A journey of emotional regulation and big little feelings in toddlers

Navigating the phase of emotions with young children can be a challenging phase for new parents. It definitely was for me as a sensitive mama to big emotions anyway.

The big emotions phase

The start of our big emotions phase came just after a bronchitis flare up my son had. Cue an already overwhelmed, exhausted mama from a number of sleep nights plus a visit to hospital to keep check on his breathing. Of course our little man was just as exhausted and overwhelmed too from all that he’d been through.

It was an intense week and honestly when these meltdowns started happening I just melted down too as I wasn’t sure how to handle it. I was suddenly faced with a decision to make. How did I want to support my son through this process of emotional regulation? How could I do that for myself so that I didn’t get so overwhelmed when he had a melt down?

You gotta give it to kids, they really do express AND move through their emotions. If they’re feeling angry they stomp their feet and shout to really express it. We can learn a thing or two from our little ones. I wonder what it would be like if the norm for us as adults was when we felt frustrated or mad we would stop, shout “im feeling frustrated”, stamp our feet, shake it out and move through it and carry on with our day. I wonder how much easier life would be without carrying around all that tension because we’d actually acknowledge and voice how we are feeling in the moment.

www.kamalacreations.com

Find tool to support your learning as a parent, there’s no one size fits all


So with this big learning curve I took to listening to audiobooks recently to sharpen my approach to big emotions in little people. Being a mother has highlighted to me just how sensitive I am. One way I support myself in handling situations is to cultivate tools and approaches to help me understand things better. It helps me to stay calm and collected (as much as possible) to not hit burnout and emotional overwhelm, as much.

You won’t always get it right


With the 24 hour relentlessness of parenting there WILL be times where you hit your patience limit. Your ability to remain calm and neutral when faced with a big emotional outburst by your kids will sway from balance.

It’s a given. 

I’m noticing how the early phase of motherhood was physical in terms of breast-feeding, baby wearing and contact naps. It continues to be physically demanding as they start to find their feet and movement.

Then comes the talking phase where they start to be able to interact even more so with you as well as stretching their independence muscles.The emotional phase comes as they figure out their feelings. It’s quite an up and down phase to be in and definitely took me by surprise being mrs sensitive.

It can be at anything and everything that can trigger our little people to hit emotional overwhelm. They wanted peanut butter on their toast, not jam, even though they asked for it. They want their toast cut into squares, not triangles. Some of the meltdowns will come at the most bonkers of things but, it means a lot to them hence their reactions.

When tiredness kicks in for them it easily triggers more big outbursts for them to deal with too.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve struggled with mama rage at times where I have been touched out, tired, no patience and struggling to get one minute for myself as tiny hands request another snack, another book, another game. 

The biggest mirror you’ll have held up to yourself is by the your kids

I am fascinated by watching a little person grow into themselves and learn to handle their emotions. I can see just how integral it is for me to model things in my behavior and communication to support them in learning to regulate themselves. The biggest mirror I have ever had held to me that’s for sure. There is an importance in modeling healthy management of emotions (As much as possible) but also open and honest communication about times we’re not handling things well either. Sometimes those are our biggest moments of teaching. When we have snapped back at our kids we have a chance to stop, pause and communicate what’s moving for us (in as little words as possible so they understand) and explain how we are going to move back into a space of calm again.

You’re not going to get it right every time and as much as I’d like to say I practice gentle parenting I do fall short. Hence saying I practice gentle parenting, because that’s what I am doing, practicing. 

I trial and error things as I go to see what works for our son. I change my tone of voice or the way I phrase things. At the moment he’s going through a mummy phase (he’s totally a mummy’s boy) and it’s been a lot for me to handle. Sometimes I just need him to let his dad put him to sleep.

The Happy Tank concept- A spur of the moment way to explain that its important for self care

My spur of the moment new approach to feeling touched out and needing him to go to dad a bit more was to introduce the concept of filling our happy tanks up when we are feeling low, sad, frustrated or angry. As he’s starting to understand things more I am able to give examples of when he’s been feeling sad and needed “his happy tank filling up” so I can explain that mummy and daddy also need time to fill their happy tanks up.

It worked, and he let daddy put him to bed so mama could have a moment’s breathing space. phew!

Motherhood has shown me just how important self care, introspection and cultivating open and vulnerable communication is. Especially as we move through this emotional development with our gorgeous and very very busy boy.

I hope that something has landed for you in

Big love, 

Jules 

A challenging first trimester

I am not going to sugar coat it, the first trimester for me this time around was a shit show.

Each day felt like I was in survival mode just trying to get by. 

I know these hard times in our lives can bring us the greatest growth and a I guess for me its inspired me to share and support more mamas to look after their mental health perinatally and through into postpartum once baby is earth side. 

How my first trimester went:

I already knew I was pregnant, I actually had that feeling of knowing which I was quite surprised about. It felt good to have that connection with my body and feel that knowing.

