Seasonally inspired things to Learn, Make and Do

Journal

Take it easy - slowing down from overwhelm.

snowdrops

Last month, in that fuzzy period between Christmas and New Year, I worked through Susannah Conway's course to choose a word to guide me through 2018.

I have done it before and find it a low drama way of guiding the feel of a year. It sounds faintly ridiculous to think that picking a word will change the way you live, but I have found that to be true.

Perhaps dazzled by the fairy lights around me I chose shining words - light and bright and luminesce. A feeling of stepping up and being me, a bright visibility, a bubble of joy.

Over the past month however, these words began to feel wrong - the lightness felt brittle, the shining just another thing to do.

So I revisited the exercise.

Almost immediately I found the word Ease.

It felt like a relaxing, the relief of your own bed at the end of a journey.

A recognition that I probably worked too hard in 2017.

So in 2018, it seems, I shall not be shining, I shall be taking it easy.

Good to know.

I have always been a swot. The fact that I can still vividly remember the time I got a row, in primary 5, for not doing all my homework is typical of my personality.

Even in 6th year, when I truanted a lot, I was taking myself and my history books to a local cafe and writing essays.

My self worth comes from getting the work done.

Domestically I am lazy as lazy can be, my bed is my favourite place, I am lax and infuriating to live with.

At work though - well that is a fury of taking on more and more and more tasks in an attempt to prove that I am working very, very hard.

If I am working long hours then no-one can say I am not doing my best - can they?

In 2017 sales from a couple of our main outlets nosedived, and I was faced with the reality of having to step up and actually let people know that we exist outside marketplaces.

It seemed that to do this I needed to learn about many thing - search engine optimisation, Facebook ads, retargeting ads, influencers, hashtags, optimum posting times, colours, sizes, clicks and algorithms . . . my lists took up pages and pages of my notebook.

Every day there seemed to be something extra added to my 'learn about' list - press releases, video live, meta-tags, alt-tags - and dozens more bookmarked instructional videos.

Walking the dogs, reading in bed, sitting with my family - my mind churned with confusion at all the things I was meant to be mastering and I became less and less 'there', more and more distracted.

And this is why, I think, my brain rejected 'Light' in favour of 'Ease'. It needs me to move away from all the shiny 'things to do' and relax into the things I feel comfortable with.

To do the things that feel easy - writing, designing, chatting, showing up - and to ignore the things that are just more work.

I still have to let people know what we do - particularly to help them understand what the Snapdragon Studio Membership is about - but I hope to be able to do that in ways that are easier for me. I hope to be able to become less overwhelmed.

I hope to be able to ask existing customers and members for help in spreading the word.

And in the meantime I have installed an app on my computer which temporarily stops all access to the pinging groups, emails, and forums with their shiny 'must figure outs'.

Hopefully this will let me get on with the kind of work which I find flows more naturally, and life in 2018 will be easy!

Tags: life

Comments: 1 (Add)

Kathy on January 26 2018 at 13:03

Jane, well done! For identifying the very thing you need to do to ease your world! I to must do this. My self worth is more important that the committee or multiple committees I help out on.
My girls find me out when they need me to be home! So my 2018 looks somewhat similar I need to ease outside controls and develop inside family time to help ease my families life in the only way a mum can... by being present.
So Thankyou for being honest and for your retrospection....
I to like your word Ease.

