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Welcome to Luminosity & Sunshine

Designer, maker, upcycler… fabric, trims and paper hoarder… user of discarded things which I turn into quirky original pieces..

Tag: women rising

lucy simm

Why I’m on this journey into blogdom

We all have a story to share. Everyone lives a life that is unique and original… even if you think you are run of the mill. A story from the heart is a story worth sharing. So that’s where my stories will come from. The heart. I wear my heart on my sleeve and recently got the opportunity to think about what that heart on my sleeve would want to say to the world. A Craftivist question from Sarah Corbett from Craftivist Collective enclosed within one of her wonderful “A heart for your sleeve” packs… which I purchased at a workshop I attended with Sarah last year. I’ve mulled this question over for some time and then it came to me. Kindness. My heart would have kindness written across it. Simple kindness. When I say it like that I’m reminded of a book I read recently by Sue Townsend of Adrian Mole fame. The book is called “The woman who went to bed for a year”. Great thought provoking book, where towards the end… spoiler alert… the characters talk about the best quality a person can have. Kindness… simple kindness. I wholeheartedly agree.

I feel older than my years when I start to talk about “these days” and “in this modern world”. I think there is some truth in the fact that kindness is a human trait which seems to waiver these days. TV and social media have made our society into a panel of judges, casting our opinions on lives of people who we don’t know, have never met and will never meet. This two-dimensional way of communicating allows you to remove your usual filters and to say things which you wouldn’t say to a real person if you were communicating face to face. Three dimensionally face to face… with all your senses and natural instincts in tune, picking up on how someone is reacting to what you are saying and realising if you’ve upset or offended them… or touched a nerve. The typist, communicating through Wi-Fi to the masses may not always stop and think… is this kind? I talk so much with my little boy… who is my greatest teacher… about kindness. Is that kind to someone to do that? How would that make you feel if someone did that to you? To the point where he now picks up on things I say and pulls me up if “that’s not very kind Mummy”. Wise beyond his 4 years.

As human beings we are designed to help others… to live in tribes where we work on shared tasks and no one is left feeling isolated and lonely. In “our modern world” we have created this wonderful online “social network” which has so many benefits and positives. How wonderful to be able to connect with someone at the other side of the world with the click of a button… but on the flip side we don’t necessarily know our neighbours and we don’t always have a support network around us to share the emotional and the physical load. In my observations I am talking in a very broad and generalised way about our society. My personal experience predominantly come from talking to other mothers, my new favourite thing to do. Talking about life experiences, struggles with balancing and juggling everything that gets thrown at you as a mother.

For me this where my life changed exponentially. The birth of my child and the birth of me as a mother. I was prewarned about it when a kind friend gave me an article on “the birth of a mother”. However, nothing does, and nothing can truly prepare you for that change of identity. You look the same on the outside, but a huge shift has happened inside… life will never be the same again. I’m not just Lucy Simm anymore. She is still there. Sometimes. More so these days. When I carve out time and space for her to be. But more often these days I am Mummy, Mumeeeeee, MUUUM! I started out in the early years as mama. My new identity evolving yet further as his speech progressed… so now I am predominantly Mummy or Muuuuuuum… depending on his mood. Navigating through motherhood with my heart on my sleeve. The hardest job I have ever experienced but the most rewarding and fulfilling for the heart.

My creative work allows me to be a better version of Mummy and a better version of me. Lucy, Wife, Mummy, Daughter, Granddaughter, Sister, Auntie, Cousin, Friend… the list goes on and I often wonder which hat I’m going to be wearing at any one time… see photo of “My hats” silk painting. Can I fit it all in to life and keep going? Is there enough energy in the tank? Can I find balance in my life? And that seems to be a reoccurring theme with most mothers out there… but in particular the creative ones… who are self-employed and trying to find time to spend on their creative practice, somewhere and somehow in-between their mothering. I focus on this particular group because I can relate to them the most. We have a shared language and they are my tribe #calledtobecreative

In 2015 I was inspired to set up a group called Mothers Who Make Halifax after visiting Mothers Who Make Manchester. Both groups are part of a larger national Mothers Who Make (MWM) network created by Matilda Leyser in London. Last year I handed over the reins of the group to the multi talented Alice Bradshaw so I could focus on my own business and streamline my hats and my energy output. Putting myself first and allowing myself to put my oxygen mask on first… as my good friend Zoe Mansbridge always reminds me to do. I continue to attend meetings and support the online Facebook group because… it’s women supporting women. Mothers supporting mothers. It’s something I’m passionate about. A circle of strength and support. That’s what makes life easier. People make life easier and better. Human connection. A smile, a hug, a touch, a gentle hand on your arm without words. Those things can’t be felt through a winky emoticon. Energy, vibrations, all our senses engaged, being fully present in the moment. Listening. Intently listening to someone spill out their hearts in a safe space where they feel heard, valued and not judged. What they are saying isn’t wrong or silly because it is their thoughts inside their head, their feelings in their body. They have value and are valued #uniteinmotherhood.

Going online and putting myself out there in the big wide world of the web. That was my goal for 2017. Moving my business from analogue to digital… me “just mucking about in the studio” is what I used to tell myself and others who asked because I sometimes felt that’s all I was doing. It took a lot of soul searching and professional life coaching from the inspiring Karen Hickton at Kaizen Insight to bring me the confidence to be sure of who I am, what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I grew up and got serious. I decided my creations were worth sharing on the world stage.

I’m not “just mucking about”. I’m not “just a mum”. My trip to MWM Manchester validated that change in me when I found my tribe and realised there is value in both roles that I am passionate about. In our modern society… here she goes again… we see value in that which has monetary gain. Money makes the world go round, the world go round, the world go round… it does indeed. Status is something I have little interest in but is inextricably linked to money. So, when we look at the unpaid motherhood role and the creative sector jobs… which often have very low income… then one cannot help but feel that both these areas are undervalued in our society. Something which I’m sure I’ll discuss in depth at a later date #motherhoodrising

So why choose blogging, social media and technology as a channel for my own voice when I’ve identified its negatives. This is something I have struggled to justify internally. When I became pregnant my creative fire ignited without warning. With that came more sureness in my own opinions, an inner warrior feeling and an unleashing of my voice. Something I’ve struggled with for most of my life. Having a voice, having my own opinions, being heard and feeling sure of who I am. Feeling that my opinion is valid. It sure isn’t mainstream but it’s valid none the less. I suppose now I’ve found it… my voice that is… I want to share it with the world. Not in an arrogant way but in a kindness way. Sharing my own life experiences so that perhaps they might make someone else’s life that little bit better. Perhaps I might make a difference, make a change… for once in my life… cue song. I have always loved the quote from Mahatma Gandhi… “Be the change you wish to see in the world”… the words which influence so many people who seek a path of change for both their own internal work and externally in the world around them #BeTheChange. That’s why I’m blogging and that’s why you’re reading and hopefully enjoying my head thoughts… and will continue to follow me on my journey into blogdom #creativewriting #blogger #blogging #livethelittlethings #livecolourfully

Thank you for listening.

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