Mindfulness and a Mind ‘Full’?

There’s a rise in people using, or at least being aware of ‘mindfulness’ to try shift the stress away from every day life. I love the fact folk are bringing meditation into their routine; but we first have to answer this important question; Why does it feel like we are leading even busier lives than what we were before?

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CREDIT TO @IIVVORRYY Alex Ivory 2017

We’re buying more than we ever did, with access to the Internet being at the height of all heights. We’re living in an infinite world, where we want everything now. Oliver Burkeman wrote an article for the BBC describing why we feel busy all the time and stated:

If there’s a solution to the busyness epidemic, other than the universal enforcement of a 21-hour workweek – it may lie in clearly perceiving just how irrational our attitudes have become. Historically, the ultimate symbol of wealth, achievement and social superiority was the freedom not to work: the true badge of honour, as the 19th Century economist Thorstein Veblen put it, was leisure.’ Now, it’s busyness that has become the indicator of high status.

So is this ‘busyness’ all in our heads? Are putting pressure on ourselves? For me personally, I think it’s to do with the fact we’re finding it harder and harder to switch off. As humans we crave the connections of others- Facebook and Twitter being a world of just that. Now that we can message and call anywhere in the world. So why would we want to switch off from that feeling of connectivity? We love sharing our world with others too, and seek that gratifications through the press of a ‘like’ button to feel appreciated. 

Using mindfulness and meditation is a wonderful wonnnderffullll thing (see my video post here about it); but take a step back and see how busy you are. For me, I feel like I am busy, sure- but the feeling of not being able to switch off lingers in the back of my head. That doesn’t help how busy I feel.

Step back, let go.

 

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Ethos Mag: A Review

Hey sweet souls! How are you all doing?

Recently I received the super wonderful first edition of Ethos, an independent publication about ‘Good Stories, Good People, Good Business.’ (Get the first issue here!) Now we all know (or should know. If you don’t- yo gal Kimmy is quite the eco warrior/girl boss/wellbeing woman) that ethical business has its foundations of wellbeing. Some folk don’t really understand what ‘ethical business’ is- and its sure as heck a strange one for young people to think about, weaving that into the way of how they shop and feel. So let’s start with what ‘ethical’ is before we review…Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 14.46.19

Being ethical is a lovely foundation of values that something is based upon. They affect how people make decisions and lead their lives. For example, if our personal thoughts and morals are ‘I believe in being kind to other people’- then that reflects the rest of your behaviour. This includes business, your relationships, everything. Believe in something good? Let it shine throughout whatever you set your mind to. That’s ethics- and to sum it all up, that’s Ethos Magazine.

The Review

From promoting good people and good businesses, the highest impact comes from the chosen front cover from Parley for the Oceans; an overwhelming message of how plastic is ruling our seas. The hard-hitting article on page 18, Plastic Fantastic tells us ‘We are currently living through a profoundly unstable geographical era, which will be characterised by fossils of plastic…we’re toxicating our planet right now and this is what we have to end immediately.’ It also tells the story of the organisation collaborating with Adidas on transforming plastic waste into footwear. A vital message with bold statements for social entrepreneurs and good people alike. Big corporations can make the transition into up-cycling and being more conscious in how they manufacture products. This article is an eye opener in the realm for environmental change.

Flickiimg_20170310_114134618.jpgng through the first parts of Ethos is beautifully constructed. The texture and layout is a dreeeaaam. An insight to the non-profit Crack + Cider, who’s mission is to change perceptions and force people to think about homelessness is a moving piece. Founded by two head strong ladies in London, Crack and Cider is a store where folk can purchase useful items for the homeless. Bringing an innovative movement of charity to the 21st Century. You can donate through their site that is linked previously.

It’s a vivid and strong willed publication. Packed full of inspirational individuals, businesses and infographic content about the world. It’s a refreshing testament to the world we live in, providing a collective of stories that can change how we see ourselves and the impact we have on everything around us.

