You were my cup of tea, but I drink champagne now

Quote Anon

Within this quote lies two of my favourite liquids, tea and champagne (not in the same vessel obviously). We are jumping through January with people taking on new challenges from eating vegan to folding things in a Kondo fashion.

When I turned thirty my friend told me something very wise. She said “when you’re thirty life is too short for buying tomatoes not on the vine” and although this might sound peculiar, as always it was good advice. In my house I like crystal glasses, as a result we drink out of them as our ‘everyday’ glasses, in my opinion everyday is our best day, why wait for an occasion? My tea is served in china cups, I dislike the thickness of a mug and of course my tomatoes are bought on the vine.

However, often people don’t upgrade the people they surround them self by. I’m not saying you need to cull the friends of years gone by, sometimes there are wonderful reasons why they are still in your world. Sometimes though, your neighbour is abrupt, a friend says cruel things, they don’t support you with goals and perhaps you stopped sharing visions and plans with them long a go. In this case, seize this quote with both hands and pour the tea down the drain, reaching instead for a tall and sleek (crystal) glass of fizzy delight. Make sure the people you surround yourself by have common goals, that they too are climbing to the top of the glass one bubble at a time, that they refresh you, quench your thirsty and leave you feeling a million dollars

*warning: even champagne friends will leave you with a headache if you spend too much time with them. Balance is the key.

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You and I are more than friends, we’re like a really small gang

Quote Anon

This quote warms my heart and reminds me of my soul mate. No not him indoors, he’s my equal. My soul mate and I met at university during auditions. Then the stars aligned and we ended up with rooms close together, then a house share and now despite living miles away, we speak daily. My soul mate is my shadow and I am hers. If you are blessed to have a friend that makes you a better person, tell them. This post is all about our small gang.

We complete each other’s sentences, understand each others work issues (she’s also a teacher), we sound the same on the phone and have on many occasions tricked all the Mr’s over the years by pretending to be each other. We are very alike and completely different. She has a huge friendship circle that goes back to her first breath, I hate humans. She loves to upcycle furniture and I like to drink champagne whilst she paints furniture for me. She is kind and thoughtful, she can’t say no. (Yes, I know you’re getting better) I am blunt, she is polite. I’m number one and she’s number a zillion and will put all other beings (even Doug the fat pigeon) before her. We speak daily on the phone and if we don’t I feel like I’ve lost a limb.

Our taste in fashion is different, but I’d know her taste in seconds. We can both cook, clean and love Gavin and Stacey, TV sitcoms like friends, laughing and my son…we love him equally. She always puts him first, sends him parcels; I can’t stand onesies…he rang her and asked her for one (he never asks for anything) as he admires her collection, she sent him a parcel that made him beam. In 2019 she is getting married to her equal. I’m a bridesmaid (along with 80 others, I told you she knows a lot of people), I’ve been a bridesmaid twice in my life, she is annually a bridesmaid for someone and has a closet like Katherine Heigl in 27 dresses. So her moment to shine is a big deal. That said, she’s allowing my son to walk down the aisle carrying the rings in an outfit of his choice. Currently the design involves 8 legs and it has to light up. I don’t need to apologies to her, she knows him and loves him for his wonderful imagination, I know she would be upset if I made him wear a suit that made him align with the colour scheme.

When we are together I feel complete. I wouldn’t be me without her. She is my Clare bear. She’s my better half. Together we are the coolest little gang ever. It helps that somehow we’ve ended up with men folk that are also very different and yet the parallels of similarity are odd.

Being cool, we often sing aloud together in our cars and create new lyrics to songs or poems that make little to no sense but make us laugh.

Thank you for being my bestie, my light in the dark times and my shadow enjoying the lighter aspects of life with me. May 2019 bring you all you desire and more…if like me you have a really small gang, tell them. To show others you appreciate them is the highest gift you can give, unless they like gin, then share your gin with them.

No.

To quote Hamlet, act 3, scene 3, line 87

We are on the cusp of a consumer crazy season. Of crackers with plastic and wrappings that nobody wants, that are often abandoned on the table long after the plates have been clearer away. Perhaps of saying thank you for gifts that lack thoughts, need or joy.

