Roll with it

Quote from my Instagram page @fridgesays

It’s 1:20am and I can’t sleep, the unknown has taken over. I’m not panicked, I’m not particularly fearful but I’ve no idea what being a Teacher means. Just after 5pm today I like most of the nation expected Mr Johnson to shut the shop up on schools and was ready to bed down with my family and wait for the storm to pass, which if you read the headlines you may perceive as truth… to me he said much more.

He said “exams in May and June won’t be happening” that’s two years of mine and my students life that were made practically obsolete in seconds… of course they’ve learnt things that will stay with them, but I somehow feel robbed for them so close to the finish line. I truly adore my yr 11 classes and I’m not even sure if I’ll see them again? I doubt they will have a prom, perhaps in these times that seems superfluous but to those that have bought ‘the dress’ and dreamed of that evening they were robbed by a virus.

He said “schools will stay open for those that are vulnerable “ and my heart bled for every head teacher and headship team across the country…what does that even look like? How will that be staffed? What will we teach? How will we know who to prepare for…rolling with it seems vague and uneasy.

He said “we will baby sit the nations key workers children” and my profession and career goals became a blur. On one hand proud to serve my country in some kind of capacity (many thanks to the NHS and emergency services teams for all you do and will continue to do)… on the other hand that’s not why I teach secondary? Selfishly questioning why I should leave my child to help out another’s, worrying that by sending my son to school that I might expose him…where did the plan to wrap him up go?

I also know that this can alter again in the next few days, the dynamics of what was asked are so complex and a national lock down is coming our way but I wanted to write in this moment and capture these thoughts that have separated me from my pillow because I think it will be a huge shift in how we move forward, in my sense of purpose, in what Education is and looks like after this moment.

And then I laugh at the image that I honest created prior to the demand in toilet rolls and as I smile. I know it will all work out. It will be okay. I know it will be an honour to look after each and every child that comes through our school gates and I’m glad that the government is thinking about free school meals and the impacts on financially vulnerable families. I know that our priority across the world is our health. We will thrive and in my classroom we will learn what really matters and perhaps until now that was never on the curriculum.

#kindnessiscontagious

And like the moon, we must go through phases of emptiness to be full again.

Anon

Ive always like the solar system, science never really appealed to me at school but how can you ignore the beauty of the nights sky? The constellations, the history of how various stages of humanity used the stars and planets as guides, the heat of the sun, the planets lined up like Russian dolls hanging off of my sons ceiling…and the moon. By far my personal favourite, that smiling face of glow and delight that’s force pulls and pushes of tides and if i’m honest my heart strings.

Over the last few months I’ve been tracking the moons phases and can see patterns in my life where the moon is waxing and waning. Whilst I refuse to discuss the chaotic and perpetual negative cycle of fear we are currently being fed by mainstream media, social media and the miserable lady at the bus stop, this quote fed my soul in a way that those outlets haven’t and so I had to use it.

Amongst the depths of the dark we can appreciate the light of day. If we chose to discard the negative surface of fear, underneath we can see glimmers of hope, love and happiness. Stories of human compassion, pure kindness and this is what I’ve decided to put into my bubble. Where people see confinement and lack, I can decide to see the opportunity to be at home, surrounded by my loved ones. I can be thankful for the health of my loved ones and can offer help to those who I’m able to. Like the lady who had a four month old baby screaming and couldn’t find Calpol in any of our local stores…I offered ours, we don’t need it. She does.

Perspective is a difficult thing to see in the dark, but look to the moon for guidance. It allows us to appreciate what we do have, what experiences we have had rather than what we are yet to do. Contrast is a bitter sweet gift, but perhaps we are more like the moon that we realise? The darker times often inform the lighter moments of life and much like the cycle of the moon, it will pass and we will be grateful and full again.

Look after loved ones and do all you can for those at risk, above all be kind even in the loo roll aisle.

A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect

Anon

I’ve often wondered how an egg shell can be fragile and crack with ease and at other times be solid enough to bring a baby bird safely into the world, apparently it’s all do with its thickness and shape. Designed to move around in the nest and not get squashed…Mother Nature is an awesome and a mighty force.

As humans we too have shells, you can’t see them but they are present. Some are wrapped to protect people because they’ve experienced harm, they build solid walls around them and it can be hard to communicate with them, let alone create a meaningful relationship. Other are fragile, their shells break with ease and you can see the cracks in their smiles, in the way they walk, perhaps a lack of eye contact or through muffled conversation.

