Take notice of what the light does – to everything

Quote by Tess Guinery

My Christian name is Lucy and it translates from Latin to mean ‘light’ , when I was a child I had a key ring that said something corny like “you light up the room with your spirit and bring joy to all those you meet” whilst I’m not sure everyone I’ve met would agree it’s certainly something I think about when I’m in the company of new people. I try to sparkle, but it’s human nature to sometimes stick the dimmer switch on.

For me light goes hand in hand with life. In my mind I see biology lessons on photosynthesis and and the joy of brighter evenings in spring. I think of hope. Light also reminds me of truth; shining a light on the darker mysteries life can bring.

However, we all need contrast. Even this ray of sunshine Lucy needs her moments of dark. Too much of anything isn’t great. Paintings fade and plants dry out. Skin burns, life withers… that’s why I love this quote, taking notice of what the light does can mean truth, hope and love but it can also fade and kill.

Perhaps this quote isn’t about light at all. Perhaps it’s about recognising balance; when too much of a good thing becomes toxic or when too less is just as traumatic.

Life is about walking the fine line of contrast and experiencing the emotions that the good and bad bring, the light and the dark , it’s about playing in the shadows and please don’t forget all the many pigments in between. Diversity is rich when it is accepted and not divided.

This week take notice of what makes you light up, what friends make you feel lighter and also when you need the sanctuary of the moonlight, perhaps by watching the various spectrum that life offers you may need to whack on some factor fifty around individuals that burn like the midday sun. Whatever you do notice, Tess is right – act on what it tells you and you may just see a rainbow.

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More does not mean better

Quote Anon

This week I didn’t feel well. I didn’t have a cold, headache or anything I could name. At times I felt a little like I might be sick but knew I wouldn’t. I just felt tired and off balance. Nothing was wrong and everything somehow felt too much.

I didn’t feel that how I felt was enough to have some time off work and so I needed to be more creative with my energy. I took a few small actions; left work a little early, laid down on my bed when I got home, early nights and little housework, asked others to cook, generally I slowed down.

It wasn’t the most exciting week and I don’t think it’s one for the memoirs but I didn’t push on and in turn become ill, in fact by Friday I felt much better and was able to celebrate my birthday with my family. The sun shone and I felt loved and was able to create memorable worthy moments.

What’s the point of this post? More doesn’t mean better, knowing ourselves and listening to what we need can be just as fulfilling. When we eat we often find the first few bites joyful and after that the sparkle goes, for this reason more is not usually better…trying a range of smaller dishes can be more fulfilling.

A small vacation of a few nights can be as rewarding as a mammoth expedition, life is often best served slow and simply.

I recently culled my wardrobe and plan to not return to a wardrobe heaving with clothes. In this consumer driven culture we don’t need masses. My wardrobe is slowly evolving to a world of less, higher quality and where the wooden hangings have space to jangle. This in turn means I have less choices to make and leaves my mind free to think about other things.

This week press the pause button on life and take time to notice what makes you smile. Don’t be surprised if less wins and more overwhelms.

Shoshin

Not a quote, just a magical word.

Welcome to another fix of inspiration from the fridge. It will be no surprises that I really like words. A cluster of letters squished together can produce the most emotive sentiment or allow others to empathise with how you may be feeling.

Today, if you haven’t come across the word previously I’m sharing a new favourite with you. ‘Shoshin’ (firstly how lovely is it to say) means…

The practise of seeing life in wonder

One of the greatest things about being a parent is seeing the world through little eyes. I remember walking with my son when he was about two years old to our local park. He picked up the every stone, touched every leaf and the two minute walk became an exploration of discovery and wonder. I followed behind and observed the wonder, whilst reminding myself that time was our friend and I didn’t need to hurry him on. Sadly as we grow older our priorities change and we forgot the joy that surrounds us. Often happiness is found in the most basic of flavours (for me boiled egg and soldiers), smells (the roses in my garden) and experiences (an empty beach in winter with my boys watching the sunset on a clear day).

This post doesn’t come with a long lecture but instead a reminder to pause and live a life full of Shoshin. One of the ways I do this is my keeping a gratitude journal, another is myself and a friend are currently using WhatsApp to send each other a daily gratitude and photo. Today’s was having breakfast outside in the sun

The messages will last for 100 days and it’s really nice to look back over when life seems a little less bleak and Shoshin has been hidden behind a load of washing and an endless to do list.

However, like I stated previously this post isn’t a deep metaphorical ramble, it’s just a reminder to leave a Shoshin awesome life and appreciate each moment of wonder as it passes.

