I first fell in love with the quiet glories of winter in my mid-twenties. Before that I associated winter with prolonged bouts of sickness (hello recurrent tonsillitis), mine and Dave’s mum’s deaths (I know, sucks, right?) and a general feeling of etiolation (“pale and drawn out due to a lack of light, having lost vigour or substance; feeble” -the most wondrous word). But since I decided to stop complaining, embrace the darkness and look at winter differently, I have come to adore this season. Yep, adore; strong word, there. (read more about how I did this here). So, I can say with great confidence that the single best way to embrace these short cold days is blessedly simple; cook delicious food, and have friends over; preferably both at onceRead More
We spent last weekend at our favourite place, Elmley Nature Reserve, retreating from January, going through our January Book, resting, talking, eating, laughing and just connecting again. Oh my, it was a sweet piece of heaven on earth. We have been doing our January book for 9 years but for the last two we have gone away for a weekend in January to do it; something we have now decided we can't do without
This year, I also finally made a downloadable guide to my January Book so that others can go through it too and I have been blown away by how many people have downloaded it, it has far far surpassed my hopes! Thank you so much to those of you who have downloaded it, and also to those who have sent such lovely emails and DM's too. I have had a surprising number of messages from people who have done it with their partner with amazing results, quite a few formally not very talkative boyfriends/husbands have been really into it. Amazing. (The January Book can be done alone or with your partner/family. Link to download below)
But, let me think back to Elmley. To The Damson, their newest hut. To the hugeRead More
January has been pretty slow and sleepy for me, and that is just how I like it. I have been slowly working away on a few projects in the background when I have has the time and inclination to do them. One of them is writing a guide for you, dear readers, about the end of year review process may husband and I have done for the last 9 years; a process that I have been asked about so much over the last few years, and one I have now written about!
So, what is The January Book?
Put simply, it is the notebook my husband and I use to review the year that has passed and plan for the year to come. It is both an individual and collaborative process.
But it has led to some incredible things. See my last post for a taster.
We first did this book in 2009, and over the following 9 years we credit this process for being the basis for many of our mega life decisions-from having babies, to changing careers, hiring coaches, and making better health decisions.Read More
2017. Um, wow.
2017 started with a weekend away in which Dave and I dreamed about the year ahead. I was heavily pregnant and I was decompressing from an amazingly busy work year in which my (swollen) feet had hardly touched the ground. I was so ready for some space and time to think. We went away to Elmley for the weekend to rest and talk and work through what we call our January Book, a notebook in which we review last year and plan for next. We talked about 2016- the wins, the painful spots, the lessons learned. And then we talked about how we wanted our life to feel in the coming year. That process was the groundwork for some incredible stuff.
2017 was the year we welcomed Auden into our family and three became four.
It was the year I discovered the surprise furnace of power inside me. The year I had a calm, back-to-back home birth despite believing I “couldn’t cope with pain”. 2017 was the year I understood finally, just how powerful our self-beliefs are, the power of repeated mantra’s and positive thinking. (So, so powerful, guys. Read more about how I prepared for birth here and here and read my home birth story here.)
It was the year I allowed my word for the year, “Nourish”, to whisper it’s wisdom everything I did. I asked for help. I stayed in bed with my baby for the first 6 weeks of his life. We were fed by my friends. I flexed my “no”. I let tears flow. I chose rest, ate nourishing food and found time for creativity when I needed it.Read More
Happy New Year, friends! We are actually well into the first week in January now, but that suits me just fine, the first week is always a bit of a sleepy one for me! I am just starting to feel ready to take a crack at this fresh new year, you? In truth, I usually don’t feel really energised and raring to go until Spring, and I’m cool with that. I am deep into planning and dreaming mode, my favourite winter-time activities. I am also pretty deep in duvet mode too, love that one too.
I have finally created a resource for the planning process my husband and I do at the start of every year which we call The January Book, so look out for this one this week. So many people have messaged me about this one!
For now, here are 10 totally cheering things to make, do and celebrate in the month ahead!Read More