A couple of months ago I was introduced to the delights of Blipfoto. For those who don't know it's a website & app on which you can keep a daily journal including one photo per day (unless you subscribe then you can add some extra images).
I initially found it really amazing – and addictive! The idea of taking a photo a day to share on the online journal really did help me to become more aware of my surroundings! I was exploring my local area at work during lunch times. I noticed little things – like a leaf on the train station steps that had a pretty pattern, tiny caterpillars on some plants in the garden, statues I'd never noticed before (in areas of Manchester I've frequently been to).
It helped me to become more mindful of my surroundings, aided me in connecting more with my mindfulness practice. I also felt my love of photography returning as I fished out my macro lens attachment for my phone and started experimenting with that!
There is also such a lovely little community on there – some really friendly blippers who follow your journey (and whose you can follow too). It feels like a much healthier form of social media than the much more demanding Facebook or Twitter, especially as you can only have one entry a day. It's a calmer, more serene atmosphere. Not as hectic at all.
In the last couple of weeks, unfortunately I have been struggling more with my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so I've not been able to contribute as much. It's a shame as I'd got over 50 blips (days) in a row!
But I need to make sure I look after myself and - for me - it seemed to get more time-intensive over the weeks. I found that as I created connections with other blippers, commenting on posts/ replying to comments means using the app became a little more time-consuming (and for me energy-consuming!). I am missing it though – so I think I'll be back on there more regularly when I'm feeling I've got more energy in reserves!
Maybe I just need to limit my time per day (and not feel guilty when I don't respond to people quickly!)
I'm so thankful for the connection back to my photography. And I have found that in the couple of months I've been on there I'm getting less fussy about which photographs I share with others. Perfection isn't necessary!
I've added a few of my favourite shots on here but for anyone who is interested in seeing them all with the journal entries here is my Blipfoto account: https://www.blipfoto.com/AMK81
in the garden.
the sun warms
my aching body.
ruffles my hair,
caresses my skin
I can't comprehend.
I close my eyes.
the golden sunlight
with light and love.
I feel at peace
if only for a second.
Everyone has it, but some people's shouts louder and more persistently. That voice that's constantly judging you and criticising you. My inner voice demands perfection from me – anything less and I'm a failure. If I'm tired and I eat unhealthily then “I've failed”, “I'm fat”, “I'm stupid”, “Why have I got no will power”, “I'm never going to lose weight”, “what's the point in trying”, “no one will ever love me”. It goes from bad to worse and within a matter of minutes it's gone from I've eaten a cake to no one will ever love me – extreme! But in those seconds I believe it. And sometimes I believe it for longer than a few seconds or minutes. In fact my mind loves to tell me these stories, and if I'm not careful they can take over my life and it's exhausting!
“no one likes me”
“I'm worthless, a failure”
“I'll never get my own place”
“WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME”
I've found that the only thing that keeps this voice at bay is a consistent mindfulness practice. If this practice lapses I really notice – it's the difference between having some control and being run ragged by this voice that just shouts abuse at me and has me running round in circles believing all sorts of nonsense.
I'm now training to become a mindfulness teacher. I thought this would mean I would become 'better' at my practice. Though it turns out it's given the voice a new target “how can you teach others when you can't even keep it up yourself”. It seems that the inner critic now wants perfection in my mindfulness practice and I'm not good enough if that's not achieved.
Now I know that perfection is not an achievable goal. It's setting yourself up for failure. I am good at many things – but perfect? No one is perfect.
I also know that when I do practice regularly my mind seems different – I see everything from a different perspective. Things seem calmer and more in balance. And I know that even the most experienced practitioner has lapses in their practice. Life happens. We all get tired, or have things that get in the way. It's how we deal with the challenges and with the lapses that matters.
I am only human, I make mistakes – we all do. But when I realise all I can do is admit to it, understand it and move forward with my life. I can start again. I can schedule my meditation practice. I can go back to basics and re-teach myself. And I may need to do this many times. Ultimately this teaches me a valuable lesson every time – if only that this is essential to my being. That it's not a lifestyle choice or a fad, that it's part of me. That it frees me – and makes me able to live my life without the voice shouting quite so much. And that means so much!
Hi, I'm Sleepy Knights - the exhausted creative. Thanks for visiting my blog! I'll be sharing my creative output - poetry, photography and crafts projects - insights into mindfulness training, coping strategies to deal with life and my own struggles and successes - Read the about section for more info!