Available to buy from Amazon

Looking after our mental health is so important, as to is recognising when we need help. Finding the right support to stop the anxiety and racing thoughts does not have to be restricted to ant depressants and CBT alone. There are many other forms of alternative therapy, it is a case of finding what suits the individual so that they can find their true self and unleash their passions.

In the depth of depression, the heaviness and darkness that can be felt can be disabling. The days are long and merge into one as our sleep patterns are disrupted and the addictions bring a fast fix, but no joy. If not controlled, without realising, self-neglect can soon take hold and struggling to get out of bed can become the biggest obstacle. Maintaining a daily routine is vital for our mental health and well-being. However difficult it may be, we must set ourselves small achievable goals each day, even if it is just to get out of bed that morning. Go for a walk-in nature and surround ourselves with positive energy and sounds. Before we know it our senses come alive and we start to feel the warmth of the sun on our skin and see and hear the beauty around us. Try not to give in to those dark days, as brighter days are on the way. No two days are the same and each sunrise is a new beginning and fresh start.

Cheryl isn’t stopping at just one book – she already has the ideas and paintings for another book.

Her paintings are available as prints and postcards via her Etsy shop

You can also catch up with her on social media

We are having some pretty erratic weather here in the UK at the moment. Spring sometimes feels like it has turned into summer, but then we are plunged into what feels like winter again with torrential rain and thunderstorms. Nature can certainly throw a lot at us at times. It can also have an effect on our wellbeing and the way we feel about life. Nature’s many faces has been the inspiration for Cheryl Carter’s book – Messages drawn from Nature – which expresses, through images, her journey from trauma to inner peace.

By expressing her progress through adversity in paintings using mindfulness art, Cheryl’s hope is to inspire you to find inner peace and embrace your passions.

Designed with spaces for you to express your own emotions in words or art, Messages drawn from Nature can be used as a journal to enable you to look back one day and see just how far you have come and recognise the incredible strength you have within.

I asked her about her book and how she came to write and paint it.

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?

After suffering a serious head injury as a child, I never imagined I would publish a book. It was only when I consulted with a clairvoyant later in life that the idea was initially mentioned.

At the same time, a bereavement counsellor I was seeing loved the analogies I used to express my emotions and in our last session asked me to put them down on paper, either written or drawn.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your book?

It was not until the pandemic and lockdown in 2020, that I had the opportunity and time to think about ways of expressing myself through the difficult circumstances in which I found myself.

Having also learnt to meditate around seventeen years ago at the Buddhapadipa Temple in Wimbledon, I practised meditating first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Going into a state of deep meditation brings ideas or topics to me and inspires me to paint. It became apparent that the topics expressed my emotions at the time and a book was slowly forming without me realising.

A year later, in 2021, I shared my paintings with the Ajahn and monks at Wat Mahathat Buddhist Temple. The Ajahn at the time, Ajahn Dr Phramaha Laow Panyasiri, suggested I write some text to accompany the paintings and create a book.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

In creating this book, I realised that when you are truly passionate about a subject or idea and truly motivated to pursue it, our natural creativity flows with ease.

Do you have any suggestions to help readers become better writers? If so, what are they?

Believe in yourself, your passion, and the purpose of writing. I jotted down ideas as and when they came to mind and used these notes when it came to planning the book.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Whatever the circumstances, follow your passions and believe in yourself. With endurance, willpower, purpose, and persistence you can achieve anything… just never give up!