I know this post isn’t my usual sparkly positive self. Don’t despair, I’m about to flip it around but before I do I want to empower you with the word No. (As a Teacher and a Mum I feel Hamlet needs to add the words ‘thank you’ after his quote). Balance in life is crucial for physical and mental wellbeing. I’ve written many posts about ‘yes’ – to opportunities, change and adventure that so many of us hide from in daily life. I’m a fan honestly.

However, December seems to bring excess and anxiety for things we don’t want to do.

If you feel at all doubtful, listen to your instinct and say No.

  • Say No to buying gifts for that awkward Aunt or Uncle that you feel obliged to because they buy for you. It only takes a quick awkward phone call to release everyone of this burden for many Christmas’s to come
  • You don’t need to eat everything you’re offered
  • you can say no to sprouts.
  • You don’t need to attend that party that makes you feel anxious.
  • You don’t have to wear anything you don’t want to. I am the proud owner of zero Christmas jumpers.
  • Christmas doesn’t mean ‘spend money you don’t have’ say No.

Make sure the traditions you and your family participate in bring joy, love and a sense of fun…not awkward social events. Don’t become one of the three kings that bought guilt, anxiety and fear. Many of the innkeepers said No and it led to a way cooler version of Christmas. Baby Jesus born in a stable gathered by animals is all the better for its simplicity.

Saying No doesn’t need to be negative, it’s in fact a tool that can bring a huge amount of joy and relief. Balance is where joy and happiness can be fully embraced. This holiday season say yes to things that make you warm and smile, politely decline things your instinct tells you will add stress, keep the holiday season simple and stay present in all you do. It’s a recipe for the perfect Christmas.

Wake. Pray. Slay

Quote by awesome Anon

I find that if I can wake on my terms (without a little ninja creeping in and tackling me) I can literally take on the world.

Seriously it’s like a revolutionary universal explosion, when the ninja does creep in my day is more like the Jurassic age…mummy dinosaur is ferocious. I’ve wrote a post before about my morning routine but thought I’d write about how I turn my Mummy-Rex in to a mummy dream when things don’t go as planned.

I lock myself in the toilet. We are blessed with both an upstairs and downstairs bathroom, so if one is out of action nobody has the excuse to break down the door. I basically sit and reawaken. It’s not as snug as my bed, but it’s ninja attack free. I then do some simple breathing techniques that I find work for me. I’ve also been known to do these in public bathrooms when my stress levels are going crazy. It’s called the OM breath and just two minutes is enough to reduce your heart rate by two thirds. I also like it because as you breath in and out you make a rasping sound that reminds me of waves. Google it, it works and the tutorials are hilarious.

I write a list. Seriously, I’m a spiritual being but have never found joy in prayer, but a list is like fuel in my engine. It gives me direction in an otherwise chaotic day, I feel a huge sense of achievement as I tick off each item. I’ve even been known to add things I’ve done previously to writing the list, on the list, just so I can tick them off. I even have a notebook dedicated to lists.

Self care indulgence. Everyday I squeeze in a little self care, it might be painting my nails, lighting candles, clearing out a draw, ringing a friend…but on days when I’ve turned it around I reward myself with bonus time. Today was indeed a slay day. There was so much to do and I was a single parent with the Mr away, so once the ninja was asleep I had a bubble bath, hair treatment, painted my nails, lit candles, listened to a podcast, had some posh tea and even made time (thanks to the tribe of support) to squeeze in a yoga class.

…why? Because when you’ve slayed you need to do two things.

  • Celebrate: because whatever you were slaying was exhausting.
  • Top up your cup: there’s that wise old saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup and frankly my cup was cracking today, nobody wants me to leak over them so best I fill in the chip and recharge.

I hope you wake to slay tomorrow. How do you turn things around when your day isn’t going as planned? Please share any tips in the comment section 🙂

Lost in a world that doesn’t exist.

