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  • Writer's pictureEmily Eldredge

📺 IWFGG | How Can Handiwork Be a Form of Inner Work?





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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: Hello! Oh, I just realized I wanted my my


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: uh, my regular microphone. I'm so sorry I know where it is. I forgot. Anyway. Whatever. I'm sure you can handle the uh different sound today. Hello! This is Emily Eldredge, with Inner Work for Greater Good. I'm so happy to have you here. I'm sorry. This is your first episode you've seen in me, because we have microphone right here, so you can hear me a little bit better. I just hope i'm not too echoy, anyway. So nice to have you here, and where we, you know I teach you in our work that accelerates your power to make a difference


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: in a work that helps you feel good, so you can do good, because that is the best way from where I come from to do good is to actually make a difference from a play, a place of peace, a place of well being otherwise. When we don't, we get reactive. We get triggered more easily. We often end up leading, not with our wisdom, with our wounds. There's so many people sadly in the world who actually, you know, come out their activism or their difference making, or their healing practices.


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: What have you from a place where they're really not always in the best emotional place, and really is healed as possible. That's not to say you have to be completely yield in order to be a healer or a coach, or a therapist or something like that. But I just find I've seen it across the board, too, that the best leaders and the best changemakers in the world are the ones who really are a a as healthy as possible from within. Because what can often happen, too is that if you're not, and you're actually leading from


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: your wounds, and not from your wisdom, or you've got subconscious stuff that gets in the way of really making that biggest difference is it can end up sabotaging your efforts. I mean, we see it all the time where you have someone who's a huge success in one way in their lives, you know, and they're the pit in me. They're the the envy of all their peers. And yet you know you find out that their private lives are immense. They end up making some major mistakes, and it's usually because they haven't really done the deep inner work that


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: that it enables them to be the most powerful and positive presence they can possibly be. So that's what i'm all about, and I hope I hope this is helpful to you. So today, I think i'm a little bit off center off kilter a little bit right now today are still looking for my microphone. Where's my microphone? Um is because I have a very different topic today. Uh, I had to be honest with you sometimes, you know this is a weekly show, and sometimes I literally get within like


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: five minutes before the show is supposed to go live until I finally have an idea of what to talk about. And i'm like to do. Okay, make quick notes. This,


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: hey? From um, because of something i'm doing right now, actually. And the title of this episode is, of course, handy work as inner work. And part of my reason for sharing this is because I want to us to really celebrate, recognize, and value and appreciate that inner work doesn't always have to come in the form of something like Well, i'm meditating right now, or like with my work, i'm drawing out my feelings right now,


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: or i'm journaling right now. I'm going for a walk in nature, although you know that's well, Actually, that would actually fall under the topic today. Um, but it doesn't always have to look like you're doing inner work like I'm really working on myself right now. It can actually our emotional well being and that kind of you know, work can really come in the form of, and really be supported by, and enhance and facilitated by, other kinds of things, like handy work,


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: like working with your hands, doing other activities. They were. I'm going to talk about handy work, because there are certain things that I found that went. Let me put this way. I found that when there are certain activities that I do with my hands that


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: really do help me calm


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: and center and actually open up space for me to get ideas for me to get inspiration for me to get wisdom. And so, for example, sometimes, like I might be trying to uh create a new program um for people. Or I might be trying to sort through an issue or a problem, or I might be trying to get some insight about an issue, and on the one hand, I can sit and I can really think about. I reckon journal about it, or I can


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: talk about it with other people. But then sometimes it's really It's really helpful to just sit and do something with my hands that on the surface or from the outside. You might look at it and go Well, It doesn't seem like she's really processing anything. It just seems like she's


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: doing needlepoint, which is what i'm going to show you in a minute, or she's doing something else. But actually i'm processing things are happening in the background, and it's in it's like by doing things with my hands. It kind of gives my body, I guess, in my mind, or at least part of my mind, something to focus on. That's not on the issue which then allows space for the higher wisdom and clarity to come through and give me thoughts and insights. And


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: you know, um uh clarity that I need to figure out whatever it is that i'm trying to figure out, or you know. Get get, get, get um some wisdom on whatever it is, i'm I'm working through. So with that, said


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: i'll show you something. I'm working on. So one of the things that I do that's part of my handy work is, I do needlepoint


