Here in Kent is has been very rainy, and there is a chill in the air. The leaves are starting to change from green to yellows, golds and browns.
Last week I celebrated a belated Autumn Equinox with my dear friend Grace and we made a Autumn leaf mandala to mark the moment.
Over the past year, I have been intently studying the Wheel of the Year. This ancient way of looking at time and the seasons has helped me to understand and make meaning in my life.
At Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon, the sun rises and sets at the midpoint between its furthest northern and southern positions. The nature around us is vibrant with abundance; bright berries, nuts and fruits cover the trees and shrubs. This is the time of year where we can express gratitude for our achievements and progress during the active summer months. And a time to decide what we want to let go of, like the trees let go of last years leaves. Below are some of the changes I intend to make.
Autumn Mandala by Grace and Me
Through a series of (un?)fortunate events I lost my car. I've written unfortunate like that because doesn't every misfortune contain a seed of fortune? ** I had been playing with the idea of getting rid of the car during lockdown because we barely use it. The shift to car-less living has encouraged me to use public transport and it reminded me HOW MUCH I LOVE THE BUS. I have to try and control myself from shouting about how much I love it whilst on the bus. Normally when I'm driving I spot an interesting tree or house, but then I can only see it for a split second before I have to refocus on road safety. When I get the bus I can stare at everything! I went to an event at a village near me that would take 15 minutes to drive and it took me one hour and a half on the bus. The other attendees had a look of pity in their eyes when I told them this, but what they didn't realise is I had 90 minutes of fun; people and world watching! I am really enjoying slow living and I plan to live slowly during the colder months. What's the rush for?
*incase you are worried why, I had a minor accident where I hit a plant pot and it totalled the car!*
As you may have seen from my recent blog posts i have taken an interest in textiles. During my studies I learnt about how harmful clothing and textile production is for the planet, there's just so much waste! I already love shopping second hand and learning this made me want to stick to this. I love hunting ebay and charity shops for clothes. They usually cost about 1/5th of the retail price too, so one can save money and save the planet! Also, to be more financially responsible, I spent time making a living budget and calculated what we spend on food and basic living costs every month. Being more conscious and aware of my spending has made me feel more secure and relaxed about money.
This for me is about living each day with thought and intention. It’s easy to drift about. I put the Facebook app back on my phone and when I checked today I’ve been going on it 37 minutes average per day! That’s 37 minutes too many! I still need to use social media and emails, but I can set aside time and do it on my laptop. I’ve also found it useful to take a deep breath between activities in the day. This helps me to take a moment to focus on my intention for the next segment of the day.
I am my happiest when I’m making things. I will continue to sew, sing and write songs daily. Just 10 minutes a day has a huge impact on how I feel. There’s always ten minutes!
I spent so many years as an “independent artist” but I could have as well called myself a “lonely artist”. Going it alone is tough! I’ve realised how much I love teaching my craft and bringing joy to others as they realise they can do it too! I remember when I started teaching songwriting lessons again, my famous guitar mentor said to me “You are better than that” and I thought that was awful. What’s better than inspiring others?! Some people genuinely think teaching is a lower form of work but this quote by Yogi Bhajan sums it up for me “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” Since becoming a mama I have loved building a community of singing mums and it’s definitely helping me master singing!
What are your intentions for the colder months? What are you letting go of?
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Thanks for reading :-)