Poem A Day Challenge November 2018. Day 1: Glorious

Welcome Back

Hooray, well if you are reading this we made it to November, and if you need help for the next 30 days, here is it. Over on Writers Digest they do this wonderful challenge in April and November of posting a poetry prompt for every day. For some reason this time of year is my most poetical. And even when I don’t feel able to write, I still enjoy collecting the prompts in a note book for another day. So my fellow stationary junkies lets find our favorite pens and notebooks and gets started. I dedicate this poem to the wonderful people at Writers Challenge for all they do and for this wonderful challenge.

Glorious

A glorious day to be alive,

A poetry challenge, here I spy.

There’s 30 days to sit and  ponder,

Write some words, and create wonder.

Gather now, with pen in hand,

Let’s all write, it will be grand.

Writer’s Digest – ‘Hey, High Five’

Your challenge, helps me stay alive.

 

As someone who struggles big time in the dark evenings with depression and anxiety. These poetry challenges are a real life line, a reason to get up and check in, to see what the days prompt is. (I’m old school n don’t have a smart phone). I don’t always write a poem every day, but I write the prompts down and let them roll round my head and see what falls out. If nothing, that’s ok, they can stay in the journal for another day. Sorry didn’t mean to make that rhyme. But its nice to have something other than worries rolling around in my head so the PAD challenges are a good idea.

As for the punctuation, yeah I do struggle with that, thanks to dyslexia. I go for the write the words out, (brain dump) read it out loud n see what sounds like a gap to breathe, (stick a full stop in or comma, here n there. Hopefully since its not going to be sent in anywhere for marking, its just for making a little while seem softer and for the pleasure of writing, then it  will be ok.

This is for everyone, you don’t have to share your results anywhere, just grab a piece of paper a pencil or pen and give it a go. Stationary junkies, its a good excuse to dig out your fave pens, I’ve just invested in some nice lettering pens, so maybe some of these will get written in to the ‘best’ notebook with some brush lettering titles. You know you are a stationary ‘junkie’ when your ‘rough’ book for poetry is a Moleskine! Gotta love that Moleskine paper. For those now wondering what my ‘best notebook is..’ I’ll add a link below. But seriously you can write on the back of junk mail if you don’t have a notebook, its all good. If you have those cheapie mini white boards, they can be good as you can move the words around till they sound right too 🙂

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

 

INKtober next week, who’s in?

Welcome Back

Autumn can be tough, the long nights and for me a raft of difficult anniversaries triggering a lot of emotions. In November I play along with PAD Challenge, poem a day. This year to help me through October I’m going to give INKtober a go.

What is INKtober, its a 31 day challenge to make art everyday. I will post some video links in the coming days with more information about this.

For my INKtober 2018

I’m going to be using the following supplies

  • Dip Pens and ink
  • Brush Pens
  • Fineliners

Style

I’m thinking, keep it simple. Its a tricky month for me so this is mostly about seeing how I get on with the supplies above rather than taxing my imagination and skills too much.

  • Zentangle
  • Calligraphy
  • General doodling

Prompts

I think I’m going to go away from the official list and have this as a self care practice, nurtuing, inspiring that kind of thing.  Lets just say Jayne Hardy new book 365 Days of Self Care Jounal I just got, has lots of inspiring words in. Right now that may well be an alternative starting point.

Keep reading for where you can get that book.

Links

  • Jake Parker is the artist who came up with the INKtober concept. Here is the official Inktober website. Inktober official website

Jayne Hardy

So heads up I just contacted Jayne Hardy and she was fine for the words in her book 365 Days of Self Care Journal to be used this way. Thanks Jayne. So if you want nurturing, kind gentle words for your inktober prompts and are looking for a mindfulness kind of diversion with your INKtober.

Screenshot_2018-09-25 365 Days of Self-Care A Journal

365 Days of Self-Care Journal by Jayne Hardy

 

Here is a link to find Jayne Hardy’s new book and Jayne on Twitter.

Who needs a hug right now?

Want to join in with INKtober but feeling a bit anxious? Struggle with anxiety and depression? Have you heard of Blurt? They make the most wonderful self care boxes, you can buy single ones, or join for a monthly box subscription. They are like a hug in a box, full of things to delight your senses and connect you to the inner you.

Want the 365 Days of Self Care Journal book and a bundle of other goodies, a whole hug in a box? Rush over to Blurt where you can buy a Buddy box, which has the book and a package of treats to hold safe space for you when the world gets too much.

Screenshot_2018-09-25 'Self-Care Through The Grotty Times' BuddyBox - The Blurt Foundation

Blurt Buddy box for September 2018. Includes Jayne Hardy’s new book; 365 Days of Self-Care.

Self Care through the Grotty times. This link is for a one off purchase of a Buddy box that has the 365 Days of Self care journal in it. While Stocks last.

