The Studio is closed for holidays - the next dispatch date is 25th September

Journal

Seeing yourself

seeing yourselves as others see you

A couple of weeks ago I went away with a friend to a swanky hotel. It was only for 1 night, it was squashed into busy schedules, meeting halfway up the country, it felt as though it might be too little.

We went with a purpose - to talk about work and life and plans with someone who wouldn't judge and who might have a different perspective.

It turned out to be transformational - a mini mindset change.

And that wasn't because of the plans we made or the contacts we pooled - though they were great - it was because I got to see myself through my friends eyes. And she sees me in quite a different way to how I see myself.

Where I see from the inside - with all my doubts and cringes amplified and distorted by the fairground mirrors in my head - she sees me from the outside.

From the outside with generosity.

And she believes that I can do things - no question. She is incredulous that there would be doubt. 'Of course you can, why on earth not?'.

'If not you . . . then who?'

It got me thinking - how often do we tell the people we love how we see them? How often do we say to people that they are a wonderful mother or a great friend or a calming influence on the world? That they give us hope, that theirs is a presence that we rely on.

How often do we tell people what we believe they are capable of?

And it made me decide to try to do just that. Yesterday I wrote letters to a couple of friends whose bravery I admire and I told them of the impact that has on my life and how much I appreciate them.

I tried to let them see what they look like through my eyes.

Who could you give that gift to? Let me know in the comments.

Tags: life

Comments: 5 (Add)

Joyce Bullock on November 22 2019 at 10:19

What a wonderful idea! So simple, and so necessary! Most of us go around wrapped up in our own thoughts and not telling others what an asset/clever clogs/great friend etc etc they are...
I am guilty, I will try to remedy.
Thanks Jane for the nudge!

Jane on November 22 2019 at 12:21

Thanks Joyce - you are right, it is very easy to get wrapped up in ourselves
Much love,
Jane

Alison on November 22 2019 at 22:42

This is so true . I have just lost by gorgeous dad this week and had such lovely messages about the wonderful person/ friend he was . It’s just a shame that people didn’t tell him about his lovely qualities while he was alive 😟

Hazel Blue on November 23 2019 at 17:26

Enjoyed reading this, Jane. And I hope you know how much this friend admires you and values your friendship! I went to a Humanist funeral on Thursday for the sister of a good friend. She was my age. David Bowie and Brian Ferry featured strongly and we sang along with Louis Armstrong to "It's a Wonderful World". Very beautiful and the general message was to live every day with love , and to be generous with compliments, and to strive to find the good in other people. 💕

Jane on November 23 2019 at 17:43

Alison I am so sorry to hear of your Dad's death; sending you lots of love. J xx

Snapdragon social

Seraphina's eleven babies have grown so fast.⁠⠀
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Now when she tries to gather them under her - usually if she hears the buzzard overhead - they all head under her feathers but their heads and tails stick out the side.⁠⠀
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She seems unperturbed and a little like an overstuffed tea cosy.
I think that the last time I had this wooden clothes horse out was when we needed to dry cloth nappies c. 2001.⁠⠀
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The plant dyed alpaca house socks have all cured now, the dye is well sunk into the fibres, so over the past couple of days I've been washing and pressing and packaging them.⁠⠀
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The link to the shop page for them will go out in Friday's newsletter first - the actual newsletter is all about the dye deck and if you want to get it straight into your inbox you can sign up on the website www.snapdragonlife.com or through my profile.⁠⠀
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These were all dyed with tansy - the very yellow ones from the plant at the top of the Studio meadow, the slightly more orange ones from the plant down by the Studio door.
Last year, in the spring,  I got a tiny amount of seed of a grey Shirley poppy. ⁠⠀
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I sowed half and gave half to @gracealexanderflowers .⁠⠀
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None came up, in my garden at least.⁠⠀
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This year two plants have appeared - a little fey and wan as Shirley poppies go, but with definitely grey flowers. ⁠⠀
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Well kind of a purply grey . . . and if I'm honest I prefer the rich plums of Pandora . . . but It is eminently instagrammable.
Yesterday Seth Godin wrote that instead of getting our ideas spread like wildfire (uncontrolled, destructive, leaving nothing) we should get them to spread like wildflowers instead.⁠⠀
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I loved this idea.  Ideas that self seed and spread in groups, ideas that place themselves where they are happiest, where they can thrive.⁠⠀
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Ideas that take root in unpromising places and bring joy.

These daisies moved into the top of the Studio Meadow last year- spreading from the garden rather than the fields- but wilding themselves none the less.
A bright new morning starting a bright new week. ⁠⠀
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A row of dog daisies and love in a mist, fresh and light and optimistic.⁠⠀
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I feel like I'm hovering on the edge of planning things outside my studio this week. It is tentative.⁠⠀
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Today I have a meeting about something that will involve me leaving the premises. I'm part excited, part terrified - I think they are probably the same things in many ways.⁠⠀
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I'm building up to going on holiday in a few weeks. It feels vertiginous.  I definitely need to build my social muscles back up.⁠⠀
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The globe thistles shouldn't be there. ⁠⠀
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It was meant to be a temporary nursery bed.⁠⠀
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They were a root cutting from my parents' garden - memories of pulling off the heads as missiles.⁠⠀
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It is the perfect place for them.⁠⠀
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Low sun barrels along the path as the gloaming comes. ⁠⠀
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They glow in the golden hour.⁠⠀
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I leave the heads alone.
Of all the half hardy annuals that are beginning to flower here, I think that cosmos purity is my favourite. ⁠⠀
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Happy and light and generous with its flowers.⁠⠀
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As you pick it, the foliage smells that dense herby/incense way that is perfect for the late summer/early autumn time.
Yesterday I was chatting to Eileen, who volunteers in the garden on Wednesday mornings, about how the Studio meadow changes in the light.  In particular how the warmer light in August - especially the soft evening light - makes everything glow.⁠⠀
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Walking back from checking things at work I snapped these big daisies with a speckle of purple loosestrife behind them.  Softly glowing.⁠⠀
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About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

Through my communities, both free and paid for, through my writing on the blog, through carefully hand crafted activity kits, and through my online and in-person workshops I aim to bring people back in touch with the rhythms of a seasonal life.

Learn more about why here

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