Energy through Colour – the Chakras Part Two

Last month, we looked at the colours of the first three chakras: red, orange and yellow. This month we will explore the remaining four.

Green is the colour of the heart chakra which resides in the centre of the chest. This energy governs our heart, lungs and blood and its sense is touch.

An imbalance can cause jealousy, envy and self-hatred. It is also where we store grief. Its polarity is judgement to unconditional love so try wearing green if you are having difficulties with a relationship or you want to develop more compassion. Green personalities like balance, harmony and stability in their lives. They are wonderful to have around in a crisis as they can remain calm and take control. They are great listeners and are kind, generous and compassionate. Greens make good hosts as they are concerned for everyone’s welfare. They are supportive and practical but they can be prone to gossip and also can become too perfectionist.

The colour of the throat chakra is sky blue and it governs the thyroid and parathyroid glands, the neck, mouth, ears, throat, and physical and mental development.

Its sense is hearing and an imbalance here can result in identity problems, communication difficulties, isolation and aloofness. The polarity is suppression to expression so try wearing this colour if you are having issues with either speaking your truth or speaking too much. Blue personalities are excellent communicators and are clever and resourceful. They can be adventurous and are usually willing to have a go at anything. Blue is a cooling, healing colour so they can offer great comfort. However, they can become remote when they are struggling. Blues are loyal and make wonderful friends but they need to be able to trust or they will sever ties. They like to be around like-minded people and can become worried that there will not be enough money to go around.

Next is the brow chakra whose colour is indigo. Located between the eyebrows, it governs the base of skull, eyes, the pituitary gland and the autonomic nervous system. An imbalance here can lead to headaches.

The polarity is ignorance to wisdom so if you are having issues with repeated mistakes, then try wearing this colour. Indigo people are structured, organised, intuitive and independent. Justice is very important to Indigos as they try to create stability and fairness in the world around them from their deep understanding. They are often popular because they express themselves well and can be creative and friendly. However, they can become overloaded as they are not good at saying ‘no’.

Finally, there is the crown chakra which, as its name implies, sits at the crown of the head. Its colour is violet. This chakra governs the eyes, upper skull, headaches, pineal gland, hair and central nervous system and an imbalance can lead to anxiety and Parkinson’s so use violet if you need to be calmer and more connected to the whole.

Violet personalities are intellectual, imaginative, charming and philosophical and are often psychically gifted. They can be private but, as long as this is respected, they are approachable enough. They long to make the world a better place yet still love to live life to the full. They often look younger than they are as they are so inspired but if they don’t succeed, they can become very critical of themselves. This, when combined with their impracticality and secretiveness, can lead them to becoming remote and cold.

Enjoy playing with these colours over the next month. Next time we will be looking at turquoise and purple.

Have a very happy Easter.

Love Laurelle

The Colours of the Chakras – Part One

As we move into March, spring is beginning to bring colour back into nature’s palette. Interestingly, our energy bodies are associated with the vibration of colour. These energy points were given the name of ‘chakras’ in the ancient Indian Vedas between 1500 and 500 BC. These oldest known texts show the human body as a series of energetic points which rise up the trunk of the body, linking us to the world of energy. Each chakra governs the four levels of human life: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual and any imbalances in these particular places will result in certain issues. Where once this way of looking at ourselves was not understood, now quantum physics has defined everything existing as energy and vibration, we can begin to understand the chakras in a modern context.

Each chakra has a colour. At our root is red, a colour which signifies our connectedness to the earth as well as to our family.

Its location is the perineum/coccyx and it governs the bones, legs, feet, adrenals, kidneys and the sense of smell. Each chakra has a polarity which can take us from negative to positive. In this case the root helps to take us from fear to courage so red is a very helpful colour to wear if you are frightened, if you need to ground yourself, improve your self-esteem, become stronger or more extravert. Red personalities are intense and often larger than life. They like attention and can be opinionated. However, they can be of great integrity and fight for truth and justice. They are courageous, passionate and fearless and deeply connected to their families.

Next is orange, the colour of the sacral chakra which resides at the navel. On a physical level it governs the sexual organs, bladder, prostate gland, womb and spleen and it is the home of the emotions and our sense of taste.