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.

Try to be like the turtle, at ease in it’s own shell

Abandoned the quotes this week and gone into the depths of an old proverb.

If you’ve dropped into this little corner of the internet previously you’ll know that ‘The Fridge’ is all about self love. How could we not discuss how awesome these wise words are.

The gorgeous Alicia Keys has been the Spotify choice of go-to music lately; her vibe is cool, calm and many of her tracks are already iconic. Before this becomes the unofficial AK fan page, I need to let you know one more awesome fact about her. She wears very little makeup and chooses to wear her hair in a natural state…did I mention she’s absolutely stunning and a successful singer songwriter? Inspired by her empowerment for everything human and real, I gave up makeup cold turkey about a month ago.

I didn’t tell anyone, I just didn’t slap it on. Nobody asked or questioned my decision, in fact at school a lovely work colleague gave me a thoughtful compliment about how beautiful my skin is (even more grateful to hear that because I also was a paranoid about a spot that appeared over night and looks like it’s squatting and here to stay for sometime) I do plan to wear make up again but not daily and certainly only when I feel like it. I save around twenty minutes in the morning and I use that to get chores done or sometimes I just sit down and day dream with a cup of tea. Bliss.

In a world that is becoming increasingly complex, filtered, altered and at times overly negative about people’s physical appearances i’d like to stay as authentically me as possible.

My shell is not perfect and neither is yours, I don’t always get things right and I often feel anxious about what people might think of me…then I remember this is my shell, my blessed shell – many would give anything to have a sparkly shell of joy like mine. Its fully functioning and any dents remind me of the previous battles I’ve survived or thrived from. My shell is me, it’s where I’m truly at home, it travels with me wherever I go. Just as you can’t criticise a Dolphin for its lack of shell, you are wasting your time analysing your own body with lacks and let down thoughts. You’ve grown in to your shell and at times altered it or made minor improvements *note to self: do yoga this evening

…but ultimately you will always have you. So shine that shell with a few positive comments a day, or at-least stop yourself from vomiting negative thoughts all over it. Allow your body to rest, work and play and provide it with the best care you can give it. Today that might be a small step in just realising that you need to be kinder to yourself.

Happy shell shining.

Never forget who you are

Quote from The Lion King

I felt like I hadn’t popped a Disney quote/ post together for a while so went with a Lion King pinch of wisdom, although it’s one I’ve contradicted many times.

At university I lost who I was. Several dodgy boyfriends meant I forgot who I was but the worst by far was motherhood. It took MY body away from me and left me with something that didn’t fit. It took me a while to pick up the broken pieces and to discover a dash of self love, to stop numbing negative thoughts with junk food, and wine. Lack of sleep in the early days also meant that exercise wasn’t a priority. I was in a war zone and I was surviving.

I escaped and did find me. I found an older version of my body that I’m ok with, I made time to exercise and I stopped filling my head with negative thoughts. It’s a process I think we are all in and one I need to continually reaffirm and rebalance daily.

Once I hit my thirties I cared less what others thought and knew who my tribe were, this support unit enables me to evolve but without loosing ‘me’

I don’t usually pop in suggestions but if you need a Netflix recommendation for finding yourself then ‘Unicorn Store’ is a must. A bonus if you like glitter and swag suits.

As a teacher holidays mean I actually transfer into my other full time job – Mum. It’s a job I adore but this Easter I’ve also made time to step away from my boys and have some me time. I’ve been for afternoon tea with a lovely friend and a hen do proved the ultimate overnight escape, the Mr and I even squeezed in a date afternoon to the cinema. You see to be you, you need time to do what you enjoy, as well as support those around you.

Over the next week as I grab my teacher cape out of the launderette I’ll enjoy being in my classroom – it’s part of who I am. It isnt the whole me, so I will also plan time with family, loved ones and me time because forgetting who I am is now and forever more a nonnegotiable.

Getting up and moving forward is a choice

Quote from Zig Ziglar

I recently listened to a podcast with Tim Storey as a guest and he made a point that I wanted to share.

Life inevitably brings joy and also hardship, but so many people when they hit a set back – take a step back. Worse still Tim went on to describe that they lose their direction and in worst cases concrete themselves in the moment. That means they can’t get out of that moment. Wise words Tim.

A moment is just that, a small amount of time. If you concrete yourself and become the issue you can’t move forward…you can’t move at all, you can’t fulfil your purpose and you become the concrete.