A key article inside explores the rise of Etsy, the online marketplace for crafters/makers and small businesses. During the economic crash, Etsy thrived. Ethos discusses how a community of makers and creatives prospered by selling their products through the downfall of the stock market. Who knew how innovative and forward thinking Etsy was? I sure didn’t. The article goes beautifully into the ethics of the business and circulates back to the people ‘harnessing the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.’ With every page turn, I’m hooked.

img_20170310_114147907.jpgFrom my perspective as an Entrepreneur, I can’t wait to see what Ethos has in store for the next issues. It’s informative, yet cooly linked to the upcoming businesses and people with a conscious state of mind. From promotional content about people passionate in going green, upcoming events and conferences available around the world, to articles of what is happening right now; its a masterpiece that is up to date on the world of good. It’s not a publication to make us feel bad about the way the world exists- but aims to promote the good and see that change is happening.  Ethos, you’ve outdone yourselves. One loyal subscriber right here.

You can follow them here in their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Oh Hey, It’s Been A While!

Wow. It’s been a while folks.

Seeing as it’s been 5ever (yeah…longer than 4eva ya get me) since my last post, I think I’ll utilise the time spent away from written posts, to do a little bit of a reflection.

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There’s nothing better than a bit of a self development, reflection and an abundance of love, right?

So, what’s been going down?

  • My business/brand Keep Real has since been registered as a UK Trademark. Heck yeah!!! So flippin chuffed, and to have come that far since I first had the idea- is a wonderful testament to some hard work, tears and maybe a lil’ bit of sweat and blood thrown in there for good measure.
  • I’ve been working full time in Leeds, and loving all my gals who work with me. There’s some major love right there. Honestly, it’s so empowering and sweet to work with the women I do! ❤ (shoutout to Briggate wassupp!)
  • Keep Real saw it’s first photoshoot completed at the end of January this year with my
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    Sneaky peek!!

    talented close friend Alex Ivory in Leeds City Centre. We had some wonderful passionate people join the team- I think there was around 12 of us! To have so many people working with you, and seeing your idea materialise, there really isn’t any other feeling like it. Humbled, loved, a smushball of kind hearts all in that studio. To everyone who worked with me, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, truly a huge thank you.

  • YouTube was a thing, and still is a thing for me. I always try and find some time to do visual content regarding mental health; however my days are fairly long! I wish I could find the time to do them more- as there was a lot of positive feedback. Maybe 2017 will see me do some more, who knows!

“To have so many people working with you, and seeing your idea materialise, there really isn’t any other feeling like it.”

Ultimate reflection: This year has been wonderful so far, and I think to reflect- I need to take a step back sometimes and not be so hard on myself. Every time I have a bad day, I tend to beat myself up about it. It’s something I’m constantly learning from, but I’m so thankful to notice my weaknesses. That can only be a strength, right?

So what have you guys been up to? Hope you are all well!

Kimberley xxxx

Slow Down, Let Go.

Slow down, let go. 

But how?

We’re living in a fast paced, technologically advanced, weirdly driven world that has pretty much pushed us so much; that in all honesty, has failed to be good to our very souls. It’s advancing more than we can deal with, our human minds being pushed to limits we’re not so sure we can handle. I haven’t messaged them back, I’m such a terrible friend. What will they think of me? I need to post an update! Do I need this app to improve my life? Will this game bring me joy, or will it distract me? I need to check my profiles. How many followers do I have? What are my friends up to?

Does this sound familiar maybe? It’s probably crossed your mind.

We sometimes feel glued to our screens, unable to respond quickly enough to the present- while we’re all worrying about our online worlds. What we appear to be, seems very much a focus, not what we truly are. It’s tough to see kids not playing in the streets as much, and the heavy burdens they bare to online bullying, how many likes they’ve received and how hard it is to fit in. It was hard before, and it’s even harder now.

I know I’ve felt the pang of guilt for not replying, or responding as quickly as I’d like. I work hard and the pressures of ‘keeping up appearances’ doesn’t get me down that much. We don’t always have to respond quickly or post things all the time. Of course I’d like to be doing exciting things every day, going exploring and taking time off- but it isn’t necessarily online.

