I love craft and am always happy to try a new one. I enjoy the creativity and the opportunity to concentrate on making something, clearing my mind of anything else and just focussing on the task in hand. Craft can be a fantastic way of practising mindfulness.
A good friend and I recently went to a local craft place where we had a go at making our own mosaics. We spent a good few hours with tea, cake, and creativity. There were moments of silence and intense concentration as we focussed on getting our little tiles in Order, there were moments of lighthearted chatter and heartfelt conversation. I found that I started off with good intentions for neatness and lined my tiles up nicely but they were actually off centre. The further on I got the more relaxed I was and the more higgledy piggledy they got. So my finished piece is a balance of order and chaos; quite a good reflection of my character really! It was a wonderful way to spend time and a lovely balance to the rest of the day which was spent working and looking after my family.
It’s not perfect but I quite like it and I will enjoy using as a trivet in the kitchen. It’s practical and also reminds me of a lovely few hours spent with a dear friend as well as the importance of finding balance.
I would encourage anyone to express themselves creatively in any way they can: any kind of mark making or drawing; it doesn’t have to be perfect – doodling is wonderful, colouring, painting, sewing, sticking, singing, dancing and making music, using modelling clay or embroidering. Creating anything from fridge magnets to homemade clothes just making something – anything, is beneficial to your wellbeing. Especially if you’re focussed on enjoying the process more than worrying about the outcome. It doesn’t matter if what you’ve made doesn’t look like you’d hoped, as long as you have enjoyed the process and found peace of mind doing it.
Sometimes you need a moment to look away from the difficult things in life, at something beautiful. It lightens your mood and reminds you that there is beauty in the world, it’s all about achieving balance. Being in nature does that for me, the night before last I had had enough of all of the stuff in the media at the moment, as much as I care about it, I needed a break. So I went outside in the dark and stood in the rain, letting the droplets wash the icky, negative energy from me. I twirled around and shook out my arms and legs to clear and refresh my aura. I felt so much better, energised, uplifted. (I don’t think my neighbours were watching but they probably think I’m a compete loon anyway!)
Flowers can give you a breath of fresh air (literally when they are on a plant that is giving out oxygen for us to breath!) but when you can’t get (or don’t want to pick) real ones a fabric one will do.
We went to a friends wedding a while ago and I found the perfect dress to wear that only needed a little alteration to make it fit perfectly. It was black with little yellow flowers on it. The main reason I liked the dress so much is that I could wear my favourite shoes; a golden yellow pair that my husband bought me as a present. I know it’s a bit shallow but I have to admit I do love a pretty pair of shoes; we all have our weaknesses and mine is shoes, the weird thing is I spend most of the time barefoot! I didn’t have a suitable matching jacket so decided on a little cardigan instead and thought adding a flower pin would make it look a bit more elegant. I searched and searched for a matching flower, but couldn’t find the right shade of yellow anywhere. So I rummaged in my fabric box and found a few different but complementary shades of yellow and gold which I used to make a Natty little flower with a gold button in the middle.
All my fabrics were once clothes, curtains or are other people’s left overs from projects. I like to save fabrics from going into landfill and they get re-used as and when I need them.
I didn’t take step by step photos as I was making the flower but there are loads of tutorials online. I basically cut lots of varying sizes of petal shapes out and piled them up overlapping and a bit higgledy piggledy with the biggest at the bottom and smallest at the top and stitched through them, gathering them a bit as I went. The button in the middle hides all the random stitches I made to keep the petals in place. I stitched the finished flower onto a safety pin.
It’s not got the natural beauty of a real flower but wearing it makes me smile.
I hope you see something that makes you smile today.
One of the things I love about Reiki is that the healing energy can be sent through all time and space. I am taking time each day to send positive, thoughts of peace, compassion, tolerance, understanding and respect to the whole planet.
Looked at from this Distant angle, we are all creatures clinging to a rock that is hurtling through space, none of us know for sure why, how or what happens next, Some of us have beliefs about it that help us get through and some don’t. Those beliefs shouldn’t separate us or cause hatred and violence. Nor should any other aspect in which we differ from others: gender, skin colour, body size etc. etc.
Please spend a couple of seconds today sending out healing thoughts for all of humanity and all life on Earth. It might sound ‘airy fairy’ and like it won’t make a difference but imagine what the world would look like if every single person did that every day. If every person put love over hate, despite their differences and beliefs we wouldn’t have to fear for our children or lose anyone to hatred.
Wherever you are, whatever your beliefs, I wish you peace.
This morning I enjoyed a cup of Lemon Balm ‘tea’ – basically hot water infused with Lemon Balm from my garden. So simple but really uplifting and refreshing. It reminds me of that beautiful fresh sense of light, and the incredible earthy smell at dawn after a stormy night.
I like to make herbal infusions for the pleasant taste and as remedies for various ailments. There are commonly known herbal remedies like mint for digestion problems and chamomile to calm the nerves, but there are lots of other interesting uses for herbs and spices. I have a quite a few books on the subject and enjoy trying things out and experimenting.
When I make a herbal infusion for myself or for others I focus on my intention of healing, and imbue the drink with positive healing thoughts and Reiki.