Orange is the primary healing colour and it is also the colour of creativity so try wearing it if you are poorly or when you are creating something new. Its polarity is attachment to release so this chakra helps us to let go of what no longer serves us. Orange can also be used strengthen the immune system and help with fluid retention. It is a great bringer of joy and helps us to be happy in our bodies. Orange personalities are warm, friendly and easy-going and can be flamboyant. They have a well-developed sense of humour and need to be appreciated and so can have issues with self-respect. They love to socialise, are deeply emotional and very creative.  

The third chakra is at the solar plexus, in the area of the stomach, and its colour is yellow.

The solar plexus governs the digestion, muscles, the liver and the sense of sight and an imbalance here can lead to diabetes, digestive issues, irrational fear and anxiety. This is our centre of power and where we feel in control or out of control; controlled or controlling. Its polarity is anger to forgiveness so try wearing yellow when you want to say sorry. Yellow is an essentially a happy, gregarious and sociable colour so it is good to have on the walls of your living room to stimulate conversation.  It is also a wonderful colour for the kitchen because it increases metabolism gives you energy and brightens your day. However, babies cry more in rooms painted yellow. It is the colour of hope so try wearing it if you feel down and in need of a lift.  Yellow personalities are happy, cheerful, versatile and knowledgeable. Their strong minds retain much information and they love life, enjoying whatever they are doing. Yellows can be childlike, curious and playful and they love to be successful.

Enjoy experimenting with these colours over the next month and observe how they make you feel and when they are best used. Next month we will look at the remaining chakras and their colours.

Until then, have a happy March.

Love Laurelle

 

 

Bring on Pink – it’s time for the Year of the Pig!

As we move towards Brexit, there is more than a little change is in the air. On 5th February we move out of the Year of the Dog and into the Chinese Year of the Earth Pig. As this is the twelfth sign in the 12-year Chinese zodiac, it brings the astrological cycle to an end and is therefore a signal to take a much deserved break. This means that, with a little reflection, we should be able to be more relaxed, happy and secure. There should also be a greater sense of prosperity although the Pig can be recklessly generous which can sometimes lead to him being taken advantage of. It should be a good year for business but admin should not be neglected and debts settled as soon as possible.

 

 

The Earth Pig is happy, responsible, family-orientated, flexible and modest. He loves to teach and help others, is rather spiritual in nature and doesn’t like toxic relationships. The Pig is intellectual, open-minded and adores writing, His work relationships tend to be softer, more tolerant, forgiving and constructive than we have seen of late and loves to talk things over and persevere rather than argue so persuasion and diplomacy will be the order of the day. It is likely to be a good year for ecological solutions and the promotion of the common, rather than individual, interest but on the physical side, pigs can get fat so it is important to take plenty of exercise and avoid being lazy.

As we continue our journey into colours, let’s explore pink, the colour of the pig. Pink is emotionally soothing and calming, gently warming, kind, considerate and loving.

Nowadays, we associate pink with girls but it was not always so. In late 19th Century/early 20th century Europe, mothers were advised to dress boys in pink and girls in blue. Blue had long been associated as a feminine colour because of the supposed colour of the Virgin Mary’s robe whereas pink was seen as a boyish version of the masculine colour red. This gradually began to change in the mid-20th Century and by 1950, advertising campaigns began pushing pink as an exclusively feminine colour.

As well as being the beginning of the Year of the Earth Pig, February is also the month of St Valentine with its focus on love. Pink is the colour of love so these two go very well together indeed.

Magenta is a deeper version of pink and has strong spiritual connotations. It is associated with compassion, support and kindness, all qualities of the Earth Pig, and is a relaxing colour which doesn’t like confrontation.

This month try experimenting with pink. Its warmth during the coldness of February will bring you both joy and relief. Next month we will look at orange and yellow.

As for Brexit, we can only wait and see. Let’s hope we end up in the pink and that we’re tickled pink and not that we see pink elephants or get a pink slip from Europe…

Happy February!

Love Laurelle

Are you too monochrome?

We will leave Chinese Year of the Dog early next month but before we do, it is interesting to note what has happened so far. It has been a year full of change and, some might say, some fairly spectacular dog scraps in parliament and beyond. No surprise there: one of the characteristics of the Dog is a black and white mentality (as demonstrated by Donald Trump who was born in the Year of the Dog) with its inability to see the greys in between.

