Signs of life

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#tinytruth I see signs. (I wanted to type I see dead people, if only to see the kind of reaction I'd get 😉) But signs are safer, so let's stick with that! ⁣

We don't really 'celebrate' in a big way most of our societies usual traditions... instead I think we focus more on the tiny things we think are worth celebrating... daily mini-wins and moments. But Easter, and Earth Day did give me a prompt to pause and reflect... on springtime, and birth, and death.⁣

I find when I'm out walking I'm always more aware of the signs that Dad's energy is still with me. I find these signs come to me in so many different ways, and the other day, when I felt him really strongly an orange tip butterfly passed by me and I smiled... and as I was calling my sister to say what I'd seen, a second one appeared. Like magic. I truly believe. Then, another sign of things I needed to hear, was I came across this passage in the book called 'Fear' by Thich Nhat Hanh...
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“When you lose a loved one, you suffer. But if you know how to look deeply, you have a chance to realize that his or her nature is truly the nature of no birth, no death. There is manifestation and there is the cessation of manifestation in order to have another manifestation. You have to be very keen and very alert in order to recognize the new manifestations of just one person. But with practice and effort, you can do it. Pay attention to the world around you, to the leaves and the flowers, to the birds and the rain. If you can stop and look deeply, you will recognise your beloved manifesting again and again in many forms. You will release your fear and pain and again embrace the joy of life.⁣⁣”⁣

Nature is like a melting pot of magic signs for me, and these signs bring me comfort, and hope... and definitely make me think more about life and death, and this crazy world that we live in. It also gives me a space to think about the things I believe are worth saving and fighting for, and the things I can release, and let fly. ⁣

Does nature do that for you... send you tiny signs of life? Of hope? ⁣

Bloom

Bloom Illustration

#tinytruth I want to be more plant. Less force, more feeling (ooh, that would make a great # don't you think? 🤔😉)⁣

Bear with me... I know that sounds a little too woo-woo for a Wednesday afternoon, and my kids are going to roll their eyes at me too no doubt. But I think there’s something to it... ⁣

I recently discovered the work of @jeshderox (🙏 @thecreativityhabit ), who is an artist who studies joy. Now that’s something I think is worth studying! I caught one of his @instagram lives yesterday and throughout his talk, my mind was firing with so many connections that lit me up. ⁣

This concept of being more plant was one of them... I’m not sure if these were his exact words, but basically, he was expressing how we could benefit from letting go of the plans, rules, boxes, expectations, and systems we tend to cling to as humans. Instead, he suggested trying to surrender ourselves more to the elements, to feel our own path instead of planning the route beforehand. I guess in a way it’s more like tuning into our intuition... and trusting ourselves.⁣

I definitely feel the desire to grow more in this direction. I'm a stickler for rules, plans, order, systems... but I think they often get me stuck. Right now I'm playing with letting go a bit more, and exploring what that feels like for me... ⁣

I liked it... so I doodled this, and let it sink in. That really works for me right now, finding fun ways of 'creating' my thoughts is incredibly therapeutic. What do you do to help your thoughts settle? Does being more plant sound appealing to you? 🌱

Change your thinking

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#tinytruth simple truths can speak the loudest.⁣

I read this phrase, or something similar, on social media today and it hit me like a lightning bolt. I know this in my heart to be true... and yet I do find it very difficult to put into practice. I think I need it written on a post-it note and taped to my forehead... or tattoed on the back of my hand might be more helpful.⁣

Changing thoughts changes worlds.⁣

Who needs a holiday, let's spend the money and time on our minds instead. It would be better for the environment too right... 😉

I've recently discovered the work of Sam Harris (@samharrisorg)... how has it taken me so long? If any of you would like some help changing your thought patterns, I'd really recommend you check out his 'Waking Up' app. His book 'Lying' is also mind-blowingly brilliant.⁣

Any other tips for changing up our thought patterns feel free to send them my way! 🙌🙏⁣

Education

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#tinytruth sharing our truths is hard, and messy work.⁣

This is something I feel strongly about, but it is something I'm very uncomfortable sharing. It might well be a case of too much exposure, and I'll end up taking it down. However, a wise woman I know has recently reminded me that truth-telling is the first step to freedom and joy, and I believe her with the deepest parts of my knowing.⁣

