In between days

These days during Christmas and New Years… they are often a bit slow (whether you’ve gone back to work or if you are still on holiday).  Sure, there is eating leftovers, and preparing for New Years… but they can also feel a bit meh…

I find these days great for finishing up my review of the year and starting to come up with ideas and projects for the new year.

At this stage it is about coming up with as many ideas as possible, including the fantastical and the lame.  The audacious and the wild.  

One idea I have is that I will also put together a photo album like my mormor (Swedish maternal grandmother) used to make every year.  

One of my work projects for the new year is a collaboration with Abi of Nutrition For Change.  We’ll be starting it on 17th January, and over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing more details about it.  

Posted on December 26, 2017 .

Making time to rest

I love summer.  I love the heat.  I love the light. I am a girasole- I turn towards the sun.  

Winter, on the other hand, is not my favourite time of year.

I used to looking forward to winter solstice as held the promise of the days getting longer, and eventually warmer.

But over this year I learnt to take time to rest. I built it in to how I designed my month. I have learnt that this time is necessary in order to have the energy for the rest of the month. As I have learnt to value of resting every month, I am learning to love the winter more and more. It now is a season I make time to rest and re-charge for the year ahead.

This year winter solstice is something I want to celebrate as a time to pause and to enjoy the darkness.

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Here are some of the things that I love to do on the winter solstice:

Light lots of candles indoors

Make mulled wine/juice

Bring in some greenery

Plant bulbs indoors

Not do very much

Spend some time outside in the dark: like go for a walk. 

Light a fire

Sleep in- no alarm clock… try and wake with the light. 

Finish work early

Snuggle up with a book/notebook

Get my haircut

 

Do you mark/celebrate solstice?  If so, what do you like to do?

Posted on December 21, 2017 .

Reviewing 2017 by Abi

Yesterday I posted my 5 step process for reviewing 2017.  

And today I'm sharing the responses and reflections of using the process sent in by one of my clients, Abi.  She was my first client, and we have been working together every since.  She works a nutritional therapist among other things.  

 

Here is a summary of Abi's year review with some pictures…

 

WORK

Lowlights of this year…

A few patches where paid work was not coming in as fast as costs were!

Often feeling quite chaotic and disorganised, chasing my tail

Highlights of this year…

More fully stepping into life as a Functional Medicine Practitioner, completing half of my certification process

Cooking delicious colourful food at Earth Heart for Women’s Initiation

Cooking delicious colourful food at Earth Heart for Women’s Initiation

Increase in collaborative and creative work

Training with the Menstrual Medicine Circle to deepen what I can offer in menstrual work

Continuing the healing healthcare circle to support the supporters
 

PLAY

Lowlights of this year… 

Not prioritising play over work quite often

My attitude towards play could shift- sometimes considering it frivolous and not time well spent or feeling guilty 

Highlights of this year…

Some of the collaborative work has felt playful, fun and like work so I have learnt they don’t have to be distinct all the time

Holiday in Cyprus - naked snorkelling, building shelters on the beach, exploring wild seas

Swimming with friends into the winter just to be silly 

 

LOVE

Lowlights of this year…

Sharing the pain of baby loss within our relationship

Bobs the furry best friend through tough times 

Bobs the furry best friend through tough times 

 

Getting to grips with money and personal power

Highlights of this year…

Travel adventures to Scotland, America and Cyprus together

Scottish rainbow in Kirtomy March 

Scottish rainbow in Kirtomy March 

Time spent in couples circle for reflections and relationship expansion

Starting the Grove women’s circle

Setting up the Yurt for the first grove circle

Setting up the Yurt for the first grove circle

Widening the circle of amazing women bringing the menstrual work

Maintaining friendships with people in far away places

 

HEALTH

Lowlights of this year…

Miscarriage - January 

Extreme fatigue and burnout in September/October 

Starting low oxalate diet - December 

Highlights of this year…

Physical recovery from miscarriage very smooth - January/February 

Beginning daily Hiit training and really enjoying feeling strong -March 

Learning and understanding more about my genetics -July 

Getting to the root cause of fatigue and other symptoms - November/December

 

REFLECTIONS ON THE PROCESS

I really enjoyed starting with looking at photos, it felt like a really natural way to connect to different ways I have felt through the year and getting an overview of the highs and lows was helpful for me. Most memories of the last 12 months have been slightly overshadowed by my long awaited surprise pregnancy and then my tragic miscarriage, so it was good to notice all of the other sweet and magical moments in 2017!

