Mental Health Mantra 50/365
I moved through this day in a complete haze - incredibly tired. Last night was such a long night and it felt like it went on for hours upon hours.
I somehow managed to drop myself right in front of my studio table to start something, everything felt awful and yuk. Nothing seemed to flow, nothing was feeling like it was helping me.
I decided to stop thinking about what I was doing and just immerse me, myself and my tiredness into the colours I chose. I started with yellow circles, and then added some green foliage. That seems to take enough of my attention and I could feel my heart rate falling. My nervous system was coming back to balance.
I let it dry and returned, seeing different aspects and wanting to play with this lovely ultramarine blue. It felt cooling and soothing to me.
The layers were drying and the background was hinting at what was underneath.
I put it to one side and played on other blank pieces of paper, creating flower shapes, just generally enjoying the process of water, colour and paint brush.
As this was dry, I picked it up and began to insert black ink, colouring in the leaves of my little daisy like flowers.
The mantra appeared for me "Look Beyond".
It really is never what it first appears.
It reminds me to not judge the first thing I hear, see, taste, touch, smell. It reminds me to 'look beyond' for there is always a message hidden behind the front one. Reading behind the lines is another way of putting it.
Keep trusting, keep shining.
'Art with Heart - Calm your Mind, Soothe your Soul.'
Mental Health Mantra 49/365
This particular mantra has appeared in my life, many times, when I felt stuck.
Today suddenly these words appeared.
I find that as a mantra appears, I will get to know it in more details, I'll start by writing it out 25 times in my mantra journal, I'll repeat it in meditation, sometimes I will write out the words and colour them in. This colouring meditation can help to soothe what is currently challenging.
Today whilst dealing with a specific situation that was making me apprehensive about the outcome, and worrying. I found myself sat at my studio table, using colour and water, making these circles above, watching the water and colour merge, it was very relaxing.
After letting it dry thoroughly, I returned to the desk to find a wonderful sample of circles, just calling out for flowers and petals. Here's the bit I also enjoy, taking the black uni-pen and marking out, adding in white, coloured gel pens, it was methodical and calming, again I keep using the word, hypnotic.
It is here as a reminder - This too shall pass.
Every moment passes into the next moment.
Whatever I am feeling in this moment, passes.
A reminder to release.
The situations are still there, the worry and the apprehension
Yet this is a tool for moving it through me.
Keep shining star seeds.
'Art with Heart - Calm your Mind, Soothe your Soul.'
Mental Health Mantra 24/365
Today I went to the storage unit where our home contents have been stored since August 2019. Long story but it was only meant to be for 4 weeks and the circumstances, grief and drama, that followed could not be made up by any Coronation Street scriptwriter. I had to give the key to the Manager and we went to have a look inside and whilst there, I picked up a big basket bag of mine and a curver box with a lid. Both items that held things from my studio, which I haven't seen in 18 months.
Unpacking them and saying hello to things that were in my studio felt like I was unearthing a time machine. I sat fondly looking through sketch books, affirmation books, diaries, I found my tibetan singing bowl, my inking pen, a framed Muse Mantra, plus a new stash of watercolour paper.
I felt lit up.
I felt abundant.
Can we spend at least 10% of our day doing something that lights us up?
If we can, we may begin to feel a little calmer.
Whatever that means for you.... maybe singing a song all the way through, learning to bake something or stretching out. Start with 10%.
I have been doing my upmost to shift this and vibrate on a frequency that is higher than the one we are seeing. Lighting up ourselves, individually has a huge knock on effect. Don't let anyone tell you that your light energy contribution doesn't matter as it won't change anything.
It does and it will.
Keep shining that light sunbeams.
"Art with Heart - Calm your Mind, Soothe your Soul."
Mental Health Mantra 17/365
It has been a fatiguey day today, tiredness pervades me. This feels familiar, making me feel a tad jittery because I was so incapacitated when in my 20s with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. I made my way through that tunnel by the time I was 30 but it was a decade's long haul. I find that all that I learnt then, about healing, wellness and holistic health has been the foundation pillar of my journey these past 32 years and I built upon these pillars to support me through my life.
Today as I was finishing off this 17th Mental Health Mantra, the phrase kept coming through "Your light makes a difference." Lorie Ladd on You Tube who I adore, reminds me of this often, especially in these times.
