Tag Archives: jewellery

Citizens Of The World

I am inspired by visions of beauty all over the world,  from striking real life Indian goddesses amidst stunning temples,

Vittala temple complex, Hampi, India

to prayer flags lining paths through remote villages in Nepal.

On the way to the start of the Annapurna Base Camp trek in Nepal.

On the way to the start of the Annapurna Base Camp trek in Nepal.

I am inspired by the love of life and welcoming attitude of people everywhere I go, from the kindness of countless strangers across the globe, who have cooked me delicious meals, performed impromptu traditional dances, and shared the joy of singing and playing music together…

Men dancing in Amed, Bali.

Men dancing in Amed, Bali.

… to the lovingly cultivated celebration of nature that is my parents garden.

roses in garden

 

I am reassured to find that wherever I travel in the world, despite the cultural differences, people all have the same underlying appreciation for, and desire to celebrate and honour, this precious life.  From elaborate man made religious buildings with a hint of nature…

Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Bali

to the more subtle yet absolutely awe inspiring Gergeti Trinity Church, Georgia, dwarfed by the dramatic landscape that surrounds it.

Gergeti Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia

Gergeti Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia

I take pieces of these people, places and things with me and weave them into the wonderland of my imagination.  I hope that the things I create will inspire joy in those around me, just like the things that inspire me touch my own heart.

Necklaces from my Etsy shop.

Necklaces from my Etsy shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sacred Adornment

I wear jewels and adorn myself with beautiful things because it puts me in touch with my dream world.  It is so important to me to express my inner vision in a way that makes me a part of it.

If you’ve read much of my blog you’ll know that I’m a big fan of all forms of creative expression.  It’s a magical process in itself.  When the expression takes the form of adorning the body, your dream comes to life directly through you.  By wearing a piece of jewellery or item of clothing that represents a quality or ideal that you hold dear, you are literally embodying your sacred vision.

anklet blue

Macrame gemstone anklet from my Etsy shop. Details here.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching, and self image is something that I’ve struggled with.  I used to be so image conscious that I wouldn’t leave my house without curling my eyelashes, let alone without mascara, afraid that if I didn’t look ‘perfect’ people would like me less.

I’ve gone to the other extreme too and embraced my wild side, washing in rivers, wearing clothes with far too many holes in, and letting my hair become what can only be described as one big accidental dreadlock.

I’m coming out of my ‘don’t give a s**t what I look like’ phase now (although I still have my moments!), and jewellery has been the key to unlocking my inner goddess.

sacred adornment

Bracelets, necklace and earrings available in my shop.

Paying too much attention to how we look is seen as vanity.  However, the art of sacred adornment, for me, is about pure joy.  You can’t argue with joy.  When I put on jewellery or clothing that makes me feel like the sacred being that I am, it’s not about what I look like.  It’s about remembering my ‘specialness’, and that I don’t need anything external to make me happy.

I was glowing for hours yesterday after dressing up and taking pictures wearing my favourite jewels.  It wouldn’t have mattered in the slightest if someone had torn them from my neck and I was left with nothing but the bare skin I was born with.  I don’t need jewellery to make me feel sacred, it’s just a beautiful temporary expression of it.

Jewellery, clothes, make-up and accessories are all just tools at the end of the day.  Whether you use them to bring joy, or to cover up insecurities is entirely up to you.  I recommend joy.  Always.

If you’re looking for inspiration or something special to adorn yourself with you can check out my Etsy shop here.

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How To Create Your Own Heaven

Developing the inner landscape of my imagination has been, and continues to be, the number one thing that helps me to overcome challenges and grow in everything that I do.

Whether you’re bursting with dreams and desires yet to be fulfilled, or are happy to take each day as it comes and rarely think of the future, you can use the power of your imagination to bring more joy into your life now.

flowers

 

I do not claim to be an expert on the inner workings of the mind, but I do have a LOT of experience with bringing myself from an uninspired, tired or agitated state, into one of peace, clarity and creativity.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking too logically when it comes to making dreams a reality.  I talk myself out of things on a daily basis because I try to predict the future, and plan an exact sequence of action.  When I’m able to let go of the outcome, everything flows so much more smoothly.

Nepal

Nepal

Step 1: Discovering inspiration

It’s important during this step to understand that inspiration isn’t just something for artists and inventors.  Finding the things that light us up is crucial in providing motivation for reaching our goals in life, as well as bringing us joy and an abundance of energy.

The view from Poon Hill in the Himalayas at sunrise.

The view from Poon Hill in the Himalayas at sunrise.