This terrifies me. I see so many young people that by eleven years old have already concreted their life. They can’t do this or that because of a medical condition, parents limit them in what they perceive is an act of love, but it’s so often rooted in fear. “I don’t think she would want to do that because her anxiety is so bad”….well let’s take a moment to break the task down, to inspire her, to change our vocabulary to tell her that she CAN – don’t concrete her in anxiety.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting we don’t have boundaries and say no to things. Used well ‘No’ can be an amazing tool. I’m also not suggesting that I don’t concrete myself from time to time, that I don’t project my fears on those I love in a moment of thoughtlessness…but we don’t need to stay forever in the concrete. We can hammer out, we can make a CHOICE and we can move forward. I’m going to focus over the next few weeks at watching my thoughts and words to prevent the concrete from being mixed. So what’s your next move or is your concrete too thick to make a choice?

Forever is composed of nows

Quote from Emily Dickinson

This quote holds a strong message, one that many ignore. Now is a moment that lasts for such a short period of time before you blink now has become the past. These moments build up, the clock continues to tick and within the next layer many miss that life has passed them by.

The fragility of time is also due to us mortals not knowing when the end of life is for us… it would be easy to now write about seizing each day but we all have jobs we need to do, dull chores and even events we have to go to, so what can we do?

In the tapestry of life we can plan events that feed our soul, we can select the humans we choose to take on our journey, we can set intentions for each day that help us to feel accomplished. If you don’t like your job, find a new one, if you want to travel more make financing that a priority, there is always something in the now we can do. In fact now is exactly the time we need to feed our future by taking small actions that will fall like dominoes and hopefully be just as satisfying.

Right now I am driving back from a weekend with loved ones. I am going to enjoy the music, chat to my family, complete writing this post and just be. I plan to meditate later in the journey to help my mind to thrive, we plan to stop for food at some point to, so there is the bodies nourishment…once home (in the future) I will go for a run, having sat for several hours and within the balanced of doing and not doing, planning and just being I will improve my now and the many nows that are hopefully to come. What are you doing now?

Morals are a luxury. Stand by them

Quote by me.

This Valentine’s Day I asked the Mr to book it off (sometime around Christmas) so that I could book tickets to see Stacey Dooley at the Brighton dome, my friend from work and I went and frankly I needed child care, who said romance was dead.

We had a wonderful evening and Stacey shared clips from her ten year career and some of the horrific people she had met, wild places around the globe she had explored amongst a gentle sprinkle of hope and inspiration.

As we walked back to the car I thought about what I had taken from the experience, once again I was reminded how vile humans can be.

However, what I took from the show was a single comment Stacey had made.

She referred to how living in a western society we live in a place where we can have morals. What a luxury, that I’d never considered? We do have freedom and we can share our opinions. That’s serious privilege that I had taken for granted. It made me realise that in my fortunate position I need to love even harder, that my dreams are achievable and that with compassion there is hope.

I’m not saying life is perfect but I don’t have the worries that come with raising my child in a war zone, equality is achievable and I really do believe tomorrow will be better. If you too have morals, stand by them and wear them like gold cloaks of love. Share those morals on social media, it’s a platform that can be used to uplift and inspire.

Most importantly live each day as a role model of those morals, show them off like a fun, humoured and uplifting t-shirt. Tonight I will go to bed, a little more humble, appreciative of all I have and tomorrow I will wake ready to pursue another step in the direction of my dreams.

I hope you feel beautiful today

Quote Anon

No advice today, no words of motivation, just a sprinkle of kindness in a grey and overwhelming world.

Perhaps you have used so much dry shampoo for so many days that your actual shampoo has now also dried, may be your nail varnish is chipped and you haven’t been brave enough to look in a full length mirror since Britney sang ‘hit me baby one more time’ … if your children haven’t let you sleep for seven years, if you aren’t even sure whether sleep is an actual thing anymore and it’s a legend that occurred in the late nineties…

If all of these things are true, or perhaps you just feel shit:

    Put the sparkly shoes on even if you aren’t leaving the house today
    Wear the piece of jewellery that doesn’t go with your outfit but makes you feel amazing, who cares if it’s a glittering tiara and you’re popping to the supermarket.
    Grab the item from your wardrobe (or floor) that makes you feel amazing irrelevant of the climate – thong sandles look fabulous in snow.

Because even if the skies are grey I promise every time you catch a glimpse of that wardrobe item you will smile.

Davina McCall swears by sexy underwear. It doesn’t matter that nobody is going to see it, you will and you will know.

Just finding that one thing that makes you beam will remind you that you’re beautiful, now excuse me whilst I add some lipstick and remember if nobody else tells you today – you are beautiful.