Out-Thinking

Out-thinking

Today is St.David’s Day. I think I woke up with the fire of his dragon burning through my brain. Not going to lie, it wasn’t pretty. I really struggle when my mind pulls a 180 without being able to understand why.

I walked, practiced my yoga, I closed my eyes. I tried not to try... I really struggle with that one. And it dawned on me again, that no matter how much I learn, and practice, that I will never be able to out-think these thoughts of mine.

My fire has burnt out, for now.

My daughter is massaging my head... that helps. ❤️✨ Anyone else feel the fire today?

My Tiny Giant

Hello
Is it me
Your Soul Speaks

Soul / Intuition / Inner Wisdom / Heart Song / Tiny Giant / Truth⁣

I like knowing. Things that aren’t definite or clear have always been hard for me to settle in with. I think that’s why I find my brain such a puzzler, oh how easy would it be to be a robot! ⁣

The concept of our souls has been that for me. Undefinable, puzzling, frustrating. Yet I think that’s what this journey in here is about, me connecting back with my soul, my intuition, my tinygiant. ⁣

So when I discovered the work of @susannahconway my heart sang a song, and I knew I wanted to join her course #yoursoulspeaks, as I’m trying to tune in more. I have a ‘thing’ for learning, and there’s nothing I love more than to learn from independent incredible people who are sharing their life’s work like this. #educationrevolution 😉⁣

I’m only a few days in, but can’t get the idea of my soul being a genie out my head. I can’t remember, but is that what Aladdin was actually all about? Maybe it’s all @willsmith fault 🤔😝 ⁣

Do you think much about your soul. Do you ‘see’ it in any way, I’m wondering if now I can play around with it more in a visual way that I can start to listen in more clearly... ⁣

(Oh, and when drawing this last night, Lionel Richie came to mind, and now I can’t get him out of my head, maybe that’s my soul singing too!? Help! 😂)⁣

Space Inside

Space Inside

Overwhelm: bury or drown beneath a huge mass of something.

This is a huge part of my story. Overwhelm. I often felt like I was drowning in my sensations as a child. My environment played a huge part in this story too... take me to the city and I'd literally hurl myself off the pavement into the oncoming vehicles, my need to escape was so strong. Give me space and horizons and I unravel, relax.

I felt like I was made of tectonic plates held together under great tension. There was no gentle tilting for me as a child, the plates shifted, fast, and fiercely, and the earthquakes and eruptions followed. I still carry shame around my 'temper' as a child, and as a mother. It wasn't until I had children that I understood that I needed to change. I was desperate to find a way to work with this magma of mine.

So space is a huge part of my story. I seek it out, both the physical and emotional aspect of space. My son has helped me to learn a huge amount about listening to these forces. From his earliest years when he found the world too much, he would cover his eyes, and ears if he could, and sink to the ground. Paralysed by sensation and emotion. Needing to turn the world off, just for a while, to re-calibrate, find his centre, his ground.

And it's funny, as I’d laugh about it and think it was such a bizarre thing to do... to try to hide by covering his eyes. Whilst I'd just hide in my house, in my mind, from the world. But there’s this thing I’m noticing... something incredible happens when you close your eyes. Truly. And I feel like I've only started to dip my toes into this magic ocean of darkness and stillness that is within me, right here. It seems so obvious, to tune out. But I didn't realise that I have the power to switch off a sense, simply by closing my eyes.

And once I close my eyes... my whole world changes.

I'm reading 'And There Was Light' at the moment, a memoir about a blind French man during the war, and it's blowing my mind. I feel there's so much still to discover about these senses of ours... .

Do you close your eyes, by choice, when you feel anxious or overwhelmed? Or even just for fun and insight?

Shhh

Shhh

My tiny quest for quiet.
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The noise of the world often gets too much for me. I measure my days to ensure there are pockets of peace scattered throughout, my safe spaces where I can let the dust of my mind settle. Social media, and connection in here is definitely a challenge for me. I'm trying to find balance between the energy of the interactions in here that spark joy, and my need for pause and peace. The space within these two bubbles is where I wish to sit. Do you guys know that poem by A.A.Milne...
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“Halfway down the stairs, is a stair, where I sit. There isn't any, other stair, quite like, it. I'm not at the bottom, I'm not at the top; So this is the stair, where, I always, stop. Halfway up the stairs, isn't up, and isn't down. It isn't in the nursery, it isn't in the town. And all sorts of funny thoughts, run round my head: It isn't really anywhere! It's somewhere else instead!”
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My mum used to sing this to us a lot when we were small, but it makes sense for me in this context. I've not yet found that stair just yet... but this week I'm going to try to listen in more and feel when the energy pull either way is too strong.
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How do you cultivate your quiet?
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More than enough

more than enough

I'm a numbers girl.