So let’s look at the monochrome palette and see what it can reveal. Firstly, there is a question about whether they are actually colours at all. A physicist would say that black is the absence of colour but an artist would declare the opposite. The physicist would go onto explain that sunlight is white light composed of all the colours of the spectrum but chemists would argue that combining the three primary colours: red, blue and yellow, creates black. An optician, on the other hand, would declare that because black absorbs all the colours of the visible spectrum and reflects none of them to the eyes it is not a colour, whereas because white reflects all the colours of the visible light spectrum to the eyes, it is.

What we can conclude is that things may not be as black or white as they seem. Let’s take a look at them both more closely. White has been worn since ancient times by high priests and for important rituals and is worn in weddings to depict purity and perfection.

Like a piece of white paper not yet written upon, white leaves the mind open and free to create. White can be used for protection, to bring peace and comfort, to alleviate emotional shock and despair and for cleansing and the letting go of negative thoughts. But think of a snow-covered field. The stillness and silence may be sublime to start with but it doesn’t take long for ice, isolation and loneliness to set in and for our feet to begin to slip.

Interestingly, white is the symbol of grief in China but, in the West, it is black.

Black helps us to hide, rendering us invisible, making it a favourite of teenagers and city dwellers. Black is mysterious because it cannot be fathomed and so depicts fear and the unknown. Yet in business, it is associated with power, authority, strength, elegance, discipline, formality and intelligence – think black robes and hats for graduates. Black is linked to secret knowledge and magic and wearing black can make people look thinner. Interestingly, however, sports teams that wear black kit are more frequently penalised than those wearing other colours. Black also represents evil (the opposite of live) and too much black can prevent us from growing and changing. Understandably, we are terrified of black holes, those massive and intense areas in space which form the centre of galaxies and feed on and extinguish light.

Language offers some insights into the cultural uses of these two colours. A ‘white’ knight’ indicates someone brave coming to the rescue and a ‘white’ lie’ suggests a lie that is harmless. A ‘white feather’ can have two meanings: in WW1 it was represented cowardice and was sent to a man who had not joined the army, but seeing a white feather nowadays suggests that an angel is nearby. The ‘milk of human kindness’ suggests that kindness is white, ‘whiter than white’ suggests complete innocence.

Unfortunately, the word black is more often than not used negatively: people are ‘blacklisted’, meaning they are ostracized and avoided; ‘black humour’ is cruel, and the ‘black death’ was the agonising plague that scourged the thirteenth century, among others, and killed a third of the population.

Black and white are not the only colours in a monochrome world, however. Grey lies in between and thereby lies much of its wisdom as seeing the greys in the world means knowing that life can rarely be split into opposites. Grey is practical, middle-of the road, solid and allows for compassion and forgiveness and as much time as is necessary for whatever you are doing. On one hand it is associated with self-reliance, self-control and as a shield against outside influence, but on the other it can also suggest depression and a lost sense of direction with its heavy feeling of clouds, fog and smoke. As neither black or white, it can also be perceived as evasive, noncommittal and lonely and may denote self-criticism.

So, as we come to the end of the Year of the Dog, let us prepare to receive the arrival of new colours. Next month we will look at what the oncoming Year of the Pig will have to tell us. Meanwhile, enjoy the continuing of the monochrome palette this month. Just don’t forget to add some other colours so that you don’t become too polarised.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2019 and a very enjoyable January.

Love Laurelle

The Colours of Christmas

Christmas will soon be here and along with it, the colours of red and green. As we have already discovered, red and green are complementary to each other. We bring greenery into our homes at Christmas with holly, garlands and Christmas trees. The holly, we hope, will have red berries and we often decorate our green Christmas trees with red lights and baubles.

Bringing complementary colours together can create balance at a time which is often fraught. Red is the physical of the colours and has the longest wavelength, the lowest frequency and slowest vibration. Known as a magnetic colour in colour therapy because it is stimulating, energising, warming and activating, red is also grounding and connects us to the earth beneath our feet, rooting us to life and physical creation.

Red is the fire of the spectrum and its hottest colour. The colour of blood, it stimulates our passions, releases adrenaline into the blood stream, raises our blood pressure and body heat. It increases the heart rate, gives us hot flushes, makes us blush, builds up blood cells and strengthens stamina. Red feeds the muscles and energises us but, in excess, it can make us feel agitated, anxious and angry, causing hyperactivity and insomnia. Red is the colour of life, war and the colour of sex and survival. It is good for speed and strength, but poor for memory and test performance. It also stimulates appetite so is good in dining rooms.

