My Maieutical Diary

Socrates taught by asking questions.  The method he used is known as “maieutics” from the Greek term for “midwifery”.  Because, believed Socrates,  the teacher was a midwife in that he helped give birth to latent knowledge in a person.  By the way,  Socrates’ mother was a midwife.


Maieutics  uses interrogation to arrive at logical reasoning and to elicit the ideas of the interlocutor rather than of one’s own. Like a psychologist.


So, for DIY therapy, use your diary for self-interrogation. Some typical psychologists’ questions are: What brings you here? What is the problem you’d like to resolve? What would it take to make you happy? Etc.


Why?” is always a good start for ping ponging questions and answers.  Example: Why do I like to drink wine so much?  Because it relaxes me. Why do I need to relax so much? Because my work stresses me out. Why does my work stress me out so much ? Etc. Then you give yourself a series of possible answers and study these answers eliminating those that lead to contradictions.

Questions I asked myself today:




  To get the right answers, sometimes it helps if you ask the right questions.


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Tuna Salad Recipe

Tuna Salad Recipe

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Sleep and your Feet

For Fluffy

If you suffer from insomnia, why not give yourself  a foot massage before going to bed? The benefits of such a massage are many. Foot massages improve blood circulation which means nutrients flow and toxins  are eliminated. They also help remove lactic acid accumulation. And all of this de-stresses and facilitates falling asleep.


After my night-time tea, I give myself a foot massage.  It’s a routine I invented after reading various articles and trying various techniques. Since doing this massage, I easily fall asleep.

Begin by sitting upright with your foot on your lap. Then, using both hands, pull each toe apart from its neighboring toe (pulling one toe towards the front and the other towards the back). Pull for several seconds until you start, hopefully, to yawn. Then, after all toes have been pulled, put pressure on toe pads one by one.  I even slightly dig in with my fingernail as I find it provokes  big jaw-opening yawns.  Completely massage one foot before doing the other. Remember, you want to make yourself yawn as much as possible.

Foot Massage

Then the next step is to massage the acupressure point LV3 (the Great Rushing) located on the dorsal. To find the point, put your finger in between the first and second toe then slide down until you hit a depression. Press here and lightly massage for 4 – 5 seconds.

Now for the K1 point (the Bubbling Spring) found on the sole at the center of the indentation right below the ball of the foot. Press for several seconds, release then press again.

Foot Massage

When I give myself this foot massage, I start yawning.  Not tokenistic little yawns but yawns that open my jaws wide open. And the more I yawn, the better I sleep.

The reasons why we yawn are still a mystery. But it seems obvious that by provoking deep breathing, yawns open up a flow of oxygen that liberates meridian blockage and releases tension. Yawns increase the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin thus making it easier for us to fall asleep.

yawn and sleep



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Chia Seed Coconut Chocolate Pudding

Coco Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

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My Instagram

Instagram, Photogenic Lifestyle

from my Instagram page: A Photogenic Lifestyle


related: How to Pose for Instagram (and make your life photogenic)

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Unfinished craft projects

Crafting is good for us. It can be broken down into three main stages:

  1. Visualization
  2. Process
  3. Actualization

When you decide to make something, this something must first be visualized. And visualization begins in the imagination. Imagination stimulates our brain.  It not only provides solutions and options but good company as well.

Probably the most important aspect of crafting is the process and not the product. For one, by focusing our attention, crafting is active meditation. Repetitive actions, such as those of knitting, can be hypnotic thus relax us. And this relaxation provides a number of benefits such as lower heart rate and blood pressure. By redirecting our focus, crafting can distract us from both physical and emotional problems.

Some Knit, Some Meditate

When we create, our brain releases dopamine, a hormone that gives you a sense of well-being. Depression is often triggered by a reduction in the production of dopamine so we can say crafting is good for our mental health.

Crafting is a cognitive activity that stimulates brain cell communication thus fights mental decline. It also improves hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, and motor dexterity.

Crafting provides us with ”A Room of One’s Own” in that it, when fully immersed in the process, we just flow in a world  that’s truly ours.  Even Einstein and Gandhi indulged in crafting to clear their minds.

