Love is beautiful, light and safe.
Love is without judgement.
Love never runs out.
Love does not hurt.
Love is acceptance.
Love is forgiveness.
Love brings peace and happiness.
Love cannot break you or your heart.
Love is recognising another soul and cherishing them.
Love is available to all and multiplies when we practice it towards others.
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Eh, it is probably more apt to ask what’s right, but I am bumbling along at some sort of pace. You may be wondering where all my art challenge responses are and why I am only posting the prompts at the moment. It’s due to me taking a small creativity break rather than stressing myself out at this time when my brain is being weird and I feel like mush most of the time and exhausted the rest. I will be doing the prompts but not just yet. I also still wanted to post the prompts as I know that a few people have been enjoying doing them.
It has been time to take my own advice and be kind to myself. Perhaps I will even get to posting something here that is not related to the challenge. I would like to do that as I feel I have lost my way a little with the sort of things I used to blog about and when I used to write them. Everything has felt like such a struggle lately but as always eventually happens I seem to be poking my head out of my pillow fort to see what is going on.
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…and I wanted to wish you all a very:
Last year was a strange one, it didn’t feel bad per say, not like some I have had but it was a very different year full of challenges, changes and transformations in both big and small ways from, in my case, the way I live to the way I think.
Despite the troubles and hardships I do feel like it has laid down foundations to build upon this year as several exciting new projects are in the works and my focus as an artist has become far more apparent.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy year ahead full of love, light, laughter and blessings wherever it leads you.
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…When I Needed It.
The internet gave me a gift today, for all it’s faults it houses some real gems and today it was this quote. I’ve been writing a lot about change and transformation over the last few months because it has been so very prevalent in my life this year. I have been going through, what I described to my friend the other day as, a life overhaul.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome. It didn’t feel awesome for ages, it felt terrible while I was going through the changes and uncertainty itself but like the butterfly that emerges from it’s cocoon, I’ve finally emerged from the other side feeling more able, strong, balanced and beautiful in and of myself.
My friend told me that she felt that was a huge sign of my growth during this period and I think she’s right about that. I’m still me but a lot has changed about me at the same time. I have a whole new perspective on my life and what I want and need in it to the point that it has, at times, become clear that it’s something that hasn’t been welcomed by some of the people around me. I think that when you grow and change and begin getting things in order it can be scary and unsettling for the people around you if they’re not ready for change to happen to them as well. It’s a personal thing, it happens on our own timeline when it’s necessary for us and our lives individually.
I catch myself when I’m talking to people to remind myself to be honest and not play down my situation to fulfil everyone’s thoughts of where in life they think I should be and frankly, it’s hurtful when a friend asks me why I’m not in a relationship with someone as if I should be aiming for that or why I have chosen to live and work creatively as an artist as though it’s never going to get me anywhere and never going to bring me success. I don’t believe that and most of all it does bring me success. Success to me is making it through the day happy and grateful for what I have and what I do. Having spent so long struggling with depression and being so close to giving up on life completely, doing something I love and that brings me so much happiness is a far greater success than trying to force myself to live a way that’s not right for me.
People may not like the changes in my life, they might think that they have the right to look down on me for them or consider me an oddity for my choices but you know what? I’ve embraced them, accepted them and made them my own. I’ve made it through a difficult time and found my wings after the stifling stress, darkness and uncertainty of change in my very own cocoon. Be happy for me, now I can fly.
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I find that one of the hardest things to do is put myself out there, in any form I feel it makes me vulnerable and my fear of being disliked or ridiculed or looked down on has stopped me doing a lot that I’ve wanted to do. I’ve grown a lot in the last five years or so, since I discovered my independence and strength as a single mum, but breaking through those fears and barriers has been and still is very hard. This blog is ‘safe’ for me. I can express myself and share a bit of myself without worrying about the reaction I will get or having to deal face to face with anyone which is where most of my bad experiences have stemmed from. Starting making a few youtube videos was a massive step for me as I’m incredibly nervous about sharing my voice and my face with the world (ok, so I’m still working up to the latter). Sometimes I wish I didn’t have these anxieties, I wish I didn’t care and I was normal like anyone else. That I didn’t dread making or answering the phone when I don’t know who’s on the other end, that I didn’t feel sick going somewhere new or being around people I don’t know.
