The freedom of not finishing

I walked out of an art exhibition the other day.

Gasp!  I know, seriously, how daring am I?

I realised I wasn’t in the mood and walked away.  It was busy and hot and hectic and I knew I would have a more enjoyable time wandering round the city instead, taking photos and thinking my thoughts.  I felt carefree and liberated and in charge  of myself and my time.

I’m all for laudable ideals, of course, like doing what you say you will, keeping your word, being reliable, trustworthy, on time, a good friend…

But there’s a difference between keeping your word and not letting anyone down, and doggedly finishing  or going through with something that has ceased to be enjoyable, just because at some earlier point in time you thought it was a good idea.

You don’t always need to ‘see things through’ in order to be a good person.

You are the boss of you!  You get to choose where your time and energy is invested.

I used to think it was some sort of crime to give up on a book.  If I’d invested several hours and emotional energy into it already, surely it would be a ‘waste’ of those hours if I didn’t determinedly pursue it to the bitter end?

Our time on the planet is brief! Let’s make the most of that time, not waste it away doing something that’s stopped being fun or worthwhile. It would be a double waste of time to finish a book out of some misguided attempt to stick things out, because  we’ve been told it’s better to ‘start what you finish’. Those hours reading the dull book are gone! We don’t need to lose any more!  Who exactly is keeping score anyway?

You’re answerable to yourself and only yourself.

You are responsible for yourself, your happiness, and what you do and do not do with your time.  If that means giving up on a book halfway through, walking out of a crap film, leaving a party early, or not going out at all because you just don’t feel like it, then so be it.  That’s the beauty of being autonomous and free!  We just need to act on it!

Don’t do things you don’t want to do. Wouldn’t life be simpler if we all kept to this whenever it was reasonably possible?  I’m not talking about shirking responsibility and living in a selfish bubble as if you were the only person on the planet.  If you have people in your life and you want them to stay there, then of course you have to consider them and make them part of the equation.

But don’t say yes when you really want to say no  to a favour, a night out, whatever.  Your time is precious.  You are precious!  Don’t commit to something unless your heart is really in it. And while we’re at it, remember that you are allowed to change your mind.  Yes really!  You’re in charge!  Circumstances alter, feelings change.  You don’t need to be an unreliable flake but realise that you don’t always have to stay the course.

I know you feel responsible for others people’s happiness, but you are not.

If you do something out of a misplaced sense of duty or obligation you’re not doing anyone any favours, least of all yourself.  You’ll be resentful, and you’ll likely feel depleted because you won’t be being true to yourself. Plus there will probably be weird energy around, because what you are really feeling inside won’t be in alignment with your actions, and that will be somehow palpable.

Maybe we’re worried that we won’t live up to other people’s expectations of who we are. Fine.  Good, even!  There is much liberation to be found in being able to disappoint other people.  Let them be disappointed!  You don’t have a contract with them!  You never signed a deal, saying you were infallible, or flawless, that you never mess up, or change your mind, make mistakes, or have crazy out-of-whack days.

Maybe the person you say no to will react badly, or take it personally. That might be true but it isn’t for you to try to control.  Your job is to be true to yourself, and communicate your truth with respect and kindness, and leave the rest to do whatever it is going to do.

What terrible thing do you think is going to happen anyway?   That people won’t like you?  So what?  What about you liking yourself?  How are you going to feel about yourself if you prioritize someone else’s happiness over your own, time and time again?   What do you think this will do in the long run to your self respect and confidence, not to mention your general happiness and wellbeing?

So much icky communication happens because of doing and saying stuff out of a sense of duty, second guessing, worry or fear. These are not helpful places to make choices from!  We must act from a place of our own truth and sincerity since we can never know or control how someone else is going to react or feel.  Other people are completely out of our area of control.

Identify the areas in your life that are in your control where you can really exercise your autonomy, and act accordingly.  Really.  Leave something unfinished, challenge someone’s expectations of you, change your mind, abandon a project halfway through.  It might not feel easy but I bet you will be happier for it!

Jenny xx

Want some happiness for your walls too?  Get your feel-good and happy-inducing art in my shop here.

Happy Friday beautiful people!

Want to go and hide in a cave and make it all go away forever? Read this first!

 

It’s easy to get bogged down and depressed by the distress and hurt and misery and searing pain that exists in the world, to want to wallow in a pit of disgust, fear and mud.  To think, really – no really – what is the fucking point, I’m actually just going to go and live the rest of my life in this nearby cave.

We are constantly bombarded with news so depressing and stories so upsetting that you can’t help but think that humanity is just made up of pigs, (sorry pigs) and stupid dangerous imbeciles.

Aaarghhhhhhh!!!

I’m depressing myself again. The world is not full of awful people; at least they don’t make up the majority.

