Let go or be dragged

Zen proverb

Have you ever seen in a film the scene set looking down on a busy highway or city at night…red dots following like ants in one direction, white dots in the other. Everything looks so ordered and controlled. Yet inside each vehicle the people have different reasons for being there – returning home from work, vacation, running an errand, going out for food or entertainment.

As humans we are fantastic at creating routines for ourselves, maintaining friendships…much like a hamster wheel we keep turning, not always happy and not always sad. In many aspects of our collective existence we seem to have order, on the surface at least. Cars pause when pedestrians stand near Zebra crossings, people wait in queues for a variety of things from coffees to theme park rides, slowly shuffling forward until it’s our turn to be served. Systems often keep the collective safe and prevent anarchy, like most things there is also the other side (let’s all recollect the 2020 toilet roll saga when grown ups proved they couldn’t share)

Within our daily routines we often feel so safe in the comfort of ‘what we do’ we can often forget to question why we do it. Even at weekends my body clock wakes me at the same time my alarm goes off in the week. Most weeks pass similar to the ones before and that’s completely ok if you’re happy and content with life. I often think holidays are powerful when they throw you out of your routine; time zones confuse the body clocks sleep pattern, a new diet is offered, a new environment is there to be explored or perhaps a sun lounger calls you to be still, unlike your usual hectic working week.

For my own well-being I have several ‘New year’ opportunities each year. Times of year where I take time to reassess what’s serving me, what do I need to prioritise and what do I want to achieve. They often occur during ‘new beginnings’ such as the start of Spring, a new academic year (always celebrated with a new luxurious paper diary) and the classic NYE. Of course, we can decided that today is a new beginning and don’t need to wait on changing seasons to make adjustments. Time to let go of what no longer serves us (too many take aways, not enough exercise, too much work and not enough play) allows us to each fill our cup up so that we can be the best version of ourselves. Sometimes it can be small adjustments; adding a few more greens to our plate, sometimes it can be larger pivots as we seek new careers, move home to a new area or leave relationships that no longer serve us.

What often holds us back is ‘change’ as it’s never comfortable and letting go of what we know, even when we know it no longer serves us is terrifying. However, as I watch older generations I’ve noticed that it’s much scarier to not reach for the stars and to let the night sky pass you by, that relationships that don’t serve you eat you alive. That outside factors that we can let go of become physical disease and illness that we often recognise when it’s too late.

Take a moment, grab a pen and write down a list of things you’d like to achieve. It could be over the next few weeks, months or by the end of the year. There might be a big birthday coming up and you might have a larger challenge up your sleeve, but whatever you do – do something, otherwise if you don’t let go you might just find the physical body is dragged down as a result. Apart from keeping up with daily yoga, my next challenge is to declutter. I’m going to start a room at a time and as small steps work for me, probably a draw or cabinet at a time. What do you need to let go of?

Sometimes the yoga is just being there

Quote Anon

Back in February of this year I used my blog to make myself accountable, the post was about making time to meditate and how I planned to do so. You can peek back by clicking the blue title below.

The fabulous news is it worked. I have meditated daily without any breaks and even worked around distractions and prioritised when the daily routine got thrown off path. It still makes me feel amazing and starts a bleak cloudy day on a sunbeam vibe. Most days I meditate for forty five minutes.

Therefore it makes sense that my next absolute love is prioritised. Yoga. This bendy and restorative process has been in my life for over twenty years. It began when a wonderful lady in my staff room at school invited me to join the class she went to. The class was in an abandoned church outside Romford and the parking was a nightmare. However, as soon as my body hit the mat and I looked up to the incredible ceiling with the stained glass windows pushing rainbow lights across our torsos…I was hooked and the worlds problems dispersed.

Since then I’ve done a little of everything; classes, on my own, YouTube clips, 30 day yoga challenges, day events and retreats, private instructors…however, in the last couple of years my mat love has died. The motivation to set up and get my flow on just hasn’t been there. I’ve noticed that when I do unsurprisingly my flexibility has reduced and whilst yoga should never be a competitive choice….my soul feels like it dies a little with each ‘I use to be able to do that’.

Yesterday I realise I have two choices, to let it go and accept how it is or to do something about it. Deep down I know I’ll feel better for prioritising it, for making time and for strengthening my body.