So what I want to share with you today is that I had an incredibly privileged education. And there is this feeling that comes with that privilege for me, I think it's embarrassment, or shame, I'm not sure exactly of its flavour. But I am uncomfortable around it. Feelings are hard for me to hold, and I do believe that part of that is definitely my nature, but part of it, I know, is also to do with boarding school. ⁣

The thing about a boarding school education, that I don't think our parents understood, is that in order to survive, it forces children to hide their truths. Creativity, questioning, and playfulness did not sit comfortably in that system. Sadness was not to be heard. Feelings, and vulnerabilities needed to get pushed aside and bottled up, and young minds are forced to focus on facts and rules, and hierarchies. There is no amount of 'pastoral care' that can make up for the hole that is left where your family once stood. I think for me, because of this separation, I'm still very much learning to understand the emotional landscape of my mind. ⁣

I do, however, understand why my own parents sent me to school and given their life story I believe they were doing their best within their capabilities. But I think we have to be more careful with our children's voices. We have to be more honest. We have to share our truths, and help them listen to their own quiet hearts. Whatever song they may be singing. As parents, we are more naturally in-tune with our children, and if we can, we have to hold our tongues to make space for their songs. ⁣

So, I do accept that I am a person of privilege in this world, and was incredibly lucky to have found it so 'easy' to get where I am today, sitting very comfortably in this cottage of mine, with more than 'enough' money along with, most importantly, my health. But when we think of education, and the benefit that it brings, I think we must look at the true meaning of that word, and what kind of world we want to create for our own children. Grades and goals can so quickly become the focus, hiding the hope that these little souls bring into the world. Joy and connection is, in my mind, how we will heal ourselves and in turn this world of ours... and anything that gets in the way of that, I feel, has no place in it. ⁣

Do you have any truths that you feel uncomfortable sharing? I think that by sharing ours, it makes space for more connection... do you agree? ⁣

Awakening Gratitude

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#tinytruth I'm a glass half empty girl by nature. ⁣

I'm not sure if there is a natural predisposition to perspective, but it's something I've always found I have to fight for. The noise and speed of my thoughts mean I can often get lost in the woods with them a little bit. Gratitude is a practice that I find helps me pull back and find a little perspective. To me, the concept of gratitude used to sound like the shallower sugar coating of life, but now I do truly believe it is so much deeper than that. It is the art of taking time to re-frame our life and our thoughts. To consciously look for the light that often is shadowed by our noisy, sometimes negative thoughts. ⁣

Krissie over @thisgratefulnow is the kindest soul who I discovered through her lovely gratitude journal, and the beautiful posts she shares around life, gratefulness and her search for meaning. So when she openly admitted that this year she's been finding it hard to maintain a regular gratitude practice, I admit I breathed a tiny sigh of relief. Because what I find I connect most with within these windows are the #tinytruths that people are brave enough to share. ⁣

What I also love, is that she's reaching out to the gorgeous community she's been cultivating on Instagram to help her re-awaken her practice. Sharing our truths and asking for help is, to me, an incredibly courageous and inspiring thing to do. In doing this, it's also helped me realise that I'd like to make my gratitude practice more of a regular habit again too. So I'm going to try to share a daily post in my stories of a photo, maybe with a few words, when I consciously take time to do a re-frame. That's what this eye doodle is to me... an image prompt for making time to re-frame my thoughts, and a reminder to look for the tiny magical messages that are always hiding, if you make the space and take the time to look.⁣

Do you have a regular gratitude practice? If you're looking to start, or re-awaken your practice too I know that Krissie would love you to join her...

Nature's Magic

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#tinytruth - Nature holds my secrets.⁣

I find my energy re-balances in nature. All the thoughts that swirl around my mind seem to settle when I walk alone through the fields. Once they have stilled, it's almost like I'm walking in another dimension, where I see with something more than just my eyes. Everything becomes clearer, and brighter...⁣

This is when I find my tinygiant speaks to me. When I've given her space to feel safe, she whispers to me tiny truths she knows I need to hear. It is then when I 'feel' these thoughts I am trying to express. ⁣

In part, I think it sounds really woo-woo and weird, and yet the other part of me thinks it's the simplest and most obvious truth there is. My wisdom is at home in the wild.⁣

Do you have a place or a practice where your inner wisdom, or soul, or whatever you want to call it (mine is my tinygiant), speaks to you most clearly? ⁣

Make, Do & Mend

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#tinytruth making mends hearts.⁣

