Monthly mindscape – open

I hope I’m not alone when I say – where is this year going? Things seem to be moving very quickly, but I’m not actually mad about it. Things feel quite in flow for me at the moment. I feel energised, excited and free. I guess when there’s less resistance in the form of stress and worry, time can feel pretty fluid.

I’m also very happy to be on my sofa with a candle burning, music playing and the knowledge that the last job on my to-do list today is to write a monthly mindscape post. These are the most freeing posts to write.

This month’s visual prompt has come from Charlie Swift (@_charlieswift) who I’ve been following for a long time. I love what she shares on Instagram and I love her podcast with friend and co-mentor Franky (@loveaudrey83), Friends with Business Benefits.


I chose this picture because it just, jumped out to me as I was scouring for inspiration. If you’ve read my past stories in the monthly mindscape series you may well have noticed a theme – strong, passionate, authentic women. And this image, is a perfect example to me of the way we can expose ourselves, our vulnerabilities to be brave.

So, let’s see where this story goes shall we? As always, I don’t prepare notes or write drafts for the short story, I just look at the image and write what falls into my head.


For as long as she could remember, her heart has been closed. There must have been a time in her life when it was open. Perhaps when she was younger, more curious and less burnt by experience.

Her instinct, when things get tough, is to lift the drawbridge and sends soldiers to protect the castle. She ends relationships, falls into self-destruction and pushes friends away. She knows things can’t continue this way.

One day she makes her way to her favourite cafe to meet a friend. They hadn’t spoken in months, both protected by their own impenetrable armour.

Already at a table, her friend sips on coffee looking cute. As they talk, a weight is lifted.

She lays everything out on the table for them to discuss and dissect, from her latest break-up to the way her manager makes her feel like a naughty school child. The friend does the same, pulling apart elements of their latest family drama, gaining clarity and support at every pull.

Hours fly past, around them strangers come and go. Different cakes are sampled and many cups of coffee are drunk. The friend commented on how long it’s been seen they’d seen each other and asked why that was.

She looked at her hands, which were now trembling from too much caffeine.

“I was closed.” She finally said.

“I couldn’t see anything.”

Her friend walked around the table and held her close. A quiet tear fell, but instead of sadness, what she felt was relief. A weight lifting from her chest. A sense of ease and lightness, even if it was only in this moment… she was open.

I kinda love the idea that being open, brave and vulnerable doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, but platonic ones too. It can be so easy to hide away from others when life makes us dizzy, but so often a good talk with friends can help us see clearly again.

I’m probably being heavily influenced by the fact I’ve recently had a lovely weekend with some friends! But hey, friendship is clearly at the front of my mind right now.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – do you pull away from friends when you’ve got a lot going on or do you lean on them for support? Let me know in the comments.

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Short story - OPEN

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