Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it

Quote by Roald Dahl

Often the pupils in my class teach me more than I teach them, it’s the little comments or the notes they leave me but most of all they make me smile. On the last day of term I received a Christmas card from a year 7 pupil (eleven years old) and on the back she had wrote “THIS card helps cancer” it turned out that a donation to the purchase of the cards goes to cancer research, however a quick discussion with her and she felt she had saved ‘several people’ and perhaps her purchase will. She believes.

My son is six years wise and when asked about magic told me it comes in two colours; pink for harmony, black and gold for death magic. He then elaborated that we are all magic and that the power of God is in us all. A deep conversation at 05:30am on a Saturday but that’s how we roll. I think as adults the concept of magic is often intangible and outgrown; perhaps why the Christmas season is so popular, giving the biggest kids in life an opportunity to wear a paper crown and indulge in sparkle and the enchantment of Father Christmas.

I’m a goal setter, as a result stepping in to a New Year will always involve setting goals, reflecting on the year just passed and narrowing down what I want to prioritise. That said, the rest is magic. I don’t worry about the ‘how’s’ or the ‘when’s’ and let the magic of the universe sweat the small stuff. Letting go of the details allows me to manifest faster and sometimes better than I could of imagined. As we all enter a new decade let the magic handle the specifics and throw yourself fully into the years joy and journey that awaits you, have high expectations. My transportation of choice is a flying carpet, it’s eco friendly and the view is meant to be epic.

Merry Christmas.

The secret to your future is hidden in your daily routine

Quote Anon

As we stand on the cusp of a new decade I can’t help but both wonder and hope for an abundant 2020

However, I do know for certain that this weeks quote is true. Many people often feel that ‘things will be different’ next year and that challenges will suddenly dissipate.

I’ve always known that life is full of miracles and that the universe often delivers them when you least expect them, the rest is down to small consistent actions. Not even the most confident of people wake up and feel worthy, it takes daily practices, changes in mindset and surrounding yourself with positive people… if you daily fill your body with negative thoughts and foods that you know don’t make you thrive, dis-ease awaits your future.

If you make time to reflect on the contrast that life brings and focus on the good – you magnify abundance. I know because I’ve done both.

It takes daily practise. Setting small goals and sticking to them, it takes lots of little actions that build up to big changes… you can’t fill your mouth with food that you know makes you sluggish and lacks nutrients and expect to feel good about how your body moves and looks.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are we. If you want to live the dream, you have to work and play daily to attract it. But here’s the big secret… it doesn’t matter if you fail. What matters is that you don’t let that small action (it in my case lack of action) determine the next action that you take. 2020 can be the year you’ve dreamed off, it’ll take courage and stepping out of your comfort zone but I promise it’ll be worth it.

Don’t set resolutions that life will be any different, instead take daily actions, create routine that mean each day you’re a little closer to achieving the life you dream of.

Gonna go lay under the tree and remind my family I’m a gift

Quote Anon

It’s the first of December and my tree isn’t up yet – as soon as it is I’ll have a little lay under there. This quote made me laugh and seemed December appropriate, I adore Christmas but can’t get behind it in November, so now the advent calendars doors have begun to open I can fully embrace the spirit of the season.

Truth be told, I didn’t pick this quote for it’s Christmas vibes, but because it said self care to me. I think the Christmas season is an extremely challenging time of year for many people. Anxiety over what to buy people, financial worries for some, others will over indulge in late nights and clinking glasses, immune systems dip and sickness is high, some may even find socialising and busy shops overwhelming, for others it’s the pressure of family gatherings or in complex families it might be making sure everyone gets to spend time with the children.

This is a reminder that you are enough. Whilst the seasonal spirit is about giving, you can’t do that if you haven’t looked after yourself. You are the gift for your loved ones; keep yourself safe, look after your mental health and just like the advent calendar, take the season a step at a time. If you don’t want to be merry – don’t force it, it doesn’t make you bar humbug. If the ‘works Christmas party’ makes you feel anxious, go on your terms – perhaps that just for a while, not drinking or not going.

