I have been reading a lot about slow stitching, seeing it posted, hash-tagged, and blogged about. From what I can tell, slow stitching is just a rebrand of hand embroidery.

Before I realized I could jump on this hashtag trend, before I knew what slow stitching was, I had this dream.

It was very early in my return to art. In the dream I was speaking with 2 women. I was telling them that we were going to be teaching together, that we needed to figure out how we were going to structure our classes. That we were going to be teaching about art and personal growth. One of the women, a young soon-to-be-mother, was very organized and enthusiastic and immediately took out her planning book and started writing down ideas. The other woman disappeared!

Not literally, but she was gone, so I went in search of her. I found her with a piece of art she had made. It was an intricately emroidered piece of hand work that made me feel almost inadequate. the layers of stitching and detail were immense. It had a large red flower in the center. It was resting on top of a coffin. Then later, presumably after the ceremony was complete, it was a runner on a table filled with delicious foods, the wake.

I did not know what to make of this at first. I felt that this introverted artist had failed me. Why wasn’t she on board? Why wasn’t she preparing?

As you probably figured out already, she was preparing. She was doing the very important inner work that is of equal importance to the outer work done to move ahead with a dream. Because if the outer moves without the inner you make no progress.

When I came to that insight, I also realized that the inner work this inner introverted artist was doing was honoring the past, and putting to rest a part or parts of me that would not serve me on this journey. Perhaps those parts that were afraid, or parts that did not believe, or parts that were uncomfortable with change. Definitely aspects of myself that have been keeping me where I am.

And so I began to make my own casket blanket, stitching slowly (AKA slow stitching) to the best of my abilities, to honor and lay to rest what was, to make way for what is becoming.

If you are nurturing a change in your life, remember to do the inner work as well as the outer in order to find success. Create your own casket blanket, or other act of honor, to respectfully lay to rest the aspects of your being that need releasing in order for your new growth to take place.