How are you getting on? We’re mid-way through January and this is the point that a lot of people find really tough. It’s still dark in the mornings and the days are short. My mother used to call this time of year the darkest 6 weeks. Even the daylight has been grey for three days in a row where I live. Added to this, there’s a lot of big stuff happening in the world. It feels like a monumental shift is happening, there’s uncertainty and fear all around.
Although I resolved not to make resolutions, I knew I’d have to be intentional about doing things that would help me get through these last weeks of winter. So here are a few things that have been keeping me going as I long for spring.
It takes me paying for something to commit to it, be that an exercise class or a course for work so when the Happy Pear brothers Dave and Steve Flynn offered a 20% on their Happy Heart course I decided to try it out. I was sooooo bored of my repertoire of meals and needed something to kick start me enjoying being in the kitchen, seeing as I spend a heck of a lot of time there anyway. I was also interested in using healthier, nourishing food boost my mood and outlook. It’s been a really enlightening journey and I’ve been pleasantly surprised that, far from the kitchen being a place I dread going to, I’ve been enjoying making food that I know is good for me and my family. Recipes I’d been too intimidated in the past to try, I now realise are actually very manageable. I never thought in a million years I would forgo my staple breakfast of toast and marmalade for porridge with rice milk topped with raspberries, but I am thoroughly enjoying the smug feeling of superiority over my former self!
2. Walks by the sea
You just can’t beat the soothing sound of the water on the shore and I can’t get enough of it. I am so fortunate to live within walking distance of the Irish sea and I’ve tried to get out for a walk a few times a week.
I was so delighted to be back with my lovely yoga teacher Rachel Lee. I’m also practising a little bit at home with the help of Yogaglo. It’s a subscription service which allows you to download classes online. There’s a great range of styles and teachers and it caters for all abilities. I was also tickled by this image that popped up in my Facebook feed last week.
What can I say? You’re welcome.
This is a creepy TV series on Amazon Prime that was inspired by the movie from the 70s with Yul Brynner. It’s set in a futuristic theme park where people can live out a fantasy life of the Wild West. All the people who populate the park, apart from the guests, are robots who are programmed along particular narratives. Guests can do whatever they like to these robots, and they do, without impunity and they themselves can’t be killed. But when some of the robots start to divert from their proscribed narratives, the people in control of the park begin to worry that they are developing consciousness. With Anthony Hopkins at his most sinister since Silence of the Lambs, it’s chilling but gripping viewing. My Love and I are limiting ourselves to an episode a night, because, apart from anything else, each one makes you rethink the one before so binge watching would take away from the enjoyment.
6. Richard Rohr
I’ve long held this Franciscan priest in high esteem but his latest book The Divine Dance is reigniting my faith, sparking my imagination and giving me hope that the Way of Jesus may yet get out from under oppressive patriarchal structures and bring liberation to the world.
7. Women’s March
(poster credit : Hayley Gilmore)
I’m heading to Dublin on the 21st of January to for the Women’s March on Washington – Ireland to march in solidarity with Irish women and to make my voice heard against sexism and misogyny. I’ll be marching with my fellow Mothers Artists Makers who have inspired me so much with their energy and perseverance. If ever there was a time for the women of the world to strut and bellow, it’s now. We are done being silent. We are done being ‘nice’. We are done being ‘good girls’. Sexism is wrong. Leaders who spout misogynist, racist, elitist views must be prepared to be challenged. We are no longer asking for permission for a place at the table. Our voices will be heard.
So I hope that you’re getting through January ok and perhaps some of these links might prove useful for you.
In the meantime, keep strutting and bellowing, now more than ever!