Hi there, lovely readers,
I hope this letter finds you well and January was everything you hoped it to be – and more!
I had so many ideas for this month's letter. Then on Tuesday, when I sat down to write my morning pages, I thought I could keep it simple by sharing the things I’ve been enjoying lately. So, without further ado, here they are.
Simple everyday rituals
I’ve been making space for the things that connect me to myself and the present moment. This is helping me to be more mindful and getting me out of autopilot mode! These include keeping up with the NHS Couch to 5K running programme and writing my morning pages. I love starting the day on a positive note and taking the time to set my intention is making a huge difference.
I’ve also been practising gratitude, walking, eating well (most of the time!), keeping my daily schedule to a comfortable size and going to bed on time. For me, self-care, gratitude and keeping things simple are always a priority.
If you read my January letter and blog post, then you’ll know my word for the year is connection. Looking back through my diary, I think it’s safe to say that things are going well. During the month, I met up with friends, enjoyed a few nights out, attended a couple of meetups and a business course, created a local community social group and spent the majority of my weekends with my family. It was a lovely month and I’m hoping this sets the tone for the year ahead.
One of the best things in my life right now is my coaching business. It’s an honour to support people and help them reach their goals and aspirations. Seeing my clients roll up their sleeves and get stuck into the new year was extremely inspiring. So much so, it helped me to get things moving in my own creative business. One of those things was to change my website URL to my name - same me, same content, just a different address. It feels pretty liberating and dare I say it, a tad grown up!
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Seeking creative inspiration
I’ve been filling up my creative inspiration bank. I find inspiration in all sorts of places from walking around London to getting lost in an old film. I’m currently smashing my goal to read a book a month. So far, I’ve read You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, Life Lessons from Remarkable Women produced by Stylist Magazine and Moments of Mindfulness published by Leaping Hare Press. I’m currently reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and Dare to Lead by Brene Brown.
I’ve also been reading blogs and listening to podcasts – my current favourites are Zen Habits and Tiny Buddha and I’m enjoying the podcasts Happy Place by Fearne Cotton, Creative Pep Talk by Andy J. Pizza and Under the Skin by Russell Brand. On the tellybox, I’ve been watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and the new series of Grace and Frankie. I also loved My Generation and I’m looking forward to the V&A’s Mary Quant exhibition opening in April - having visited the Pink Floyd and Records and Rebels exhibitions, I know I’ll be in for a treat!
Spending time offline
I’ve been championing the benefits of creating digital boundaries for many years and in recent months, I read a few articles which got me thinking about my social media use.
As you may recall, I’m no longer using my personal Facebook profile (although I still use my business page) and for the most part, I try to keep the social media apps off my phone. I’ve also been using the Instagram timer which I’ve set to 15 minutes a day. Just enough time to catch up with friends (and Matt and Luke Goss – did you see the documentary?!). All this has unlocked more time and energy and as a rule, I try not to consume too much online content because I find it too distracting.
Going with the flow
And finally, I approached the month in a more intuitive way, trying to go with the flow by continually asking myself, ‘what would you like to do in the present moment?' and ‘what is the best thing for you to do right now?’. This enabled me to spend time doing the things I was drawn to, which in most cases meant I got them done a whole lot quicker!
I’ve also been adapting things to suit me, for example, I didn’t write my morning pages at the weekend and I spent the entire month on week three of the running programme to ensure my knees were ready to progress further. I’m all for making tweaks and adjustments to fit around my lifestyle preferences.
So, there you have it, a few things that have supported me so far this year. I hope your month has got off to a wonderful start and if things aren’t going to plan for you, please remember that there’s always tomorrow, or next week, or next month and you can reset, readjust and refocus as often as you need to.
Thank you for reading. I wish you a beautiful and inspiring month ahead and keep creating.
Until next time,
PS. I've written about personal reflection and how it can guide you in your life and work for Breathe, issue 18. I wholeheartedly believe that when we pause and look inward, we usually find we have all the answers we need!
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