Time for a change

I believe what happened yesterday has been coming for a while. I also believe that had our weather been something other than cool, grey, rainy all summer I might not be where I am now.

The weather in itself hasn’t bothered me a whole lot. We have a conservatory so any little bit of brightness and warmth and I feel as if it’s summer even if outside it’s a miserable 15 degrees. The effect it’s had on me though is that I’ve had the busiest summer since I began working as a therapist.

My work ethic is that of seeing a client and being delighted when they don’t need me anymore, usually after a couple of sessions. Sometimes they pop back for a top up now and again but I’m not used to seeing clients long term. This summer though has been unusual. My clients have become more complicated and have needed to come back more times and in some cases more often. This is always their decision rather than mine as I believe in letting them decide and so empowering them to make decisions about their own well being. What it has meant though is that instead of getting a bit of space, a break now and again which is what usually happens during the summer when everyone is enjoying the sunshine and feeling good, this year  it just hasn’t happened.

I usually trust that the Universe will bring me what I need in that when I need clients I get clients, when I need students I get them and when I need a break it arrives, not this time though. So I have made the unprecedented decision to take matters into my own hands and make my own space. I have posted on my Facebook page and in my website that I am taking a break 🙂 I am choosing not to see clients, not to be tied to my work for a few weeks or maybe even longer. I am choosing to give myself time to play, to go out and meet friends for lunch, to draw, to paint and to spend time on my OBOD studies which at present means spending time in sacred space, in the woods and with plants. In other words I am choosing to give myself time to recharge my batteries and in doing so, decide how I want to go forward from here.

It is a time of change, the change of the seasons, the shift into Autumn as we move towards the fire festival of Autumn Equinox and I understand from others that there are lots of planetary shifts occurring at present and that I am not the only one feeling the need to stop, to take a break, not the only one unsure what the future looks like. For me though, this time it feels different, I usually have some insight into what is ahead but now when I journey for insight all I am being given is a blank page and  my guides are not offering me anything for now so all I can do is roll with it, give myself space and time, ride it out and see where I end up when it all settles once again.

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the Mindfullness of Colouring In

One aspect of what I do is create art and over the last year I have fallen more and more in love with colour pencil work. It all began when, having finished a diploma in watercolour, looking for something else to challenge me I stumbled across a colour pencil course. I already had a large set of watercolour pencils and thought it would be a way to make use of these. How wrong I was. I ended up purchasing two full sets of artists coloured pencils to use instead.

At first I found working with coloured pencils frustratingly slow and tedious, the need to build up colour through laying down several layers, the mixing of colours through the use of many different colour pencils and the time it took to complete anything were all so different to anything I had done before.

Slowly but surely though I realised that while working with the coloured pencils I was practicing mindfulness. The only way I could be was totally in the moment and by being that way the whole process of creating art became one of calmness and relaxation, a mental time our as it were. So now instead of the frustration I felt at first I find myself taking every possible opportunity to sit down with my colours and experience the deep relaxation and focus that comes with them.

Last week I was in a book shop looking at the Adult Colouring Books and this being Ireland soon found myself in conversation with someone about how she found these relaxing. She told me that when she sat down with her colouring book and pencils everything else fell away and there was only the colouring. ‘Besides’ she told me ‘I can’t draw at all but here I end up with something beautiful’.

There are many of such colouring books on sale now and even a monthly magazine but I have also discovered free printable sheets available online. As I work with many clients who are stressed or anxious as well as those who are trying to practice mindfulness I am now wondering about suggesting colouring in and adult colouring books as an aid.

There is also an awful lot to be said for all of us having something that we can just pick it up and immediate find ourselves completely in the moment. So here’s to the mindfulness of colouring in 🙂

A strange Lughnasa/Lammas ritual

Today is Lammas or Lughnasa/ Lughnasadh one of the four Celtic fire festivals and the time of the first fruits of the harvest, time to reap the rewards of work done or seeds sown earlier in the year.

So what have I been doing today?

I think I must have my wheel of the year turned around for I’ve been spring cleaning lol. In some ways though this has come about as the results of seeds sown earlier in the year.

Towards the end of last year we had a break in and our Vax carpet shampooer was one of the items stolen. I only use this one or maybe twice a year if the carpets are very lucky but I missed it. It was only a cheapie from Lidl but they haven’t had them in since ours was robbed and I really didn’t want to pay a lot for one so I have been waiting patiently all the time hoping that one would turn up.

There had been no sign of any and so I had started looking in to hiring a shampooer (we have multituel stoves and they are heavy on carpets and paintwork, it’s not that I enjoy housework). Then on Monday Lidl had in Vax shampooers for about the same as I paid originally so we rushed in to get one. The seeds I had been sowing had ripened as it were 🙂

So in many ways today was the perfect time to be cleaning my carpets, mindful of how long I had waited to be able to do so and grateful that the perfect thing had turned up at the perfect time.

As as aside here as it wasn’t that straightforward and I have had to work for my reward – the first Vax took me 30 mins to put together and then 30 mins to try and work out why there was no water coming through. Realising it was faulty I then had to drive over 10k to Lidl, change it and drive home again. The second one has a faulty locking part for the handle but it does work so this one is staying and I’ll sort the part out somehow. It went together much faster  naturally and I managed to get the carpets cleaned while the sun was still shining so maybe they will dry ok.