Take a step back, breath and reflect on what matters to you. If it’s an over extravagant roast dinner and giving gifts that you can’t afford you may have missed the magic of Christmas altogether.

If I reflect on my favourite Christmas moments growing up it wasn’t about the toys or the meal, it was about the people I got to make memories with that are no longer with us, it was midnight mass with my Mum, fairy lights when we drove home from somewhere… okay, I loved the twiglet crisps that came in tubs, the festive films, the paper hats, the cracker jokes and playing board games but none of those things are worth the cost of my wellbeing or my families health, so enjoy the season and all the cheer in a way that lifts your spirit and doesn’t overload them.

Life is a series of a thousand little miracles, notice them

Quote Anon

I’m writing this pool side as little dude attempts his 100 metre badge, will today be the victorious occasion?

Who knows what today will bring.

This morning I woke to the sun shining through the curtains, a cup of tea and then a walk around the countryside. The stunning spectacle that Mother Nature delivered was my motivation, with Alicia Keys blaring in my ears as a soundtrack for determination. Just within the first hour of my morning, so many miracle were had.

Once again, I’m going to share with you the biggest secret in life, if you choose to see the small moments of joy in life, you magnetise even more moments of joy to your life.

Before you throw a thousand reasons as to why you can’t be joyful today, check out Claire Wineland on YouTube – she lived her entire life knowing each day was a gift due to being born with cystic fibrosis, she was also the most positive human I’ve ever witnessed and she also attracted opportunities and love towards her like bumble bee’s to nectar,

‘Each day is a gift, which is why we call it the present’ but perhaps by thinking this way you are missing the one hundred tiny moments and gifts within each day, unwrap today and make it count. Stay present in the now and make a gratitude list before you go to sleep – you’ll realise two things. Firstly, you’re blessed more than you realise and secondly it’s the little moments that matter the most. We can’t always prevent the darkness from knocking at our door but we can shine a torch in its face and make the world a little lighter.

Have a blessed day… just count the blessings as you see them.

Stay close to people that feel like sunshine

Quote Anon

Autumn days often bring rain to the UK. The darkness closes in and the excuse to light another candle is one I never shy away from.

Over the last few weeks our lives have been hit with an unexpected storm. It came from nowhere and left behind our weary souls, it’s still passing through at present but in time I’ll write more eloquently and with precision about our experience. It takes time to get over an event and learn from it, I’ve never been that good at analysing things when I’m in them, it always needs space and a little time.

However, one lesson has become enlarged in my vision. The bill board of all lessons: I am loved, supported and nurtured.

My tribe is kick ass! When I need to go to war my girl friends are right behind me. In fact, pushing me to the side and offering to fight on my behalf. My work colleagues are supportive and have given me space and sent compassionate loving messages of support.

My boys are my rocks. The Mr is exceptional in chaos, he destroys tornados with Marvel like precision and my little dude makes me laugh, distracts me from the realities of the world and seeps in warmth through cuddles and humour.

My family are loyal, kind and patient and my Mum has a way of always saying what I need I to hear…note not always what I want to hear. As a child she use to sing to me ‘ you are my sunshine’ and in these darker days this song keeps finding me – I even purchased this little trinket in NEXT at home.

So what’s my lesson? By counting my blessings and surrounding myself with a network of sunbeams it’s hard to sit in the dark. Look after your tribe and enjoy the sun and warmth they bring, walk away from chaotic individuals who darken your days. When your storm hits you’ll be grateful for the support of an well placed light house to guide you to shore.

You don’t need to set yourself on fire to keep others warm

Quote unknown

When I saw this quote my heart sung a little with laughter.

From work to play I see humans setting themselves on fire on a daily basis, metaphorically speaking of course. So often we put others ahead of ourselves and at the end of a busy week when we have little for ourselves we still continue to serve others from empty cups.

