Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Embodied Affirmations

This week the sun has returned and I was brave enough to shoot a brief video. It was an adventure- the bees were buzzing around me as they were gathering pollen to make up for all the cold, dark,rainy days we have had this May. I did try to keep calm as they landed in my hair and buzzed in my ears. I decided to be brave and video some Embodied Affirmations. Below I explain the inspirations that nudged me to do this:


video


I have come a long way since the day my voice teacher had me stand in front of a mirror and say one thing that I thought was beautiful about my body. My lesson time was ticking away... Finally I decided that my eyebrows  were beautiful. Bit by bit over the course of a few years I came to see myself in a different light. It is no surprise that my singing improved  as well!

Some people enjoy affirmations in front of a mirror. I love this video :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgw8OFVHzd4  Jessica is adorable! So far, I am not really happy doing mirror work- maybe someday...
Instead I am learning to practice Embodied Affirmations  in the garden or when I am dancing around my kitchen in the morning.  It may have all begun with Meghan Trainor singing "All About That Bass". I love dancing to that song! Engaging my body- especially in dance- makes the affirmations more real for me- I can at least FEEL that they are true -even if my thoughts are not quite there yet.
About 2 weeks ago I saw Christy Whitman's little boy Alex  here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pP3egqOwRA
He and Jessica are so engaged in their affirmations-   I began to think that I could begin to create my own.
The cherry on the cake was the  video from Tracy Campoli last week
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5GY5EpKVDk
There is an epidemic of self criticism - especially among young women. Each one of them is uniquely beautiful. Perhaps if some of us are brave enough to make Embodied Affirmation videos or post photos of ourselves with affirmations printed on them we can change how we see ourselves and each other.
Do you practice affirmations? Do you enjoy mirror work? Have you done Embodied Affirmations like Jessica's or Alex's or Meghan Trainor's? If not, are you willing to give them a go?
Please leave a comment or make some suggestions about improving my blog. I would also love to share my Pins on Pinterest and see yours! https://www.pinterest.com/colleen2322/

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Return of Blackberry Winter

We have been having a long, rainy, chilly spring after a long, dark, sometimes quite cold winter. I am not complaining about the rain, It makes everything so green and lush. Also we have been through long droughts in the past and I much prefer rain! Every year in May when the blackberries bloom here the weather gets cold. I thought we had experienced it the first week of May when it was quite cold.The frost killed  tender new growth on many plants and trees-not to mention the new crop of vegetable seedlings!- This week we are having another round. It's a bit dispiriting.
I cheer myself up by getting out my woolens in spring colors that I have knitted or crocheted just for times like this. I refuse to wear darker winter colors in May! Thank goodness for spring colors in skinny jeans to wear with them.
I also cheer myself by re-reading some of my favorite books or watching favorite movies. This week it was Alice in Wonderland.
I LOVE the classic illustrations!

 I watched this movie on TV re-runs so many times as a child. I finally found a video and the book of the film!
I do love the Tim Burton Version with Alice as a young woman.




And I could not resist the giant mushroom in my garden (thanks to all the rain!) to take this photo.





And this one-Alice having more adventures in my garden...
What do you do to lift your spirits on dark, cold,  rainy days when you are longing for spring sunshine? Please leave a comment or email me. I LOVE being inspired by you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Be Brave---Only Connect!


 My favourite wild flower Oenothersa speciosa- we called them "pink primroses".

