A happy soul is the best shield for a cruel world

Quote Atticus

When I’m feeling under the weather or fragile I reach for my Aran cardigan, hand made by a much loved member of my family. It’s huge, she told me I’d grow into it. Instead it’s a giant shield against the cold and soothes me when I’m feeling like I might break.

However, even living in the UK the climate isn’t always cardigan weather. As a result I often reach for my smile. It’s a great shield from the darker days, it melts the heart of strangers and eases potential stress points of my day.

Often a smile isn’t enough. On the blog I’ve often referred to my morning routine, it lights my soul before I leave the comfort and security of my bed. Its not a total barrier to the cruelty of the world but it helps me to stay centred and not fall through the cracks life often has.

To keep my shield at full power, I also need to top it up with moments of self care through out the day. It might be as simple as making something good to eat, making time for yoga, lighting a candle or speaking kindly to myself. These moments allow my shield to wrap others around me with warmth and care.

Self care is a little more complex than a face mask and making time to pamper yourself (although I highly recommend doing both, it gives you great skin, is fun and you feel fab inside and out). Self care is also about checking the people around you serve you and help you to grow, it’s about walking away from the negative, acting with integrity and coming from a place of love, joy and happiness. It’s about looking inside and having critical conversations with yourself. Note I used the word critical and not cruel.

There are other things you can do if you feel like your smile might crack, you can avoid negative energy – mainstream media, people who only want to gossip and moan. Imagine you’re a magnet – what do you want attract? Stay close to people who treat you well, in turn treat them well. Be creative, dance, pop on some lipstick / take off the lipstick and rock a messy bun, serve yourself and you will surround yourself with the highest good and that may mean saying ‘no thank you’ to invitations, or perhaps facing fears and feeling a sense of achievement. We are all individual, we have different needs and different desires but we all know deep down what makes us happy, make time in this busy world to do more of that and watch the rays of negativity dissipate, you may find the cruel world backs off and your shield defences aren’t needed. Focus your attention on the positive, attract the positive and buckle up for a happier world around you.

I’m not ageing, I just need repotting.

Quote Anon.

Many of us over the last few months have spent more time at home than ever before. Its given me more time to reflect, be present and show my house plants more love.

Each plant has its own needs, much like humans. Some explode in colour, take up all the room and fight for the light. Others, slowly grow, creep and stay snug in their pots. To nourish the plants I often give them a little feed, again some prefer regular watering, but most like their roots to dry out. I’ve also now got a window sill full of babies ready to be rehomed, as I pot each offspring in their own pot, much like my son I do love watching them flourish.

It made me think about my own ‘pot’ and I’ve taken to a daily yoga practise to make room. Ive also meditated more (something I find hard to make part of my daily practise, even though I know its super good for me on many levels). On reassessment of my pot, I guess I am ready to move pots – I need new challenges and the view has become a little stale.

Bravely, I’ve taken action and am planning new pot adventures, giving nourishment to my roots, making space and prioritising what its important to my core, it’s time to top up the soil and move on to bigger things.

Today I was blessed to receive an email from an ex-pupil who updated me on her adventures, at eighteen she’s realised that adult life isn’t mapped out (no shizzle) and that a sense of purpose isn’t as accessible as an amazon prime delivery. I was extremely proud that she has been using this time to reflect, to make plans to leave her ‘pot’ in hope for more enriched and a deeper sense of joy. We don’t have to all live BIG. We don’t all need to be loud. In fact, as I age – I realise that my house plants who are brave enough to grow a new leaf, to reach out into the light…they are some of my favourites.

Make time to restore your pot, nourish the soil, eat well, stay hydrated – we are all just plants with complex emotions.

Do whatever you need to do to flourish – but don’t allow yourself to become pot bound, to wonder the ‘what ifs’ and rot over watered and stagnant just because your pot is comfortable.

Don’t forget to take the chicken out of the freezer

Quote…all meat eaters at some point.

I love quotes because they remind me that I am continuously growing and learning. They often inspire me to be better or perhaps enlighten my mind with a new thought process. Sometimes…they just make me laugh.

This falls into that category, whether you are a regular read (in which case thank you) or perhaps curiosity got the better of you and you wanted to see where this was going, then its all about laughter. If you came for a chicken recipe then you’ll probably be disappointed, but I hope leave with a smile.

