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.

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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.

It’s not necessary to react to everything you notice

Quote Anon

In 2019 and the world is full of morons. This is a fact that we can’t change.

None of us are perfect – perfection is an aspiration, not a destination. Thus we can all slide in to the moron mask momentarily. At any moment we can make poor decisions, act in a selfish manner or drive like we are Jenson Button. It happens, we make mistakes.

We also have choices, I like to think I try and take off my moron mask as soon as I notice the shadow cast over my face, I also know if I’m feeling hormonal I can glue it on for the week and anyone who dares to step in my way will feel the wrath of the masked menstruated moron.

(sometimes I just get the mask out for fun)

However, we all have choices. Just because I don’t say anything or react when a moron crosses my path doesn’t mean I don’t notice, nor have an opinion on the matter. It’s crucial to remember we are a reflection of the people that we surround ourselves by. Allowing a friend to gossip and vent can be therapeutic for both of us, but if that friend is in a continuous cloud of doom it may be best to leave and allow them to wallow.

Making continuous negative dialogue about how other people drive (who can’t hear you) only increases your heart rate. It doesn’t make them better drivers.

Learning to not react, to filter our thoughts can be challenging but there are two questions you can ask yourself before you speak (my friend shared these with me a few days ago from a podcast she listened to)

  • Am I growing?
  • Am I giving?

If not, the advice from fridge HQ would be to walk away and let those thoughts go. Sharing ideas, perspectives and support is crucial to evolving, pointing out that someone is inadequate if that haven’t asked for advice isn’t useful to you or them.

Next time you see a masked moron, cross the road and don’t react, the world will be a better place and if you let it go, so will your heart rate and overall well-being.

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?

Don’t blame a clown for acting like a clown, blame yourself for going to the circus.

This is SUCH a good quote and I can’t find out who its by? Confirming once again that Anon rocks.

So often I find myself at the circus. This week I went to soft play with my son. For those without children this is the equivalent of a Saturday night drunken brawl with squidgy walls, but ultimately bodily functions are everywhere and beige food is often consumed – its my hell. However, it was raining and I was meeting my gorgeous zen friend and her little spirited soul.

Our boys were playing beautifully and we were chatting about lovely things, when a clown from the table behind us started hollering that her child (*who was way too big for soft play) had been scratched on the face – she began to cause a scene that would be suitable for a soap opera, the mother of the accused ‘scratcher child’ retaliated. The clown’s had taken the spotlight – it was unpleasant and cringe worthy. The clowns made me sad (clowns can do this) because their children were lapping it up next to them, absorbing the negativity, energised and enjoying every moment. The clowns pointed at each other, spoke unsuitable words, demanded refunds and I realised I was at the circus.

Despite the clowns in this example leaving, we also chose to leave the circus, the rain had stopped and we went to a beautiful empty park surrounded by mother natures calmness. *Note to self, always pack wellies and avoid soft play.

Sometimes in places of work you can find yourself surrounded by clowns, you can even end up slipping in to a costume yourself, but my other favourite circus to avoid are supermarket carparks. I’m not sure why, but in supermarket carparks clowns frequent by pulling out without looking in some sort of slapstick manner. Clowns drive at ridiculous speeds and without caution, escaping trolleys add to the mayhem and shopping bags exploding increases the intense environment of the circus. For this reason, I shop online.

Should you stumble upon a clown performing, my advice is simple – walk away, breath and remember, nobody can force you to buy a ticket. Just like everything in this universe, we always have a choice. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like we do, you can feel like the circus tent is collapsing around you, but there are exit signs if you choose to see them. They come in the shape of friends, loved ones, new opportunities and deciding what you want by listening to your instinct.

However, once in a while a ticket to the circus can be highly entertaining, as long as you remember to stay in your seat.

Jar Moments

There are many things we have to teach our little humans, from taking their first steps to the glamour and delights of wiping bottoms, my son still insists that having his bottom behind him is a design fault (as he can’t see it).

Over the Summer holidays I have created ‘Jar Moments’ and have taken several ideas from the web of joy to hopefully teach my son to spread love, be grateful and for him to experience appreciation with a sprinkle of happiness. If you have a little dude or dudet, or even a gaggle of dudes then feel free to join in. My ideas initially came from Jacqueline from Go to Mindfulness who was a featured blogger on #thesatsesh, click the link and you’ll see that in the jar I’ve added some of her inner child ideas. I also used good old pinterest to find some ‘random acts of kindness’ (although its always made me wonder how random a planned jar of activities can actually be?) then I added a few of my own. J isn’t keen on writing and at the grand old age of 5 years and with a teacher for a Mummy if I can sneak in some pencil time then its an added bonus.

However, we’ve actually been doing ‘Jar moments’ for a while and I didn’t set it up as ‘something for my blog’ but friends have asked if they can join in, so I thought I’d take some time to type it up. I’ll be sharing all of our ideas via the hashtag #jarmoments so feel free to follow me on Facebook to see what the latest note out of the jar is, my Facebook page is @whatmyfridgesays of course you can just do the odd note or even create your own jar. I’m using Facebook as a platform as I think it may get lost on Instagram and I also need to show my Fb page a little more love.

Instruction wise the Jar is simple; you simple unscrew the jar (Gratitude goes to Nanny for providing the jar) and pick out a note. You then have 48 hours to complete the task. I gave us this time as I didn’t want it to become a burden on planned days out that we have during the summer holidays.  Once the task is complete and you’ve returned home, pick another to see what adventure the next forty eight hours holds.

You’ll notice that none of the activities cost any money. I really believe that showing love, gratitude and experiencing happiness always comes from the most simple tasks.

I should probably add that you also don’t need a mini dude to play along – why not create a jar for adult self.