If you have visions that seem totally unrealistic, all the better.  Imagining flying during my yoga practice led to some of the freest movement and floatiest handstands I’ve ever experienced.  Visualizing myself as a magical being with an ability to create enchanting music has allowed melodies to pour out of me when I’m playing my guitar and singing, even though I’m not an experienced musician.

You may already know what inspires you, or you may need to work on finding out.  When I first started making jewellery I knew I liked doing it, and was mainly trying to re-create things I’d seen on my travels.  I later realised it was the peace, beauty and freedom of expression the bohemian jewellery represented, that I resonated with.  That led me to find my own unique style, and start making my dreams a reality.

One of a kind black onyx macrame necklace from my Etsy shop.

One of a kind black onyx macrame necklace from my Etsy shop.

Pinterest can be a great place to start your search for inspiration.  By collecting images that inspire you, your visions evolve, and you can revisit them whenever you need to.  Look at images that you love and figure out what it is about them that you love.  What emotions do they stir in you?

Think about things that have brought you joy in the past, and things that you find yourself daydreaming about doing, having and being in the future.  What feelings do these evoke?

Step 2: Finding your unifying theme

This may be a word, a collection of words, a grand vision, or a feeling, that links everything together.  I struggled for so long because I had no idea where to focus my energy.  I had so many different dreams and goals, and felt completely overwhelmed when I thought about how to attain them.  (I attempted to put this into words in one of my earlier blog posts ‘Living Your Passion’.)  I still have all these dreams and goals, plus new ones now, but I feel much calmer and happier on a day to day basis.

Initially, I was unable to see how my passions for travel, music, making jewellery, yoga and massage were related.  It seemed completely infeasible to pursue them all, and I felt I had to pick one.  Now I can see the underlying feelings that inspire my interests are very similar.  Peace and freedom are words that come close to representing my unifying theme.

Beach on Sentosa island, Singapore.

Beach on Sentosa island, Singapore.

Visualize yourself doing all the things you love, or that inspire you, in your own version of heaven.  What overall quality does it have?  Try to describe it in words, images or whatever comes most naturally to you.  This should help you to see the whole picture of how your dreams and goals could work together, rather than being in competition with each other.

Desert in Peru.  I felt my freest during the time I was away travelling in South America :)

Desert in Peru. I felt my freest during the time I was away travelling in South America.

Travel plays a big part in my vision, but it is the feeling of freedom and expansiveness I feel when travelling that appeals to me.  For others it may be a fascination with different lifestyles and cultures.  There is no ‘right’ answer, since our motivation is a personal thing.

If you dream of wealth and luxury, as many people do, why is it these things inspire you?  Is it the feeling of safety and comfort that wealth can bring?  Or would you enjoy the freedom, the confidence, and just the feeling of general awesomeness?!

Step 3: Creating your heaven’

Once you’ve got some kind of overall vision which represents your passions and sources of inspiration, you can start to move into that reality.  It doesn’t matter if it’s not clear yet, or if there are still some bits which don’t seem to fit together.  It’s a lifelong process and your visions will grow with you.

I feel a great sense of peace and inspiration when I visit beautiful temples and other grand monuments.  This is one of the temples we visited at Ayutthaya, Thailand.

A vision of heaven:  Ayutthaya, Thailand.

The secret to getting this step right is to let go of the final outcome and live your dreams NOW.  There is absolutely no point in putting all your energy into achieving goals in the future if doing so makes you unhappy in the now.  But, on the other hand, there is immense value in fulfilling your dreams, so ignoring them isn’t the optimum thing to do either.

But with such grand dreams, how do you begin to live those now??

This is where your unifying theme or vision comes in, or at least the feeling behind it.  There may be no practical way to be travelling the world indefinitely right now, or to become a millionaire overnight, but there are certainly many ways to give yourself the feelings that motivate these dreams.

Simply spending time in a park or a beautiful garden, immersed in nature, brings me a great sense of peace.

Simply spending time in a park or a beautiful garden, immersed in nature, brings me a great sense of peace.

If, like me, freedom is very important to you, try to find ways to bring more freedom to your day to day life.  For me, this looked like starting my own business, allowing me to decide how I spend my time.  For you it may be booking a trip, or opening a savings account.

A piece of my freedom:  starting my own business doing what I love.  My Etsy shop.

A piece of my freedom: starting my own business doing what I love, my Etsy shop.

It’s not about what you do, it’s about how it makes you feel.  Prioritize your core desires.  If you want to be filthy rich because it would make you feel awesome, special and amazing, do everything within your power to feel awesome, special and amazing NOW!  Take pride in your appearance, constantly remind yourself of your skills and positive qualities, and expect the best from yourself and others.

