Tag: mindset

Unplugged in Mabalingwe


It is ok to be unplugged!  To leave behind responsibilities and that fine but strong thread that ties us to the online world.  It isn’t easy though.

The lure of the African bush

When we started planning our trip to South Africa, I just knew I wanted time in the bush.  Time to get back to my roots and feel ‘African’.  It is hard to describe the assault to the senses that sunset in the bush is – it’s the smell of the soil and the aroma of smoke as the fires crackle for night-time braais (BBQs).  The gentle sun on my skin, and the sparkle that the sun creates as it touches the leaves in the trees and kisses the water.  It is the taste of a cold beer, or glass of wine and the company of good friends.  And, It is even the laugh as you look behind you and find a family of warthogs wanted to join in.

Dreams do come true and we had our bush experience at beautiful Mabalingwe, a nature reserve in the Swartberg Mountains in Limpopo Province in South Africa.

Letting go

We shopped, we packed and set off on our journey.  It is funny that the first thing we seem to do when we get anywhere is to check our phones.  And when we got settled in to our gorgeous cottage, we had nothing.  No signal at all!   Between us we tried all sorts of positions and combinations but to be honest no matter what we tried it didn’t work.  Standing on my tip toes with my head angled towards I don’t know what, I managed to send a message that we had arrived safely.  We relaxed, we ate good food, we chatted and laughed and yes, had that glass of wine or two.

Mabalingwe is an amazing place, with the opportunity to go on self-drive safari.  We got up early in the morning and headed out at a slow pace, rambling along taking in all the sights, sounds and smells that epitomise the African bush.  Lucky for us, we saw some amazing sights including my two favourite animals, zebra’s and giraffes.

Unplugged and without transport!

I told myself I was fine, not being connected.  After a couple of days of no internet access I felt quite smug. I could do this.  That was until I finished my book on my kindle and realised I didn’t have a way of downloading a new one.

On Monday I needed to confirm that the hire car I had booked would be delivered.  Now my stress levels started rising.  I couldn’t make a clear phone call as the signal kept dropping.  I couldn’t access my emails and to be honest I didn’t feel good knowing that I was so out of touch.

Eventually I asked the hotel reception for assistance and some hours later the car turned up.  Sometimes we need a reminder of how things were done before mobile phones arrived.

To celebrate the arrival of the car, we visited Vultures View – the amazing pub that is literally in the sky and offers great service, good food and views begging to be posted on Instagram.  And, we discovered, the best WiFi!

I downloaded a book, or two, checked my mail and social media accounts and realised that truthfully, I hadn’t missed much.

Choosing to be unplugged

For the balance of the week, I chose to be unplugged (almost 24/7).  It was quite freeing to know that scrolling through my phone was pointless.  Instead I read lots of books and took time to simply do nothing.

I also, treated myself to a couple of treatments at the Mbali Spa.  Self-care is a bit like being unplugged – you know you need to do it, but in the hustle of daily life it gets forgotten.  I made my choice and simply relaxed. My first treatment was a geranium and pine sugar scrub.  I felt so good after it that I booked a facial for the next day.

I must admit that every couple of days we visited the pub and ‘checked-in’.  We even got caught in the most amazing and scary thunderstorm one day, when even the higher powers unplugged the electricity.

Perhaps I need the thought of our beautiful time in the bush to remind me to stop scrolling and unplug.

Thank you for sharing my adventures.

Kerry x

 

Creativity is the process not the final product

Creativity is a process.  It has always been part of my life, and recently I realised something really special.  It is not the item you create that matters but the process of creating it.

With Christmas fast approaching I am reminded of my childhood.  Until I was about seven I had a lisp.  When I was asked what I wanted for Christmas I answered – bits and pieces (with the signature lisp of course).

What I meant was things to create with.  Every Christmas I remember included something creative.  Spirographs, dress up doll designer sets, fuzzy felt, paints, paper and of course glitter and glue.

As an adult creativity continues to be a huge part of my life.  I am truly in my happy place when I have a paintbrush in my hand.  I have a jar of paintbrushes on my kitchen windowsill permanently.

