February was generally disappointing. We were expecting to move. We were expecting to downsize from our beautiful flat in Clifton, Bristol to a stunning harbourside apartment which met our requirements perfectly. But then somewhere along the way it went very, very wrong and on the day of exchange our buyer pulled out. England seems to have quite a bonkers method of house purchase. It takes forever (in Portugal it took 4 weeks from placing the offer to moving in) and it is perfectly acceptable for someone to pull out at the last minute with no consequences whatsoever. Sadly, by the point this happened, we had thoroughly decluttered and started packing boxes.
So, faced with this disappointment and with our house back on the market we flew out to Portugal. I am incredibly fortunate that this is an option. But something happens when you step of the plane in Faro. All the stress just seems to flood out of you, my shoulders returned to a more natural position, the frown was lifted. I’m not sure what it is, but life is just easier here, there are no pressures to be anything, be anywhere and certainly no pressure to conform.
As is often the way a number of other things have conspired to make this escape to Portugal more mindful and made me realise how much I was being affected by the moving process.
Firstly the March prompt for One Little Word was published and this month it is a vision board. I do love a vision board. The opportunity to rip up magazines and create a collage of life. I’m hoping to do a digital version which is helping to keep my word ‘present’ in the forefront of my mind. In order to take the photos I need to be present and spot the opportunities when I see them. I’m waiting for those ‘oo’ moments, which as yet have been few and far between, but I have the whole of March to collate images and create my vision board.
Secondly, I read a blog post on Tanglewood Knots, which reminded me that the purpose of crochet for me is not just about creating pretty things, but the actual process of creating. When I am sitting making something, be it knitting, crochet or sewing I get completely lost in the moment. Hours can pass me by without realising it. Tanglewood Knots has published a series of posts about creating a Mindful Mandala, which I loved reading. I don’t really understand that much about tarot cards, but really loved the idea of finding an image that means something to you and using it as the basis to create something beautiful. I love Portugal. I love the colours of the buildings, the colour of the sea and the cliffs, so it’s very easy to see how I could create my own Mindful Mandala using my immediate surroundings.
I’ve also started following CraftasTherapy on Instagram. I love the idea of using craft as a form of therapy and for creating a mindful environment – whatever the craft. So much of our lives nowadays move at such a pace, that at times it is nice to take time, sit down, enjoy the moment and if you can create something lovely at the same time, then what more could you want? So many of us ignore our emotional welfare nowadays and bow down to the constant pressure of deadlines, being in places we should be, doing things we should be that often we forget to spend time doing the things that make us happy and content. Part of the reason for giving up work and starting this blog was to investigate a life without pressure, a life where there are no constraints and to see where it took me. As a part of this I have set up a number of knit and natter groups in Bristol. There are only a few members at the moment and as with everything these things take time to grow. But one thing that has come out of it is how different people are using their crafts as a form of therapy. Having these groups on a fortnightly basis provides members least 2 hours in the fortnight to escape, to chat, and embrace their craft. What more could you want than a mindful escape from life?
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