If there's one thing I've learned in the last ten years or so, particularly in the last five, it's the importance of following our gut instinct (perhaps, more pertinently, not ignoring that instinct when it shouts so loudly). It's truly our soul giving us guidance towards something - or someone - who can help us on our path towards growth in some way. And I hope that growth is reciprocal.
On one of my recent Instagram posts, I made note of the fact that I dearly hope to travel far and wide with my children this year (before they decide it's completely uncool to go anywhere with their mother!). This is something I feel compelled to do; it's what my gut tells me is right not just for me, but for my children too, in terms of how they might grow and develop and learn in a way that suits them naturally.
Sometimes though, it's definitely good to get away alone - to leave behind the washing up, the mountains of washing, and the constant call of "MUM!" You may - or may not - know what I mean.
This is kind of what happened last November. Feeling somewhat creatively challenged, not to mention needing very much to fill up my own cup, I bit the bullet and contacted a friend on Instagram who lives in Norway to ask if I could come to see her and photograph her with her daughter in one on my woven wraps, Soul.
To my delight, she said yes; not only that and, despite the fact that we had never met in real life, she offered the utmost in hospitality by asking if I'd like to stay in her home. Bowled over by her generosity, it was my turn to say wholeheartedly, thank you, and yes!
I discovered in Nina a young mum so wise beyond her years, so strong in her values and who showed such a wonderful attachment to and connection with her two children. I discovered in Bjarne, her husband, a beautiful father, a deep thinker, with an attachment equal to Nina's. I rather liked his Nissan car too ;) We talked in depth about the evident zeitgeist towards a slower type of living; one which takes its cue from nature, both in terms of the wonderful outdoors, but that of our own nature too.
Most importantly, I discovered that when we follow our gut instinct about someone we feel drawn to meet and spend time with, we find that gut instinct was right and we find friends for life. We might say it's soul driven, and when listened to, always sending us in the right direction; we might not know quite what that direction is, but if we can listen to our instinct, we can trust that it is treating us well...