My point is this:  We know life is not a bed of roses.

Don’t be apathetic, of course, but don’t imagine that the fear and hatred and bullshit we see all around us is all there is, and don’t focus only on what is not helpful.  Of course we have to acknowledge that awful things exist –  only then can we attempt to do something about them. But don’t dwell in that place which  makes you feel more upset, or so numb, fearful and overwhelmed that you get into a state of paralysis and retreat inward, put up walls, and refuse to participate fully in life.

That’s the easy thing to do.  It’s easier to feel so much overwhelm you do nothing.  It’s easier to block everything out and become a sneery cynic, or choose to not believe that you can make a difference, because it’s all too uncomfortable anyway.  It’s easier to stay on the same path than change course, as that involves getting up and moving and doing something different.

However….

Let’s not forget the fact that there is so much good going on in the world too.  So many good people, and good news, and touching stories, and kindnesses, and compassion, and love.

Here’s a story I often think back to when I need reminding that people on this planet don’t just want to hurt each other.

A long time ago, when I was a wee lass of 19 tender years I went travelling with a friend on a round the world ticket.

Footloose and fancy free!

We had been staying in Bali and were due to fly to Singapore to visit a family friend. Foolishly, (because we were young and reckless, and living in the moment) we had let our money run out almost completely.  We knew we would be looked after in Singapore, and from there we’d be heading home, so, you know, no problem.

But… we hadn’t counted on having to pay airport tax.

We were in a tiny hut of an airport in Bali in 1994. There were approximately six other people in the airport,  three of whom were staff. When we said we couldn’t pay the tax (about 20 USD each, about three nights’ food and accommodation in Bali ), the ground staff started taking back our backpacks from the conveyor belt.

Nooooooooo!

We had about 16 dollars between us.  No debit or credit cards.

It dawned on me that we were in a potentially dangerous situation.

I looked around.  Before I could properly think about what I was doing I approached a woman and asked if we would be able to borrow some money.  Feeling vulnerable and humiliated I started crying before I could get the words out.

She was such a nice woman!  She smiled.  She paid the tax.  She gave us extra cash.   She refused to give us her address so we could pay her back when we got home. She said she had a daughter our age.

We saw her later on the flight where we’d been amusingly upgraded to business class.   The universe was clearly having a bit of fun with us that day.

This beautiful kind stranger informed us she couldn’t let us get off the plane until she had given us more money, because what would we do once we landed?  Our friend wouldn’t be meeting us at the airport as he didn’t know when we were coming. (We had the wrong phone number for him, as it turned out.)  We were literally going along to an unfamiliar country on a wing and a prayer.

She ended up giving us about 150 dollars. She said the way we could repay her was to do the same for someone else, should we one day find ourselves in a similar situation where the roles were reversed.

Thank you lovely lovely person whose name we never even found out!

I will remember and treasure you forever.

What I am trying to say is this:

Be kind.  Have compassion for your fellow humans in trouble or caught up in their particular pain and grievance and bullshit.  Do the right thing.  Live in alignment with your values.  If you are able to help someone or make their world the tiniest bit better then do it without question, because what’s the alternative?  Be inspired by the good people and the countless small acts of kindness you no doubt experience every day,  if you look hard enough.  Act how you know you can if you really try.

Remember the good stuff that’s buried not that far underneath the surface.  Start with yourself.   Don’t underestimate your power and the agency you really have.  We can never know how far-reaching the consequences of our actions might be.

And that, my friends, is the tiniest bit of comfort I am holding onto at the moment.

That, and Joe’s amazing vegan orange cake.

Lots of love! xxx

PS  If you fancy some escapism in the form of offbeat and uplifting art for your walls, pop along to my Etsy shop here

 

100 things to do in 2015! (Okay, 21)

 

Hello chickedy chickpea chickens!

What do you think of my little gift basket that was auctioned for charity by the Barcelona Women’s Network?  I might start selling gift baskets in my shop, I think they look quite sweet.

So, all set with the resolutions?

Inspired by Leonie Dawson (that woman is a true goddess genius) I present to you my random list of things to do in 2015.  I’ve been making these lists for about 3 years now, and when I’m not feeling too overwhelmed, they seem to work!

This year I’m going to post my list up on the pinboard above my desk so I can see it every day and remind myself of stuff I would like to do this year (is that weird? Do I really need reminding of things I myself want to do?)

Well actually yes I think so!  It’s helpful to see something physically, especially if you are a visual person, and I believe the list will act as an aid to planning and organising my life and scheduling stuff on my calendar (a resolution in itself that I’m determined to carry out).

I’m the sort of person that panics about making sure I maximise the use of my free time, trying to ensure (manically) my time is used in the best possible way.  Ah, how very relaxing!  What a completely first world problem to have.  Anyway, we’ll see how this goes….