It made me recognise that even feeling fatiguey today I can choose to be light and sit in that space for a while. For me, it was about turning my attention to light, being outside in nature, in the garden, watching the seagulls circle me, we have a crowd of them that hang out in south Liverpool / considering we're really only 4 miles from the River Mersey, they're never that far away.
I realised that my light can make a difference. Even when I feel fatiguey and tired.
I made a lovely lentil shephard's pie early in the day, so that I knew it was ready and I could settle into the day. I played crazy tennis ball games with the girls who just loved it, lots of waggy tails.
In my meditation practice I can beam my light out on to Planet E and beyond, I can channel Reiki healing blessings to all. It only stops when I stop.
I will continue to keep that focus and keep that relaxation meditation practice so that I can send light beams out. We all need that right now. To step back into our bodies and connect to our soul, to raise the light and vibration and send that out to all - that does mean me too. I need this too.
What I know for sure .... is that you don't need to be some meditating guru and sit cross legged, what you need is the commitment to sit. In a chair. On a bed. Inside, outside,. Just a commitment to sit and connect to your breathing. Start there. It really is all that it is.
You will find your light, and yes, it makes a difference.
I was introduced to this quote back by Peter Russell who I met in New Mexico in 2004 on my adventure.
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."
I loved that when I heard it, made complete sense to me.
My commitment to sit is here.
Sending out oodles of light to you whomever your are, reading this. Trust your intuitive intelligence.
"Art with Heart - Calm your Mind, Soothe your Soul."
Slow your breathing down, park the stress, feel the rumblings of transformation: Connect to a cool tool ritual called Visioning
27 years ago, I stumbled upon a practice that helped me in a very dark time of my life. I didn’t know back then anything about mood boards or vision books, we’re talking the 90’s, nobody talked about stuff like that!
Here I was, stuck in bed, dealing with a long term disabling health problem called M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). I was 22 and had been ill for 2 years, my life was on hold, in storage, locked up, paused. I didn’t know how long this was going to continue but it ended up lasting a further 7 years. My self-esteem was in the pan and my confidence … well, let’s put it this way, I had none. Being ill was robbing me of everything. I was desperate to find a way out of this shitty space, but energy wise, I had limited reserves. Having a shower or washing my hair took every ounce of me. I was itching to look forward to a life that oozed wellness, I longed for a career that made me jump for joy and a relationship that shook my world, fulfilling and loving and all that jazz. I ached for travel and yearned for my own space again, because I was living back with my parents having had a 2-year independence-break, working in the world of commerce in a different city. There were dreams, but I just couldn’t see them properly. I was tired all the damn time, the dreams, well, they were fuzzy and deep, deep inside.
I had always been a rock steady journaller, head stuck in a notebook where possible and pen in hand, I had written tonnes of pages on finding my way through these health troubles and scratched out some desires and goals but I was completely stuck.
I couldn’t see a way through.
I wanted to feel less anxious about the way my life was going. Looking around me, I saw other sufferers ill for 20 + years and I cried myself to sleep, hoping this was not going to be me. I was stressed out about the recovery statistics, I was flapping about which way to turn and my gut instinct and intuition were taking a real beating.
Somewhere along the way, an idea popped into my mind, it could have been from Oprah’s ‘remembering your spirit’ segment right at the end of her show, which I devoured, it was the only positive thing I was seeing on TV at that time,
in spite of it being ridiculed in the press, or I may have just been sent a direct message in dream time. What and how, the ideas all merge into one.
This idea kept growing inside of me that instead of writing my dreams in my journal, I would find a new blank notebook and rip out images and words from the magazines that I had piling up in my room. Images that inspired and motivated me. This became my little go-to task of the day, nothing fancy or ‘the secret-like’ but just little-old-ill-me, ripping images with glue stick in hand. I didn’t make big collages back then, it was just small and simple. I would rip and paste an image that my insides loved, a colour, a phrase, a word. If my gut instinct loved it, I’d rip it out.
I recognised after a few months that this little practice was boosting my inner spirit, it gave me a lift.
I felt hopeful.
I began to see similar images popping out, animals featured a lot, dogs in particular, craft, art, making, design, bright colours, scenes from nature, travel, words that were big and bold, things like ‘do it, lush, loving, boss’ I felt a sense of warmth growing deep in my belly, not sure what it was but it felt like – knowing - knowing that I was finding my heart again, somewhere amongst the pages. I could play in here, it was safe, fun and non-judgmental.