My love of Creativity

Although I have my creative loves, I continue to explore new avenues as they appear on my horizon.  I recently started encaustic art, the practice of using was and resin to create images.  It is a new addiction and I look forward to the one Saturday a month where I drive the most beautiful country from County Galway to the banks of Lough Derg in County Clare.  I take time out in the studio of the talented Isabelle Gaborit .

Anyone who knows me knows that I am talkative.  When I am in my creative zone I am quiet.

You can’t pour from an empty cup

I have thought a lot about the creative process.  We spend so much of our lives giving – pouring out support to family and friends, ensuring that there is money to pay the bills and more.  What we need to do is to fill our own cup and the best way to do this is by getting into a state of flow.  When we are in a state of flow that we fill up and replenish the energy we need for day-to-day life.

And, it doesn’t have to be art.  It could be cooking, gardening, embroidery (like my talented Mum), it doesn’t really matter what you do, the important thing is that for some time every week you are filling your own cup by getting into a creative space.

Teaching the joy of craft

For some time now I have taught crafts.  At the moment I have a monthly class held at the truly creative space that is Andrea Rossi’s art studio in Spiddal.  I pack my car and creations early on a Saturday morning and then travel down to ‘teach’ the class.

Inevitably I leave something behind (there is a lot to remember).  Some of the regular participants have said they don’t mind what they do, it is the day out that they enjoy.  That it doesn’t matter if I have left something behind, we can make a plan.

This really got me thinking about the creative process.  I was then reading the Psychologies magazine and came across a reference to creativity, where the author referred to the process.  I have hunted back and cannot find the reference, but the message stayed with me.  It is about the time we spend in the process from coming up with a concept and teasing it out.  Breaking a blank page, or turning on the oven for a cake that will be eaten with delight, no matter what your form of creativity is, the most important thing is to embrace and enjoy it.

 

As I approach Christmas this year, I know that I will have new watercolours and other creative goodies on my list.  Bits and pieces really – items that will inspire me and allow me to get into flow and be creative.  I will fill my cup and be ready to pour.

Thank you for reading.

Kerry x

Get up and Go – I am excited!

Sponsored post

Get-up and Go – how many times have you asked for a little of that.  I know I have.  Days when I am tired, or simply not motivated.  I hear a voice in my head – Kerry, just get up and go.

Well it seems that the call has been answered.  I am delighted to be attending the Get up and Go event in Sligo on 21 and 22 April.

I will be spending two days in a beautiful setting in County Sligo listening to some of the most inspiring speakers and most importantly tapping into my own get up and go.

Get up and Go with Passion and Purpose

The Theme for 2017 is Get Up and Go with Passion and Purpose.  It was chosen to inspire everyone to think about what you are truly passionate about and to discover how to create purpose in life by living true to your passion.

Spend two days listening to wonderful inspirational speakers in their own unique style of ‘get up and go’. Speakers and topics range from business, adventure, entrepreneurship, confidence, education, health and well-being. All with the intention to inspire, motivate, encourage and empower the audience to ‘get up and go’ in life, especially in areas where they might be ‘stopped’ or stuck.

‘Our speakers this year show us how, as ordinary people, we can courageously step outside of our ‘comfort zones’ to pursue what is important to us, and be a demonstration of life lived in accordance with passion and purpose”, said Eileen Bennett organiser and publisher of the now famous Get up and Go diary series..

Do you suffer from FOMO?

I am one of those people who suffer from serious FOMO (fear of missing out).  There are often great events on in Dublin or abroad, that I simply can’t get to for one reason or another.  This time there is a unique opportunity to listen to some amazing speakers at an affordable price point and within reach.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Sligo is a spectacularly beautiful location on the Wild Atlantic Way, with scenery that has inspired artists for years.  I will be snapping images for my upcoming art exhibition as we travel north for a two-day event that promises to shift thinking.

This is really an event with a heart.  It is a not for profit event with four charities that will receive support.  I am guessing that there will be many more people who will be benefiting from simply attending, listening to the speaker and tapping into their get up and go.

Hope to see you there, and watch this space for a report back.  I have my notebooks ready and know I will return inspired.

Thank you for reading.

