The Pink Button Tree

The Pink Button Tree: January 2016

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Inspired by...A wall of feel good messages

Feel Good Messages - The Pink Button Tree

Wherever I have lived I have always tried to create a space that shows elements of my personality and inspires me. Throughout university I decorated my bland walls with colour and images that spoke to me, creating a space that that reminded me of what I love and things that made me smile. I clearly remember a motivational board that I put together in a clip frame at university that came with me everywhere I lived.

I'm spending a few hours today in my creative space and I wanted to share with you my inspiring wall of feel good messages that I've been collecting over the past year or so. Each one motivates or connects to me in different ways and this week I added a few new postcards so it was a perfect time to tell you about this space I have created.

My wall of inspirational messages is in our attic room, a space where I like to get away to write and create. Over the past year or so I've been collecting cards with feel good messages that really speak to me. On this wall are a few of my favourite cards, they include some that were posted all the way from Australia by a great friend of mine, there are postcards collected over a few years from Paperchase, my winter manifesto, as well as cards and items that I've collected from events I've attended or from items I've bought. As well as the cards, I printed off the incredible quote that brought tears to my eyes at Blogtacular last year, "Are you doing what you love? Or just what is expected of you?". This quote by Anthony Peters spoke to me deeply on the day, changing my heart and my mindset, and has continued from that day to inspire me across everything that I do.

I continually add to this inspiring wall space when I spot something I love. This week I added two new postcards to the wall. Firstly a postcard that says 'The World is your Oyster', from Paperchase. I bought one for a friend who is about to embark on an exciting new adventure and I loved it so much that I went back and bought one for myself. I also received a surprise piece of post yesterday...During Blogtacular last year we wrote on a postcard a message to ourselves and included our learnings from the day. Selecting from the postcards available, I chose the postcard with the word 'Brave' on it...and yesterday it arrived. Reading the message I had written to myself was something that I really needed to see, and so I've added it to my wall.

Having a space with feel good messages or images that really speak to you can provide a real motivation, inspiration and focus. I know that for me having this inspiring wall of feel good messages will give me a boost when I need it. It's going to be a full year, I'm going to be studying for and completing my coaching qualification, planning a wedding (to happen later this year!) and continuing to write my blog and draft chapters of my book. Looking at a wall with these inspiring messages I know will keep me on track and be a space that motivates me.

Perhaps you may like to put together something similar to group together things that you love. Creating a wall of inspiration like this for yourself is really simple. Start with one or two inspirational images or quotes, and add to it when you see something special and create a small space that you love. You might like to add them to a wall like I have with washi tape, put them in a pretty frame or collect items on a shelf or sideboard. I will be moving these cards to a 3D frame at some point this year, adding my One Little Word from each year I've done the course, adding images and photos I love, as well as other things as I go too. I hope you'll join me and create your own, I'd love to hear about it if you do.

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Saturday, 16 January 2016

My Winter Manifesto 2016

My Winter Manifesto

When I was younger I was obsessed by the weather and cloud formations and remember saying at a young age that 'the sky is like a piece of ever changing art' one point in my life I wanted to be a meteorologist...That desire and passion for watching the sky and noticing nature's changes is a practice that grounds me and sparks a flow of energy inside me. I studied geography at school, sixth form college, and then a masters degree for four years of my life. Despite not using the content of my studies in my day job, my passion for landscapes and understanding the natural features of the world lights me up and is with me unconsciously everyday. Noticing the changes in temperature, light, the weather, and plants during the year allows me to connect with nature. I'm sure we all do this is some way, don't we. For me having this connection really helps spark creative ideas and bring these thoughts into what I love to do and how I live my life.

Each season brings with it something new, a new chapter. I take real pleasure from noticing the changes and love the blurry edges to the seasons as they move to the next. My word this year is Awaken and with this in mind I have decided that I want to awaken more of a connection to the seasons than I have done before. I want to awaken more awareness and I want to awaken my senses.

To help me achieve this I'm writing a manifesto for each season of the year. A manifesto for me is a statement that pulls together my thoughts and the key things that what I want to get out of the season ahead and to help act as a guide. For me it's about thinking of the simple pleasures I love during the season, celebrating what the season brings, creating direction, actions, and practical and achievable intentions, with the outcome of connecting more to each season in an intentional and focused way. Life is full and creating a practice to allow myself to intentionally become more mindful is a such a good thing. Living with and observing the seasons is something that I do unconsciously, I adore it, but I want to awaken more of an awareness.

