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Jo’s Journal – September 2020

Posted: by Jo Tuesday, 25 August 2020 @ 03:59

As September approaches, my thoughts always turn to new beginnings – even though I’m not a parent myself, and have no one going back to school. I think it is the residual memory of all those years of back-to-school that means September always represents an opportunity for a new start to me.

And in this very strange year, even more so am I seeing September as the start of something new: the start of real life again.

Even though many of us, myself included, worked all through, and all my team are all back at work, it still seems like we have been slightly in limbo, with much of our life on hold still. We feel like we have been treading water, rather than moving forwards. 

But I sense a real mood change as September begins. 

I think now is the time to embrace the fullness of life again – even if some of it has to be when wearing a mask! – and to start properly planning for the future again. The mantra I am embracing for September is, ‘Give me the vision to see far ahead, the strength to keep going, and the courage to soar’, from our Eagle Necklace. 

Eagle Necklace - Mantra Jewellery

Within the business, this means that we are starting to look further ahead again, planning for next year and beyond. Over the past few months, our focus has been on the day-to-day operation of the business through lockdown and recovery, and getting back on our feet. But now, our focus is on the long-term, as we seek to grow and develop Mantra to bring you more choices, and a wider range. 

In our new product competition last month, we chose ‘I can, and I will’ as the winning mantra, suggested by Cathie Garratt

Some mantras of determination can make a challenge seem like it will be a real struggle to overcome the odds, whereas ‘I can, and I will’ makes a difficult task sound manageable.

It reminds us of our ability and capability – ‘I can’. And of our resilience and determination to succeed – ‘and I will!

I can and I will quote

We have been working on the design to bring the mantra to life, and are at the stage of sampling the necklace, ready to launch next month. 

Our design work has narrowed down to a mountain range, with the celebratory feeling of scaling the summit. We’re not suggesting you need to go out there and scale Ben Nevis, to feel like you have achieved something great. But we recognise that many challenges in life – from losing weight, to getting fit, to changing jobs – can feel like a mountain looming ahead of you. 

By putting one foot in front of another, and taking things slow and steady, we can achieve anything in life - even climbing a mountain. 

Mountain Necklace - Mantra jewellery

And talking of mountains - I returned to the Lake District again this month, with the chance to climb a steep hill at least, even if not a mountain. The reason for the trip was to spend more time with my 90 year old auntie. She is my only surviving relative of that era – my Mum’s last remaining sister – and I want to make sure I make the most of the time left with her. 

Jo and Paul in Lake District 2020

For me personally, looking ahead in September means signing up to an art course in the next few months. Not painting or drawing, but the history of art. It is a subject that has always fascinated me, and I had always planned to study art in years to come, when I retire from work. But this year has taught me to get on with things now, rather than waiting for some vague point of time in the future. 

I am also heading off on holiday in September, to Sicily. The art, architecture and history of the island look truly incredible, and I am hoping to visit the cathedral at Monreale, and the temples of Agrigento, along with Mount Etna. I feel very lucky to be going on holiday, and it feels like one more step towards full normality. 

Enjoy September, whatever you are doing. And let’s make it a month of new beginnings and making plans for the future again. 

Bye for now, 

Jo x

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