Snapdragon social

Engagement, connection, community, regeneration, celebration, magical, possibility.⁠⠀
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Words matter.  Words matter so much. ⁠⠀
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Yesterday I walked around a new local community garden that I am to be involved in.  I walked the site with Lauren @herbal_homestead (who looks after @katgoldin ‘s market garden at the Gartur Farm School) who is the permaculture consultant for the project.⁠⠀
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The words at the top of this post were the words that were tumbling about as we walked along the stream that edges the plot and discussed the contours and what the potential is for this new space.⁠⠀
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I have missed those words a lot.⁠⠀
Elderberry vinegar, a brilliant natural immunity booster and treatment for sore throats, is steeping in my cupboard at the moment - the colour is so vibrant it is obvious that it MUST be good for you.⁠⠀
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It is one of the things you learn to make in the Simple Herbal Apothecary course in the Studio Club. ⁠⠀
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It is really funny how having a Pay What You Can option for membership has made me feel that I can talk about what you get in the Studio Club without feeling all 'exclusive' (I hate that word because, when you think about it, it actually means that some people are excluded and that we are fine with that).⁠⠀
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The Pay What You Can option has been really popular - second only to the Full Membership - which makes me very happy. ⁠⠀
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I've had a lot of emails from people who had been looking at joining the Studio Club for a while but couldn't justify the cost - because unemployment or illness or caring for others restricts their budget - but who have now been able to join.  So if that sounds like you the details are all on the front page of the website - snapdragonlife.com.⁠⠀
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Time.⁠⠀
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Yesterday I asked a question about luxury and the thing that came up again and again in answers was 'time'.⁠⠀
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Time to just be.  Time to do things for ourselves. Time to be creative or read. Time to focus.⁠⠀
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It made me think - that if we see time is our greatest luxury, why do we squander it so?  I know I do.  I scroll.  I dither. I catch myself almost deliberately doing nonsensical things that waste time to the point that it completely disappears.⁠⠀
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Give me an unexpectedly free evening and my natural tendency is to waste half of it deciding what I want to do MOST.⁠⠀
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(This is why I created the Plan your Dream Life workbook for myself - just so that I would have a list of things that I knew I had chosen to do when time appears - if you don't have this workbook already you can get it by signing up to my newsletter list Snapdragonlife.com.)⁠⠀
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What is your idea of luxury?⁠⠀
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I stumbled across a discussion about luxury on a post the other day. It was about whether you could crave luxury in your life if you were also set in “overthrowing the capitalist systems our world is based on”.⠀
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In some ways it was hilarious, and shows what a muddle we get into, but It really made me think about what I count as luxuries in my life  They certainly aren’t what the commenters on the original post defined as luxury - the fancy sports car, the designer brand names, expensive toiletries. ⁠⠀
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Rather, my idea of luxuries are things I want in my everyday life.  Proper coffee, clean sheets for the weekend, tomatoes still warm from the sun - perhaps most importantly, the luxury of time to do nothing more than stare upwards through bright leaves . . .⁠⠀
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What about you?⁠ what are your luxuries?⠀
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Messy edges.⁠⠀
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Pretty much everything in the House Garden and Studio Meadow will stand until Spring now.⁠ I will leave it alone. ⠀
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For in my head I'm not really growing teasels, I'm growing gold finches. 
Yesterday, as I headed down through the meadow to light the studio stove, were dozens feeeling atop the teasel heads.
It is the time of the year to embrace the beauty in decay.⁠⠀
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To look at the soil regenerating.⁠⠀
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The appreciate the beauty of a good compost heap -even when it is composting the cosmos that you had hoped would bloom for a couple of more weeks.
Yesterday the doors of the Studio Club opened up to new members again. ⠀
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If you want to engage more with the natural world, live a more seasonal life, learn how to grow things, make things and also hear good news about inspirational people making a positive difference to the world - then this is the Club for you! ⠀
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There are now three ways of becoming a member - a Full Membership which includes physical products, a Digital Membership and a Pay What You Can Membership. You can find out more about them by clicking though my profile or at Snapdragonlife.com. ⠀
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In less than 24 hours over half the Full Memberships sold out - so if you are thinking of signing up for one of those then I would do it sooner than later. ⠀
Nettles and docks and tansy and meadowsweet. ⁠⠀
Heather and willow and onion skins.⁠⠀
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The journey through plant colours this year is coming to fruition.  Out of frame is a striped jumper on my needles.⁠⠀
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I am hoping to have enough yarn to make something for a newly arrived baby - all the energy of the Scottish hills in something to wear.
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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.

 

Learn more about why here

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