Writing a manifesto is not something new for me. Over the past few years I've written intentions and manifestos for the Christmas period, for both Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas online class and Ali Edwards December Daily project. Writing the introductions to each of these projects is one of my favourite ways to focus for the time ahead. Where I can over the past few years I've combined both approaches and I get immense pleasure from thinking through and living these actions during that time of year. I've been inspired by them and have decided to extend this practice to be an activity I enjoy all year round.

I've been living with my manifesto for a few weeks now and feel that it's time to put it out there. My manifesto for this winter is...

Escape from all things digital once a week
Celebrate our 8 year anniversary
Notice changes in the light and sky
Handwrite a letter
Listen to something new
Knit mittens
Decorate our home with seasonal items
Discover and cook a new recipe
Make space for yoga
Read an inspiring book

To create my manifesto I took time to hunker down and think. Over a few days I spent time with a notebook, blanket and cups of tea to journal my thoughts.

This week you may have noticed a few images popping up on my Instagram feed. I will add the hashtag #livingmywintermanifesto2016 to my images in Instagram to show you what I'm doing to bring in this new practice into my life. I'd love to hear about your intentions for this winter season so you might like to join in too and let me know your thoughts here or on my Facebook page.

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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Awaken :: My One Little Word 2016

Awaken - One Little Word 2016

The word that I have chosen for 2016 is Awaken. I thought my word for 2016 was going to be 'Thrive' or 'Bloom', as both came to me with great gusto mid-way through last year and for a while they seemed to sit well. However the closer to the end of the year I got the more I felt that there was something missing. Deep down I felt that I needed to awaken before being able to move towards, welcoming a focus of bloom or thrive into my life.

Awaken feels like a word that is powered by positive action and for me signals the activation of something new or waking something inside that is new or that was once there. Simplify, my word for 2015, allowed me to create some space for new things, and created positive changes and approaches in my life. It's now time to see what Awaken may bring to the year ahead.

Initially I thought the word Awaken would be a great anchor to enable me to be motivated to wake up early and fit more things into my day, like writing and yoga before work. But the more I think about bringing the word into my life the more I want to awaken in a variety of different ways. I want to awaken a deeper awareness of my skill set and awaken things that were once close to my heart but have been in a light sleep. I want to awaken things that have interested me, take them to a new level and bring them more into my day. I want to awaken and revive passions that may have been in a slumber and rouse new things in me too. I want to awaken a sense of resourcefulness this year as I make steps forward in many areas of my life.

Each year I hold great hope that in some way my chosen word will help guide my approach and become part of the journey of the year in whatever way it manifests itself. I will welcome Awaken with open arms and see what appears this year.

I know that you are wondering how you could have a word for the year. You might want to take a look at Ali Edwards One Little Word class and watch the inspiring video. If you join in and select a word for this year I'd love to hear about your choice of word.

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Sunday, 3 January 2016

Review of Simplify :: My One Little Word 2015

Simplify - One Little Word 2015

For the past three years I've selected a word to bring into my daily life. I've not done this alone, I've taken an online class and been part of the One Little Word community set up by Ali Edwards. Ali is someone I hugely admire and who inspires me with her creative practice and her approach.

For 2015 my word was 'Simplify'. In 2014 my word was 'Embrace' and in 2013 my word was 'Grow'. Reflecting on my word from the previous year, and selecting a new word for the year ahead, are some of my favourite rituals I have embedded into January and have become part of my new year routine.

Every year I'm amazed to see what my word has brought with it, what it has helped me focus on and achieve. For me 'Simplify' was a word I really needed for my own personal development, it changed me. It became a guiding focus when deciding particular approaches to take, solving problems and facing challenges. I felt my thinking processes were influenced by having a focus on Simplify during the year, whether it be about my future plans, relationships, expectations I put on myself, projects I worked on and day to day life. It enabled more positive outcomes to unravel in front of me.

Simplify enabled me to gain closure in many situations, allowing valuable space to be made and energy conserved for other things. Simplify enabled me to gain a refreshed perspective and open up, allowing new things to flow. Simplify brought me peace in decisions taken and enabled me to get to know myself even better. I've started to understand in more depth the importance of my personal values and what I want out of my life. I've become more aware of how important it can be to observe the way my body is feeling and go with my gut feelings and intuition to help me select the most effective and simple approach for me. Simplify has given me a focus to live more in the present moment.

It felt that 2015 went by so quickly and at times I could feel that I wasn't quite making the most of my word. I know that there are more things that could benefit greatly by having Simplify as a focus, and in time I will action them. I'm not ready to say goodbye to Simplify, and like previous years, I know that it has now become part of my personal toolkit.

I am forever grateful to have a word that creates an anchor for me during the year. I will be continuing my journey with a new word for 2016 and I look forward to sharing this with you soon.

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