Spring cleaning

It is that time of the year when my mother used to spring clean the house. Curtains were washed, carpets cleaned and all surfaces cleaned and items no longer needed given away. Everywhere felt so much fresher afterwards and we were ready for new projects.

I suppose I am spring cleaning as I am sorting out items to keep and items to throw or give away. I have done well so far with giving away 3 items of furniture no longer needed. This has given me a bit more space so I can start to pack for my house move. I live in a small bungalow with very little space as I have a lot of books and craft items. Packing these is fine but where do I put the boxes? So questions I am asking myself are many. Do I really need to keep these copies of ceremonies from the 1990s? Do I need to keep old emails from people who are no longer with us? Do I really need to keep all these books and maps?

So how do I decide on what to keep and what to throw away or give to someone else? I have culled my books and maps drastically over the last few years as I have moved into ever smaller places so books and maps are not really a problem. The ones I still have are the ones I need to keep. But as my son says, I do have a lot of stuff. But that is because I have hobbies, I write, I read, I draw and paint, I knit and embroider and weave. All this takes space however much information I can keep on a computer I still need space for craft items. One thing I have learned about saving stuff on computers like family history is that you still need a hard copy just in case and I prefer to work on paper where family and local history is concerned.

So my spring project is to sort and pack ready to move to pastures new but also pastures old as I am returning to my place of birth and where I lived for over 30 years. But I feel better about the sorting out. It is leaving space for new things so I shall soon have as much as I always did!

How do you deal with all the things you collect for your hobbies?

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Everyday rituals

I know many people who shudder at the word ‘ritual’. They see it as something bad and horrible. But our daily life is full of rituals. Making a pot of tea is a ritual and pouring it into a cup is even more so. Do you warm the pot first? Do you add milk to your cup before or after? Have a look at the things you do each day and see how many are rituals. You may be surprised.

But let’s look at some kind of rituals. One I do each morning when I get up is open the door (I only have one door to the outside) and let the stale air out and new fresh air in. I stand there quietly for a few minutes and breath in the morning air. I look at the sky, the birds flying around and listen to them chirping and singing. It is quiet and I can hear traffic on the bypass. It is a few moments of stillness before I start my day and it is special for me to do this. While I am doing this I am also connecting to the elements around me and becoming a part of them. This morning it was raining gently and I let the rain fall on my face. It is a daily ritual but full of meaning and mindfulness.

While eating my breakfast I sit facing the window so I can see the sky and the birds on the feeders. As I do this every day then it becomes another ritual. For the druid rituals for celebrating the seasons and festivals I prefer to use the word celebration as that is what it is. To me it only becomes a ritual if you do the same things each time and I do not do this as I prefer to work spontaneously. A final word here; writing my blog on a Sunday morning is another ritual. I spend time thinking about my theme for the blog, find a photo to add and then write straight from my heart.

I’d love to read your thoughts on ritual and what it means to you.

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Watching

I spend a lot of time watching the birds, the clouds and people. It can be a very interesting pastime. This morning while I sat eating my breakfast I watched the clouds rushing across the sky. They were quite dark at first then little bits of white appeared and the grey clouds became tipped with yellow. Now was the time to go outside with the camera. I am a bit limited with a view from my bungalow as it is surrounded by others but a zoom lens and a good eye can bring the clouds to life in a photo I uploaded 6 of them to my Facebook page but I will add the best one here later.

I love to watch the birds on the feeders too. They can be very amusing and their behaviour too. I have watched them push one another off the feeder so they can eat first. There is always a lot of squabbling going on.

But watching people is also interesting. I do this when sitting outside on my bench or on the bus or in a cafe. Body language can tell you so much about a person. But one of the things that has struck me in the past is how many people put on a public face when others are around. I have seen people sit up straighter and smile when they thought I was watching them. What were they trying to hide? I know that many people who have illnesses that cannot be seen often put on a what we call a ‘brave face’. Is this a good thing to do or should we really show ourselves as we are to others?

I knew someone once who put on a lot of make-up, thick and like a mask. Was this done this way because she did not want the world to see her as she was or was it the only way she could be out in public? This in itself could make another topic for a blog. But as a final note, I always say to others, this is me, if you don’t like how I look or what I wear then that is your problem. Take me as you find me is my motto.

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Sticks and stones and the water element

‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me’ is a well known saying but unfortunately not true as many well know. Words can hurt as they affect our emotional state and it is easy to let teasing words or words said in anger affect us. I know people who tease and keep teasing until the teasing becomes abusive. Some people do not know when to stop or when the person on the receiving end has had enough. And people often say things in anger that they don’t really mean but these can be hurtful all the same.

This ‘over the top’ teasing has happened to me recently, twice in fact. The first time the teasing definitely got out of control and became abusive then suddenly stopped possibly because someone else stepped in and complained. A week or so later more teasing from someone else but about the same occasion in my life and again, someone who did not know when to stop. It is easy to say keep away from these people but when they are part of a group that you are with it can be difficult. So what do you do?

Well, this is where the element of water comes in. Water is cleansing so a shower is good but with the intention that it washes away the negativity caused by the teasing. I also like to meditate using water sounds as a background and letting them soothe me and wash away all the bad stuff. I used to love sitting by a river or the sea and doing the same thing. Water not only cleanses but it refreshes and re-energises so that you are ready for another day. Smudging the aura with sage can also help. Do you know of other methods that you can use to heal the affect of abusive or excessive teasing?

On another note, this morning, the sun shone on the tree tops and chimneys but not on the ground. I loved it and tried to capture it so here it is.

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