Caring for the Caregivers — Knitting A Cozmeena Shawl

The Enlightened Benefit of Caring for Yourself as You Care for Others.

A few years after 9/11, having received so much from so many, and because I was consciously studying the experiences around me, I had a profound break through and realization. Everyone needed care; especially women. Who was taking care of women? It was immediately clear to me that women who are society’s primary caregivers, also needed the same care and comfort they were providing for others; they too needed the sense of warmth and comfort that comes from a mother’s love. The Cozmeena Shawl is a metaphor for that love. It is a mother holding you and saying you are safe, you are loved and everything will be okay.


So I started knitting. I knit for all the people who had taken care of me and all the people I saw who needed care. They came across my radar in a random order. Each shawl was made for a specific person, the color selected just for them and each stitch knit with them in mind. That’s the key. As you knit for someone, you are infusing your love and prayer into every stitch so that when it’s worn it carries a special magic. It is pure love from the heart. You can’t measure it but you can feel it. The 3rd friend I knit for named it when she tried it on and said, “It’s so cozy, it’s like a great big hug; but it’s so glamorous, it’s like a Pashmina…no it’s a Cozmeena.”


I knew knitting Cozmeenas had worked for me. I wanted to see if it would work for others. Could other women also calm and sooth themselves as I had? The sensory, tactile touch of knitting calms the central nervous system, slowing your breathing and lowering your heart rate. It is a portable meditation you can do in a crowd. You can fulfill your own needs while still staying engaged with others. Last year I started teaching people to knit. Now with over 150 knitters making over 400 shawls, I can say with confidence that not only can anyone learn to make a Cozmeena Shawl, they all report feeling a soothing calmness any time they knit for themselves or others.


The suggestion is that you make the first one for yourself because you have to take care of yourself before you take care of others. When you finish, you’ll realize that knitting is so much fun and so relaxing that you want to keep going. You’ll want to make them for other people. You’ll want to knit for family and friends, of course. However making and giving a Cozmeena is especially meaningful for someone who is going through a difficult time; a cancer diagnosis, a sick child or caring for an aging parent. You can be called to knit for someone just because you sense they need care. It can be a stranger who’s story you’ve heard or someone you don’t know well but feel a compelling need to help. Making a Cozmeena Shawl is that special something you can do when you need to do something but ‘there’s nothing you can do.’ It’s provides soul-filling goodness that takes care of you both.


The Cozmeena Shawl is a sanctified object. Without the story it’s just a big, wool shawl. It’s about taking care of yourself as you take care of others. Cozmeena is a brand for love, care and kindness. Cozmeena is about paying it forward and giving back.