In this Issue:
Unusual gift ideas
The theme of 'Beginnings' may seem more suited to a newsletter for January. However, this card has been coming out regularly for me in my daily meditation practice, so I decided to follow that lead and see where it takes me. Before I settled on that I looked through all the past 'December' pieces I have written over the years since I began writing this in 2007. Sometimes I find an article in the 'back issues' that feels very current and relevant and I choose to share it again.
This time my experience has been totally different. How interesting! I felt that I didn't recognise the writer of those words in earlier years, that I had changed so much. I plan to review the past year for myself in detail before I write to you in January. So this is just the beginning of that review process in a way. There have been many endings this year as well as beginnings. Not always a direct correlation, though often there is - the ending of my contract of employment on 31 May meant that from 1 June I was self-employed full time for example.
The ending of the series of 'Magic Carpet Ride' workshops for this year with the event on Saturday 21 November, means I am already reviewing and planning a fresh programme for next year. My revitalised website is now live - which meant saying farewell to the old self-built, organically grown (and rather creaky!) one that I have nurtured over many years. Thank you to everyone who has already given me constructive feedback. Just this week I have added a recorded audio introduction so you might like to pop in and visit to hear that if you are not familiar with the way I work as a life coach. (It is on the Welcome Page, just scroll down to find it.)
The death of my cat Sparky in September is still very poignant for me - and, we are now ready to welcome for his successor, who will be the seventh in our line of resident feline companions. In fact there will be two, as we have decided to offer a home to two rescue kittens, females as they may be less likely to stray, and we hope they will keep each other company as well. Not to mention the fact we both love sitting with a purring cat on our laps. My apologies in advance to anyone reading here who is not a lover of cats, as you will be doubtless be treated to a photo or two over future months - especially if we are linked on Facebook.
As I write, I can think of many other examples of 'beginnings' in my life over the past year. For some reason this painting came to mind to illustrate this piece: the title is "Into Flight". I chose that as I can see a pattern of feathers. Feathers beating as if just about to generate the energy needed to lift the bird off the ground into the air. The energy I feel when new beginnings are blossoming into results that I could not possibly have foreseen before I took the leap, made that step, dared to break out of the tight bud.
There is a risk in naming these paintings that others will be held back in their own idea of what they see in them, so feel free to think of it as something totally different - in fact I would be very interested in hearing from you if you would like to share that. Equally, the orientation I have chosen is just one possibility: it could be the other way up, or landscape aspect, again with two possibilities. Or at any number of different angles - there is no 'right' or 'wrong'.
For you: suggestions for your meditations or journal reflections:
- Looking back over the past year, do any beginnings stand out as significant?
- Any endings?
- If you make any sort of artwork (including doodles - listen to this if you dismiss those as a waste of time!) - choose a piece to look at, turn it in all different directions and see what you see.
- Alternatively, do the same with anything in your environment around you - it could be a photo or a painting, or just as easily a practical every-day item like a pen. Look at it, really look at it, touch it, feel the texture, smell it, shake it and listen for any sound it makes - and write about what you experience. (Obviously the shaking depends on the type of article, but I won't give you a health and safety warning here.)
If you are wondering what the last two questions have to do with reviewing your year - one answer is nothing really, just a piece of fun. Another answer is everything - choosing to really look, to truly see and feel what is in the immediate range of your senses can bring forth a new awareness of everything else in your life and unexpected insights can result.
Unusual gift ideas
This month I decided to put together some ideas from the very many creative and entrepreneurial friends I have. Many of these can be ordered on-line, though you may need to check on delivery times if you are in a different part of the world, and some are 'virtual' gifts.There are so many I can't possibly list them all - and if I haven't included you, please don't be offended.
* Mini Mojo Bags from TheWillowsRaven - Sheila has other items on her Etsy shop, and also virtual offerings on her main website.
* Plant Ally and Tree Wisdom Cards (and Christmas cards too) from Lisa McLoughiln
* Made in Cornwall Directory - for a treasure house of beautiful products all made in Cornwall have a browse here. (I am a member but have not yet submitted an entry for the directory).
* Extraordinary paintings, prints and cards from Fleur Barnfather.
* Writing in the House of Dreams - creative adventures for dreamers and writers by Jenny Alexander. Jenny has written many books, and I bought this a while ago when I attended a workshop with her. It will be my companion on a forth-coming railway journey to London. I could have mentioned a whole library of books. I thought this was a good one for all my creatively dreaming friends here.
Well, I have spent an enjoyable half an hour (or - looking at the clock - more like an hour!) finding these links for you and need to stop now to finish this to send to you for the end of the month/beginning of December.
A reminder that the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Cards are a gift that can be used every day of the year and always provide inspiration - as I share almost every day with my friends over on the Dare to Blossom business page on Facebook. This year there are the paintings such as 'Into Flight' mentioned above, plus greetings cards of many of the paintings plus a range of photographic cards. Here is the most seasonal of those, a shot taken in our garden a few years ago on a frosty morning. Wishing you all the joys of the coming season and may any potential stress pass effortlessly away over your head.