Things to do in 2015

(in Leonie’s workbooks she suggests writing 100 things, but I’ve found that to be a touch too overwhelming)

1.  Get a new computer.

2.  Make yoga a regular practice.  (Do you know doyogawithme?  Amazing free online classes!  Thanks Cath for the tipoff!)

3.  Continue to shun normal high street shops when buying clothes.  Second hand, charity shops, Etsy or small cool shops selling clothes handmade in Barcelona is the way to go for me.  (Read To Die For.  This book prompted my decision)  Still need to solve where to get underwear from though!  Any ideas?

4.  Write my journal regularly, at least 3 times a week.  Cheaper than therapy and probably just as effective.

5.  Continue with therapy.  Ha ha!

6.  Drink hot water and lemon first thing in the morning.  (That old chestnut has been on my list a few year’s running.  Starts off well then always seems to peter out…

7.  Create 12 collages.

8.  Give Poppy and Jamie regular massages (just did a wee course and ’twas so simple and lovely!)

9.  Take myself out of the equation and stop shouting when Jamie is playing up.

10.  Start a proper bookkeeping system for This Rosy Life.

11.  Start selling wholesale on Etsy.

12.  Read Show you work.

13.  Do Poppy’s baby book.

14.  Practise Whimsical Lettering exercises.

15.  Get on Instagram

16.  Delve about in Pinterest a bit more.

17.  Watch Mayi Carles videos on Youtube.  I love her!

18.  Use my lovely Parker pen and not balk at 5 euro ink refills every couple of weeks.  It’s in keeping with the idea of using beautiful quality things as everyday objects instead of saving them for ‘best’ or keeping them hidden unused and unloved in a drawer.

19.  See Sophie and have ninja productivity dates with her.

20.  Do ‘blog hop’ blog post.

21.  Buy myself some flowers.  (Already done this one, hooray!)

I love how I’m posting this in February.  I started writing it in January though, so it doesn’t count.

Big creative love,

Jenny xx

PS.  Check out my Etsy shop here.

PPS  Not joined my mailing list yet?  Click here to jump on the rosy train!

Favourite things week 42

winter wedding card picmonkey flowers

Right I’m getting organised!

My mailing list subscription is up and running and I’m using the week of the year number in my blog post title!  There is literally no stopping me.

I’m also giving birth either this week or next Tuesday, so that actually might stop me a little bit, but hey you do what you can.

I’m going to start back with my favourite things/gratitude/happy lists at the beginning of each week, and keep it up each week.  This is my public declaration so please feel free to pipe up and hold me accountable if I start to slack (which I won’t, now I’ve said all that.  Will I?)

So onwards and upwards!

Not sure what’s come over me today, it must be the hormones.

Here’s my list (week 42, as I mentioned before)

(I love knowing what week of the year it is, it makes me feel like a different person.) (Can you put brackets back to back like this?) (Who cares, it’s week 42!)

Favourite things list:

♥ Essential oils ♥  Japanese fabric collage (I’ll take photos when I can) ♥ The above collage which I turned into a winter wedding card ♥ Jamie’s LOVELY new school teacher ♥ French graphic novel (ok comic to you Joe) birthday present from Sophie ♥ crunching ice (the only craving I’ve had this pregnancy; I’m quite pleased it didn’t turn out to be something really depraved like sardines with chocolate mousse or something) ♥ Castelldefells beach and this chiringuito ♥ Ghosts of Spain book (FINALLY read it after 7 years of wanting to) ♥  balmy October beach weather – although having said that I’m looking forward to autumn which hasn’t arrived yet, it’s too hot and I want to put the duvet back on the bed!!  Hey you know it’s always about the little things!  ♥ Feeling equipped and organised with lots of baby handmedowns, street finds (hello perfect condition good make carseat!) and second hand bargains ♥ solo cinema trips (will try to squeeze another one in this week) ♥ solo Arabic baths visits ♥ yoga dvds,♥ lunches out ♥ getting to 101 items in my Etsy shop, woohoo!!!

Yes I feel like I’ve made the most of my 4 weeks of free time.  Now how much more will I get…?

Hope this finds you well and happy and skipping about in crunchy autumn leaves.

Big love and pumpkin lattes to you (I must try one of these coffees that everyone seems to be obsessed with at the moment),

Jenny xx

PS  Not joined the mailing list yet?  Click here to jump on the rosy train!

 

11 Non-fiction books that will make your life better!

fave spiritual books

 

Entirely subjective, of course!

I won’t review them, but a few comments, as I can never resist giving my opinion he he 🙂

(Which is something I’ m working on actually:  listening without commenting, or trying to fix, summarise or find a solution.)

