April 25, 2017

Weaving Knots

Weaving
Knot making
String work
Mat weaving
Knitting
Crochet
Traditions
Starting
Finishing
Pathways
Journey
Family
Connections

Some of the things I was thinking about when colouring in Kevin's card that arrived yesterday. This is part of the monthly themed postcard project of the Connected Learning MOOC. Mat weaving has a particular significance for me now. In the South Pacific, this art has cultural significance. By looking at the weave of a mat you can tell where the lady is from and island/family connections. There are everyday mats (for the earth kitchen floor), the celebration mats (for my child's birth), welcome mats (for our home visits), grieving mats (for the crying ceremonies) and the memorial mats (buried with the dead). Family is a knot, not easily broken.

In this TED talk Paolo Cardini talks about monotasking as a simplifying process. Colouring is a monotask but it's not about simplicity but about weaving things together. I find while I'm colouring that my ears are more attuned to outer noises. More things I was thinking about during this activity.
Colour
Paper touch
Shape making
Colour combinations
Pencils
Sharpener
Contents of this blog
Sender of the card
Smiles
Listening to sounds
There are other things I would put in the monotask basket that are complex and yet simple at the same time. Playing an instrument, playing with others, crochet, washing the dishes, composing music, bike riding and Tai Chi. What they have in common is the movement of the hands in repetitive ways, working the memory and expressing emotions (I can crash dishes, believe it!).

In my work space, monotasking seems a lot harder. If the computer takes a millisecond longer on getting to the screen I want, I'm off and checking twitter, email or the latest online news. Monotasking needs to be setup, planned and organised. I have a maker table in my office and this helps me to have spurts of monotasking/making. This helps me prioritise and return to my desk and work through tasks for the day. The other thing that helps me monotask is a sequence. Preparing the instrument, playing the instrument, cleaning and packing up. Warm up, Tai Chi sequence, quietness at the end of the sequence.

In some of these tasks I have occasionally been in the zone or reached flow state. For this aspect alone it is worth fitting more monotasking into your day. I think it is an entry point to achieving flow state. This is where you are performing a task and everything else disappears. For a period of time, nothing else matters, you can't see or hear anything else but the aspects of your immediate task. Now that is a buzz!

See I wrote all that and didn't even mention the other 'm' word (Mindfulness).