So let’s go all in! Daily practise is now a thing…well, starting today. I’m currently sat on my yoga mat in the garden because it’s sunny and in the UK that’s a reason to move the mat outside.

Inspired by this quote I am going to be on my mat daily. Minimally, much like how I began the meditation practise, I’m going to do a five minute sun or moon salutation daily or three stretches, everything else is a plus.

Below are a couple of other things I’m going to try to make my daily commitment to my body’s health and well-being a priority. I’m sharing them in case you too have something similar you would like you make a daily practise

Leave it out: I’m going to leave my equipment out. Over the years I’ve acquired a lot of yoga pieces; yoga chair, blocks, straps and I even had a yoga wheel at one point…however that clutter will drive me mad, so I’m going to just start with my mat. Simple and no excuse. I’m hoping that eventually this will become a more permanent edition to our home and I’ll cultivate a little corner somewhere. I’ve heard that people that reluctantly struggle to get to the gym find it useful to back their gym back the night before or have clothing at hand.

Kind words: I’m going to need to reduce my attitude around what I can do (could do) and attempt to stay in the moment and be kind to myself. The world is hard enough without berating myself. Yoga practise is all about being connected and in the moment, if I can stop the negative chatter, the practice will take care of itself.

Day by day: To achieve my target of daily practise, I’ll work out the night before when I’m going to make time the next day. That way I’ll wake with a clear intention . I would guess in the next couple of weeks I’ll find a natural flow, but my work diary and life commits vary and without this little plan up my sleeve I’ll go to bed without having achieved my goal, exhausted from the day and frustrated with myself.

Ops I did it again: If I do miss a day, I don’t need to ‘make it up’ the next day or give up, or wait until the next week to begin. I haven’t failed. I’m human and being flawed is often part of the process. Should I miss a day I’ll be disappointed but also understand the reason why. The crucial part is getting back on the mat daily after that.

That’s if…that’s the plan. Wish me luck and if you’re also trying to increase daily habits and reduce negative thoughts / actions then join me on my new journey.

The world keeps spinning

Lyrics from a band called Theory

When I think of the universe and the concept of infinity my mind instantly self destructs. It’s inconceivable to my mortal brain. The idea that 7billion people, plants and the animal world, not to mention the seas and the earth are just on one spinning rock? Somehow perfectly balanced with sun and moon as protective parents, keeping us warm and tucking the tides in, only for earth to push the covers off moments later. You can’t help to feel awe and wonder, that is unless you reflect on the toxicity and destruction the 7 billion people and their ancestors created, then suddenly the world can feel claustrophobic and confusing.

Under the blankets of the cosmos, tucked under earths atmosphere and in a little place I like to call ‘my world’ is me. It’s made up of my perceptions, thoughts, feelings and truths – all of which are far from that but they are at least my own. The choice I make daily are to look for sparkles of joy, to reach for awe and to believe that kindness matters. Often, much like the Earth I contaminate my own world with thoughts that exude fear and worries that niggle in the cracks.

When I was around fifteen years old I remember my English teacher introducing our class to the poem ‘stop all the clocks’ , not only did it resonate with me, much like the world spinning it blew my teenage brain that death had a finality to it…a few years later death knocked on my families door and exposed me to the emotional rollercoaster known as grief. I remember thinking, much like the verses of the poem that it was insane that my Grandad wasn’t here anymore, that whilst our family was organising a funeral, wading through this home and boxing things up destined for new adventures…that other people would go on to live in his house? A new family would knock at the door to visit and another family would nurture his garden, I also knew that the house would never have as sweet bowl a superior as my Grandads sweet tooth.

I remember waiting outside his home for the hearse to arrive, as I looked across the road other people were going about there business, off to work, kids off to school…why hasn’t the clocks stopped? Why hadn’t time stood still? Why is my family hurting and how could the universe still expand, the earth still spin?

This is the paragraph I should give a deep and profound answer to those questions. Alas, I don’t have them. What I do know is all the time I have on this spinning sphere, which in the grand scheme of its existence isn’t much…I can’t let the negativity weigh me down. Instead, I’m going to float and twirl, Im going to keep getting up and I’m going to experience moments where I wish the clocks would stop…but after a deep breath, I’ll recalibrate and keep looking for the joy amongst the cracks, I’ll keep the faith that tomorrow will be better and the world will keep on spinning. If I’m honest I’ll also have the hope that tomorrows spin will be better that today.