Einstein and Gandhi

When we finally complete a project, we are rewarded not just with a physical object but also with a sense of satisfaction and our self-efficacy is reinforced.

 Sometimes the initial enthusiasm for a project dissipates.  And this happens for a variety of reasons.  We lose interest, get distracted, or simply realize we don’t like our project. So how do we declutter our sacred spaces of unfinished projects? We can try selling them on Ebay, throw them away (but that’s not at all ecological!), transform them into conceptual art, or restyle them.  But we can also pass them on to others.

how to declutter unfinished projects?

some of the conceptual art looked like her unfinished craft proj

they traded unfinished projects

Have you ever played Pass The Drawing (or Exquisite Corpse) where everyone is given a piece of paper and pencil and told to draw.  Then after a minute, a timer goes off and the drawings get passed to the person sitting next to them. After five minutes, the passing stops. The resulting drawings are a mix of styles that can be entertaining or even poetic.

Pass The Drawing

So why not try Pass the Project?

My friend, Anthy, is a genius designer.  She has so many ideas that she can’t actualize or complete them all.  That’s how I wound up with an unfinished purse made from crocheted twine. It took me awhile to decide how to finish it but once I did, the results delighted me. Not only because I liked the aesthetics, but even though geographically we were far apart, Anthy and I shared an experience.

Anthy's Purse, Muy Marcottage

Anthy's Purse, Muy Marcottage

Anthy's Purse, Muy Marcottage

For all your unfinished craft projects, why not try Pass the Project?

While putting together this post, my blog buddy, Jo of Cranky Ceramics, told me that these unfinished projects are often called UFOs, unfinished objects!!!!

Related: Pruning a lifestyle (pruning our desires) + Decluttering Los Ojos (throwing away unfinished projects) + Decluttering Decluttering Decluttering   +  IN PRAISE OF HANDS: Knit yourself well   +  Craftivism: Activism Using Craft  -30-


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Craftivism: Activism Using Craft

After an oil spill off an Australian coast, the Phillip Island Nature Park asked knitters to make sweaters for penguins. Not only did the sweaters help to keep them warm, they also prevented the penguins from ingesting the poisonous oil. A knitting pattern was made available on line and knitters around the world participated including Alfie Date at the time 109 years old.

The Penguins Wore Sweaters

There are a number of charity groups that use plastic bags to make sleeping mats for the homeless. The bags that would normally wind up in a landfill are turned into plarn (yarn made from plastic bags) and crocheted into mats. The mats are then distributed to those not lucky enough to have a bed of their own.

They Had Mats To Sleep On

A number of women use their sewing skills to make dresses from pillowcases to be sent to places such as Haiti and Africa so that little girls, victims of poverty and more, can at least have something decent and pretty to wear.

They Wore Pillowcase Dresses

There’s an alternative form of ”graffiti” known as Yarn Bombing. Yarn is crocheted or knitted  into large pieces that are subsequently installed in public spaces with the hope of giving a sense of joyfulness to cold and sterile urban areas.

Yarn Bombed Trees

So what do penguin sweaters,  sleeping mats, pillow case dresses and Yarn Bombing  have in common? They are all examples of “craftivism”.
Craftivism is a form of activism using craft. And by activism I mean actively trying to create a positive change.
The term “craftivism” was invented by Betsy Greer in 2003. She defines craftivism as «a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper & your quest for justice more infinite».
Since the crafts involved have traditionally been known as “domestic arts”, craftivism is often identified with feminist movements. More than anything, craftivism implies an awareness that the world is not perfect and anything you can do to make it a better place will not only improve the world but will improve your feelings towards yourself as well. Expressing solidarity is the awareness that we are in this world together and thus interrelated.
The person who benefits most from craft is the maker. First of all, as mentioned on this blog in the past, working with your hands is a form of meditation. It forces you to focus your attention on one thing instead of letting your mind get caught up in the labyrinth of thought. Furthermore, hands make the world tangible by permitting us to interact with our surroundings. And by interacting, we prevent self-alienation.
Working with our hands also leads to the formation of neural pathways that can only be created via repetition. We know best what we do regularly. And this knowledge leads to experience.
Experience can’t be cloned. In the words of Heidegger, you best understand what a hammer is by using it.

She Used His Hammer


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