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Archive for the ‘Meditation’ Category

Welcome Back

Long time no post, health not in a great place. Today sharing some soothing, gentle, You Tube channels, for you to explore. There is so much stress and distress inthe world right now. I thought I would share places that are kind and gentle and soothing. A diverse mix of channels, see what you fancy.

For those missing creative content check out

Art

The Unexpected Gypsy https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzk20sJQ2gq_XB9oCgOWrQA/featured Art studio vlogs. Art by Wendy Robinson

Bookbinding

Sea Lemon for bookbinding https://www.youtube.com/c/SeaLemonDIY

Bitter Melon Bindery ASMR bookbinding https://www.youtube.com/c/bittermelonbindery/featured

DAS Bookbinding https://www.youtube.com/c/DASBookbinding/featured

Fabric

Din Life sewing fabrics and also books https://www.youtube.com/c/DinLife

Furoshiki, seriously research this, on You Tube! Its amazing. Practice with a bandana if thats all u have. I’m bundling book and kind things together for when things are tough. Self care september soon, so its good to gather stuff u love togther. Its the Japanese art of wrapping with cloth. So sustainable, you can also make a bag in many variations, ditch the plastic and try this

How to turn Linens and shawls into bags https://youtu.be/pnLZOj5V-f8

Kakefuda Kyoto – Famous Furoshiki Store https://youtu.be/NC7MH3EzBWM

If its tempting u to shop there is a store in the UK called Kindly Yarn. Here is their website and they have videos on the basics https://www.kindlyyarn.co.uk

How about getting some fabric and stop with the excessive paper and selotape? There are so many nice fabrics around. You can practice with a table cloth or bandana etc to play along as u watch.

Simplistic living

The Cottage Fairy https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCottageFairy/featured

ASMR

The Lune INNATE https://www.youtube.com/c/LuneINNATEASMRenergy ‚̧ūüôŹ Gillian and her Reiki ASMR, sooo soothing. Reiki Master and energy worker. Thanks for helping me groumd and sleep Gillian.

Holistic Mystic Ysania https://www.youtube.com/c/HolisticMysticYsaniaASMR Galactic Reiki. Helping u soothe and settle.

Guided Vibrations https://www.youtube.com/c/GuidedVibrations Sound baths etc if u prefer without the narration their other channel Healing vibrations has no talking https://www.youtube.com/c/HealingVibrationsMedia

Books

These are the books that are holding safe space for me at the moment. Yey for the kindle reading them out to me. Im crashing now, so can’t link them all, copy n paste them into searches in ur fave store.

Depression Recovery Letters James Withey is brilliant from this project I found his other books;

How to Anxiety to sod off

How to tell depression to f off

Thanks for sticking with me, when I post so rarely. I think about the blog, just don’t have the health to allow me to write or create as much as I’d like too.

Best wishes and thanks for reading

Billie

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Welcome Back

I think this may be what they call Blue Monday? Perhaps its the perfect time to share this art concept with you. You Tube did that, ‘you may like this’ recomendation the other night and BOY were they right. If you are really stressed, over think, have that 3am and brain won’t shut up, or are giving yourself a hard time today, grab a pen and paper and read on. I found making this art soo soothing. Its definately all about the process of making it, its soo soothing. If you like colouring in and zentangle, maybe you will like this too. If you found zentangle hard going on hands and eyes, this one is a great alternative.

Here is my first try with Neurographic art, January 2022.

About this art style.

  1. Its called Neuro Grapic art
  2. You don’t need lots of art supplies to do it
  3. Regular pen or pencil and sheet of any paper will do, to get started
  4. If you like colouring in, it takes your brain to that same zen space
  5. Its easier on the hands (and eyes) than Zen tangle
  6. Please watch the videos in the links section for the how too, and background of it.
  7. For me, I found it helpful to ease racing and distressing thoughts
  8. Its about the process, rather than the final piece of art. Its the process of creating it, that gives the brain a softer place to be for a while.
  9. There is some science behind this and has been used in therapy, see videos who go into the detail of some of that. but short version, to quote Ruby Wax ‘Brains are not great at multi tasking’. So if you are in a distressing headspace, if you can give them something soothing to focus on, and are able to send all your attention to that, they drop the other stuff.