Trauma is about what did not happen

Quote Anon

Insecurities, broken trust, tragic events, sudden changes in circumstances, life changes and unexpected happenings are all part of life’s darker side of life. Some make us stronger, many leave scars and without us knowing pivot us to pathways anew.

As a behaviour adviser with little people from four years old to sixteen, ACEs (Adverse childhood experiences) are common place across classrooms. They often manifest as difficult or dangerous behaviour. Extroverts scream, punch and kick out for support and a need to be soothed. Whilst introverts often wear masks that don’t reveal how they are feeling, burying emotions deep and silencing needs and desires. Either reaction usually has toxic results.

In child protection meetings, of which I attend too often, the focus is on legislation and protective actions…again, these often result in further trauma for the child or exacerbate the situation before any soothing and healing can occur. Why? The focus is on the trauma. What happened, who failed to protect their child, what professional did or didn’t do, capturing the child’s voice (gathering the child’s thoughts and feelings on the trauma and life), the focus is always on the trauma.

Traumas are hard to define as something that I may find traumatic to experience, you may think was irrelevant. Children in split parent situations can have 2 loving parents and go contently from one family to another, however if the rules at Daddies are completely different to Mummies and we add on school expectations and standards, the child can become insecure, experience attachment issues and generally be confused about how to behave. A sibling of that same child, may find the transitions effortless and enjoy the variety of experiences. Often as parents we may feel that ‘trauma’ is that Mummy and Daddy separated; surprisingly children are often adaptable to these alternations with a little time, the trauma described above isn’t about home being separated or parents splitting…it’s about a consistent approach to parenting.

Through social media, often people feel the need to list or label traumas they have experienced. Whilst that can be a great first step in moving forward, we often need to look at what that traumatic experience taught us; what we lacked or received too much of. A helicopter parent often doesn’t allow a child to independently think – as an adult that person may need to overcome their trauma by making independent choices and growing in confidence with their decision process…

Often this quote is correct, the event felt traumatic because of what didn’t happen. The best way we can overcome future traumas is to listen to what we need now. If you’ve burnt the candle at both ends, make time for rest. If your life style is too static – it’s time to move your body. The hardest part of this process to live a positive life style is to remember to check in on yourself, journaling and a meditation practise can often add pause buttons to daily life.

So what do you need? Serve yourself first, fill your cup up and you’ll have capacity to help those around you. Turn you rainy days into rainbows, it doesn’t stop the rain but it doesn’t improve the view.

A memory is a star or a stain

Quote by d.j

When you started to read this blog, even though it was a few words a go…it’s now in the past. Every microsecond a little drop in the ocean of your life. We can’t remember all the individual droplets and we often romanticise the past, interpret to meet our current thoughts and feelings and in doing so change the horizons perspective. Constantly in motion, life is very much passing us by.

Don’t panic. We aren’t meant to be present in every moment, some days I’m grateful not to remember some aspects. I do however believe we are often our happiest when we are ‘in the moment’ not thinking ahead to what to plan for dinner, what needs doing later, feeling guilty for chores we should have already done.

Wherever you are in life, whether you have a sea of wisdom behind you or a puddle of doubt, it can be useful to reflect on if that’s how you want your life to look…are you a storm of chaotic tides, holding your last breathe before you’ll be swept to the next wave of drama or a calm lake that’s so serene it’s dull?

To carve a life worth living I often think you need a little of both, the stains of life teach us incredible lessons and can also easily be removed bleached by the sun. Light gives new perspectives just as stars have guided seamen home from long travels.

Stars, the brighter moments of life that can give us wonder, joy and direction can often start or become stains. Marriages that have gone sour, life that has become death, the ‘perfect’ job that consumes your soul.

Where am I going? Don’t sweat the stains, they can be softened with age, memories blurred or abandoned. My sons stained T-shirts covered with memories of spaghetti bolognaise can often disappear with a sunny day. The stains make us and the stars take our breath away. Both have a place to make for a wonderful life.