People who wear a lot of red tend to be impulsive, excitable and energetic. They are ambitious and can be impatient because they want everything yesterday. They like to be the best in everything, are naturally competitive and like to be the centre of attention. They are courageous, extraverted and fun but can become irritable if they don’t get their own way.

Green, on the other hand, is the colour of nature.

Green offers tranquility and health and is good for bedrooms. As Christmas can be one of the most stressful and busy times of the year, green helps to create a feeling of comfort and ease, calmness and space despite the frantic preparations and cluttering with presents and decorations. If there are fraught family get-togethers, dark green can also help emotional uncertainty.

However, people who wear a lot of green may well be cautious and hesitant to trust others easily. They may be observers who like to remain detached and they like a quiet life. They are benevolent and love to help others, having a natural empathy.

So, use these colours. If you are feeling tired, in need of a boost, fearful or in need of some laughter, try wearing red and if you are feeling stressed and hemmed in, in need of space, silence and stillness, try wearing green. Continue your experiment with colours and the way they affect your health, mood and mind and next time we will look at other ways to engage with the rainbow.

Wishing you a very merry, peaceful and love-filled Christmas.

Love Laurelle

What is Colour and How Does It Affect Us? Part Two

I hope you have enjoyed becoming more aware of the colours around you over the past month and observing the different ways in which they make you feel. As we deepen our experience of colour and its effect on us, it is helpful to understand how the eye sees colour. Light travels through the pupil and fluid to reach the lens which bends the rays so that they are focused on the retina at the back. Within the retina are cells that contain light sensitive pigments of two types: rods and cones. Rods are more numerous and light sensitive but only record shades of grey. Each cone is sensitive to one of the three primary colours of light: red-orange, green and blue-violet. The cones that are sensitive to green are in the middle of the retina and this is why green is the most relaxing colour for the eyes and the mind.

Light breaks down the pigment in the sensory cells, setting off a nervous impulse along the optic nerve to the visual cortex at the back of the brain, the hypothalamus, the pituitary and pineal glands. The visual cortex is responsible for sight but the hypothalamus, the pituitary and pineal glands are responsible for the hormones.

The hormonal system controls many of the body’s functions including growth, sleep, temperature, sexual drive, energy, metabolic rate and appetite. The hypothalamus responds to morning light, blue/green in particular, prompting the release of the hormone cortisol which stimulates and wakes us whereas it releases melatonin into the bloodstream so that we become drowsy when the amount of blue light in sunlight is reduced in the late evening. The pituitary gland, the ‘master gland’ of the hormonal system, and the pineal gland are also deeply affected by colour. Darkness stimulates melatonin production while light suppresses it. The pineal gland is also affected by changes in seasonal light so that in the summer we feel more energetic while in winter we incline towards rest.

Colour therapy is not simply a modern phenomenon. Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese used colour in healing temples, a practice known today as Cromotherapy. Then, in 1933, Dinshah Ghhadiali put it on the modern map by writing the Spectro Chrometry Encyclopedia.

The effect of colour is very evident in different age group. For example, babies cry more in a yellow room:

 …pre-adolescent children prefer brighter primary and secondary colours and solid blocks of colour rather than patterns…

Adolescent girls love varying shades of purple and pink whereas older teenagers show a preference for black as they hide from the world while they discover their own unique identity.

Adults prefer more subdued colours, are less open to experimenting and tend to stick with their favourites. Mature 65+ year olds have a preference for clear and calming colours such as fresh blues, pinks, greens whereas mature women often choose colours in the purple range – hence the poem by Jenny Joseph: “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me…”

We will continue our exploration of colours next month with a look at the colours themselves. Until then, have a colourful November. Enjoy!

Love Laurelle

What is colour and how does it affect us? – Part One

As we enter autumn, nature feasts our eyes with a glorious display as she changes ‘clothes’ on her extraordinary catwalk. Everyday we are surrounded by colour and yet we so often take it for granted.

Colour is the same as sound: simply 40 octaves higher and the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye. Each colour has a certain wavelength and frequency of vibration: red has the longest and slowest frequency and violet has the shortest and quickest. At either end of the visible spectrum are many colours that we cannot see: infrared light and radio waves are beyond red, while ultraviolet light, X-rays and gamma waves are beyond violet.

