Over the past week I have been reminded through many different shapes and forms that kindness should always be at the centre of everything that we do.
It is easy to be sidetracked and overwhelmed by the current interchanging environment but through kindness to ourselves and others we can remain positive, connected and grounded at this time.
Our mood is variable and I think that is it really important for us all to accept this changeable state with kindness.
Be kind to you…
As I currently write this, I have two children play fighting with their dad in the kitchen, two children in the garden winding the puppy up and a very lovely but smelly old Labrador sat next to me.
This is the new normal. The noise levels are intense! My introverted sensitive soul currently has sensory overload, but on the positive I am learning new ways to work around this constant chaos of family life and we are all learning more and more about our individual needs and our family needs too.
The boys are loving having their dad at home to play each day, something that seems so simple but over the years has been a bit restricted due to work and life commitments. And although as a family we are attempting to home school, I am a big believer that the children will learn from the experiences of being at home with their mum and dad at this time.
Share kindness with the children…
Each day we are consciously choosing to take it easy and fill our days with fun, joy and laughter.
We are exercising each day as a family to Joe Wicks. We are cooking more and enjoying more meals as a family. We are taking our family walk in the fields with the dog each day and we are playing in the garden. I am so grateful for the space that we live in right now.
We are evolving in this situation and it is lovely to be forming new connections and re-connecting through simple family activities that previously may have been overlooked due to the busyness of life.
Through kindness to ourselves, understanding and love, we can learn to accept our new normal, slow down and acknowledge that it is ok to be frustrated, it is ok to feel overwhelmed and it is ok to have a bad moment or bad day and we can talk about these feelings with one another.
By choosing kindness, we can navigate each day with concious choices that nourish you and your family and alleviate any worries or stress.
We all have different circumstances, our own boundaries, beliefs and priorities and it’s important that we do not push ourselves too hard.
The most important thing for you right now is your wellbeing and your family wellbeing. There are no rules. You can define what is normal for you and your family.
Creating wellbeing tools…
Wellbeing tools are individual to each one of us. These are ways for you to recognise how you feel and how you can help yourself in that feeling and moment.
Next time you can feel your body tense up, ask yourself “how do I feel?” and label that feeling. You can ask your children this too.
Learn to identify the different emotions and feelings together and then you can create your own wellbeing tools that can help to relax, alleviate or help accept those feelings.
When I am overwhelmed, I take a moment outside and connect with the birds, the sky, the clouds or take notice of the feeling of my feet on the grass. This brings my mind to the present moment.
I can recognise when I am feeling anxious or stressed and need to take a walk and I know that a walk with my camera to allow my creativity to flow will help calm my monkey mind and relax my body.
The creative process allows me to disconnect from my worries, connect with nature and feel inspired by the natural world and bring my mind into the present moment. Other creative activities also have the same effect.
Is there a creative hobby that you enjoy?
Could you re-ignite your passion or creative pursuit?
Can you get creative with the children in the kitchen or garden?
Or can you get outside with a camera and connect with nature too?
Sharing kindness through nature…
I am here to share the beauty of the everyday with you and to inspire you through nature photography to slow down, connect with yourself, your feelings and to take a moment to connect with nature for yourself and for others.
If you are unable to get outside right now, a simple nature photo can help boost your wellbeing by nourishing your brain and restoring your focus as well as reducing anxiety and depression.
Each day I will be sharing a nature photo on my social media to bring joy, kindness, love and happiness to you all.
Follow me on social media or feel free to view the full range of nature photos here to boost your wellbeing.
You can also get involved and share your everyday nature photos with the community by using the hashtag #connectandcreatefornature and #theeverydaybeautybristol or join the Connect and Create online photography group here
Inspiring our children to be kind
Through nature photography I also strive to inspire children to connect with nature and get creative with the camera to express their feelings, emotions, build confidence and resilience.
I believe that when we are kind to nature, we are kinder to ourselves and therefore others too. By inspiring children to connect with nature, the world that we live in will also benefit.
Resources to inspire kindness in your home
For children, these videos help to inspire our children’s creativity and thoughts about kindness.
The Kindness Book by Todd Parr
I have enjoyed the recent podcast from Dr Rangan Chatterjee and his guest Dr David Hamilton about kindness and the impact it can have on our immune system. Listen here.
In other news…
I would love to thank each of you that supported the Connect and Create project.
I am really pleased to announce that the crowdfunding project was a success and I will be expanding the nature photography walks and events from September (fingers crossed).
I will also be purchasing a collection of refurbished DSLR cameras to use for school groups and photo walks in the local community to ensure that this is something that is accessible to all.
A selection of A6 nature photo cards will soon be available for you to purchase and share with loved ones to stay connected at this time and boost the wellbeing of those that you love through nature photography.
If you would like to get involved and come along to a Connect and Create photo walk please stay in touch or if you are a business or charity and would like to work in collaboration with Connect and Create please get in touch.
Family photography experience and brand photography sessions will also be commencing as soon as it is possible to do so.
For now, stay safe, stay home, connect with each other, connect with nature and get creative with your camera for you and your families health and wellbeing.
You can find me most active on Instagram