I’m not trained in any of this, so can’t make claims as to what it will or won’t do for you. I am someone who struggles with anxiety, depression, and the over thinking racing thoughts that come with that and I did find making this art, took my head to softer safer kinder places.

As a child I used to scribble and later come back in and colour in the gaps, this seems to be taking it to another level. I can see it being a helpful tool for my anxiety managing tool box. I can use this just as a doodling distraction in and of itself. I can also use it around times when Im really stuck in the over thinking, rumination and 3am brain won’t turn off, by doing the advice in the first video, of writing the thing I’m stressing about, on the back of the paper, turn paper over, and then scribble a few seconds. Then let brain drift to kinder places as I focus just on finding the connections and curving those lines.

In looking up the links for this post, I have now found a certified trainer in this and linked her videos below. Take your pic as to where your interest and current head space allows.

Rather than writing it all out, its much easier to watch than to explain. These first two are the you might like this ones that You Tube showed me, simple to get you started. The later ones are from a certified instructor in the method and are more indepth, especially toward the theraputic side of the method.

  1. You Tube channel: Bethany Thiele, Art Teacher
    Video name: Neurographic Art Tutorial : Mindfulness In Art https://youtu.be/NoIgdt-uQR0 This is a good one as it walks you through the process more slowly.
  2. You Tube channel name Emmanuel School of Fine ArtsVideo name neurographic drawing art lesson https://youtu.be/XZf4Fbr6dU0 This was the first one I saw, but its been listed as ‘you tube kids’ so you can’t add it to favorites, which is a shame.

These next ones are more indepth and focused on the therapy side of this from a certified teacher, Anna Romanenko

  1. You Tube channel NeuroGraphic Academy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzaHdD70WRnL6rprZVVbaBw
  2. YouTube channel NeurographicaAcademy. Video name Neurographica online class. NeuroTree of my Health https://youtu.be/ei-AxcAYXvk This one is is indepth, coming at it from the therapy side of things.
  3. NeuroGraphica Introduction Class. Basic elements and steps. Lifting Inner Constraints. For Beginners https://youtu.be/UaphPkS9fYQ

Oops another really long post. I got really excited about this last night and my first go with it went very well. My aim with the blog, is to share ideas and tips that have helped my in my journey. I hope they help you too, however what helps or does not, is a very individual thing. It is not my intention to say, this will work for you in the same way. You do you, always.

Being honest, on the page I’m on right now, which is early grief, and very stressed out. I can’t process the more indepth videos, that Anna has posted. The first two I posted, are enough for getting started and the other links, will be more useful for reasearch and education, when I’m on firmer ground.

Hope you enjoy the process of this art style. Either trying it yourself or with more research on the video sites, maybe watching others create it. Looks like there are a few variations on the theme, so have fun exploring all that. I think this is one I’ll try for a while, it was less painful on my limited dexterity than zentangle was. I liked how it looked a bit like marbled paper or inkblot tests. Mostly though, I enjoyed the process and how it took my brain to softer place for a while

Best wishes, thanks for reading, See you soon

Billie x

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Welcome Back

Well here we are, September already and the helterskelter slip slide into that thing in December. Before the madness ensues, there are some wonderful things to look forward to; Self Care September, Artober, PAD Challenge (Poem A Day) in November. So grab a cup of something you enjoy and lets have a chat about the first on the list, Self Care September. A great pencil case/handbag size companion for Self Care September is Lottie doll, ‘Be Kind’, here she is with a card from Goddess Love oracle deck by Wendy Andrew, the card I pulled for the overall energy for Self Care September was; Self Discovery; Dive Deep. Sounds good doesn’t it.