Remember: You are enjoying things for younot for your following or the folk you talk to online. Hold your friendships dear, but enjoy the present while you’re in it. Slow down, let go

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Creativity and Mental Health

We all have something that is our outlet, catharsis or release for how we feel or how we deal with things in our lives. It could be anything from going for a walk, reading a book, to playing an instrument, or being creative in any way.7571c2f1e886ca3cce636870f987e9f9

A lot of folk think they have to be naturally creative or have some kind of hobby to use art to help them, but this is not the case at all sweetpeas! For example, the rise in folk doing adult colouring books is at an all time high (Who can blame us, huh? They rule). It’s a way for people to wind down, focus on the activity, with the world’s worries melting away for a little while.

I actually did my dissertation on creativity and mental illness, which is a huuuggeee topic so complex to write about (It took a good 40 pages to try and come up with an answer) and I found that a lot of people throughout the ages have used creativity in many forms, and use it as expression which can contribute positively to someone’s mental health (amongst other technical terms/findings I’ll not go into, I may blog about it some time.)

For me, I’ve always loved art. It has been my saviour through bad days- but it also allows me to get into some kinda ‘arty zen’ where I’m so in my flow that I don’t focus on anything but the pen and paper in front of me. Dot work as my style of illustration is the most intricate yet rewarding form of art I do- which has challenged me to practice patience too.

Creativity Works is a wonderful organisation who provide support groups for people who are in the process recovering from mental health problems, as well as helping build confidence and build relationships. Please do check out their work and mission to help others ❤

Any form of creativity or getting into a flow of activity can be so wonderful for us. Sometimes we are so busy thinking, working and being in a mad rush; we tend to overlook how some of our hobbies or down time can be fantastic ways of reducing stress, winding down and helping us through the day.

I’ll perhaps do a tutorial on how to draw mandalas, as that’s my ultimate zen-zone!

Remember you, be gentle with yourself ❤

 

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. – Pablo Picasso

10 Ways Back To The Light

Hey folks, I wanted to share with you an article I found on Psychologies by Jamie Rhodes author of ‘Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication and Music’ (purchase here)4e39e58e38bdf17dbffc00a175afaa34, and Matt Haig, author of ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ (purchase here) about the top ten strategies that helped them through the more difficult times. These are wonderful, and I hope they help you too! (read it down below, or in the original article here) ❤

10 Ways Back To The Light

James Rhodes says:

Breathe – 10 minutes of meditation a day works wonderrs.

Make a cuppa “I’d somehow got enough clarity and self-awareness to know that I was able now to do all I could to get well… It was terrifying and exciting all at once. Time maybe to have a cup of tea and listen to Chopin’s greatest nocturne – the one in C minor Op. 48/1.

Talk to anyone friendly. “I like talking to strangers. I read a book about depression once where the protagonist was so lonely she used to join queues simply for the human interaction. And while things weren’t quite that bad yet, I did at times strike up conversations with people.

Do something creative (piano/writing for me, but there is an almost infinite choice for everyone) “Forgiveness and meditation, reading and writing, talking and sharing all help, creativity is, for me, one of the most profound ways through trauma.”

Find some perspective. Remember you’re a microscopic dot hurtling around the universe on a tiny planet in the middle of an unfathomable amount of space.

Matt Haig says:

Slow down. “Anxiety runs your mind at fastforward rather than normal ‘play’ speed, so addressing that issue of mental ‘pace’ might not be easy. But it works.”

Go for a run and then do yoga (the golden bullet for my anxiety) “I was a yogaphobe, but am now a convert. It’s great, because unlike other therapies, it treats the mind and the body as part of the same whole.”

Get off the internet. “I might – if I am going through a neurotic patch – do a quick ego search, or check out any new Goodreads or Amazon reviews of my books or go on Google and type in a list of real or imaginary ailments to see which terminal disease I am currently suffering from.

Talk to people you love. “Words. Comfort. Support. It took me more than a decade to be able to talk openly, properly, to everyone, about my experience. I soon discovered the act of talking is in itself a therapy. Where talk exists, so does hope.

Stare at the sky. “Look at the sky. Remind yourself of the cosmos. Seek vastness at every opportunity, in order to see the smallness of yourself.”