My mother is a maker, and she is a do-er. In fact she is a do-er to the extreme and would knock all those duracell bunnies out of the park. I always felt that she never stopped doing as a way of hiding from her hurts. What I'm only just starting to realise is that she does these things to heal her hurts. And this making, and this doing, is actually such a gift, for her, and for those around her who she supports with all her soul.⁣

I never understood my crafting habit. From a young age you'd find me turning my hand to as many different crafts as I could. I'm slowly starting to see that this making of mine is also my way of processing. My making is like my meditation. It brings my brain that space I need to slow down and focus on something physical.⁣

I've always been a little dismissive of the term art-therapy as I think I felt that art was always above me. I'm a numbers and logic girl, and art is for the more creative souls that I could never claim to be. Yet what I'm uncovering in this tiny Instagram experiment of mine is how powerful making, and creating in all its forms is for our minds. ⁣

So today I want to celebrate all mothers, and makers, and do-er's and menders of hearts. And especially my own mother, for without her gifts I would never have discovered my own. She has been my brightest light since the day I was born, and yet, as with the sun, I so often take her energy for granted. ⁣

You are the oyster

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#tinytruth - I don't want the world. ⁣

Does anyone else get the sense that having the world as their oyster is way too intimidating? That phrase has never motivated or encouraged me in any way. You can keep your pearls if I have to go hunting for them that far away from home.⁣

I've been having a conversation (via email) with Daphne of @thecreativityhabit as her tagline 'make your thing, change your world' sparked off lightnig bolts in my brain. She was explaining that creating and changing HER world is much more important to her now than worrying about chasing and changing the entire world.⁣

Which obviously I am down with. Completely. In fact, I believe that we can change the quote to better suit our time. We are the oysters. We are the pearls. The beauty, the light, the safety and the strength that we look for is actually within each and every one of us. No need to search the world when all we need is inside, waiting for the right conditions to open and shine...⁣

I don't know

I don't know

#tinytruth - I don’t know.⁣

A giant lesson for me throughout my life has been (and still is) accepting the fact that it is alright not to know. To own my not-knowing. I believe it’s one of the most powerful truths there is. ⁣

I think our society and our schools make it hard for us to be confident in this truth. I found safety and praise in knowledge, I found comfort and calm in rules and order. I still do to a certain extent... plans and goals still have the power to lure me into their fickle sense of safety. ⁣

As a parent this truth gets challenged on a daily basis... and in this relationship especially, it’s so easy to get sucked into the sense that you should give the impression of knowing more than you do. From the tiny daily ‘why?’ when they question the world, to the tinygiant ones about why we live the way we do. Yet if we don’t own our not-knowing as a parent, we are building our relationship with our children on a bed full of tiny-lies. Once we sit together in the space of not-knowing, a whole bigger brighter world of collaborative discovery opens up to us all. It takes courage...⁣

Knowledge isn’t as powerful and rewarding as we’re made to believe. I think it’s the space between us and the information where the wisdom lies. Both the knowing, and the not knowing. The thinking and the feeling. ⁣

There is a lot I know, and far more that I don’t. There is certainly joy in the discovery of knowledge but perhaps that lesson is the most joyful of all. ⁣

Hopes

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“I had found refuge for my hopes inside myself, to keep them from being blown out by other men.” Jacques Lusseyran, And There Was Light. ⁣⁣
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- A Quick Evening Sketch -⁣

You know that feeling you get when you’re reading a book and the words just floor you. That’s how I rate books... how many times I have to stop, take a photo / scribble a note / draw a sketch. This book, I’m reading so SLOWLY. My brain can’t process it quickly, I think it wants to soak it up daily like a plant. I feel it nourishing me, and tiny connections are lighting me up as I go, and I know that it’s changing the way I think, and see.⁣⁣
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Have you read any books that have shifted something in you recently?

Two High

Two High

Emma over at @mumologist is celebrating online communities tomorrow by running a campaign called #iminyourvillage as a way to encourage people to share what they find positive, healthy and helpful in these little digital windows of ours. ⁣

I'd been planning a little post about how I feel the digital world has helped me over the years. It is a space I spend a lot of time in, and have thought a lot about. So I'm going to join in by sharing some doodles that came up for me whilst thinking about her campaign and posting what I like about instagram and this digital realm. As always, there are things I find challenging in here too, but I'm not going to focus on those, for tomorrow is about celebrations, connections and colourful images... ⁣feel free to join in too!