3 days after finding out I was pregnant I got the dreaded covid. Thanks to my man for testing and telling me to do one as one of his work mates had it. Luckily at this point I didn’t feel bad but my test came back positive. Obviously I was a nervous wreck and wondered how it would affect both baby and I. I joined groups online and felt reassured though still quite nervous. It hit me like a tonne of bricks for a good few days, bad head cold and felt absolutely exhausted an hour after waking. Luckily with my man at home I was able to snooze on the sofa and tended to perk up a bit more in the afternoons.

Just as I was getting better and starting to get some energy I got a sickness stomach thing overnight and ended up in hospital the next day with suspected appendicitis. The A+E nurse told me there was risk to the baby if they needed to operate which of course broke me completely. They whisked me over to Huddersfield hospital just in case I needed surgery but thankfully I got better and didn’t need surgery. They said it could be anything but because it hadn’t got worse like appendicitis usually does they didn’t want to risk surgery for obvious reasons. Thank god.

At the same time as this happening we found out my partner’s mum had breast cancer and would need surgery asap. Luckily she was an absolute trooper and before she went in for surgery (that went successfully) we went up to visit them in Northumberland. The thing is, every time we go up there our little one gets a flare up of bronchilitis which we now think is triggered by the family cat. So we arrive back home and have another rough few nights which always triggers me into a PTSD response about his breathing. 

Just as little one gets better and I start to get some energy back after a month of intensity boom, the dreaded symptoms of first trimester hit me. Dizziness, morning sickness and exhaustion hit me like a tonne of bricks. 

From 8-15 weeks I just felt absolutely floored and my mental health took a big dip.  I was questioning whether I was capable of being a mum to 2 kids as it brought up a lot of fear and trauma from my first birth experience. There were times where I started to question my sanity which was a big trigger point for me too. There was a time in the hospital after my first belly birth that made me think I was going to go insane and need to be sectioned.Was I really capable of going through it again? What am I doing? I thought to myself often. It was a really scary place to go to mentally. One of my fears has been going back to that place. Though I have gotten through it once, it’s a really dark head space to be in and I really really don’t want to go back there. As soon as I dipped I booked perinatal counseling sessions to help bring me back out of it. I knew there would be a waiting time, it was 4 weeks and I laughed to myself as I knew that by the time 2nd trimester came about I would have probably listed out of that heavy fog I was currently experiencing. Which thankfully it did. 

The thing is when you’re in that type of survival mode as a mum it can often feel that that’s what life is going to look like forever. I remember feeling it when our first little one arrived. I often thought to myself fuck, this is how life is now. What have I done and where is the joy!

2nd trimester has dropped me into that summer energy much like the menstrual summer/ovulatory phase filling me with life, inspiration and creative spark which I am so so grateful for. Nothing like a good summer period to lift your spirits and bring back that energy and zest for life. It has given me a boost to really put in the work and structure to support my postpartum period this time around. I learnt ALOT from my first birth and pretty much lost who I was during the 6 day hospital stay. It took a lot of coaxing to remember the practices and tools I had to feel like a human again and I am determined not to let that happen again. 

It has been interesting looking back on my journey and how the birth trauma I experienced with my first baby is showing up during this pregnancy. Nothing is ever fully healed, something I didn’t really realise or accept until recently which opened up a lot of space to be okay with things coming up again for me. Our bodies hold so much and of course pregnancy was going to bring up some things for me to work through, especially when the first 2-3 months had me in survival mode much like my first postpartum experience did. The triggers differ in impact on me but I see the growth and strength I have and have a new confidence and power in advocating for myself. Though it feels uncomfortable letting people into our “crazy” mind, speaking it takes away its power.

When I noticed myself dipping I started speaking to my support network about it, I realised I needed to get back into my journal and clear my monkey mind. Journaling has always been a game changer for me being an air sign and very much an overthinker it does me wonders to purge and make space in my mind. Its actually a great reminder that as an overthinker I have to really put energy into embodiment practices to drop me out of the mind and into my body.

Through all of this challenge I have experienced during my first trimester I felt quite disconnected to my body and the growing baby. It made me feel quite guilty that I wasn’t making the most of the experience, especially if this is our last child which I do feel it is. There is a bittersweetness in it being the last and I want to feel it all as it’s the biggest ride of my life that I know will forge the older woman I am to become in the future. 

Mental health in pregnancy and motherhood is so so important. It’s a really life altering time in a woman’s life if she does decide to have children. Because of my experience I am in ideas phase of creating a motherhood wellbeing collection to support you in a number of ways for your mental health.

4 ways to support yourself in the first trimester

Speak to your people

To your partner, your family and your friends. Go to your safest people and speak out about any “craziness” you feel in your head. Don’t hold back, set up the conversation by stating and intending that you are reaching out because you need to be held and heard. Tell them beforehand the support you need whether that’s just being listened to, or whether you need advice and support. 

