Happiness is homemade #1

Quote by the cracker of quotes – Anon.

Last summer I ran a series on sensory play with my little man which included all the awesome crafty things I was desperate to do, but being a full time working Mumma means I struggled to fit in. However, Mother nature is cruel and I have a three year old who is allergic to colouring, glueing or anything vaguely creative – he is currently more of a Dinosaur roaring fellow than a sit down and create guy. So for now my crayon desires are on hold…

This series is called Happiness is homemade because I truly believe it, what is summer for if not creating memories? It was influenced by a colleague of mine called Ruth. She does a similar thing with her tribe every year and when I first saw it, I knew it was something we would enjoy.

On the first Monday of the summer hols me and my little dude sat down and filled in our dream clouds. I simply asked him what he would like to do. I love to say they were all his ideas, but that would be a huge fib. They include pre planned things we will be doing from going on his first Aeroplane trip to play dates with friends, but I underestimated how opinionated he was on what he would like to do.

We stuck them up with good old blue-tac in our porch, you could place them on a larger piece of paper or I even thought about sticking them on Js bedroom window. Once we have completed each of our clouds we put a sticker on it, I was attempting to stay on theme with sun  / weather themed stickers alas J had the final say and we are now the proud owner of 700 Star Wars stickers.

(see above image) I underestimated how enjoyable J finds the simple things in life – riding his bike and picnics are realitvely low cost but mean the world to him. If your rascal is older they could obviously fill the bubbles in themselves. However, I also forgot that his imagination is huge and so you can see below I’ve now got to rustle up a crocodile? Thanks to a google from Daddy it would seem there is a crocodile zoo in Oxfordshire? Phew.

So whilst we create memories and fill our days with adventures from our clouds – why don’t you give it a go and create your own activity board. You don’t need a little monster to do it with, they could be aspirational goals for the year ahead, the summer vacation or perhaps larger life goals. Another friend who recently retired did a similar thing with what she wanted to do in retirement.

How will you be fulfilling your summer days?

 

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You are suppose to make mistakes 

img_4081Quote by Anon.

Today I’m going to let you in to a secret, don’t tell anyone okay…

Mistakes are magic. There I said it (well wrote it?) and its true. When my son doesn’t understand something, or is watching Disney and asks a question I can’t answer, I tell him its magic. How the tooth fairy operates – magic, how Father Christmas travels the world in one night visiting every child..you guessed it ‘Magic’ , how the dishwasher makes our plates sparkle, once again ‘Magic’. No three year old needs to be aware of kitchen appliances unless it associates with some kind of abracadabra factor. Any kind of unknown that falls in to the magic category is usually positive and far more exciting than reality.

the definition of ‘magic’ is;

noun

 1.
  1. the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.
    “suddenly, as if by magic, the doors start to open”

On the other hand mistakes are often negative, regretful and ugly. The events trickle into various pools of life that you often want to protect and so over time the human brain builds thick walls to seal them in and protect them from the light of day…sadly the equally powerful ‘time’ creates cracks in the walls and mistakes flow from directions we didn’t even know existed.

Where is my brain going with this? Well, if mistakes are negative and allow us to draw conclusions that we usually later learn from then the opposite is positive and full of wonder and possibility – magic.

Im not sure I’ve got all of this ‘life’ business down to a tee, but I do know that I want a life full of magic and excitement, it is no coincidence that the Paul Daniels Magic trick set was popular in the 1980’s and in fact on every child’s Christmas list in 1987 ( I didn’t get it but my cousin Laura did and it was epic, if by epic you like a lump of rope and several coloured squidgy balls), he was and still is a national treasure, his saturday night entertainment was family orientated and spectacular, plus Debbie was gorgeous and when you found out they were married in ‘real life’ every thing on screen became a little more amazing.

Whilst we aspire to a life full of dazzle and wonder perhaps there may be tricks a long the way to distract us…this is just a mistake that once learnt from allows us to improve, succeed and create ‘magic’. Mistakes really aren’t negatives unless we give them the power and control. Mistakes are life’s dead ends, sometimes they are minor and you hit a curb at other times they leave you with a dent and a large bill from your insurance company…but who wants to exit this world without and a bump and graze to show for your hard effort, more importantly some times getting lost leads to a new road of opportunity, that were better than the way you thought you wanted to go. So give the power in your life to finding magic and if a crocodile pops out of your hat instead of a rabbit…well, think of the money you’ll save on hay.

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It’s all messy #life

Quote by William Leal

When I set out to write a motivational blog I knew I’d capture a little of me a long the way. I think it’s important to remind you that my life isn’t perfect, but I have/will always choose to look at my glass of life half full.