‘Be Kind’ Lottie doll seemed the perfect companion for Self Care September

In previous years I have taken this time to hunker down n circle the preverbial wagons, blanket fort and try to find a still point of rest, as I struggle with anxiety, depression and choronic pain. Self care is important but one I often forget during survival 101 (just trying to basic things, like eat, hydrate and try to sleep!). In the past I’ve bought books, courses or other ‘stuff’ to help parent myself though life’s challenges I’ve shared some in the video below. Susannah Conway had an amazing course The Sacred Alone, all about different ways of taking care of yourself and I’m going to be coming back to that practice with crystals, card decks, meditation. Coming back to Reiki, singing bowls n koshi chimes. Reminding myself of the good things I have in my environment, right here right now. I’ll be sharing great sites where I’ve found wonderful Meditations and ASMR stuff that helps me sleep. Hands up who hasn’t been able to sleep?

Here is a video of the sort of books I’ll be taking time with and always help me feel companioned. If you are looking for some ideas for kind books for unkind days to companion you through Self Care September and the darker evenings, I offer you this video of my favorite books.

I have more faves now, but don’t wanna give you all the content for September in one day eh. I’ll post when I can, pain levels permitting. (Previously I’d have prepped this months ago and just have it all set to go live on certain days but well, life got in the way).

This isn’t gonna be a time of bringing new stuff in for me

I have fed that over the years, I’m doing some Marie Kondo, or should that be Kon Maire on my stuff, as and when I can, so its a bit of a different feel this time round. This year, Self Care September, is more about connecting with my environment and what I have already. Pacing is something I really need to work on, I keep rushing at things when pain levels allow me too and then sprain something and end up back not able to do anything for so long. Boom n bust. So thats something I defo need to get better at. Being kinder to myself when that happens, with the Sacred Alone Practice. File me under #processing. Physical, mental and emotional, so trying to find kind ways to process a lot.

PLAY is gonna be a part of it

You have probably noticed that due to lack of dexterity, making art, cards n books has had to take a back seat on the blog and in my life. I’m sad about that, but saving ‘spoons’ for essentails. As a kid, I used to enjoy dolls and the bjds n Schildkrot dolls are wonderful company and pose great for drawing (when I have dexterity to do that) but the simple pleasure of swapping outfits on some dolls has been just too expensive on those dolls, so I’ve invested in some… what are known in the doll hobby, as play line dolls. Thats dolls like barbie, etc. I’d share more on You Tube but don’t want to get the channel designated for kids coz then no comments! The robots that decide that are not very chatty n rules are forever changing.

My fave playline dolls at the present are Lottie dolls, more about them in the coming posts. I have a couple of Matel Creatable World dolls. I like how they are gender neutral and very posable, those also come with a selection of outfits which scratches my itch to change clothes on the dolls. There are three made to move Barbies in my toy box too, thankfully they have more ethnic diverstity in that range now, but I prefer Lottie dolls. Not a fan of the less than human proportions on Barbies, poor girls would need a corset for that waistline.

Poetry and writing

Staying on the creative side, if you scroll back a bit, you will see the crochet collection of animals I have collected. These are characters in a book of stories I’m writing. So far the stories about them have come out in verse. I don’t specifically sit to write poems, my poems just come to me. I’ll be making sarnie and a line comes into my head and another and I have to get a notebook n pen to write it down before I forget it. Thats fun. Then I write them up into a nice book and illustrate it another day and colour the illustrations antothe day again. Then on the weeks when I can’t create, I hang out with the dolls n characters n read the journal.

What about Art

I’ve definately fallen back in love with art, and thanks to Jane Davenport classes it can be just me and a sketch book. Pic candle is brilliant and exploring Kawaii. Art that doesn’t need a lot of supplies and can be picked up n put down without a lot of getting stuff out or putting stuff away. A sketch pad n pencil case level of art is the way to go atm. I’ll share more in coming posts.

This all comes back to pacing, what pain levels and the weather allow. Its not a choice I choose to make. Its life triage, what do I most need to do to stay alive, then what is most urgent, then how long do I need to recover from that. If I can hold a pen, I like to draw on really good days I like to write. But any of these things take their toll so its down to pacing as to what I can get away with and still have dexterity to eat a bit, even if thats just cereal.

It is what it is, we all have our challenges don’t we.

But I’ll write when I can, and even if its not all in September I’ll share some lovely sites with you, as soon as I can.

