Listening to the whispers

The last few months felt like a bit of a slog. I haven't been listening to my body, and since October have been fluctuating between being generally run down to being downright ill (a sickness bug, followed by various "viral" things, sciatic pain and a very sore swollen throat all over Christmas). Like most mothers, with so much going on at home, I carried on regardless - looking after everyone else, festive preparations etc - there just hasn't been much time to be ill... or to slow down and think about what I might need.

Detail from a mixed media 'mash-up', that had an interesting message...

About a week ago, I was looking for some journal(l)ing resources and purely by chance found an online class from artist Jenafer Joy called 'Oxygen Mask'. If you've ever flown, you'll know that in the pre-flight safety demonstration, you're always told to put on your own oxygen mask before you attempt to help others, and that's what these sessions are named after. Oxygen Mask comes in the form of 13 daily prompts, and is free when you sign up to Jenafer's mailing list. Little Miss also did some of the exercises in her journal, just for fun.

Mixed media self-portrait at the end of Oxygen Mask
What came through in the pages of my own art has been quite surprising. There are whispers. Whispers of change - things that need to be taken on and things to let go of. I've realised how serious and burdened I've felt lately and I really do need to lighten up.
When you have a dream, it often doesn’t come at you screaming in your face, “This is who you are, this is who you must be for the rest of your life.”Sometimes a dream almost whispers. And I’ve always said to my kids: the hardest thing to listen to — your instincts, your human personal intuition — always whispers; it never shouts. Very hard to hear.So you have to, every day of your lives, be ready to hear what whispers in your ear. It very rarely shouts. And if you can listen to the whisper, and if it tickles your heart, and it’s something you think you want to do for the rest of your life, then that is going to be what you do for the rest of your life, and we will benefit from everything you do. – Steven Spielberg.
Armed with a few tools (listed*), I'm taking some time (off) to listen to the whispers - I'll be back soon. Please leave a comment with the things that you like to do to recharge, it would be lovely to know. 

*The Shining Year Workbook from Leonie Dawson, Liz Gilbert's Big Magic and my art journal plus a few books from Louise L Hay and others, for reference. 

18 comments

  1. I never used to listen to my gut feeling nor any signals my body gave me and I hit a wall a few years ago, big time. Got really, really sick and had to re-evaluate everything, and I mean everything. From what I liked to to work-wise to the people I had once considered friends. Nowadays, I shrug my shoulders more easily and tell people 'nope, not today... or tomorrow'. I guess not having kids makes it easier to switch off, but I also know people with kids doing the same. Take care, if you wanna chat: you know where to find me.

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    1. Thank you my lovely friend. I think it's something that happens to us all at different times, and while it's just a bit of a slump (rather than a big problem) it's time to make a few changes and I'm sure it'll work itself out. xxx

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  2. That online class looks super interesting and you have turned out some great art. Hope you manage to find some you time and rest and hope 2017 is a goodun! Xxx

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  3. Take all the time you need, listen to the whispers (they are there for a reason), recharge and get your spark back.
    Mwah/x
    Simy

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  4. I got sick 2 years ago, really sick, and I had to give up my two theatre jobs, it was only then i realised that working almost 9am til 11pm, 7 days a week wasnt good for anyone, ive learned to listen to my body when it hurts and slow down, and to listen to the feeling in my gut. If I dont want to do something now, i just say no... i never ised to and i would find myself in situations that were NOT where i wanted to be. Its tough thinking of yourself first, but sometimes it has to be done. Now I read more, knit for myself more, take on less, sit with my chickens and chat and just look up at the stars <3 take care of you xx

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    1. Oh I love that - sitting with chickens and looking up to the stars - sounds wonderful. I noticed that I really LOVED being by the sea the last few times we were there, I think I need to make more effort to do that. So glad you learned to listed and take care of yourself too xxx

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  5. Wishing you a peaceful time. I have been on a long journey with PND and have learned that self awareness and self care are key to everyone's survival. All the best, hope to see you at unravel x

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  6. I have come to realise over the last few times that I am not the kind of person who has limitless energy and can be always on the go. I actually get tired quite easily and if I push myself too much I start to feel run down and ill. I have two children, aged 8 and 5, and i work, so chances to properly rest are limited, but I do make a point to say no to social things if I don't feel like it, and to leave the housework for a day if it isn't urgent. I like to have an hour or two to myself before bed to knit or read, and generally clear my head a bit before I sleep. I've given up on the belief that everything has to be perfect, to me it's OK to just 'be'. It also doesn't hurt my children to have a day or two at home to occupy themselves while I knit or read. I hope you feel better soon!

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  7. Gosh! I hope you are ok. Rest up and recharge.

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    1. Thanks Bernie. I'm fine thanks, just need a bit of a recharge. Interestingly, I've just been learning about the moon phases and suspect that today's new moon may have had a hand in the current lethargy too! I identified long ago that the full moon affects me a lot, but hadn't realised the new moon's influence! I'll be keeping an eye out for this over coming months.

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  8. Considering the word Christmas contains the letters denoting MS (Multiple Sclerosis) I can't help feeling sad/frustrated/disappointed that I've crashed in the past 3 days.
    However, despite the fatigue, pain and immobility I can also hear some whispers. 8 weeks ago we moved to a gorgeous flat with extra care 24/7 and it's been full on before/during/since. Time to switch off to busyness now, to recuperate and enjoy time with my darling, caring husband, and to enjoy my hobbies - including one new one.
    I really hope your own whispers clarify your way forward. Big Magic is fabulous and worth a reread for me too.

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    1. Ah Shirley, I am sorry to hear you've crashed but it sounds like you are in a lovely place and know exactly what to do. Sending healing thoughts out to you xxx

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  9. All the best to you. Take care! Regula

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