Oh, and because my life always seems to come with a soundtrack, I recommend you check out “Two High” by Moon Taxi...⁣

“When you feel the world around you⁣
Spinnin' out of control⁣
You can find someone around you⁣
To bring you out of the cold⁣
But you don't ever have to hide⁣
What you really feel inside⁣
So put 'em up⁣
Two high⁣
We can walk together with our hands up in the sky⁣
So put 'em up⁣
Tonight⁣
We can come together⁣
We won't give up on the fight”⁣

Oh, and it goes without saying that if you’ve read this far you are a most welcome villager in my tiny digital world 🙏🖤🙏

I will leave the light on

Light on

I will leave the light on.⁣

A good friend of mine is walking through darkness right now. The thing about seeing our friends and family suffer is that we immediately feel like we should offer help, or advice. Like we should reach out to them and try to make it ‘easier’, there is a desire to want to lighten their load. And yet it is not ours to carry. Instead I think the biggest gift we can offer in these times of darkness is of light. Of support. Even if they need to stay out in the darkness of the woods a while, I think the light offers comfort and safety simply by shining. ⁣

This friend of mine is a lighthouse for so many women, and so to her I offer her my own tiny light. I think it is enough. We offer the light we have, and leave it on... ⁣

Sidenote 1. This doodle was inspired from the insanely talented @ruththorpstudiowho’s work I discovered in Bath last year. Her art moves me deeply, and I thoroughly recommend you check her out. 🖤🙏🖤⁣

Sidenote 2. J made me a mixtape on Spotify recently, yes, like back in the old days 😉 On it is a song called ‘Leave a Light On’ by Tom Walker... oh. my. word... let me know what you think if you check it out... 🖤🖤🖤⁣

Sidenote 3. I can’t get the idea of us all on here now being like watchers on the wall (Games of Thrones reference 😉). Are you with me!? ⁣

Shine your light ✨⁣

Blossom

Blossom

Blossom. To develop, grow, mature, progress, evolve, burst forth.

My girl @wolfie_biggins is on a creative streak at the moment and wanted to draw something for me again over the weekend. These gifts of hers are precious, not only because of what they are (which is beautiful) but because of what else they offer. This is a thing I'm slowly starting to realise about art that I'll confess I never truly 'saw' before. It's not only about the visual, surface of the image that moves me, but their power to go deeper, like the roots, digging into your soul.

These images are helping me to see that art is so much more, they are like feeling 'prompts'. I've not yet really looked into oracle cards, but that's something I think I could get into! So this image helps me reflect on myself and my relationship to blossoming. Something I feel like I maybe shy away from, for it requires courage, and change. It seems a bit 'showy' to me... like I'd like to stay as a seedling in the shade for fear of being seen, and not being the 'perfect' blossom. Which is interesting, as I realise now that, like nature, we need to step out and take up space, for without the flower there will be no seeds. Nature is an amazing teacher, as is my daughter.

Do you use oracle cards or other visual 'prompts' in your life that help you dig a tiny bit deeper?

Keep it Simple

Keep it simple

#tinytruth I'm not a foodie.⁣

Taste is just not my biggest turn-on, and I find the whole concept of healthy eating quite stressful. Too many choices for my brain tends to force me to hit my shut-down switch. Watching me in the supermarket is hysterical, I can walk around for ages like a chicken in headlights... and still I'll arrive home with nothing to show for it asides from a random bag of pak-choi and some peanuts. ⁣

So that’s another reason why I turn to minimalism in so many ways in my life. Keeping things simple, simply lowers my stress levels. I think if it weren't for my family I'd probably live on a diet of soup, guacamole and crips, nasi goreng and dark chocolate. No joke. ⁣

So soup is this precious life simplifying gift that has been passed down through the generations of seriously strong Scottish women that I hail from... and if you didn't know it, Scottish people make awesome soups! It ticks enough of the nutritious boxes for me to feel like a good enough mother, and is quick and simple enough for me to cope with making. Another truth is that my soups are simply not as good as my mums... but I'll keep trying.⁣

Do you have any simple food solutions that I might want to try?

