Saturday, 28 February 2015

Playing catch-up

It is the last day of the month, in fact I believe it is the last hour of the month too, so I thought it was a good opportunity to make some time to blog. I am indeed on my computer after all, and I don't know how much longer I will be awake for. I am pretty exhausted after playing catch up over these past few weeks. Having taken a few modelling jobs and travelled more than usual, I have found that I am fitting in my 'usual' life in and around the little time I have available to make up for the time spent in studios or on trains/on the road. Even in 'usual' life, I have many hats that I wear depending on the day and time. I am either a therapist, mentor, tutor, student, model... and that is just my professional life. My personal life is another story - and many stories within those stories too.

I don't write this as a negative, it is more a way of living for me. It is a choice - and I often remind myself of how simple things could be but then I come full circle and I am reminded of why I choose to live my life in this way. It is no surprise that I have taken the day off, and equally it is no surprise that only now have I sat down with a book entitled 'Real World Research' in preparation for my next venture. I skip to the chapter I need, I read about two pages, but something doesn't feel right about doing this at this time on a Saturday night. So I am reminded of my word of the month (maybe even year), which is 'balance'... in fact, who am I kidding...? This has been 'my word' for a good few years now. Balance.. what does this mean? How do we find it? Is this a life-long venture? Something that changes it's meaning according to the shift in life-stage and environment? Something that adapts to us as much as we adapt to it?

I have still yet to figure out the real meaning. I am beginning to think that the meaning is not as much a practical quantifiable set of features, but more an inner way of being. Almost a way of being that does not require words; it is more a felt thing. So as I sit here with my research book and process this past week, I realise that I have been so lucky with the 'balance' I have found through the various hats that I have worn. There is of course a certain amount of irony in this because I am still tired and really could do with a few extra days this weekend. But balance for me this week has been that I have met some really wonderful new people; a new student who I am really looking forward to working with, a new client who I am equally looking forward to working with, and a new creative team on a modelling job who just made our day so relaxed and fun that I felt quite sad to leave them at the end. And the week finished with a rare treat, a day at the spa with my mum and Bryony - Good company really does make a difference. So I sit here with my research book and contemplate the Sunday ahead tomorrow... and I am grateful to have a day where I need to balance no hats. I need no hat but my very own.

A few pictures of the past week or so..

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Articulately stumbling along

So it is the weekend again and I seem to only post on weekends these days and I happily write a post about how I've been making soups and juices and going to my yoga class and allowing myself the gift of time for myself. To read and write and go on walks and chase the sun sets. Needless to say, life is not this way usually, but I am very aware I make it sound somewhat idealistic when I write a post here. I think the meaning is in the fact that the only times I find I am able to write are the times when I am relaxed enough to permit myself to open up my blogger homepage and write about something that is for nobody else but me. I am not even relaxed now, but I am testing this theory out.

I did indeed go to yoga this morning, and it was Moor's birthday so I did enjoy tapas and wine last night, but I declined an invitation for coffee, declined an invitation to go running with a friend, and I came home and sat down with my essay plan and attempted to find some words. I attempted to find the words articulate and eloquent enough to summarise what might as well be my theory of life; my philosophy of what it is to be human, the development of human personality and my approach to therapy. This really is not as simple as it seems, although I don't think it sounds simple at all. I have now saved the document and am attempting to put it to one side for now, since I ended up knocking my candles over, spilling wax over my desk and books, and becoming a clumsy health and safety hazard I thought that was a sign to stop. How articulate can my writing really be if I am sat here spilling coffee and knocking candles over? No answer is needed...

I was ambivalent about this month starting - I saw this as the 'home-straight' - the beginning of the last leg. It is only the last leg of my course, but I didn't want to be thrown into it, I wanted to open the doors and turn the page of my calender in my own time. I wanted to choose this month, not to be thrown in head first and come crashing to the ground and then stumbling back to my feet. I didn't want to have to be articulate whilst stumbling over my plans. But I suppose that is life - I have to move forward and I have to trust myself to find my feet and let them move me. The month did indeed begin, and now it is almost over. I began this week in London doing a modelling job which is always my way of finding balance now. I find myself switching between different worlds but ironically that is how I find my feet. So I found my feet and I've arrived here now. Deciding to stop my work because if I don't know what kind of clumsy move I will make next.

Perhaps I shall continue this week to articulately stumble along. Perhaps I could take my supervisors words - it doesn't have to be perfect, just good enough.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

The L word

It is (only just) over half way through February and I realise I haven't posted a single blog post since the end of January. That's over two weeks and I haven't even checked my blog feed or thought to write.

In fact, that is a white lie - I have thought about posting a lot, but each time I sit down at my computer a pang of guilt hits my gut and I realise I should be doing something else; I should be writing that invoice or preparing that lesson or drafting that essay or writing that proposal, or just reading... Just reading something useful. Even reading a book for my essay would be a 'better' use of my time than writing a blog post. That is probably all very true as well. So why am I sat here, coconut oil mask on my face, cinnamon scented candles burning, comfy yoga pants on, and having just enjoyed a bowl of the butternut squash and carrot soup I made earlier? Without allowing myself to feel guilty, I think I am doing these things today because this is what I need to do. It is Valentines weekend afterall, and I did spend the evening yesterday with such wonderful company eating sushi and drinking wine, but I think also if nothing else, practising self-care is a form of inward love. Love for the self, which in turn radiates to all those around us. Love is more than a glittery heart and a box of chocolates, or a box of glittery heart-shaped chocolates. I recently had a conversation with a friend whereby we discussed love. What does it mean to be loved and to love in return? How is that done?

What I realise is that it is not a simple equation; it is not a determined set of rules, it is a felt sense. It is an unspoken language and a hidden message and it is not reserved for just two exclusive individuals. It is a message that says 'I am not afraid to take up my space in this world. I am not afraid for you to see my soul, and I am not afraid of the parts of my own soul that I keep hidden. I am not afraid of the judgements you may make when I remove my armour. I believe and I trust and I know. I am whole and complete' .... I think it is much more than the heart-shaped box of chocolates.

I have almost diverted myself away from what I intended to write, but I suppose I had no real intention, other than to rebel against the guilt I might feel when approaching my computer for a non-'important' thing.

I could write about the soups and juices I've been making, or the research I am so excited about (hopefully) doing. I could write about last weekend when I was under the weather or the challenges I've been facing lately as a trainee therapist and how I am grateful beyond words for the friendships and support that I have around me. I could write about the weekend we spent away or the weekend before that. I could also write about the bag I have to pack for a stay in London tomorrow evening, or how proud I have been of my students who have done so well in their mock exams, I could then write about how I feel for them and all the pressure they are under and how I sometimes wish I could tell them all not to worry because they will find their place in this world and all this pressure they feel now is only temporary. Their world won't crumble if they fail. I could write about any number of things but I have surprised myself and written about what I think is love.