When I've had blogs on projects in the past, the minute I put up a "sorry it's been a while!!!!111" post, the downfall begins and I end up posting less and less until I give up on the whole endeavour. That's part of the reason why I decided to put out my last blog (which I'm quite proud of and would recommend you read) before this one. I wanted to show you that I'm going to post more content first, before I talk about my absence.
The New YearMy friends and I have a ritual, we practice it every New Year's Eve whether we're alone or together at midnight, and use it as a way of coming into the newest year without any negativity. We each take a piece of paper and write something on it, something that we don't want interfering with or poisoning our experiences in the new year. It can be a person's name, a physical thing like Junk Food or a metaphysical thing like Heartbreak. It can even be an essay, listing all the negative emotions and experiences you've had. Then, once midnight hits, we take these bits of paper outside and burn them! It's surprisingly cathartic, writing down everything that has just made you miserable about the year past and taking that time to reflect on how you're going to eliminate those things or change them for the better.
WritingThe burning tradition is a form of meditation actually, in the same way that journaling or list-writing is. The writing process is a period of reflection, of observing the flow of your thoughts and gleaning information that is unavailable to you in the regular, frantic nature of everyday life. Perspective, insight, and the ability to create solutions. The burning process is like opening your eyes after a meditation, or like taking one last deep breath in, and out. It's a cadence, a final release of negativity. There are so many activities like this, things that we would never consider meditation, and I wrote a piece all about this for the lovely people at Everyday Mindfulness recently. I talk about my first experiences with meditation, and about how letting go of my rigid notions of what meditation must be like made it so much more fulfilling. I'm pretty proud of that too (it's nice being proud of quite a bit of my writing for a change!) so if you would like to have a read of that it's here!
I just recently updated my blog for fiction writing a.k.a The Ink Blot. I've figured out that it's more than anything a place for me to store all my short-form pieces. Poems, songs, short stories, even collections of phrases and sentences I think are beautiful and worth noting down. If you enjoy little bits of fiction here and there, give it a once over!
A lot of things have changed for me over the Christmas/New Year period. The biggest change is that I'm now working full time, and it's...tiring. Obviously. I'm actually writing a lot of this blog from work (but you didn't hear it from me!!) as a bit of a self-care tactic. I enjoy this, work stresses me out, so in taking a bit of time to work on AAM (the full initialism for this blog would be would be TIWAAMLL, and I think that's ugly so I'm shortening it) I'm relieving stress while also being productive!
Another big change is that I'm being a little more social, a little braver in my choices. I've recently joined a group of really wonderful people that share a lot of my views. We're all about sex positivity, body positivity, love, conflict resolution, mutual support, and broadening our personal horizons by interacting with each other. It's like a giant, online hug-fest. It's had quite the effect on my personal confidence and my self-esteem and I'm eternally grateful to all the members. It's even inspiring me to be more social and meet new people in real life too! Going to events, being the person to say hello and introduce myself, all because I'm that little bit more confident.
It's a great feeling, meeting and seeking out people you engage with (online or physically, whichever setting is most comfortable to you) so I'd encourage you all to try. Not even necessarily to seek it out, because that is often daunting, but to let yourself be open to it if the opportunity arises.
This is far too long, and I have way more stuff to talk about so I'm going to split the rest of this little self-indulgent update into topics I can riff on, keeping our whole mental health focus at the forefront.
The next post is all about list writing, and how it's basically saving my life. Watch my social media for the next update!
Twitter and Instagram: @JaxxOLantern