‘Be happy for this moment, This moment is your life’. Omar Khayyam (1048-1132) Persian mathematician, astronomer and poet.
Over the last month or so, I’ve been concentrating even more on my mindfulness practise – and being more in the moment. But, it feels a bit like groundhog day at the moment, Winter (and snow) re-appearing and Spring receding into the distance again (much like it was at the beginning of March). Once again it was a very cold weekend, with snow forecast, so I thought about what I might find the garden; most of the plants are looking a bit sorry for themselves (especially the Camellias) but plenty of bulbs coming up.
On Sunday 18th March, there was about 3inches of snow in our garden, the sky was blue, but it was very cold. It certainly concentrates your mind when you have to bundle up in your thickest coat, scarf, hat and gloves (and walking boots), just to explore what flowers are out in the garden. So I dashed out, and I found more than I was expecting. It made up for the pain from my arthritis, which doesn’t like the cold at all. I’ve struggled with the cold, with pain, which makes me tired all the time. That’s probably why it took over a week to write this blog – oh well I’ll try to be quicker next time.
‘Nevertheless, She persisted’AmericanFeministexpression(2017– )
I’ve been thinking this week about this tenacious rose flowering outside our front door – watching its progress – it’s been this soft peachy/yellow from bud. This is the fourth set of flowers the rose has produced; it flowered in November too. The colour of the rose has changed though, the buds are usually a bright orange that fades to red and yellow. I know more expert gardeners than me will know why the colour is so different, for a start it was only pruned in the Spring last year. Life over took us in 2018, so our garden was rather neglected. With the rose are some rosehips and a purple recycled glass bud vase, which I bought in the Eden Project. The vase appeared a few times for ‘In a Vase on Monday’ but the rose has only appeared once before:
I’ve made a note to cut more flowers from the rose this year 🙂
8 January 2018 – Rose with rosehips in a Purple glass bud glass – and CompassYear 2017-2018
This rose was one of the few plants in my front garden when I moved in eight years ago, it was in a right state. My Chap does the pruning and has certainly revived the rose. I hope flowering in a cold snap, won’t have too much impact on the rose flowering in 2018.
Do check out Cathy’s blog at Rambling in the Garden for more ‘In a Vase on Monday’ arrangements from around the world – some using vases and some not. There’s always something beautiful to lift your spirits.
8 January 2018 – Rose (January 2018) and Bud and Rose (June 2016)
It’s the time of year for resolutions; I’ve mention before I don’t really do resolutions, I prefer to think of intentions rather that ‘give something up’ or ‘start something’, it just leads to failure and disappointment usually by the second week of January. I try to avoid all the ‘new year, new me’ in the media. However I try daily changes, being mindful, trying and trying to avoid self sabotage – keep going…
But given what a momentous year 2017 was in both good and bad ways, I decided I needed to find something to help me close off 2017, and help me think though my dreams and aspirations for 2018. I found an excellent short document made by the volunteers of YearCompass and Invisible University International in Hungary. The project began in 2012, is based on psychological theories, has a booklet helping people close their year and plan their next year. The booklet has been downloaded over 400,000 and translated into 22 languages.
The booklet is 20 pages and you need a couple of hours to complete for 2017 and about 4 hours for 2018.
2017 – thepastyear
Looking through the year focusing on family life, work, home, friends, community, Fitness, etc.
Looking at decisions, support, gratitude, resilience, challenges and accomplishments.
2018 – next year
What I want to achieve focusing on family life, work, home, friends, community, fitness, etc.
Questions like: Visit three places, three things to do every morning, three things to discover… And many other questions.
Pick a word for the year ahead.
And you sign ‘I believe anything is possible this year’.
It was very illuminating – and thought provoking, and threw up a few topics I’d not really considered.
I discussed what I’d written, with My Chap and old friends, who reminded me of my determination and resilience. I’ll be coming back to what I’ve written and the plans I’ve made for 2018.
I’ve been doing more of the things that lift me . I’ve been continuing with daily #mindfulness, yoga and #Onehouroutside.
#Onehouroutside wasstartedbyoneoftheOutdoor Bloggers Zoe from www.splodzblogz.co.uk. I’m on a roll with one hour outside – I’ve managed at least an hour outside since mid December. I’m making a note in my journal as sometimes walking for an hour isn’t feasible (work or bad weather).
It’s been near zero again this week in Manchester, some crisp sunny days with blue skies, alternating with gales and rain. My back garden is a quagmire, but we are fortunate there are Canals and footpaths on our doorstep.
My plan for this week is to listen to some mindful walking podcast while I’m out walking. Usually I’m just mindfully breathing, counting breaths and steps, looking around me at the surroundings.
