Good morning world..

“It is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in the broken world.” — Mary Oliver, Invitation

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Each morning I wake I have forgotten what I told myself the day before.. that this day will be another day, another chance, another opportunity. Forget yesterday, live for today. But still I have to peel myself from my warm bed, little dog snoozing. Snuggling next to me, disturbing him at this early hour.

I creep downstairs, the fear of waking my toddler in every step on the creaky stairs. Kettle on, hot cup of tea. I sit on my favourite sky blue chair, under an old blanket, looking out the window that overlooks the valley. It’s pitch black out there, lights twinkling, but so soon the sky lightens revealing wispy white mist, a cloudy sky. I can hear a cockerel’s call somewhere in the distance.

I listen to ‘Wild Geese’, written and read by Mary Oliver, a favourite of many I’m sure. Her voice soothes me, welcomes me into the day. Her poem reminds me to live on without drama, to be, to make the most of my day, to make the most of my short time on this planet. And then I can begin, a little journalling, writing, a short meditation. Some quiet time grounded in my head and my body, before I spend the next hour taking orders from someone 35 years my junior. I need this time. It makes my day better, makes me more patient, less reactive, less internal struggles. It’s time to be before the doing begins. I always struggle to be when I’m doing.

It’s a daily reminder of who I am. Not wife, mother.. those are just tick boxes and no badge of honour without being fully present in our moments together of which I struggle believe me. In these moments I remember my love for beyond my husband, child and dog, for all people, myself included, children and animals, not just my own. All I can think of is everyone is where they are meant to be, doing what they are meant to be doing, in this vast web of life. And I feel patient, kind and understanding.

And then the call of my 3 year old beckons upstairs, yells ‘mummy it’s morning’!! And I’m whipped out of my dreamy hour into reality. Sleeping bag off, a cuddle carry downstairs as he calls it, pots on the oven top, fruit out, coffee in the pot, radio on, shrieking hurls from my toddler at his every whim. Being screamed at whilst making porridge for your little one and keeping any semblance of calm has got to be my greatest spiritual practise yet! And then finally we’re all sat down, him with a steaming bowl of porridge, me with a hot sweet coffee. 1st task of the day done. Looking out the window, talking about what’s to come. A sip of delicious coffee, a moment of quiet. I’m so happy to be sitting here with him in this moment.

I love taking time to be with myself, to be quiet, go inwards. But the day ultimately beckons with its noise, its upheaval, its rushing. The more I try to escape it the more it pushes me, pushes me. To be of this world is a beautiful thing. To be present with its ridiculousness, with its imperfect beauty, with its scowling humans, its delicious landscapes. What a world to witness, to be part of. Soaking in the love, the pain, the frustration as we encompass all of it. Each one of us lightness and darkness held together with skin. Letting the world lead us on. Being immersed in it, not running away from it. Thats where I want to be. Part of this world without being sucked dry by it. Immersed in it but not fully of it. Drenched in it but with freedom to remember who I am, who listens to the kind, encouraging and understanding voice in my head. Who nourishes that one and lets the other battle elsewhere.

a home filled with meaningful, nature inspired wall decor.-3

A brain that can never stop

 

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Maybe this title is a little misleading.. I have a brain that can never stop, envisioning, delighting in, frowning upon. But my body can stop.. yes.. I am highly skilled at relaxing in the evening, finding a familiar film, a cup of tea. I can always find somewhere to sit on our many toddler visits to the park, to the woods, a rock at the river. To shift my body into action takes much more effort. I have to trick it into exercising by promising it before a run.. oh we’ll mainly walk, we’ll listen to that audiobook whilst watching the morning light in the trees, it will be easy, you won’t need to do much.

But my mind. Wow. A barrage of thoughts. All day. Every day. The only thing that stops the mental flutter is eventual deep sleep. And then upon waking, the first flicker of my eyelid, here we go again. I can quieten it.. through meditation, moments of mindfulness. Relieving, but not easy. After a few ‘surprises’ lets call them over the past few years, I’ve realised the necessity to my own mental wellbeing to sift through these thoughts, to work out negative patterns and to break them, to work out which ones are true, which ones I truly care about, which ones to curb. And mostly I can do this now. But new things fill my brain hourly, it’s so incredibly noisy up there.

