What is Mindfulness? Rad, I’m Telling Ya.

wpid-img_20150816_082646.jpgGood morning you. What a week, huh?! It’s been a very humbling and gratifying kinda August for me I have to say. I’ve been writing more than ever, my article about going through anxiety has been published for Rethink Mental Illness, and Keep Real is becoming a very large garments & goods project with so many rewards. It’s nice to be working hard for things I believe in.

A huge thank you for all who’ve messaged me about my article too, it’s quite a vulnerable and open hearted topic to talk about- especially when it is published so widely (you can find it here). But I wanted folk to know that it’s ok to struggle and that it is possible to come out of it the other side. The post I wrote for Rethink touched on the therapy I had, which was mindfulness and person centred. So I thought to elaborate on how mindfulness helped me through my anxiety and how I practice it still today.

There are so many forms of therapy and different ways of managing your mental health, and I found that mindfulness was the most helpful for me personally. If you’d like to know more about what mindfulness is, check out the Mental Health Foundation and Frantic World. There is also a wonderful website called Free Mindfulness, with plenty of resources and free downloads of mindfulness exercises. Mindfulness is actually a very ancient practice which in the modern day, is a real rad way of getting on down with the here and now. It’s a mind-body based approach to relaxation which focuses on the present, your thoughts/feelings/sensations happening in the now and being non-judgemental about it. Chest pains? Headache? Can’t switch off? It’s ok. You don’t have to be brill at it, it’s all about being that little bit kinder to yourself and noticing how you are feeling.

tumblr_n29b65dBhH1r1d9pio1_500Mindfulness helped me focus on what is going on in the present, my anxiety was all about worrying about the future. It’s such a wonderful practice! For example, here you are reading my blog (how lovely!), your eyes are gliding across the screen and your body is relaxed. Notice it. How does your body feel? Notice your surroundings too. What noises do you hear?

Connect with the now. It gives you a real focus on the present and linking it in with your body. The more time you take out to be mindful, the more relaxed you feel. I practice it without really thinking too much about it now. I’ll get up earlier than usual and do an exercise, if I’m feeling a bit anxious I’ll do it wherever I am, or even when I’m commuting to work. I’ll just be that little bit more mindful when I go about my day.

If there is anything else you would like to know more of/ask me- please feel free to drop a comment! I’ll be doing more posts on Mindfulness later on with some of my favourite basic exercises ❤

All the ❤

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #5

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working on a commission this week!

Hello lovelies! Man it’s been a crazy week. I have just one week left until I move out of Huddersfield to go back home after the University life!

I’ve been working on a real cool commission for a living room piece (pictured). It’s right up my alley with the whole botanical/mandala vibes going on. It’s become more intricate than I initially thought, but I cannot wait to finish it! Soooo many detailllsss!

There’s so much to look forward to, I have my 21st coming up near the beginning of July then I have my graduation! It only hit me yesterday I don’t have much time left. Student life over- now I gotta get ready for new beginnings!

Speaking of new beginnings, I want to congratulate my dear friend Ayshe- who got ENGAGED this week!!! I can’t believe she will be getting married! I wish her all the wpid-img_20150617_181808.jpghappiness in the world- it was lovely to hang out and catch up after quite a while ❤

This week has ended up being quite an emotional one for me. It’s a fairly overwhelming experience to finish my degree in Counselling Therapy and move onwards. Looking back into the year with working two jobs, finishing a degree, working on Keep Real amongst other things all at the same time, it’s just unbelievable how far I’ve come personally. I work hard to get by, to follow my passions alongside a degree and two jobs. I have become more resilient and determined to get where I want to be.

There is so much more to explore and do! I cannot wait to share with you more adventures and happenings with Keep Real!

So much love to you all ❤

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #3

Hey lovelies, hope you are all well! I’ve managed to be quite the busy lady lately, as I’m moving out of my house and going back home to my family for a while. The University life has come to an end, so it’s time to pack up my bags and get back to the shire until I move out after Christmas! Plus, I’ve been working both my jobs and making the most of the West Yorkshire life (which means lots of wine, lots of friends…and lots more wine)!

With the giveaway of last year’s collection happening at the moment, I’ve been doing a hell of a lot of scrapbooking for the new collection. I’ve accumulated a huuuggeee amount of labels, wpid-img_20150604_184839.jpgsketches from KR, notes and cards from different independent brands and local stores. It’s a great source of inspiration for new ideas or ways to evolve the Keep Real brand. Research is key!