If you crave comfort and luxury but are flat broke, prioritize self care.  Enjoy taking long luxurious baths, learn some self-massage techniques, or take extra care to make your living space feel heavenly.

Summary

Prioritizing how you feel NOW doesn’t mean giving up on your goals.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  When you get into the zone of feeling good NOW, you’ll find it much easier to work towards achieving the things you desire for your future.

In my opinion, dreams are to be lived.  If you use your dreams as an indication of what to bring more of into your life NOW, you can begin to enjoy them immediately!

Walking around Warmley Forest Park near home (Bristol, UK) is a great way to re-connect with my inner peace.

Walking around Warmley Forest Park near home (Bristol, UK) is a great way to re-connect with my inner peace.

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The Most Important Lesson Travel Has Taught Me

I’ve learned so much about the world while travelling, it’s impossible not to.  But for now I just want to tell you about the number one thing that has been reinforced, again and again, by every meaningful travel experience I have had.

When you spend an extended period of time outside of your normal routine, exploring, taking in wondrous sights, and discovering the astonishing variety of life that exists on our planet, it shifts your perspective on things.  You realise that there is so much more out there.

The view from Poon Hill, Nepal

The view from Poon Hill, Nepal

It isn’t just the endless physical possibilities you now know exist.  More significantly, it is the depth of peace and the overwhelming feeling of aliveness you discover.  The world becomes a so much more enchanting place, and you have a much deeper appreciation for all of it.

Monkeys in Hampi

Monkeys in Hampi

It can be difficult to balance this new found sense of wonder with day to day life in a 9 to 5 job back home.  I struggled with it several times after returning from long trips abroad.  I needed the money, (mainly so I could go off and have more spectacular adventures!) but, more that that, I needed to slow down and enjoy the small pleasures in life.

I could no longer deny the importance of my day to day experience in the hope of experiencing more peace in the future.

I unequivocally had to live for the now.

This brought with it a whole heap of challenges, but my shift in priorities also led me to discover so many wonderful things that I wasn’t open to before.  I got into yoga in a big way, I became a qualified massage therapist, I started making my own jewellery, I picked up my guitar again after years of neglecting it, and I even began writing songs.

I've now turned my jewellery making hobby into a business.

I’ve now turned my jewellery making hobby into a business.

Now that I knew how much peace and beauty was available to be experienced in this world, I had to find a way to ‘live it’.  To only have access to this seemingly magical realm when I was on holiday from real life was an impossible thought to bear.  I experimented, failed more times that I could ever manage to relay to you, and gradually found more and more of this peace that I had been looking for, exactly where I was.

Someone tweeted the other day, and I forget who it was or the exact words, something about creativity being a “scavenger hunt for the soul”.  Those 5 words really stuck with me.  It certainly does feel that way sometimes, but my god it is worth it!!!!

Finding the treasure at the end of the rainbow!  Photo:  Iguacu Falls, South America

Finding the treasure at the end of the rainbow!  Photo: Iguacu Falls, South America

When it was just the shortest moments of peace, following so much of the absolute opposite, I feared I had chosen the wrong path.  However, I must have known somehow that things would get better, because I kept trying.  The more I learned how to get my monkey mind to cooperate and tune into my heart’s longings, and the better I became at expressing myself creatively, the more profound and longer lasting the feeling of inner peace was.

So I continue on my journey, collecting pieces of myself along the way.  But now instead of desperately searching, I go wide-eyed in wonder on my quest, knowing that really, all of it is me.  I have learned to live in the moment, content with where I am, amazed at where I have been, and excited for where I am about to go.

Ushuaia, the 'southern-most city in the world'.

Ushuaia, the ‘southern-most city in the world’.

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Living your passion

I could tell you that I am so inspired and enchanted by the magic of life all the time that I can’t help but share my experiences and create beautiful things.  But that would be a gigantic big lie. There is some truth in it, on good days.  The bit I’ve left out is pretty crucial to the story though.

Sometimes I am so full of self doubt and negativity that it literally paralyses me.  If you ever suffer from this kind of lack of confidence then you’ll know that focussing on trying to improve whatever it is you’re unhappy with while in this fearful state can be counterproductive.  You just end up finding further problems and reasons why you can’t succeed.  There are lots of things you can do to change your mindset and appreciate your successes instead, but it may be that remembering what you’re passionate about is enough to make the shift from feeling stuck and hopeless to being inspired and empowered.

