Mindful Monday: Getting up close and personal with nature

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote the first Mindful Monday post, which you can check out here.  The idea is discuss different ways of relaxing, how to take time out of our busy lives and to explore different forms of meditation.  Seeing as spring is in the air, today’s post is all about getting outside…

Normally, I would advise against having any gadgets around you when being mindful or meditating however, you may find a camera useful – I used the camera on my phone.  The idea this week is take a walk and look for signs of how nature is changing to reflect the season.  I set myself the theme of ‘texture’ and decided I would take 5 pictures that were indicative of this.  As I was looking for interesting textures, I also found myself noticing the beautiful juxtaposition between the fresh new shoots of growth and the old, seemingly dead growth from last year.

Leaves

Glossy leaves

I don't know what this plant is called but I love the texture

I don’t know what this plant is called but I love the fluffy texture

Ivy is a good example of a plant we see all year round - do we necessarily notice how it changes throughout the year though?

Ivy is a good example of a plant we see all year round – do we necessarily notice how it changes throughout the year though?

Do you remember doing tree bark rubbings with sugar paper and brightly coloured crayons?

Do you remember doing tree bark rubbings with sugar paper and brightly coloured crayons?

The juxtaposition between the old and the new

The juxtaposition between the old and the new

All these photos were taken within a 5 minute walk from my house – you neither have to walk far nor anywhere particularly interesting to get great shots.  In fact, you may find some inspiration in your own garden!

If anyone else would like to take part in Mindful Mondays with me, I’ll be popping my photos onto my social media accounts.  If you fancy joining in on Twitter or Instagram, just upload your photos, tag me @vintageguinea and #MindfulMonday.  Oh and don’t worry if you can’t upload on a Monday, I’ll just be posting different topic ideas on a Monday but the theme will run all week!

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Being happy

With the clocks going back and the darker nights setting in, I find it increasingly hard to stay motivated.  In the past, I’ve often felt like hibernating in the late autumn/winter; I dig my thickest jumpers out, wrap up and hide with a good book or film.  This year however, I am determined to stay positive and to try and enjoy the changing weather!

I’m on a bit of a health kick at the moment and have decided to cut out alcohol for the entire month of November.  Whether this will be easy or not remains to be seen!  I’m also endeavouring to eat as healthily as possible and making fresh smoothies/protein shakes for breakfast.  I already eat a lot of vegetables and fruit so I’ve just got to stop going for those mid-afternoon pick-me-up chocolate bars now…

As strange as it may sound I really do love to exercise – particularly running – so I’m going to make sure I keep going for a run.  I’ll never be Paula Radcliffe but I can plod along at a consistent pace for quite a while.  I enjoy entering races (5k & 10k) and I’d love to do a half marathon next year.  Obviously, I’ll need to train…a lot!  Last year I did a 5 mile race in December dressed as Santa.  It was great fun even though I had a stinking cold and felt dreadful all the way round.  At least I was warm in my red fleece though!

I have an awful lot of reading to get through over the next month so I will still be treating myself to the odd hot chocolate (and marshmallows – rude not to) and I most probably will be wearing some kind of arctic fleece whilst doing so, but hey, a girl’s gotta pamper herself occasionally!

I’ve included this photo of fallen leaves I took last night – isn’t nature glorious?!

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