Hi guys,

Just writing my monthly check in which helps me to tell the story of my month and reflect a little… my intent for January was ‘an authentic January’ – you can read about it here.  

Disclaimer – contains some HONEST reflections.

old man walking against time
One day…

January didn’t go to plan in lots of ways but it also cleared space for a lot of time for self development. There was discomfort by the bucket load and I really had to use my yoga and meditation practise to come out of the other side each day…

Sometimes life is just a bit like that… I thought I was “proving” I was doing ok really (on the outside), showing up, getting stuff done but I know deep down I’ve not felt myself (like I was underwater somehow) and some lovely friends have picked up on it too. One of the key things I learnt when I had CBT around 10years ago is that I had got so used to always being a happy-go-lucky/ positive person, I didn’t know how to show those closest to me another side. Incredible friends got me through those weeks of my life when I didn’t want to live and I owe my life to them. I’ve since learnt, we all have a shadow side – there’s no light without dark and to get to know yourself in two halves and what you need then to be able to ask for it will hold you in a place where you’re really seen by the people you need to see you.

So yeah, this month has been tough… I’ve really enjoyed my work each day but been glad to go to bed early and haven’t felt like I’ve had much to say or giggle about. We’ve buried a friend’s dog and pet chicken… yep you do get very attached to your pet chickens and god bless Holly – she’s such a miss already.

I’ve found I just wanted to create and write and work things through – we had some really difficult news and it’s going to be with us for the rest of our lives.

So a bit of hibernation was in order, but maybe that’s just the natural order of things in January hey? I want to talk openly about anxiety here because I get so many messages from people I don’t even know saying “thank-you” for sharing this side of life…. on the bad days I didn’t feel like getting up, on the ok days I got upset over the smallest thing and I just wanted to be alone ALL of the time. This is really hard in a family – you don’t really get to ‘opt out’… but I DID get up, I did meditate, do yoga, walk and swim, I played duplo and dinosaurs, cooked dinner, lit the fire and hoped our heating would stop breaking – just carried on feeling a little less sparkly that I really wanted to.

Lovely large Northumberland snowman and a little boy in a yellow coat
Not ours but isn’t he/ she a beauty and with two babies two – cute!

However, on the cusp of the new month, I’m glad to say I really turned a corner… I woke up feeling different, taxes were paid (on time), I joined in with half a month of 64 million artists daily challenges, worked with some incredible people, snow flurries fell and filled my eyes with tears at it’s beauty – like I was seeing it for the first time and it was like everything was ok again… the white space it brings is such a healer….

Immersing myself in books and creating is such a brilliant tonic.

I read Emma Gannon’s ‘The Multi-hyphen Method’ – a must read for any one self employed, running their own business or “side hustling” – I really enjoyed it and it’s such a quick and well written read too.

This month I am looking forward to Sara Tasker’s book being delivered (I’ve already pre-ordered it) – I’m hoping it will keep me inspired in my photography journey…. you can read about how I’m getting on with my goal of taking better photos here. I might also make a big fuss for Pancake Day and Valentines just because it’s fun and I have some SUPER exciting meetings coming up too.

I did have a goal for my podcast ‘Being Beautifully Broken and Brilliant’ to be out in January but I have had a rethink about it – I’ll blog more about that soon. However, if you’re a creative type and you’d like to be a guest on it give me a shout!

So for February… my intent is ‘to paint the picture’ – it came to me when I was staring out of my kitchen window watching the snow fall, my eyes streaming with tears. The beauty about a gratitude practise is it brings you right back to the moment and in that moment I was so caught up in the thought of the beautiful view we’d created out of our decisions made through our huge kitchen windows listening to Lost without You – it was just perfect.

Do you have a daily gratitude practise? I don’t write things down anymore… I know some people like to write 10 in the morning or before bed – I just pick 3-4 points in the day when the mood takes me and really take the picture in those moments.

So… February I am without expectation – I’ll just paint the picture each day into white space as it appears. Hope you have a wonderful month of self discovery and creativity and don’t forget if you’d like to take a look at my Self Development Workbook for Winter for people just like you – it’s free and you can download it here.

Thanks for reading guys. I’m tagging the sparkles on instagram too @sparkelstag

Claire x

PS – If you’d like to sign up for my monthly notes from the sea and receive lots of lovely creative coaching tips for your self development, you can do that here. https://creativelyconscious.co.uk/about-me/