Breath. believe. release. receive

Quote Anon

Gratitude, manifesting, eating well and exercising all come naturally to me. Whilst I don’t do any of them immaculately and I tend to dip in and out, I know what I need to do, it’s usually poor choices that get in my way. Me – it’s always me that gets in the way.

Through the years of my yoga practise I’ve learnt over and over again how important the breath is. Thanks to numerous wellbeing podcasts meditation is also something I know I should have a daily practise with. I don’t. I never have and should I meditate on a Monday, I always feel better but it’s months before I return to the practise. Why as humans are we so poor at making time for things we know are good for us? Yet daily I make time to idly scroll on social media, gossip and allow ‘life’ to side track me.

…I know this is the paragraph where I’m meant to share wisdom and all of the answers to the questions I’ve raised above, but I’m just a little lady working through this crazy world too. However, I have managed to sustain a meditation practice for the last 14 days! I don’t feel like I’m a guru on the topic but I will share how I did it and will continue to do it, in hope that perhaps my new habit can either influence you do follow suit or deal with your own habits that you’d like to improve on.

I’m a mornings person and I’m also blessed to sleep like a goddess, so with this in mind my meditation practise happens before I get out of bed. I wake, twitch my nose, stretch my body in a star fish diva action and then I begin. Personally, I find morning meditation sets me up with a positive mindset for a better start to my day. It’s worth considering when you feel you’d best benefit from your new habit. It helps me to get the task done as soon as possible and then I can carry on with my day, knowing I’ve nailed the hard stuff!

I’m still new to this practise so I need someone to hold my hand, as such a guided meditation is working well for me. I’m using an app and listening with my headphones (this also has the luxury of shutting out the household noise of family life – bliss). The app I’m using is insight timer. *this is not an ad

Now here comes the best bit. My intention is to mediate daily, so at this stage it’s a success if the meditation lasts minutes or hours. As such even on my busiest days, I can always wake five minutes earlier to help me achieve my goal. The app allows you to select from meditations in lengths, so I simply click the five minute option and select one that resonates. Let me enhance the magic of this and whys it’s been so successful…I’m not concerning myself with whether my meditation has been groundbreaking, I’m not evaluating whether I cleared my mind, received divine intervention or am at one with the universe…I’m successful if I meditate full stop.

Most days, in my experience I’ve found that I can often give 20minutes or more. This means that I feel like achieved to a higher level…I’ve not just done a quick meditation – I’ve prioritised and excelled my expectations. That said, on busy mornings I’m equally proud to have made five minutes count.

Let me give you one more example because when it comes to building habits we all need to be kinder to ourselves when we achieve…if I go out and run, I successfully ran…at this stage, it’s unhelpful to track speeds, distances etc. once the habit has become imbed in daily life, then you can let your inner Olympian flourish the details.

Habits can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form, on average that’s 66 days until we can truly call something a daily habit, where our subconscious takes over, so don’t be hard on yourself if you fall off the habit train and need to get back on, failure is a wonderful attribute to improve future efforts.

What habit would you love to have with ease and flow? How do you think you can make it a priority? I will definitely come back at day 66 and let you know if my daily habit of morning meditations has stuck.

Kindness is my go to but fuck off is my wingman

Quote Anon

In all honesty, gratitude is my go to and kindness is second in line. The wonderful thing about kindness is it often doesn’t financially cost anything, it usually requires a pinch of thought and a dusting of time…but the results often stay with the person you’re kind to forever.

People remember the kind things you did for them, how you made them feel, long after you did them, they often pay them back ten fold and your karma points to joy increase! So why aren’t more humans kind? As I’m not generally a fan of humanity, I think we need to look to dogs to solve this answer. Our dog will snuggle, guard you and clean up your crumbs whenever you’re in need however she is also easily distracted and I think this is the same as humans. We often don’t think to open doors, make gestures of kindness, or even take time to make magical moments happen because we are caught up with our own struggles, time limitations and world.

The quote also refers to boundaries, to saying no and stepping back – for me this is the best side to serve with a heap of kindness. Clear boundaries will allow you to walk away, to not be walked over and to sustain your kindness for another day. People that are kind but lack the words ‘no’ in their vocabulary often feel the burdens of others and an empathetic overload that makes them ill.

