I have been thinking about transformative emotional scar tissue; how we get scars that are golden: not healed but transformed.
Golden scars are, in my opinion formed when we leave behind the ‘what ifs’ and pursue the ‘how can this transform the future?’. A shift in thinking from the sticky stuckness of the past to a glimmer of change for the future.
The pain doesn’t evaporate, but it metamorphoses into something quintessentially beautiful. This is Kintsugi.
I have been learning recently about nurturing my inner child. This involve something many adults have forgotten and that is how to play.
Last night I was walking round in a circle, shaking the life out of a tambourine, banging on it occasionally with a maraca that I was also shaking wildly, dressed in a kaftan and singing to a song about tidying up (I never knew tidying up could be such fun.
Play is good for us, in that we need a good balance of work and play in our lives, as the old adage foes. If we are overworked, it is likely that we may be actually quite unproductive.
I will be looking into much more in depth in regard to parenting soon on this blog, as I am very interested in child psychology. But one thing I know is that if our inner child is unhappy, our external adult will sure be.
Some adults may not know how to play and this is a shame. How can we rectify this? Here are a few suggestions
Find a friend to play some games with
Go to the park with your child/nephew niece and go on the swings
Dance wildly around the room to some music
Play a musical instrument (doesn’t have to be tuneful)
I feel it is so important to give ourselves space to enjoy life. Life is so short and if there is a balance it affects our wellbeing.
Please let me know your suggestions on adult play(the crazier the better). There is nothing wrong with playing with toys by the way (it can be therapeutic).
I wanted to share my experience during the pandemic. I am a qualified social worker and I was running groups for vulnerable adults.
Then Covid came and along with that came a big shift in my thinking. I was working alongside a foodbank and as an experiment I put out a rusty old clothes rail. Anyway the clothes went flying off the rail.
I soon realised that people, especially in Thanet where I live, are in financial trouble. People are struggling to afford basic things such as food and clothes. Many have no sleeping or cooking facilities.
We have now grown and are in the process of forming the East Kent Clothing Bank, covering Margate to Folkestone.
We have now helped over 2000 people and ran a very successful toy event last Christmas . Our clothes bank is outside and we offer clothes, bedding and household goods. We also provide things like prescription glasses which many are unable to afford.
Many of our homeless community come down and are offered advice and support as well as clothing. We try to give them clean underwear and socks too. We work with the local hygiene bank too, so free hygiene products can be given to women.
We also provide a man and van service and have delivered washing machines and sofas and fridges to families in need.
We aim to combat poverty and restore hope and dignity. This is pure social work.
Thinking outside the box #CreateMeaning I wanted to share my thoughts around redefining work in a meaningful way. Sometimes the mundane creeps in and we feel stuck.
Sometimes work feels overwhelming or stressful. As a social worker, I think it is important to follow the fundamental principle of social work ethics and help others.
I also think asking questions about a job role is extremely important Am I enjoying this? And if not why? Is it a good fit? And if it isn’t maybe speak to your manager about a new role, take on extra responsibility or a new challenge.
When Covid hit I redefined my project through an experiment with a clothes rail. This has now mushroomed into the East Kent clothes bank and we work alongside the local authority, offering household goods and clothing. We support unaccompanied asylum seekers and looked after children as well as various people in our community who are vulnerable for various reasons such as homelessness.
This all came from an experiment. A decision to try something new. And it has revolutionised my role. I am so thrilled it has taken off. I love helping others. I love going to work.
If you are stagnating and can make changes in your workplace, now is a good time. The pandemic has shaken things so that old ways of doing ‘ normal are no longer needed in many senses. And a new ‘ normal’ paves the way for a new creation of what it means to be in the workplace.
We offer a free charity shop model but also a revolutionary approach to landfill, generating hardly any waste. Old broken baby toys are used for bird toys by one of our clients, who have made their feathered friends a paradise in their cafe with brightly coloured shape sorters., mirrors, plastic shapes and cranes.
I love being innovative. And in this pandemic the new and different approaches seem to be at the forefront. My advice is be brave, step out, embrace the new and take a risk. There is no harm in trying!
I have been having many conversations about parenting recently. I will post more about the research undergirding the concept of parenting that I am exploring, however one concept which I fully endorse is that of the tribe.
Tribal living is essentially about connectedness. It is about things such as: I don’t have a child but I can offer my motherhood heart and gifts in helping you raise your child. It looks like people using their skills and abilities to support others. It involves things like sharing time and space. It is inclusive.