As April approaches I’d invite you to become more dynamic in your shell. In fact, I’d encourage you to have a walk in wardrobe of shells. Much like a hermit crab, we need different level of shells (boundaries) for different situations. Sometimes we need to opt for a thick wall to shield us from the world, solitude has its place, but at times we need to invite others in to share our shells, a large open space where we can mix with ease and light. Of course, we get to choose our shell and the level of shell needed for the interactions. On a day to day basis I would select a kinder egg shell. A thin layer of foil would keep the elements at bay, for those dearer to me (who I let in) we could share my chocolate layer and I’d save the joy (the toy) for myself.

Sometimes we all, much like the hermit crab need to be brave – we need to leave our shells to grow. Bare and exposed we would step out of our comfort zones and this is where we would need to be kind and compassionate. If you see someone leaving their comfort shell, increase respect for them. If you see a kinder egg on the shelf, handle it with care and if it does become damaged, much like each other continue to love it despite its broken parts, after all we all have joy inside of us waiting to be recognised.

Don’t ignore your own potential

Anon

Despite what you may think of your parents, the chances of them meeting was around 1 in 20,000…for them to stay together long enough to procreate you need to add a few more zeros and then for the sperm to meet the egg, for the egg not to mutate and for a successful fertilisation is not where it stops, it has to be the right sperm with half your genetic make-up and the exact 1 egg (out of 100,000 viable eggs). Anyway, that takes the probability of the chosen sperm and chosen egg resulting in you to 1 in 400 quadrillion. If that’s not a miracle I’m not sure what is?

So if you often say things like ‘I’m not that lucky’ you’re an out right liar. I could add more statistics, like the chances of you being healthy, wealthy or even having access to basic human rights, but I’m not a logical lady and I feel like you get my point…you’re amazing just the way you are.

How you honour that miracle is by feeding your brain with nourishing thoughts – tell yourself what you can do, rather than what you can’t. Change the language of ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’t yet’ and the miracle continues.

Apparently we have one life (I’m not convinced) but if that’s true as a thirty something female living in the UK my life expectancy is around 88 years old, I also have a 1 in 10 chance of living to be 100 years old. If we take the egg and sperm statistics then that’s pretty high. My privileged birth means that I’m being given the largest opportunity of time and life that history has ever seen…I’m not going to waste it looking back.

We each have unique skills, everyone is good at something (or even a collection of skills and talents). You aren’t a one dimensional droid and there is an entire world beyond the nine to five Monday to Friday, be honest with yourself about how you want to live, what you want to experience and make it happen. I’ve got the next fifty to seventy years to make good on those dreams and my starting point, like yours was that I’m a miracle. Don’t ignore your potential, I plan to be doing yoga on my one hundredth birthday and telling stories to my great grandchildren that are worthy of a life well lived.

Make magic happen

Anon

You’ll be pleased to know that this post isn’t about card tricks and there will be no rabbits in hats, instead I want to discuss the power within you.

Have you ever left the cinema from seeing a film about a super hero and felt like you could take over the world? (for me this also happens after most Disney films), as an adult have you ever swam in a pool and pretended to be a mermaid? (again, this can’t just be me!) , do you ever day dream or get lost in thoughts of how life could be better? Perhaps then you’ve already found the magic within. However we all need a top up and this most is a reminder about how I top up my vibrations even when the world is wet and cold.

Gratitude: you knew it was coming, the ultimate feel good magic booster – feeling low? List ten things you’re grateful for in this very moment, or keep a daily journal on the topic.

Meditate: a great way to connect with your high self and eliminates fears and worries. Also a great way to take a pause when the world becomes overwhelming.

Connect with nature: perhaps like me the place you live in is often wet and cold, it doesn’t matter – pop those wellies on and take a brisk walk in nature, it will lift your spirits and if you are able to locate the sun then you’ll get a bonus top up of vitamin D3

Drink water: wash away the toxins and impurities that might be weighing you down, flush them away and as a bonus you’ll also have healthy organs and clear skin.

Visualise: this is my favourite. Find a place to snuggle, or rest and close your eyes. Imagine how you want life to be, dream big and feel how this upgraded version of you feels…be warned manifesting is highly addictive and you’re likely to live a better life.

The magic is always within us and I’m sure everything I’ve listed above isn’t new to you, it’s just we all forget in the adult world of routines and responsibilities that we are creating our reality. We forget the magic that we have inside of us, we forget that we are allowed to feel good, we are suppose to feel good and that we are worthy of our dreams. In case anyone hasn’t told you today, you are enough and you deserve the best.

Turn the page

Anon

To all the adults in my life,

You made it look so easy. I always felt like you knew what you were doing, had all the answers and life’s ‘next steps’ were preplanned and effortless….Then I became an adult and realised that we are all human, just at different ages, with different worries, joys and hopes. You sold me a false lie.

