I am so excited to be launching my new podcast with my brother Adam!
The first episode of the Positively Grounded podcast: a crew member’s guide to spaceship Earth is live now. 🌏
I teamed up with my awesome brother to chat about Ram Dass, each of our top three inspiring people (mine were Pema Chödrön, Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estés and Georgina Noel), consciousness and bananas… 🍌
It’s a chilled out and gentle pondering of being human, the tools we’ve found to help us, and some music for meditation from Adam to wrap it up.
It was so much fun to record! I can’t wait for you to hear it. We’re planning on doing one a month.
You can listen to the Positively Grounded podcast here.
I find winter hard. I’ve written on my Instagram about how much I prefer Halloween to Christmas…. although this year does feel easier. My mental health is much better, AND I’ve created the HiberNATION to celebrate the cosy, dark vibes of this time of year. So I’m feeling a lot more chilled out about the Christmas part of winter (you can read about the Christmas I stayed in bed and ate pizza here!), but I’m wondering how we can create some intentional rituals to fight off the post-Christmas blues….
Christmas day comes so close to Solstice; here in the UK it’s bang in the middle of the darkest time. We’re celebrating the returning of the light. But it’s a slooooow return, and still a way to go before hibernation time is over.
Once the decorations come down on Twelfth Night, it can feel kind of bleak, can’t it? We been collecting and doing things that helps us survive the winter and lift our spirits – pretty lights, evergreens, socialising, exchanging gifts, eating comfort food – and then at New Year BAM! We give them all up again, even though there’s a lot of winter left. Astrologically, Solstice marks the START of winter!
I used to work with a lovely lady called Mel, who would countdown to Valentines Day, because from that point she knew she could pretty much always drive home from work at 5.30pm without her headlights on. It’s a nice measure of when the evenings begin to get lighter again.
So, what can we do to look after ourselves and each other as we wait for the light to come back…? Here are some ideas:
- January Decorations! Apparently, the tradition of taking the Christmas decorations down to avoid bad luck is a Pagan one, linked to the evergreens and their foliage – you could deck the halls, but you had to get them back outside by the 6th of January or the tree spirits would start to get antsy. So last year we made sure we got the tree outside, then kept some of the fairy lights, and jiggled around some of the not-to-festive decorations. It definitely helped the house to feel warm and welcoming. Other years, I have purposefully made January decorations to replace the Christmas ones, to brighten the place up and celebrate the New Year.
- Join the HiberNATION. Recognise that it is still winter, all the things that helped us before Christmas ARE STILL ALLOWED! Pyjamas, chocolate, snuggling, catching up with friends, bingeing on box sets, knitting and/or wearing all the warm knitted stuff… keep making time for the cosy things that nurture your heart and soul. This is the best time of year to enjoy this stuff! You don’t have to stop just cos it’s not December any more 🙂
- Look for the beauty. Right now, my garden is a muddy quagmire. Every time the dog comes in, we gain some indoor mud too. Sometimes I have to search out the beauty of this time of year. But it’s there. The resting quiet, like the pause in between breaths. The silhouettes of trees against pastel winter skies. Ice, frost and snow. And then slowly, the tiny signs that start to creep in of returning life and noise, like snowdrops and little shoots of green bursting up from the mud…
- Do some reflecting and look to the future. I’m not one for full-on, high-pressure New Years Resolutions, but there is a ton of advice out there about setting intentions or themes for the year. This year I think I will do a little bit of journalling to reflect back on the previous year, create a list of things to look forward to in the next year, and list some of the qualities I’d like to call in to my life for 2020. (If you need some help, my friend Alice is doing a mini-course that could be just the thing!).
- Allow your feelings. Winter is by nature a darker time, for slowing down, reflecting and planting seeds. You don’t have to be ‘jolly’. It’s ok to feel whatever you feel. I think we can sometimes make things harder for ourselves if we fight what we truly feel. I’m working on welcoming my emotions and seeing what they are here to tell me. And a lot of the time in winter, they’re saying ‘go slow, be gentle, plant seeds.’
And, as ever, allow time for self care 🙂
I am so excited to be announcing the release of my first colouring book!
Breathe: feel calm and inspired. A magical colouring book for adults.
They include my drawings for you to make your own plus journal prompts, visualisations and meditations.
I didn’t know it was going to turn into something quite so special, but as I started writing and laying the drawings out, all sorts of other things just POURED out! This little A5 size book really is packed with magic to help soothe a busy brain.
They are available in the Samdrawsthings shop.
Thank you so much to everyone who has bought one already! I can’t wait to see pics of your creations and hear how you get on with the extra bits and bobs. Of course the Comfort Fairy makes an appearance in here too… 🧚♂️ 🐕
And I’ve also put together a really special HiberNATION Hamper which includes the book, some colouring pencils, a beautiful candle and lots of yummy goodies in there too. You can find the shop here.
One of my missions this year has been learning how to use Procreate, a really amazing piece of drawing software. One unexpected bonus has been that it’s also provided a new way for me to have fun with drawing and reintroduce a bit of PLAY into my life!
Wow, it has been a busy week at Samdrawsthings HQ, with lots of deliveries going in and out.
The pins arrived for my collaboration with Dye Candy, and they have all been packaged up and posted now. Hutch gave me a sneak preview of the yarn that she has dyed to go with them, and my jaw hit the floor. It’s just beautiful. I know she was feeling a lot of pressure due to it being a mystery yarn, and to the huge number of orders we’ve had, but she has totally knocked it out the park. The first pics of people sharing their pins have started to pop up; I cannot WAIT to see the reactions to the yarn and fibre as it starts to arrive!
The pins have the slogan ‘Drop the stigma, not the stitch’ in reference to mental health stigma, and how much fibre crafts such as knitting and crochet can aid people with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. It’s a cause close to both mine and Hutch’s hearts. I find my drawing is a huge therapeutic tool in dealing with anxiety, and since taking up knitting last year that’s really helped too. There’s something about the squishy softness of the yarn running through my fingers that’s really grounding. It’s also a great mindfulness exercise…
You can still get your hands on these pins in the Samdrawsthings shop here.
Then the pins that I have designed for MAD Scientist Yarns arrived too! These are my first ever rainbow finish pins and I am just delighted with how they came out – they are so SHINY. They feature the scientist from the new logo I designed for them, with some extra yarn and sparkly bits.
Both of these pins are fundraising for mental health charity Mind, which makes me feel so happy. They are doing a lot of important work supporting people with mental health issues, and their website is a very helpful place for information and advice.
You can order your MAD LAB pin here.
And if you would like to collaborate on a fundraiser or commission a pin design, do get in touch 🙂