This week, I am celebrating the re-opening of my town’s library. I have missed the library more than anything else since the start of lockdown.
Libraries are such special spaces for me. When I was 16, I had a great Saturday job which involved very little work and provided lots of free stuff. I worked in my local library and could borrow as many books (and, as it was the 1990s, tapes, CDs and videos!) as I liked. It was a very relaxing place to work as it was so quiet – not yet the realm of singing sessions and toddler play areas like there are nowadays…
Many of my friends worked in noisier, busier places, under much worse conditions and for less reward. I was very lucky to have such a great introduction to work-life (compared to the scarring of the stint I did in a men’s clothes shop during the holidays once – urgh, the utter BOREDOM!).
Then, at university, I often had a free Thursday afternoon, so would go to the depths of the Clinical Sciences library and immerse myself in books on the brain. I loved it!
Every time I go to the library, I feel calm and reassured by the relative peace and the quiet way people move around the space. It got me thinking about how we can inhabit a library-like space in our minds, browsing the accumulated wisdom on the shelves of life.
When we ‘visit’ the library in our minds, we can listen to the silence and be aware of the stillness. Quietness in an atmosphere means there is the presence of quiet minds; quiet minds are not only relaxed, they can concentrate easily and create more freely. #loveyourlibrary
This week, I’ll mostly be noticing the tiny things that are immensely satisfying, even if only for a short time. Here are some of those things:
What about you? I’d love to hear about the tiny things that spark joy and that you cherish. They don’t need to be fancy!
I know so many people who started 2020 with big plans. Some were trying to change an aspect of their behaviour: doing more of something, doing less of something, or trying something new. Others were heading in new directions with work projects. And then, because of the upheaval of the year so far, resolve and motivation have begun to flag, understandably. Many people are experiencing a ‘what’s the point?’ attitude.
There is change all around us, every day, and it can feel like a struggle. I’ve been asked so many times about how to overcome this, and here are my brief thoughts.
I learnt an interesting nature fact this week: that the roots of a redwood tree are just six to twelve feet deep. Instead of growing downward, they grow outwards, and they extend hundreds of feet laterally; in all, the roots can occupy over an acre of ground.
They secure themselves by wrapping around the roots of other trees. So, when the weather turns nasty, it’s the network of closely intertwined roots that allows the trees to stand strong.
It’s the same with humans. Relationships are crucial. It’s our interconnectedness in business, communities and nations that matters, particularly in poor weather. We need others to help us survive. And like the inter-relatedness of redwood roots, we connect with others to thrive.
Having had a bit more time to ponder recently, I’ve been thinking about how I can manage all my ideas and thoughts without my brain exploding. For me, breaking things down into lists makes them more manageable.
Here are some of my favourite list titles to help me corral all my ideas, from the most to the least important:
What are your key criteria for a good list? I’d love to hear them.
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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