What’s next?

I haven’t a clue.

BUT that’s ok. I’ve reached a point in my life where I could easily settle, stay in the security of routine and the repetition of life’s pages would continue to flow. I’d wake up one day aged around seventy and say ‘wow time flew’ and for many that’s enough.

It’s time for me to turn the page and perhaps even a new chapter. If this sounds cryptic it’s because I haven’t a clue what’s next. As far as I’m aware the next page of life could be blank, the grass could be dead and I may wish to revisit previous chapters.

It’s okay. It’s okay to not have a five year plan, to not know what’s next and to let the universe guide you, it’s got your back. So if you’re a thirty something reading this, I guess what I want you to know is you aren’t alone. We don’t all have life worked out and if you’re a child, then you get to change your dreams, move the chapters of life around, nothing that’s alive stops growing. Life is often unknown and that’s a good thing. Much like life, the game of chess may look calculated and structured but just as you think you can predict its outcomes a King or Queen can turn up and check mate your ass.

Be your own Queen and turn the pages of life with self belief and a healthy dose of uncertainty, it’ll make for a richer game.

What’s coming is better than what’s been

Anon

I’ve wrote similar posts like this before, but I’m a teacher and a Mum so repeating myself is my thing…

In each mundane day there is always something to celebrate. This weekend we step in to February and the completion of my thirty days of yoga. It was a mini challenge that as someone who works full time and runs a home I struggled with. Prioritising the time and having the energy were my main issues BUT I committed and therefore made yoga non negotiable… and I learnt a handful of valuable lessons.

  • A little goes a long way.

By this I mean that each sequence was between fifteen and thirty minutes, by committing daily my core strength improved and my flexibility. I also managed to keep my feet down in ‘down dog’, a move I’ve always found a struggle.

  • I can

Habit has been established and although I don’t plan to continue a daily practice, I do plan to move to alternative days because I love it and I now know I can. Self belief is a fear that often prevents us from even trying

  • Celebrate the little moments

Today I plan to celebrate the completion of my goal with a treat this weekend. As adults we often forget to mark the smaller achievements in life and miss the joy in our growth.

* Update: I had a custard doughnut

  • What’s next?

Through February I want to continue the discipline of every other day yoga works outs, I also plan to attend a three hour meditation and yoga class (with a harp musician playing live!) in March but it’s now time to move on and set myself a new challenge. Referring back to my vision board I’d like to work on self growth. I’m attending a well being festival in mid February which I think will help enhance this and step up my goals manifesting. Mean while I’ll use the next thirty days to read more nurturing books and continue to eat well. Sometimes goals don’t need to be so clear, just setting the intention and looking for opportunities (in this case for self growth) can lead us to unexpected delights and the true magic of the universe at our finger tips.

The start of a new month is a wonderful time to review how 2020 is working out for you. Take time to recharge, realign and never settle for anything less than progress. Remember if things aren’t going so well you can edit them, sure there are often events that occur and are out of our hands but there are so many choices we make daily that we can do something about.

Best of luck and I hope January was kind to you.

It takes grace to remain kind in cruel situations

Anon

We named our first daughter Gracie. It came from my partners love of Jiujitsu, the Gracie family (a surname) are inspirational in the sport and I wanted her to know she is fierce and strong. Grace in the dictionary means ‘effortless beauty, charm of movement’ and this part of her name evokes a softer and nurturing side, a flow of calm. The balance within this name seemed perfect for our first born.

Words have power, they signal clear intentions. However you may want to act or be, other people’s intentions and actions aren’t always in alignment with ours. This often can build hostile and cruel environments, where everybody thinks their way is the best. I’ve noticed it’s a common theme in the school playground and also most work places. Perhaps management or career focused individuals are pushing an agenda that isn’t concurrent with how you view the world. Perhaps your child comes homes with stories from the playground that makes ‘little Alfie’ who seemed lovely when he came for tea that time portrayed as a monster of meanness.

These events are frequent, we are all travelling on our own paths, overlapped by many people on there very different paths. You have two options – roll up your sleeves and show up on the mat of life (much like the Gracie family do), defend your beliefs and take any action necessary. Or you can step back, breath and proceed with Grace.

Much like a Swan, elegant on top of the water, floating with ease but paddling like crazy under the water I think this might be the solution. The Swan knows it’s a Swan, it seems to know it large and often holds its head up high, but the bow in the head shows it’s also humble. When needed it expands its huge wingspan and shows it’s physical power, but mostly it glides with grace knowing it’s self worth. Most importantly, a Swan never tries to be anything other that itself.

