Community correspondent Laura needed a relaxing mindful place of her own. So she made one.
Late last Summer I decided I needed a space!
My space needed to give me comfort and safety, ground and inspire me, and let me connect with nature – with no said budget and extremely limited funds.
But being great at finding solutions, having a business brain, and a good eye for spotting things, I knew my mindful eye had a strong purpose to serving my needs. I’m a practising mindful photographer/trainer and hyper-vigilant at working through life’s adversity, so not much gets past me.
With the help of a friend, my journey into creating my space began with a lot of hard work (did I mention all the pining, watching Amazing Spaces and Shed of the Year?). Recycling was my no.1 aim. I took lots of bus trips to appointments seeking treasure in skips and scoured Gumtree, so as not to miss out on any treasures from my travels. The project gave me a lot of purpose and fulfilment.
Between my friend and I, “The Potting Shed” was created. Contemporary Urban Slate coloured exterior with an industrial edge on the outside but once you travel through those reclaimed doors your senses are engaged and your transported to a distressed beach hut with a log burner and a sea shack retro feel. A suitcase crammed with self-care books, mindfulness colouring books, Sharpie pens, snuggle blankets, and food for the bird feeders. The walls were painted in all my favourite colours of the sea to create a distressed beach hut feel. There is storage for cooking equipment, and I cook on top of the stove while waiting for wildlife to appear in front of my very eyes and the cameras. It’s set up with a solar panel that not only provides power hanging pendant lights but also a USB socket for my phone which I use to update and blog about mental health in everyday conversation, working to stop discrimination. There are curtains to provide privacy when needed for my most challenging days in my recovery.
Of course, my dogs Fidget and Bounce love it and we find many an hour to entertain ourselves. I’m laughing because I only need to stretch my arm out to allow them out into the garden. I live in a upper cottage flat so you can now see the benefits of the shed. Its peaceful, it’s my lifeline, it’s my retreat. A bolthole from the #BeastfromtheEast where I hunkered down and life felt like a snow globe, just brilliant. While the smell of the coal and the crackle of the wood gave comfort. My body feeling the benefit of the deep heat and warmth. Until late at night I come out and fall into bed after an incredible time in the shed, awaiting the morning to download the previous days captured images.