‘Choose peace and fiercely guard it’ has become an important affirmation for me over the past couple of years. I have found that by making peace my priority – happiness and contentment come much more easily as I had a realisation that in order to feel happy, I needed to be at peace. I also re-evaluated my definition of success and moved away from the idea that in order to be a success I had to be constantly busy and stressed and that actually for me, having peace of mind was a huge success and largely benefited my health, wellness and wellbeing.
Create Nourish Inspire Interviews is a new blog post series, where I interview people who inspire me because of the way they follow their heart and seek to do what lights them up. I find out more about the journey they have taken and discover how they embrace their creativity, nourish their soul and find peace in everyday life.
This week, I’ve been talking to Claire Wilson from Cambridge, who runs Claireabellemakes (a creative online business). I’ve been following Claire’s blog for years and I have been very inspired by the way she has followed her love of creativity and grown her online business, whilst seeking to help other creatives find their path.
Once I had my new anti-inflammatory diet in place shortly after my diagnosis, I then focused on which holistic therapies would help me to manage my pain, reduce inflammation, increase my energy, avoid medication and help me to heal my body and immune system to start fighting off the constant stream of viruses I was going down with. It has been a gradual process over the last two years as nothing gave a quick fix or cure but each different route provided another piece of the puzzle and helped me in my journey back to wellness without medication.
In the blog post ‘5 ways to start a blank canvas or page’, we looked at adding the first layer of your mixed media canvas/page. We are now going to focus on adding some texture. There are plenty of ways to add texture, using a myriad of expensive tools but I’m going to focus on 5 items you will have around the house for free!
After my Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis, I decided I was going to tackle my RA symptoms via diet, natural supplements and alternative therapies. Interestingly, lots of people I spoke to told me I was wasting my time trying to heal it through changes to my diet. This momentous decision meant that I had to eat my body weight in chocolate at Christmas, as obviously I didn’t want any temptation when I started the new eating plan! Ahh that was fun!
My first step was to read and research about diet and supplements. There seemed to be so many conflicting ideas about an anti-arthritis diet so, armed with my lists of food that I had read about which were supposed to help or hinder RA, I saw a kinesiologist to have a full food test of my lists to create a diet that was right for my body at that time. I was already wheat and gluten free because it caused bloating and often caused me to be doubled over in pain after eating those foods. Giving up those food groups already was a positive as it was common to read that gluten and wheat were not seen as helpful for people with RA.
‘You are strong. You are brave. You can do this’ has been my mantra for a long time. There are times in everyone’s lives when we have to step outside of our comfort zone or cope with something which seems too big. I use this mantra in times of fear and overwhelm.
In times of fear, it is easy to take the safe option or to run in the other direction but this often leaves you in exactly the same place as before and can result in you feeling disappointed and frustrated. It’s at exactly this point when you need to remind yourself of how strong and brave you really are deep down (because it’s at this time when you don’t believe it). Think of all the times you’ve faced your fears and summoned all your bravery and strength and taken that step out of your comfort zone to use as evidence. I often find repeating this mantra really helps to change my mindset and get in touch with the inner strength and bravery that we all innately have. Even though it’s often very hard and uncomfortable, by facing the fear or taking that step (or nudge!) outside of your comfort zone, it can move you forward and take you to a different place and the feeling afterwards is almost euphoric because you did it! Be sure to take a moment to acknowledge how well you did.
I love mixed media art as it gives you so much freedom and there are no set rules or a right way of doing it. It allows you to tap into your creativity and do whatever you like on the page, using your favourite art supplies.
Looking at a blank canvas or page in your art journal can be a bit daunting so I thought I’d share 5 ways to get some paint on it and achieve your first layer in your mixed media piece.
In September 2017, I had my annual x-rays to check on the damage caused by my Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). They showed I had managed to halt any further damage (which is quite incredible as my diagnosis x-rays in 2015 showed aggressive damage to many of the joints in my feet and swelling in both my hands and feet). I am also virtually pain-free day to day (with only occasional short flare ups) with no swelling and I’ve even managed to rid myself of the severe fatigue which was completely debilitating and resulted in me having to stop working full time as a teacher. Since my diagnosis late 2015, the only medication I have taken is an 8-week course of steroids in January 2015. After my diagnosis, I decided to fight my RA naturally through diet, supplements, natural holistic therapies and a better mindset.
It’s so easy in in day to day life, especially when you’re going through a tough time, to be very hard on yourself and to treat yourself badly. We wouldn’t dream of speaking to friends and family in this way, but we happily do it to ourselves.