If you’ve just landed on my studio blog, here is my introduction….all about the lady behind summerSHINES.

‘Who am I’ is a question I often ask myself. My answer to that has always been ‘well….I’m not quite sure’.

The reason being, far from being a cookie cutter human who ticks particular boxes and follows what society deems ‘convention’, I’m a bit different to that.

I’m a human shape shifter-a chameleon- a plume of flour in the air right after it’s found it’s way through the latticework pattern of the finest sieve.

I’m both weighty and mighty, whilst utterly substance less and weak. A collection of atoms adrift in a crammed galaxy of stars. Just one person, in one strange universe, feeling pretty much like the most strangest person out there.

I’ve lived my life not really belonging anywhere, but always clinging to somewhere, or someone, somehow, waiting for that elusive someday (when it all finally makes sense).

But I’m coming to the conclusion that I will never quite make sense, and ‘it’ [life and living] may never make sense, but still I go on and do my damn best to live it well anyway.

I’m a dreamer, a thinker, but importantly also a doer. I’m a strange mix of formidable and frightened, freakish and fantastic and fabulously shiny, except for the days when I feel pants. I breathe through those; sitting them out and feeling them blowing through like passing weather storms. I live for the rainbows and silver linings.

Key lessons I’ve learned since I began the Summer Starts to Shine blog; recovery following a significant mental health breakdown has no definite beginning or end. There are no rulers to measure our successes, or the relative extent of our relapses. Sometimes just crawling through or standing still is ok. Sometimes curling up into a ball on the floor bawling our eyes out and not budging is about as good as it gets and all we can manage on that particular day. Sometimes meetings are cancelled, friends lose out on visits, the house becomes more cluttered than we’d ideally like, and blog posts are left unwritten. I’ve had to learn that’s all ok and acceptable and all part of the epic messiness of this thing named ‘invisible mental illness’.

Despite whatever a psychiatrist tells me I am (or I’m not), I have far more fire in my belly, and grit and determination to shine brightly as a direct result of the epic grimness of my past traumatic history. 

Trauma made me, but it won’t break me. I’m starting to shine, but like a british summer I know not to expect sunshine everyday. I do what I can, when I can; and slowly I am having to perfect the act of self-compassion, embracing the realism that that some days I just can’t, so I just don’t.

Like a lighthouse, I am aim to beam out my post-traumatic strength to help those of you still stuck on the rocks; getting battered and tossed by the waves that are constantly trying to pull you under.

If your traumatic history is what’s led you to my blog, PLEASE don’t let trauma rob you of your future. Seeds of shine will grow if nourished and watered by our attention and the love and nurturing friendships of other humans.

That is where this blog began….a recovery from trauma type of blog, but summerSHINES has become a brand and whole new shiny business! For more info on my summerSHINES studio and why I gained my Queen of Quirky title, click on the relevant tab in the top menu :)

Thank you lots for reading. It’s FAB to meet you :) X

Imani Summer