Even if you aren’t trained in Reiki, thinking positive thoughts and directing them into a herbal drink for yourself or someone else can’t do any harm. Try to clear your mind and focus your positive intention into the infusion. Visualising the positive thoughts coming out of your hands and into the drink can help.
I aim to infuse my paintings and crafts with love and happiness with the intention that they bring something good with them, like joy, calm, acceptance or healing.
Focusing positive intention into anything can make a beneficial difference. For example, regularly focussing on an image of yourself being happy at work can help to make your work situation more enjoyable. Even if it just helps to get you into a more positive frame of mind. If there is something you really want to bring into your life, try creating an affirmation about it and repeating it often, infusing the words with positive imagery, thoughts and feelings about what it will feel like to achieve that goal. Affirmations must be positive and talk about the situation as if it is already real. Saying ‘I want more money’ will just leave you feeling that you don’t have enough, whereas saying ‘I am grateful for all my opportunities to bring money into my life’ will help you to be alert to those opportunities and gratitude is a very positive mindset so will help you to feel positive about the situation. Repeating ‘I am grateful, I am abundant, I am happy’ is another really positive spin on the situation. Projecting positive thoughts not only makes you feel more positive internally but also reflects positivity back to you in your life. So infusing everything you do with happy, grateful, kind, optimistic, loving energy will make every experience all the better and life happier.
Whatever you are doing today I hope your day is infused with joy.
Feeling cast Adrift it can feel incredibly freeing and also scary. Changes in your life like growing away from people, leaving a job, moving to a new area or ending a relationship can leave you feeling adrift. This sense of freedom can help you to see new opportunities, reassess your self and your life. leaving you feeling free to start again, free from what used to hold you back or free to create yourself anew. You can face new challenges and try new things. It can also feel unsettling, like you have no port in a storm and no anchor to hold you safe.
This is where you need to be your own safe harbour and find ways to anchor and centre yourself, whether it’s through mediation, painting, walking, being in nature. Discover what makes you feel happy, secure and content within yourself and allow yourself time to just be. Feeling happy in your own skin isn’t all about loving your looks and your body, it’s about liking yourself, being able to look yourself in the eye and say ‘I’m doing my best’, it’s speaking your truth in kind ways, recognising your own inner strength, liking yourself and having a clear conscience. It’s ok to know you’re not perfect (who is?) but know that you’re basically a good person who is trying hard and means well.
Being your own anchor means that you don’t have to rely on someone else for your happiness, security, comfort and wellbeing. Thats often too much responsibility to put on someone else and in the end they can’t make you happy, you have to do that for yourself. Of course being with people you love and love you back makes you happy and being part of a mutually supportive relationship is reassuring, grounding and a joy. But there’s something incredibly empowering and comforting in knowing that if it was just you, totally on your own you could make a good life for yourself without relying on anyone else.
Being adrift is exhilarating, the stormy times are a little scary but knowing that you are strong and resilient helps you face the storm bravely and ride the waves in your own unique style.
Don’t forget that it’s often the stormy seas that wash up the most interesting things to the shore.
Wishing you smooth sailing, safe harbour and exciting journeys.
My Mum has always loved to collect stones and it rubbed of on me, ever since I was a little girl I have not been able to leave a beach without a few stones in my pocket.
My Mum love stones so much that on her 50th birthday she told everyone that asked her what she’d like as a gift to find her a stone. We had a big picnic on the beach and each of us found her a special stone which she later used to make a special ‘rockery’ in her garden. (That was also the day we told her that I was expecting her first grandchild so that was an extra special present – although she’d already guessed and I knew she had, in that mind reading mother/daughter way!).
Our favourites are stones with holes in. They were called Hag stones in some places because of their connection to witches and witch craft although some will tell you witches (and others) used them to ward off evil spirits and others will say that they were used to ward off witches! The true reason that people collected and hung these in their homes is lost in time but many people are still drawn to them. It’s like they hold some kind of mystical magic.
My boys now rush to find us a ‘holey stone’ (holy?) if they visit a beach with their Nanny or Me.
I collected a lot of hag stones on the winter solstice and felt drawn to hold them up to the sunlight to capture it in the hole.
I hang hag stones in my home and garden or use them as candle holders. These ones feel special as they contain sunlight.
The best thing about finding stones with holes in is that it’s really difficult to find a hole unless it has a stone around it!
“We are one big Earth Family, we are here to raise each other up”
We come across people and incidents that try our patience every day: that person who is being awkward or that grumpy person on the cash desk, the guy who barged past you in the street, the driver who cut you up, the woman who didn’t understand you on the phone, your child who wants to put their shoes on but takes forever….
Take a deep breath, remember they have their own issues, they’re having a hard day, are trying to keep their patience, they are learning something, coping with loss, struggling with their health, they’re late for something important because they stopped to listen to a loved one who was upset….
How would you react if that was your mother/father/brother/sister/child? You might be more likely to show them patience, respect and compassion.
If you think of the human race as one big family it’s easier to take a deep breath, smile at them and be grateful that you have the grace and patience to let the stress they caused you go and wish them well.
We are here for such a short time on this beautiful planet, why waste our precious time being angry at others which makes us feel bad, when we can be kind, feel good and spread positivity.
I wish you peace of mind and heart and I hope you have the time and space to play.