Thoughts about new things I want to do, time being the only thing that stops me. Keeping on top of my weedy allotment, my house plant friends, just enough yoga and running to keep my body healthy, the occasional freezing wild swim, to get a move on reading that pile of books, each one so inviting. Oh and my child, children – dog and human. Husband should fit in there somewhere too. And then there’s the extras, the wanting to make a new duvet cover, get back to making clothes (some nice tunic tops and loose dresses for making in would be great), painting for my newsletter, writing for here and for mental therapy, singing lessons (my dream of being a west end star could still happen you know….), embroidering birds and flowers onto the long white curtains I made pre baby. Never ending and existing to do’s thought up by my brain regularly.

You might think that’s it’s great to have these ambitions, and its true, my whole life it will be impossible for me to feel boredom. I’ve a lifetime and many more wants and dreams. But I wonder why I can’t focus on just a few and do a really great job on them. The initial excitement is there, but then something else steps in as I start making some progress. Maybe apathy? My mind after telling me what a good idea it is and I start getting into the flow, getting quieter, my mind gets left out. Starts whispering me words of discouragement, words to knock me off, telling me I have no time, no resources, I’m not good enough. Why bother. Yes, then apathy. The drive of determination halted and mind wins. Confidence shifted. Hmm, move onto the next. Try something different. Its a pattern I’ve noticed throughout my adult life. Even as a child I moved from craft to craft, but I guess then my time was determined and controlled by schooling, not much room for movement.

So I’m writing this in case you’re a little like me too.. Flitty, fanciful, curious… An imagination that whispers to you all the wonderful things you could experience and learn but a mind that holds you back with strong ropes when you get going.. Making you seem to the outside world that you are unreliable, inconsistent, fickle. So called negatives that I think are just part and parcel of many imaginative personalities. Traits that come with the territory. The trick is to somehow find some consistent focus. To recognise first the patterns of thinking that the mind repeats to you. Persuasive repetitions of the mind telling the body to quit. For the first time in my 37 years I am noticing my minds tricks and I’m starting to overcome them. What helps me and might help you too is.. when starting a working day I begin with:

  • Reading the vision I wrote for my ceramic business to remind me what I’m doing and why. Then I write down what would be the most important few things to focus on today in working towards that vision (I try to put no more than 3).
  • Then I write down 3-4 thoughts that I want to watch out for (i.e I can’t do this, no one will be interested etc..). And 4 thoughts I will switch to when I notice myself saying the negative ones. (i.e I can do this, I make beautiful pieces that people enjoy).
  • Throughout the day I check in on myself, just a few minutes each hour grounding myself, sensing my body in space, clearing my mind, noticing any thought patterns that arise.

It takes practise and I’m still testing the results but so far I am definitely noticing less negative self talk, higher spirits in general and if I do get in a slump and loose my flow its easier to come out of it.

I think to summarise, having an imaginative, flirty personality is a wonderful thing, but can be associated with difficulties focusing where you need to in order to grow. Small techniques practised consistently can really help. The people who have most helped me focus are:

  • my friend Aleksandra .. I met her here in Hebden Bridge and we both have toddlers. She is also a mindset coach. This instagram post on your vision is the tool I use every day.. https://www.instagram.com/p/CCu_i7DnxWx/
  • Every morning I look for a new Joe Dispenza instagram post and if there is an exercise I follow it. He is who I got the idea of the 4 thoughts from. There are also tons of free talks on you tube by him. This is a great one that springs to mind. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8C3HZpWKAM
  • One of the few other instagram accounts I specifically look for each day is Jamila Reddy. I take notes from her posts in my journal and soak in what she has to say. It always helps.

Hope this is helpful for my fellow flitty types, would love any recommendations you have too on harnessing a creative spirit without getting lost,

Marie

x

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