Look into perinatal/postpartum counselling

If you have birth trauma from a previous birth It might be worth looking into trauma informed therapy to help you work through and process what happened. I cannot stress the importance of going to therapy through out lives. We are messy humans always journeying something and therapy in whatever form works for you can only be beneficial to opening you up to my joy, happiness and confidence in yourself in your life. Im not saying going to therapy isnt easy, of course its going to bring up challenging things for you but on the flip side you are are allowing them to not hold as much power over you which then opens up sooo much more for you on the other side. I’m a big believer of a little motto I have in life which is from all negatives can be positive growth, as long as your willing to go through it and face those challenging elements of our lives. 

Embodiment work and somatic practices

I cannot stress the importance of cultivating a connection with your body. To drop out of your mind and allow yourself to really feel your body and what it does. She speaks to you and will you so much if you are able to slow down and feel all the feels. Search up somatic practices to support you in getting back into your body. 

Journaling

One of my fave tools to allow you to open up space in that monkey mind. It also helps you have a safe space to talk about your “crazies”. I say crazies in the most lighthearted of ways, believe me, I have been to the point of thinking i’m going crazy and not coming back from it. I’m owning it, and there is power in that. In your journal practice ask yourself questions about what experiences are bringing up different thoughts, feelings and emotional responses in you.


How to plan your life WITH your cycle

Cyclical living using your menstrual cycle

How to plan your life using your menstrual cycle and cyclical living

We all want to make life as easy and as simple as possible right? Yet often we feel stuck and that we’re constantly coming up against brick walls.

What do you do when your feeling like this?

Do you keep going and push harder?

The thing is, society is approaching life in a state of pushy go getter energy. This go getter energy is NOT sustainable. What if you took a different approach to supporting your wellbeing, and what if that was actually about slowing down?

What if the most powerful approach to nourishing yourself, living a life in harmony with your fluctuating energy by slowing down is what allows you to feel the most full.

I’m talking about tweaking your approach to life to be cyclical rather than linear. Cyclical living is a way to let go of this forceful, survival based energy that western patriarchal culture has ingrained in us. To listen to the tides of our ebbing and flowing energy through out the month. By cultivating an understanding to your menstrual cycle, you deeper your understanding of yourself.

You get to know yourself better and it allows you to honour your needs and hold your boundaries.

Your menstrual cycle is a direct reflection of the earth own rhythms. If you push against your biological nature your stress response begins to build. We see this in mental health problems and health issues such as IBS, PMS, Endometriosis etc. These symptoms are a communication from your body that something isn’t working.

Cyclical living allows you the opportunity to create adaptability that allows you to ebb and flow with life instead of against it. In the video below I share some tips of how to integrate cyclical living into your life through your menstrual cycle.

Thank you for taking the time to watch my video, I hope it has brought you a nugget of wisdom to inspire you to find more joy in your life. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos on creativity, wellbeing, cyclical living and motherhood.

Valentines Day Illustrations + Inclusivity

Keeping up with the times as a small creative business owner. 

Do you like having a peek into behind the scenes of running a small creative business?

Well today’s your lucky day. 

The next event on the retail calendar is Valentines Day. A big one for lots, a sad one for many, and probably a whole lot of indifference from others.

Personally I’m a sucker for a bit of romance and a love story. I’m not going to deny it, I love a good rom com. There I said it. 

I also love giving and receiving small tokens of affection and love from  friends, loved ones and my man. It warms me to know that I have been on someone’s mind. 

Let’s face it, we all love to be thought of. It gives you a little feel good boosts and makes you feel loved and cared for. Of course we need to provide that for ourselves but its still good to receive it from others too. 

Who’s to say that even if you don’t have a partner or companion at this time of the year that you can’t do this for your friends and loved ones. 

As an artist and illustrator one of the goals I have in my business is to expand my greetings card designs and prints to help me build a catalogue for wholesale. This helps to diversify my income and take on a new revenue stream. It’s important as a small creative business to not solely rely on one source of income. 

It can be a rocky road when running a small business and also comes with a level of risk. By putting all your focus on one source of income you open yourself up to more risk because if anything was to happen, you don’t have another income stream to fall back on.

It’s about setting yourself up in business the right way. That’s why I not only run an illustration side of my business which focuses on paper goods, I am also a Creative Virtual Assistant. This helps me to hone in my business strategy, content marketing and creative skills to be able to offer to other businesses which need support.

Let’s shift back to the new designs that I am launching for this Valentines Day. 

I wanted to be more inclusive with my art and illustrations so decided to diversify. I have created four mandala inspired line work pieces that show appreciation for the LGBTQ+ and that love can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

It feels good that my portrait skills over the last year have come on so much that I can actually draw people. There is still a whole lot of improvement to do but It feels good to see the progress I have made. 

From someone who was never “naturally” talented with drawing when I was young and has committed and dedicated a lot to practice. I’d say I’m doing pretty well. 

And with that I’d like to introduce you to the new care cards. These don’t just need to be for valentines day. They’re a great way to show your favourite people you’re thinking of them throughout the year.

One thing that is important to me is that my designs aren’t just one time cards. I have a passion for art and creativity but also want to play my part in looking after our beautiful planet too. The sentiment of each design means that they can be used as wall art after they have served their purpose as a greetings card. Plus they are also printed on recycled cardstock and come in a compostable sleeve.