Numbers soothe my soul. Seriously, there's always been a funny something about the clarity and peace that numbers and logic can bring me. I like to find patterns. The order in the chaos. My son is the same... he loves his maths. 

When it comes to our messy minds though, it can make things a little more complicated. Over the years when I found myself getting overwhelmed, and anxious (anxiety is a big thing for me) my husband used to get understandably frustrated and ask me why I couldn't see things from another perspective. I won't lie, it was frustrating as hell. 

So I don't know if this now comes with years of gentle practice, or if it was one of those 'quick shifts', but these little symbols have become a lifesaver for me. Thinking of my thoughts as amorphous things that I could manipulate and look at differently I found incredibly difficult. Yet bring a bit of logic, clarity, order, and control ;) to the situation and I feel more at ease. Put my situation in relation to these little brackets, and it becomes clear. Same thing, #tinydifferent method. 

I know you guys know this, shifting our thoughts is one of the most important tools in our mental health toolbox, but there's a difference between knowing the theory and being able to put it into practice. This is my way. Whenever I feel myself getting drawn down (which let's be honest happens a hundred little ways every day) I actually visualise these tiny arrows. Visualisation is the key for me I think, and words for me are harder to get a clear 'sense' of in my mind. 

Listening to Byron Katie chatting to Oprah earlier she explained her way too... "and then you turn it around". Every little less than thought can become a more than, enough. If you can find a way that makes sense for you.

Do you have any #mindshifting tips you'd be happy to share? I think I may be a collector of these tiny thoughts ;)

*I’ve been thinking recently about sharing this mind of mine, and how it could be mis-interpreted, or believed to be in any way like I’m suggesting how you should live your life. I think I need to write more around that at some point, but to be clear for now, these are simply meanderings from my mind. I’m offering nothing more, or nothing less than my presence here…

Magic

Dragonfly

I believe in magic.
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The day before dad died I was visited by a huge blue dragonfly. It flew around our sunroom and I gently cupped it in my hands before releasing it into the garden... A few days after he passed, a similarly large, blue dragonfly was flying around my sister’s bedroom in London. Neither of us live near water or have ever had them in our homes.
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Have you heard about psychopomps before? They’re spiritual guides of a person’s soul. Amongst many cultures dragonflies symbolise transformation, renewal and resurrection. The dragonfly now carries so much meaning and magic for me. Another #tinygiant for sure.
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There’s also something about the strength of the body, and the grace in the wings that just gets me. Dad had four kids, I like to think of him as the strength, and each of us as a wing. Together we fly...
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This evening I’ve spent happily doodling potential tattoos whilst listening to music. Music is magic for my mind sometimes. When I choose to listen.
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“Our dreams will break the boundaries of our fear.” Brandon Flowers, ‘Crossfire’. Fitting I think 🖤

Help

help

I find asking for help really hard.⁣

Help, definition: to give someone support or information so that they can do something more easily.⁣

Resilience is one of those words that gets bandied about in the world of education a whole lot... like it's the holy grail. Raise resilient kids. Yet, here's the thing, I consider myself to be incredibly resilient and I'll knock any real-life curve ball you throw my way out the park. But ask me to be vulnerable, and admit my struggles and I'll feel my chest go into lock down and will disappear back down inside my rabbit hole. Accepting that I need help and that help involves other humans who know or can do more than me I find really hard. ⁣It always seemed to me a little like admitting defeat, like wanting something to be easier will make the outcome less rewarding. Like I am less than I should be.

Yet recently I've started to realise that I can't handle the messiness of my mind all alone. I don't understand it, and I can't seem to minimise my thoughts the way I can my worldly needs. For this work, I need help. I'm a type 5 on the Enneagram and I'm realising that this is a thing for us... information and knowledge is my clutter. It is my strength, and my weakness. So far I've not managed to find the #marikondomagic for my mind just yet, although @a_life_in_progress is definitely helping 😉

So I've decided that not only do I want to raise resilient kids, I want my kids to be confident in their not-knowing. Staying curious and open and vulnerable... and resilient... that's what I want to be, and to raise. ⁣

Asking for help, I think, is actually one of the most courageous things we can do for ourselves. We have to appraise our situation, admit our struggles, and reach out beyond our comfort zone into the wild but wise unknown.

What about you, do you have a healthy relationship with help?

Let me be

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Being an HSP and a very strong introvert I spend a lot of time in this bubble of mine. It’s a space I’ve built to protect me from my perceived ‘noise’ of the world, as well as being a healthy quiet space where I can cultivate and curate my thoughts.

It’s funny though, as until fairly recently I often thought of my bubble as being ‘selfish’ and detaching me from the real world. So when my mum called me yesterday, and proceeded to tell me some traumatic story about an animal that had come to an unfortunate end… it burst my bubble, and I felt my tension levels rise. Again, for the millionth time, I asked her not to share this kind of stuff with me, and she proceeded to sigh, and told me to get back into my bubble. Thank you. I will. But it takes time for me to get back there, I struggle to simply ‘shake off’ my feelings as they cling to me like a heavy mist.

