Music for healing & inspiration – playing the viola for the first time in years

Purple-blue nebula_01_music can guide us through so much - Copy

Today, for the first time in years, I got out my viola and played. I only had the physical strength to play for a few minutes, it sounded a little scratchy, and my finger pads are sore, but I loved it. I love the feel of the strings vibrating when I sweep the bow across them, the feel of the sound vibrating through the wood and into me. Playing the viola – and even just listening to string instruments – pulls on my own heart strings. Music can help to heal the heart.

I hope that, even building it up a minute at a time, I can start to reconnect with my own musical heart, and heal my emotional heart in the process… another string to my self-care bow.

The Attitude of Gratitude – week 15

These are the things I’m grateful for from the last week:

Monday: I got my paints out for the first time since March’s shut-down, and I created two paintings. It was like the world fell away, and it was just me, the canvas and the paint.
Tuesday: Seeing Nan and Grandad, and helping them to Skype my brother (in the USA) for the first time.
Wednesday: Sorting out my study space so it is more conducive to creativity.
Thursday: unpacking my crystals and reconnecting.
Friday: Finding a tarot spread that can be used for Shadow work – “ARISTOTELIAN” SHADOW WORK (AND A TAROT SPREAD by Jack of Wands
Saturday: Watching Mo Farrah win silver in his last ever 5,000m race, GB’s women win silver in the 4x100m relay, and GB’s men win gold in the 4x100m relay.
Sunday: inspiration for a piece on Shadow work.

Organising my study space for creativity

We moved into our transitional home around a month ago, and I’ve been slowly sorting out what needs to go where, and what can remain boxed up until we move to our next more permanent home.

Yesterday I decided I’d had enough of missing out on inspiration for posts, and keeping track of them, so I got organised. I appropriated a white board belonging to my brother, who no longer lives at home, and a small notice board that my mum’s not currently using. I hung them up and got to work.

The white board is now set up with sticky notes in two colours for my two separate blogs, with bags underneath for future post ideas. To the right are various awareness dates for the next three months, with ideas for inspired posts.

The little notice board is my inspiration place. I have two Angel wings cards by Soulful Creations , a thank you card from The Mad Old Cat Lady (website and Etsy shop), a postcard of the Eiffel tower to represent my dreams of traveling, a birdy calendar, and a photo of my late beloved cat Orlando. There’s also a little silk daffodil in the top left hand corner from Marie Curie Cancer Research.

On my computer screen I have my favourite postcard from Glastonbury. It shows the Tor, and the photo always takes me away somewhere dreamy whenever I look at it. (

I also have a selection of my Ancient Egyptian, Ancient History and reference books out now, where they’re easily accessed.

My paint brushes are now also to hand.

And some of my plant babies help to bring nature back in.

Overall it’s really helped me to connect with the space, and I’m looking forward to writing, painting and creating here.

Quote on answering, “What do you do?” by Brene Brown

In a world that values the primacy of work, the most common question we ask and get asked is, “What do you do?” I used to wince every time someone asked me this question. I felt like my choices were to reduce myself to an easily digestible sound bite or to confuse the hell out of people.
Now my answer to, “What do you do?” is, “How much time do you have?”
Most of us have complicated answers to this question. For example, I’m a mom, partner, researcher, writer, storyteller, sister, friend, daughter and teacher. All of these things make up who I am, so I never know how to answer that question. And, to be honest with you, I’m tired of choosing to make it easier on the person who asked.

– Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

The Attitude of Gratitude – week 14

These are the things I’m grateful for from the last week:

Monday: Winning a book in an online competition.
Tuesday: Memories of Uncle Tony.
And: picking blackberries in the garden with Mum.

Wednesday: Elizabeth Di Alto’s YouTube video.
Thursday: Seeing a lovely little furry caterpillar.
Friday: Our beautiful garden, and being able to take some photos of it.
And: Watching Mo Farrah win a gold medal in his last ever 10,000m event.
Saturday: Shadow work.
Sunday: Going for a little walk with mum and spotting more blackberries ripe for the picking.

Shadow Work – Godzilla vs Stegosaurus

When working to heal Shadows it’s crucial to be able to pinpoint what’s actually ‘yours’ and what’s your fears or the projections of others. At times like this it can feel like you’re faced with a monstrosity, and it can feel overwhelming.

Whether it’s ‘truth’, fears or seeds of ‘truth’ blown out of proportion by others, what we’re left to face is not the Godzilla we might imagine, but a Stegosaurus. These creatures were herbivores, so they weren’t predators. They could, however, pack quite a punch with that spiky tail, and their armour was pretty thick too.
If we look on our Shadows as a Stegosaurus we see a tough exterior, but realise it’s probably more placid when it’s not provoked or riled. This means our Shadow Steggy is approachable, if it’s done with caution.

Shadows deserve respect. They are there to teach us the things we choose to ignore, overlook or stuff down. There is often an underlying lesson – or more than one – that our Shadows are trying to make us aware of. By ignoring them we’re getting them getting riled up. That’s when placid Steggy turns into battle-mode Steggy. We’re not getting the point so he has to up his game.
The problem is, unless you’ve heard of Shadow work, emotional responsibility, or the process of recognising the root cause of emotions you’re not going to be paying attention to the underlying messages. Even if you have heard of or know about these things it can be difficult to stop and ‘listen’.

Shadows are an important part of our psyche, and it’s vital not only for our emotional health, but for our relationships with others that we start to take note of what they have to say.
So next time you’re facing a Shadow try seeing a Steggy instead of a Godzilla and see where that gets you.