‘Make a little nest for your feelings about being alive, nurture them that they may fledge and fly.’
This month’s musings were going to be about work and finding your purpose, but I have been sensing all around me that people are struggling with things at the moment; with having to continue to dig deep, staying locked down with a slow road map out of our current situation. It’s like doing the last few miles of a marathon (I should know- I ran one in 2015:-) but actually with uncertainty that the finish line will actually be where you think it is. What got me through the last mile of the Brighton Marathon was listening to ‘Now That’s What I Call Musicals’ and singing the song from Hairspray in a completely disinhibited way, but imagine if I had got to Brighton seafront only to find there were many more miles to run………
Anyway, I think that rather than beating ourselves up about any lack of motivation we may be feeling, it might be helpful to acknowledge what we are all going through and the physiological responses to chronic stress.
This podcast was shared by a friend of mine recently and I found it very reassuring to listen to. Please do have a listen. Clinical psychologist Christine Runyan explains the physiological effects of a year of pandemic and social isolation and she offers simple strategies to regain our fullest capacities for the world ahead.
I have also recently read the book ‘Wintering’ by Katherine May, which explores the periods in her life where she has ‘gone to ground’ or experienced a period of largely involuntarily retreat from life. She discusses the importance of such periods and argues that rather than being seen as pathological, they can be very important periods in ones life and times of change and growth. Some cultures are forced to ‘winter’ more than others due to their climate and there are many positive aspects to this. She is an introvert who likes the quiet and wild swimming- a kindred spirit!
In other more motivated news, here’s an update on the Westknits Slipstravaganza shawls that my Mum and I have been knitting on our weekly Zoom calls. You will remember that we joined in the mystery knit a long in October 2020 and watched as people all over the world whizzed along and finished shawls flew off the needles. Mum and I were MUCH slower than the rest of the world and pootled along, but in the end the tortoises caught up and the projects were finished! The grainy photo is of Mum wearing her shawl on a call because she finished before me. It’s a great knit, quite challenging, but we both feel it improved our knitting skills.
And you all know that I love to hear what you have all been up to!
Friend of ANOGM Helen sent me this photo of the nifty ‘entertainment trolley’ she put into action during lockdown. It is mobile so can be wheeled around her flat, includes a record player on the lower shelf, space for books and periodicals on the middle shelf, and a small TV/DVD player that she was gifted having not had one for many, many years. She decided to make a cover for it with vintage ribbon trimmed with a kingfisher blue ribbon- genius!!!
Friend of ANOGM Ali sent a link to a really interesting article about an artist who uses leaves to make embroidered artworks. They are so beautiful and yet have a degree of impermanence to them as the leaves will change with time.
Next month I will be sharing some more wisdom from our resident yogi Kate. All about motivation. Hopefully we will all be beginning to feel our mojo returning and so maybe we can think about motivation! In the meantime, we are both absolutely delighted that the June 2021 retreat is fully booked (although sad that it could not be a bigger gathering). There is a reserve list up and running and of course if we end up going virtual, there will be the opportunity for more people to join in online. Watch this space.
Please stay in touch. Email me at email@example.com to show me what you have been making or follow me on IG @anestofgentlemakers and you can message me there. I love this little community that continues to grow and I really, really appreciate all of you.
With much love,
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P.S. I do not receive any financial incentive when talking about things in this newsletter- they are just all things that either bring me joy, or make the world a better place, or both. We do have a few businesses (listed on the website) who support the ANOGM retreats by donating items for the attendee’s goody bags