A constant battle I have always had with myself is allowing rest. Even when I can acknowledge that I am tired, giving in to rest causes me to believe that I am being (the dreaded word) ‘lazy’. I’ve always been scared of the word lazy, it is a fear I battle mainly in the warmer months of summer. How many times have you denied yourself needed rest because the sun’s out? Or maybe I should adjust that question to Scotland and say ‘because it’s not raining’…
We recently had the wonderful Hannah Swift of Yellow Empress Acupuncture join us for Tribe Talks. Her session covered a range of topics around menopause but all stemmed back to how to look after yourself in both mind and body. I was particularly fond of the analogy of the seasons and how we can identify our bodies’ needs by assigning seasons to our cycles (you can read more about this here). I’ve come to realise that this can not only be used as a powerful tool in understanding menstrual cycles but a tool to help honour rest and remove the self perpetuated notion of being ‘lazy’.
Rest is not a passive action, nor is it a negative. Rest can be just as, if not more imperative to our wellbeing than that quick run around the block or 30 minute yoga session. When thinking about the ancient Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang it becomes easier to apply the concept of dualism. All things have two facets, nothing is purely good nor is it purely bad.
“When life-force energy is appropriately balanced between Yin and Yang, it flows smoothly maintaining and promoting a good state of physical and emotional health”-Elina Zagkorontskagia
By applying the seasons to aid in understanding yourself, your moods and your energy you can help to pace your energy, calm your nervous system and gain insights into your overall wellbeing. Think about the seasons and what moods you attach to these. What things can you supply yourself with during your winters to bring yourself back into spring and summer?
Here are some examples of how to apply the seasons to yourself and your wellbeing:
Surrender and let go. Stopping and digesting may expose us to what we have been keeping at bay by keeping busy. Now is the time to give in to your tired and weary self, let go of expectations and simply rest.
Time to take stock and hype yourself up. Your inner spring is a time of becoming. It’s time to feel at home with yourself and celebrate being you, say yes to yourself.
Liberation and express your power. Manifest your calling, fulfill yourself and your spirit, dare to be your truest fullest self.
Here is where your inner critic rests. This will cause disruption and disturbance internally and deflate your ego. The challenge here is to sit in discomfort long enough to learn and grow but still hold onto your goodness.
“Plants store up resources through their root systems, waiting for spring for their next burst of growth. Nature shows us the wise way to be: we should follow a period of busyness with a time for deep rest”-Mimi Kuo Deemer
Once you have observed and visualised your seasons of emotions ask yourself how you tend to deal with them. How can you nurture your needs and come back into summer? By observing natures cycles, respecting that emotions come and go in seasonal shifts and applying this to our own lifestyles we can understand that rest is not a shortcoming, nor is it lazy. By resting we can take stock and nourish our bodies. Let’s value and respect intentional quiet time and let go of the need to be busy.
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When considering a new resolution, an idea that is often overlooked is to rekindle something that has previously bought joy. Often a resolution involves taking something away, be it a guilty pleasure or bad habit. I would argue that a good resolution should instead breathe positivity.
It is important to balance thoughts between what has already passed and what to consider next. The pressures of New Year’s Resolutions can sometimes cause unruly thoughts, leading some of us to opt-out. Why panic into setting a resolution you do not feel attached to. A successful resolution must be considered and nurtured. A new year does not have to mean a new you.
‘There is no new world that you make without the old world.’-Jane Jacobs
Perhaps we should take more time to consider the joys of the past and how we can rekindle them. During my childhood, I spent many hours in a small cramped shed full of crafting materials, paints, fabrics, a real treasure trove! Consequently, art was always my favourite subject at school. I was fortunate enough to continue this into my adolescence by attending art school. Despite being blessed with a wealth of creative space for the majority of my life, I’ve noticed it fade away. I no longer attend any form of art class, I rarely pick up a camera and the only time I bring myself to draw something is to make a birthday or christmas card. It’s a joy that I no longer make the time to nurture and explore.
‘Mankind now possesses for the first time the tools and knowledge to create whatever kind of world they want’ – Robert D. Putnam
It’s easy to throw excuses of time, space & money. To be honest the route cause for me is the distraction of life. I very recently had several rolls of film developed, an accidental archive of the past five years of my life. It was melancholic to see the physicalities of time causing a love to fade. The intervals of time widened between each photograph.
Self care is all about making time for these loves and it would be valuable for us to all set a resolution in a similar fashion. Take the time to think of practical ways you can re-embody old hobbies, crafts and joys.
Here at Tribe Porty, we strive to create a space where you can achieve these goals. Achieving your goal is unique to yourself. It can be as small as making a public declaration of what you would like to rekindle. Maybe it’s forming a circle of friends at Tribe to gather and participate in a shared activity. It could even be joining a local club or spending ten minutes a day working on some yoga poses.
ART! Art for myself, with no intention of publishing work, sharing or selling. Making art completely for myself. I’ve always loved collage and I have always naturally drawn to it, collecting and making materials and curating them together. To rekindle this love, I would like to host an Art Club at Tribe, an open space where we can come together, laugh, chat and create.
Often my New Year resolutions default to restarting that thing I used to enjoy, making time for it, re-joining the class. And often they fizzle out in the first month. What was once a habit nurtured by the circumstance of the time, now, no longer fits so neatly in the evolving balance of work, family and friends. I still yearn to reconnect with these lost loves but more care and consideration is needed to imagine how they might be supported in today’s version of my life.
In 2022 my creative practice of 14 years officially dissolved with the end of being self employed. One obvious rekindling would be to find time and space for creative play for myself. Sewing in particular. My daughter asked just the other day ‘Mummy, when will you sew again?’. My reply was when I can make space for the sewing machine and cutting table. This is a big dream and one that fits into the longer days of summer, or at least once I have cleared the post Christmas detritus.
But thinking about my environment now, there is space, so long as I say “yes, let’s do that now” rather than “perhaps tomorrow when there is more time” to the requests of my children to get out the new modeling clay or paint or pompom maker. I too can sit at the table and join in. At first it may be Fimo charms, but with repetition a habit may form, the environment will subtly shift to support those yes’s being a bit easier to say, those trousers might get made.
Jumping from this text, what do YOU want to rekindle this year? Share it with us and we will check in with you in a couple of months…Not sure where to start? Try out some of the free workbooks provided by our partners Keystone Women. Click here to download helpful materials to help you reflect, take stock, relax and plan.
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