Primary colours – those which cannot be mixed or formed by any combination of other colours – are red, yellow and blue. Secondary colours are the combination of two primary colours: yellow and blue make green, red and yellow make orange, and red and blue make purple.

Interestingly, white light is made up of the blend of three primary colours: red-orange, green and blue-violet whereas black paint is the combination of red, blue and yellow.

Complementary colours are pairs of colours which, when combined, cancel each other out and produce either white or black. However, when they are placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast for those particular two colours and are therefore very important for healing. Try this experiment: stare at one of the primary colours: red, blue or yellow for a few moments and then look at a blank piece of white paper. If you look at red, you will see an after-image of green, if you look at blue, you will see an after-image of orange and if you look at yellow, you will see an after-image of violet.

Like everything else, colour is energy that we perceive in a particular way. We are most aware of colour entering us through our eyes but it also enters us through our skin, meaning that blind people are also affected by colour. Try holding your palms over a square of coloured paper or cloth and closing your eyes. Then try to distinguish between warm and cool colours and the feelings they give you.

There are many ways to become more aware of colour. We can walk out in nature and really look at the trees as they change; we can choose clothes more consciously to alter our mood; we can ponder our food cravings and observe which colours we instinctively need to eat; we can look at our homes and the colours we have chosen and see how these affect such aspects as our abilities to relax, make conversation and feel amorous.

Colour nourishes the body, affects the emotions, clarifies the mind and feeds the soul as Khalil Gibran, the Lebanese-American poet (1883 -1931) so beautifully wrote: “O let me bathe my soul in colours; let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow.”

So, whether it’s looking out of a window or enjoying a glorious walk through the woods, feast your soul, mind and body on colour and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Love Laurelle

How to Have a Holiday from the Comfort of your Own Home

While it can be inspiring to see photos of beautiful beaches, sun-filled seas and magnificent mountains on social media, it can be disappointing if you can’t go on holiday yourself. Because our summer has been spent decorating after a massive under-floor leak, we have not been able to get away but fortunately it is possible to go on holiday without actually leaving the house. All you have to do is to remember a previous holiday, trawl through the computer for pictures and information on far-away places or just use your imagination.

So I decided to revisit some previous travels and trust that my brain wouldn’t know the difference between something remembered and something real.

My first destination was to the mountains and a stay in a fisherman’s cottage high up in the Norwegian Arctic Circle at midsummer when the midnight sun poured over the mountains and fjords like liquid gold turning to aquamarine…

Then I took myself back to witnessing the Northern Lights in Canada – a very different type of magic which is just as haunting and utterly spectacular…

…where the lakes are painted in blues and greens more translucent than any jewel…

Then there was the desert which, at first view seemed desolate and barren but after a week became strangely compelling as the sun dripped down the rocks like dark chocolate icing furrowing down the sides of a cake…

Finally I thought back to a forest…

…where, once, I met a bear. My friend and I were sleeping outside Yosemite National Park in North America. Waking in the middle of the night, I looked up to see an enormous black bear standing on its hind legs looking straight at us from only six metres away…

On our travels we had heard about bear attacks and learned that when confronted by an aggressive bear you must either play dead or make a lot of noise. Usually I have a powerful voice – after all I was singing my way around America – but fear robs you of any ability to make a sound and so we ran for the bike. Unbelievably, it refused to start. Terrified, we banged together some saucepans and at last the animal dropped to all fours and moved away.

At that moment, I admit that was relieved only to be remembering rather than actually experiencing. However, my brain did think that the imagined was real and I do feel strangely refreshed although the scents of mountain flowers, lake water, desert sand and forest trees have been somewhat overtaken by the smell of drying concrete, walls and fresh paint…

Hoping that you have had, or are about to have a wonderful holiday whether it is in body, memory or imagination…

Happy September!

Love Laurelle

How to switch off from human doing back into human being

A couple of years ago I found myself wandering around doing nothing after a particularly intense period of writing. At first I felt guilty that I wasn’t being productive but the truth was that my brain was exhausted and in desperate need of a rest. In order to become a human being rather than a human doing again, I needed to give myself permission so I made up the word modge.

To modge means to wander round aimlessly, slowly, without purpose or goal until the mind is restored, the body relaxed, the emotions settled and the spirit renewed.

Many of us spend the year focussing on achievement, goals, creating, designing, marketing, blogging, networking and sweating over projects trying to make our way in the work place. Our brains are fizzing and over-active, and, according to research, we are getting three weeks less sleep a year than our grandparents.

