On Being Kind to Yourself

Photo by Victoria Lugton

My upcoming book, Penelope and Frida and the Mystery Creature, has kindness at its core, and has been a true education for me. I’m continuing to gently explore the notion of being kind to myself, an approach which has, until the last couple of years, been quite an alien concept for me as I’ve approached most things at a pace of gogogo, pushpushpush.

Since finishing the artwork for this second book, and shifting gears almost completely into more focussed, driven ‘business mode’ from the distinctly dreamier feel of ‘creative mode’, I’ve found myself becoming unhappier by the day. I’ve felt bored, listless and a little bereft. On the one hand, completing the book, which had been a ‘goal’ for well over two years, took a weight off my shoulders. But on the other, it has meant I suddenly stopped turning up at my studio desk, and I’ve started to crave the therapeutic flow found in painting.

Flatlay Image by Catherine Frawley

I realised I’ve become caught up in the heady busyness of…well, business! I’m on my computer my phone and in my head more. Yet, I miss painting, being in my shed, creativity, and the sensual feeling of paint meeting paper.

This week, some shifts need to happen, slowly incorporating some self-compassion, some creativity whilst at the same time gearing up for the launch of the book, as well as running things behind the scenes with the family.

So, this morning I woke earlier than the boys, and had some time to read before the day kicked in (inspiration). My husband gave them breakfast whilst I did a lovely feel good flow with Adriene (gentle movement), followed by a much needed meditation for grace (gratitude) with my favourite guide, Deepak Chopra. A cycle ride to school with my 6 year old (joy), some good focussed work for the launch, and now some writing, and I’m already feeling more back to myself.

This week I’m going to keep it simple, restarting my gratitude and meditation practice, as well as getting back in my shed and starting to noodle around on a daily basis with the next book idea. There’s always another idea waiting to happen!

I’m curious, do you know what that one little thing you can do to be kind to yourself is? Hopefully you can find time for even just five minutes of that precious thing today.

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