Take The Time

Some very wise authors of a very wise book called ‘How To Be Parisian’ once said:

“Take the time to listen and know yourself. Take the time to change, to grow, to rest. Take the time to be quiet. Take the time to say yes, take the time to say no. Take the time to look after your body, to eat well. Take the time to ask yourself who you are and what you want. Call your Grandmother on her birthday, and rinse your hair in cold water, breathe deeply, make fresh orange juice for breakfast, to go to a museum, to go for a stroll in the woods and listen to tiny creatures in the grass. In summer make a scrapbook of pressed flowers. And don’t forget to daydream in the bath like when you were a little girl.”

I know this sounds cliché, but this small paragraph really did change my life. As soon as I read it I did take the time to do all those things; every single one. I was part way through the book, lazing in bed, and suddenly jumped up, put on my most comfortable clothes and forgot about makeup and hair products. I got a bus to the nearest art gallery and spent a blissful afternoon enjoying my own company and drinking coffee and reading the rest of the book. What I have now come to realise is that these weren’t instructions, and though my Grandmother loved the phone call and I now have a kick-ass, flower filled scrapbook, I now understand that these are examples. I have started to come up with my own ways of ‘taking time’.      I take the time to paint like I used to.

I take the time to photograph flowers and moments and small creatures and friends and fantastic views.

I have taken the time to begin learning yoga, and always remember to take the time to breathe.

I take the time to fill jars with beautiful weeds and knit instead of watching TV.

I take the time to sit in warm water for a while in silence.

I don’t go home straight from work in an evening; I take the time to sit and enjoy the view or take a stroll before heading home to bed.

I take the time to enjoy a really great coffee with my mum and trawl through charity shops.

I teach myself about Buddhism and feminism and nudists and African tribes and Christianity and more, to figure out what type of person I want to be.

I have taken the time to sort through our shed full of old furniture and turned it into something beautiful for me to relax and listen to my favourite music in.

on what I eat and make sure to think about where it’s come from and the work gone behind it before I eat it.

And last but not least, I do now take the time to daydream in the bath like I did when I was a little girl.

Finding out what you need to make time for in your life is such an eye-opening experience – you have to work hard to figure out what your soul connects with and this really helps you settle into the person you really are when work and stressful responsibilities are stripped away. Mindfulness is so key to leading a happy and relaxed life so bear in mind what makes you happy and peaceful and take the time to do it.

A handful of my experiences that I have posted on Instagram:

Painting for fun is so relaxing...
Painting for fun is so relaxing…
Plant potting and getting my hands muddy...
Plant potting and getting my hands muddy…
The most relaxing afternoon sipping coffee, reading and wandering round galleries.
The most relaxing afternoon sipping coffee, reading and wandering round galleries.
Plain warm water, no fuss, perfect.
Plain warm water, no fuss, perfect.
My first go at yoga, and it was so lovely.
My first go at yoga, and it was so lovely.
My lil' scrapbook...
My lil’ scrapbook…
Such a beautiful view...
Such a beautiful view…

I’d love to hear what you take the time to do.

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An Open And Shut Case

Wanderlust Pic

Wanderlust; A great desire or impulse to travel and rove about.

I had just hit my teen years when I first discovered this term. I decided I had caught it: a terminal case of the ‘wanderlust’ bug.

As a child my mother had always made it a key priority to educate me not only in the safety of school classroom walls, but also out in the world, meeting new people and being faced first hand with different cultures and ways of living. I’ll always be thankful for this. By the time I was a teenager I had lived for two months in a village on a remote Fijian island where we witnessed rituals, sipped ‘Kava (a traditional herbal drink) with the locals and visited a school that had around fifteen students who’s classes often took place on benches in the dust outside. I had also stood at the top of an Australian mountain looking out over the peculiar ‘Blue Mountains’, scorched my feet on the burning sand of Dubai’s sand dunes and much more.

There are days when I’m stuck in dreary England, looking out of the window through the drizzle and will catch a glimpse of a plane flashing between a huddle of several grey clouds. All I want in the whole world right then is to be sat on that exact plane, and I don’t even care where it takes me – anywhere new with a different climate, different birds (it’s always something I notice when I’m in a new country for some reason) and a different culture. I want to sit on the plane and see where it takes me and then just explore and breathe in fresh air.