Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Mid month check in: July

At the beginning of July I set myself three aims for the month ahead. To help keep me on track (and, ok, to give myself a little pat on the back) here's my progress so far:

1) Get back into my online hypnotherapy course: This has gone well. For the first week of July I deliberately set it aside to spend time preparing for a Reiki One attunement I was doing at the weekend but after that I picked it up again, studying in small 15 minute chunks with 5 minute breaks to keep me motivated.

2) Step up my blog design: I've been putting off doing an about page so I jumped straight into it after writing my July Aims post. After all that procrastination it was actually fine. I think writing it when I was focused on my blog and why I do it helped a lot. I then made a new banner and tidied up the blog layout a bit. I'd still like to get everything fitting together a bit better, but it's a learning process so I'll tweak it as I go. I'm classing this aim as COMPLETE.

3) Keep tracking my spending in detail: I've been doing this for over 6 weeks now and it's become a daily habit. It's certainly giving me an insight into what's going on with my money day to day, and I think it's helped me spend less because I know that whatever I spend money on will be on the tracker in all it's glory.

I'm pleased with the progress I've made on these aims so far in July, and feel that writing them on this blog has helped by keeping me accountable. I'm even looking forward to setting new aims for August.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Passing it one

At the weekend I was honoured to perform a Reiki Level One attunement. It's a simple, spiritual experience where the Master passes on the ability to channel Reiki to the Student. You get 'tuned in' to the energy, allowing it to flow through you.

Passing on an attunement faces the Reiki Master with a challenge: To trust that if we follow the process with the highest intentions Reiki will do the rest and that the Student will receive the attunement. I knew that if I faltered, doubted, worried, the attunement wouldn't work, just as worrying about the results of a treatment during a Reiki healing session can (in my experience) block some of the flow. Rising to the challenge of letting go and trusting has opened my mind to what's possible when I put my trust in Reiki to work to the highest good.

The experience has been profound yet so simple. I've learnt so much from teaching Reiki to another person because it's given me the precious opportunity to put aside my own expectations and see it all through beginners eyes. What a gift! What we give out comes back to us; in this case I gave with enthusiasm (I get very enthusiastic about Reiki) and was met with interest, joy and wonder. And of course it doesn't just apply to Reiki: Next time you teach something you enjoy to someone else, savour how new and exciting it is to them and see how it fires your own enthusiasm further, giving you and exciting new perspective.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Becoming a Reiki Master

I mentioned here that in Spring I became a Reiki Master and it's been such a turning point for me that it's well worth writing about. 

About eight years ago I sat down heavily at my desk in the busy office I worked in looking and feeling awful, just totally run down. I got talking to a new colleague who asked if I was feeling OK, and when I told her that I felt tired and unwell all the time she asked me if I’d ever tried Reiki.  “Reiki? Is that a martial art?” I replied, with no idea what she could be talking about.  She was a Reiki practitioner, she told me all about it and later that week I had a treatment with her.

I’d never experienced anything like it.  I was walking around smiling and telling everyone I knew about it.  After a few more treatments I wanted to get attuned so I could self-heal and share it with others.  My colleague introduced me to her own  Reiki Master, Helen Lawson, and I went for my attunement.

After that attunement I felt like I was waking up, and it was wonderful to be able to introduce my friends and family to that beautiful healing energy. A year later I took my second attunement and I felt amazing afterwards but didn’t know if I’d ever take the Master attunement.  

Years passed and Reiki remained part of the background of my life until a good friend who’d I’d introduced to Reiki years before told me he was going to receive his Master attunement and that our Reiki Master would love it if we took the attunement together.  This planted the idea inside me, but I didn’t want to rush into it.  I asked for guidance from my Reiki guides and started using Reiki more in my everyday life.  I gave more treatments, gave myself more self treatments, and used it for space clearing and charging crystals. One night I lay in bed with my hands on my stomach, giving myself Reiki when I asked my guides to give me a sign that I was ready for the attunement.  The heat in my hands took off, and I felt energy spread up and down my body.  I took that to mean “YES!”