If you find yourself in a cruel situation, perhaps led by other people’s agendas. Take a step back and be you. Know your truth, glide and speak with grace…but be prepared to flap your wings only when it truly matters.

Happy swimming

You can start over every morning

Quote Anon

My last post was about vision boards, setting goals and motivation for the year ahead. I mentioned that I had signed up to 30 days of yoga and so far on day nineteen it’s going well, I’ve made it to the mat everyday.

However, I wanted to share a new perspective on motivation. Just because I’m successful in achieving my goal (so far) doesn’t mean it hasn’t been hard and doesn’t mean I haven’t wanted to skip a session. Last week I was exhausted from work, I got home and put my pyjamas straight on – I wanted to snuggle, until a sentence my friend had said just hours earlier entered my head, she didn’t want to go to her exercise class either BUT was going because she wanted to create the habit… sometimes when we least want to show up is when we actually end up getting the best results. So, sulking like a moody teenager and still wearing my pyjamas I sat on my mat. I was then blissfully rewarded and that days session invited us to wear snuggly clothes, grab a blanket and just breath. Snug in my nightwear and relieved I didn’t have to exert myself it was exactly what my body needed, plus I was rewarded with the satisfaction that I hadn’t created an excuse not to do the session. Sometimes showing up is enough.

However, sometimes like the quote suggests life throws you a problem that you didn’t foresee and it can prevent you from achieving your goals as quickly, for example you are watching what you eat and at a friends they order a take away, this can be the start of the end, from then on a ‘what’s the point’ attitude means biscuits, treats and high fat foods are on the menu. OR you could just see the meal as a celebration, a moment in time and with kind thoughts wake the next morning and return to the healthy choices you previously had succeeded in selecting. I think successful individuals don’t let the hiccups of life get in there way, instead they let them pass and continue on the path they intended.

The voices of failure and that we aren’t good enough are loud for all, it’s deciding not to and when to listen to them that’s the key to achieving your goals. If you did set a goal and so far the plan hasn’t…well, gone to plan. You will wake tomorrow, start again and that’s good enough.

Let your dreams be your wings

Quote Anon

January, a new beginning and a chance to set new intentions, plans and goals – I’m in! I know most of the population are against new year resolutions, usually followed with an explanation of ‘what’s the point I’ll only fail’ or ‘ A new year is never any different’…not in this house! In this house we dare to dream, we set intentions and we strive to live our best life. That usually involves evaluating what we could do better and altering behaviour patterns. I was thrilled to hear that my bestie and her husband spent New Year’s Eve with a white board and divided their intentions in to personal and home goals, they also made themselves further accountable by putting the goals on to a time line of the year. *alas they didn’t colour coordinate.

Some people prefer to make goals public and share them on social media, others prefer a more personal approach and jot a few ideas in a planner never to see the light of day.

This year I’m trying something new.

A vision board: In essence you collate images from magazine, words or captions and create a collage of dreams you’d like to experience. Some people hang it up for the world to see, others abandon it in the loft, either way often people are successful in manifesting their desires, as a result I thought I’d give the process a go for 2020. As always, I did it my way and agree that if you’d like to try having a go then make it work for you. There are thousands of examples online to get your creative taste buds excited.

I didn’t like the idea of clutter and images overlapping in a frame. Instead I chose six visions for my board and created images represented in Polaroid photos. I don’t own a Polaroid so I uploaded the photos to an app called LALALAB. (This post isn’t affiliated but I have worked with the company in precious posts). I captioned each image and stuck them neatly near my mirror in my bedroom – a place where not everyone who comes to my home will see them, but that I look at daily.

Creating the images was the fun bit, thinking of how I would capture my vision. One of my goals is to increase our finances. For this I cut out paper butterflies, as they symbolise a sense of freedom and growth for me. I then arranged them coming out of a mason jar, escaping the rat race and soaring high.

For others I used images I had previously taken or asked friends to borrow them. After my miscarriage last year I couldn’t practise yoga for a while, this really set me back on my mat, I really want to extend my practise in 2020. Yoga is another source of freedom and flexibility for me. I’ve committed to a 30 day yoga challenge and so far (its day five) it’s going well.

At the end of the cutting, sticking, folding and creating (and of course I used fridge magnets for one of them) I’ve ended up with six images that make me smile. I’m not sure if I’ve been too vague, but I plan to return to this blog in December 2020 and review the process.

Meanwhile, I’d love to know if you’ve had any joy with you own vision board, how you created it and what worked? Please leave any comments below. And lastly, happy new year and may all your dreams come to fruition.