SHOP VALENTINES DAY CARE CARDS HERE

A guide to (re)learning cyclical living through your menstrual cycle

A guide to cyclical living through menstrual cycle awareness
www.instagram.com/kamala_creations

Through patriarchal shaming of women, a drive for results and productivity we have forgotten how to listen to our bodies. We have lost our cyclical nature as menstruating people. This guide will provoke a new type of living in line with your fluctuating energy throughout your menstrual cycle.

A woman’s body is an intricate system of shifting of moods and energy. We are cyclical beings and have the potential to grow life within us. It’s pretty incredible when you think about it. 

There is a space within us which plants seeds, holds and births life and is also our forgotten super power. A power center with the ability to release and transform so much in our lives.

But we have forgotten about this space as women. Thanks to the tyranny of patriarchal religion, which demonized all things woman and painted us as the original sinners. This has been used as a way to shame us and as a tool of control. For generations periods have been considered sinful, unclean and something to hide. 

A lack of education

Most of us are incredibly disconnected from our wombs. We haven’t been taught about them and the transformational power that is at the tips of our fingers. Many women I have spoken to share the same story of not really being taught about it at school. Heck, in my school our teacher didn’t teach us about putting a condom on because he was too embarrassed.

Relearning about our cyclical nature

There is a huge shift that happens when we learn to listen to our innate cycles. When we connect to our body and listen to the subtle messages that she gives us. It’s like an aha moment when everything clicks into place. We come back into a deep inner knowing within ourselves. (I totally had to throw a Deep Inner Knowing reference in there. This was the space where I started my journey into women’s work understanding of our menstrual cycles.)

When we heal our relationship with our cycles we are creating space to learn about our own inner guidance system. Understanding our intuition and fluctuating energy throughout the month gives us a view point of life from a different lens. Healing your relationship with your cycle allows this knowledge to be passed on to our future daughters and sons of what it means to be a woman with a menstrual cycle. 

Stop the stigma around same and start the conversation

Now I know to alot of people this can be quite a daunting and taboo subject. Many of us have been taught that our menstrual cycle and bleeding is a dirty, shameful thing. 

I can only imagine what it must be like to have your cycle cause you so much pain every month.

I invite you to do your own research into the power of the menstrual cycle with an open heart. There may be elements that could help you reframe how you think of your own cycle. Check the bottom of the post for some resources. You may find your own nuggets of gold within them. 

Menstrual cycles, the moon and magic

Have you ever heard of your menstrual cycle being referred to as the moon cycle? Well there’s a good reason for this. Just as the moon’s light changes in the sky, she sends messages to our hypothalamus and pituitary glands within the brain. This triggers hormonal release within the body and encourages our bodies to move through the cycle of menstruation. 

The moon has a cycle, the earth has her seasonal cycles and we too as women have our own cycle too.

The moon is the original time keeper and when we remember our connection to her and the earth we remember our connection to our own inner ecosystem. 

We are one and the same. 

The sacred retreat 

It is important to remember that in ancient times women would often separate themselves during their moon time. Red Tents would be set up for women who were bleeding to be able to come together. (In my ebook ‘A woman’s guide to cyclical livingyou can read more about romanticizing of red tents and both the bad history of them and the repatterning of them into an empowering space for women)

Let go of the unpredictability and regain control

It can feel like you’re being thrashed around by an unpredictable storm. With waves of emotions and energy ebbing and flowing as a woman. 

When you understand the different phases of your cycle, you will have a deeper understanding for your shifts in moods. This is due to an awareness of your fluctuating energies throughout the month. You will learn to recognise your cyclical changes depending on what phase of the cycle you’re in. You will understand your trigger points, what best serves your fluctuating energy and feel more in control of your life. 

It won’t feel like an unpredictable storm. It will be a (semi) predictable cycle where you get to learn about yourself and how you move through life. 

This knowledge is wisdom. 

Tracking your cycle paired with menstrual journaling allows you to look back on previous cycles. This helps you to identify recurring themes, emotional reactions and trigger points. We’re certain things, experiences or situations that put you into a state of overwhelm? Where did you have the most energy for being sociable? When did you need some downtime?

Doing this will increase your level of emotional literacy which is pivotal to nurturing your wellbeing. Not only that but it allows you to put boundaries in place for things that aren’t working well for you. You can thank your pre menstrual, autumnal phase for this.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next blog which is all about:

THE DIFFERENT SEASONS OF OUR CYCLES.

Make sure to share this blog with your friends, sisters and mothers. 

Resources

**Please note Affilliate Links are used within this blog. I only recommend products I use personally. No Spam here!

The Feminine Mysteries illustrations

Making art doesn’t just have to be about the final product, it can be a deeply meaningful and reflective journey that allows us to learn more about ourselves. Below I share how my inspiration sparked me to make body positive art.

The backstory behind the feminine mysteries illustrations. 

Today I went through my old art work and came across a draft piece I designed for a potential illustration job. It was for womens fitness community where they wanted body positive art with accompanying affirmations and uplifting quotes. 

