I came across Charlotte’s collection of positive thoughts through social media and they have cheered me up every day since. Her inspirational words and cute drawings can’t help but put a smile on my face.
Life can sometimes feel like a roller coaster of events, happenings, ups and downs and the thoughts are here for guidance and confirmation as you make your way through your existence.
Meet Charlotte Reed.
Tell us about your new book and how May the Thoughts Be with you came to be?
2008 was a difficult time in my life as I was suffering from depression. I was offered medication but I decided to try and heal holistically. To help myself I started to write one positive thought each day and would share them on Facebook. People started suggesting that I should turn the thoughts into a book. It sounded a lovely idea but it wasn’t until I had to resign from my office job due to Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) that I was forced to think of a new career, and that’s when I decided to create the book.
How has your own personal journey with depression and RSI influenced your work?
Suffering from depression I went through something really difficult but came out the other side. I decided to turn my personal struggle into something special. It gave me a deeper level of experience and from that I hope to help others. The RSI meant that the book had to be handwritten, which resulted in its unique look and feel with the hand-drawn illustrations.
What are your top three favourite Thoughts?
It’s far more exciting to create a miracle than to wait for one to happen.
This is the first illustration in the book and represents my journey creating the book and making my own miracle happen.
Be brave and follow what YOU believe instead.
This is about doing things your own way. Do you really want to be a sheep and follow the crowd? It’s about getting in touch with your inner guidance, and of course following your dreams.
Dreams DO come true.
I used to be a real cynic and think that amazing things only happened to other people and not to me. In reality we all have the power to go out there and make our dreams happen. It’s about co-creating your own destiny.
How does your work help others?
There is still a lot of stigma around mental health. People shouldn’t feel ashamed. There is a lot of feeling behind the book, admitting my own struggle with depression seemed an important thing to do. I hope that talking about mental illness and my own struggle I will inspire others to do so. Life isn’t all roses. If you were to have a broken leg you would talk about it and mental illness shouldn’t be any different.
What will Charlotte do next?
It is important to me to still carry on my market stall in Portobello road. I love being there and selling my book in person. In terms of creative projects, perhaps a spiritual animation for children telling a moral tale, maybe creating merchandise, and I have more book ideas.
It’s about leading a balanced life. Eating well is important, eating wholesome foods. I have cut out sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Acceptance and living in the moment, which isn’t always easy. Taking care of yourself through exercise, although admittedly I need to do more! Respecting yourself, and others.
What is your message to cynics, sceptics, and the intrigued?
I have had cynical and negative people at the stall who have been rude and mean in passing. It really upset me at first but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Hopefully people will make an informed decision and read the book before they judge it. Some look at it and assume it’s a kid’s book but actually it was made for adults. Any negativity you just have to take on the chin. I believe the book will reach those it’s supposed to reach.
Finally, what are your top five tips for self-love?
- Take time to be alone each day and reflect, or meditate. It doesn’t have to be for long, maybe 10-20 minutes of stillness.
- Exercise, raise your heartbeat!
- Eat a wholesome diet.
- Indulge yourself, guilt free. Enjoy a hot bath, walk in nature, watch a movie, paint. Do what you love.
- Turn off electrical devices, perhaps at a certain time or at the weekend. Take a break!
An illustrated thought is uploaded to Facebook and Twitter every Monday to Friday so you can follow them there. You can also buy the May The Thoughts Be With You book through Charlotte’s website.
First Published 2014/11/25