mid year catch up


Hello…how have you been? I hope you are mostly well…totally well seems to be a tall ask these days, but if you’ve managed to get through or escape the flu or a bout of Covid and you are doing okay that’s pretty good.


It's been a while, so I thought I would share what's been inspiring me, what I've been reading and listening to in attempt to keep on track the last couple of months. Even as I write that I stop and consider what actually is ‘on track’? As often happens my morning scroll on Instagram often throws up a message that resonates. This one came up today and as always was just what I needed.




I have to admit that I have been feeling a little lost lately and struggling with the bigger life question of What is this all for/all about? Just the small stuff haha. This year feels as though it is one of settling into a new way of being, like never before. All the old messages and patterns of life no longer seem to fit us. I am finding that choosing a simpler, slower life is not as easy to put into practice as I’d imagined, especially now all the choices of life are back to seduce us. We are so programmed to strive, hustle, rush and produce that it seems like a daily revolution to resist. The anxiety kicks in the moment we open our eyes each morning, until we make the time to sit and remind ourselves that we are actually okay…just as we are.


If you are also feeling this struggle you may enjoy this book that I have been reading by Jamie Varon. In Radically Content, Varon offers a respite from the chaos of our current world. She talks about how we have learned to be terrified of contentment, thinking it will lead us to complacency. Yet being content in a world that profits from our dissatisfaction is not complacency…it is revolutionary.


 

Spending a lot of time alone in the studio I often turn to audio books and podcasts for creative company. Here are a few books and podcasts that I have been enjoying recently whilst I paint. Perhaps there is something inspiring here for you x

Here are three of my favourite books that I've read lately

Packed with revelatory insights, Radically Content is an exhale.


A respite from the chaos of our current world. A calm place to land when you’ve had enough with trying to be enough.


In a world of more, better, best - choose freedom.


Blending memoir, sharp social insights, and unique practical tools, author Jamie Varon is your guide to radical contentment - a satisfied life outside the bounds of societal expectations.


 

I loved listening to this memoir by Minnie Driver, particularly as Minnie reads it herself on audio book. I heard her interviewed on a couple of my favourite podcasts and her book didn't disappoint.


A dazzling 'tell-most' memoir: poignant and laugh-out-loud funny scenes from the life of actor Minnie Driver.

I love stories. I have mostly told other people's, but now, in telling my own, I realise how all our stories are connected by that great leveller of acclaim, loss, fortitude and fortune: being human.



 

I love a good crime drama as a bit of escape. This series by Dervla McTiernan has been great. I've now listened to three.

The Top Ten fiction bestseller and critically acclaimed crime debut featuring everyone's favourite new detective, Cormac Reilly


Galway 1993: Young Garda Cormac Reilly is called to a scene he will never forget. Two silent, neglected children - fifteen-year-old Maude and five-year-old Jack - are waiting for him at a crumbling country house. Upstairs, their mother lies dead.



NEW PODCAST RECOMMENDATION


The Creative Genius Podcast with Kate Shepherd I've been enjoying this new podcast and wondered about sharing it with you, as I wondered if it was too 'arty', but I think might love it. Kate Shepherd, like me, believes we are all creative. Maybe you have stepped away from your creativity or you haven't given it a chance yet. Perhaps listening to some of these conversations will inspire you x

A podcast about finding & embracing true creativity through the magic of listening to your own heart.

Throughout my lifetime as an artist, I have heard thousands of people quietly whisper things like, "I wish I could be creative, but I am just no good at that stuff". The truth is that creativity is available to everyone.

This is a podcast about finding wild, true & authentic creativity through the magic of listening to your heart. It is intended to inspire and ignite the collective realisation that every single person has the right and maybe even the responsibility to access the amazing current of creativity that runs through each and every one of us. Listen here


 

On Purpose with Jay Shetty: Tony Robbins ON: Breaking Negative Thinking & Unlock the Unlimited Potential of Your Mind

Jay Shetty sits down with Tony Robbins to talk about what it truly means to take care of yourself and your body. Often, when we’re young and full of energy, we become fearless, we become risk-takers, we become someone who can do anything and can be anything. But going down this path, without paying attention to our health and what our body needs to stay in shape, our body ages rapidly, we get sick, we become weak. Listen here


 

What do you feel the meaning of life is? Purpose? Happiness? Does it matter if we’re not sure? In this chat, Fearne and actor Minnie Driver explore how it might gently fluctuate as we go through different stages of our lives.

Minnie also talks about her innate ability to articulate emotion, something that was often agony during her childhood, but has now allowed her to parent her own son in a deeply empathetic way.

Minnie’s memoir (ish) is out now; it’s called Managing Expectations. Listen here


 

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