One of my intentions this year (2021) was to learn how to paint and draw faces, portraits and the body. In particular the female body. I didn’t really understand why I wanted to draw portraits and bodies at the time but as we are over half way through the year now it is landing deeper for me. 

Body image and how we view ourselves is such a huge thing to accept for a lot of women (and i’m sure men too but I’m just talking from my experince as a woman). Body positivity can be challenging when many women objectify themselves, and as women we get objectified too. Our beautiful bodies used to lure people in to buy products. Women’s bodies are sexualised in order to sell. 

I mean it works right, but not for the right things. 

My relationship with my body and my relationship with my appearance has become more of a noticeable issue since becoming a mum. I never really knew how much some women’s body change post birth. Some spring back and some, well, absolutely don’t. 

I had never seen a diverse range of postpartum bodies so it’s been quite a journey coming to a space of body acceptance, hence me making body positive art.

Adventures at uni and not caring for my body

When I was younger I was tiny, I was a skinny winny and never thought about my size other than I was often told I was tiny. I was a size 8 at university, I partied and didn’t look after my body (or emotional wellbeing) very well and looking back at photographs JEEEEEEZE I was tiny. Almost to an unhealthy size, which I was blissfully unaware of at the time.

Seeing photos of how tiny I really was is a little confronting and it really shows how my partying impacted not just my emotional health, but my physical health too. Late nights working till 5-6am in the morning then partying on into the next day was a regular occurrence for me whilst at university. I guess it didn’t help that I was doing event’s management so actually being at events till that time in the morning I was building relationships and connecting with all sorts of people within the industry. The links I got through those connections for working at festivals were pretty incredible. But honestly, I had no understanding of my health, wellbeing and how to look after and love my body.

The effect of a nourishing relationship

Enter into my life my wonderful northern man and father to our little wildling. It’s funny how getting into a loving, connected relationship affects your safety (in a good way) and so all the date nights we had pushed my skinny winny ass to a size 10-12. 

Though it wasn’t massive in hindsight, it felt like it at the time. It  was the first time my body weight weighed heavy on me. Pun absolutely intended. 

My weight slowly increased and yet I would still buy clothes that fit my old skinny body, then would be really upset that I looked awful. I had no experience of how to dress a more curvy body and it took me a while before I found pieces of clothing that would fit my now larger body. 

Welcome the post partum body

Now moving forward to my pregnancy I started putting on even more weight. Thanks to a healthy dose of pregnancy hormones and a total lack of self control, pizza and chocolate were my loves. I’m kind of not surprised though as Jazzybean was a whopping 9.8lbs. Apparently 14lb babies run in my mans side of the family, which they didn’t tell me until after he was born.

Seeing my body postpartum was a really interesting process. I felt this immense power for what I’d just been through. Not only growing a human baby child with eye balls and everything, but also going through quite a traumatic birth ending in an emergency c section and 6 day hospital stay. 

In my recovery I go up close and personal with the silvery stretch marks that adorned my belly, boobs and thighs. I explored the new feeling of soft, wrinkly, stretched skin on my belly. The mum belly. The one that’s been stretched so much there’s no way back. 

Looking at my body I didn’t hate it, quite the opposite. I was in awe of it. The stretch marks reflected to me just how much I expanded to be able to hold and move through the extreme birth experience we had. 

A change in perspective

The great thing about becoming a mum is that you don’t really have time or energy to worry about what your body looks like because your so absorbed in new born baby life and adjusting to your new role and identity. Plonk a traumatic birth on top of that and you REALLY don’t have the energy to worry about stretched skin and silvery expansion marks. 

Fast forward 2 years into motherhood and my body has levelled into a weight its comfortable at. I have been more intentional about nourishing myself with good food, lots of fluids and a healthy concoction of apoptogenic herbs and supplements. 

My relationship with my body is of appreciation and I now feel more of a woman than I ever have with curvy hips and bigger boobs. I feel like one of the Willendorf figures, a mother goddess of fertility.

The feminine mysteries series was my exploration into accepting my new body as a mother and all that it has been through.  This is how I used my creativity to make body positive art and to support my relationship with my ever changing, squishy body.

Starting a Creative Business- The journey part one

I thought it was about time I shared the story of how I started my creative business. From moving through anxiety to where I am today. Starting a business is no easy feat and I believe in sharing our stories as small business owners and creatives. It gives you a window into our world, which lets face it, we all love a peep into.

It started with a panic attack, though I didn’t know what was happening to me at the time other than I thought I was dying.

The first thing I felt was a sudden drop in energy and a tingling sensation all down my body. In a split second it felt like I was going to collapse. I was sweating, dizzy and suddenly scared for my life.

Then the panic started.

I had never experienced panic attacks or anxiety so I didn’t know what was happening to me. I was a confident bubbly woman with a pretty straight forward, comfortable life. Why would this be happening to me?

That day I left work after breaking down with my team leader because I genuinely thought I was having a heart attack. As soon as I left the building the panic stopped. My dad was waiting in the car and drove me to the doctors. I got there just to be told that it was “probably a panic attack”. I was given no real information on how that could have happened and why It came on so suddenly. 