We can do this, we can take time for ourselves and our art supplies. Come and gather your fave ink related products n put them on your desk. Pretty aren’t they, tempting aren’t they? Lets find some paper and make some art. Ned permission?

I give you permission to take a journal and in it write this prompt from Suzi Blu

‘In this journal, I give myself permission to make the worst art imaginable’.

That quote can make all the difference. You can share you pics online if that feels good, or NOT if it doesn’t. Its about doing something that makes your heart skip a beat for good reasons. Take supplies scribble, and colour in the gaps, if just having the supplies out on your desk made you smile then YEY, that’s totally awesome.

Can’t face actual drawing? Its ok, how about using a colouring book and dedicating a bit of time each day to use that instead. I know its not ‘quite’ what they had in mind but hey, KISS principle here. Keeping It Simple Simon or Simone 😉

Namaste one and all.

 

Billie

 

 

Meditation Monday: Follow your bliss

Welcome Back

I am in a state of bliss atm, just got my Yinyang tattoo a few days ago and I feel so connected, content and loved right now. This is not a feeling I am used too, but it is very nice.

I’m not one who has found it easy to exist in this body, it is a form with many limitations, and a lot of physical and mental pain, so I retreat to my head a lot. Yet here too there is often little peace. Tattoos are helping me heal my connection to this body and they are helping so much.

It surprises me that I have tattoos, for one thing I HATE with a passion needles and normally I do all that I can to come in contact with them, but thanks to numbing cream this has allowed me to add life lessons to my body in the form of tattoo’s which are helping me view this skin as a safer place to be, with the life lessons I am adding to it, it now becomes a sanctuary, one I can check in with my ink to remind me of what is most important.

Heart Tattoo

This was my first ink, just a little one, see how it went, see if I could hack the pain and get more. But its the meaning behind it that is important.To come at things from a place of love not a place of fear. As someone who lives in an almost constant place of anxiety, trying to remember that I was loved and that I too deserve kindness, love and respect is a lesson I often forget. When I see this heart, it reminds me to stop and ask, is my reaction coming from a place of love or a place of fear. If it comes from a place of fear, it reminds me to stop and wait till I can connect with a softer emotion. That it is ok to hide n wait.

YinYang Tattoo

This is the one I just got. I have a lot of connections to this ink. It took a while to decide if it was right for me, but the time taken to ponder, to journal helped me find out what it would mean to have this on my skin

Life lessons

  1. A friend once told me that however dark the night gets, the sun will still rise in the morning. (Thanks A). This phrase has helped me a lot, in those long dark nights of the soul.
  2. This symbol has connections to Zen Buddhism and Tao which I’m interested in learning about. It has connections to my late husband too, but he wouldn’t want me to get ink FOR him, he’d want me to get it for me. Like the previous reason, its a lesson that nothing is forever. No one is forever, impermanence and change are the constants in life. The only control we have is our reaction to those situations. Everything that is born, will one day die. I have lost too many people very close to me and carry that pain close to my heart, I still have anger, grief, sadness. But the impermanence teaches that in time all things will pass. This too shall pass, is a phrase I used to have written on my mirror.
  3. There is no shadow without the light. I want this ink to remind me that the ‘black dog’ I fight with, dislike, would like to be rid of, is just another of those things that I have to live WITH, its not something I can outrun, outwit. Like the hyperflexing, like the sensitivity to others energy its something that is about learning about what triggers it, and working WITH it, to find a manageable co habitation.

Am I ready to embrace n love my darkness, no, I’m still processing, still learning who I am, what I want or don’t want. what I like or don’t like. What I will have to carry along with me and what is safe to set down and let time and space heal. As someone whose defalt setting is making sure everyone else is ok, stuff the consequences to me, its difficult to shift a bit to, letting my needs get on the list too.

I like that these images will last my life time. That  when gravity gets too heavy I can look at my yinyang and ask ‘what does this situation need to find balance, do I need to take action or wait it out. That I can look at my arm and say ‘You were loved’.

The next tattoo I want to get is of an Enso.

In Zen the closed circle represents enlightenment, completion. The open circle, that you are on the path to enlightenment but are still learning still growing.

For me this one sums up perfectly the tag line from my other blog; ‘Its all about the journey’.

All we have is right now, this second, this moment. That this moment is a sentence, in the chapter not the whole story. What can I do to make this moment feel softer?

Like the Olly Anna song says: ‘I’m the only one who can write my story, ain’t nobody else that will do that for me.’

Links

Here is a wonderful video by Chungliang Al Huang who explains about the background to Yinyang. Please watch this video makes you feel so alive.