So...’Living out loud’ is my all time Keri Smith book.  It is full of creative projects and ideas to fuel your creativity and discover more about yourself.  Includes loads of her drawings, stickers and free postcards!  She’s got a great blog too, with absolutely no adverts on it even though she’s so popular now she could be making millions.  A woman with a lot of integrity, say I.

”The gifts of imperfection’ – basically about accepting yourself as a HUMAN and loving yourself and others.  She writes really clearly.  This is a book I need to read at least 10,000 times.

‘You can heal your life’ – empowering but a bit scary because she says it’s ultimately our responsibility to deal with whatever it is we have in our lives, and whatever is in our lives is there because we put it there through a series of choices and behaviour.

I know ‘The Secret’ is a bit controversial, and I avoided it forever in a snobby manner, but you can take from it what you want, and I found some useful messages in there.  Plus the fact it’s repeated over and over kind of makes it sink in.

‘Love is letting go of Fear’ was one of the first ‘self-help’ books I read.  It is such a classic, I need to revisit it soon.  He speaks about the opposite of love being fear rather than hate, and how basically the emotions we feel are variants of either love or fear.  It makes a lot of sense and is written really compassionately.

Well you know how I feel about SARK, anything by her or Julie Cameron is an absolute winner. Ditto Caroline Myss.

What makes me really excited in this day and age is how most if not all of these authors have websites and blogs and YouTube channels, giving us so much more inspiration and resources and links for free!!

Have I missed any essentials?  Let me know your favourites too!

Big bountiful love my fairy cakes,

Jenny xx

Things to remember when buying handmade!

things to remember

 

These pearls of wisdom were on the Etsy forums the other day, original source unknown.

I made them into a mini poster, feel free to share!  (You might need to enlarge it a bit first if you want to print it out)

Happy hump day!

Jenny xx

Click here to visit my Etsy cards and art shop!

Etsy love!

etsy banner new

 

Hello dearest gorgeous beautiful cherubs

This is my new Etsy banner, thought I’d show it to you here so you can see what you think…

I’m almost happy with it, the whimsical face is a bit pixelated so I’ll change that I think.  I really like the colours.

Created once again on the marvellous Picmonkey!

Continuing with the Etsy theme, I’ve just come across Handmadeology, a wonderful site that I’m probably the last to know about, which gives loads of tips for improving your Etsy shop and selling handmade.  I also learned about this great tool for sharing Etsy treasuries, which I am about to put to use here:

(YAY!!  It actually worked!  Go me with my non-techie ways!)

 

‘Mixed MEDIA Darlings’ by Irrationalartscom

Gorgeous and so colorful mixed media prints.


Mixed Media Art Print, Whims…

$10

She felt free Christy Tomlin…

$24.5

Tween Girls Art,Inspirationa…

$18

robot 5×7 mixed media art pr…

$10

6×6 hand painted canvas &quo…

$20

8 X 10 “She Who Sings&q…

$12

Three’s company…5 x 7 …

$15

Wanderlust – fine art print,…

$18

There’s Nothing Like Sta…

$15

Whimsical girl art print, wi…

$15

Banksy Art Style Print – New…

$12

inspirational print | motiva…

$24

Mixed media girl picking wil…

$18

Original Mixed Media Collage…

$54

Love came down and rescued m…

$95

Mixed Media Art Print – Whim…

$22

Powered By Handmadeology

Can you spot which artwork is mine without looking at the shop name underneath the images?!

If you want to see the treasury online, click here.

Sigh….I love being featured on other people’s treasuries.  Would LOVE it if it could lead to more sales!  Repeat after me, ‘I will make a living selling my creations, I will make a living selling my creations….’

Anyway sugarplums, hope all is well in your world.  Wishing you a crunchy summer salad with amazing strawberry and balsamic vinegar dressing, and maybe a little catnap in the sun under a friendly tree in a park.

Big love as always, Jenny xx

My rosy cards and art shop

 

 

Favourite Creative Books

creative books

Hello sugar plum fairies!

Well it’s April and I have 3 months left to complete my 39 books-this-year challenge.  I’m on 26 so far, so I need to up the ante (whatever that means) and get on with it!

To help myself along I think I may include non- fiction creative books, i.e books with lots of beautiful pictures in them so I can cheat!

These are some of my favourite ever creative books that I ll never get tired of looking at.  Such inspiration and so many ideas to kick-start your own!

What are some of your favourites?

Hope the sun is shining on you and Happy Sant Jordi’s day to my Barcelona friends!

Jenny xx

These are the books I’m reading

 

 

 

books

 

Not all at once, obviously, and I must admit I’ve finished the Pawnee one, which was as hilarious as you might expect.

I love having a pile of books on my bedside table, full of potential.

Have you read any of these?

What books are you reading at the moment?

I hope you’re having a delicious week! xx