5 things to do today by Singer-Songwriter Melissa James
Melissa James is a Singer-Songwriter and Artist. Her song Live Again spearheaded the creation of her Big Sing and mental health project, SING4SANE. This project saw the recording of Live Again alongside members of the public in 2016 and subsequent Big Sing events were held in European and British Parliament. All sale proceeds from the Big Sing recording of Live Again go to the mental health charity SANE.
1. My morning begins with my yoga nidra practise. On waking, I might listen to my own created recording of positive affirmations and then I lie and prepare for deep rest in the form of yoga nidra. Following this, I journal, meditate and practise yoga. When the weather allows, I might do some or most of these practices outdoors, among green. My day usually takes-in a walk of some kind, time spent amidst large trees or besides water.
2. While I don’t like the cold, and my body chills at the idea of sinking in cold water, I have acclimatised to having a daily cold shower. I began having a 3-minute cold shower last year and now I miss it if I don’t have one. It is a part of my every day. Having a cold shower makes me appreciate the glow of the warmth which follows afterwards. Showering in cold water also means that I am showering more quickly and saving water. Cold showering makes my whole body tingle and it reminds me I am alive.
3. I love trees. In particular, I love singing with trees. It is one of my favourite things to do. There are particular trees that I like to spend time with. I have a connection to certain trees having visited them frequently over the years. Still, I am continually making connections with new ones. The energy of trees can be immense. They are like powerfully quiet and supportive friends. They know me and I know them. I find singing with trees to be healing. The song I sing is dependent on the tree I am with and the overall surroundings. Sometimes it is a familiar song and sometimes it is whatever tune rises from me. My whole body settles when I allow myself to rest alongside a tree. I have created new songs, really quickly, while spending time with trees.
4. I enjoy cooking and discovering new ways to work with food. I love creating something new. I get creative as I play with spices and herbs, finding new flavours. I rarely use a recipe. I might have a look at recipes to help feed my own ideas. But I otherwise do what I like in terms of ingredients and measurements. My diet is quite simple. Nothing too heavy. Low sugar. Ingredients that are mostly Earth grown. I drink a lot of water and there is usually a point in the day when I have a “green tea moment”. That’s when I’ll take time to have my favourite cup of tea.
5. My perfect day would involve feeling the warm sunshine as I lie on a sandy beach, listening to the waves of the sea. Or by the river which I visit frequently. Even the very thought makes me feel lifted and good. The day would finish with some nourishing food and I would buy myself some flowers. Lilies and gerberas with a few roses. I try to give little gifts to myself regularly. Preparing for an early night as I listen to music would be the icing on the cake of a beautiful day. Though, if I’m honest, an early night rarely happens. Lights are off and I burn candles as I wind down, usually with the scent of essential oils filling the room too. I dance and stretch before actually going to bed. It helps me to loosen the tension and anything that feels “stuck” that I have been carrying in my body during the day. My track of the moment to listen and dance to is Nick Mulvey’s Unconditional.
Melissa James is creator of the online series, Stronger on Sundays: Conversations with Compassion on Racial & Social Justice. The next Stronger on Sundays programme takes place on Sunday 26 September, 1800 to 2000 BST. Registration is free and can be done here:
Further details about Melissa and her music can be found via her website and you can follow her @MelissaJamesUK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.