the little gifts that the universe sends our way every now and then….

In a sea of grey and rolling fog

There comes a lamp that burns so bright.

We should be stumbling through the dark,

But we find a light to cheer,

A gift that’s unexpectedly

Placed in hands that need a gentle lift.

I’ve always struggled with anxiety. Before we had the internet and I even knew what ‘anxiety’ was, I would literally be vomiting with nerves whenever I was doing a swimming gala. I didn’t know what was wrong with me but I knew that something wasn’t right. Back then I was just told that I needed to learn to control my nerves; like I could just give myself a good telling off and everything would be fine.

But now that we live in a world where mental health is talked about much more openly, I know that I was suffering from quite severe anxiety. And I now know that there are lots of ways to help me feel a bit better.

These techniques don’t take away all of my worries, but they do ease the stress that I can sometimes feel. And mindfulness is one of the best practices that I have come across.

The most successful forms of mindfulness take me out into nature where I feel most at ease. There is something so soothing about being away from bright office strip lights and the buzz of computers.

And Autumn is my favourite time to be out in nature. There is something about the colours and the chill in the air that just makes everything feel so perfect. If I’m ever going to get my camera out, it’ll be at this time of year to take pictures of the trees.

So, when I saw the picture of this Gingko tree in China I absolutely fell in love. It is possibly one of the most beautiful things that I’ve ever seen. I think that it’s the fact that it stands out so much in its surroundings that makes me love it so much.

Whenever I see something that looks so incongruously beautiful, I am convinced that it must be a gift from God and I’ve really learned to savour it. Whether it be a pretty leaf or a whole field of poppies, I often find my breath is taken away.

I urge you to get out this autumn and have a look at the colours. If you have any Forestry Commission areas near you then you would do well to go for a walk there and just appreciate how lucky you are.

We may have had a bit of a crappy year but we have so much around us to be grateful for and I think that nature is one of the few things that can remind us of this.

Much Love

Rachel xx

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