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IMG 1978 2MPRecently, I had the absolute pleasure of visiting a local sunflower field. I beamed all the way round that delightful field. 

You see, sunflowers always make me smile.
They seem such positive, happy looking plants, with their yellow petals turned towards the sun, and they grow from such small seeds.
I wonder what makes you smile?

  • But did you know that they turn to the sun each day to energise them and give them nutrients, pivoting whichever way the sun is in the sky throughout the day?

I wonder what energises us and provides sunshine in our lives?

Do we always turn towards those things?

  •  When skies are grey and there is no sun, then sunflowers actually turn towards each other!

Perhaps we can learn from their actions, too, by turning to one another when we are going through grey times in our own lives...

  • Sunflowers provide so much for other insects from their pollen. What is it that we each contribute to others around us? How do we serve our community?

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  • Finally, sunflowers grow better in fields, close to other plants rather than individually.

May we all support those closest to us throughout our lives, just as sunflowers do.

  • However, there's always an exception to the rules- one that stands out from all the rest!!

I wonder what makes us each individual and stand out from the crowd?

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“The patterns of our lives reveal us. Our habits measure us.” Mary Oliver
DSC 1342 cropped resized for blog

Intriguing Pattens
Patterns have always intrigued me. Even from a young age, I found myself following lines on a curtain pattern in my mind, silently counting the spirals on a carpet, tracing the wood grain on a tree trunk with my fingers; doodling swirling patterns as I hold a phone conversation to help me concentrate. I often still do!

Patterns of the Seasons…
The Bridge appliqueI’ve always enjoyed the pattern of the seasons in the UK and the way that they act in circular flow to guide me through the year, subtly changing the world around us each day as the rhythm of the year moves inexorably onwards. I love the life-lessons that they reveal through nature’s seasonal change and the parallels I can often draw in my own life with some small observed natural wonder.

We have much to learn from the pattern of the seasons and the way that each month has its own unique way of effortlessly connecting the past and future, bridging the two months that appear either side of it. Through it all, there is a continuous rhythm of planting, shooting, budding, blossoming, flowering, fruiting, seeding, dying, wintering, waiting, preparing and full circle to planting again.

Patterns of our Lives…
Our lives are like this too, both from birth’s beginning to life’s end and in smaller seasons throughout our lives as we allow old ways to be released to make room for new things to grow.

The patterns we each create for living our best lives often takes much trial and error, as we try out patterns that we see working for others… only to find that they perhaps don’t work as well for us. Sometimes we develop long standing patterns in our lives that work well for many years, when suddenly a change in circumstance means that they no longer serve us well, or else subtle life changes over time, mean that our well embedded patterns need rearranging to work well again. Many of us have found ourselves in such a situation over the historic events of the past year.

Have you ever felt as if your mind was like a computer screen with tens of tabs open simultaneously, slowing down the working capacity to such an extent that nothing functions well at all? My hand is straight up!

This is what led me last month to the conclusion that June was to be my month for meandering, intentionally releasing and receiving. So, after a slower month and a much-needed week’s holiday away, I have begun to feel a little better since making space for recovery.

Consequently, I’ve been contemplating this concept of creating space.

It was this photograph that helped with my musings…  IMG 1505 2 2MP

We were walking along The Sailors Path in Suffolk, through a quiet wood when a hollow circle of light appeared ahead, like a still full moon, encircled by the dense woodland trees creating open space ahead beyond the forest canopy.

The view really struck me and seemed to whisper to my soul, “make space”.

Sometimes, in our lives, I think we become hemmed in with the familiarity of accumulated thoughts and things, and ways of working. We become over comfortable with the way things are and are unable to see how to clear away the jumble of accumulated debris that used to work for the way we lived, but now, no longer serves any purpose except that of familiarity.

Since we cannot see how to create space; we leave things as they are. We favour familiarity over change because we believe it to be the easiest option. It is not. I can testify to the fact that ignoring the issue tends to lead to an untimely crisis or burnout to some degree or another. We all need to make space in our lives!

We often cannot see beyond the forest of our own making until we intentionally clear some space for the light to shine in; making room for new things in our lives: making room for God to dwell and work within us.

Atlas 2MPI’m still lost this last month- oscillating between ok days and not so ok days, fraught with inexplicable tension and anxiety that won’t seem to shift. I’ve diced with mild anxiety for a while now, but it’s starting to exhaust me, it’s weight heavy in my shoulders and hips, robbing me of making decisions that should be easy to make; stripping my ability to think cohesively or create easily.

It’s not a good place to find myself in. I’m having to make myself do things that would usually be a pleasure. I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point in our lives...

I suspect this is all of my own making... because I haven’t stopped, knowing I needed to last month, and now I am reaping the results of that decision.

 

A Month of Meandering...
So, June is to be a month of meandering, I’ve decided...trying to be kind to myself.
It’s a month of intentionally slowing down, stopping and trying not to feel guilty when there seems to be little tangible to show for the day. It’s my way of addressing the anxiety and the feelings that everything has just become “too much”

The inner landscape of my heart has been feeling bleak for a while, even though the physical view from the outside might look healthily picturesque.

How about you? How does your heart feel at the moment?

Half Hearted textile artHalf Hearted
I’ve taken myself off grid for the last couple of months, unable to multitask any longer with deadlines looming for commissions. Social media became too noisy; too demanding, too distracting for my anxious soul so I shut myself off, put on the familiar blinkers, gearing up and turning inwards to survival mode whilst Iooking forward to the pleasure of finishing outstanding work.

The thing is...everything has been completed for a fortnight now, yet I’ve still been finding it difficult to find that satisfaction of finishing or negotiate the lack of motivation to move forward, partly exacerbated by the fact that for the first time in over a year, there is no work, so no obvious direction.

I have felt numb, half-hearted; unable to see further than the day ahead, wondering why with the privilege of for once, having all the time in the world to dream and do whatever I would like, I am unable to motivate myself to actually do anything.

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