Learning to duck…

One of my buddies in the post office was not at his best the other morning and as we chatted he made a belting comment. Being a man who deals with folk daily, and is also married, he caught my stunned facial expression and knew something had happened.

A look of fear flashed across his face.

His comment had hit a boulder size emotional trigger in me and several things were happening in a split second. You’ll all know that as we gather experience in life there are things we like to work on. My reaction when I have been triggered is one of mine. As a creative, my past responses have explosive, verbal and held the deadly accuracy of an Exocet missile.

In a split second, I clamped my lips shut and breathed through my nostrils. which may have flared and scared him further. Several moments passed and I put my hand over his, smiled and wished him a lovely day, then left.

As I walked home I realised that his comment had touched on past hurt and had no relevance to the here and now. I let it all flow out through my feet and down into the earth below.

It was a few days after that and I was on the front line with a soul who needs to fire arrows and ones which are intentionally tipped with poison. This time (knowing what was coming) I let them bounce off, so I wasn’t even triggered. I closed the conversation down each time and changed the subject.

I am learning how to duck.

Doorways…

I was coming back home the other day, weary and dirty, and my arms were full of a vacuum cleaner, pipe, nozzles, cloths, long duster on a pole and goodness knows what else. Walking down our street, I had seen something that I needed to think about, yet I already knew it required a hard decision and would take me a good few hours to put right, so my mind was elsewhere. You already know this story is not going to end well…

I reached the main front door (which is huge) and as I came through the long duster fell from my arms and I instinctively lent forward to catch it and everything cascaded out of my arms bar the actual vacuum. It made a racket and my landlady opened the inner door with a smile and a ‘Do you need help, Jane?’

‘Sorry’ I replied ‘I really ought to have put some things down before I came in!’

She put it all back in my arms and I manhandled it up the stairs to my place.

How many times do we think we’re saving time by carrying too much? Or, find our minds on something else entirely so we’re not ‘in’ the moment. There’s much talk in these times about being present and this was a classic example of being scattered.

It made me think later and I promise I wasn’t trying to do something else at that moment. I have been setting up a project in the last few months and it has become a business, which is a new door for me. Things kept getting stuck and I have discovered that I was trying to carry some outdated thinking, stories and beliefs through that doorway. At each stalling point, I made myself aware of my thoughts and kept them in check, edited, or deleted them as needed. It’s surprising what happens when we do that. ❤

When things tumble and fall…

After a tiring day, I pulled my wellies on and headed off to walk the beach in the last hour of daylight. There among the dog walkers, fishermen and birds, I returned to my calm centre. There was a chap pottering on the beach with intent and as I walked up the slipway, I waited for him to follow. ‘If he smiles at me’ I thought to myself, ‘I will ask him what he was doing.’ He did and walked towards me opening up his hands, which held broken fishing lines and weights.

‘I was fishing at high tide earlier and the currents kept breaking my lines.’

We stood looking at his hands full of his beachcombing rescues.

‘I found a huge fish attached to one, still alive, so I walked him back to the sea.’

We wished each other well and headed back home.

I have spent time lately creating a 50th birthday jumper for a friend’s husband. With love, I gathered measurements, found just the right yarn, followed the pattern faithfully and after finishing it stood back, frowned and got my tape measure out. It’s massive and I mean ‘tent-like’ massive. I know he’s a chap who works outside with chainsaws and the like, but with the best will in the world, he’s not that big! They were dealt a shattering life blow in the last few days and are struggling. All plans have tumbled to dust and as we spoke yesterday I heard her cry for me to talk about anything that gave them some respite. So, ‘tent’ like knitting it is! I may not have created a garment he can wear, but we have a heart story that will make us chuckle for quite some time.

My lovely buddy, Suzette B, runs a blog where she posted about ‘waters flow’ today and it made me think of all the times our plans and projects turn to dust and how life flows on. Of how we keep on creating new plans and projects regardless of labels, judgments, shattered hearts and expectations on how things are supposed to be.

It is how it is and love is the ever-flowing constant. ❤

Le Club…

Each Friday, my buddy in France and I ‘sail’ together on Skype as we share our working day. We call Friday’s ‘Le Club’ in honour of a group I was touched to share during my time in France.

Around about sixty creative women gather in a village hall deep in South West France among the hills and farms, where the honeyed stone buildings give out warmth and the peace is palpable. They come bringing easels, sewing machines and bags full of creativity to share a day together. All nationalities with a bond that transcends language as they sit inside nattering, crocheting. knitting, embroidering, quilting, sewing and felting, while outside under the trees are a group painting.

