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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Just be yourself

I love this quote and wanted to share this with you today.    I wish I’d seen inspiring words like this when I was a bit younger.  I spent many years wondering why I felt different from everyone else – it didn’t feel as though I could fit in anywhere.  I stifled who I knew in my heart I was in an effort to fit in with others’ expectations of me.   In essence, I became a smaller version of who I could be.

It’s taken a long time but I now know and appreciate the fact I’m not mainstream – I make no apologies for that.  I have all kinds of perhaps unusual (to some) interests and I follow these with curiosity and passion.  Yes, I love to hug trees - the vibrant energy emanating from trees is something to be experienced,  it's very grounding and I love it.  I love to make sense of my world, and receive guidance,  by meditating and journaling.   I love to both give and receive energy healing and I'm fascinated with all things metaphysical and other worldly.   I love to holiday alone on remote Scottish islands where I spend all my time walking, beach combing  and connecting with nature.

I’ve finally given myself permission to live in a way that is authentic to what I know in my heart to be true and what feels right for me.

As I age, an inescapable fact for those of us fortunate enough to do so, who I believe myself to be changes as I naturally grow and evolve – as we all do.  I overheard a conversation on the radio as I was driving yesterday, which prompted this blog, where an older lady was saying how she had things in her wardrobe she didn’t feel she ‘should’ wear for fear of being labelled as ‘mutton dressed as lamb’.   This was a real dilemma for her.

Mutton dressed as lamb is a really old phrase dating back to the 19th century – but surprisingly still prevalent in our cultural thinking, and certainly alive in the media – showing the longevity and impact phrases can have in the way we choose to live our lives.    In this case those invisible rules around how an older woman should look or the way she ‘should’ conduct herself.

Naturally that got me thinking about how I show up in life and how much unconscious conditioning I may be responding to in my choices about what I wear, where I shop and even how I look.  Indeed, who is driving my bus?!  What invisible rules am I responding to in the choices I make about what to wear, how to style my hair and how to act as a 61 year old.

I'm fully aware that the thinking around what you should or shouldn't wear can happen at a much younger age too - particularly as we take on roles in life such as mother or even a young grandmother.  This can influence our perception around who we think we are - or worse still, we lose sight of the real 'us' as we become more identified with the roles we play.

The question is,  am I making heart centered choices that are authentically mine or am I being influenced by societal expectations?   Food for thought. I was a bit of a rebel in my younger days and now I find I am returning to that mindset.

Give yourself permission to listen to your heart, to just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical, person that you are.

This applies to all of us – we are all affected by the modern day memes floating about on social media.  All that noise is more than capable of drowning out the whispers from our heart.
So are you proud of who you are?  Are you being yourself?  Who’s voice are you listening to when you make decisions about your life?

Remember, it's time to be proud of who you are and give yourself permission to be wholeheartedly you.

Shirley x

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Encouraging gift ideas for busy Mums

It's another snow day here in Essex!  I have been enjoying the quiet time at home (there have of course been a few arguments but overall it's been good!).  It is near on impossible to work with the children around but for some reason, I feel like I've gotten quite a bit down on paper, at least!  The trick I find is to grab 2 minute moments where I can.  So while they are playing or after I've spent some time with them, I cease the moment and get writing or planning!  It feels like I'm not moving anywhere fast but actually, when you can focus a little, all those minutes add up.

I thought I'd jump on this afternoon and show you some alternative Mother's Day gift ideas that are in our shop now!  There's only a few days to order as we need time to prepare and post them out to you.  As a rule we don't make items especially for occasions but I think these boxes are just perfect for busy Mums.

We have 2 types in the shop currently; Self care and encouragement and Bloom from within.  The self care box is aimed at reminding the recipient of how important they are.


It's very easy (whether you are a busy Mum or not) to put ourselves and our own needs at the bottom of the pile.  I do it myself, all the time.  The more we remind ourselves of our importance in our families, the more we realise that everything often functions around us!  When our needs aren't being met, it's so much harder to deal with juggling everything else in our lives.  We hope that our box filled with uplifting stationery and artwork will inspire a few Mums out there to look at where they can start to put their needs first.

Our second and most recent design is Bloom from within.


This box differs slightly in that the contents are aimed at boosting self esteem and confidence.  Again these messages can benefit us all.  But as Mums we get so caught up in the demands of our families that it's very easy to all of a sudden wonder who we are, where She went and how to possibly get back to the place we were at before children?!  Perhaps confidence was never high, but again, the best place to start is here.  Knowing that you want to make a change and being inspired enough to start.

Maybe you have a stationery loving Mum?  I know I do!  I don't think you can ever have enough notebooks when you love to get organised and make lists.  (My problem is more remember to look at all the lists I make!)  We've 2 brand new notebook designs in the shop, both printed from our original artwork as always:

And back in stock are our popular motivational quote pencils!  The rainbow of colour is so welcome at the moment and they really are the most happy treat, containing the perfect encouraging words.  We like to think they are something a bit different too and we've sold many of these as gifts! We also sell a sea-themed set and if you've followed us for a while you'll know how much we love the sea.   

Finally, (because otherwise this could go on forever with possibilities) we've bundled together some of our quote postcards which could be perfect for a feature wall or to use as stationery.  We've seen these framed by customers, popped up on a wall with washi tape or sent to cheer someone up.  Most recently a customer was going to send to her best friend in hospital to keep her spirits up!  How lovely!  My favourite set are these and you'll find them in the shop now:

IMG_20180217_074924   IMG_20180217_075412

So there you go guys, a few of our new and spring-like designs to hopefully inspire and encourage you in your day!  I love an alternative gift too - something that someone isn't expecting with words that might just help them in some way.

Lots of love,
Signature - Gemma