So how does one achieve this? Is it possible in modern day society? I feel that it is possible, but takes commitment and work. Here are some suggestions as to how to build a beautiful tribe:
Communicate and be crystal clear about expectations and gifts. To explain further: I am not a gifted cook, but I offer skills such as support with childcare and tidying, or helping to empty or fill the dishwasher.
Be very clear in regard to supporting with childcare what parental boundaries look like. Check out the language you are using with children to ensure you are building on what parents expect.
Be aware of triggers. Be open to correction, for example; I was using language which mamma felt was not conveying a clear message. I have now changed this.
Be aware of spending time on your own and giving the family space. Tribal living is supportive, not invasive. It should be like a family, where space and boundaries are respected. To work it needs to be reciprocal but also there needs to be space to breathe.
It is okay to be sad in the environment and to feel pain and share this. This is being real, However, one needs to learn to regulate one’s own emotions too, so that it is not burdensome upon others.
These are just a few suggestions. I would love to hear your views. I will be posting more about parenting soon.
I am learning through the lens of my two year old goddaughter this week. She is potty training. But I don’t want to speak much about that. What I want to share is lessons learnt from a book about potty training (Glowacki, J,. 2015).
Glowacki informs us that potty training comprises blocks of learning. This is training. And I love this concept. Life is about blocks of learning. We learn and sometimes we have accidents or make mistakes. And that’s okay.
We can be so exacting on ourselves as individuals. I watched some of the recent Olympics and the most memorable moment of all for me was when one athlete threw a discus and it hit the net. I loved that. Because even athletes of Olympic standard make mistakes.
Tribal living (more of that in a future post), is about support and learning from one another. Lessons are a shared experience and there is no shame. Just support.
I have become fascinated by the concept of potty training. So many aspects to it. And at the end of the day, a wonderful feeling of accomplishment!
I sit here and look out of my window. A plethora of yellow flowers nods in greeting. I am in a room bathed in light. Upstairs there is a window looking out to sea. The pellucid light dances everywhere.
Inside the house, the atmosphere is one of deep welcome infused with joy. There are daily exploratory conversations which stimulate the senses. Everyone plays their part and serves one another.
Beauty is interwoven in the house. The beauty of family life, of careful design, using space, light and colour. There is thought behind every nook and cranny.
The welcome infuses itself into the love dishes prepared each evening. The meals are cooked with tender care and the food tastes of love. Eating the meals is a small touch of heaven.
Nothing is mediocre here, nothing is wasted. All is special and carefully done. This is how life can be lived.
This is my holiday home and I am truly deeply grateful to experience the glorious beauty of life here X
I have been learning about the healing power of a two year old child. My godaughter, who shall remain nameless for privacy reasons, is an absolute star. Only she could have her godmother doing star jumps for over and hour and running around in circles, singing and dancing to that famous song from the movie that so many girls love.
It is beautiful to see the love in a child’s eyes and hear your name called in a way that shows they are excited to see you. For someone who hasn’t always felt that special, it is an absolute gift. Hugs, laughter and telling me she is happy and wanting to spend time with me makes me feel on top of the world.
Does anyone else know this wonderful experience? I haven’t any children of my own and it is also a gift for my goddaughter’s parents to allow me to share time with their precious daughter.
From all this I have begun to see that so much in life is special that may seem simple. Spending time with a tiny human has shown me that the world is truly a magical place. Sparkling bags, trying on necklaces and outfits, tomatoes, strawberries, avocado, all are greeted with excitement.
Thank you to my goddaughter for giving me the gift of life’s magic. If life is stale, then maybe look through the lens of a child. It totally blows you away!
In my opinion life as I knew it in 2019 when I was flying back from an amazing visit to Australia, will never return. Covid is a mutating disease, possibly dodging the vaccines we throw at it like some kind of ‘Sticky Monster’ game.
But that being said, it is possible to still be happy and still enjoy life, albeit in a far simpler way. I thought I would list the things I no longer do and now do and if you have any thoughts then please share. Life is shifting and changing, never the same. And a pandemic shifts us; our persepctive, our focus and values.
Here are my no longers:
I no longer us public transport if possible
I no longer go clothes shopping unless essential
I no longer use restaurants
And my changes:
More outdoor exercise, walking etc
I enjoy sitting in the garden
More time reading and thinking
Much simpler lifestyle and less emphasis on spending money to have fun
What does your new normal look like? And why is that?
Most of all I refuse to let Covid ruin my life. Yes redefine but definitely not destroy