Each post will be different, and perhaps unconventional, reflecting my values and those of my work. Let’s call it a pick ‘n’ mix without the calories. (Flashback to the Woolworths days anyone?)
I hope we can be more like sunflowers!
A very short post today. As I saw someone earlier wearing a dress with sunflowers on it, not only was I reminded of how much I love sunflowers but also of the image below (could we call it a meme or does it have to be funny?)
Humans are like this, we can definitely lift each other up emotionally if someone close to us is having a tough time, or grey day. It's just another example of nature letting us know how to improve our wellbeing. I hope you can take something from this.Thursday 4th August, 3:53pm
Gratitude: The Short Film by Louie Schwartzberg
I wanted to share this short as it's both unwinding and uplifting. I was first introduced to it at a writing conference in 2019, by it's other name 'A Good Day'. To me, it's a genuinely beautiful film which touches on many things, including mindfulness. I don't know how you feel about gratitude (as it can be a bit of weighted word) but it's an important factor in my life, appreciating what I have on a daily basis.
Note: Sadly this version isn't as good as the original in terms of quality, and it comes with subtitles. I couldn't find the one I saw three years ago. I also believe it's remixed with an important speech but I don't have a source for that.
You can watch the film here. I'd love to know your thoughts. Gratitude: The Short Film by Louie SchwartzbergThursday 28th July, 2:43pm
What does an ideal Summer look like to me?
This is another post I've used the freewriting technique for, which is common at a Writing for Wellbeing (AKA Words That Move) event. I freewrite every day, normally about whatever comes up that my brain wants to say to the page. This time, I've explored a simple but enlightening question with a 6 minute timer. I know I could on for a while about this season, so I've limited it to get to the bare bones of my needs, longer than 5 minutes but nowhere near 10, this feels very doable.
I learnt that I'm finally starting to embrace not being much of sun lover. Interestingly, I fought against including that part in my post. I asked myself why, and mainly because of the need to fit in. I mean, doesn't everyone like the sun? I shouldn't be ashamed of being honest. I have very pale skin and I get easily irritable if in the sun too long. That's OK, It's not for everyone.
This also reiterated my constant need to balance fun with productivity. It is something I'm working on. I love ticking things off a to-do list but it's easy to get a bit obsessed (the dopamine addiction again) so I'll make sure to include room for silliness and spontaneity for the next six weeks. Yes, I know we can't plan to be spontaneous!
Feel free to give this a go. I wonder what it will reveal for you?
What does an ideal summer look like to me?
I'd be hiding away from the sun in its infinite glory. It's so strong. Looking at it first thing in the morning and last thing before dinner - it strikes in and takes over.
I want to spend time with friends and family, long lazy afternoons, sipping something cold next to water, taking time off, reading in the shade.
Making space for things that bring me joy and focusing on autumn goals. Preparing but experiencing. Like the kids live holidays for fun and processing - that is me.
I stick my shades on and go out into the wilderness. Running alongside those sun soaked people. The ones who thrive in the sun. I do not. I thrive on water, connection and possibility. I try to live in the moment.
Six weeks of pressure to have a good time. We try to succeed and need to realise that we are already succeeding, dancing in the sunlit shadows. occasional glimmers of a breeze of excellence.
I don't know if normal summers exist anymore but I know downtime is important. the pressure eased, adventure increased. We all smile more in the summer months. Enjoy life and people watching. Time sometimes appears to crawl.Thursday 21st July, 2:52pm
As a child I was always trying to find appropriate songs for the self made Summer Songs compilation (tapes and CDs) to take on holidays with us. A lot of the time my choices didn't meet my older sister's approval. They didn't sound summery enough or weren't to her taste. Now I'm adult, in the days of Spotify, I've realised it doesn't matter if the songs remind me of summer in some distant, abstract way or full on mention the word over and over again - if it brings me joy at this time of year - it's in!
So I'm still adding tracks all the time, but here is a list of 5 of my cheesiest favourites so far:
Holiday - Madonna
Got the Feelin' - Five
Steal My Sunshine - LEN
We're Going To Ibiza - Vengaboys
Mysterious Girl - Peter Andre
I wonder what some of your special summer songs are or if you made tapes too or got the tunes out there some other way.Thursday 14th July, 1:46pm
Finding ourselves in the water
I have always loved being near water. I could sit and watch it flowing for hours. I feel so fortunate to have just experienced my first (hopefully not only) cruise. It was wonderful spending so much time on the water and definitely my preferred way to travel.
As I wandered around the ship, I saw so many people just gazing into the sea. The wind whipping wildly at their hair and clothes. There's a feeling like the water holds answers to life's questions for all of us. It brings clarity and helps us gain perspective as fresh as the sea air. So perhaps we're not lost, but found at sea.
There's also the reflective properties of water. We can literally see our reflection in it sometimes.
This planet is more sea than land and I am deeply moved by the expanse of it. It reminds me of how small we are in comparison. But not in an insignificant way, in a humbling way.
I don't know how it holds this power over us but I'm glad it does. Things seem clearer with a gentle lapping, swishing and swaying. It makes us realise that we don't always need to be balanced. We can choose to go with the float.
Safely back on shore, I can let myself watch Titanic again now!Thursday 7th July, 3:03pm