Quote Anon (possibly song lyrics)

We are all absorbed in a world that often isn’t what it seems, always learning new things and what I’m going to share blew my brain. Its an experiment conducted by Dr. Masaru Emoto, where cooked rice was put in three beakers. Dr Masaru then speaks to the beakers daily (or shouts), you can also label them. The results blew my brain and I invite you to try it yourself.

What do you need?

  • 3 jars
  • 3 teaspoons of cooked rice
  • a best friend (optional)
  • a permeant marker to label the jars, or a sticky label and pen.

My bestie and I were talking about the experiment and I have to say, I was intrigued. I seized the day and grabbed three jars. I labelled my three jars gratitude, disgusting and ignore.

I placed a teaspoon of cooked rice in each jar, let in cool and then sealed it. I then spent the next few weeks daily telling each jar how thankful I was for it, how revolting it was…or I ignored it. Over the next few days and weeks I then sent the following photos to my bestie and we exchanged thoughts on the experiment. A good google will give you lots of scientific analysis and tell you more information on the experiment, below are my results after thirty days.

When I opened the jars (outside in the garden) the gratitude jar has no sign of fermenting, it smelt sweet but not necessarily pleasant, I really couldn’t believe how clear it was. The disgusting jar was very different – the smell packed a punched and the rotting is clear to see. I could see at least five different types of mould. The ignore jar looked clear too (which surprised me) the water in the jar was a little cloudy, however when I opened the jar the smell was unbearable and I’ve changed many nappies at close range.

I realise that this isn’t  very ‘scientific’ and that there are many variables; from the position of the jars, how many grains were in each jar, what was in the jar previously…the list goes on, but my world was altered for the better from doing this experiment and perhaps thats all that is necessary. Below are my thoughts and what I’ve taken from this…

1). If humans are approximately 60% water and water has a conscience- then how we speak to ourselves and how we let others speak to us has much more of mental and physical effect than I ever perceived. Since doing the experiment I am much more aware of my inner voice and the thoughts I choose to think, I also avoid being around others that could poison my jar. If the conversation turns negative, I make my apologies and leave.

2). Now I understand why my Nanny talks to her plants. If rice in a jar can be THAT effected by negative words, objects I once thought were just that – objects, are much more sensitive to their surroundings. *at this point my brain slightly blows with incomprehensible truths about the world we live in. If the sea, plant life and animal kingdom are all receptive to the energy projected at them then the first place to start being kind is to ourselves and then to spread the kindness and gratitude like…water.

3). My son was part of this experiment but I will do it with him again when he is slightly older, I hope it will teach him about his inner powers.

This last image is powerful but again, don’t take my word for it. Grab yourself a jar or two and let me know how the conscious rice experiment works for you.

The Saturday session #49

Happy weekend all, this week saw my Uncle get hitched and I was gifted a wonderful yoga session. I met up with friends and finished with a GnT and a take away pizza – call me classy. I hope the week has been kind to you also.

Hayley my lovely cohost has elected her featured blogger, so feel free to check it out here or read on to find out that my gorgeous featured blogger is the stunning Mummy Wales who gave us all eight great ways to get kids engaged in nature. Making time to get outside every weekend is something we prioritise, I loved her enthusiasm for county shows – Okay, she mentioned gin and cows eyelashes, but lets be honest both of those things are delightful. This post reminded me of my own values and I made time to take the little dude on a midweek welly walk (before the nights draw in) we collected some conkers and pretty leaves. So thank you to Mummy Wales for an authentic and joyful post, please collect a featured badge from my side bar.

If you can join us this week, then please read the rules below and click the blue inlinz box. We really are grateful for so many of you joining us week after week.

RULES

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Start your day with a dance party

Quote Anon wearing sparkly shoes

I have a morning routine that I do before my day begins, you can read about it here. If you do nothing for yourself ever again, I suggest you get one too. It makes my day start from a place of joy and if I didn’t have it in my life it would be like not having lungs.

After this the days demands capture me, throw me into a frenzy and at times I have to regain control with a mini mindful exercise. I think the ‘your day’ in this quote is really important, we can blame others when they interrupt our flow, make excuses but really it’s how we deal with life’s negatives and how long we hold on to them that guides our lives.