I’ll use my personal experience as an example to illustrate the power of this.  I had hit a bit of a brick wall with the marketing side of my handmade jewellery business.  My brain had given up doing its job and my thoughts were scattered and increasingly negative.  This has happened to me enough times to know not to continue down that road.  I tried to follow my own advice and made a conscious effort to remember what I was passionate about.

Sometimes you have to be really honest with yourself when your heart isn’t in what you’re doing.  The reason my brain wasn’t co-operating was because I was trying to deny a major part of the motivation behind my work.

Being self employed isn't all rainbows... unless you happen to be at Iguacu falls.

Being self employed isn’t all rainbows… unless you happen to be at Iguacu falls.

Travel and freedom have played a central role in my life for a long time.  However, because I’d been so focussed on my business, I’d forgotten why I was doing all of this.  I was thinking about all of the different ways to market my online shop, but I had lost my spark.  I had put travel in a box that didn’t overlap with work, but when I remembered my passion it freed up my thinking again.

Poon Hill in the Himalayas, Nepal.  Our guide didn't carry me all the way up, honest!

Poon Hill in the Himalayas, Nepal.  On top of the world, now that’s freedom!

My handmade jewellery and my creativity are inseparable from my love of exploring the world.  I have many passions that are intertwined, and to work efficiently I need to allow them to be expressed.  I need to live my passion for travel, my passion for freedom and my passion for peace, in order to fuel my passion for creating bohemian jewellery for free spirited dreamers.  I need that lust for life to design jewellery that resonates with the people I create it for.

So that’s now the basis of my marketing strategy.  To be myself, but louder.  To immerse myself in the things that inspire me, connect with like minded people who share my outlook on life, and to share my journey and inspirations with them.  With you.

Living my passion is actually pretty essential to both my productivity and my happiness.  That’s the thing with being a sensitive soul trying to make a living from your creative endeavours – if you stray too far from the things that inspire you then you soon get shut down by the first hint of failure!  You need that burning passion to sustain you through the many, many failures that are necessary for your growth.  If you’re truly following your heart and expressing your authentic self then failure just doesn’t feel like failure any more.  You just keep going.

Macrame gemstone earrings.  You can browse my Etsy shop TessHeaven here.

Macrame gemstone earrings. You can browse my Etsy shop TessHeaven here.

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“You have to be kind of open to feel it”

By Didier Descouens (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Amethyst crystals.  Photo by Didier Descouens (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

My friend, voice coach, fellow body worker and self-development teacher suggested I write down this sentence that I had just uttered.  We’d been having a conversation about crystals, prana and energy work, and I’d been witnessing a conflict within the analytical, linear, logical thinking part of my mind.  I find it impossible to comprehend such things when I approach them in straight forward cause → effect kind of way, although that wonderful computer-like facet of my consciousness which serves me so well in the material world continues to strive to understand things which are beyond its grasp.

Undeniably I’ve experienced what many people describe as the ‘energy’ of crystals and gemstones.  Now ‘energy’ is a pretty vague term so let me tell you what it means to me in this context.  To me, the energy or essence of a crystal or any object is something that is felt, not with the senses, but with the heart.  That is why when you try to think about the primary experience in logical terms it often leads to a dead end.  But we were having the conversation because I had reached the point where I needed to acknowledge the part of me that experienced the world in this more direct way.

Peridot crystals, public domain image.

It was a relief to finally be able to vocalise something I’d been grappling with for quite a long time.  How could an inanimate object have ‘life’ in it?  How could I reconcile my first hand experiences with what my logical mind ‘knew’ about the world.  “You have to be kind of open to feel it” I said.  This openness is a shedding of the layers of knowledge which can get in the way of perceiving clearly.  In this case I was talking about a crystal, but the sentence could apply to just about anything.

The first time I was able to connect with the energy of crystals it was facilitated by an openness to the possibility of perceiving something that was beyond the ordinary senses.  I felt it resonate energetically in my body.  The experience, although later dismissed by my rational mind, was very direct, simple and profound.  It took me a long time to ‘come out’ about my love of gemstones and crystals, but when I reflected upon it, it seemed crazy not to share something that I feel on a deeper level than many things I speak of without a second thought.

My journey into this new world is only just beginning, but the first lesson I have learned from crystals is an important lesson in life also.  When you are able to open your heart in this way you perceive things differently, less limited by the preconceptions of the mind, and new possibilities begin to emerge.

One of my own creations.  To browse my handmade jewellery visit my Etsy shop TessHeaven.

Raw clear quartz crystal necklace; one of my own creations. To browse my handmade jewellery visit my Etsy shop TessHeaven.

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