With many of us on the verge of burn-out, August is time to make modging into an art form. Modging can be done anywhere but it is especially wonderful when we do it outside. Being in the fresh air is crucial for good health. It re-connects us with nature, brings our minds back into perspective, reconnects us with our spirit and enables our skin to make vitamin D.

The skin contains a cholesterol substance called provitamin D3 that reacts with the ultraviolet-B (or UVB) rays in sunlight to form vitamin D3 so our skin makes it when we are outside exposed in daytime. Technically a hormone, Vitamin D enhances our immune system, is essential for the proper absorption of calcium and helps us to form stronger bones. It also enhances muscle contraction, thereby reducing the risk of fractures and falls. Vitamin D benefits the lungs, regulates blood pressure and helps to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It makes us feel happier and controls our appetite as Vitamin D deficiency makes us feel hungry all the time.

Modging outside therefore enables us not only to relax but also to make much needed Vitamin D. This is also important for children. Modern education and society teaches our youngsters to be obsessively busy. Between school, after-school clubs, activities and homework, they rarely have a minute to themselves. Many children feel completely lost when they are faced with silence and stillness and, like us, they feel guilty if they are not doing something. Teaching children how to modge allows them space in which they can grow, sleep better, be less anxious and reconnect with a greater reality.

Now we have arrived at the holiday month, give yourself and your loved ones permission to modge this August. Of course in the searing temperatures we are having this summer, we do need to be careful outside but modging in the early morning and evening can be utterly beautiful.

So give yourselves permission to switch off and be aimless, goal-less and purposeless for a while so you can recharge, rebalance and restore. Ditch your devices and be as technology-free as possible then smell the air, lift your face to the sky, drink in Vitamin D, smile and do absolutely nothing.

Have a happy, modging August!

Love Laurelle

How to take a holiday without going away

As we approach the much-needed holiday season, we often yearn to go away so that we can rest, recuperate and get away from our everyday lives. But what if we don’t have the money, time or opportunity to fly off to far-away destinations? Could there possibly be an alternative which costs absolutely nothing; a way we could travel beyond ourselves into new and unexplored regions?

Creativity has the ability to take us on holiday from ourselves in the most extraordinary ways. I had a rather surprising experience of this earlier this year when I came downstairs one morning at 2am to finish the trilogy of novels which had taken me nearly twenty years to write. After I had put some seemingly cold ashes from the previous evening’s fire into a large bag of very wet leaves, I set about my task which involved travelling to another world with the wonderful characters I had come to know over such a long time. At 7am I went back into the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea and returned to my imaginings. At 8.30, my husband, poked his head around the door, surprised to see that I was there.

It transpired that I had missed a rather colourful drama. At 7.15am, a neighbour had noticed plumes of smoke rising up behind our hedge. By 7.30, the smoke had turned into flames. He had called the Fire Brigade, run to our front door, repeatedly hammered on it and rung the bell, successfully waking Richard. Soon after, a Fire Engine had come screaming up the road. After several of the neighbours had battled with the firemen to extinguish the flames, the children in the road had been allowed to have a ride on the fire engine.

And I had heard absolutely nothing.

As a sound therapist, I purport to have more than unusually acute hearing so how had I managed to miss such noisy commotion?

The fact was that I had been concentrating so hard that everything else had been blocked out. Being ‘in the zone’ is like being on holiday. There is no need of aeroplanes, coaches, cars or queues when your imagination can take you away to wherever you wish to go. You do, of course, have be careful that you are safe. I was very lucky that day that others were minding the more practical side of life for me. (I should have realised that the apparently cold ashes were still hot, but at least I have learned from the experience and now put ashes in an iron bucket so that such an occasion can never arise again.)

The point is that we don’t need to fret if we are not able to get away or feel forlorn when we look at social media and wonder why we are the only ones not away in some exotic, sunny location. Instead, we can use our imagination to take us away to somewhere utterly amazing. If we are not feeling inspired then we can lose ourselves in an exciting novel, listen to a beautiful piece of music or watch a wonderful film, all of which will whiz us off to some far-flung destination, all from the comfort of our own home.

Our imagination gives us wings and is our connection to something far greater than ourselves. So enjoy creativity. Celebrate it and use it, wildly, exotically and with great, great pleasure.

Happy July and happy holidays, wherever they may be!

Love Laurelle