I booked the attunement and committed the next couple of months to studying Reiki in more depth and getting to know it and my relationship with it better.  Finally I received the Master attunement and felt like a door that had previously been ajar had been fully opened.  I felt not that I’d completed my Reiki training but that I’d finally begun, and that it would be an exciting life-long journey. My issues with anxiety and self-doubt shrank back to be replaced by confidence and a passion to give Reiki my best and be a loving warrior of light.  That’s how my passion for Reiki was woken up, how I came to feel more like me than I ever had before.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Tah-duh: Craft Fail

Most craft blog posts are about the glorious successes. This is a blog post with a difference; it's the story of me, a dress, a pair of scissors and no clue.

I bought this dress from Primark a few weeks ago for £5, thinking "Hey, what a cute dress, that won't add a foot to my dimensions in every direction or anything ".

How wrong I was.

When I put it on I appeared to be unsuccessfully hiding an advanced pregnancy, with twins, but - mind over matter - I persuaded myself that it would work out fine because it would be loose and comfortable, Summery and light.

Several weeks passed, I tried it on, thought "No" and decided it just wouldn't do. Normally I'd have given it to a charity shop but I like the fabric a lot and thought it would look good as a skirt. I got my fabric shears out and, choppy choppy...

Snipped the top off. I folded the top in two to make a waist band, checked my measurements and sewed the skirt part to it.

The results were two fold. Firstly it didn't quite fit and there was a cacophony of ripping threads as I pulled it on. Secondly it still made me look remarkably large. So now I'll be salvaging the fabric for something else (not a skirt. Or a dress).

Craft. Fail. 

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Belt tightening

My spending track at the end of the week is showing that spending's been on the heavy side this week. Including The Chair, two Venitian blind to replace broken ones and a couple of other bits for the house we've spent £92 on house things alone. Added to usual weekly grocery costs, a takeaway, two non-home made lunches and some gifts to put away for Christmas we've spent much more than usual. 

Living the high live: Melted marshmallows and fizzy wine
This week we'll be tightening our belts to compensate. Of course we havn't got a chair and blinds to buy (why does everything break at once?), but extra savings will come from planning meals to use up what we have and planning work lunches. Mr CB is cooking up a batch of Thai curry as I type, with Quorn and lots of veg and the enticing smell is wafting up the stairs. We'll have some for dinner, some for lunch at work tomorrow and freeze the rest. I've got curry and spag bol in the freezer from previous large batches, lots of gluten free sausages picked up from a bargain bin this weekend, frozen fish, prawns, bacon and who knows what else hiding in the freezer, so we're set. 

Now for the tricky part: Not giving in to the temptation to but food on a whim, especially on the way back from the gym and ready to flop, or bored at work and thinking "Mmm, I could just go for_______ for lunch."  I'l' stay strong!

Anyone else eating down their food stash to save money 
this week?

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Charity Shop Gold: The Chair

Today saw the completion of a long quest: To find The Chair. Mr CB has been seeking The Chair in charity shops for several years to no avail, but it appeared in the charity shop at the bottom of our road last weekend. It nearly ended tragically as it had been sold a minute before we got there (literally a minute - so close!) but the lady who bought it changed her mind the next day and we got a call telling us it was ours if we wanted it. Joy! My CB is delighted and is finding hard to leave the chair now he's sat in it. He may age and die there, best keep an eye on him.

The living room is in diasaray at the moment as I'm painting it so everything's all moved about and in the way. It's coming together one wall at a time, and is slowly being transformed from dull brown and cluttered to fresh green and clear. I'm looking forward to finishing and posting before and show off-y after pics.