Here are some pictures to illustrate a few of these moments.

I also really enjoyed having a look at the different elements of my life and notice where I was giving different amounts of attention, the difference to life overall when these areas were in balance. this was also a process I enjoyed when working with Hedvig as a client.

Taking an overview of all of these, I can see how the highlights mostly outweigh the lowlights! 

 

Thank you so much Abi for sharing your year with us.  Here's to more highlights in 2018!

 

Posted on December 19, 2017 .

5 Step Review of 2017

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I don’t know about you, but at this time of year I like spending a little time looking back on the year that is coming to an end.  

I find it really worthwhile doing this because it both helps me to:

  • remember and appreciate all that has happened
  • reflect on and appreciate how I have grown
  • identify things that I want to do differently next year, or ideas for new things to try.  

There are lots of ways that you can review a year, but here is the process I used this year.

 

Review your year in 5 steps.  

  1. I opened up my app where my photos are stored, and go back to 1st January 2017.  I  looked through my photos and I wrote down some of the highlights and lowlights of January.  Once I'm done with Jan. I continued month by month through the rest of the year.  (If you don’t take lots of photos try your calendar/diary)

  2. I categorised the highlights and lowlights into work (paid and unpaid), health, love and play.  

  3. Then I re-read what I wrote down for each category and noted down any patterns and lessons learnt.

  4. If anything felt unresolved or lingering, I spent some time processing it until I got to the lessons learnt.  

  5. If any ideas come up for 2018, I noted those down.

So, there you have it.  My 5 step process.  As always, I’d love to know what you think, and if you use it, how did it go.  

Posted on December 18, 2017 .

Reflections on a week of Media Deprivation

I first heard about The Artist's Way (TAW) years ago.  I heard that it was a book about rediscovering how to be creative.  I also heard that it talked a lot about God... or 'God bothering' as one friend put it.  TBH, the latter put me off it.  Put me off for years.  Maybe a decade plus.  But at some point I picked it up at a charity shop, I don't even know when.  This summer I found it again, and decided to give it a go.  

The books is structured so that each week has a different theme, a reading, a choice of tasks to do and a weekly check in.  Plus you are meant to keep a daily journal (of sorts) and a weekly artist's date (time alone to nurture your inner artist).  

I know that I like doing these sorts of things with other people.  I find it really motivating and supportive.  I asked a few people, and one friend said that she was up for it.  We had a chat and decided that we'd try doing it by the book (rather than taking our time as the God Bothering friend suggested), and having a weekly check in either chatting about it or if we couldn't chat then we'd send each other video check ins.  

For the first three weeks, I was doing my journalling and exercising, and going on dates and sketching more than I had in years.  It was pretty enjoyable and fun to be expressing myself in this way.  

Then came Week Four: Integrity.  One of the tasks was Reading Deprivation.  No reading for a week.  No books, no googling, no reading articles online.  Nothing. As if that wasn't challenging enough I extended that to a Media Deprivation including social media, tv, podcasts etc.  While I wanted to go all in, I felt like I'd still want to check in email occasionally so I decided to only check my personal email once a day and to I'd reduce the frequency of how often I checked my work email.  So a some what mysterious post went up on on Facebook and Instagram and I disappeared for a week.  

The timing was... interesting.  It included two days of travelling including a long layover at an airport.  And three days when Tristan was away for work, so evenings to myself.  Plus I was ill one day, and then got my period.  

