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Hello and Happy New Year to you all!

I am extremely glad to see the back of 2015, it was not the greatest year for me a horrible breakup, 2 bouts of redundancy that I survived but have had to deal with the fallout, lots of stress from the additional work and being ill all over Christmas and New Year.

So welcome to 2016 my year to make decisions, work towards making some changes and have some amazing adventures. Being ill has given me a chance to think and reflect over what changes I want to make now I can start to make some plans.

Part of reflecting on 2015 to move towards the new year was to work on choosing my word courtesy of Susannah Conway, her short free course for Finding your Word was invaluable. I didn’t have one for 2015 so felt it was important to have a focus for 2016, Susannah’s course was insightful and everyone in the Facebook group was incredibly supportive; it was wonderful to see each person go through the process and pick their word.

My New Year was spent making a new art journal, I did this in 2014 and being ill I certainly was not planning on going out. It is really quite therapeutic and at the end of the process you have a new journal.

New Journal & Supplies

So this is the cover before I added the name and with some of the art supplies I ordered over Christmas. Sadly 2015 was not good for art productivity and I have really missed this. Just by painting the cover I remembered how much I loved this which is part of my wider plan for this year.

2016 Harmony Art Journal

The word I chose for 2016 is Harmony.

My life got a little out of control and I lost perspective, I took on too much and found I had no work life balance at all. What I have realised is that I have to be able to walk away from work and not to feel guilty, it is not my responsibility to cover all the work no-one else can do . My use of the work Harmony is to remind myself that I need balance in all aspects of my life, I did not live last year I survived. This year is about me shouting out loud that I AM ALIVE and working on making adventures happen.

So no resolutions for me instead my word serves me for the whole of 2016 in all the ways I want to make changes, I am looking for Harmony.

I wish much success with your plans for 2016, lets share our adventures.

Much love

Clairester xx

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I have had quite an interesting week since starting to read “This I Know” by Susannah Conway.

This book more than anything else I have read has touched me emotionally and deep into my core. A lot has happened over the last 7 years and instead of dealing with each episode as it arose, I had to push the feelings down deeply in order to deal life, so that I did not fall under.

Now I have realised that in order to exorcise my demons I have to work through the feelings that are having a negative impact on my life. Most of my life I have felt unworthy of happiness which has been compounded by the relationships I have had which have been of a destructive nature confirming that I do not deserve to be happy. So I want to change that, I don’t want to be carrying this around with my like a stone around my neck, it is too hard to keep it all hidden and all I am doing is hurting myself.

I spent a glorious morning art journaling, writing in my journal, reading poetry and May Sarton and for the first time in many years I felt a shift in my soul, like the weight moved, lifted just for a short time while I listened to my feelings and sat in the moment hearing my own voice while I read aloud.

The poem I chose to read was If by Rudyard Kipling moving and inspirational, why don’t you try with one that speaks to you.

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Its been a week short on art and inspiration, I always feel this when life becomes difficult or stressful. My Dad was admitted to hospital last week with kidney pain, over the last few years he has battled 2 strokes and all manner of small illnesses made larger due to recovery from the strokes and his age. I love my Dad and cannot imagine him not being here so being reminded of his mortality really frightens me.

He has been suffering with kidney stones for over 10 years and in the space of 3 days they found the problem, operated and scheduled follow-up appointments so he is now out and hopefully this episode of illness will be over soon for him as I know it is really trying for him always being ill.

With this, I received my copy of This I Knownotes on unraveling the heart by Susannah Conway, she tells her life tale which started with the death of her partner and how in unravelling her heart and life she is finding out who she is and how to live the life she wants. She writes and takes the most wonderful pictures with her Polaroid camera and through starting to read her book i understand my own tale with grief, my divorce, 3 redundancies and 2 bereavements in 7 years all of which I have never really dealt with or understood my own feelings about.

Susannah has a way of writing that is like talking with an old friend, her words are touching and her journey at times heartbreaking yet hopeful, all the way through I think anyone who has experienced a loss will identify with different parts of her story. I urge you to read it because it gives hope and is incredibly inspirational and has awoken feelings I thought I had locked away maybe it is time I unravelled them and dealt with them.

So I have started writing again, instead of making a fuss and wanting it all perfect I have an everything journal so thoughts, feelings, cuttings, books to read can all be noted and it feels good to write about how I feel. I found a lovely fountain pen to write with and I feel freer than I have felt in a long time.

Check out Susannah’s blog she has so much to offer, she is authentic and honest giving you the good and the bad too many blogs are just about the perfect life – Susannah Conway.

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So yesterday I went out in that dreadful wind to get some shopping and do some photography. I am currently enrolled on the Exploring the Senses by Susannah Conway, I love her blog and general philosophy on life plus she alway looks so stylish!

So I get into the park with my shopping and put my bags on a seat to take some photos and I end up surrounded by about 5 squirrels who must have been very hungry saw my bags and as you see below was desperate to see if I had any treats.

After all this I still managed to take some photos, this is all about colour and this is what I got on a very grey, windy and rainy day in Carshalton.

It is a real departure for me used to using paints but what I did find is that I am very observant it was such a great day out even though I did feel slightly uncomfortable taking such random photos, I think it will change the more I take my camera out.

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