Rosie Johnson Illustrates
Freelance illustrator
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Notes from the studio (it’s a shed)

There's No Time Like the Present

Hello loves, shall we just pretend that it hasn’t been 10 months since I wrote a blog post? Let’s imagine I’ve done one a month and they were all fabulous, witty and thought provoking and then move on.

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I’m writing this on a cold morning in what seems like the longest January since records began. Why are holidays never this long?

Time, as we all know, is a human construct. Even within that knowledge, it has the bendy, unreliable nature of something influenced by our moods.

Dr. William Skylark, a researcher working on the topic of time perception at the University of Cambridge, says that "mental time is a pretty fragile metric for physical duration". Those are good words, aren’t they?

Mental time isn’t the actual time that passes, but IT IS the way we experience it.

One way I have found to stop dwelling on the dragging month, is to up my Yoga game. I am getting a bit better at doing my sun salutations in the morning, instead of rushing to the next thing and feeling constantly like I’m chasing my tail without actually getting much done. My lovely pal, Anna, a yoga teacher and wise human, has been helping me focus on the present moment. You can have a gander at her sun salutation video here, amongst other helpful tutorials.

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I’ve also taken up knitting again after my friend Helen bought me a Lauren Aston Designs knit kit for my birthday. It’s a great way to feel like you’re doing something constructive whilst actually just sitting on your bum, relaxing and watching episode after episode of Grace and Frankie. Perfection.

It’s a funny thing but, of course, the present moment is simultaneously the only moment where time doesn’t exist and also the only moment when anything can happen. It’s absolutely the most important moment to focus on. Now obviously, it’s necessary and helpful to consider the past- the actions, people, and experiences that shape us and our decisions all live there, after all. But the past cannot be altered or lived in and when we try to, often depression follows. Equally, the future: it’s massively important in terms of plans, things to look forward to, goals and ambitions to strive for, but not at the cost of the present day. The future holds so many possibilities and as such, the troubled mind can fall into anxiety and inaction. Like all things, it’s about balance. We can only do so much, so let’s start with what we have.

(ad) You can buy my card with this nice, positive quote on, if you like.

(ad) You can buy my card with this nice, positive quote on, if you like.

The aforementioned Anna and I have collaborated this month, on a limited edition pack of loveliness, designed to help keep you grounded, present and positive. I’ve wanted some physical representations of the breathing exercises for sometime as, if I’m ever so overwhelmed that I need to properly calm down, I can never remember what I’m supposed to do. The wallet sized double-sided card is a 10 step sequence of easily followed instructions and it works. Small enough to fit in your wallet or pocket. Sturdy enough to last. Recycled and everything to ease your conscience too. You can have a look at the full contents and marvel at its stonkingly affordable price here.

The rest of the pack includes- two gift cards, with positive messages- one of solidarity and friendship and one that reminds us that the glass can be considered half full, half empty or REFILLABLE; a random selection of either a Kindnes Matters badge or an Enough on your plate one; an A5 sturdy poster of yoga poses; an A5 print of my Have a Day illustration (because having a day is quite enough without the continual pressure of that day being good or purposeful all the time!) and a complete-your-own Cloak of Good Mental Health. This idea came from an illustration I did for The Psychology Mum for her Mental Health Illustrated series.

The original illustration for the Psychology Mum

The original illustration for the Psychology Mum

I found the exercise of writing down the daily pressures I felt, followed by the ways I protect myself from them really quite uplifting, so I’ve added a guide to doing the same in these packs with a blank cloak on the reverse. I really hope they’re helpful.

Basically, what I’m saying is that I’ve solved the mystery of time and you should buy my stuff to achieve optimal mental health.

Look, it’s always a bit clunky writing these blogs. You know I’m selling stuff, I know I’m selling stuff. It’s my work. It’s how I make a living. It’s a bit weird as I don’t get an email from you going on about your day in the office/ being a tree surgeon/ plumbing in a loo etc, but here we are. I do hope we’re still friends.

I’ll be checking back in with something sarcastic around Valentine’s Day whilst simultaneously pushing a new range of cards. Enjoy!