I realise that some people need to share in order to process, and that getting things off our chest can be an important part of processing. I am also not naive enough to realise that I get to control my every ‘real world’ interaction (even though I’ll try, ahahaha ;) However I do find that often this act of ‘sharing’ can often simply spread the negative energy outwards. As I learn and understand more about being an HSP I am realising just how important it is to give ourselves the opportunity to choose when and how to interact with this kind of information. I am well aware of the trauma and violence that is going on in the world, and I’m in no way saying we can close our eyes to it. Far, far from it infact. But I need to allow myself the freedom to choose when and how I bring that information in, as only then will I have the energy to diffuse it and help bring about the change I wish to see.

No, I don’t watch the news… #tinytruth best act of self-love I ever made.

Seeds of Love

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There are other ways to love, and be loved.

I have always shied away from Valentines Day. I find it overwhelming, and outward expressions of emotions often make me a little uncomfortable. I have never loved cut flowers, and tend to just feel super awkward in restaurants.

And yet… what I do find truly lovely, is finding ways to love myself and those around me a little more. So when I read an article yesterday by @jenngranneman on the highly sensitive refuge about how to love an HSP a little lightbulb goes on in me, and that I want to celebrate. I realise that I’m not unromantic, cold and distant (which over the years has often been what I’ve thought I was), I just need things to be a little softer, a little quieter.

So instead of shunning Valentines Day this year, for finding it too brash and pretty grotesque, I’m going to practice listening in more. Finding out how best to love, and be loved is insanely important, and worth celebrating… but not always in a loud way.

Like Christina over @zeonicreations reminded me yesterday, ‘consistent whispering speaks louder than noisy megaphones’. And once we truly feel love, for ourselves and for those around us, the seeds miraculously start spreading…

Mixed Messages

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I’ve been thinking about mixed messages and trying to understand my introverted (and HSP) nature.

One of the most amazing (and challenging) things about becoming a mother is how it has forced me to go inside. Somewhere that I had always been too scared to go. The only way I can help them to navigate their worlds, is to try to get a better understanding of my own. Learning to understand the way I think has been the biggest gift my kids have given me, and I’m still unwrapping it daily. One important thing I’ve learnt along the way is how incredibly strong an introvert (and HSP) I am. Accepting, and not fighting this, and trying to find ways to work with this wiring of mine helps me see that there are other ways of being, that I don’t think I was aware of as a child, or even adult. There are many reasons that have influenced the way I show myself to the world, but almost all of them have included clever tricks to try to hide.

I am a master faker. Even to myself. I don’t know if this is an introvert thing, and HSP thing, a gemini thing, a big family thing, a nomadic thing, a strict school thing. But very few people get to peek at the real me. They see calm, kind, smily me… but I have a wild, electric, stubborn, sweary me too. This me, this tinygiant inside, feels more like the true me that I’m starting to embrace, and trust. These waves inside are not things to be scared of. They are a powerful force, indeed, but they too are a gift. Learning to sail these waves does indeed bring it’s challenges, but I truly believe we have to be careful when we think we can change the weather… it’s like trying to bottle a storm. It’s forcing the giant to stay tiny, when really the giant must shine, and step out from the shadows.

Finding ways to communicate my thoughts and feelings still is one of the biggest challenges of this brain of mine. I’m slowly starting so sit in my storm and can see that there is joy and peace in there too. My giant is nothing to be scared of. I want my kids to see this too, we all have our own weather systems inside, and seven days of still sunshine isn’t always as glorious as it sounds.

Show me your storm!



Simple & Sweet

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“Let’s keep things simple and sweet.”

A little mantra for you this weekend :)

Music is a big thing in our lives. Being an hsp I have a love hate relationship with sound. It can be both my trigger and my calm. I think it was the same with my dad, another hsp, and definitely is for our son. Our taste in music is eclectic to say the least, but last year one of my most played artists was Jon Bellion. There is something about his words, and his rhythm that is in beat with my brain.

On responding to some of the incredibly gorgeous comments on yesterday’s post, it reminded me of his song ‘Simple & Sweet’. I think that’s what our journal is, simple and sweet, and I think it’s a pretty amazing mantra to live by… don’t you?