Ifyou have any suggestions for mindful walking podcasts please let me know in the comments
As I mentioned last week, I enjoyed the @blurtfoundation Instagram Challenge #blurtmerrycalmness so I’ve looked around for another photo challenge. I found Gaynor Treanor on Instagram who writes about selfcare and mindfulness. So I’ve been following #savouringJanuary2018.
This definition spoke to me ‘necessary for growth, health and good condition’. It’s about taking care of yourself, doing the best you can for yourself, self-care and mindfulness. Good food matters too 🙂
You are enough, just as you are, right now – Anonymous
December weather in Monton – below freezing
It’s been minus-four all day both today and yesterday in Manchester (Mon 11th/ Tue 12th December 2017), it’s been gloomy but a biting wind. For a change, we swerved the heavy snow, hitting the Midlands instead, there was some snow on the hills that ring the city on Friday Night and during Saturday. We rarely get much more than a smattering of snow, where we live in #Monton, as it’s very flat, near canals and rather built up (the ground is too warm for snow to settle). Not that I’ve seen much of any snow, as I’ve been wiped out by a cold and in bed – my arthritis pain was a bit full on too. As usual, My Chap has been looking after me 🙂
In a Vase on Monday
Still, it could be worse, Cathy who hosts In a Vase on Monday at Rambling in The Garden in the Garden has a Vase of snowdrops and rose hips among rather deep snow this week. There are Northern and Southern Hemisphere contributions so there’s always something lovely.
12 December 2017 – In a Vase on Monday – rosemary, pelargonium and lavender in the Salford gloom
Today (Tue) I felt a bit better, so I wrapped up well and dashed outside, as I could see pink flowers on a very well sheltered hanging basket, and snipped a few stems. It was the trailing pelargonium (pictured in my blog header), I’ve managed to ‘over winter’ for five years now, along with another pink standard (non trailing) pelargonium. Also, I found some lavender and did a little pruning of the rosemary that grows in the front garden and my mini bouquet was ready. I picked one of my mini jugs, partly because it had lovely pink roses on it, but also because I bought it at Bodnant Garden in North Wales in summer 2016. We got engaged there in the Rose Garden 🙂 Reminding me of sunny summer days 🙂
You are good enough as you are right now
This is my mantra at the moment – it’s been a tough year but I’m much better than I was. The picture frame and quote ‘you are enough just as you are right now‘ were used as a photo prompt for an Instagram Challenge I’m following from the Blurt Foundation (www.blurtitout.org) for December #blurtmerrycalmness. As it was so cold I took the photo in the porch at the front door; it has been a popular spot for photos recently as it gets the best light and is dry 😉
The photoframe and card represents DAY 7: WORTHY. I think it’s difficult at times to believe you’re good enough, especially if you’re ill and have long-term health conditions. I’ve been working on accepting I’m enough. Mindfulness and affirmations help with this too.
Today’s prompt is COMFORT (DAY 12); it’s a picture of our ramen soup we had for dinner but of course, comfort comes from many things, not just physical aspects of life. Ive spoken before about how much IAVOM helps me – how flowers, plants and the great outdoors lift me.
About the Blurt Foundation – INCREASING AWARENESS AND UNDERSTANDING OF DEPRESSION
Blurt produce a range of resources for people with #anxiety and #depression including these Card Decks – 12 cards in each with affirmations (£8.95 if you buy them separately). They suggest pulling them out, steadying your breath and reading the cards. These two cards ‘spoke’ to me today…
12 December 2017 – Press pause, You are enough and Believe in yourself cards – produced by Blurt Foundation
I received these cards as part of my monthly Buddy Box from Blurt. they describe the boxes as a Hug in Box. These can be ordered as a one off, monthly, for a friend or send a Random Act of Kindness (Blurt pick someone to receive a box who really needs it).
My December box is due this week – and it will contain The Selfcare Project written by Jayne Hardy, Blurt’s Founder and CEO. The book is published on 14th December and can be ordered on Amazon – Print, Audio and Kindle.
I’m really looking forward to reading this book – the blog posts and resources from Blurt are excellent. I’ve written a few times about Blurt before – #blurtfoundation
I’ve got much ‘better’ at self-care over the last few years but there’s always new options and ideas. Self-care, mindfulness, yoga, affirmations are part of my daily life now. I’m on a journey and I’m not at my destination yet.
