Hi I’m Willow I’ve recently taken on the role of Good Egg Social Media Coordinator writing the weekly blog for Designs in Mind, this is my first blog introducing myself. I.hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
When I moved to Oswestry in December 2021, I knew no one in the area. All I knew was it was down to me to seek out help and support, to write and live this new chapter of my life.
I have ongoing mental health issues that like many do not define who I am but, in many cases, support me to seek out like-minded folk and/or organisations who just “get me”. This has been the best part of having neurodiversity and anxieties.
So, the simple action I took on my arrival in Shropshire was to type “Mind mental health services” into my browser as Mind has previously been my support system, this is how I stumbled upon Designs in Mind. What a find!
I watched a video about their great work that moved me to tears. At that very moment, I instinctively & instantly knew this was where I’d get the kind of support I currently so desperately needed, where I could focus on my external world to calm and centre my inner world.
You see I’ve never been a fan of talking therapies or medication, so I’ve always been seeking more of a holistic or meditative approach, an honouring of my differences not a numbing pill or endless talking trying to work out what’s wrong with me as I believe there is nothing “wrong” with being unique, different, or neurodiverse.
I decided to be brave and just wander into the Studio to see how it felt, I was greeted by a warm smiling face, a member of Staff called Lauren. Lauren was and is so approachable, listening to my story, making me feel thoroughly welcome, and explaining clearly what to expect. From there on it all just clicked into place.
I tentatively joined in March 2022 on their HEP programme where I was made to feel so welcomed by the Staff as it’s such a level playing field without hierarchy. I also began to attend the Singing Group with Stuart. This helped raise my confidence, as I meet longer-term established members too, all of whom have been so warm, kind, welcoming and supportive. Being the newbie didn’t feel weird at all here, it felt like we’d known each other for years. Designs in Mind overall just has that knack of making you feel instantly part of it, it’s pretty magical, to be honest, and unique.
Since those early days, I was then invited to the 12 weeks of new members sessions which I attended 10 of. To now becoming a fully-fledged member who attends a weekly workshop participates in the most amazing house & external collaborative Art projects, helps make Lanterns for the local Lantern Parade attends the Oswestry Balloon Carnival and shows the public how to screen print.
Not only is the Studio like my 2nd Home, it’s people also feel like an extended family, a Tribe of survivalists and talented artists.
Being around others who understand my challenges has made a world of difference in how I perceive and feel about myself. My Well-being is now at the forefront of everything I do.
On top of all of this, the self-esteem, confidence and strength this space provided me with, has created a knock-on effect that’s spurred me on to return to my evolving self-employed work as a Chakra Teacher, Animal Communicator and Angel Card Reader.
These small steps I bravely took locally began to pay off! Designs in Mind signposted me to Enable and working alongside Brianna from their organisation has kept my momentum up, my tenacity and consistency motivated & have been such valuable input.
I’m so grateful to everyone involved with Designs from Staff to Members, who are all now firm new friends, especially my wonderful neighbour, friend, and fellow member Nicky, she and everyone have shown me such love, believing in me, and keeping me going when I’ve felt low points and sadness, they just accept me as I am in any given moment.
Massive thank you to you all. I love you and appreciate you so very deeply.
Before starting at Designs, I’d started a side hustle writing poetry on Medium.com as my main passions are words and writing.
Then literally 1 year later a fantastic extra thing happened for me, my new friend & fellow member Jenny sent me a message stating Maddy who previously penned these blogs also had her hard-working efforts paying off, her own business “Handmade By Maddy” had taken off and she now needed to step aside from this role, you can check out or like her page here https://www.facebook.com/handmadebymaddyGB
So here I am tapping away on my phone writing these weekly blogs…. sometimes literally needing to pinch myself to believe that Living the Dream alongside my mental health is no longer a fantasy but a reality, something I passionately believe is available to all who’d like that reality.
My 6 Top Tips for anyone experiencing Mental health are as follows:
Number 1 ~ Ask for help/Seek an organisation that can support your needs
Number 2 ~ Know your value to this world is in your Uniqueness.
Number 3 ~ Remember “It’s OK to not be Okay”.
Number 4 ~ “Never Give Up”.
Number 5 ~ Be Kind to yourself – always.
Number 6 ~ Seek out and know your own Worth as it’s hidden in us all
I also have a page on Facebook you can check out or like here https://www.facebook.com/Willow5Wisdom333
Perhaps you’d like to read my Poetry on Medium here’s a link to one of them https://link.medium.com/06I5vHHDGwb
To our Members please feel free to approach me in the Studio or ask a member of Staff to contact me to have your Designs story told anonymously or named.
Here’s some of my creative work done in the Studio