Kerry xx

This is a sponsored post in conjunction with the Irish Blogger Agency.  But, to be honest I would have written it anyway, it is an event that is just up my street!  I am counting the days.

 

The Art of Giving to Yourself

Over the festive season there is a lot of giving going on, but how much are you giving to yourself?

In January it is time to give yourself gifts and feel true gratitude.

If we don’t fill up our own cup, we will eventually become depleted and not be able to give to anyone at all.

This is not only about gifts that come wrapped in shiny paper with ribbons, I am also talking about the gifts that cannot be wrapped.  The gifts of time, indulgence and those that do not have monetary value.

The Little Book of Hygge

For Christmas I was given The Little Book of Hygge – The Danish way to live well by Meik Wiking.  This is published by the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.  My grandfather was from Denmark and I am entranced by this idea and how Danes find happiness.  I am sure I will be writing more on this subject this year, but for now I wanted to quote the book regarding giving and gratitude.

Wiking speaks of hygge in terms of giving yourself and others a treat.  ‘It is about savouring the moment and the simple pleasures of good food and good company.

‘It is giving the hot chocolate and whipped cream the attention it deserves. In short indulgence.Hygge is about the now and how to enjoy the moment and make the best of it.

‘More than anything, savouring is about gratitude.  Gratitude is more than just a simple thank you when you receive a gift, it is about keeping in mind that you live right now and allowing yourself to focus on the moment and appreciate the life you lead, to focus on all that you do have and not what you don’t.”

He confirms that evidence-based studies show that practising gratitude has an impact on happiness.

The Art of Giving to Yourself – January Challenge

As a January challenge I am going to give something to myself every week – and perhaps take it through 2017.  I would love it if you would join me on this challenge.

I have put a quick list together of gift items you may consider:

  1. I recently visited the Seabreeze Beauty Clinic in Oranmore (very close to where I live). This is a wonderful oasis of calm.  The staff are friendly and welcoming and the treatments I had were sublime.  I am definitely going back for one of my gifts to me.  In January it might be small – a manicure perhaps, but I have a whole lot more on my wish list.  The day spa includes a wonderful relaxation room, seaweed baths, a sauna and of course all the wonderful treatment rooms. (This was event organised by the wonderful ITWBN)
  2. A good book and a big cup of tea. There is nothing quite like a good book.  I read on my Kindle a lot and you can pick up a great read for as little as 99c.  I subscribe to BookBub and find out about some great deals.  Why not make yourself a jumbo cup or better yet a pot of tea and give yourself a full hour to sit quietly and read.
  3. Time out to simply be. We live in a world where everything is rush rush.  I am not the worst but I remember when I was working full time and there simply wasn’t time to be.  Why not book yourself a holiday day (or take a Saturday or Sunday). If you can’t do a full day start with a half day.  Tell your partner and family you are having a me day and do exactly as you want.  It may sound selfish but it really is important.  But refuelling in whatever way suits you best you will be in a far better place to be the best you can be.  It may be a day shopping, or going to the gym.  It is a day for doing what you want to do and answering to only you.
  4. Have tea with a friend. I love a good chat – and if it is accompanied by tea or coffee and cake even better.  Taking an hour or two out of your day won’t cause stress, I promise it will reduce it.
  5. Take a class. I teach craft classes and I think I get more out of the class sometimes than the students.  Putting yourself in a situation where you are in flow is so good for the soul.  Although I am tired, I am also energised after a class.
  6. Eat well. I am a few kilograms up after Christmas and despite loving all the yummy Christmas treats I don’t feel great.  I intend gifting myself with some lovely meals.  I will make them, set the table and sit down and eat them.  I will savour each bite and know I am giving my body a gift.
  7. A good magazine – or if you can afford it a subscription. I love the Psychologies magazine – it is my one monthly indulgence and it feeds my mind as well as being a great read.  No matter what you choose – choose for you, and of course feel free to indulge in a cup of something while you read.

 

The most important thing – according to Hygge is to savour your gift to yourself.

If you would like to join me on this challenge I would love to hear your ideas and how you get on.  Feel free to comment here or on Facebook.

Thank you for reading.

Kerry x

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