Taking a break for a few days

I am in the middle of an intensive mental health treatment program right now, so am going to be taking a break for a short while.

I had thought I would be OK carrying on cooking and posting as normal during this time, but it is getting increasingly more difficult.

I won’t be away too long though – I promise that…

Do you like to colour?

There has been a big increase in colouring books that are designed for adults.

designs by Johanna Basford

designs by Johanna Basford

Johanna Basford, a talented illustrator and artist from the UK, has created a series of coloring books that have become incredibly popular, selling more than a million copies.

Her beautifully illustrated books, which can be found on Amazon are full of intricate line drawings depicting fairy-tale scenes, animals and plants.

This is just one example of the many colouring books designed for adults that can be found in a quick Amazon or Google search.  There are colouring books available on almost any subject designed for any age from the youngest toddler up to adults.

Not only can you just buy a colouring book, there are also a wide variety of websites with printable designs such as mandalas or other designs and pictures made to appeal to adults.

So why would an adult want to spend time colouring in the first place?

For starters, it is relaxing.  It has been shown to reduce stress, generate wellness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity.  In a sense, colouring is a form of meditation. In fact, colouring or drawing a mandala IS a recognized form of meditation.

It is also a way of focusing your brain on something enjoyable, which helps you forget about your worries for a time.

I have been a big fan of colouring for a while now, ever since my psychologist suggested that I give it a try.  I personally own quite a few colouring books:

As you can see, there are quite a few.  The last two are ones that I used as part of my Massage Therapy studies a few years ago, and it was then that I realized just how much I enjoyed colouring.

My preference is to use coloured pencils to colour with.  But others like to use crayons or even felt-pens…

Whatever you use though, colouring is clearly beneficial.

So why not give it a try?

Do you colour?  If so, I would love to know about your favourite books and sites for pictures.

Shared at:  Awesome Life Friday, Weekend Re-Treat, The Pin Junkie, Inspire Me Monday, Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Simple Life Sunday, The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Create Link Inspire

Favourite Songs

I posted two recipes yesterday (this one and this one), so I am not going to post one today.

Instead, I have been going through a lot of songs that I love, trying to work out which ones are my favourites…

This was a REALLY hard thing to do – there are just so many songs that I love.  There was no way I could narrow it down to more…

In the end I came up with the following (in no particular order):

Duran Duran – Rio

Yes I am a “Durannie” – I am not ashamed to admit that….

This song takes me right back to my teenage years… I was 13 when this song was released, and the Rio (vinyl) album was one of the first I ever bought.  I love the upbeat tempo and the baseline.  I also absolutely love the sax in the instrumental portion.

I tend to use this song when I need to get some serious cleaning done.  I also find it is good for major cooking sessions…

The Offspring – Kristie Are You Doing OK

This song strikes a chord for so many reasons.  I was sexually abused as a child, and this song was part of my healing process.  But also, it is something that I would have liked someone to ask me.  I would have loved it if someone had noticed the trauma and anguish that I was going through and asked if I was OK.

It also reminds me of being abused by my ex husband as an adult too.  Again, no one noticed the abuse.  No one asked me if I was OK.

I also love the acoustic guitar, the music, the lyrics – even the video.  I strongly identify with the girl in the video in this song… mostly because for years I was NOT doing ok…

But I also think that it is a really powerful song in its own right and the music is simply beautiful.

Twisted Sister – We’re Not Going To Take It

Warning – the initial opening sequence of this song might be triggering for some – it is for me.

This is a song that I was introduced to when I was about 16 years old and I loved it right from the start.

But it has also come to have new meanings for me in the last few months as a result of abuse from my ex-husband and the resulting divorce…  I am not going to take that shit any more…  and this song is starting to symbolize that for me.

Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb

Again, this is another one from years back….

I listened to The Wall a lot while I was writing my PhD thesis back in 1998.  I think it was probably one of the things that kept me sane during that period of intense writing and studying.

But also, this song has a lot of emotional elements for me too.  The “comfortably numb” theme to me relates to me numbing out a lot of trauma over the years…  especially the spousal abuse over the latter few years.

I became very good at numbing myself out – whether it was through mental leaps and exercises – just blanking out the things that were too painful to remember, or through drinking to excess…  I am the numbing out queen!  I can remember very little of my children’s younger years, and I do not even have the excuse that I was drinking heavily at that point.  I had just achieved the place where I could numb out myself, clear my mind of everything that was too painful to deal with and blank it all out…  If anything was painful, or reminded me of trauma, I would disassociate – I would literally take my self to my “happy place”, or I would clear my memories and mind of it so that I had no memory of the painful events at all.

And even now, I will disassociate when memories or thoughts threaten to overwhelm me.  It is something I am working through with my therapists.

Iron Maiden – The Trooper

This is another song that harks back to my teen years.  I used to be a huge “Maiden” fan, and tbh I probably still am…

I love the energy, I love the bass beat.  I love the guitar solos….

But I also have a TON of fun memories – back in the day, I went to a lot of “Maiden” concerts with school friends and we had a blast!

This song reminds me of that time.

Gorillaz – On Melancholy Hill

This is a band that I was introduced to by my eldest daughter A…  she was 16 at the time.

I loved the music – I love the lyrics, the sentiments, the melody..  I just find the entire song beautiful…  almost meditative.

And actually, I use this song as one in my “massage mixes” that I use when I am working (I am a registered/licensed massage therapist)…

It is just beautiful…. relaxing, mellow and…..

U2 – Where The Streets Have No Name

This song takes me right back….  I find it very uplifting.  And quite simply I love it.

It is another one that harks back to my teen years and my youth, but I also listened to it a lot while writing my PhD thesis…  so good memories and bad.  But mostly good.

And it does make me smile.

Mostly I find it very uplifting and inspirational.  And for me it is a good motivation song..  another one I listen to while doing housework.

R.E.M. Loosing My Religion

This song just says it all for me…  I love it.  I love the lyrics, I love the music.  It lifts me up, it keeps me grounded….

It is also one of my “happy songs”…

Happy times!  🙂

Pink – Raise Your Glass

WOW is all I can say to this song!

This is another one I was introduced to by A.    And I love it to bits.  There are so many sentiments about this song that resonate with me….  especially these lines from the chorus:

“So raise your glass if you are wrong
In all the right ways, all my underdogs
We will never be, never be anything but loud
And nitty, gritty, dirty, little freaks”

Do you realize how much that resonates with me…

I am a child abuse survivor, an incest survivor, a relationship abuse survivor.  I am pagan.  I am bisexual.  I am my own person… I will never, ever give in… and to many that makes me a freak.

And I raise my glass to all you survivors and non-conventional people out there…. you are my brothers and sisters!

Let us celebrate it with this song!

That is 8 songs that are my current faves….  I was planning on posting about 3, so I guess that almos 3 times over is not too bad

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do….