Links

  • Susannah Conway Susanah Conway, do sign up for her wonderful newsletters, she calls them love letters n they are so amazing. Doing so also gets u access to secret parts of the site which have all kinds of wonderful things to join in with, watch or listen to. (no spoilers)
  • Lottie Dolls https://uk.lottie.com/ They have lots of ethnic diversity in the range, love these dolls. One word, NICE, not to disrepsect other brands but these are just really nice dolls. But I’ll do a post specifically on them soon, so watch this space.

How about you, will you be doing Self Care September and what will that look like for you? Do let me know in the comments.

This blog is going in a few new directions isn’t it, but keeps the spirit and heart I created it with. A joy of creating and a wish to share that journey. I hope you will stick with me, and thanks to everyone who has read this blog over the years. Do keep an eye on the You Tube channel, Sometimes when I can’t write, I make a video instead.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

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Welcome Back

I was awake this morning at 4.30am, its not unusual. My brain whirring away, all the things I wanted to post about the current situation. Eventually I got back to sleep, then Classic FM woke me at 8am, and it has played soothing sounds all day, THANK YOU!!! So instead of a long list of to dos, instead I share links to safe spaces, to kind folkes on the internet who have online classes as reduced prices and other things that have helped me in the past and I want to share with you, we may have to stay apart from each other but online we are together. Here we go with a list of SAFE PLACES online

we are all in this together by Kelly Rae Roberts

Kelly Rae Roberts Created this and asked ppl to share it, so thats me doing that. Credit to the creator https://www.kellyraeroberts.com/

As this is an art blog, lets start there.

Jane Davenport who is awesome and encouraging as an art teacher, has some great videos on You tube and courses on her website. The classes have demos, so if you want to get a feel for her teaching style do pop over for a look.

Journal baby, journal.

When the going gets tough, I love me a journal! I can tell it how it is, learn stuff, vent, whatever is needed. There is no judgement, correction, blame or shame in my journal.

Susannah Conway Ohh let me count the ways I love Susannah Conway. When my hubby passed, her Sacred Alone course helped me find little pieces of quiet among the noise of grief. Not that this course is aimed at grief, and she has lots of courses on different topics. Currently though she is offering her Sacred Alone course half price, so rush over now to sign up for 14 days of emails, bring a journal, a pen and an open heart and let her hold your hand, while you navigate in the Sacred Alone time, and how to sink into it, appreciate it and explore it.

Class starts today 23 March 2020. The half price is £47 but its SOOOOO worth it, journal along and you find out what makes you feel safe in alone times. Creating your own road map/ self help book, for what works for you. That is priceless.

If pennies are tight and that is too much, do sign up for her newsletters, she calls them Love Letters they will get you access to a lot of free content on the site like meditaions.

 

Connect to nature from your window

Are you taking time to connect to nature from your window? Are you wondering what type of tree that is, what the bird is that’s sitting there? https://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/spotting-sheets will help you identify all kinds of different birds, trees and other wildlife that you may be taking more time to notice.

Mental health support sites

If you are already struggling with mental health issues, the current situation may well be making it feel worse. Here are some places that may help.

If you are new to staying indoors and finding it tough, I will be posting more ideas in the coming weeks. Do try the websites above which may help, and Blurt shown here is also brilliant for coping stratgies.

Please use phonelines responsibly. If you have the option of family and friends at the end of a phone line, or email, please consider reaching out to them first, if that feels safe to you. There are lots of us who don’t have that support and rely on these other options.

Blurt

Do you wish you had something to look forward too? Want to send a friend a self care parcel of love n kindness? Blurt is the place to go.

BLURT are fantastic, please, pretty please if you are finding right now hard going, do consider signing up to their newsletters, they are soo encouraging and supportive https://www.blurtitout.org/

Blurt have a blog, which will give you a feel for the topics and tone of the newsletters. A shop which; heads up, right now has special offers on their self help card packs https://www.blurtitout.org/product-category/self-helpful/card-packs/ so if you like the idea of having a thought for the day kind of thing, they are brilliant.

