Sunday, 19 January 2020

Roaring into the twenties

panoramic image of Penzance with St Michael's Mount in the background
Beautiful morning run /walk in Penzance 
Waking up to a sunny sky is one of my favourite things. Being able to go for a walk or a run in that sunshine is just the perfect start to my day. In the morning I went for a walk / run as the sun was coming up over the horizon and the sea was gorgeous. I stopped at the end of this stone walkway to sit and listen to the waves against the rocks. The peace and joy it brought me was suprassed only by the sight of St Michael's Mount in the distance.

Plate of Indian food on a floral tablecloth
Incredible eats from my lovely friend Sara 
Cornwall is my happy place. It's where I take the children on holiday and where I go to relax. Yes it's a long drive, but it doesn't faze me at all. However, being in the car for hours and not eating properly is something that I do find challenging. My lovely friend Sara not only had the boys for a sleepover the other night, but she also made this amazing food for me to enjoy when I got here. I've mentioned before that I don't always take the best care of myself when it comes to eating so this has been an incredible gift on my journey of self-care. Sara has her own food business which I have to say from personal experience is brilliant. She packed me off with delicious veggie curries, rice, a salad, yoghurt and chutney as well as a lovely personal note. I will definitely be ordering from her again. Maybe I will even share it next time.

Tortoiseshell cat sitting on windowsill behind a shell curtain
Gorgeous Miss Florrie 
This time I booked to stay in the centre of Penzance with a lovely host who has a cat called Florrie. Now I'm not saying that the cat was the main draw for me to choose to stay here, but, ok yeah she was. Since we lost Neo last year I have missed having the company of a cat in the house. As soon as I arrived on Friday night Florrie came over to be fussed and in the morning she came to see me for snuggles. Love her. Being around her had been calming and I feel so loved when a cat comes to say hello. She was baby-sitting me in the afternoon while I was relaxing post retreat and it was lovely.

Notebook, gel pens, yoga clothing on a wooden floor
Yoga and free writing 
It's become an annual tradition that I go for a new year retreat with the fantastic founder of Story of Mum - Pippa. Mostly mums attend and we arrange child-care for the day so that we can practice yoga, do some free writing, create vision boards and eat amazing food. I know it seems a big thing to come all this way, but it means a lot to give this gift to myself. It's what gets me through the emotional and social anxiety that is Christmas and New Year knowing I have this to look forward to. Of course I stress about the boys right until I am actually here. This is where I find my happiness and joy and the impetus I need to get through whatever the year ahead will bring. This morning I was reminded how much I love yoga and that I have neglected my practice for the last few years. Yoga really does help me feel more centred and I remember how much my body can do when I am on the mat.

Teapot, mug and vegan snickers bars
Breakfast of champions
Now, I'm not saying the vegan snickers bars are the reason I come all this way, but they are definitely a strong pull factor. I could probably go to a retreat in say Putney or even closer, but without the sea view and the hugs from Pippa it just wouldn't be the same. We started the day with tea and a delicious bar - it was such a special treat and brought so much joy. I cannot tell you how much it means to eat without guilt or to finish an entire cup of tea while it's still hot. Simple pleasures.

vision board of cut out images on a white background.
Beautiful, Bold Beginnings for 2020 
The vision board exercise is always revealing. In it you choose images that 'call' you and then see if they have some meaning when you place the on the board. It's a calming activity sitting and cutting out images from magazines and then arranging them on the sheet, discarding any that don't resonate. Sometimes it's puzzling what catches your eye and doesn’t make sense until you look at the whole page. I thought I'd share the one have done for this year. The thing I noticed first is that there is a lot of space on the page. Usually there are lots of overlapping images and fewer words - cluttered with  a lot going on. The overriding theme I noticed in this one is that it is all about me taking care of myself. Putting me first and believing that I am worth it. The white spaces tell me I am seeking that space for myself too. As for Rob Lowe, well if you don't ask you don't get do you ?

sea with waves and bright sunshine
Morning sea swim

This morning I went into the sea with lovely Pippa. It was very, very cold so I didn't stay in for long, but I closed my eyes and stood with the waves crashing around me and felt the sun on my face. It was amazing. When we got out and dried off we sat on the warm rocks drinking coffee and chatting.

I have come back energised and filled with hope for the future.

That is my 2020 vision.

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