However, sometimes things get messy and the roller coaster of life takes a bigger dip than anticipated or stops all together. It’s these days more than most that looking at life with a positive viewpoint is harder but beneficial in the short and long term. These words are as much for me as they are for you – during the messy times in life, its hard to smile and to see a glimmer of light, but I promise you its a choice we all have the power to make.

Sometimes being a parent means I lose a sense of me; I serve my career, I serve my family and then I crawl into bed and when I wake my hair is messy and this is how my day begins. Sometimes I’m trying to create the ultimate Elsa French plait and it ends up looking like Ursula from The Little Mermaid, at that moment in the mirror my world crumbles but in the grand scheme of things…life goes on.

As I get the household ready and scoop them out of the door little jobs get lost a long the way, the dishwasher isn’t turned on or the bed hasn’t been made and usually I forget a coat or cardigan for myself but you’d be surprised at how many lovely people will lend you shelter in a storm.

When people talk, often what they want to say doesn’t flow or they can’t find the right words to express how they feel. Words are complex and without intention we can make hurtful comments, or perhaps just misjudge a situation and although words can be painful…in time the words can be found and relationships can be rebuilt.

The metaphorical heart feels amazing when its found a new love, it expands and flows with ease and life can feel effortless until it suffers rejection, insults and for some deception and heart break. But it can rebuild, given time it can find new things to enjoy and although it may put up some walls of protection it can flourish and see brighter days.

Our actual hearts are complex organs that works to keep our blood flowing and in turn every other organ that we need to live in full operation, it can’t make a fault, take a break or have a bad hair day. We need it. Its superior to modern machinery and it helps us create our life’s cycle, and according to something called ‘Heart Math’ a whole lot more besides.

Perhaps this week ‘life’ will get a little messy, behind the next corner you may find bad hair days and hurtful words or even be let down in ways that you never thought possible by someone you held dear. At the time it may not be OK (and thats OK too) but remind yourself that life is precious and whilst your heart keeps ticking there is always time to repair.

You may need some tools to guide you, Heart Math is taking the world by storm, I googled ‘what is Heart Math’ and got this:

Answer: HeartMath is a unique system of rigorous scientific research, validated techniques, leading-edge products and programs and advanced technologies for people interested in personal development and improved emotional, mental and physical health.

In essence its six long breaths to ‘reset’ your heart thus reducing stress and increasing resilience. Research shows it increases life expectancy and also the positive emotional wellbeing experienced. Its worth a little internet research and passing the technique on to those you love, after all life will always be a little messy.

* written on a Sunday evening with messy, greasy locks that have overdue roots and probably too many split ends…and thats OK too. No PR collaboration – written from the heart.

My goal is to design a life I don’t need a vacation from.

Quote by Rob Hill (sorry for the reflection of my PJ top in the photo)

Our last holiday was in 2011, it was pre little people and had the added sparkle of an engagement ring.

Since then life has taken over and although we have had breaks and fun a long the way, my case has been discarded in the loft whilst grown up priorities have kidnapped my bank account. This year will be different and I can’t wait.

However, my life aside – imagine a life where you don’t need a vacation because frankly life is already so diverse, incorporates travel and new cultures, where you enjoy your job and don’t feel the need to stop because maybe you already have the balance of calm and relaxation and new and exciting experiences.

This is living.

I feel so very sorry for anyone who hates every working day and lives for that one day off or a week away at some point, that is exhausting. That is surviving and the world is full of so many opportunities, choices and options that to be in a world as I’ve just described surely leads to ill health a life that is unfulfilled and even an early death.

I’d love to say when I’m doing house work Disney bluebirds sit on my shoulder, that I’ve never spent hours in AnE with a sickly child or that dark times haven’t knocked on my door (damn me for being polite, popping the kettle on and inviting the dark times inside my home) of course life isn’t always joyful, if it was we’d take it for granted and wouldn’t appreciate the wonderful moments however small and precious. Many highly successful individuals only reached their dreams due to lack and the desire to improve their current situation rather than wallowing in it – not to mention huge amounts of work and dedication plus working beyond other peoples expectations and perhaps further than they felt they could at the time…but there is a crucial word in this quote.

‘Goal’ something to aim for, something to aspire towards and perhaps never fully achieved BUT a focus for attention and a direction that I am striving for. Sometimes the journey is the joy, the excitement and the thrill to get to a life where a vacation isn’t necessary may seem far fetch, not currently there yet, I can’t tell you the answer but think I’m a step closer by balancing life’s darker days and opening the curtains; shining the light on the things that I do have, showing gratitude for the experiences, tastes and sights my world has experienced

Perhaps it’s time to review your goals in life, what you’d like or where you want to go…or may be like me you’ve found it in this quote.