Also, I’ve become an Activist for Mental Health with ReThink Mental Illness!! I’m trying to find ways of raising money for charities at the moment- but blogging about mental health is so so important to me. Let’s see where the Activist journey takes me!

I’ve been doing a lot reading recently- especially ‘The Quantum Universe- Everything That Can Happen, Does Happen’ by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw (you can purchase it here). Its so beautifully written, with the advantages of not making the reader think their IQ doesn’t qualify for such a read. It talks about quantum physics, coursing through topics of historical beginnings to understanding what surrounds us today. My mind has been blown this week, so thanks Brian & Jeff!

I haven’t had the chance to do mindfulness mediation recently, and in all honesty I’ve noticed the difference. I still feel good and take the time out to write, wpid-img_20150604_185243.jpgbut man is my sleeping game poor! I’m restless and unable to sleep the night through. It’s time to get back into meditation to heal my little hobbit soul.

Hope you are all well and having a wonderful time, wherever you are in the world ❤

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #1

So my little cherubs, I’ve officially finished my degree- and how lovely to have been given a First for my dissertation! All that is left, is to graduate in July! Hard work has definitely payed off and I’m ready to start my next journey.

With my business Keep Real, I have now signed all the papers so I am now based in the Buckley Innovation Centre in Huddersfield, contracted for a year. A place to do my work and focus on building up KR as a brand of positivity! You can also write to me too which is rad! I wpid-img_20150506_182507.jpghave my own little pigeon hole where I get post from folk or notes from my business advisor (you can find the address here on my Facebook page).

Designs are also in full swing and I plan on creating plenty of mood boards and quirky little look books to get an overall theme for the new collection. I’m so excited to start up!

So many ideas ready to get going on with and I really hope you guys enjoy the products as much as I have been designing and cultivating them. It wpid-img_20150506_104813.jpgwon’t just be garments for guys and girls, but other goods too. I’ll be posting everything on my Instagram, so keep a close eye over the coming months for sneak peeks, design processes and rad snaps!

I also want to say a mahooosive thank you for following my journey of positivity, light and Keep Real. Stay golden lovelies and keep those eyes peeled! ❤

Change Ain’t Bad

Oh the word ‘change’. A scary word that can be a veil to the unknown, the ever-evolving word for growth and development. Or change which may refer to having money in your pocket, whatever.

The past three years have been the best I’ve had- and there seems to be a little saying going round of ‘Wow, everything is going to change.’ Which it will, don’t get me wrong. But change isn’t a bad thing. It’s all about leaving your comfort zone and it really shouldn’t be resisted. It’s the way of the world, fight it and life will fight back. I’ve always held the thought that everything happens for a reason- resisting it because it doesn’t feel secure is a ridiculous way of coping.

Here’s an article I found on dealing with change that I think will brighten up your day!

‘How To Deal With Change’ 

Mental Health Talk With Mind!

On Tuesday, I attended a Mental Health Talk co-hosted by Mind held in Leeds Town Hall, to help shape mental health concerning the NHS for the next five years.The Mental Health Taskforce will develop a five-year national strategy for mental health, covering all ages, to be published in the autumn.at7jeXYT_400x400

What an amazing day! So humbled to have been given the opportunity to have a say in what needs to be changed in order to provide better mental health services for everyone- and what can be put in place to improve Britain’s mental health altogether. With my business Keep Real, it is so important to me to focus my clothing/illustration work and my actual business promise on promoting better mental health to all.

Here are some of the points that I put forward!

  • Better links between GP’s and different therapies available
  • More knowledge available on therapies for patients and general public.
  • More training in GP practices on mental health and providing the right care
  • Mental Health talks and classes in schools
  • More mental health care in schools, instead of just one counsellor per school.

It was such a wonderful event, to attend different workshops covering varied topics of mental health and to discover that most of the people who were there, agreed with what I was putting forward. Also, some ideas of change that I never thought about too! Before the workshops and discussions, I was able to talk to several people who were in attendance about their backgrounds and their views of mental health. Wow, these were some amazing people! Defeating all the odds, despite their mental health problems and what they have overcome.

It feels like a step forward, although there is a long way to go!! It cannot be done with a click of a finger, it takes funding as well as politics coming into it! However, I had such an inspiring day- knowing my voice was heard and I helped to shape better mental health for everyone by contributing my points. I hope I can continue to promote better mental health with Keep Real- this talk is where it begins!