On Friday evening I had nothing to give. Trimester one is exhausting and as I walked in the door I knew an early night was essential and that dinner would have to sort itself out. A laptop and a scroll meant that pizza would be delivered. Not my personal choice but I was past caring. We selected a film from Netflix and the phrase ‘Netflix and chill’ had never been more correct. Next stop bed…

The house looks like a bombs gone off and the my laundry basket might erupt at anytime. In the light of a new day these things can be challenged but last night sleep was my only need and my only

As a parent of the messy kind that leave trails of crumbs wherever they go, are allergic to picking up toys and make unreasonable demands at unreasonable hours…we feel the need to set ourselves on fire to keep them warm, or to lie there with them until they fall asleep, to provide all they desire and make every moment count. In my experience as a teacher of teens this isn’t the solution. Giving them clear boundaries on what you can and can’t do allows them to mimic this into their relationships. Perhaps instead of going to the extreme of setting ourselves on fire we could suggest they put on a jumper?

Many parents often feel that they ‘let the kids down’ because they shouted, lost their sh*t or wasn’t there for the event they were performing in. I think if you take the time to explain why you can’t be there, they learn life skills about resilience and boundaries. I think you can unburden the chains of parental guilt by talking to your child about the reasons why and also by taking time out for you, perhaps the emotional outpours would be less frequent. We need to be brave enough to say no, listen enough to when we need to say yes and put the box of matches back in a secure cupboard on a high shelf. You are enough, you always have been and you always will be.

Sometimes happy memories hurt the most

Very soon we will of breathed for 3650 days without our first born, our daughter Gracie Alice Rose.

As I’ve written previously she was too precious for this earth and so was given her wings early. We were blessed with several days with her and in that small amount of time created enough memories to get us through a life time without her…just. I remember every moment and each stage before we left the hospital with her car seat empty and our hearts in pieces.

At the time we were cocooned by the love of our family and friends, but also the ripples of love that travelled into our communities, work places and beyond. This experience has given me a masters in grief. It wasn’t a qualification that I was planning on taking, but I hope that my knowledge might make things a little easier when you find yourself in the shadows of grief.

People lie

Much like a pregnancy, in death people like to give advice. “It’ll be ok” “when my mum died..” it goes on. However, one wise Nanny told me “people will tell you it gets easier with time – they’re liars”. At the time it felt like Nanny had bluntly slapped me across the face, a different tone shall we say from the sympathy cards we’d received in their dozens. Alas, she was right and with this blunt truth and sudden adjustment to my thoughts, it somehow made it easier? I wasn’t waiting for the day I’d feel ‘me’ again, because ‘I’ was changed forever. With this comes several added delights, people are lying to you because they love you enough to want to make it better. to ease the brutal process. You are loved. Also, I don’t want to forget anything about that 5lb9 bundle of joy, so why would losing her get easier? Another truth is you do smile again, breathing gets a little easier and appreciation for what you had, even if like in our case it was only for days…becomes a blessing.

Break all the rules

If grief was a fairy, she would be naughty, mischievous and unpredictable – she would turn up when she liked, how she liked and make you feel how you didn’t expect to feel. Some people believe that there are steps to grief (google tells me there are seven), in reality there are actually as many as your grief fairy decides. You may think you’re through guilt and in to anger and then fairy grief side sweeps you back to stage one ‘shock’. It’s your journey and just because I’ve got my masters in grief doesn’t mean I know how you feel, what you need or how best to support you. My best advice would be to reach out to someone you trust and tell them. If they are a good friend, they’ll already know you’re crazy and love you for it, so to hear that one day your fine, the next your on top of the world and the third you’ve been wearing the same Pyjamas for a month and don’t remember where the shower is will come as no surprise. Talk to your tribe, be as honest as you can about your feelings and if you can’t put it into words, silence is best served with a friend by your side.

If none of the above resonates with you, remember ‘what do I know?’ and people are liars. However, if it made things a little easier then in our family we call that a ‘Gracie steps’, tiny steps to progress.