January weather in the UK is bleak, grey and often wet…SO I’m launching #kindnessmatters as a hashtag on my instagram stories through the month of January. You can follow along @fridgesays or if you aren’t a social media dweller you can create your own ‘kindness matters’ without…who cares how we show up as long as we do. What do you need to do? BE KIND

Yup that’s is, nothing more and nothing less. Take time each day to do something kind and remember it doesn’t have to cost the earth or be time consuming. This morning as we went out to the car we all ran to one of our neighbours bins that had blown over after collections and wheeled them back to their owners back gates. kindness matters. They don’t necessarily know that we did it but that’s not the essence of kindness, the centre for kindness is in the doing, so let’s make January a little less bleak by showing compassion to others…also don’t forget you can’t pour kindness from an empty cup, so being kind to yourself totally counts.


Quote Anon

December is certainly a time where traditions are falling out of Santa’s sleigh in abundance. Stepping into the New Year we often analyse our habits and try to improve them for the year to come, whether that be by exercising more, eating healthier or taking on a new challenge.

This all makes sense in a world where I often reflect on what I’ll leave behind. What will our legacy’s be? A positive mark on the world or consumed so much plastic it’s a long discarded tooth brush with DNA on it that will last the longest?

This December I learnt that traditions are only positive if they serve you and those around you. My family ditched the Christmas crackers many moons ago – we just don’t need the naff novelty toys, plastic and excessive paper across and already cramped table. I didn’t replace them with anything and rarely anyone comments.

With the controversial lockdown Christmas’s of 2020 we learnt that it was the people around the table that mattered. The food an added bonus. This was a lesson I hope remains long after the pandemic.

Last year our Turkey wasn’t fit for human consumption and the Boxing Day beef was brought in a day early…it was just as delicious and it caused my rebellious streak to build momentum. The result was that this year I really mixed up the menu – the result was meals from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day where everybody enjoyed what they consumed. Many favourites from the Mr’s love of Yorkshire puddings, to my sons delight of macaroni cheese played a part (not in the same meal I should add) and although we all had full plates and content bellies, little was left over and nothing was wasted, to the extent that my Mum took home the small Turkey carcass to make soup with. It also meant that I didn’t spend half of Christmas chained to the kitchen side board and had more quality time with those dearest to me. What did I learn? That traditions become shackles if they don’t serve you in this moment. If you don’t like Turkey, stop consuming it every Christmas and Thanksgiving.

I remember growing up and walking to school with a friend and our Mums closely nattering behind. In the run up to Christmas we would share the traditions of our homes; it always throws me that the same celebration has so many variations in each home. She would discuss how her and her brother would open their stocking and then wait until their Grandparents arrived to open presents in the afternoon, that boxing day food was a buffet of curry’s. I would share how Father Christmas went nowhere near our house and would deliver to the Garage at the end of our back garden, my Dad would bring down what he had left (even at a young age I was hyper-vigilant to child protection when it came to strangers) I would then blitz the unwrapping in seconds leaving a floor of discarded wrapping paper behind me like the Tasmanian Devil had popped around for a cuppa. Our Boxing Day was a buffet of ‘picky bits’ and when we shared these stories warmth from both our interpretations of Christmas were at the heart of each tradition.

What doesn’t serve is when everyone in the room dislikes the tradition but does it anyway…the wonderful thing about nurturing a family is building habits that become traditions, but that also have enough flexibility to alter before becoming legacies. As we step into 2023 you’re pretty darn perfect just as you are, you don’t need to do more or less of anything. However, the best habit, tradition and legacy you can leave with the world and into 2023 is to love those you surround yourself with. Remember, those that are hard to love, usually need love the most. Have a wonderful 2023

Comin’ with the bad bitch magic

Full quote from Queen Herby lyrics are “Comin’ with the bad bitch magic, and they can’t stand it, when I put these hoes in a panic.”

December can often feel suffocating, the final weeks of school term devoured me with all its tinsel and emotional demands. However I have made it and can now see two weeks of work free life upon me, except adult life never stops – the Christmas prep has barely begun and the recent full moon has resulted in a broken kitchen tap, dead car battery and narrowly escaping a stag charging in my direction (a little closer than I’d of liked, side note; it was seriously awesome once I’d survived, placed my heart back inside my chest cavity and processed the event)…that said, our Christmas tree is looking extra glorious this year with a new fairy and seven hundred extra lights, despite our dogs hypocritical and despairing looks of judgement as we bought in a seven foot tree and don’t allow her to bring her sticks in the house…yes tiny phone people: December is a lot!