Emotions are complex, the extremes are often lifted for me with a dance to a song that makes me smile. I crank it up and dance like I’m on stage in a huge concert hall. The boys run for cover – this mummy can’t sing BUT THAT DOESN’T STOP ME. I find night club classics from my clubbing days are a great way to begin, then I move on to anthems. The concert in my bedroom, lounge or kitchen goes on until I’m ready to take on the world…which reminds me The Guardians of the Galaxy sounds tracks are also amazing for mood shifting.

Sometimes I listen through headphones for a personal party effect but mainly I like to contaminate the house with my moves and boom the music as loud as it can go. I’ve also been known to find a musical soundtrack on Spotify and work my way through the numbers…always with random lines from various characters delivered in perfect time. My son sometimes comes in for a strut, but mainly I’m a solo act.

Why? Well I do have a drama degree, but I actually think I dance because physically moving helps those endorphins to buzz around, lifts the soul, its free and guess what – it works.

If you have never danced in the mirror, thrown yourself down the stairs like a Hollywood diva in the last few weeks then I have one piece of advice. Do it. Dancing isn’t for those that can, Shakira was right – the hips don’t lie. Kelis finds milk shades and boys in her yard, Beyoncé runs the world and Tina Turner is simply the best and looking great on each and every roll down the river. So what are you waiting for? Solo dance through the week and watch the changes that happen to your mood, body and vibration.

Own who you are

I’m not sure this post is for you today, perhaps it’s more for me. However, I invite you to write your own with the same first and last line.

I am enough

I am a woman

I am a teacher

A partner, fiancée, lover and when the dirty laundry is on the floor – a hater

I am a mummy

My womb grew two beautiful souls

My heart has learnt to love and recover

I feel grief but it’s temporary and it passes

I am confident but I falter

I am healthy and I count my blessings

I am a friend

Somebodies neighbour, friend

A driver

Writer

I am grateful for all I have, good and bad. They teach me more about who I am, who I want to be and how I can be a better me.

I am a daughter, cousin, a niece.

I am Lucy and my name means light.

I love yoga, crystals, high heels and sunshine

I love beaches, watermelon, tea and peonies.

I love cold champagne, essential oils, books and crisps

I am loved.

I am appreciated and…

I’m always enough.

Sometimes the days pass and the years fly by, as an adult we lost who we are. The costumes we juggle from day to day consume us, my teacher cape engulfs me and my mother hat swallows me like a praying mantis. This list of ‘me’ is only a glimmer but I found writing it helped me to be grounded. Like you, I’m not one thing, I mean more to some than others. Having a senses of self allows me to appreciate all I have…pick up a pen and discover that you too are always enough.

And like a book cover I am what I hide

As soon as I saw this quote my heart did a double flip, after all I love books and I adore quotes.

Probably because I love learning, I like the fact that once we open our eyes as new born’s we don’t stop until our last breath – even if we wanted to. Books are a great place for wisdom, bringing far away lands closer or learning how to rustle up something for dinner.

Book covers however, just like the human body are highly controversial. Within this corner of the internet there are many posts on judgement – so here comes my confession. I totally judge a book by its cover. (*hides head in shame) In brutal honesty I love a cover that is bright and vibrant, if it has glitter – all the better, a little embossing never did anyone any harm…did I mention glitter?

That said a couple of years ago I began to read the top 100 novels of all time, so far I’ve read some epic classic’s and once again I’ll be honest and say that often the covers of the most thrilling book aren’t that vibrant.

However, like my cover or not, I am more complex in the story I tell. If you were to meet me I have an advantage – I can decide what I tell you, how I portray me, the leading lady. I can let you have a quick flick and leave feeling satisfied or I can pour out a chapter if I think you can relate to it, but most of my chapters live inside my head and the best ones are inside my heart. They aren’t shared with the world, loved ones or enemies – some stories live in people so deeply buried that even they forget they are there.