Doyouhavefavouriteaffirmations? What’s your #365daysofselfcare routine? Are you going to join in with #blurtmerrycalmness
By the way, I decided not to include any fuchsias in my vase to give you all a rest from them over the last few weeks, but there are a few flowers under the kitchen window sill. Have a look on #fuchsiato see more 🙂
Everything is going to work out just fine. Probably – Anonymous
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’d notice I like quotes nearly as much as I like taking photos, especially of flowers. One of the reasons, I take photos is to keep a record of things, what’s flowered when, whether it’s early or late, beautiful gardens and views, as well as nature in its widest sense. It helps me remember good times, and also reminds me where things are – literally like the bulbs, but also so I don’t have to remember things in my overloaded brain!
This week’s In A Vase on Monday old favourites which have good memories for us, including the vase and something new – the sign 🙂
A standard size Cerise pink dianthus and some pink and white dwarf dianthus.
lilac violas – these were part of our wedding centre pieces.
Fuchsia – this is a hardy one which grows outside our kitchen window – it was in a Vase last week.
The vase is recycled purple glass bought at the Eden Centre in Cornwall. It has appeared before, usually, with sweetpeas. Most recently was July 2016 (blissful), when I wrote about our engagement 🙂
The sign was given to me by a great friend. It also appeared in our wedding centre pieces. You ALL know how much I like being in the garden 🙂
Cathy, who hosts the meme over at Rambling in the Garden, has some stunning orange and white amaryllis this week. I’ve never grown Amaryllis. The idea of IAVOM is to pick, and display, flowers and plants from your garden or locality each Monday. The diversity of vases from across the world is staggering. It’s wonderful to see the Spring across the world in Australia and New Zealand. Just what I need on a freezing cold but sunny day in Manchester.
29 November 2017 – In a Vase on Monday purple vase with dwarf lilac violas, pink dianthus and hardy fuchsia
I take photographs of all sorts of other things too, receipts, recipes, books to read, useful websites, notes I’ve made, etc. I find it easier to have visual records and use journals and lists. I use Trello for electronic lists (I’ll write about that another time) and I’ve got a simple electronic diary shared with My Chap.
Writing things down, taking photos and also help with my planning, wellbeing and making memories, as well as self-care. I’ve tried out bullet journals but it doesn’t work for me; I think it’s the pressure to complete things every day.
So I thought I write about my daily planning and what journals/books I use. They definitely helps me with #365daysofselfare
My daily planning tools – journals, diaries and lists
Calm – CalmtheMind, Changetheworldby Michael Acton Smith
This is a lovely book – it explains mindfulness and meditation in a very straightforward, simple way and gives you ideas for activities in Nature, with Children, Food, Friends, etc. It has quotes and poems too. It’s a pretty book which is why I’m reluctant to write in it 😉
I’ve had it a couple of years, and I dip in and out, using it to inspire activities or self-care depending on what I’m doing. Often, I use the gratitude, highlights and what’s mademefeelcalmtoday? How and note these down in my It’s going to be OK journal.
I don’t use the app associated with Calm; mainly because I’ve never got around to downloading it 🙁 I’m using the Headspace app at the moment, guided meditations on YouTube, and in particular, guided body scans. These connect well with my yoga practice too.
29 November 2017 – Calm Journal, Weekly Planner and It’s Gonna be Okay journal
Stigu Journal – a rest and zest handbook
I’vewrittenaboutStigubefore (including last week) and I’m just starting to fill in my 2018 Stigu. It’s a mixture of a diary and a journal/notebook. Each month has a theme – Reflect is November’s theme. The left page is for notes and suggestions for activities.
This week’s suggestion resonated with me – a puddle reflecting only what’s above it, for example, clouds, and keeping no ‘memory’ of what’s passed. Stigu asks us to imagine what our minds would be like if we could practise this?
Weekly Planner – from Sainsburys!
It has days of the week, notes and to do list. This is where all the detailed, mind dump, boring lists like the shopping! reminders for bills, clothes for yoga, etc are recorded.
It’s Gonna be Okay – An inner truth journal
Asthephotosshow, thishasaquoteononeside, date, WhatI‘mhanginghopeontoday? the prevailingoutlookfortheday. I use this as a reminder of how my days gone, a narrative, notes – what’s gone well what hasn’t. The odd rant too. It’s very much my secret, private thoughts. It has a quote for every day and sometimes I just flick through it looking at the quotes.
29 November 2017 – It’s Gonna be OK journal inside layout
My Stigu journal and It‘sgoingtobeOKjournal also helps me record my symptoms too. I don’t really use paper symptom or habit trackers – pressure to fill in boxes (or not fill them in!). They’re a prompt to monitor my arthritis symptoms in a health app. I was part of a citizen scientist project, in 2017, called Cloudy with a Chance of Pain, whichmonitoredthe impact of the weather on arthritis and pain symptoms. The full results should be out next year.
