In the last couple of weeks I’ve been learning what it means to truly relax. And I don’t just mean a Friday night bubble bath with candles, soft music, and a good book – which is what I used to think relaxation meant. I mean learning about the very real physical effects of chronic stress and beginning to make lifestyle changes to combat it. I mean delving deep into how our minds and bodies work, and beginning to reshape the way I think in order to cultivate a more peaceful mental state, and therefore a more peaceful physical state.
It’s difficult work, but it’s worth it. I feel like I’ve been carrying around a weight for the last couple of years, without ever being aware of it. I only fully realised it was there when I felt it finally lifting.
I’m learning to meditate, and it helps me feel a little calmer and a little lighter. I’m learning to observe my thoughts, and pull them back when they’re verging on dysfunctional. I’m learning mindfulness to help me centre and return to reality. With the support of some amazing people I’m learning to manage all by myself, after spending several months earlier this year wondering if I could ever stand on my own two feet again. It’s been a tough time for all of us, but there’s finally light now as I’m well on the way to recovery.
I want to share with you some blogs I visit that help me to look inward, learn from someone else’s journey and fully appreciate life’s magic. These are spaces you may know about already, and spaces I have posted about before, but I’d like to mention them again just in case you haven’t visited them yet.
Secrets of a Butterfly – Kathryn has a beautiful spirit and inspiring attitude towards life, despite living with an illness that saps her strength. Her posts about listening to her heart are moving, and remind me to search for depth in the midst of whatever life throws at us. I love the peaceful and delicate way that she approaches living.
Foxglove Lane – Catherine’s combination of photography and words creates a calm, thought provoking online space. I love how she watches and captures the awesome things that happen in the natural world around her. And I love how she expresses her search for meaning in each of these experiences, no matter how small.
Georgianna Lane – Georgianna weaves a special magic with her photography. Her love of nature and beautiful places is always evident in both her images and her words. Paying a visit to her blog fills me with a certain joy, the same kind I feel when I’m walking in a beautiful garden or beneath tall leafy trees. It’s a joy that comes from the invigorating energy of nature, and the awe that comes with it.
Susannah Conway – Susannah’s journey is one that continually inspires me. She is always learning, always expanding her understanding of this world and her place in it. And then she uses that new understanding to teach others and to help them transform their own lives. Her work shows me that life is a perpetual journey, it’s never all figured out but that’s OK. Discovering what it’s all about is half the fun of living.
There are many other blogs I visit that are inspiring and helpful, but I’ll save them for another post. These four are ones that I return to again and again, to find further joy and understanding – I hope you’ll enjoy them in the same way I do.
If you have any favourite blogs or books that you like to read for personal growth make sure to let me know.