Fear

Fear

Fear

🖤Drawn by my daughter @wolfie_biggins🖤
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“The only place fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future.” Will Smith ⁣⁣
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“I think you should appreciate the peacefulness of the waves instead of fear the coming storm. It sounds real corny, but live in the present, and it shall reward you in the future.” @wolfie_biggins ❤️🙏✨⁣
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We watched After Earth again the other week. It’s great at expressing the paralysing effects of fear for kids, and adults too. I think especially for those of us who struggle with anxiety, it’s a really nice take on some of the things we can do when our fears take root. Wolfie is without a doubt one of my biggest teachers as far as facing our fears is concerned. She’s been a ghoster (see movie for reference 😉) since she was born, and shows me daily how to take a knee and find my ground.⁣⁣
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As a side note, I’m loving her take on my Russian Doll in her own #drawthisinyourstyle challenge... she’s my art teacher too! ❤️🙏✨

Feels like love

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Our senses are like little doorways that can take us back in time.⁣

I think I'm going to keep coming back to our senses for a little while, as there are so many iterations of this concept that keep rolling around my head. Being an HSP (highly sensitive person - google it if you’re interested, I think it’s pretty fascinating) my acute sense of smell is a blessing and a curse. I literally gag at the smell of anything unpleasant (I'm not going to go into details). On the flip side, however, certain scents bring about really positive connections within me. I'm not always great with remembering people, or names, but scents seem to settle inside. (sidenote - essential oils get a huge thumbs up from me for helping these positive brain connections too!). ⁣

Today would have been Dad's birthday. I'll keep talking of him in here, as his death helps me process his life, and keeps me connected with him. My dad lived on the other side of the world from when I was 10. That was hard. But when I did get to see him, he gave me the safest, strongest, gentlest giant hugs that a man can give. His gift. And within this gift, was the gift of his scent. ⁣

Dad was always immaculately clean and smelled of aftershave, with a gentle whisper of whisky in the evenings. So the only thing I asked for after his death was the name of his aftershave. And the thing about this gift of his scent that I now have, is that I wear it every day on the inside of my left arm. Hugging doesn't come easily to me, but it's helping me learn to hug myself, and it helps me feel safe. For me, I get to feel love in a bottle of XS from Paco Rabanne. This may sound strange to you, but for me it's the most incredible gift.⁣

I received some gorgeous messages on Sunday's post, and Brenda shared with me that she 'feels' her mum through baking her recipes (smell and taste) and the music she used to listen to with her (hearing), and through holding sacred objects she used to touch. Isn't that incredible. I love that we can tune into this incredible feeling of love, and home, through our various senses. ⁣

So, here's a big one... what does love, or home, smell like to you?

Feeling my way home

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The idea of home tastes bittersweet to me.⁣

As a child my family moved around a lot, and then, as for a lot of ‘third culture kids’ came boarding school, which I’m sure I’ll talk about another time. But homesickness settles in your bones. So I did not find comfort, or a sense of belonging, in a physical home.⁣

Then there is the sense of feeling at home in our bodies. This I found equally difficult as a child, and even as a young woman. As I’ve said before sensitivity was a huge thing for me. The world flew like a wrecking ball through these sensory windows of mine, and often I felt like I was left sat amongst the rubble. ⁣

So when I started looking for help after the kids were born in the form of walking, Mindfulness, CBT, The Alexander Technique, Yoga... what I didn’t realise I was doing was gently trying to rebuild this sensory home of mine. Slowly, and gently I’ve been building the walls back up, and noticing the things that make my foundations rumble. ⁣

I’m starting to get a true ‘sense’ of home. I don’t know why but when learning and talking about senses, and feelings, and emotions, I find the language very difficult to understand. But something clicked for me recently when I read about the Buddhist belief that our six senses (the sixth sense is something I’m fascinated with now too) are doorways. ⁣

For me, and for my kids now (as it made sense for them too), this little house is a good way of noticing what we bring into our home through our senses, and finding what feels good. ⁣

I’d love to know if this makes sense for you guys too? ⁣Or have I gone a bit off piste over the weekend!? 😉

This is me.

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This is (a tiny piece of) me.

Hello. I feel like as I’m starting to share this messy mind of mine, that I should also share the face that holds it. As although I’m a giant believer of the inside counting most, I also like looking into people’s eyes.

So here are mine.

#tinytruth The Greatest Showman is one of my (many) comfort blanket movies that has definitely helped me a lot this year. Won’t lie, I’ve probably watched it at least 10 times. The music soothes my soul, and brings me joy.

Do you watch any movies to help you on those rough days?

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, full of smiles and sparkles.