Spring colours, Ice Cream, Seafoam, Spearmint and any extra pastel shades I can throw in,
I've changed this section this time. "Following" was a hard one every month. Here's the song/album I've been leaning into this last few weeks...
The Infamous Bill, Khruangbin
4 little songs, heaps of chill. Best listened to on a weekend morning with the sun on your face. Like medicine.
Blue skies out of the big window on the top floor. Last month this window gave us 5pm peach sunsets, this month is about all-day blue!!
Life feels heavy in many ways right now. Worry and uncertainty creeps up on most of us for so many reasons. I'm trying very hard to focus in on the small moments. Documenting them has been giving me a lot of pleasure...
A flower found.
The sky through my son's window.
Pretty new books and sparkly gold nails.
Blue skies on a day trip with my family.
Local flowers for sale at The Pink Studio.
My little boyband.
Drinks with my sisters.
Moments watching them just be themselves.
My little dumpling baby getting his first passport photo.
We got some very exciting news this past week- we were granted planning permission to build our new family home.
For a few weeks whilst we waited to hear, I've stopped myself from dreaming about what we'll create. But this last few days, I've been diving back into Pinterest, revisiting the ideas we had when we were designing the house, and allowing myself to feel some excitement building.
More on this as we progress, but for now, a screenshot of the sections of my secret board for this project. The level of organisation you can achieve on Pinterest (profile split into boards split into sections etc.) makes me so happy.
Cake, brownie, cake, marshmallows, cake, brownie, cake. Breakfast, lunch and tea. (It was my birthday.)
An idea. Self care can also be what you do for others.
I was reading through last Love List's "Wisdom" - the one about Rest, 7 ways and decided to delve a little more into the idea of "Spiritual Rest."
Last time I wrote-
"Spiritual - Connecting to something bigger than me. Meditation, the moon, the annual changing of the seasons, month by month. "
This is absolutely something I need a connection to in my day-to-day in order to maintain perspective. To keep me moving forward, however slowly, to help prevent feelings of hopelessness in difficult situations. But on expanding my readings on "spiritual rest" one thing that struck me is that many people turn my interpretation on its head in their understanding of this element.
When I rationalised this element of "rest" within my own life, I had imagined the "Spiritual" element to be referring to something bigger than myself- the constance of the seasons, the perpetually cyclical moon cycle, or perhaps that "place" that exists in sleep or meditation. Essentially something bigger than me, a cycle that is maintained regardless of my personal circumstance or (change in) situation. Something which enabled me to understand that I am a small part of the whole.
Here is a line from an article I read which turns my idea on its head- “At the core of spiritual rest is that feeling that we all have of needing to be really seen, of feeling that we belong, that we’re accepted, that our life has meaning.” Here the author quotes the writing of Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith. Rather than referencing faith here, she instead cites undertaking "voluntary work or other activities" in order to achieve Spiritual Rest. I suppose, contrary to what I had previously interpreted, this places the self at the core of the system- the feeling of being a small part of the whole becomes the feeling of being an integral part. One becomes vital.
So what could these "other activities" be? I'm reflecting on what makes me feel vital- providing reassurance to a friend. Feeling needed by someone other than my small children. Putting together a treat or surprise for a family member, and in turn knowing I've picked them up. Knowing that it was my actions that eased their circumstance. I played a part. Does an act of kindness have to be totally selfless? Can it (at the same time as providing comfort to others) be simultaneously filling our cup? Is that a welcome side effect of caring for others, that we feel needed and vital and integral?
There's no doubt that when I know I've acted kindly towards another, or been able to offer support, solace, comfort, I do feel renewed and energised in the process. That feeling, I suppose, gives me purpose. I feel necessary- my connection here to the spiritual, is that I am a part of the whole and I know it to be true.
Just a rambling thought process on a Tuesday afternoon, on the subject of Spiritual Rest.
8. Self Care
Reading back through my previous Love Lists, it's struck me just recently that much of my focus (especially in the "self-care" and "wisdom" sections) has been on slowing down and creating space. Something I've been craving for a few years.
I turned 32 last week. Birthdays always bring with them a build up for me. What will I focus on for the next year? How do I feel about various areas of life. Where can I improve, or step up, or tweak?
A year older. What is this year about? An urgency grows in the lead up to the big day.
2022 has been an uncertain one so far. Global events have weighed very heavy on almost everyone I know. Financial pressures have placed strain on most. Small businesses have had to work extra hard to hit their targets and maintain sales- businesses I work with or work alongside have communicated the same. Writing this Love List felt frivolous, many times I sat down and got nowhere... it's taken me much longer than usual.
And yet, there's a duality in the uncertainty- much like in the pandemic, lots of people I chat to right now are feeling grateful, focusing on the small and simple elements of their day-to-day and are desperate not to take any of it for granted.
Last time I wrote about "Wintering" and feeling a need to cocoon and cushion through the darker months. Right now, I'm typing with Spring's first rays of sunshine puddling on my keyboard. What a deep breath of fresh air that has brought with it. Waking up the memory of Spring and Summer every year brings a fresh energy. Right now that's tempered, bitter-sweet, but it is there all the same.
Perhaps this year will have to be taken step by step. Rather than a grand focus or drive, I will instead allow my mindset to shift and wander as it needs to. Month to month, my outlook will change, my energy will come easier or perhaps will take a little coaxing.
February was heavy. I didn't feel like writing at all. With regard to these lists, I scrubbed February's expectations right out, and with that erased the actual list itself. Just joining the usual dots took a lot of effort. March sunshine brings with it an easing. To be clearer here, I feel that I'm referencing a collective mindset that many of us are experiencing on a vast level, one that spans borders and oceans. We have huge collective problems that we must face together. I know many others are feeling the weight of the change that absolutely has to happen. Sometimes we are consumed by it. Sometimes we are empowered by it.
And so my commitment to myself this coming 33rd year is to take it one step at a time. Forgive my mistakes, make space for the downtime, make space for rest, allow my focus to be small and subtle, allow it to be fluid and changeable, same as the circumstance, and just as it demands.
9. Lusting After
A new bunch of our beautiful local flowers every other week.
10. Grateful for
Really, really good friends and family.