Flikr focus

Another post of how proud I am of myself! I have to say that this isn’t usual for me, but I thought I would share being proud. It is a good thing and we should all do more of it!

I wanted to get more creative and share that with people. I set up a Flikr account, or started using one that I set up years ago more to the point! And I am now sharing photos on a weekly basis, sometimes more sometimes less.

Sometimes I upload quite a few at once, which means you don’t always see them on the side bar. So, do click on the more photos link at the bottom of the pictures from time to time and have a look through

 

Lazy or genius?

Is it a really lazy thing to do to get rid of everything out of my wardrobe that isn’t black and just create a uniform of black clothes? Black trousers, black tshirt and black jacket, cardigan or jumper. With a range of colourful scarfs that I just could wear to brighten things up.

As a girl guide leader I have a uniform to wear, at least on the top half and I just wear whatever I have had on the rest of the day on the bottom. It is smart, it always looks together and I never have to think about it.

I work in schools quite a lot and sometimes look at the uniforms with envy. The kids (and their parents) don’t have to think about what they are going to wear each day, they just put on the same thing.

Although I have simplified my wardrobe a great deal (inspired by project 333), and only have a limited number of colours in my wardrobe I still have to think about what I am going to wear when I go to a meeting. It would be easy if I had a uniform that I wore when I was client facing.

But, with my limited colours and number of clothes I worry that people think I wear the same things all the time, I am sure that really no one gives a damn, but I notice what people are wearing and remember when they wear the same thing again. Of course I am not judging them, it is just that I notice and think that it really suits them and I wished that I was able to wear that sort of thing. Which I guess is a form of judgement, just positive to them and negative to me.

Of course, within that there is a whole level of worry about other people’s opinion, as well as a stress about such a minor thing. And that is what I mean, will just wearing the same thing take all of that away? Will I no longer waste brain power on such a thing?

Outside of meetings it is easy, jeans, tshirt and hoody/fleece. I only have one pair of jeans at the moment and it is actually working out, about 5 tshirts and about 4 hoody/fleece. Nearly all of my tshirts are merino or bamboo, so they are breathable and non smelly!

I have two pairs of walking trousers, it is very muddy round here and as I walk Buster everyday I need to be able to wash the thick mud off. On the top I tend to wear a tshirt/hoody which I have worn as normal clothes for a couple of days. At the moment, aside from a pair of loose trousers for yoga and my swimming kit I am not wearing any exercise clothes as I still can’t run or cycle. I just wear what ever tshirt I have been wearing to yoga.

So, would eliminating the options for work stuff away from blue, black, grey, purple and burgundy and different types of trousers/dress/skirt make life easier? I think the burgundy is going to go as it doesn’t work with purple and so I have 2 items of clothes which I can’t mix with others so well. Would 2 pairs of black trousers, 2 black long sleeve tshirts/2 black short sleeve tshirts and then a black cardigan, jacket and jumper work? Or would it be too boring? Maybe a black dress and a black skirt for variety?

I then wouldn’t need to think about fashion, new clothes (apart from when my black staples run out), or what to wear when I am heading out to a client.

I am of course, over exagerating, and I don’t think I would go this far, but it would make life so much easier!

Yoga acceptance

Yesterday I went to a yoga class, even though in a bid to get well I have cancelled all appointments, meetings and even seeing friends. This yoga class is different, it is a relaxation and restorative class and my teacher has trained in yoga for MS, CFS and cancer. She also knows me well as I have been going to her classes on and off for about 4 years now, since she started up.

As I have said before, yoga around here tends to be done in village halls, with everyone is either see through leggings or track suit bottoms, no lulemon here!

So, it is in no way a pretentious class.

During tree pose I did my usual highly wobbly practice on my left side – hypermobile ankles mean that I can be as still as possible on my legs, but my ankles will not stay still at all! But I couldn’t stand full weight through my right knee. So I did mountain pose instead.

Then we came onto doing equestrian pose, with an extended practice here. This was too much for my knee, so I went up into a full lunge, again fine until I had my bad knee at the front, then I couldn’t do it at all. At this point I started to get cross and angry. This is not particularly hard yoga, and I can’t do it. I then did the rest of the work sitting down, sobbing quietly into my forward bend. My teacher noticed and came over and touched me on the shoulder and said I was too hard on myself and I know it. She is right, I am and I do. But it was so frustrating not to be able to stand and do the yoga moves.

But then something shifted. I accepted my body for what it can do today. Not yesterday, or three years ago, today. I went through the rest of the class feeling sad, but yet deeply embracing where I am. Up to now I have been fighting using a walking stick to get around, pushing myself to get well and to carry on regardless. On Monday I find out what is going to happen with me knee, if it is something they can fix, or if I need to live with it. If I need to live with it I am getting a purple and silver stick.