They sit together sharing stories of childhood, love, illness, bereavement, children, grandchildren, retirement, plans gone awry, projects, home renovations, family visits and specials from the food market. I sat next to a lady who creates pictures through exquisite bead embroidery and with hand gestures and smiles we had understanding.

The energy carved a place in my heart and each Friday my buddy and I return together. ❤

Joy in moments..

Our house is full of family and friends from Scotland visiting my landlady and when she was growing up her home was always full of music, as her Dad played the guitar and sang and her brothers have followed suit. Singing is the one thing that brings my landlady’s Mum back from her dementia to the present moment. Each morning someone has been playing the guitar and it was a different style from any that have flowed before and I’ve found my feet tapping as I worked. Yesterday evening I was wrapping up parcels in my workshop as they had a family gathering below. The old Scottish ballads floated on a pure voice and I paused to listen, as my eyes filled with tears.

He gifts joy with his voice and this morning I bumped into him downstairs and was able to tell him so. ❤

Love Restoration

Doris modelling re-purposed jeans and fabric from various dresses

The pull to go quiet could not be ignored a while ago as a wealth of change rolled in. I was not managing to wrap myself around everything that was calling for attention.

Hitting the pause button carved out some space. I didn’t try to make anything happen, as I just let myself be. I found peace in leaning into the discomfort of change and not knowing immediately what to do to ‘fix’ it. Who says things always have to be ‘fixed’?

Many moons ago, back in the eighties, I used to make clothing for friends from a vague idea, or a strand of conversation. Then I forgot that I loved doing that.

Recently, I was searching for a creative workshop that a friend and I could do together, as her birthday pressie. I came across one re-purposing clothes, but it was fully booked. I went to bed that night and had a dream about the things I used to make. Waking up excited, I started to explore the idea and it came together effortlessly. I already had a sewing machine, my dining table is now a work bench and I have years of stored threads, ribbons, buttons and my Granny’s old sewing basket. As soon as I mentioned this to my birthday friend she lent me her dressmaker’s dummy, who was immediately nicknamed Doris. The re-cycling contacts that have been established with my de-cluttering business were delighted to be of use and I simply started to create clothes. My friend asked to come here for her birthday, so we could be together and knit. Cake was involved and it was lovely. ❤

I find myself waking up with designs and ideas in my head.

Internet research and some experimentation with different platforms led me to open an eBay shop. Another dream gifted me the idea of taking the photographs on our roof terrace with The Mersey and Liverpool as a backdrop.

This name seemed perfect…

I can step back from taking on new de-cluttering clients now and spend some days creating, whilst still flowing with loving family care and my existing clients.

Happy days, as I’m just off to edge a jacket. The edge was an old blouse of mine, but as I took it out the wardrobe I thought ‘Ohhh, that would make a perfect edge for the jacket I picked up the other day.’ Then I reached for my scissors. I will end up going out dressed, but only just!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/loverestoration

The tide still runs…

Gosh, getting the hang of the new WP editor is fun (not!!). Sometimes change for change’s sake, at other times because life flows in the unexpected.

A few months ago my phone rang on a Sunday morning and Dad said ‘We’re in trouble, can you come?’ My mum was lying in the back yard with a broken hip and wrist.

What flowed from that was a steep learning curve for all of us, with moments of loving grace, sharpness from ‘front line’ living, organisation, getting to grips with new social terminology, healing, care, the kindness of strangers and keeping the ship afloat. All bonded together with fear, resistance to change, quick decisions, prayers and love.

We’re several months down the road and a new routine has emerged. Mum is healing well (down to her indomitable spirit), Dad is less fearful yet poorly, support is in place and I have returned to my home, with regular visits back to flow care. Mum and I ‘sing from the same hymn sheet’ and cherish our teamwork. ❤

The tide still runs outside the house I call home as I pick up the threads of my life and business. Grateful for this peaceful space and treasured friends, who flow with unquestioning love and support.

As I go back into my clients’ homes I find myself asking the question ‘What do you need now?’ The answers have been varied and surprising. Two lovely souls needed help rediscovering the love of their homes, with each home as different as they are. We’ve had fun planning, exploring in local DIY stores and experimenting. The things we’ve purchased on-line have gifted the most fun. I found myself holding some beautiful dolphin decals yesterday , looking at my client and commenting ‘Gosh, maybe we ought to have checked the measurements!’ They are now leaping across her bathroom window and loo seat, raising smiles for all who need her bathroom.

It’s been a sign of discovery for me. ❤