I know I was going to post another couple of cis partner of a trans person posts but just to let you know at the moment they are on hold. I recently read the book of The Danish Girl, (which is very readable and quite different to the film) and for reasons I don’t quite get I found it a personally hard read in places.
That together with life being very, very busy at the moment means I am planning on pausing the series and posts on that topic. One of the important things for us all, whatever our situation, is knowing when we need to take a bit of self-care in order to be able to support others more fully. Sometimes it seems it's not possible but often it is….just by thinking about small things like do we need to alter our social media engagement for a short while or sometimes for a longer season.
At the moment I’m in a place where I need to learn to still my mind and let myself recharge in bites. I’m finding adult colouring so useful for this and a great way to pray. I find it hard to totally just stop but adult colouring enables you to still the mind whilst still doing something with your hands. The change of colours also, if I am using it as a prayer activity, allows me to pray for one thing (whilst colouring in that shade) and then move to another topic or theme when I swap the pencil.
Sometimes (infact quite often) I don’t finish my colouring in one go but that’s ok, I find in leaving the picture unfinished I am able to leave my prayer in a present continuous state.
I guess, ironically, that in seeking not to address the questions I was looking at I have actually jumped to question 3 “what sustains you?”
Well as you can see creative prayer is part of what sustains me. Besides colouring I find using music (secular or “Christian”) really useful in sustaining me. One of my favourite songs for using to come into God’s presence is Nirvana’s Come As You Are. My mind subverts the lyrics to let me know God is already here, but in prayer I choose to acknowledge coming into his presence and he invites me to do that just as I am.
I also find reading a great way to remove myself from whatever I am worrying about, stressing about. My favourite places to read are in coffee shops, gardens or beaches. In Birmingham I have discovered Winterbourne House and Garden……it’s a wonderful place with quite a nice tea room too. Grabbing a pot of earl grey and toasted tea cake, whilst escaping the world with a book is something I use to sustain myself and provide a touch of self-care.
I could go on but that would be counterproductive. I will be back on this topic and probably other random things in between but in the meantime go well.