Therefore and because I refuse to be overwhelmed, I go to my tool kit of magic and joy to help me raise my vibration…I refuse to be taken down by my ever growing to do lists and cold winter evenings that seem to consume time and spit me out into my pjs earlier and earlier. So what’s a ‘bad bitch to do’ …below are some of my sparkliest ideas from my magical toolkit.

Self care matters: Obviously it always matters but if you are missing the warmer days of life then put the Christmas chocolate box down for a minute and listen up! *you can totally return to the chocolate box once you’ve finished reading

Up your vitamins…some of my favs include vitamin D (sun in a bottle), lions mane, echinacea and vitamin C

Listen and move to feel good music, podcasts, movies and pivot when things feel negative…we’ve got no time for a documentary on wars and tragedies right now…this diet of high energy creative vibes will feed your soul

Soup – honestly, it’s the best winter warmer and I think it makes my soul happier, I can’t stop making it?

Pinterest – I know what you’re thinking, this social app from 2009 is vintage BUT collating (for free!) beautiful pin boards of imagery that lights your fire is far more beneficial than watching thirty second clips of adults dancing and cats falling off high cupboards. I’m using the app to set intentions for 2023, to gather recipes (okay, mainly soup), to discover ideas of things I might make and to collate a wardrobe that sparks joy…oh, that reminds me

Wear all the colours of the rainbow – I used my clothes rail like a dressing up box. The lower I feel, the more I need a sparkly tiara, sparkly boots, sparkly cardigans – ALL the SPARKLES! However, you may be less glitter and more practical, whatever your vibe make sure you walk out of the front door feeling fabulous. You will likely inspire others, pick up compliments like acorns on an oak tree and feel beautiful.

Journal – grab a note book and write as if you’re Dickens, don’t worry if what you’re writing down is gibberish, negative or the same day after day, the main thing is you are allowing those thoughts to have there moment of glory, then you’re turning the page and moving on

Gratitude lists – I adore a list full of moments of joy, dig deep and you’ll be surprised at what you have to be grateful for even in the darkest corners of life

What’s in your sparkly tool box of joy, that raises your vibration and helps you through the tougher moments of life? Let me know in the comments below

It goes on

Quote by Robert Frost

The entire quote is…”In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learnt about life, it goes on”

This week my view of the world has been sprinkled with death. I spoke to a friend who was preparing for her Dads funeral and after a lengthy conversation with many ups and downs we came to the conclusion that you can’t prepare for such an event. It’s one of those inevitable occasions you have to ‘get through’, balancing your needs and others from moment to moment.

I remember the periods in my life when death destroyed me and I felt like my heart had been pulled through my body, my stomach was too high, lungs collapsed and it took all my energy to grasp at the next breath. When I’d glimpse out of the window and wonder how the world was still ‘getting on with it’, people still laughing, going about their daily business when in that very moment my world had been turned upside down, obliterated, never to be the same…whilst I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel the despair I was in at that very moment it didn’t seem right that others continued? Perhaps that makes me selfish but it’s certainly how I felt.

In my darkest times, be that the loss of someone dear or illness / trauma, tea has honestly been my light. I realise that’s a cliche for British people but it’s true. When everything around me feels heavy, dark and too much, a warm cup to grasp, a sweet contradiction in taste to how I feel seems to give me a sparkle of happiness. It’s a minuscule moment but if you grab it with both hands (obviously putting your tea cup down somewhere safe first) it can open a crack to hope…

This glimmer of hope can lead to a small event, such as a shower and some clean clothes, in turn this can make you feel ‘better’ even if for a passing moment…collect these moments of hope, sparkles of happiness and pull them together and just as the quote suggests life goes on.

Life goes on, never the same, better for having known them, loved them and shared moments with them but it does go on. In fact when you once again find yourself in the light you realise that you are a more empathetic, connected and articulated person for having felt the weigh of their lose and also the blessings of ever having had them to love.

It goes on. Thank heavens