Rianne hand quilting dear jane quilt

Mindfulness: What is it and how to use it


Mindfulness is a beacon of peace and reflection against external influences and stimuli and a way to get to know your inner self, in order to live a joyful and fulfilled life.



Mindfulness is one of those terms with a many meanings and interpretations. 

The term mindfulness is very popular these days, however also many people find it too vague to be of any real value. That is because the term can mean so many things. However, the term mindfulness is important because if it’s flexibility! And I’ll tell you why in this article. 

But let me start with how I define Mindfulness at Kick Ass Quilts:

Mindfulness is a beacon of peace and reflection against external influences and stimuli and a way to get to know your inner self, in order to live a joyful and fulfilled life.

I define mindfulness based on the outcome of the activity, not on the activity used to get there. It’s about the end goal, and not about the route. And the routes people take are what makes it so diverse, because for every 10 people, there are at least 11 different mindfulness practices!

Handen die een rode roman square quilt maken met een naaimachine

1.1: Different ways to get to the one mindfulness goal

There are many different ways to achieve mindfulness. For some it is walking, for some meditation, exercise, quilting etc. 


I define mindfulness based on the outcome of the activity, not on the activity used to get there.


Also, because it’s linked to personal development and meditation, mindfulness has got a mysticism aura. This, in turn, makes it a bit hard for some people to connect with it if they are not used to things like that.

However, mindfulness is a description for something you’re probably already doing. 

And mindfulness benefits everyone.

It’s just a matter of finding the right way of travelling to the end goal for you. 

For example, my mom says she doesn’t need to practise mindfulness, because she already finds peace and quiet in quilting. Which means that she is already doing mindful quilting!

Rianne Kick Ass Quilts piecing by hand

Now we know that mindfulness is a very broad term, can mean many different things, and you are probably already engaged in some form of it. So it’s clear mindfulness is for everyone, but not every form of mindfulness is for everyone. 

With Kick Ass Quilts, and in my personal life, I use the ‘mindful quilting’ approach. It’s a combination of creative mindfulness, tactile mindfulness, and holistic mindfulness. 


Mindfulness is for everyone, but not every form of mindfulness is for everyone.


The method is designed on my experience quilting, working in sustainability, and in international development. A good mindfulness practise creates inner peace and community well-being, and combines care for yourself, for others, and for the planet we live on.

Rianne hand quilting dear jane quilt with foundation piecing and yellow and blue fabric


With mindful quilting, you dedicate 30 minute a day to quilting. Set a specific time for it and make time in your agenda, so it becomes a habit. When mindful quilting becomes a habit, you’ll reap maximum benefits. 

You can have a specific issue, question, or goal in mind to ponder while quilting if you want, or you can just let your mind wander. Try to make the 30 minutes as relaxing as possible and focus on the process of quilting and not the outcome. 

There is a Kick Ass Quilts guidebook you can download to get some guidance and tips to make the 30 minutes a day quilting a success. Get it here:

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Get the mindful quilting guidebook 2022

In the community, we also help each other to have a mindful quilting practise in the specific mindful quilting group. 

I define mindfulness based on the outcome of the activity, not on the activity used to get there.

My thesis is that if people experience more peace of mind, they are more in touch with their own emotions and those of the people around them. Consequently, it also becomes easier to live your life in such a way that it brings you maximal joy, while not hurting others. 

And I think maximizing joy and satisfaction in life is not about buying a lot of stuff or making a lot of money. The idea of monetary wealth comes from advertising and things like that for a large part. That is why it’s healthy to have a daily mindfulness practise as an anti-dote to the hustle bustle of daily life. It’s a time to get back to yourself and to become less susceptible for outside influences. 

Mindfulness is a description for something you’re probably already doing.

Mindful Quilting is a tool to find peace of mind, and through that to also create peace around us. Because we are not made for individualistic living that destroys the planet. My challenge to you is to take on the challenge of daily mindful quilting to get back to yourself. And together, we’ll build a way of living that truly serves ourselves, our community and the planet we live on. 

Rianne puts her quilted bag down

Questions:

Let's have a discussion in the commentary session! I'd love to hear what you think

  • What does mindfulness mean to you?
  • Which activities do you already do that are actually a mindfulness practise?


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