So for my #365daysofselfcare today, I went for a walk around Monton. It was freezing, but sunny skies and I wandered around taking photos. I’m very grateful to live where I do, close to woods and a canal, yet only six miles to the centre of Manchester.
My self care plans this week include walking more and more gardening – #OneHourOutside and #bekind too
Do you use journals or diaries? Do you use them for self-care or recording gratitude / positive events? Let me know in the comments or any suggestions you have
‘Hello, Hola, Ola, Bonjour, Hallo, Bongu, Ahoj, Namaste, G’day’ – InternationalHelloDay21November was set up in 1973 to promote international peace after the Arab/Israeli conflict.
For this week’s vase, between heavy rain, I went looking for the hardy fuchsias in the garden, which have been pops of colour, amoung the greenery. It’s been raining on and off for most of the week. Though we did have a light frost on Sunday, which was just typical as The Chap was up early for a local, muddy, trail half marathon. He let me off going to watch 😉 as my arthritis was giving me gip. I’ve got all the gloves, hats, hand warmers, blankets and thick socks ready for the winter. A spot of Hygge and #selfcare needed.
Following on from last week’s post on International Kindness Day, I’m doing my best to be kind to people I know, those I don’t know and being kind to myself too. It can be really difficult to find the time and energy to do #selfcare but it’s worth finding the time even if it’s only a few minutes.
It’s 21s November, which stresses the value of communication in daily life, including saying hello to 10 people you don’t know. Its ideals are to encourage greater understanding and peace.
21 November 2017 – Three hardy fuchsias, purple wallflower and pink pelargonium
I found more than the hardy fuchsias flowering; the perennial wallflower is still going strong but there was a pink pelargonium flowering! The pink vase often has sweetpeas in it 🙂
The three fuchsia are Son of Tom which grows about 3 foot high outside our kitchen window(small crimson flowers) Wharfdale (lightpinkanddarkcrimsoncentre) and is about 2 foot high, and the final one came from Morrisons – it might be Mrs Poppleton (crimsonwithapurplecentre) it’s about 4 foot high at the moment. Fuchsias have appeared many times InaVaseonMonday – have a look at #fuchsia
The pink pelargonium in a pot, in a sheltered spot in our garden for about five years. It’s appeared in IAVOM many times too. #pelargonium
The perennial wallflower also appears often, most recently last week #wallflower
Picking my vase is definitely part of my #365daysofselfcare, it definitely helps me both choosing, photographing and writing about flowers but also it’s looking to see what Cathy at Rambling in the Gardenandthepeople all around the world who join in. This week Cathy has got a vase entirely of green foliage which has got me thinking. In my head, I say hello to them every time I read a blog post, their pictures and words lift my soul. Maybe one day I’ll get to say hello to them face to face – I hope so. Their kind words have helped me through some tough times – so a Big Hello to everyone who’s reading my blog today 🙂
23 November 2017 – Stigu planners 2017 and 2018 with The Little Book of Kindness
Plans for Self-care
So my plans for #365daysofselfcare and #bekind this week are:
#bekind especially to myself – and not to beat myself up about being late/disorganised.
Doing some dream mapping from my Stigu Planner 2018 – I don’t do New Year resolutions, I do them in December instead.
I love my Stigu planners, they’re in between a Planner and Mindfulness journal – I’ve had one for the last two years – you can follow them on Twitter too @SticktoStigu
Finishing our thank you cards from our wedding. It was lovely catching up with people and I’m writing letters about what’s been happening and our plans for 2018 🙂 So many people have supported us though so much this year.
Shop less – use your money to DO stuff not HAVE stuff – I was stuck by this but i’m hoping buying plants and bulbs doesn’t count 😉
#bekind #thelittlebookofkindness I follow Bernadette on Twitter @betterussell
I received the book as part of my Buddy Box for September from Blurt Foundation – www.blurtitout.org they describe them a hug in a box. The boxes are great and really lift me; there’s often books on self-care and mental health in the box.
And in case you’re wondering the languages at the start are – Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Maltese, Czech, Hindi and Australian ;-). I can speak varying amount of these languages – but definitely Hello, Goodbye, Please and Thank You 😉 I’ve visited all these wonderful countries and plan to visit again soon.
So who have you said ‘hello’ to today? And what about tomorrow? and how will you #bekind
Love Bec xxx xxx
*I paid full price for my Buddy Box from the Blurt Foundation and my Stigu Planner. I haven’t been asked to blog about them or been paid for this content.