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Jo's Journal - July 2020

Posted: by Jo Thursday, 25 June 2020 @ 12:10

This last month has been a strange one for us all. Moving from the relative peace and quiet of lockdown, to something approaching our normal, busy lives. For me, it’s been about getting used to having more of my team around, as they start to come back to the office, and our shop re-opened. I’d got used to there being just two of us in the office, for almost 3 months, so this feels quite different.

But it’s still an odd period – quieter than normal, with very few phone calls or emails, not many people around in town. I can’t quite describe how it feels, but it’s certainly not ‘back to normal’ yet!

And the question for all of us, is how do we hang onto the best of lockdown, whilst resuming our normal lives? Personally, I’d like to keep space in my life for reading, for walking, and for exercise, in a way that doesn’t feel a rush or a compromise. And I’d like to avoid going back to so much travelling for meetings, when much of it can be done just as effectively in a video call.

But I’m also looking forward to restaurants and bars being open; to being able to stay away from home for a weekend; and getting together in social groups again. I’m looking forward to team meetings, when a few of us can sit around a table together, brainstorming new ideas. There is a lot we have all missed; but there is also a lot we have gained, that we mustn’t now lose.

Here at Mantra, we are working on new designs for later in the year, around love and gratitude, because we have seen even more than ever how important these things are to all of us. We are looking at mantras of sisterhood and solidarity, because we have seen how strong we are when we come together as a nation; and we thinking about messages of respect and tolerance, to highlight our belief in fairness and equality.

We are also very keen to hear from YOU about which mantras or topics you would like us to develop. Our competition this month is about asking you your opinion – what messages would you like to see from us, later this year? You can win £100 Mantra Gift Card if your design is chosen to be made into a necklace! Find out more here.

I have been doing a lot of reading this month, because there is always a lot to learn in life.  Following the horrific death of George Floyd in America, and the worldwide reaction of ‘enough is enough’, I have been taking time to properly learn about the issues, causes and solutions to racial inequality. Reading ‘White Fragility’ has taught me so much about our own contribution to the status quo, while watching ‘13th’ was an eye-opening insight into recent history and its impact on black people.

This country is a very different place to America, with a very different history – but we have made many mistakes ourselves as a nation, and we now need to fight harder for true inclusivity and fairness for all. It has also made me continue to look at what we do at Mantra, to see if there are more ways in which we can be inclusive.

In my reading this month, I have also explored ‘intuition’ as a topic, as it is something I believe I am lacking compared to many of my friends. I am definitely an over-thinker, with more of an intellectual and analytical approach to life, so I am looking forward to finding ways of listening more to my inner voice and trusting my innate wisdom.

Audible has again been a great tool for me this month, with books like ‘The Great Work of your Life’ and Oprah Winfrey’s ‘The Path Made Clear’ good listens. Driving is a great time for me to listen to audio books, as there is just the right level of concentration required to free up part of your brain for listening.

Jo with friend Emma socially distanced picnic by riverlow

A socially-distanced river walk and picnic with my friend Emma, and seeing my sister and nephew for a day at their farm, have both been a joy of this last month. As with many of you, I am sure, missing time with friends and family members has been one of the worst things about lockdown.

And now that we can all start to make plans, for travel, for seeing family and friends, for staying away from home – what is it you most want to do? For me, seeing my 90 year old Auntie Betty is high on my list, as we had to cancel her 90th birthday party due to lockdown; and spending some time by the sea. Living in Warwickshire means I am as far as is possible in this country from the sea – and I can hear Cornwall calling….

Bye for now – take care, and stay safe.  

Jo x

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