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: now. My mother got me started in me a point. My mom is a really awesome mom, because she really taught us um, and I say us only mainly my mother, my sister, and I um, but I think also my brother um taught us things like how to. So so, in fact, all of my formal like, whenever there was a formal uh dinner or a dance. Um, you know, it was like a father, daughter dance at school, or if it was, you know, a formal,


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: you know, kind of prom type uh dress up event. My mother would always have us make our own clothes. No, could she have bought us? Yes, but she saw this as a chance to teach us something, and so then we could feel proud, having shown up at the at the dance, having phone um, if not all, at least most of what we were wearing, and so that way, too, like we'd go to the store. We'd go to the fabric store. Excuse me, and we would like, you know, like I remember I there was a


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: it's one design that I really wanted to create, and we didn't necessarily find that exact design that was like. Yes, that's exactly the dress I want. I want to let this talk, but I wanted this bottom I want, and so Mom would show it. She'd say, Okay, Well, here all the different patterns you can choose, you know. Let's look for what fits your design idea, and we'll put it together. And so now, mind you, this was the era of um taffeta and velvet. This was the uh the nineties


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: uh, when I was in high school, middle school and high school, and so, of course, I want to tap in velvet, so I would have. I remember this one dress I had, which is taffy, and had this cool kind of ruffle in front, and then it had a skirt, but like for my senior dinner dance. Um, I pre you know. She helped me, of course, but we created this like fabulous or ganza, beautiful or ganza blouse and attack it a skirt with this beautiful um sash. It would have cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars at a store,


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: but of course we spent a lot less than that, but also she taught us how to make whatever it is that we wanted to create was absolutely brilliant, and as an adult. I I I still know how to. So I so sometimes, and it's fun. It's a little less relaxing for me because it can be so precise. But here's an activity


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: that's really simple and easy. And when I say simple and easy, I mean, I know people who are not manually dexterous at all, and they do this, and they find it easy. And so the old way of doing needlepoint. So i'm. Actually I've already done the design here. Um. So right now i'm just doing the fill in. This is the easiest part. It's the most mindless, but like underneath what you would see here, as you'd see a pattern so in old Needle Point, which some of you have probably done. You had to count stitches


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: right. I don't do team stitches, because that would require almost too much thinking, and not enough sort of meditative relaxation for me. And so what this does for me, though, is I just follow the colors, and you know the whole thing comes with like a grid. This is actually from Elizabeth Bradley, where you can buy kits um of stuff. In fact, to be honest with you, my mother buys the kits, and then she's like, Oh, I bought these kids. Do you want one? It's so. It's like sure. So, in a way, I joke that she's putting me to work


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: to basically make her pillows for her and with her um. So there's gonna be a pillow that she will put together; but the point being that it creates a wonderful activity that I can pick up and put down at will. So I do this while i'm um, you know, taking a break from work. I'll do this at night, sitting in bed next to my husband and watching a Tv show, and I just sort of want to keep my hands busy. But oftentimes even what happens when I watch a Tv shows i'm still processing step. I'm still


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: thinking about work. But this is just a really nice way to call. This is, by the way, this show. This episode is not an advertisement for needlepoint. Don't get me wrong, but it's to say that


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: handy work doing things with our hands. I'm going to show you another thing that I do, too, doing things with our hands, believe it or not, can have this wonderful effect on us. Emotionally and mentally. I have not pulled the studies that prove this, but I know i'm sure there are studies out there that show that I would argue, as I've said in past other episodes, that some of it is, I think, the left hand right hand, like I talked in a past episodes about walking. Why, going for walks, or a really fabulous way to help


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: with your emotional well being, and that in your work, because the left right, left, right helps to balance the brain. Well, I would say it's probably something kind of similar here. I'm sure there are other mechanisms that work here as well. I'm sure some of you could probably even educate me on this. I would love that feel free to educate me on this. But the point is that it's your it's it's using the hands. Somehow it has this effect on the mind,


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: and even in the past, and it will actually just say the past. It still happens today, but it used to be that you know, especially you have women, and luckily now we have more men involved in this. But you know you have women having their quilting these, and they'd sit around and they quilt, and they talk to each other, or you have knitting, you know, groups and bees, and you have crocheting and different kinds of handy work, and then a lot of times it becomes this um reason this this um, you know, reason to get together with friends, and


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: you know, chat or gossip or process things talk about things uh, I mean even book clubs. If you think about it sometimes. Book clips. I know that's not handy work, but the point is it's about we, you know you get together, but you end up doing so much more than just talking about the book right depending on your book club. Of course I don't know what yours is like, but the ones I know about, you know. Sit around and talk about your husband's, or whatever um and the book, of course, occasionally. Uh, but the the point is that um, by the way, i'm not speaking about any particular book club.