Blurt also has something called Buddy Boxes, these are to help you connect to your sences, so there are things like chocolate or tea in there, something for the bath or a lip balm perhaps. They are non gender specific and you can buy them as a one off box, a monthly subscription, and after the month the box was live, there are often the items from the box that you can buy individually. Perfect as a self care parcel for a friend, you can buy from them and have them sent to a different address. Perfect for yourself too.

See you another day, with ways I am stepping gently with myself through these uncertain times.

Be gentle and kind to yourself and others.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

 

*******************Trigger warning ******* That thing in the news

ONE mention of that thing in the news, Blurt also have ahub page for tips for managing what infomation you read about and from where, and helping with the emotions that may be bringing up for you. Blurt CV hub page

How I’m doing this, checking in ONCE a day on the official announcement, then turn it off. Going round n round, over and over it, istn’t helpful and creates more fear. I then take time to process, brain dump on paper if needed to quieten my brain, and then do something that feels KIND and soothing to my soul, to help my system recover from the triggers. That marathon not a sprint quote is spot on, listening to news 24/7 would freak anyone out. Its hard to process that level of information and if you fry you head in week one, how are you going to get through the long haul. DISCERNMENT is what is needed.

You do you, always. x

 

 

 

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Welcome Back

Many thanks to all of you loyal readers who are still visiting. Anyone visiting my Pinterest boards will have seen some new ones. I am a reluctant gardener, its not a choice I would choose, I am to plants what Kryptonite is to Superman. I am looking into the possibility of creating a meditation garden, with a Japanese feel. The garden is already divided by some nice trellis with arches here and there. Mowing the lawn is beyond me as is a lot of weeding so I’m trying to research something that will be low maintenance.

Mini Zen Garden indoors

I have a sand  Zen garden that I made on a tray, which I like the idea of but in the UK and with a lot of neighbours with cats it would not work with sand outdoors! (OK the gloves are NOT needed for this garden, they were just a cheerful colour and when you are gardening under tolerance rather than choice pretty gloves help). {strop much! heheh}

Mini Zen Garden

Mini Zen Garden

I’d like to try something with varying sizes of stones in boarders, would LOVE a wooden bridge, can you get them 12″ high, just a short one?

I keep finding quotes I like and saw quotes written on stones on Pinterest which looked fab, so I’ve started making my own.

Thought Stones/ Meditation stones

Thought Stones/ Meditation stones

I will try to share pics of quotes I like, and of the ones I’ve put on stones in the coming year.

Processing

I am still processing my loss so creative writing in great measure is beyond me at the moment. I am exploring a number of different things, here is my reading list;

  • I wasn’t ready to say Goodbye. For anyone else how has suffered the sudden unexpected loss of someone close, this is a good companion.
  • Grieving Mindfully. If you are trying to find ways to live in your ‘new world’ this is also very helpful. Its a different way to see what has happened ‘to’ you and really helps with processing loss. It helps you realise you can’t get round, past or over loss, you get through it, and here are ways to learn to do so that will help ease the pain. Really helps.
  • The Mindful Way Workbook; An 8 week program to Free yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress. Now if you are recently bereaved, forget the time scale, really forget it BUT although this book is nothing to do with bereavement the meditation exercises on the MP3 CD that come with this book REALLY help!

I would not recommend Seven Choices: Finding Daylight after loss Shatters your world. Everyone’s journey through grief is unique to them but although this book is helpful if you want to read LOTS of other peoples stories of tragic loss, so you realise you are not alone, it happens to everyone at¬†some point, ¬†if what you are looking for is more of a hand to hold to keep you company to reassure you that you aren’t going crazy but one day you will feel better than you do right now, this didn’t do that for me, it wasn’t reassuring and¬†me feel worse.

This isn’t the place for me to talk about this loss, so you won’t see his picture¬†here or his name. He was my world and my heart is broken without him, I am struggling to find a reason to go on. The Japanese garden will be my way of honouring our love and the time we spent together.

Links

So who wants to see garden pictures on this blog? or shall I just stick to quotes I like till the mojo makes a reappearance. Say if you want a tutorial on the Zen garden its so easy you could do it in moments.

Best wishes and thanks for reading and sticking by me, see you soon

Billie

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