In a world full of inspirational quotes we can often become numb to there intentions, in a world full of so much news we can often trust what we hear, in a world full of so many choices we often think we always pick the right choice. But often as we shift through the 35,000 subconscious decisions we make daily…we leave the chicken in the freezer. We’ve all been there, hoping that perhaps an alternative frozen delight can save us or that half a courgette and some wilted kale will sustain our taste buds like the chicken meal we had planned…

#7yo Collect things

Quote Anon

Since the little dude was four years old, I’ve created this post to track his answers to the 20 questions listed below. Its joyful for me to see the small changes in his answers and how his vision of the world around him alters. Perhaps not as interesting for those reader who don’t know him, but a timely reminder to do it for the little people in your world. Objects can be exchanged, broken or lose value but memories and creating traditions live on and are priceless.

1. What’s your favourite colour? Green

2. What’s your favourite toy?   Ray, (giant hippo cuddly toy) hulk buster and my mosasaurus

3. What’s your favourite fruit? Banana

4. What do you like to watch on TV? Trap door, Disney +

5. What do you like to eat at lunch? Cheese wrap

6. Who’s in your family? Pearl (our dog), Burple (gecko), the stick insects and our fish, me, Mummy, Daddy. *animals come first it would seem

7. What item of clothing do you most like to wear? Jogging bottoms, like I tried to put on earlier (I made him take them off, its 25C in the UK)

8. What game do you like to play? Dizzy dizzy dinosaur and Chess

9. What’s your favourite animal? Hippopotamus and crocodiles.

10.  What song do you most like? The Mandalorian song (theme tune, he hums it all of the time)

11. What’s your favourite snack? Anything with cheese in it.

12. Favourite book? Worst in Show, David Walliams books, Tom Gates…so many Mummy.

13. Who’s your best friend? Luke, Eddie and Henry

14. What’s your favourite sport?  Judo, I like swimming but it wastes my breath a lot.

15. Which holiday do you like the best? who knows (why?) because we might have even better holidays

16. What do you sleep with? Ray, (cuddly hippo) Croccie (cuddly crocodile) and Ivan (huge cuddly snake)

17. What do you like best for breakfast? whatever’s going.

18. What do you like to do outside? Chill on my slide

19. What’s your favourite drink? water

20. What’s your favourite dinner? Macaroni

You must be shapeless, formless, like water.

Quote / poem / thoughts by Bruce Lee.

Todays post is inspired by Bruce Lee, before I ramble – id like to share the piece in its entirety.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

Simply beautiful.

I became aware of these words as I listen to the GABA podcast (and urge you to do the same), during a live on instagram Adam the creative and talented creator of GABA usally shares a reading, poem, lyric or thought before a meditation sound bath…one of them was the Bruce Lee reading above. It taught me two valuable things.

The first was to let go…truly let go. Today I had no idea what I would achieve, I let go of constructs such as time – we ate when we were hungry (so much simpler), at the back of my mind I repeated to myself a new mini mantra ‘be like water’….the time we have now, albeit unknown and at times concerning, is also a blessing for me personally. Grounded to home, time with my boys – a blessing that I’m also aware could be snatch back to school runs, work schedules, traffic jams and to do lists at any moment. However, through my days water experiment I found far more joy in the now, zero stress and bizarrely I was more productive. Perhaps opening ‘to do’ tabs of the mind, answering emails in under six minutes (the average response time to an email in 2020) and being productive, is ironically time consuming and unproductive?

We took ourselves off for walks amongst the bluebells (thank you Mother nature), connected with loved ones through various technologies and my sons home schooling happened much more like a running river than a mother (me) juggling and trying to overachieve whilst walking on hot coals and simultaneously smiling. It gave me a deeper sense of connection and gratitude for the simple delights of life and I’m addicted.

The second thing Bruce’s words taught me were about collaboration. Adam obviously had scribbled them down because they resonated with his creative flare, in turn he shared them with his audience and gave me inspiration for a blessed day and as many more ‘be like water’ moments and days as I can flow into my life, this is turn inspired me to write this piece….and once again, creativity seems to bring a sense of calm, restorative joy and flow to life.

I should probably wrap this writing up with a bow, a witty line or perhaps a single sentence… or you could just listen to Bruce, be like water and perhaps you will leave the confinements of being squeezed into a plastic bottle and will indeed find your own flow.