 Miniature wild iris under the boxwood

I wanted to write about a totally different subject this week, but this is what is on my mind.
I live in a very beautiful but fairly remote place in the country with no cell phone service and minimal internet access. As an introvert (INFP on Myers-Briggs) I am perfectly happy in a beautiful house and garden in the country enjoying occasional visits from friends and family. I engage in many creative hobbies. I am never bored.
However, I have felt a tug to connect with other people who share some of my passions- the countryside, animals both domestic and wild, books (I am a former bookseller), flowers (I am now a retired flower farmer and garden designer), music (I have had wonderful voice training and dance lessons), clothing and accessory creation ( I LOVE making my own clothes).
I have joined Google and Yahoo Groups, Facebook groups, followed Pinterest boards and blogs. I enjoy them, but I have not been participating in them as much as I would like.  Until very recently I have been shy about leaving comments and engaging in conversations. I seem to do better when it is a question of posting photos and scans- I was fairly active for several years in some paper doll and doll collecting groups and I love sharing pictures on Pinterest! I have participated in some challenges on Facebook and managed to give my share of encouragement and support. But I have connected with only a few people who have become friends.
Then I saw Barbara Fisher's post about vintage patterns on her blog :
http://marchhousebookscom.blogspot.com/2016/04/sew-in-love-vintage-sewing-patterns.html
What really got my attention was Barbara's wistful sentence about the patterns in the Comments :

"But the dresses, oh the dresses, wish I was 20 – no, 40 years younger, so I could wear them again."

I could not resist  encouraging her to express herself, make  the dresses, and wear them! As a result we have had some lovely, lively exchanges. I have found a friend who shares so many of my interests. And she lives in my favourite part of England! We keep discovering more shared interests, tastes and general outlooks.
 Best  of all, I discovered a strong desire to inspire others  to embody and express themselves by wearing what they love. (Not so surprising  given my love of paper dolls and dolls to dress and photograph in their varied adventures).
I am now inspired to make some videos wearing some of my ancient dresses to encourage others, also to  to share some more of my photos of my dolls' adventures -my favourite way to play!
So I have learned my lesson- when I feel a tug to comment and encourage someone I am going to go ahead. There are no doubt many more wonderful friends out there for me.
Have you ever been rewarded by being brave on social media? 
Have you ever found a wonderful new friend unexpectedly?
Please leave a comment below or email me colleen412@gmail.com
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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

AppreciateBeautyEveryday: Spring Overwhelm!

AppreciateBeautyEveryday: Spring Overwhelm!: It's that time of the year again. Overwhelm strikes me about the same time as the tulip poplars bloom in May. I know that part of the f...

Spring Overwhelm!

It's that time of the year again.
Overwhelm strikes me about the same time as the tulip poplars bloom in May. I know that part of the feeling is because the pollen of tulip poplars gives me a headache and sore throat and I feel tired by afternoon.
The weeds are already getting ahead of me!
The house needs more frequent cleaning because of the sticky yellow pollen that blends with the cat hair and the dust!
Then there are all the creative projects I want to complete before the hot summer arrives...
And there are so many fun things to do, books to read, etc.
So what am I doing to alleviate my feeling of overwhelm??? Well, I am writing this blog  as I promised to write a blog every week no matter what...I imagine someone will read it who is also feeling overwhelmed.
I put my lovely ancient peony flowered cotton sheets on my bed.There is nothing like a fresh , clean, beautiful bed after a lovely scented bath at night. I have this to look forward to now.
I am doing one small do-able task at a time and then having a dance break and/or a drink of water. It is surprising how many things I can get done when I divide them up into smaller tasks and vary my activity ( I do not attempt to do ALL of the laundry in one day-too daunting!)
I cut some roses for my bedroom and my bathroom (and pulled a few weeds as well.
I photographed these flowers for today's blog!
Princess Tree outside my kitchen window
Fringe Tree in my secret garden
New Orleans roses varieties in my greenhouse
Close up of Lady Hillingdon- smells divine!

So, that's how I am coping with overwhelm. As usual I rely on Appreciating Beauty Everyday to see me through the tough times like overwhelm when I feel like hiding under the covers.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed ? How do you cope with that sinking almost hopeless feeling that things are just too much to deal with?
I would love to see your comments! Please reply here or on Facebook or email me. Also have a look at my Pinterest Boards  https://www.pinterest.com/colleen2322/