Here is a video talking about Enzo in Japanese Zen

I’m on the path to accepting and embracing who I am, working it out step by step, day by day, lesson by lesson. Feeling my way through this journey of life, isn’t pleasant experience but its the path I’m on, so I seek to tread carefully and with love and respect for all.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

 

 

 

Unravel Your Year 2018

Welcome Back

I just popped by to let you know about a wonderful project by Susanna Conway called Unravel you Year and her amazing workbook for helping you find your Word for 2018.

All Available from her website Susannah Conway on her blog page.

They are a wonderful project, really healing. Do have a good look round her website while your over there she has so much delicious soul healing things to read on there.

I hope you can find somewhere warm n cozy to wait out the winter and await the suns return after the winter solstice 21 December. I have been following the Wheel of the Year since last October and its been amazing. Following and honoring each season has been really healing.

If you feel drawn to gathering ‘virtually’ rather than in person there is a wonderful circle over on Beth Owl’s Daughter blog; its caled The 2017 Solstice Sun wheel

Huddling under a blanket to avoid the drafts as best I can, wishing you all Peace, Love n Light.

Namaste and thanks for reading

Billie x

Poem A Day challenge starts tomorrow

Welcome Back

Its been a while but I just wanted to give you a heads up that over on Writers Digest website tomorrow, this years Poem A Day (PAD) Challenge for November begins. As the title suggests, each day there will be a new prompt posted for you to write your poem from. If you have ever wanted to write poems, the PAD; Poem A Day Challenge can be a great place to start.

From the main website, scroll down a little and look for the ‘What’s New’ area of the site, there you will find that day’s prompt and often the previous couple of days prompts too. I believe this is an American site, so the times of day when the prompts go live will be based on that region.

Don’t know about you but I do like sitting by the patio doors, having breakfast, looking at the misty mornings of autumn and writing poetry. This is my most productive time of the year for poetry. This season hurts emotionally, and physically and often mentally too but from there, also comes a creative force. A voice that needs to be heard and the prompts often tempt that voice onto the page. If I could give you one tip, its to write the words your soul wants to speak.

There are a lot of rules about poetry, and lots of poetic forms to explore shoud you wish too. Stephen Fry has written a comprehensive book about them called The Ode Less Travelled, which I ‘tried’ to read but I got confused n just took my journal, a pencil and let the words fall out. Sometimes it works, sometimes they need a nudge to make them sound graceful in a poetic sence. Sometimes the prompts cause free writing, rather than true poetry. But if you write from your soul, it can feel soo good, so freeing, so healing. Follow your heart, get paper, a pencil n feel what you feel, write what you feel, hear, think and see. You might surprise yourself.

Just remember if you are nervous about writing for the first time, or for however long you have been writing. NO ONE has to see what you write. You can write for YOU, because you want to, like to, need too. If you aren’t sure if what you have written ‘works’ for you, maybe try reading it outloud to yourself, it can help to get the words to scan the way you feel you want them too.

I’ll let you into a secret, which is that I write ALL the prompts into a journal to save. I love to write poems, and there are times when the prompts grab me as I read them and the words just flow, other times, they need to be saved n savored at a different time. For me poetry is something that just ‘happens’ I cannot and do not write to order, I’m mearly the one holding the pen and the words arrive. I’ve also found this approach good as at different times I can have different reactions n poetry thoughts and ideas from the prompts so it can be good to revist them more than once.

If you are new to poetry, or this challenge and want to make it a bit special, one of those mindfulness, self care n kindness practices. Do treat yourself to a journal that feels beautiful to you, grab a pen or a pencil can be good as its easier to make corrections if you wanted too. But what is most important is to ‘just write’ it doesn’t have to be perfect, to rhyme if that doesn’t feel right for you, just let the words fall out of the pen and go from there.

If you want to look up different poetic forms (different kinds of poetry) then Stephen Fry’s book An Ode Less Travelled is good. I found it helpful as a reference book so if someone mentioned a technical term that I didn’t understand I could look it up, but I didn’t get on so well reading it from cover to cover but I have dyslexia and shh don’t judge me but I don’t know a verb from a noun. So if too are not one of life’s most accomplished english lit masters, please don’t let that put you off giving writing poetry a go.

Links

  • Writers Digest website Once the challenge has started go to the ‘What’s New’ section on the left hand side for each days new prompt
  • The Ode Less Travelled; Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry. A great place to look up the ‘technical terms’ used in the poetry  world, like stanzas, and different verse forms. You don’t need to read this first, but if you want to learn the local lingo of poetry, learn new forms/styles of writting it is very useful.

If you find yourself bitten by the poetry bug, the PAD Challenge happens each April and November on the Writers Digest site and there is also a poetry prompt every wednesday on the site throughout the year, also found under the ‘What’s new’ section.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy your poetry journey.

