Things on my mind this week:
Yoga, Konmari, social media, inspiration, comparison, bravery, change, authenticity. Let’s see if I can marshal these into some kind of coherent narrative. Follow along with my looping stream of consciousness!
Let’s start with the yoga – we are heading into the last week of Dedicate, Yoga goddess and all round good human Adriene Mishler’s 30 day yoga journey. A program which she creates fresh every year, and shares with us all FOR FREE. This is the 4th year that I’ve followed along, every time amazed and thrilled and stretched at not only what I am capable of, but also at the way having a regular practice changes how you think about life. My muscles ache, that is for absolute certain, but it stretches your mind, too. It switches your perspective, gets you to ask yourself questions, and generally makes you spend time thinking about stuff that regular life doesn’t generally allow time for. I’ve written several times before about how much I admire Adriene and what she does, so I won’t gush on about it again here. Except that I love her.
Which then got me thinking about other women I adore from a slightly weird I’ve-never-met-you-and-never-will-but-we-should-friends kind of way. I’m currently reading Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming. It’s brilliant and interesting and I also love her. She’s just absolutely herself. Complex and multi faceted and very much her own.
Then there all the women on Instagram that I don’t know but think I should be friends with. Veronica Dearly sums up how I feel about many things in a stylish and humorous manner. Lisa Congdon makes amazing art. Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach are both adorable together and fierce and inspiring. Of course through the magic of the internet we all feel like we know people who have no real connection to us at all. I often moan about social media and the fake factor (see the excellent you did not sleep there). It’s so, so hard to avoid the comparison trap (both on a personal level – ‘my life will never be as gorgeous as hers’ – and on a business level – ‘oh my god they’ve got a trillion followers, my little account will never get that big’) and I confess, I often doubt the truth of claims that people have found true friends and made real connections through their Instagram accounts. But maybe that is cynical of me – just because I, a self proclaimed anti-social non-joiner-inner who takes ages to make friends even with actual living human beings in front of me, hasn’t felt that, it doesn’t mean other more outgoing types haven’t. What I have found, in abundance, is other people to admire and look to for inspiration, for laughs, or for a good eye-opening. So maybe I should just concentrate on that. In case you’re interested, in addition to the cool people I mentioned above, I also very much enjoy the feeds of @theawkwardyeti, @lunarbaboon, @fowllanguagecomics – there are many many more of course, but my rambling brain is heading on to the fact that…
…I am just about to join in an Instagram challenge from @adventuresandteaparties, about the joy of colour and looking at your surroundings with a fresh perspective. Check it out! (I’m even planning my own Insta challenge, but more on that another time – eek!) And that idea of looking at your space with new, beauty-seeking eyes makes me think about…
…Konmari, and it’s amazing popularity since the Netflix show took off. I’m assuming you know all about it – decluttering your entire house, holding every item you own and asking ‘does this spark joy?’, and if it doesn’t, getting rid of it. Marie Kondo has been mocked somewhat for the whole ‘spark joy’ concept, but I think that really, it just asks you to feel something. Maybe the feeling is that you need that thing. Because no, tupperware does not make me feel joyful, but I do like knowing I’ve got the bits I need. I also like, having watched a couple of episodes, that she doesn’t tell you to get rid of stuff you want to keep. Just to think about it for a second. If having a zillion Christmas decorations makes you happy, awesome, sort them out and put them away neatly so that you can get to them more easily and enjoy them even more. You want to keep your three tatty old dressing gowns because they’re super comfy and you love wearing them? No problem, let’s put up three hooks so you can hang them all up properly. There’s actually no judgment there, just a request to consider what you want in you life and what you don’t. Then have all those things around you in a pleasing, manageable way. I’m down with that…
…and that brings me back to Yoga, and the idea of tending to your space, giving yourself a pleasant environment to be in, so that you can in turn be more pleasant to the people around you, and so it spreads out, and out…and that can only be a good thing.
Thanks for being my therapist this week, dear reader. I think I’m feeling better now.
PS for those of you expecting a vintage furniture blog – sorry. I’ll get back on that next week. 😉