Lovely things #11

In essence I use lovely things to note down what I enjoyed the previous month. Reading back over the previous ten I’m always surprised at how simple the things I’ve enjoyed are juxtaposed with how blooming hard life feels all to frequently. 

June was kind to the soul and tough on the wellies. But before I discuss the weather, true gratitude was the essence of the month.

1. Puppy love

My ‘in laws’ got a new Labrador puppy and we were blessed to have her for an afternoon / early evening as they were out. The family are using the crate method and so she is usually at home in her crate…not at our house. She cried and wailed like we were putting pins into her, as I went to pick her up (I’m weak when it comes to fur balls), there was my son as close to the cage as possible ‘reading’ to her . My mummy heart wept. Perhaps we aren’t flying through potty training, swimming like a dolphin in our local pool every weekend and just may be getting him to peddle a bike is pushing my patience to the extreme; but that little lad is kind and you can teach ‘soul’

2. Gratitude:

As a teacher months can go by without a thank you or a whisper of gratitude. However, despite the teenager shyness when it comes to showing appreciation, June provided me with several bouquets , cards and even a box of choccies. It was a huge learning curve for me to except them humbly rather than awkward or like a compliment I didn’t deserve. A huge thank you to June for reminding me to accept, smile  and enjoy a compliment rather than push it to the side with a “oh this old dress”

3. Rain

I told you I’d have to make some kind of remark. The rain flowed, thundered and at times felt it might drown my soul, so why mention it on lovely things? Because after so much of the wet stuff I embraced it, I shopped online for a rain coat, walked the dog in it laughing, I jumped in a puddle and sure I moaned from time to time, but if anything British summer time and any square inch of blue sky is richer for    the abundance of water we have experienced in the last four weeks.

Splashing and splodging through June has made me realise it was a little bleak but also held so much love and even fun. We even took my son to the cinema for the first time and he loved ‘the big tele’, my Dad had an operation on his eye and things are ‘looking’ positive. So what if it rained a little, it did the grass good 🙂

Confidence is silent 

Quote Unknown

Its no coincidence that I blog using quotes as my inspiration, I’m like the mother of Gus in ‘Fault in our stars’ and could easily have quotes all over my home, from cushions to walls, tiny plaques hanging from every door handle and post-its hidden in my sons lunch. Luckily I live with Mr F who is awesome at curving such ideas when they get out of hand. We have a limit on items I find joyful like candles, pebbles or in this case quotes.

I really do enjoy analysing them, researching the author and delving into the potential meanings to move my own journey in life forwards, I hope that in some small way as readers you also connect with the content and amazing doors of opportunity open for you.

This quote isn’t like the others.

Its unique.

I wrote my full post on this quote a week a go, gave it to Mr F to spell check and generally look over when he said some words that he has never said before…”you can’t put that out, it doesn’t work – start again”, I’d like to say at this point I defended my work and told him where to go, but I didn’t – I wasn’t even upset. I knew he was right.

*disclosure: Mr F cannot use the written word above against me, particularly in arguments around ‘Im always right babe’

Why do I think its unique? because as I read it I realise that this quote doesn’t require analysis, its all there for us to absorb, it is my reality everyday; people who approach me with ego and arrogance who project their insecurities at me in a feeble attempt to cover up their self conscious beliefs verses those that magnetise me, not because they are going out of their way to capture my attention, far from it – I’m captured by the magnetic force of sincerity, when praising them they respond with heartfelt gratitude and as a person they have depth, morals and all that complex stuff in between – sure they may have weaknesses, but they are grounded and don’t feel the need to project them at me.

So how do you alter what you are projecting if you are off balance?

  • Avoid conversations with people about weight loss and appearance, it is rarely helpful and often leads you in to a negative cycle of conversation.
  • Practise self love and self worth – you can do this by grabbing a note book and listing/ focusing on the things you like, the talents you have and the assets you can offer the world
  • Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive people

And if all of that isn’t enough then new research suggests that placing your hands on your hips (in a super hero way, not a tea pot) for a few minutes increases you inner energy and other people see this in you – without you having to publicise it. If this feels a little seventies Superman (no such thing!-Mr F.) for you then I’ve even known friends who have done this in a toilet cubicle before an interview (and got the job 🙂 There is even a TedTalk about it by Amy Cuddy.

Stay blessed this week and focus on the assets your body has and the friends who leave you beaming.