If you’ve been affected by any of the content in this post, please speak to a loved one, your GP or perhaps speak to the wonderful people at The Samaritans (UK) 116123.

It’s all lies darling

Quote Anon

I often write about perspective and how vital it is for a contented life. So often we fall in to a trap of false accusations and the main stream media twisting lies and pushing dramatic headlines that are often false, fake or unfair on the person who’s life is under the spot light.

For many of these reasons and also the negativity of it all, as a household we don’t use our TV, avoid the radio and decided what we consume via streaming. However, often in school I deal with incidents and listen to each side, sometimes with lies woven through to protect things they have done, usually with glimmers of truth and a dash of artistic licence.

This morning in bed I was rolled away from my partner and facing our wardrobe doors, he turned his side lamp on and cast a huge shadow across the ceiling. The shadow looked haunting and dangerous, it had sharp edges and two sides were coming together much like teeth. I turned back to see he was writing and the shadow was he’s fingers and pencil on the pad.

Perspective is essential, don’t believe everything you see, hear and even think at times. Don’t hold your perspective as the only one, there are often victims on each side and every now and then an innocent pad of paper and pencil.

It’s important to be cautious of what we tell ourselves, so often we feed ourselves lies. We aren’t good enough, intelligent enough, healthy enough. I always think if we spoke to our friends how our inner voice talks to us we’d be a very lonely planet. When I look back at photographs of my younger self I’m not always as horrified as I thought at the time. *Although the teen fringe phase and sun-in over use was a mistake.

If what we see around us is often lies and how we speak to ourselves is often overly negative…I choose denial. Talk to yourself like you do your best friend, paint your own truth and see the world through sparkly lenses. Socialise with people that make you feel good, work on goals that make you happy and celebrate the journey along the way.

Don’t count the days, make the days count

Quote from Muhammad Ali

My son has completed his school year and has jumped into summer, sadly I have two more days of standing on the precipice before we can both wallow in the delights of the summer holidays.

We have completed our clouds (See our previous post for more details) as I think it’s important to take in to consideration what he would like to do and yet again I was blown away with how simple his requests are.

During the summer I like to have a balance of planned events and lazy days, prioritising experience over objects. Our holidays have been planned to take our sons interests into account but also I’ve booked an adult only escape in order to keep everyone balanced.

Making the days count is important to me and so I’ve set myself a ‘me goal’ and a ‘Mum goal’. I’m sharing these to make myself accountable and to hopefully inspire you to also set yourself small challenges. I’ve also thought of a word to sum up my intentions for summer – flow.

Me goal:

  • Yoga everyday or a run.

I have been doing mini sessions of yoga when I wake but know that with a little more time I can increase my flow and practise.

Mum goals:

  • Teach little dude to tell the time

This unexpected target is nearly reached by the end of day two. He has really taken to the new watch his Nanny and Grandad bought him and is keen to tell everyone we meet what the time is. Having him with me means the learning can be quick, frequent and once again success can flow

  • Write every day

At the grand age of six, writing is not a joy for my little man, so again I’ve cunningly hidden daily tasks in and around the adventures we’ll be having to help the pen to flow. Last night we sent Daddy messages on post-it’s whilst he was upstairs and I’ve asked a friend of mine who doesn’t live locally if her son would like to be my sons pen pal, an old school idea but he really enjoyed the idea of his friend receiving it. He is also writing a book which was his idea and enjoyed reading the first instalment to his godmother over FaceTime yesterday.

I realise a lot of parents might read this and think that the summer is a time to escape the pen and pencil of the classroom but I personally know my little dude and know that little steps will help him to thrive in the new academic year…as long as he doesn’t realise we’re doing ‘writing’.

Being accountable for each day can feel empowering, I know that we will all enjoy camping under the stars, making memories and visiting some wonderful places. I know that my camera will overflow and my instagram squares will increase with unexpected moments of joy too. However, like Muhammad suggested, time is limited and summers with my boys by my side won’t be forever, so I plan to enjoy each and every day…two more days to go.

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.