By the savasana at the end of the class I felt such a deep relaxation, my body felt heavy, but in a good way. I didn’t listen to the visualisation, instead I took my awareness around my body, listened to the pain in my back and the sharp pain in my knee and embraced it.

I slept well last night, deeply and I have woken up feel like I have rested, for once. My body still feels deeply relaxed, although I am sure that will change as the day progresses.

I also feel like something has shifted, that maybe I am beginning to accept my body for where it is right now and that feeling might even stay around for a while, before I find something else to rail against!

Flickr

You may have seen that I have added a Flickr bar onto my blog. This is because of part of my creative goals for this year is to take more photos and to share them.

I hope to update them at least once a week, but it may be more or less depending on what happens. Please feel free to head over to Flickr and comment if you have an account.

This is a big, brave step for me and I am a little worried about doing so and in fact I am only doing so because I am doing an online photography course, where we share through Flickr. Due to being ill I have missed a week, but I am just jumping back in, rather than trying to catch up, otherwise I will never do this.

The course explains a few of the weirder, blurry shots!

Bimbling goals part 2

OK, so I have explained my word of the year and shared part 1 of my goals, so here are the rest

Spiritual

To find a women’s group
I have no idea how I am going to do this, especially  living where I do. But none the less, I think that if I continue to search for one and keep it in my mind that is what I am looking for that it might happen!

To go on retreat by myself 
I would very much like to have a retreat by myself, maybe some music, my laptop to write on BUT NO INTERNET, pens and paper and a chance to do what I want and not to have to worry about anyone else.

To be honest in my sharing
I want to be as honest as possible in my sharing of my spiritual practice and my life in general. Although I will not be going ‘warts and all’ into the details of my life I want to share my spiritual journey honestly and openly. I am sure at times this will be very difficult

To continue to develop my spirituality and its practice
oh, this is a complicated one to explain once you get past the obvious. It will be a major theme this year I can promise you!

Family & Friendships 

To hold monthly soup sojourns 
getting together with my friends can be tricky, we are all really busy, and so when we do see each other we make it a big deal, cooking elaborate food etc. I wanted to combat this by opening my house one Saturday or Sunday a month and making soup and break and going for a nice walk in the woods with my dog. If one can make it great, if three can, fab. The idea being that seeing friends doesn’t have to take hours in prep.

To have a day out with mum/dad/niece
A whole day with each of these people individually. Not sure what that will look like yet but there is time to figure that out

To have a date night with Gavin twice a month 
Not necessarily out of the house, but doing something together with intent, rather than just vegging out in front of the tv. This might be a nice meal and games or going out to the cinema.

To have an actual dinner party
With a couple/s joining us. We have only done this once in the time we have been together and we would like to invite people into our home more

To have an amazing holiday together
Not sure what this would look like at the moment, but it involves leaving England for the first time since we got married (which will be three years ago in July)

My personal goals 

to relax 
mainly by bimbling

to use all my own products 
moisturiser, going no poo etc

My massive big scary goal 

To publish some writing and get paid for it. Wow, I said it and it is out there. I want to write something and get paid for it. Just today I have pitched to join a team of writer for a big website. Eeek!

So, there we go, all of my major goals, I have stated my intent for the year and we shall see how it all goes!

Bimbling goals – part 1

Goals could be seen to be contrary to my word of the year being bimbling, but actually they are bimbling goals, not driven but kind and gentle. Most of them are aims rather than actual goals. If I don’t make them it is not another way for me to beat myself up, it is just a way of focusing and shaping my year.

So here we go:

Financial

To feel more relaxed about money
Money has always been a stress point for me and now I have the added stress of being self employed and although it has gone well so far I am prone to worry. Part of this will be to see an IFA and to look at my budget again.

To save £xx into my emergency savings
I think this is really a subset of the above!

To give more to charity
My husband and I at the end of last year decided to sponsor a girl through Plan UK and I am also starting to lend via Kiva. I have allocated a small amount to do this each month.

2 no buying physical things month
I did this last year and although it had to be stopped due to a puppy incident of eating my glasses, I found it eye opening to my spending habits, so I would like to do that again this year.

Body

To learn to accept my body and to be as healthy as I can
Difficult challenge here. I don’t know what is happening with my body, if my knee is just isolated to my knee or if it is start of major problems with my hypermobility. I don’t know if my knee can be fixed with a simple operation, or if I have to live with it. So this goal is about trying to be accepting of myself and kind towards me. The healthy as I can refers to the fact that I can no longer be training for a marathon, I have to be realistic about myself!