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: I'm actually not in any book clubs, and I don't think I ever have been many book clubs, anyway. I just know stories uh, but the point being that


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: this, that using your hands can also


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: help to enhance your inner work and provide space for whatever your work needs to happen to happen, to provide space for that clarity and space for those insights and um, and that the using the hands just has that can have a really positive effect on the mind. So that's something I want to encourage. If you're looking for like, you know, if you want to call it your hobby, that's fine, whatever. I don't even think of this as my hiding to me. It's just something kind of


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: relaxing and easy to do, while, you know, i'm sitting and watching something, or while i'm taking a break from work. You know. Um! Another thing that I do, though. Now this is a little bit more more of


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: busy like this is just a little bit more thinking. But there's still meditative aspects. Okay, I know this is kind of ridiculous what i'm doing right now, and I hope the sound isn't, too,


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: uh overwhelming, but I also make so I think I've shared that I do a a practice of Buddhism called um nature Sgi nature and Buddhism. And So these what I do, and I i'll tell you the story. How we started making this. Um is that I I make these. These are called choosing that Jews who just means prayer beads and Japanese. And so these are choosing. Now, notice you're probably familiar with Mala. These are different from Mala, but you know that if you know,


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: you probably know that the number of beads are symbolic of different things, and then that large be the symbolic. So there's a symbolism to the way they're made like a rosary. There's a symbolism. There's a certain number of beads. Well, similar thing that's use it.


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: And so I first started making these a number of years ago, when I picked up my Buddhist practice again, and I found that I really wanted to. To. That were like Joel, but I knew that that would be kind of um. I'm in a sort of an excitement for me to get me to chant more if I was holding something pretty, and so, but I could find the ones that I wanted,


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: and so I found out how to make them like what the you know how many beads and what each need. So this is called the um uh cousin Roof would be Jarvis, and this is five beats. There's all kinds of symbolism to you know the numbers. But my point is that this is another thing I do that uses my hands that has a really calling effect on my mind that has nothing to do with sitting and meditating, or,


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: you know, journaling, or, you know, going to therapy, or whatever you know like, that. There are certain activities you can do that really do have that. There can help. Has that inner work effect um without doing some of the sort of traditional inner work activities I sell. I take that. I just say I sell these on etsy. I'm not advertising them either, but I will say I sell them on Etsy, although


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: right now my shop has been on vacation for a couple of years. But i'll they'll be back on Etsy again. So if you if you want these, even if you don't practice just for fun. You know these are kind of fun. But again, like I don't do these so that I can like make money selling them. I do this because I enjoy it because it it. It helps me feel calmer, and also not only that I feel like to accomplish something like I have a product at the end, and I I tend to be very project oriented. So this is how


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: activities like this work. So that's all my way of saying that if you are, you know, into really committed to in a work, or even if you don't have to be, you know, any particular personality, type, or anything. You don't even necessarily have to be that dexterous to do handy work, and that handy work can really help support your emotional well being that's your inner work, and you'd be surprised the kind of clarity


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: patience the piece that can come over you when you find some kind of handy work that feels good for you, because not all of them are going to feel good like. So, for some people, sewing might put them in that Zen mode that zone for me. I get a little, too, you know, analytical, and so I I can do it. And it's Okay, but it's not relaxing for me. This is relaxing for me


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: like overthinking. It's not gonna get you too overwhelmed. Um! And uh, you know that you can really just kind of just


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: just go into a zone and your mind clears, and you're not working too hard and allowing yourself to really call and feel it piece and and enjoy yourself. And then, you know, maybe we'll have something


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: kind of cool at the end. All right. I hope this has been helpful. Um, I know It's a little bit non traditional. But um, if you want to, you know, if you already do some kind of handy work, I would love to see it. I would love to know what you do. Um, i'm at Emily at ChangeLight. Well, you can always contact me there, and please do join us. We are making some amazing amazing changes to within the ChangeLight community, including offering a free course, and then offering more courses to to be delivered to chill,


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Emily Eldredge | ChangeLight: and inmates and trainings for coaches and therapists. Lots of good stuff coming over the next few months, so please do join us in the community. I would love to see you there, and until then i'll see you next week.


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