So, my 2017 intentions for the mind are;
Connect with friends,
Make and Create,
Time on the (yoga) mat.
Over the years, I’ve learnt a lot about what makes me happy, calm and excited. However, life intervenes and I’m not always good at doing it. I’ve had redecorating my house and having garden parties on my list for years, but it hasn’t happened.
The body intentions, with clear, defined outcomes seem so much more easily achieved, when really, things like spending quality time with friends and family, finding time to do the art I love, meditating, doing yoga, creating a lovely home, should be so much simpler to do!
Even this blog has been harder to write than the one about my ‘body’ intentions. Maybe it’s because these intentions are about supporting my mental well being, about ‘me’, my character and personality. Writing about realising I wasn’t good at working hard in sport, is not as hard as saying you know you can be a poor friend sometimes, that you don’t do small simple things that could make all the difference.
So, taking a deep breath, here’s what I’m going to do to achieve these intentions.
Connect with friends (and family)
Friends are what makes the world go round. They are your chosen family. However, I’ve not always found making friends and being a good friend easy. I’m a bit of an introvert, despite not liking being on my own (I know – I’m a contradiction!) and when dealing with the battles life has thrown at me, I can end up taking rather than giving. Which then means I hide away even more because I don’t like that I do that.
I have really lovely friends, I have friends that unfortunately I’ve lost touch with, or don’t see as much as I’d like to. I have acquaintances that I want to turn into friends. I have friends that have helped me out late at night and brought me flowers when I was stuck on the sofa recovering from surgery. I’ve got lovely family, that I really do want to spend more time with.
I’m not always great socially, especially if we’re in a busy pub, or it’s loud and late. I might just sit and watch rather than being the centre of the party. I may need to hide in bed after a long day out to head off getting anxious. I can get stressed if I don’t know plans, or things aren’t going to plan. I’m better at texting, even though I’m really happy when a friend rings me for a chat. Over the last couple of years I’ve started to be more aware of these things and how to manage it which is a start.
I do love relaxed chats in a coffee shop, walks by the beach. I love curling up on the sofa with a film. I like wandering round museums or going on bike rides. I like cooking meals and really should do this more for friends. I have a nice garden to sit and chat in (with a fire pit). I love going to the cinema (I don’t do anything scary though). I like going to gigs (but sitting in the seats rather than in the mosh pit). I love having crafty evenings with friends.
So quite simply, I need put put dates in diaries and do these things. Otherwise time passes by and they don’t happen and I realised I haven’t spoken to anyone that week, let alone seen them. And that’s not good for the soul.
Make and create
This intention is another one that has been on my list for a long time. It’s a two pronged intention and the one I really need to achieve;
develop my creative output in order to sell and exhibit
make my house into a home
I’ve always been creative, I come from a creative family. I’ve always got a project going and friends have always said I could sell it. So now it’s time for the piles of art materials in my dining room to pay their way! A day making a paper cut or pompom garland is a calm, happy day, hence it being a ‘mind’ intention. I daydream about being one of the featured artists in Country Living magazine!
So with this in mind, over the last year I’ve been on some courses (lino and collograph printing with Sue Hasletine) , made paper cuts for friends and family
Taken my sketchbook on holiday
And learnt new techniques (Christmas cards made from Gelli prints)
While procrastinating about this blog, I have signed up to a couple of online drawing and digital design courses on Udemy (all courses are £10 until March 1st!!!) as I know that’s an aspect that lets me down at the moment.
I consulted an artist friend about the best way to go about selling my art and she gave me some good tips, including a blunt talk about creating my ‘brand’ which means focusing what I do rather than my current scattergun approach doing whichever form of art leaps out of my art box that day.
So look out for a relaunched Facebook page soon, once I work out how to do it, a dedicated art page on here and once I pluck up the courage maybe even an Etsy shop. If anyone knows of any craft fairs / open houses etc that I can join, let me know. If you’d like to commission a handmade paper cut get in touch.
House into home.
I’ve lived in my house for 15 years, I’ve painted a few walls, put up shelves and landscaped the garden. I love my little house. But I haven’t made it into a proper home. Mainly it’s the awful faded cheap orange carpet that was put in by the property developer but I’ve also got stuck with lots of clutter (being a teacher and artist doesn’t help!) I’ve lots of inspiration, but little money. I was brought up doing DIY, so really I have no excuse. I know one of the reasons I don’t invite people round more is because I’m ashamed of the house, so it would achieve two intentions! I know having a home I feel happy in would help calm my anxiety and mean I’m happier staying on my own.
I’ve made a start, with my boyfriend ‘directing’ (it was helpful!) I decluttered the worst room so I now have a functioning art space and a separate dining table. With the help of my Dad and Ikea, we changed the lights downstairs from horrid halogen downlighters to groovy pendants.
The next stage is sanding back the floors to finally get rid of the orange floor. Time to get my diary out. I won’t post before photos – it might give people nightmares.
Time on the (yoga) mat
I’ve been doing yoga since before it became mainstream, to help my body and mind. It’s helped with sleep, my back and provided much needed moments of calm. I’ve been to many different classes and in the last couple of years discovered a wonderful teacher on youtube – Yoga with Adriene who I cannot recommend more. She has sessions for every type of yoga for every situation. She explains everything really well and you really feel part of her online community.
As part of my ‘body’ intentions, I recently took out a Move GB membership and so now have access to lots of classes and it’s been great going to yoga classes in dedicated calming yoga studio with proper yoga accessories (I am now counting the pennies to be able to get a yoga bolster). Even after a day teaching 5 yr olds, I peel myself off the sofa knowing a yoga class will restore me.
So simple target – a least one ‘real’ yoga class a week and aim for some daily home practice, even if 10 mins before bed (thanks to Yoga with Adriene).
So actually, even though the blog has been hard to write (and long – thanks for reading to this point), I’ve realised I have made a start with these intentions! Do need to get things in the diary for dates with friends though.