To have 24 massages a year
Massage helps my body to keep moving and to not seize up, I have written about it before and it is important to my physical and mental health.

To swim at least twice a week.
A gentle goal for me, I wanted to put down four times a week but if I aim for two I can always do more than it!

To do a yoga class at least four times a month
I really feel that yoga rebuilds my body, which I need and my lovely teacher has started up a restorative class, which is what I need rather than hard core astanga!

To try tai chi
I have been wanting to try tai chi again for ages. I used to do martial arts, but after breaking and dislocating I realised it wasn’t such a good idea for my body. But I like learning katas and tai chi has them. It is also a moving meditation and slow and precise is key. Neither of which I am particularly good at, but I think it would be good for me to learn!

To have swimming lessons one to one
I love swimming and I want my technique looked at to make sure I am not damaging myself through poor technique.

Creative

Hmm, looking at my goals I have written quite a few of them are not bimbling and so I am editing them to the following

To create for creativity’s sake
This is my main one – to do things for fun, not to show to other people. I think this idea is practically therapy for me and one I should apply for my whole life! It is the opposite of perfection, it is about enjoying life, colour and things!

To experiment with raw chocolate
I made raw chocolate for presents this year and it went down well and I would like to make different flavours

To play music four times a month
I love to play my instruments, but I never do it and I don’t know why. Maybe writing it down will make me do it.

To listen to music and do nothing else four times a month
I used to spend hours as a young adult doing this and it fed my soul in no uncertain terms. Now I only listen to music when I am doing something. But music is more important to me than that and I want to prioritise it .

To do morning pages every day
to handwrite in a notepad – not a nice moleskin or other, but just a notebook with pencil. This is all of the moaning, whinging and ‘I did this and went there’ type writing that clogs my brain up

To write 1000 words a day
This will be typed and possibly turned into blog posts, or maybe at some point something bigger, who knows.

I want to be a published writer someday – in fact I already have been, but under client’s names when I worked in PR, I have been published in quite a few trade magazines but I want to be published under my name. Writing every day makes it more likely to happen. Someone once said you are what you do every day. So I want to be a writer, so I need to write every day.

To publish 5 photos a week on flikr or this blog
I want to develop my visual side of my creativity, which is quite weak actually, so by setting myself a goal of 5 photos a week I will have to take lots of photos and get out there!

To have 2 artist dates a month
To go off by myself and do something to ‘fill my well’ as Julia Cameron puts it

There are other sections in this goals list, but I will save them for another time as this is getting rather long now!

Word of the year – Bimble

I hope you all had a good holiday and a belated Happy New Year. As I said I went on retreat over the christmas holidays and a lot happened there which I am in the process of writing about, but it is already several posts long and I wanted to start with a focus on the year.

I have worked through the Amazing Biz Life workbooks and I wanted to share my goals with you, mainly for accountability purposes. I have not filled these goals in properly – eg they are not all SMART – specific, measurable achievable, realistic or targeted. Some of them are more aims than goals. I have then broken these down into proper to-dos of how I am going to achieve them, but I will not share the ins and outs of them with you.

I will also share each month what my aims are for that month – not the boring things, but the things which will help me on the way. Or I may not I haven’t entirely decided as yet!

But before I move onto my goals, I want to talk about my word of the year, are you ready? It’s

BIMBLE

Bimble? What the hell does that mean?

Well, I have always been so focused, driven and very goal orientated (hence why a lot of my goals this year are deliberately vague). I can’t just read a book on something I have to do a course – or a qualification for preference (I have done two postgraduate courses in four years). I will strive and push and punish myself.

I want this year to be different. Very different.

I want to explore my creativity side without having to produce something at the end of it which is for sale, or for a present or has a purpose. Creating for creativity’s sake. No pressure

I want to enjoy life a bit more with out looking for the next thing which I should be doing.

Even my exercise has always been highly pushed and driven.

2013 I damaged my neck and my knee. My neck has two damaged vertebrae, which can’t be changed, my knee….I don’t know yet, I am waiting to find out at the end of the month what has happened. So I can’t train for triathlon or marathons or any thing else. I am trying to look at this as a life lesson for me, that it is something which I can’t change or control, so I will just exercise in a bimbling way without strident goals.

So a year of bimbling involves meditating, creating for the sake of it, laying down and thinking, slowing down, not having to do anything, creating for the fun of it, walking at a slower pace and enjoying life.

I do seem to be unable to relax properly, so I guess this year is learning to relax and enjoy life a bit more, rather than always striving to improve.