After a day of shopping and painting I've been enjoying some crochet time in the garden with an audio book and cats for company (can you spot the cat hiding in the top photo?). Crochet + Garden + Sun = Blissful, although I think I need some practice at sitting still as I keep jumping up to do something. Which is exactly what I'm going to do now; we're having a bbq for two so I'm going to go make halloumi and mushroom skewers and Mr CB's making burgers. It's hot but windy out there so this could be a very British bbq! 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Back to the beginning

My lapse in blogging has been playing on my mind lately. I questioned myself on why I stopped and, in the process, came to a better understanding of why I started in the first place. I started Crafty Blueberry at a time when I was beginning to explore what makes me happy. Finding what makes you happy sounds so simple, but...! I wanted to use my blog to record the happy-making things in my daily life, especially at a time of financial and emotional turmoil. I wrote for myself and enjoyed meeting other bloggers, reading blogs for inspiration and sharing what I’d made and done.

So what changed?

Well, when I started the blog all I really wanted to do was knit, crochet and bake. Truly excellent things, but as time’s passed I’ve found myself interested in a wider variety of things that don’t fall under the ‘crafty’ umbrella. For some reason I’ve had it in my head that because my blog’s called Crafty Blueberry it has to be about crafting. Where on earth did I get that idea from? Talk about self-limiting! The less stuff I made, the less I believed I had to write about. Silly Laura.

But that’s not the only reason I stopped writing. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I had a spot of **blushes** blog envy. I follow some excellent blogs, with stunning photos and wise, funny, interesting words. I did something I avoid fairly successfully elsewhere in my life: I compared my writing to other peoples. The big no no! Of course I came off worse as that’s what happens when you compare anything you’re insecure about with anyone else, so that was another thing that eroded my will to blog a little bit more.

That’s why I started then stopped; why am I back? I’ve been using Pinterest a lot lately and, through it, finding lots of blogs that are new to me. Reading all those great blogs has reminded me that when I wasn’t worrying about it I really enjoyed blogging. This time around I’m questioning my hesitation and making myself face the fears and not hide from them by avoiding writing. Crafty Blueberry has always drawn my focus back to what I enjoy when I’ve been taking life - and myself! - too seriously.

For me, coming back to Blogland makes the beginning of a personal mission to face my fears and do more of what I enjoy.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Catch Up

Here'a a lightening round up of some of the things I've been doing whilst away from Blogland.

I've been letting sleeping eggs lie...

...found a broken sewing machine table by the side of the road and gave it a new life with a clean down and some home-made chalk paint...

...finished Celestarium (at last!)...

...and started a happy, wavey, rainbow cushion cover...

...I became a Reiki Master! And have set up a blog about it...

...I've learnt to make orgonite...

...and cards...

...started studying again...

...I visited Mablethorpe in March, which was very cold...

...and Budapest in June, which was very hot.

I've had a lot to blog about and wish now that I had, and I'm looking forward to writing again. I've missed having a record to look back on, a blog is a fine way to track your own ups and downs and capture the things you've enjoyed.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Looking Forward: July

I was looking at The Frugal Cottage today and really like how Nicola takes the time at the start of the month to look at her aims for the month ahead. I am shamelessly copying her because I think it's a great idea, and I'm also including things I'm looking forward to. This is to help me to stay focussed on the good things in my life as well as keeping me accountable for the things I'm working on/towards.

July aims:

1) Get back into my online hypnotherapy course: I was studying regularly before my holiday last week and making good progress, so now I need to pick up where I left off and get back into the habit.

2) Step up my blog design: I'm not happy with the layout and colours, in fact the design in general so it's time for a total refresh. I'll also add an 'About Me' because I have shied away from it for so long!

3) Keep tracking my spending in detail: I've been tracking every single penny on a spreadsheet for the past month and I intend to stick to it as it's giving me a big insight into what I spend, when and where. I'm a frugal girl but I know I'm leaking away money on little things and I want to fix that leak and direct the flow towards the big things I'm saving for.

Here are 3 things I’m looking forward to this month:

1) Getting back into my hypnotherapy course after my holiday, as above: Both an aim and something I'm really looking forward to.

2) My birthday and a night away by the sea to celebrate: Birthday + sea = Good times ahead.

3) An old friend visiting for a weekend: We used to spend so much time together when we were young 'uns living in Stoke On Trent together but now I'm in Leeds we see each other very rarely, so when we do meet up I look forward to it very much indeed.

What are you looking forward to in July? Have you got any aims, big or small, serious or fun?