What a time. Unprecedented. I started this blog yesterday. Only once it was finished did I contact the people I have mentioned to check they would be ok with their inclusion. In doing so, I now know some have already had work cancelled or are closed. I am not sure if I would have written this had I known that at the start. Or maybe I would have worded it differently. So perhaps it was best I didn’t know. I hope, if nothing else, it will let them know how much they have brought not just to my work, but to my world. And this is now laced with even more love and gratitude than when it was started.
I have some time on my hands now that I am not massaging. So, I got to thinking about whether there was anything ‘useful’ I could do with it. There’s always a to do list isn’t there. In my case, it seems to roll from year to year! I know that I can use this time to work on that, including why I have a list that takes years to complete. But I also felt that I wanted to do a little something for those who have helped me and/or for whom I know this time will be challenging. March is Meet the Marker month on Instagram. It’s brilliant. I had already thought I would do a little montage of all the lovely ‘makers’ that I have found there. Now it seemed more important than ever to do so.
I then had a coaching session in which we spoke about how I might write something about the holistic element of my work. To me, this means the importance of treating the whole body, on its multiple, intricate levels. And includes what feels good for our heads as well as our bodies.
And so here I am, combining the two. Because the people that I had wanted to do something for are those who have been generous with their knowledge, wisdom and outlook over recent months. Some are makers, some are not. Whatever they ‘are’, collectively they have really helped me re-connect with the holistic nature of my work. The importance of being outside, hearing the birds, space, air, time and food. Time away from (and this is somewhat ironic given how I have met most of them) a computer or phone. Back to something more basic, usually free and on my doorstep or already within me. The basics that had been passing me by in honesty, in the frenetic world in which we live. I feel we may all need to find these things in our lives, as best we can, in the time to come.
Here they are (some of them, I had to rein it in abit). There will be lots of links in this blog and I make no apologies for that. Please explore them, you won’t regret it. They are all special in different ways. They bring me laughter, solace, guidance and inspiration.
The Creative Community
Oh, how I loved discovering them. Primarily on Instagram but elsewhere too. One of them right on my doorstep.
Whispers of the Wild and Feather & Wild have stunning Instagram feeds. They are both artists producing beautiful work. No matter what subject they post about, the image they use lights up my insides! It’s so amazing how a beautiful piece of artwork or a photograph that resonates with you can fill you up. But as well as the wonderful imagery they use (I wish I could take photos like they do) I love how they talk about life generally. Many a day has been soothed by their nurturing presence. And they both have the most giving nature.
Carpentry. In another life I would be a carpenter. I saw Luc’s work at a local Fayre last May and loved it. I believe that wood speaks a language of its own, bringing soul to the space it ends up in. It doesn’t matter how large or small it is. So, I love seeing what Luc’s talent brings to this natural resource. One day I will finally get around to ordering a chopping board from him so that I feel that soulfulness in my kitchen every day.
I still remember the delight I got when I opened the first card I’d ordered from Handmade Dorset. Inside I found a beautiful gift tag which I had not ordered. Kuhla puts a little something in with each of her cards. One time it was a bookmark. The words (below) couldn’t have been more appropriate for the wobbly time I was having. Her sixth sense clearly! She is generous both in her work and when you meet her in the virtual world. Proof that it is possible to be hugged virtually.
Matt Inwood’s photography speaks for itself. His work is stunning. It was ‘finding’ him that ignited what I now know is my love of beautiful photography, something which gives me huge pleasure. His images have brightened many a day I can tell you. And his accompanying words have done the same. I have gained comfort from his insights. He has also been exceptionally kind and generous in extending a care to me on more than one occasion, something not ordinarily associated with the virtual world. He, Gem and Lucy (both below) showed me that a little community can be built in unanticipated places.
Annabel Wyatt’s joie de vivre. Her artwork is amazing, yes. But you also get such integrity, it’s spellbinding. I’m learning so much from her. And her natural lust for life is contagious.
Never far away from my mind this one! I literally fell in love with Café Rust the first time I went in there. Being there gives so much more than the coffee I drink. The environment is calming, full of life and yet peaceful no matter how busy they are! And then BackWood arrived. So now I have twice as many reasons to go for coffee. Like Rust, time spent in BackWood is holistic for me. Both nourish my senses with beautiful surroundings and great stuff for my innards. I find sitting with a cuppa gives me space to breathe. A type of mindfulness, even if just for 5 minutes. And it doesn’t need to be the coffee shop, sitting on my back step works too.
Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen’s exceptional photography drew me to Instagram in the first place. I was fortunate enough to do one of her courses last year. As well as the insight into what good food will do for your body, she’ll tell you what it does for the soul too. The simplest pleasure I have had since I took her course is the breakfast pot I put together to have after my run to work. It changed simply getting some food down my throat to eating something that replenished me. One little pot highlighted that food is there to nurture us. Oh, and she has the most beautiful smile that lights many a dark day.
I pass by Gunns florist in Brighton three times a week. They are usually setting up when I go past. As none of the other shops are open, the beauty of their flowers is all the more radiant. There is something about the colour that nature gives so freely that I find soothing and they certainly provide me with that. Just a quick fix works wonders. And I met the lovely Kate there just by stopping to take a photo.
Both Thistle by Nature and Annie Fern do the most exquisite things with flowers. When their work pops up on my feed, I can feel how I light up. Maybe I would have liked to be a florist as well as a carpenter (and illustrator and anthropologist). I have realised how much comfort I get from the simple beauty of nature. Their work sings out the power of this.
I have a page in my notebook dedicated to Lucy Pinto quotes! She is a fitness coach, co-running her own business and writes the most fabulous snippets about life. They seem always to talk straight to where I am at the time. Spookily so. She just totally gets it. Whatever the IT is at the time, she just gets it! I am never quite sure how people do that, but she does it with gusto.
When I realised that I needed some help with my business, I went along to an event at which Vicki Weinberg was the speaker. She so resonated with me. She got up and did her thing whilst acknowledging that her nature found that hard (like me, she is an introvert). Her honesty and gentle humour continue to inspire me.
Ruth Allen, Middle Years Monday and Suzy Darke. I could probably write a whole blog about these women. So, I’m going to keep it brief before that’s what happens. A chance encounter with a blog by Ruth, led me to Middle Years Monday and then to Suzy. Nature, life and voice. They give so much. They totally rock. I have realised how important is to find people whose message I feel aligned with and these guys definitely do that.
It is important to find a way through this time that works for you. Your own holistic package. It will be different things for different people. Take your time, be kind to yourself and, if possible, find that place where you can breathe. Maybe it’s sticking your head out the back door to hear the birds, or laying on the sofa for 5 minutes. Whatever speaks to inside of you, even if only for a fleeting moment.
I send you love and thanks for reading this far. And if there is anything at all I can do for you, please let me know.