I recently took a pom-pom making class in Sayulita, Mexico. It was a chance to get to know the origins of these gorgeous balls of colour, along with switching off my phone and doing something creative for a few hours. Aside from learning a new skill and having some beautiful pom-poms to hang in my home, the class was a form of creative therapy.
These are the lessons I learnt from taking a pom-pom making class and why you should try one too!
10. Switching off your phone is good for the soul
I try and be mindful of my phone usage, but I’ll be honest, sometimes it gets out of control. I always have an excuse: my work, keeping in contact with my family, the list goes on. Recently I downloaded an app called Moment which tracks your screen time, and mine was shocking. Breaking away from your normal routine, doing something genuinely creative, and not checking your phone at all for a whole day is the most incredible form of soul cleansing. I felt utterly calm, focussed, and happy after my day of pom-pom making.
9. Making something with your hands is the purest form of therapy
When making my pom-poms, I realised that my hands were so out of practice my hands in physically creating something. They are moulded to my keypad, to my iphone, but as they loosed up and worked the wool, it felt so uplifting in many ways. We were taught to manifest good thoughts and prayers for ourselves and loved ones as we made our pom-poms. It was hard at first to not use my mind to create, and to think of anything else but that what my hands were doing. But when I managed it, it was the most empowering, pure, therapeutic process. Now I understand how those Mexican women can happily sit all day making pop-poms, talking about life, watching their children play. They let their hands do the work and instill their trust in them.
8. It is easiest to understand another culture by practicing it
Our wonderful teacher at the studio, Eva, gave another dimension to the class by teaching us the origins of pom-poms and why Mexicans make them. In fact, we learnt so much about Mexico’s creative culture, and it all meant so much more learning whilst practicing one of the native techniques. Now every time I look at my colouful creations I will think about their origins, history, and the meaning behind them.
7. Concentration is a skill that we are losing due to social media
Do you ever click a link and then exit the page halfway because the article is too long? The vast amount of data we absorb in short bursts of time has altered our brains, and actually makes it harder for us to concentrate of anything for longer that a matter of minutes without the desire to do something else. For instance, how many of you will actually finish reading this blog post? Maybe your concentration level is so low you’re already about to exit. I found it hard to concentrate initially in the class, because my mind was on a hundred different things, such as my baby, my blog, and even my laundry! Over the course of the day I shut down each path until my mind was clear and my concentration was on the task in hand. It was a powerful exercise.
6. Your energy is powerful: be mindful with it
Our teacher told us that the process of winding the wool creates energy, and it is important to make sure this energy is good, happy energy. She said that the reason pom-poms strings have tassles on the ends is so that this good energy fills the air, like a brushstroke, as the wearer of the pom-poms moves. That’s why the pom-pom maker sends thinks good thoughts as they create. This really make me think about the energy I put into the world. Have you ever had a bad morning, rushed around feeling stressed, and noticed how this can impact others around you? Energy is so important! Be mindful with yours.
5. Having a house filled with stuff isn’t a pathway to happiness
As a constant traveller I daydream about having a beautiful home one day filled with treasures from my travels. I buy things on my travels that mean something to me, such as a colourful hammock in Costa Rica, a quilt in Mexico, and now my Pom-Poms. Since the class I have realised that having things that mean something, that tell a story, is far more important that just filling your space with stuff. That being mindful when purchasing things is so important.
4. You cannot learn unless you truly listen
The process of pom-pom making seems simple, but each knot, twist, cut, is significantly important to the final product. I listened to each instruction, but when it came to doing it myself often I realised that I hadn’t really taken in the information. I hadn’t truly learnt because I hadn’t truly listened. When was the last time you really listened, mindfully, without distraction? For me, I suppose it had been a long time. When I really focussed my energy on listening, I learned each step quickly and easily.
3. Creativity is something that can’t be rushed
As a blogger, I know more than anyone the strain of constantly needing new material. That beautiful picture you posted yesterday doesn’t mean anything today, you need more, more, more. I feel bad if I don’t post a new blog post at least once a week, and a lot of blogger post 3 or 4 in that time! But the truth is, it takes me so long to create one; to edit my photos, to write meaningful content. We spent the best part of a day making one string of pom-poms. The love, attention, and skill that went into each one was vast, and was a great reminder that creation takes time. Our creative endeavours shouldn’t be rushed.
2. The joy of meeting people is a dying art
Everyone is networking these days. The world tells us to be a #Girlboss, to hustle, to think on our feet. Suddenly we realise that we are never ‘off’. That meeting people is always about what that person might mean for our own self, our inspiration, our path. But what happened to just meeting people? When it was not about LinkedIn or Facebook, not about collecting them to add to our ever-growing number of followers, but about a genuine conversation about something simple like art and creativity? Our class was such a wonderful chance to just simply sit and bond with a few other women through a new creative process.
1. Social media is only genuinely creative when you log off for a while
I get so beaten down by social media. Part of me is truly addicted and enjoys it, but the biggest part of me detests it. The studio we took our class in was so beautiful, and I enjoyed taking photos, getting creative in the way I captured it and the artwork around me. In doing so I realised that social media can be a great form of sharing and connecting: after all, sharing is an innate part of human nature – if something good happens to us, don’t we want to tell everyone we know? But the process of creating content – that should only happen offline, and come from our own hearts. As soon as you start scrolling aimlessly, comparing yourself to others, that’s when you need to step away and be just with your own self for a while.
I took my pom-pom making class at Evoke the Spirit in Sayulita. It was a wonderful experience that I highly recommend! The class costs around $75 for a 4 hour day, and they also offer macrame classes too. This post was not sponsored and is no way affiliated with Evoke The Spirit.