People create handcrafts for all sorts of reasons. Some crafts are practical, like knitting a hat to keep your head warm. Some are artistic expressions, like creating an amazing and colourful quilt. And some are rooted in our spiritual impulse, like creating a vision board or knitting a prayer shawl. That last type of crafting – that is, crafting as a spiritual practice – is something that Maggie Oman Shannon, minister, mother and author knows a lot about. In fact, she wrote a whole book about it, which is called Crafting Calm: Projects and Practices for Creativity and Contemplation.
Given the subject of her book, you might think that Maggie is a prolific and skilled crafter. After speaking with her, however, I learned that like many of us she finds time where she can, and that not every project turns out just how she envisioned it. She is a human being, which I found reassuring.
During our conversation Maggie and I talked about how she came to view crafting as a part of her spiritual practice. We also talked about different crafting forms, created objects and intentions. For example, is knitting a hat to keep your head warm a spiritual practice? Is painting superior to sewing, or vice versa? And do you have to feel perfectly spiritual and zen the whole time you’re crafting? (I seriously hope not, because I use a lot of bad words while I’m sewing.)
If you’d like to get in touch with your creative side, if you’d like to tap into something greater than yourself while you’re creating, or if you need a little bit of encouragement to pull out your crafting bin, you’ll want to listen to my podcast with Maggie. Wherever you fall on the crafting spectrum, you’ll find that there’s something for you. We are all innately creative, and we can all benefit from expressing that in a way that feeds the soul. We hold that in common, even if the crafts we create look nothing alike.
If you enjoyed my conversation with the inspiring Maggie Oman Shannon, subscribe to the Strocel.com podcast in iTunes, and you won’t miss a minute of my future broadcasts. Also, if you have a podcast idea, please share it with me. I’d love to hear your suggestions!