Caged Birds

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“A picture speaks a thousand words.”
I’ve been trying to understand how best to communicate recently. In trying to express what I think and feel, I have always felt that words have never worked well for me. I have never felt like I mastered the art of verbal, or indeed written, communication. I fumble with my words, and often feel like I’m speaking a foreign language. I get frustrated, and feel foolish, and shut down. Yet I do not think of myself as an artist either. Until recently, whenever I ‘play’ at drawing I find fear and comparison overwhelm me, and I retreat back into my mind. My own personal playground.
So how can I engage with the world if I find myself lacking in both arenas. I must stumble on regardless with my messy words and my imperfect images. As the thing I’m finding is that these images and words, slowly and gently are building a tiny picture of me. They are expressions of my self, and in doing that they are valuable.
The interesting thing that I’m only starting to recognise is when I’m trying to understand my thoughts and my feelings, I do it visually. I can’t ever really tell you how I feel, as I can’t express my senses using words. So maybe I am an artist after all. We are all artists, and we can smudge the lines between words and images, because these are only tools of self expression, they are not the experience itself, and we have to give ourselves permission to play with both, in order to share ourselves, and make connections with others.
This picture is how my experience yesterday looking around a school with my kids made me feel. I think this picture is worth a thousand words.
I’m still trying to find my song.

Connections

Connections

The thing I’m recognising most about daring to peek my head out of these little windows of mine is how much braver I’m becoming each time. I can’t express how painful I found sharing my first post. Honestly, showing up for me is a physically painful experience. This I find fascinating, and I’m trying to understand where my fear comes from... but there’s a lot of unpicking to do there. (INFJ and Enneagram  #5 for starters! )

For now though, focusing on the positives, I’m figuring out how incredibly supportive people who ‘see’ you can be. I can’t be supported by a community if I’m too scared to join the fold. And slowly, these connections I make with these communications of mine are weaving a web that’s got a tiny sparkle of home. A safe space. I need that. So thank you for helping me weave this web of ours, even just a little heart, or a comment, or a conversation helps me grow braver and feel safer. In order for us to communicate and express ourselves we need to feel safe. 

If you haven’t already I’d really recommend reading the post over on Anna Lovind for her lightning bolt insight on safety and fear. It’s a connection I hadn’t considered before, and I’m so grateful to Anna for shining her light, and her connections.

Tune In.

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I find it fascinating how our brains work. Mine is forever picking up threads, and playing with them a while, weaving them into this blanket of my life. One thread that’s coming up at the moment is around listening into our inner self. We are all unique instruments playing our own songs. As a mother, I find I’m still learning a lot about this instrument of mine, whilst encouraging the kids to play theirs. Sometimes we manage a little melody, often we’re out of tune. I’m learning from them how to truly listen.
Bit by bit I’m tuning in…

Tune into your own heart’s song
— Yoga with Adriene

Heart-Wisdom

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Sas’ words always speak to me. In today’s letter she shared her journey through literal heartbreak and pain, and what treasures it is unearthing within. Her words around heart-wisdom were so in alignment with thoughts I’ve been having around my own felt sense, that I felt compelled to draw around it. Something is definitely emerging… Thank you Sas, for your ability to put into words so beautifully thoughts and feelings that I find hard to express :)

Hidden Gifts

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This Russian doll has been in my mind a lot lately... in many different forms. When I think about my layers, hiding, learning, seeing, protecting, uncovering... When I think about our family and what passes through the generations, my daughter, my mother, her mother...myself.
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Every time I see this little girl as a gift, here to teach me something about life, and my place in it. My treasure within. And my daughter (@wolfie_biggins ) who helped me to draw her face 🙌✨ Another gift. 🙏

Butterfly

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Following on from a few conversations I’ve been having lately, and sparked again today by the oh-so-lovely Ruth, I’ve been thinking more around the comforts of my cocoon. Those who know me, know how introverted I am. All my life I have had this strong push - pull towards wanting to share and connect, and wanting to hide. Hide wins. Every time.

And yet… and yet…

I’m slowly starting to peek my head out of this cocoon of mine, and realise that the risk in missing out on my wings is far scarier the unknown world beyond my walls. Baby steps, it takes time to grow wings, but I know I’m going to fly with my dragonfly, and so I need to try.

Sunrise

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I see him in the sunrise.
I feel him in my soul.
Yet I still wish with all my heart,
He didn’t have to go
— Betsy

Grief is a powerful force that I have no wish to fight. Walking at sunrise today and thoughts of my dad sweep through me. He is with me at sunrise a lot these days. We didn’t get to go on our walk together this summer like we’d planned… and yet my Giant is with me forever now.

Order and chaos

Order and Chaos
Without order nothing can exist. Without chaos nothing can evolve.
— Oscar Wilde

I’ve been thinking about this a lot today whilst I start fleshing out another fun collaboration with @a_life_in_progress I LOVE a good plan, but often find myself getting a tiny bit too tied up in the details. It’s all about the sweet spot between order and chaos hey! In order to help us with the plan (the order side of the project) we’re trying out @mondaydotcom which will hopefully free up some time and energy to play and create (in the chaos realm 😝)!