The Great Big Green Week has begun! This week sees communities across the UK join forces in support, celebrating ways to take action to tackle climate change, and to protect green spaces, and promote the importance of these things, raising their profile both within the community and for local and national leaders.
The season is changing. There’s a drop in temperature; a new edge on the air that catches before the sun rises, and when the clouds are down. The sun is doing its early sinking, liminal lingering thing. It seems to say ‘I’m leaving.’
The nights are drawing in, and the mornings reluctant to break. A shift. One that might not be noticed from a life indoors, perhaps too subtle to notice from within a city’s walls. As a nation we are statistically spending more time outside. Or, at least we were, when that was our respite from a year of the same four walls. We had a year that, whilst distinctly more digital, was also much more ‘natural.’
Beltane; the Celtic and pagan fire festival of 1st May, otherwise known as May Day. This ancient festival occurs at the peak of spring, as summer begins. The themes are earth, fire, and fertility - everything in nature is abundant with life, vitality and energy. This time is about conception and potential; time to manifest ideas and dreams, taking action.
It started with shells. Wandering the beach, a small sandlark, bucket in hand, was how I remember a lot of my time spent as a small child. I think two years old is the first photo my parents have of me engaged in this pursuit - probably quite a common one for most children growing up in coastal regions. It soon escalated to sea glass and then to pebbles, and branched out from the beach to moorland and mountains - wherever there are pebbles to be found, I can be found there admiring them. It's an issue with sticks too, but that's a separate story.
Lockdown = loss of: control, socialising, structure, positivity, freedom, things to look forward to
Lockdown = extra: anxiety, confusion, restriction, unknown, uncertainty
I was very aware that I was lucky to have extra time on my hands this year, due to the pandemic. I was also aware, however, that without structure I can start to spiral downhill very quickly.
So this blog is two-fold; first, musings on One Billion Rising and this year's theme of Gardening, secondly the opportunity for YOU to get involved and appear in a video I'm putting together for this year's campaign - details on the video below...
One Billion Rising
"One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women (cisgender, transgender, and those who hold fluid identities that are subject to gender-based violence) in human history. The campaign, which launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS."
Many people struggle with feeling not good enough. This seems especially inherent in womxn. Anyone old enough to be reading this probably grew up with gender roles and divides instilled in their understanding and experience of the world. An expectation to dress and/or behave a certain way may have weighed heavily on your shoulders if you grew up as a girl but were not the naturally 'girly type.' Anyone deviating from these expectations may have received comments, or damaging 'jokes' about these styles and behaviours, or even commands to change them. This will have made a big dent in self-esteem. As part of this wider picture, womxn are generally taught not to make a scene, not to display anger, or even to assert themselves, and certainly not to 'brag' about what they are good at. These impacts would have been compounded by any intersectionality someone was facing; for example if they were also a person of colour, were disabled, and/or identified as LGBT+.
‘New year, new start.’ These are the conversations being had right now. What can we do to make this year better? I do enjoy using the new year as a reason to reflect, and I enjoy an element of planning, but only loosely. This is a time of year people tend to apply a lot of pressure – to themselves their lives, their expectations. It’s great to plan and set goals, but they need to be realistic, and in line with our values, which requires self-knowledge and some internal reflection or enquiry, rather than pressurised ‘inspo’ from other people’s facebook/Instagram posts, or worse still, targeted advertising designed to make you feel bad unless you’re working out, finding your zen, studying and building up your side hustle simultaneously.
From my position in a seaside town, silence is one of the things I have noticed most during lockdown. The bird song sounds louder. The breeze carries the sound of the sea. Voices carry across gardens on the wind. I barely need to look to cross the road. It seemed fitting when my yoga teacher drew the Silence card during our class yesterday.
Stuck indoors? Different routine? Using your body differently? Here are 7 tips to look after your body during lockdown...
Author - Zoe Copeland, MFHT
With a background in education, sports coaching and mental health, Zoe began to explore more holistic avenues of helping people with a particular focus on where the mind and body meet. Zoe began her bodywork training in Sports Massage and has since studied other massage theories and techniques, as well as Reiki, to provide a holistic approach to each treatment. With specific training in women's health, trauma and scars, she has developed an intuitive practice which leaves you feeling a positive change in your body and mind after every appointment.