Are you wondering “What can I do if my new year’s resolutions fail”?

Did you make a new year’s resolution for 2020? How are you getting on with it? Have you “failed” yet? Well if so, you’re not alone! According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for new year’s resolutions is said to be about 80%! With most people giving up by mid-February (Inc 2019).

What was your new year’s resolution?

According to You.Gov the UK’s top 3 are all focused on health:

  • More exercise/improving fitness
  • Losing weight
  • Improving diet

Health and fitness

Megan’s Book

Well, we agree with body positivity activist Megan Janye Crabbe aka @bodyposipanda that diets more often than not! Diet culture is a thing of the past: we can be fit and happy at any body size! Members of our Health and Happiness Bookclub have all agreed to sign Megan’s pledge to stop dieting and step away from body shaming; of others and ourselves. Check out Megan’s fab book: ‘Body Positive Power’ to learn more about how she believes that diet culture is just marketing spin to make us feel bad and consume more, setting us up to fail and living on a never ending hamster wheel to self-acceptance – something that you just can’t buy.

Kindness cross stitch made in Mindful Textiles

Which brings me to what I believe to what I believe could be the most radical and perhaps easiest-to-stick-to new year’s resolution of them all, the one simple word: Kindness. I know… “kindness”, sounds fluffy and wet, right? Like “f@@k it just eat what you like!”. Well actually, kindness might just be that one word of the year we could just stick to. Kindness might be the little door to big change. Kindness might be the voice that whispers “if you do go on that run now you’ll feel ace later when you rest into that warm soothing bath.” Eat that cake, take that dance class, give yourself a break! Because it’d be kind to. And kindness is the key to self-acceptance and meaningful change.

We learned from the amazing psychotherapist and meditation teacher Tara Brach in our November bookclub read ‘Radical Acceptance’ that the recipe for health and happiness is:

Tara Brach
  • Mindfulness: clear seeing, alongside;
  • Compassion: the capacity to relate with kindness to what we perceive.

She describes Mindfulness and Compassion as “two wings of the same bird, meaning that to fly you need both: mindful-awareness and kindness-compassion.”

the best part? Kindness is contagious!

“The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to “pay it forward.” This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people!” Says Jamil Zaki, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University for Scientific American.

Key Kindness dates for your diary

Monday 20th January: Blue Monday – be extra kind to everyone on this day, starting with yourself! Notice your first thought – was it somehow unkind to yourself or someone else? Challenge it! How con you make it kind?

Saturday 17th Feb: Random Acts of Kindness Day – a great day to act on our Feb Kindness Club deed!

Friday 13th November – International Kindness Day – Kindness around the world? Yay!

by Gemma Bowden, CEO (Chief Energy Officer), The Owl and the Coconut, 16th January, 2020

The Owl and The Coconut

Stop! Notice! Create!


What is an Animated Whiteboard?

As we’ve been doing our 30 Days of Free Mindful Art project I’ve been watching loads of Mindfulness videos on YouTube and noticed a trend in these animated whiteboard films. They look so high tech! Way out of my budget and skills set or so I thought! Then the more I watched the more I noticed! Wait that’s the same hand from the last video and I’ve seen that image before! Hang on a minute…

Continue reading “Stop! Notice! Create!”

30 Days of Free Mindful Art!

Join us for 30 Days of Free Mindful Art.

Introduction to 30 Days of Free Mindful Art

Day 1! 30 Days of Free Mindfulness! Intentions.

The theme today is ‘Intentions’. Intentions are different to goals as goals tend to be more action focused. Intentions are linked to our life values, what is important to us, how we want to be. ‘Kind’, ‘compassionate’, ‘living in the moment’, that sort of thing.

In this session we set intentions and invite you to set your own intentions, for the 30 days of Mindfulness. Please do tell us your intentions and share your images with us by using the hashtag #stopnoticecreate on twitter, on instagram and facebook. We also take you on a guided mindful meditation and invite you to create an image expressing anything you noticed in the mindful meditation. We really would love to see your images and hear your intentions!

Day 2! 30 Days of Free Mindful Art! Hopes, experiences and challenges of Mindful Art.

Sherelle talks about being new to Mindfulness. Setting her intentions for the 30 days. The challenges of Mindful Art she faces and her experience so far! What is your experience of Mindfulness? Are you new to mindfulness? What challenges in your mindful practice do you find? Let’s see if we can help!

How would you rate your current wellbeing? 0-10? What are your intentions for these 30 Days of Mindfulness?

Tell us!

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Day 3! 30 Days of Free Mindful Art! Impermanence

Today we look at the mindful theme of ‘impermanence’ and play with water! Grab a piece of any old paper, a bit of water and some essential oils if you have some, no worries if not. Impermanence is all about being OK with the fact that pretty much everything in life changes. Just like the art work we make in this video, it drys and changes. It is out of our control and that is OK.

Day 4! 30 Days of Free Mindful Art!

Today we talk about the 7 Pillars of Mindfulness; Non-judging, Patience, Beginner’s Mind, Trust, Non-striving, Acceptance, Letting Go. We use a heart breathing meditation to send thoughts and love to all those who need it, thinking especially of all the people involved in the devastating Grenfell Tower fire.

Day 5! 30 Days of Free Mindful Art!

Marbling using the Mindful Pillars of Beginners Mind. Using marbling inks is so much fun as you never really know what’s going to happen! If you have some marbling inks and join us in making images, then please do send us your pic’s!  Use the #stopnoticecreate, we can’t wait to see them! Or sit back and enjoy watching us play!

Day 6! 30 Days of Free Mindful Art!

Join Sherelle and friends, to create some Mindful Doodles. They will be using fabric and felt tip pens but feel free to use whatever you have to hand, or sit back and enjoy.

How can we change the world? And where does Mindful Art fit in?

How can we change the world? And where does Mindful Art fit in?

Here’s my thoughts…

Pressures of modern day life have us switched off. Living on autopilot. Just getting through the day. Zombies. Shells. With contents hidden deep inside. Continue reading “How can we change the world? And where does Mindful Art fit in?”