{Grainy photo alert. Goodness me I’ll be glad when I get the internet set up here permanently. Dongles are great but they run out fast!}

Something I didn’t think to mention in my last post occurred to me soon after I published it. This focus on the theme of Ease that I’ve chosen for the year ahead is only a part of what it’s really all about for me. I drew myself a diagram {prettied up version to follow} and I saw that all the things I want to give myself now are about healing. The more I think about this, the more I’m like, YEAH! I can feel myself wanting to take total responsibility for healing all that is still unhealed within me. Wanna know how I’m gonna do that?

So do I! Ha ha. Actually I have many tools at my disposal, from meditating to Tai Chi, to working with my teacher, the support of friends near and far, and family, books and websites, and the sea outside my window. And of course, there is the art. I always wanted to combine my love of art with a desire to help others. For years I didn’t know what I really meant by that but I can see it unfolding now and it’s quite exciting!

With the Creative Spark Sessions, the book I’ve written and the Reiki sessions I offer, it’s all starting to come together. But I realise too that this isn’t just about helping others; I am not much use if I have not supported myself in this way as well.

So my own healing path this year will encompass my current practices ~ Tai Chi, meditation, spending time on the beach and walking by the sea, making and nurturing meaningful connections with kindred spirits, making art, learning to be kinder and more compassionate to myself ~ and also some new ones:

365 Self Portraits: I’ve joined a Flickr group focused on taking a self portrait photo for every day of the year.  Let’s not be under any illusion that I’ll manage one every day ~ I’m already four days late! ~ but I remember the healing journey of Wading In and I am also interested to see myself develop and grow over the coming year, inside and out.

Be Your Own Beloved: In February Vivienne McMaster is running this new class and I have signed up.  It is “a 28 day photo adventure designed to cultivate self-reflection and self-compassion through the practice of taking self-portraits.”  If you haven’t tried a) one of Vivienne’s classes or b) self portraiture as a means to heal, I highly recommend both. Registration is still open and it’s extremely good value for money.

Cultivating a home: It’s almost a month since I moved into the dream flat {and yes there will be an extensive guided tour when I get the internet and therefore enough time to pull THAT post together}; things are starting to fall into their natural places but I’m conscious that it’s an evolving process of working out what works for me and what makes me feel best. My aim is to make every single thing in this place a reflection of my home as {healing} sanctuary.

Instagram: I’m not actually joking. It sounds a bit daft but I’m finding Instagram to be quite the little healing tool; it’s a way to connect and share, a way to be inspired and see beautiful images, and I find the snapshots of the lives of others around the world to be wonderfully comforting and useful in offering perspective when I’m stuck in my own stuff.

Sharing on my blog: I cherish this space and all of you who are so faithful to it. It is a little homecoming each time I come here and I feel so supported by each and every one of you who comes by. I love to take photos, make art and write, and being able to share all of that is a blessing. I just hope that what I do share continues to be helpful and interesting.

It’s funny how all this introspection is prompting my inner critic to reprimand me for writing ‘too many’ words and thinking ‘too much’ about myself! “They don’t want to hear about your personal healing journey!” she says. Let’s start the healing there, then. To be whole we must embrace all our parts; ALL of them. I am going to press publish now and head up to my studio to start the healing process.