The Trigger

The trigger for the panic was a culmination of things. From working in environment that didn’t nourish my soul to having a bit of a traumatic experience at the dentist. The previous week I’d had a failed root canal. The dentist tried his hardest to finish the job, he even brought another dentist in but it wasn’t happening. They put a temporary filling in and sent me on my way till the following week to see how to proceed. 

The pain from the failed root canal had me in such a weary state all weekend. By the time It came to the next appointment I just wanted the tooth out, to be done with the pain. We all know how bad tooth ache can be, well failed root canals when they have been wrestling around in your mouth are intense.

After the tooth was out the effect of having that much intense pain stayed with me in the form of anxiety and panic attacks. It was almost as if I had left my young care free self and adulthood had kicked in. Being quite a sensitive soul and a big thinker panic and anxiety are not a good combination. I got a few more panic attacks and to this day I still occasionally feel that tingling sensation like I’m about to collapse. I made sure to equip myself with self care practices and tools to be able to manage the anxiety and panic when it flared up. It includes of a whole load of lovely self talk and telling myself everything is okay.

The thing I did notice though was that the anxiety seemed to flare up every time I went into work. The tingling sensations would come back and I would feel like I was going to faint. I would have to take myself to the bathroom to calm down.

It’s time to leave

After being off work a couple of times for illness I ended up being laid off for “lack of attendance”. Although I was gutted at the time, my “stats” were great and I was hitting my targets. I knew there was something about that work environment that was killing my soul. 

I had stopped wearing colourful patterned clothes to conform with the people at work. I was in the rat race of 9-5 working and although the pay was the best I’d had it clearly was not working for my nervous system. The stats and targets, the amount of people in one office and the never ending phone calls (of course, it was a call centre) we’re all indications that this was NOT the job for me.


Break down to break through

I was a creative bubbly woman in a call centre office amongst a sea of grey. It was vanilla, repetitive, stats and target driven and had no soul.

I felt extremely out of place.

At university I had studied Creative Arts & Events Management and had been around visual artists, photographers, musicians and decor crews. Those were the spaces that inspired me and sparked a love of interactive experiences. Id spent the last four years galivanting around and working at festivals as decor crew, stage management and other jobs. Being submersed in the events industry meeting a whole array of colourful people with incredible skills and creative talent. Of course call centre work was a shock to my system.

After university I had been on a soul searching mission trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Though working the festivals was great, my partying needed to settle down and I wanted to look after my health and wellbeing. What I needed to figure out was what work did I really want to do and what would I have a lot of energy for. I had never really had a plan of sorts, I just cruised around from festival to music events, partying, exploring and submerging myself in creative settings. 

I knew that I wanted to live life on my own terms, to create something for myself that nurtured my creativity and thirst for learning. (see how far I’ve nurtured my creativity here). It had to be something where I could connect with others, learn all things business but also allow me to express myself.

It had to be something flexible that would allow me to have bursts of productivity but also allow me time to rest and play. I live life connected to honouring my cyclical nature as a woman and that means working cyclically in my business too. Making meaning, having deep connections and owning our humanness in life is are my biggest values. It was important for me create that for myself and the people I worked with.

I knew it was possible, I was seeing people all over the internet traveling around the world so I knew I could do something similar. What I needed to find was my niche.

How could I create that for myself?

It started with a cleaning job something I could do whilst listening to all the podcasts about mindset work and business. It was something I could do straight away with the connections I already had. Start off small and go from there.

I split my time, half cleaning, half working online and eating up everything I could about social media management and how to run a business. Learning about other creatives and virtual assistants with what products and services they were offering and also, how they were marketing themselves. This involved a whole heap of learning strategies as well as planning and organisation tools to start to cultivate a healthy work balance. To be able to build goals for myself and see my progress.

I suddenly had drive and commitment to cultivating a work life balance that was on my terms. After my adventures at arts based events I knew that my business in the end needed to be a creative one, there was no way that creativity wasn’t going to be a part of it. I needed to learn all the small biz tips and creative practices I could to create a business that brought me joy and play.

Little did I know that what I was creating for myself would fit flexibly around becoming a mother (more on that to come).

Thank you for reading about the start of my journey into running a creative business you wonderful human. In part two I will share my business journey post motherhood as it all ramped up from there. Think of this as the first year of learning before diving right into running a creative business online as an artist and virtual assistant.

Keep your eyes peeled for part two!

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The Secret To Reconnecting To Your Cycle

Cyclical living for women, menstrual cycle awareness

Did you know its possible to live in sync with your cycle and utilise it as a navigational guide through your menstruating years?

We have been taught that the menstrual cycle puts you in a state of deficit where it will cause you problems, its dirty and its something to be hidden. There is a HUGE taboo and stigma around menstruation that dates back literally hundreds of years. A stigma that can still be felt today in so many cultures. There is a cultural narrative which distracts women from connecting to your physiology and biochemical nature.