Some people walk around with their book wide open, they have fast track pages to the juicy bits and just like a book, if you expose it to the elements, the paper will perish in time. Others keep their book sealed that it isn’t worthy of existing. It hides in the shadows and without light and adventure the pages are empty. A note book isn’t a life worth living.

This brings me on nicely to genre’s; some people are pure romantics intwined in a relationship that lasts a life time…some are thrillers, crime based tales or I’m afraid – tragedies. Then there are the purely non fiction people who only exist for a work related goal, they usually have a specialism, a niche and there book slowly absorbs the pages of a slice of life. The saddest part about books is how many words they hold. Some are epic tales with thousands of adventures amongst millions of words, commas and full stops…some are only a handful of pages before the book comes to an abrupt end.

So, whilst you work on your happy ever after, I wouldn’t worry too much about putting effort in to your cover, how you appear will probably only attract a shallow reader to the shelf. Instead, as always I’d recommend balance, perhaps invest in a strong spine to hold you together, pay attention to who you decide to share your chapters with, however should it all go wrong, don’t panic – everyone loves a plot twist. Don’t worry if the book isn’t long, we can’t always control the precious time we are given, but do pay attention to the experiences you have, the climaxes and the contrast…and when all is said and done, if you have any budget left, sprinkle a little glitter on your front cover, after all a tale isn’t great if nobody ever reads it.

Fight for the fairy tale, it does exist.

Quote by joy.F

I truly believe that we are all writing our own stories, chapter by chapter life is a series of new beginnings, challenges and climaxes…and of course the odd dark spell and baddy comes along and tries to jeopardise the heroine/ hero from achieving their purpose. I have chosen to live a life of happy ever after, but even with my most positive intentions, I often get thrown off course and have to realign myself.

Many people don’t come close to their purpose, to living aligned or anywhere near the fairy tale they desire. I think I know why, as yesterday I had an epiphany in the supermarket.

I was helping out with our school production and there was a large gap of time between the end of my working day and the show starting, so I decided to take myself to a local supermarket and purchase something for my dinner. It was a sunny and rare hot day in the UK and I really wanted a salad but also to indulge myself. Leaves don’t really cut it?

Solace in a supermarket can actually be rather therapeutic. So I wondered around the isles and placed a few of my favourite things in my basket. I looked down and found that my basket was unreservedly a middle class snobby delight. Who had I become? The content included:

  • Tyrell’s sea salt and black pepper crisps
  • a rainbow themed salad bowl (it was so pretty)
  • Sushi
  • Equinox Kombucha (some sort of fermented goodness in a glass bottle)

I giggled with shame…I went back to my office and enjoyed every bite. I felt good, knew what i’d chosen was the best – felt indulged and also rather healthy (if we excuse the crisps) but still I felt embarrassed. Until I saw this quote this morning. It was then that I realised that in that moment I had eaten and drunk exactly what I desired. As far as I’m aware Cinderella didn’t run off with the sleazy bloke at the bar (although we never really learn much about the prince in that particular story?), Snow white doesn’t marry the first forrest animal to come along and Pocahontas doesn’t hook up with the village idiot. So why shouldn’t my basket be full of what I want? Just like my life.

I’m buying it, I’m writing my own fairy tale… more importantly why am I judging my own basket? Forget social pressure and media corruption – perhaps (yup this is my epiphany) we don’t feel we are worth the fairy tale. Our own judgements block us from how we want to look, feel and in my case – the basket of food I purchase.

So listen up fellow fairy tale lovers, you ARE creating your own story. Sure, it’s likely to never have a Disney logo but just like my shopping basket it can be the best or at least what you want it to be. Don’t judge yourself – you’re totally worth it. Have your own back. If Mr Right hasn’t shown up, if Mrs Right now is lacking in basket delights…shop around. That’s why we have so many shops!

Be the fairy tale, but not Cinderella’s – be your own damsel and rescue yourself. Oh and never settle – fight for your happily ever after and never worry if anyone else agrees with it, they’re busy writing their own fairy tale…or haven’t had the wisdom to read this blog and have sad judgmental baskets of shopping.