I’ve changed up my About Me page to something a lot shorter and current. I can’t let go of this well-put page as it has so much back story and it’s still relevant in some way. How I got here, how I got through a bunch of ‘stuff’ that life threw my way.
Throughout my life so far three things have been constant positive resources – yoga, art and writing.
I have done various forms from Hatha to Bikram to Kundalini, yoga and meditation are such powerful tools, to be experienced and used on and off the mat in real life.
I really enjoy soulfully painting with my fingers, intuitive brush work and mixed media journaling. I’m all for creativity and art making as a process, experience, a tool for self discovery and healing.
I have explored spoken word poetry as a spring board for free speech in the past, I enjoy writing poems on my typewriter and use free style morning pages to take out the trash! I write about my experiences, practises and sharing resources of what living a spiritual and creative full life is all about!
At 18 I got my first art supplies and turned boredom to curiosity and started playing in a journal. In my early twenties I discovered Kundalini Yoga and it transformed my life! On to my mid twenties where I learnt about Sikhi and started practicing in my life.
Read on to find out more about my background in Yoga, Art and Sikhi:
Let’s talk yoga:
I started Hatha Yoga, I found a book one day in a second hand store titled just YOGA and practised the poses from pictures then I went onto follow along with a DVD every morning. My routine went like this: yoga, paper round, writing, school. Looking back I think yoga helped me immensely in school, as there were a few areas I really struggled:
- Emotional balance
- Self organisation
- Balance and co ordination
- Ability to focus
- Self consciousness/weight issues
- Low self confidence
Although I was young and would find many ways to overcome personal challenges, yoga allowed me time and space to breathe, stretch and be more still.
I took up yoga practice daily, this time Bikram (hot) Yoga. I was working at a job that brought me a great deal of frustration and sadness, each evening I would come home after cycling 4 miles, to do yoga for 90 minutes. Yoga helped:
- Restore faith and trust in myself
- To look at the bigger picture
- To give me a boost of energy as I was very fatigued
- To give a more positive attitude to the future and use it off the mat too
I practised Bikram Yoga till my heating system broke and I could no longer practice it. I wasn’t sure what to try next so I stopped looking and one day before having an afternoon nap I read a preface in a book on Kundalini yoga and felt inspired and no longer tired. I mentioned it to my boyfriend at the time who encouraged me to do some videos on Youtube which I did and haven’t felt tired to nap since!
Around this time I was learning to drive and really struggled with my nerves and committing everything to memory, before my lessons I would do a Kundalini Yoga set and the instructor would notice a huge shift to driving calmly and encouraged me that whatever I was now doing to continue it!
I went along to White Tantric Yoga before my driving test and passed first time. Since then, Kundalini has brought so many positive changes into my life and I do it daily.
Here are a few:
- I respond rather than react
- I breathe fluidly and deeply, before I would hold my breath in times of anxiety causing panic attacks
- I no longer get worried and fret about small issues
- I feel a sense of support and guidance
- I’m more present and have energy
- I can communicate more easily with all kinds of people
- I take better care of my skin and body
- I switched to more nourishing foods
- I live my truth from the whole of me – Sat (truth) Nam (identity)
- I make life changes with less decision fatigue and more courage
I went to a the Great British Kundalini festival and met wonderful people, one of them mentioned I should go to a talk by Basics of Sikhi called ‘Who is Guru Nanak?’ And though there was another great workshop at the same time and was tempted to go, I thought of all the times I’d sing a Kirtan song with ‘Guru’ in it and trusted the word of my new friend. That is how I came to learn about Sikhi. A faith, religion and way of life: remembrance to God, Waheguru, the one creator as an infinite source around us and the source of everything, truthful living, equality of mankind. Singing praises in holy company, meditation, honest living and serving mankind are just some of the messages of Sikhi.
Since then I have chosen the Sikhi path and continue to learn through videos, podcasts, books and going to Gurdwaras. (I join in with Christian celebrations and still have my own ways of being, my values have changed and realisations..)
I did Kundalini Level 1 teacher training with Sahej Academy! For my own personal development, interest in yoga and meditation and to teach others.
Yoga and meditation are incredible tools that you can begin using right away.
Let’s talk Art and writing:
Writing has been a free tool that I have used since I started doing yoga at 13 years old, I used to journalevery morning between a paper round and school. I enjoy it, I write about myself easily and information that may be useful to people in some way. There is a beauty to writing, to being honest and not knowing who may stumble upon what you produce and the impact you have on their day, their life.
At 18 I started painting, I am mostly self taught through books, videos and blog posts. I have around 20 large paintings that are stored away and no photos of them, I feel like part of me is lost to the reader! I have attended some drawing classes and dropped out of a drawing course having learnt a lot of incredible things and really surprised myself to my abilities. Bottom line though: I am a painter, I paint and learn whatever I want, on my own terms. I paint in a range of styles: folk, outsider, abstract, expressionism with acrylics and mixed media. You can view my works in my portfolio.
I’d like people to feel their own aliveness and to look deeper into their truth in my paintings.
I used to have a big creative space, I loved it, I practically lived in it. However a change of circumstance minimised my creative space to about the size of a large box. I don’t paint BIG anymore, I don’t splatter my art brush like I used to, this prompted a website to combine yoga and small art in 2017. I am reminded that everything is temporary and to look at the silver linings. Creativity and Art are not luxuries!
Creativity and self development saw me through depression and a job change, to happier times.
“I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”
― Frida Kahlo
My creative space expanded to a larger room and in 2018 I took a break from teaching yoga and began writing stories in a project I want to publish in the near future. This is the year I got married and I’m finally finding my feet again and drawing, writing, painting! Finding your way to happiness again in life is key. I feel blessed for the opportunity to share once again!
Here’s to failing, getting up, failing, getting up!
And a brief bit on Sikhi:
I found out about Sikhi one Summer and from there I learnt from Basics of Sikhi, Nanak Naam, GurbaniMC and attending my local Gurdwara, for a much more in-depth description read My journey into Sikhi, the long version.
Practicing Sikhi through Simran, Banis, Sangat and Seva has become the most important of my life that it’s impossible to mention in such a short paragraph! If your unfamiliar with these terms that’s ok, I want to use this blog as chance to educate people about Sikhi while also holding a space for creative living that absolutely anyone is welcome to visit and gather ideas and inspiration from to live a full happy life!
‘Make truth your self discipline and make good deeds the lines you draw; make chanting the name your cleansing bath’. – Siri Guru Granth Sahib
To find out what I’m up to now go to my new About page!