Results

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Black Sheep Wools Blogger of the Month

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I’m thrilled to share that I was selected as the Blogger of the Month by Black Sheep Wools. They’ve interviewed me here.

An excerpt:

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you crochet?

I usually watch TV while crocheting or at least have it on in the background. I’m a fan of TV crime dramas (currently loving Perception, Elementary, Lie to Me, Hannibal, and Those Who Kill and a long time fan of the Law and Orders and Criminal Minds). I also confess to a love of really trashy reality TV (Dance Moms, Teen Mom, Catfish) and competition shows (The Voice, Project Runway, RuPaul’s Drag Race). But sometimes I put on documentaries. Or if I’m in a music mood I’ll play Spotify and usually listen to a station based on Christina Perri, Kina Grannis or Dar Williams.

Read all about my crochet work in the full interview.

 

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Applied Spiritual Experience Proposal: Creativity = Spirituality

This past semester included an independent study course on Applied Spirituality. My plan ended up taking shape in creative ways throughout the semester and it ended differently than it begun – but I think that was the point. I thought today I’d share my original proposal for my course.

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Intro

I am interested in using this course to explore the concept of creativity as a form of spirituality. I want to look at how creative practice can be used to tap into something bigger and more universal than the self, allowing the creativity of whatever created us to move through me as an individual. I am curious how this practice can expand my own creativity and broaden my sense of creative work as a form of spiritual practice. I am also curious how I can use a creative practice to deepen my sense of the spiritual/ the oneness/ the creative flow of the universe.

Nature of Practice

I will be working with the practices of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way workbook series, which essentially says that creativity is a part of our nature and that it is safe and valuable to open ourselves to a creative channel that allows a creative spirit bigger than ourselves to flow through us and work in the world.

The practices of The Artist’s Way specifically include:

  • 3 pages of daily handwritten “flow” writing each morning, daily
  • 1 20-minute meditative walk, daily
  • 1 creative solo “artist’s date” with the self for at least one hour weekly
  • Weekly reading on specific topics
  • Weekly written and creative exercises related to the reading topics

The exercises for each week incorporate a number of different practices including affirmations, mining the past, service to others, seeking synchronicity, etc.

For my daily walk I want to practice three types of walking meditation throughout the weeks. One is a gratitude meditation that I’ve already been doing in my life and find very valuable. One is a more basic meditation coming back to the breath in the body and the ground beneath the feet and working to release attachment to any other thoughts. And finally I want to take this opportunity to deepen the work by using some of the meditative walks to explore/ inquire/ examine/ observe how creativity is working in the world at a more universal, energetic, flow level.

Purpose of the Practice

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