Billie x

Self Love September Card Spread

Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share an Oracle/Tarot spread for Self Love September. I was using old favorite spreads and combining them in the last few days, when suddenly I noticed they looked like a capital letter I. So I thought that it would be an ideal spread for Self Love. In a busy world we often do so much for others, this month and indeed this spread is intended to help us answer the question; ‘What do I need right now?’ The deck shown is Vintage Wisdom Oracle by Victoria Moseley.

20170903_091509

Self Love September: Card Spread

Shuffle your chosen deck the way you prefer too, I have used both shuffle n see what flies out, or sticks up from the other cards but sometimes go with shuffle and then spread the whole deck in a line n see which cards I’m drawn too. Please feel free to go with what feel right for you, in that moment.

Top row

Card 1: What does my mind need right now?

Card 2: What does my body need right now?

Card 3: What does my spirit/soul need right now?

Middle row

Card 4: Question of the day [this is the question uppermost on your mind today, you can make this two cards if you felt one wasn’t enough]

Bottom Row

Card 5: What is my guidance for today?

Card 6: What is my lesson for today? [reword as needed, depending if you prefer to do this draw in the morning or at night]

Card 7: Hidden knowledge. [For drawing this card gather the deck together and then select the card at the bottom of the deck]

I’m not claiming this is anything new, just one I was playing with the last few days and noticing it was in the shape of an I, made me want to share it with your for this project. If you like this deck; Vintage Wisdom Oracle by Victoria Moseley, I will be sharing a review on it in the next few days.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

 

 

Winter Survival Plan: November 2016

Welcome Back

For a number of reasons I find the winter months very difficult, so for all those whose hearts also sink as the light levels drop here are a few sites n projects that I would like to share to help us through the long winter evenings. These are just a few ways I’m going to use to distract from the anxiety and depression and hopefully add to my mindfulness options as a gentler way to deal with difficult times. Enjoy

Poem A Day (PAD) Chapbook Challenge over on Writers Digest

This is a twice yearly event one in April and another in NOvember, where the lovely people post daily prompts for you to write poetry too. You can post your finished pieces to the site, or submit them to the competition itself, but for me I just like to write down all the prompts and write as the muse grabs me. If you would like to join in, I’ll add a link at the end of the post. All you need is a journal and a pencil so its free to play at this level.

Susannah Conway e-course Daily Guidance

As those of you who read this regularly may know, I have taken Susannah’s The Sacred Alone course earlier in the year and it was AMAZING!!!!! I adore Oracle cards and it was mention of this course that got me into them when I first visited her website earlier in the year. Daily Guidance is going to cover using Oracle cards and Tarot cards in an intuative way, for personal growth and journalling. I adore journalling, when my hands allow. I have to admit that until recently I have had no interest in Tarot and if I’m really honest viewed it in a bad light. BUT being open minded I wanted to learn more and although when I signed up for this course was going to focus on the Oracle deck side of things, I am now the proud owner of two lovely Tarot decks, and am eager to learn to use them for healing and spiritual growth. Link to the class at the end of the post. My two Tarot decks are The Dreaming Way and also The Gaian Tarot, I could continue of my love for these decks but that is for another post. I’m trying to sit on my hands and NOT fall into the collector of Tarot decks like I have become with the Oracle decks but perhaps different Tarot decks also share different energies like the Oracle decks do so more may well happen in time.

There are other e-courses on different subjects on Susannah’s website too.

Joanna Powell Colbert e-courses

One of the Tarot decks I purchased was Joanna Powell Colbert’s The Gaian Tarot, there will be a very gushy post at another time as to how wonderful this is but on visiting her site and following her on Twitter I found out about an E-course called 30 Days of Hecate –  A Daily Sacred Pause of Welcoming Hallowmas. Link at the end of the post. I admit to knowing nothing about Hecate but I am expolring my spiritual options this year, I adored Denise Linn’s book Kindling the Native Spirit and my body is certainly very in tune with the weather and seasons as pain levels and more are also very effected by them so I am interested in learning more about earth based practices. Join up quick on this one as it starts 24th October.

When my hands allow I have also been batch making soup n such for the freezer so when I feel exhausted or my hands don’t work there will still be another option to a ready meal as an option in the freezer. Yes food does make a big difference to mood, so eat as well as your health allows. May the weather be kind, may you find hope courage and comfort in what ever you do to plan a coping strategy through the long dark evenings. Let me know what your strategies are, would love to hear about them, and your fave Oracle and Tarot decks too. #Confession I’ve also started a collection of Tarot books, but not all have arrived yet and I will hold off reading them till AFTER Susannah’s class.

Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell

This is my book of the month, need to swap the copy I have as it arrived damaged but she is an amazing empowering writer and since I loved her Light is the New Black book so much I HAD to get this too.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, look forward to hearing your strategies for winter.

Namaste

B x