And yet, unless we’re brave and put ourselves out there we will never go anywhere. We have to take a chance and hope for the best and try not to berate ourselves too much if it doesn’t go as planned.
I’m not always strong, I don’t think anyone can be all the time and sometimes when we take those brave steps forward it leads to us having to retreat. This last month has been really rough for me, filled with a lot of stress, fear, doubt and frustration and has consisted of me edging forward, not even stepping, but just inching along before running a mile back to hide, lick my wounds and recover from the exhaustion that seems to accompany being brave. Last week in particular was a real low point. I put on a brave face of course, to the outside world I daresay I looked fine but inside and at home when the doors were closed I most definitely was not. I had to do something though, I had to put myself out there and try to inch forward even though it felt like I was waist deep in treacle making progress near impossible while my arms and head flailed and cried and shouted in frustration.
I’m not in such a dark place today, I’m still not feeling like I’m surrounded by rainbows and unicorns but I’m not surrounded by blackness either which means I need to heal a little more and then start the excruciating process of edging forward again. I’m reminded quite well of a line from one of my son’s Thomas The Tank Engine films, funnily enough it’s been replaying through my mind for a while to remind me to be brave and put myself out there. In the film Percy is scared of monsters in the dark when he meets an engine called Gator who he first mistakes for a monster. Gator teaches Percy a thing or two about fear and how running away isn’t brave or going to deal with the problem. It might feel safe but the problem is always going to be there and eventually you have to face it to be free. Percy does manage to face his fears in the end and he realises that being brave doesn’t mean not being scared. Being brave is doing something even though you are scared.
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This is my mantra for this week; the message the cards gave me only far more eloquently put than I was able to scribble down while doing my weekly reading last night.
All three cards in my spread encouraged me to face my fears in different aspects of my life, all of which have been in a huge period of transition this last little while; business, love life and home. The first told me I had to face my creative fears (business), the second my emotional fears (love life) and the third the fears of my mind (home).
Facing your fears brings relief, peace and happiness in the end. It’s the only way to really move forward at times as we have to take that step through the thing we fear or never move past it into joy. I know this but it doesn’t make it any easier to do.
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The short answer is a lot.
The whole last month has been crazy, busy and stressful with a huge amount of scary but also exciting change going on. This week was probably the craziest so far though and I’ve been swinging between high levels of anxiety and fear to joy and anticipation of the possibilities, so much so that I feel like I’m strung on a yo-yo with no way off for the foreseeable future.
My eldest applies for secondary schools at the start of the next school year so we have been signing up for testing and looking at possibilities. There’s been a huge amount of information to take in and think about.
Last weekend I was in London for the Pagan Federation London Conference with my friend and wonderful felt artist Abi from Felt Meets Cloth. While the day wasn’t the busiest and the travelling left me an exhausted shell afterwards it was a wonderful day, full of friendly people, great feedback on my work, wicked humour and a lot of laughs so a big thank you to everyone who came along and made it such a fun and memorable event!
Following this, however, I was ill. I had a migraine with a lot of nausea and dizziness over the first half of the week. In part from over doing things as apparently I really don’t know how to pace myself and in part down to the stress of knowing we have to move house in a few months. Trying to find somewhere has been hard, a month of constant disappointment, being told I’m not suitable and trying to put a brave face on it and stay positive about the whole thing for the kids.
Then -bam- the 1st July came around. Following a frustrated rant and breakdown with my mum the day before I began to calm emotionally and find a couple of properties that were not an outright no from the start. I’ve been looking at them around work for the last couple of days.
I’m trying to stay firm and calm in the belief that if I’m looking and doing all I can the right place for the next part of our journey as a family will find me. It can be hard some days to hold onto that particularly when it feels as if no-one is willing to give me a chance but I do feel it’s necessary. House hunting kinda sucks, particularly as a working single mother but I have to believe that the Universe is looking out for me and as long as I go with the flow and don’t try to fight the way it’s working it will all pan out in the end.
You may wonder why I’m writing this out here. This blog isn’t often a place where I go into my personal situation and rant or rave about things. It’s so that when I have a bad day I can read it back and remind myself of what I am holding onto. I need to see it in black and white so that when I face the possibility of being made homeless in September and it all feels like too much I can read, in my own words, the truth of what I believe in my heart rather than the nigglings of my mind. If it helps someone else as well then that’s even better.
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