We have been taught to look after our bodies in a constant manner. To exercise at the same level throughout the month, to eat the same things through out the month and that our energy will be at the same level throughout the month. Diets are heavily studied on men and marketed to women which don’t take into account your bodies cyclical process.

The thing is as women we don’t work in a 24 hour cycle which men do.

We work on a 28-30 (Approximately) cycle.

We are cyclical beings with four distinct phases of your cycle which energy levels go through a distinct cyclical current. Each phase of your cycle has different qualities, strengths and weaknesses as well as a different impact on your mental, spiritual, emotional, physical health.

By working with your cyclical nature and tweaking the the foods you eat, the way you move your body, when you socialise, when you rest, the way you show up in relationships and even the way you run your business you can start to work WITH your cyclical nature, rather than it happening TO you. You start to work with your nature and optimise your energy throughout the month so its balanced rather than hitting burnt out and overwhelm on a regular basis.

In the video below I share a simple and effective teaching on reframing your cycle. If you would like to know more go check out the The Embodied Cycles Collection that is now live in the shop. A Woman’s Guide To Cyclical Living eBook and Integration Journal is a powerful resource and starting point for women to learn about your cycle. You will learn the basics on your fluctuating hormones, energy levels throughout the month with whole heap of self care and wellness practices and prompts in the Integration Journal so that you can implement what you learn and dive in straight away.


THE EMBODIED CYCLES COLLECTION: A journey to coming back home

Creative Biz updates: Creative Wellbeing for Women

Why Womens Wellness?

Hello Beautiful Humans,

I haven’t shared an update on what’s happening in the world of Kamala Creations for a while. It feels fitting that just as things are slowly opening up here in the UK my business is is expanding.

It’s spring right so new growth is sprouting.

As business owners we have to learn to shift things up when we’re experiencing a bit of a lull. If things aren’t working then change is knocking at your door,

As Ross says in Friends PIVOT!!

BIRTHING A NEW CONTENT PILLAR FOR WOMEN

I have always loved wellness, understanding human nature and figuring out how to create a life that is nourishing. Its a huge passion of mine and deeply influences the work that I do. Recently I embarked upon growing the art side of my business. Whilst figuring out how to up level my art I realised that I was neglecting an important value of my business. 

AN INCREDIBLE SMALL BUSINESS COMMUNITY

There is this INCREDIBLE community I am part of called Indie Roller. It’s a community of small business owners, sharing, learning and growing together. It is THE most supportive creative business community I have been part of and It has really nourished the way I show up as a business owner.

The bubbly founder and Indie Biz Champion Leona Thrift-ola has created the Indie Roller Process where you dive into the foundations of your business. Whilst I have been creating the foundations of my biz I have been exploring my values and my why. My realisation was that self expression and connection were values of mine that I had been completely neglecting.

Four years ago I went on a self discovery mission. I wanted to find out who I was and an authentic way of living. It also was to shed a whole load of emotional baggage that had left me feeling disconnected and incredibly scatty. I felt like I had no purpose.
As humans we hold a shit load of emotional baggage from experiences through-out our childhood that can really impact the way we show up as adults. Listening to what was showing up in my world, I got a nudge from the universe to explore women’s wellness.

It was showing up EVERWHERE and it got me curious.

THE BACKSTORY

What exploring women’s wellness looked like for me was learning about my menstrual cycle, joining sisterhood communities and going to women’s circles. I was exploring what it meant to be a woman. 

It was a remembering of our cyclical nature as women. This was something I hadn’t learned about before, especially not at school anyway. The teachers at school skipped sex ed because they were to embarrassed and clearly didn’t wanna dive into these topics with us. A massive disservice to all women in my opinion.

Whilst I was on my self discovery mission my heart was sparked for the most incredible magic that happens when women come together. It showed me just just how powerful it can be when we come together in a circle. We move through a whole range of emotions. We are vulnerable, we dance, we share, we love, we feel, we express and we support each other. 

The energy is palpable. 

I learned about Menstrual Cycle Awareness and that as women we are cyclical in nature just like the earth. The earth has seasons and we have inner seasons. The disconnection I was feeling was soon replaced with the most embodied, deeply connected understanding of myself.

It sparked and awakened this creative spark within me.

Learning this wisdom deeply affected the way that I show up in all experiences. It affects how I plan my time to honour where I am at in my cycle. Menstrual cycle Awareness is in direct relationship with my creative process as an artist, illustrator, mother and business owner.

I could talk about this shizniz for ages but I will end up waffling on. 

The community that awakened this passion and understanding in me is now about to embark on a Wisdom Keeper training.

We will be learning the process of holding Pelvic Bowl Activation Sessions for women. My beautiful friend Yana who founded the community is literally passing this magic onto the sisterhood. We are being gifted this modality so we can pass this wisdom onto more women

This is absolutely LIGHTING ME UP.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

It means that I will be sharing a whole load more juicy wisdom with your lovely selves. Here are the things I will be covering:
Menstrual Cycle Awareness, The Creative Cycle and The nuggets of gold I learn whilst navigating motherhood. 

AND 

I’ll be guiding these sessions for your lovely selves!

