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9 Things to Smile About (No Matter What).

IMG 00621. Paws – Love lives with you now.

So often we look outwards, it is wonderful to believe in all we can do and all we can be, but aspiration can be exhausting and if we don’t love anything in our lives now. Who is to say we will suddenly feel love when we get ‘there’, wherever ‘there’ is.

Many of us have so much love in our lives already and I’m asking you to look at it and enjoy it now.

Share something with your oldest friend, deepen what you have before expanding.

And if you have an animal in our life then you may be blessed with their love and furry paws. Lucky you, share some love with them.

earrings2. Jewels – Our jewellery is wearable art.

I love paintings, I really really do. I think it is a privilege to be able to house the art and sculpture we do (and they are never ours, not really. No matter what you pay for it, a work of art is a creation all of it’s own.)

But as much as I adore a piece, and can gaze at if for hours, jewellery is art that I can carry with me, live with and that is magical.

What I’m wearing here is made by the wonderful Natasha Wozniak and I wear them every day.

They are especially special to me as one of my dreams from my live-my-dreams list was to wear earrings every day (and set up Healing Boxes and write Sick Chick to Trail Blazer) but I could never find earrings that worked for me, but Natasha made this dream come true.

board games3. Board games – Get off the internet (and other riot girrrrl tracks).

I mean it, you know you need a digital sabbatical, let’s make it happen.

If you don’t know what to do with yourself without blogs and social media and youtube then don’t panic because I have a list of 78 wholesome, cheery and legal things to do on your digital sabbatical which darling Alexandra Franzen has over on her site, so head over now. If that isn’t enough to sustain you Inga Muscio comes to the rescue and you can use the time to read her 3 amazing books. I am on a digital sabbatical this week – this post is pre-written and published by lovely Paul of AP Digital Creatives who maintains my website and has legendary patience. Breathe with me.

IMG 00434. Surprises around corners – Cultivate your eye for delight.

Well, maybe this picture isn’t exactly delight but as I looked around the classroom thinking ‘there must be something to photograph here’ there was. I’d missed it, all day.

It took intentionally looking for beauty, for whimsy and smiles to see it.

What do you see?

Look again.

IMG 00705. Potential – Look beyond what you see.

I love this photograph, I took it at a car boot sale which was so bleak that made me want to cry.

I hadn’t been to a car boot sale before but Linus used to go hunting for records in his DJ days in London and convinced me along with rumours of vintage clothing and old cameras.

The first car boot sale we went to was so sad, rows of people selling tiny bits of things I think a charity shop would turn away and earning no money. It was rough and scruffy and poignant. There must be more than this.

In the photograph the clouds were low but the sun stretched over the mountains. The potential.

We persevered and had a brilliant time and ultimately I came home with crates of gorgeous, antique, blue and white willow pattern china.

But the thing is, there was such potential, if you were in this picture, where would you go?

IMG 00446. Autumn/Winter – Turning year brings delights.

* Open fires,
* Crumpets,
* Chestnuts,
* Boots,
* Faux fur muffs,
* Snoods,
* New coats,
* Hot tea or spiced chocolate,
* Stockings for Yule,
* Advent calendars,
* Pyjamas and being warm,
* Dogs running through leaves,
* The power of the sea in winter,
* The first frost,
* The first snow,
* Christmas hampers

IMG 00467. Trail Blazing – It shines behind you, like angels wings.

Everything you do now, it is making it a better world.

That’s a legacy.

How you live your life changes the world. The tiny things you do make shifts.

Every time you identify as you, not as a Sick Chick, every time you reply with your Pitch Perfect: What’s Wrong With You reply and don’t let others awkward questions disconcert you, every time you love and accept yourself, every time you get on the mat or stand proudly with your walker, you are changing our world. I’m grateful to you.

IMG 00698. Secret gardens – Inside or out.

We all need a secret garden, this can be an inner place you play in our a physical space you beautify and enjoy but it is yours and it grows or fails under your care.

This is an education and an opportunity on one.

Literally, I mean a corner you decorate, a flower bed you tend, a meditation practice you cultivate, a practice you cherish.

Who doesn’t love secret gardens?

IMG 00669. Smile – and then look in the mirror.

If you don’t know what to smile about, try smiling anyway. Smile in spite of everything, smile because you can and because you are here and a frankly odd woman on the internet told you too.

But smile, and see what happens.