I mainly kept to it.  I read a couple of recipes one day.  I did some research for some travels that we had coming up and couldn't wait a week.  I decided I'd used WhatsApp as a form of direct communication not just a way to idle away time so I used that to organise things with friends.  I felt they were permissible.  

Even given those transgressions, let's just say... no reading and no social media left quite a vacuum.  I often feel like I have a lot of time, but now I had so much time.  And I wasn't really sure what to do with it.  And it was certainly uncomfortable.  At times I felt bored, and other times I felt lonely.  

I was also a quite shocked how often I'd go to check my IG, FB and email and I'd have to catch myself.  I tried different hacks like turning my phone on airplane mode or leaving it far away.  My friend moved the apps to the last page on her phone which I thought was a good idea.

With time I learnt to feel increasingly comfortable with the discomfort, and then I started explore what I could do with my time. Some of the things I did with it, as recorded in my notebook: 

  • rested/slept more
  • did my TAW work (wrote up notes in my note book, did my tasks, my artist date etc)
  • art: sketched out some ideas for a mural including a parakeet and a potential background
  • cut and painted my nails
  • danced around a bit 
  • got a bit bored
  • checked out perfumes and bought one.  First one I've bought since I was in my teens but been looking for years
  • checked out watches and bought one.  First one I've bought since my teens but been looking for years.  
  • took time to reply to my work emails.  To really empathise before writing. 
  • uploaded photos from my Cambodia trip soon after coming back
  • had dinner with friends

Over the week, I realised that I didn't want to just fill my time.  I wanted to allow the space.  And in doing so, I did things I'd do anyway like the TAW work, but I also did things I don't often do like my nails... and some things that hadn't done in years.  And this was just one week of no reading and social media.  

Allowing space also meant I checked in with myself about how I was doing, and what I really felt like doing in that moment.  Sleeping or resting came up more often than I expected.  During this week, I went to bed and to sleep earlier, and that got me thinking about how often I would check social media before going to sleep.  

After the week was over, I was a little hesitant to get back online.  And I was a little horrified how quickly that all came back.  It's been a few weeks, and I actually really miss that vacuum.  I want to take more time offline so that I can allow space for my creativity.  

So who's up for giving it a go?  Or have you done something similar?  How did you find it?  

Posted on October 4, 2017 .

What do you do better than anyone else?

Today a degree doesn't automatically make you marketable.  No, the new question is not what you know but Who knows what you know?  Who knows that you do what you do better than anyone else?  Who has heard your unique point of view?  

Quotation from 'Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World' by J. Kelly Hoey.  Their italics.  

I read this and furiously started scribbling in my book (yes, I'm a note scribbler) 'Why 'better than anyone else'?  How can you know you do something better than ANYONE else?  Why not 'who knows that you do what you do really well'?'  I could have gone on about how do you know your point of view is unique etc.  

Why did it get me going?  Well, to state you are better than anyone else requires that you know what everyone else in your field does and that you have then analysed it and proven you do it better than them.  But how often can we actually know that?  And is it really worth it? My answers: rarely, and I don't think so. (The other explanation is that it is just short hand... in which case I think it's a bit sloppy).

On the other hand, I think it's super valuable to recognise your experience, skills, strengths, and  interests. 

But if you are anything like my clients (and me at times) that may be something you do worse than anyone else.  I get it- it's super hard to do by yourself on yourself.  Especially if you are up against and deadline and doing something like writing a CV, application or copy for a website.  

But it can be really easy and obvious to other people.  Here's what one of my clients said after her first session:

'I have recently been in a situation which has eroded my self-confidence and self-worth. Hedvig  helped me to see my skills, knowledge and experience.  The session was so helpful to me and I came out of it with a much greater sense of self-worth- thank you so much!'

So how about next time you're wondering about what you do really well, go and chat about it with someone else.

Posted on June 21, 2017 .