This is a HUGE part of my life and it feels so exciting to be honouring that part of myself and opening space for it within my business.

My creative process is an act of self expression and is a hugely meditative process for me. I want to guide you, my dear sisters into the most nourishing relationship with yourself through Creative Embodiment & Menstrual Cycle Awareness.

I am so excited to be sharing this with you and cultivating a community of women empowered and standing in your embodied creative self!
From my heart to yours, 

Art Vlog: A Day In The Life

Artist Vlog: A day in the life

Hey Lovelies,

Today I am super excited to share with you a snippet into my world as an artist, illustrator and mother running a small creative business.
I don’t know about you but I absolutely LOVE hearing peoples stories and journeys. When I was at university travelling & working at festivals I met so many people and was fascinated about their creativity, what they did, what they made and all that jazz. I loved getting to know them better, it was inspiring and I met people with such a diverse range of skills, interests and dreams for life. So I would like to share with you a bit of my journey of starting my business so that you can get to know me too!

University & Documenting my journey through J.EM.M.
Kamala Creations was actually started whilst I was in university under the guise of J.E.M.M (Jules’ Emporium of Magical Makings). It was a way to document all the many arts and crafts, projects and DIY’s I did at university, events and festivals (I was studying creative arts and events management at the time).
After moving back up to Yorkshire and changing universities I met my gorgeous man and when I had graduated I moved up to Northumberland with him. I took some time to decompress after my partying and mad lifestyle as a student to really ground, find my roots and figure out what I wanted to do next.

As I was journeying this self discovery phase I decided to rename J.E.M.M. to a name that felt more aligned with my vision and values for my creative business. Kamala means lotus flower in sanscrit and lotuses bloom from muddy waters to become beautiful flowers. I believe this is representative of the journey we go through as humans into the wasteland of shadow work, limiting beliefs and past experiences. When we do the work be it self help, courses, training or therapy of whatever kind, we are able to move through the wasteland into a more lighter space to be able to live life to its fullest. I believe we have a responsibility to work on ourselves when the time is right for us so that we can get the most out of life. I say this because my sister was taken from us at the age of 13 and the impact of that on my family has made me strive to make the most of life.

Anyhow, because I was in a space of exploring what spirituality meant to me as well as working on personal development, I found that it fused into my creative process. I found a form of creative expression that fused with my journey to get to know myself. Mandala’s & Zentangle Art became my meditative art practice that grounded me, that soothed my soul.

Something I was seeing pop up online was all these people travelling the world whilst running businesses. Giving them freedom and flexibility to live life on their own terms and giving them the opportunity to explore. I wanted a bit of that and so I made the decision to learn all that I could so that I could one day work from home running my own business to allow me to live life on my own terms too.

Using my skills as a Virtual Assistant

In 2018, after experiencing some incredibly intense panic attacks I decided to start a cleaning business whilst I built up my Virtual Assistant services. I had studied events management at university and had been learning about web design on WordPress, Social Media Management & Strategy and blogging I started offering my services as a VA supporting online businesses online with the behind the scenes admin that keeps businesses ticking over.

Now three years later I work as a Virtual Assistant supporting women running online businesses with course creation, social media management, website and blog maintenance. This is the bread and butter of my business and allows me to take the pressure off needing my art to create an income. I get the best of both worlds where I get to support businesses and geek out on strategy, planning and admin whilst also learning the skills to develop the products side of my business. Wahooo!

Running a business & Motherhood
My business has allowed me to work from home, flexibly around being a mother to an energetic little toddler, Jasper. He keeps me on my toes that’s for sure. Now I work 2 days a week whilst he is at the childminders and I spread my working days between client work and building the creative side of my business. I do my business research/learning as well as client work in an evening if I have deadlines and try not to work weekends but if you’re a mum you’ll know that you have to take time when you can if your running a business. Sometimes I need to work on a weekend to catch up on work, it also gives my man and son some good father/son time too.

In the vlog I share with you a sneaky peak into my working day. I have shared with you a few of the planners I used to manage my client work and tasks and how I start my day to ensure that I make the most of it. If your keen on photography or are a business yourself I have shared my flatlay photography process with a cool background hack I recently learned. I use this style of photography for any traditionally created art I make in my art journals, hand drawn mandalas and abstract work. For those who are looking into digital illustration I share with you the tablets I use, I found an INCREDIBLE app that is not appreciated by the world enough. Its a great (and affordable) alternative to procreate on the iPad.

If your looking for some tips to help you get into the creative zone check out the blog I wrote HERE

Photography Hacks, Digital Illustration tablets & Planners for business owners

If you have got this far, have read the whole blog AND the vlog you’re amazing and I really appreciate that you have taken time to view the content I create for you lovely lot. I create it all with the intention to inspire others to create a life that’s nourishing and to connect with that playful child within and make some messy artwork!
If you would like to support my work further you can like/share/comment and subscribe to my YouTube Channel! Its a great FREE way to support my lil biz!

Feel free to pop me a message if you have any questions or would like to know more about anything I have spoken about in the vlog!

Big love,