Cling to what is good

Quote Anon

According to the power of google an adult makes 35,000 decisions a day, a child around 3,000. That’s everything from what to have for dinner tonight to what to wear and where to go. Most choices fall in to three categories: positive, negative and those we feel obliged to do, feeling like we don’t really have a choice.

As an adult I do feel that at times I need to make negative decisions for overall good, an example being telling my son off and setting consequences – in hope that he learns and grows into an adult with clear morals and boundaries. At the time of sanctioning him he would tell you it was a negative decision I’d made.

Not all choices are transparent and many come with a wealth of other choices, at times resulting in others taking control or contributing to the end result.

Many of us suffer from decision fatigue and with the stats so high, I’m not surprised. If you find yourself overwhelmed then the experts encourage you to pull back; have a duvet day, a social media detox and even better a week away from WiFi. Don’t answer the phone, relax and live in the moment where possible.

Except that is a short term issue. At the moment my son who is six years old is sneaky when I ask him to make one of his 3,000 choices for the day. He will say things like “I don’t mind” or “‘ask Daddy what he wants” in order to avoid conflict or people disliking his ideas. As a result, as parents we are now throwing him even more options…and not letting him wiggle out of them. It’s a tough love choice in hope that it will help him grow in resilience and assertiveness. More importantly we are asking him to ‘feel’ the decision, to reflect on what feels good, to reconnect with his instincts and to not be put off by other people’s reactions. Making choices in the moment that feel good are meant to be the best way to promote positive wellbeing and overall happiness in the long term. Without guides, I wonder how many adults are out of sync with their own sense of good? Making time to rest and play has never been so crucial for a blossoming and positive planet.

Advertisements

Muscle up buttercup

Quote from Disney’s Moana – by Maui

Welcome to another Disney inspired rambling. Every now and then I seek a top up of Disney vibes, it allows me to be distracted from the adult world and into the enchanting world of make believe.

However, this quote is my new favourite for the very opposite of that reason – it grounds me, affirms me and is in my opinion much like the quote ‘Man up’ but without the need to be gender specific. When I read this quote I don’t feel the need to lift weights or hit the gym (although I have used it with an impressed tone to praise the other half when he has returned from the gym #bonuspoints) in fact me and weights are about as distant as the UK is from Disney World…

To me this quote says ‘Stop. Dig deep, breathe and you are limitless’ and all in three little words. Often when life feels like a struggle we get absorbed by the mundane, the negative and create walls that stop us from being successful. Yesterday I encountered two events that I’d like to share where I used the ‘Muscle up buttercup’ vibes to defeat the negativity of the universe. The first step to being able to do this is staying aware of your current emotion and being aware of others around you.

With this in mind it will be no shock that my first negative encounter was in the supermarket check out queue. Im standing alone in the line when a woman who was unloading her trolley of items on to the conveyer belt on the opposite till to mine made small talk with me.

*Danger zone warning: small talk is usually pointless but nobody wants to be rude (except Mr F, who for this very reason was sat in the car whilst I went into the supermarket)

The lady makes a remark about the warm weather and I rebound her negative comment about it being ‘too warm’ with my love for a hot climate. However round two was seconds away with her comment about how ‘food shopping seems like hard work’, it was at this point that I deployed the ‘Muscle up buttercup ‘ vibes. I asked her if she needed help, she thanked me and declined. I then said I really enjoy buying fresh fruit and vegetables for my family and thought we were lucky to have such an awesome selection available. She smiled and said she hadn’t thought of that…

Without being consumed by her negative attitude, I turned and focused on the nice things I was about to purchase. It would of been easier for me to agree with her, to not offer help and to moan about the weather but that would have impacted my emotions and in turn my day. 

The next encounter with negativity came from my four year old riding his bike – he screamed, yelled, hollered and wailed from the moment his bottom hit the saddle. It made a twenty minute cycle to the village food festival a painful and slow process of mental torture. I chose not to listen and used my teacher skills to block him out, but for him it made a joyful activity hard. Riding his bike felt like work as he reinforced to himself that he ‘couldn’t do it’ and that much like the lady in the supermarket ‘it was too hard’ and the physical application to a fun cycle became a stop start action of distress.

It was at the point where his tears merged with a river of snot that his Daddy reminded him that he ‘could do it’ and reinforced why he was a ‘champion’ on his bike

*Bradley wiggins need not feel threatened

For the last two minutes of the journey he smiled, beamed and rode beautifully. Somewhere between the pep talk and his actions he had 100% applied ‘Muscled up buttercup’. At home he couldn’t stop talking about how he loved riding his bike and whilst my external body language praised him with a smile, I didn’t share the parental frustration of the misery he had caused for the previous hours during his non stop crying. Perhaps that was my ‘muscle up’ moment?

In parent land and also working with teenagers there are many moments of digging deeper and smiling harder. However, there is one secret to being able to activate the ‘muscle up buttercup’ joy – make the choice. Similar to deciding what you’re having for lunch, it often boils down to a decision to choose to smile, the conscious resolution to not talk to yourself negatively and making the choice again and again to be happy. Some moments are harder than others and it can feel at times like there are no buttercups for you to grasp, but that’s when you need a little more ‘muscle up’. Sounds easy enough? Like most things it takes practise but I promise there is nothing as essential to your wellbeing as a sprinkle of happiness.