This very early visual notebook turned into a cool tool that let me hear whispers of my intuition, it showed me that I could give myself some space to dream. It soothed me when I felt exhausted drained and lifeless. I felt small nudges of what’s next. I got to see a visual cue of my soul and what I was desiring.
Like I said.
I felt Hope Full.
Fast forward to the present day and this has become a crucial part of my creative healing toolkit that helps to rebalance me and also my clients.
Five years ago, I began designing Muse Mantras and I discovered that each card I was designing could be a prompt for a vision page, a little question to help with the focus of the page: for example, how my body wants to feel relaxed, or how my heart wants to feel joy, or imagining the possibilities. It gave me another way to vision and I loved it. So I decided to pull it together and ran it as a course and offered it out there in cyber land, such a gorgeous group of women joined me to sample this programme.
“This course increased my confidence and positive outlook, such a great idea.” Kerry
“It’s so inspiring to look at my visions, I so wish I had done this earlier.” Rachael.
“As I went through the magazines, I felt images and words jumped out at me, they made me feel really positive, happy and warm, I love that this is ‘being the me I want to be’ and I feel I’m entering a transition process, this course is helping me.” Kerry
“I have just had the most wonderful hour – I started to select images and words last night and then this morning I felt I just had to vision first, before anything else. I am so glad I did. Gaining visual clarity around where I find joy feels like it has opened a doorway to the next steps of my life.” Mary
“I’m doing this on my kitchen table and loving it. I’m going to reflect on my whispers but I think my right to enjoy the good life is a theme and I also believe my page is giving me permission to be myself. Loving the course.” Jan.
I knew then it wasn’t just me.
Now when I turn to magazines, glue stick and vision book, I truly recognise that this is a beautiful mindfulness practice and choosing a muse mantra card sends my inner traveller ‘bon voyage’, as she navigates her way through, listening to the whispers of her soul.
I find my breathing slows down, I begin to feel differently about where I’m at and where I want to be. I feel braver. I feel calmer. I feel less stressed about what’s happening around me and I can feel the rumblings of transformation.
My body, mind and spirit reconnects and rebalances.
As I create these empowering spirit loving vision books, I can see the map of my inner world emerging.
I can choose to follow these maps and be guided by the imagery and words, or I can just experience the beautiful process I have just had, allowing the imagery and words to connect to my intuitive know-how.
I was one of the lucky ones, I emerged from that ill health tunnel when I was 29, it was a long slog to wellness, pretty much the whole of my 20s – a HUGE crisis but one that taught me many things about health, wellbeing and healing. I learnt that our health experiences are vast and deeply connected, one can’t be separated from the other. I found my way out because I became my own private investigator, I became my own healer. I researched and read so much around complementary therapies and western medicine, I studied an honours degree in Health to explore it from all modalities and the routes to wellness and qualified as a Counsellor and gaining my adult education teaching qualification I taught Health & Holistic Wellness within colleges and university.
I found my way back.
Most of the time I felt alone in a bubble of illness, I didn’t have anyone to turn to who had overcome a crisis in this way, I had to fathom it all out and this was pre-Google. I had to resort to libraries and the yellow pages! Yet, I developed and created some fundamental practices, my Seven Ways to Wellness, which are the bedrock for my life and for living. ‘Create’ is the 5th Way to Wellness and Visioning is contained within there. As a mindfulness practice, I truly believe it is one path to help with managing and mastering stress and anxiety and coming back to a centre point of balance.
I really don’t want people to feel alone like I did, so I took all that I experienced and now help people to rebalance.
I have felt well for the past 20 years, I have had ups and downs but never returned back to that dark place. As I step into my fifth decade this year, I intend to embrace this new age and deal with new life-changes that are presenting themselves daily, using my '7 Ways to Wellness', because they are just as important to me now as they were 29 years ago.
Visioning is definitely one of the keys that helped me.
Give it a go : )
I am putting the finishing touches to Vision with the Muse a self paced e-course to take you through creating 7 Vision Pages in a Book based on 7 Muse Mantra Cards from The Deck, so stay tuned.
In the meantime if you're in the Oxfordshire area, I'm running a workshop called Vision with the Moon, Sunday Jan 28 at The Wychwood Inn. All the details are here.
Hope to see you then