I hope you enjoy #Jarmoments and if you do get involved please let me know by sharing pictures, stories and moments. The more love we can throw out in to the world the better.

Happiness is a state of mind.

Quote by Walt Disney.

I was in work and one of my friends told me an awesome story that involved positive thinking and Disney. Before she could pause for breath, I asked her to write it down. Enjoy…

I recently returned from a magical trip to Disneyland Paris. The trip was fantastic, we saw the parades, fireworks and never had to wait too long in lines for rides. The food was delicious and the weather was (aside from one thunderstorm the first night) gloriously sunny and spring-like.

This was all right up until we went to return home to England. We had booked the Eurostar to take us directly to London, non-stop and then we had another train booked to take us from London back home to the Sussex coast. When we arrived at the train station in Disneyland and were told that due to French rail strike action, that would not be happening. We would instead have to take a train from Disneyland to another station just outside central Paris, then change to a train to Paris central. There we would be told if we had seats on a train 3 hours later than our original planned departure, sitting together with my husband wasn’t guaranteed either. The late departure time would also mean we might not make our train in London.

It was at this moment I took a ‘pause’. This is something I have learnt from both the goddess and spiritual leader Oprah Winfrey and from doing Mindfulness training with school.

The ‘pause’ allowed me to find calm and consider what my reaction would be. So I took a quick inventory of my thoughts and feelings. What was I feeling? Frustration, anger, anxiety?

For example: I might have said to the man (who was actually just a volunteer) something confrontational like “This isn’t good enough”. I could have turned to my husband and taken it out on him “I knew we should have checked this before we came. It’s your fault- you should have checked”. Or, I could have beaten myself up with negative thoughts ‘Why does this always happen to me?’ or ‘You don’t deserve happiness, something always goes wrong’.

Pause and breathe.

Instead my response was this:

To the volunteer at the station: “Thank you so much, I am sure we will work it all out, hope you get home okay too”.

To my husband “It’s a bit annoying but, it will give us a chance to have a couple of drinks at the station as the last send-off of a great trip”

To myself ‘You are calm and can cope with this change of plan. You are grateful you have had a lovely trip with a husband who you have lots of fun with. You will look back on this as an adventure when you are back at work on a dull boring day’ and ‘You do deserve good things and this is a small setback, which you will handle as you do everything that comes your way’.

This is how I handled the situation. With a pause of calm, I was able to engage in positive thought, gratitude, and kindness. Not only to others but to myself.

At Paris central station, as we sat and drank our pints of ice-cold French beer, I heard other people around me complain at officials and volunteers in raised voices and aggression in their faces. Their body language towards family members was tense and dis-engaged. Grumpy children still wearing their Mickey Mouse ears wailed and parents scolded their behaviour briefly, before returning to their negativity towards the officials or each other. (Disclaimer: I fully appreciate I do not have children and I can imagine how stressful travel is at the best of times let alone in these circumstances)

As we finally left the waiting area to board the train, we walked right down the platform to the front of the train. As we boarded, we turned right into a First-class carriage. My husband double checked our tickets. Yes, we had the right seats- we had been upgraded! Not only bigger comfier seats, but this included a lovely meal, with wine and French patisseries.

I don’t know about you but that surely proof that positive thinking works.

Thanks to the lovely Martine for typing this up for me, now I can read this back and remember to pause, breath and go to Disney more often.

Dont ruin a good day because of a bad yesterday

Quote by Grant Cardone
Seriously, this quote is my world right now. I’m a natural positive butterfly – but I’m human too. On bad days people still expect me to be sunshine and full Disney Princess sparkle when I’m actually feeling more Hulk.

Yesterday afternoon I was Hulk. I am able to catch myself in a negative frame of mind, but frankly sometimes I like to wallow in green fury for a little too long or just don’t have the energy to dust myself off and spread pixie dust wherever I go.

By half eight on a Saturday night I decided to let it all go and snuggled in bed. Adulting can be tough and sometimes just like my toddler in the midday heat – I need to nap it off

*Advice: never go to sleep feeling low, you will wake up feeling like you have a hangover and that is the epitome of miserable.

To ‘let it go’ I usually escape into a good book or emerge myself with silly YouTube clips (cute puppies, infectious baby giggles, or stupid people falling off of trampolines) until I’m tired enough to sleep and the immature giggles have lifted my soul.

Today is actually the real test. I don’t need the negativity of yesterday to ruin my today. To do this I make a choice to smile and always choose happiness…it’s hard work, as negative thoughts are like a poison that slip through gaps and as each day brings new challenges and opens new doors it can contaminate in seconds. This quote is more of a mantra to me that I reflect on when the responsibility of being an adult sucks.

Finance, childcare, chores and relationships can be all consuming. That and an unpredictable three year old that can have a emotional breakdown because the grass is green and he wants it to be blue, are all challenges that I attempt to make positive – I laugh at my child’s demands (warning: this sometimes frustrates him further) and I do the chores I can fit into my day without making ‘cleaning’ my entire day; the vacuuming can always wait till tomorrow, life as we know it will continue (with just a bit more dust around).

As for finance, I reflect on that I have it better than others, that bad months will come and good months will help us save for the rainy tsunami days, another quote that works well with this is John Lennon’s “Everything will be okay in the end, if its not Okay then its not the end”

With fresh eyes and a nights sleep today will be better and through this energy attraction, life in turn will be better. So here’s to choosing to see life through Disney Princess glasses, for now my Hulk is back to his human persona Bruce Banner…

Stay blessed this week, and for those who caught in your own ‘Hulk days’ here is a list of sources that can possibly help you break free. (if you’d like to know more about any in particular please ask and i’ll do a post on it in the near future)

  • Meditation (Headspace do a good app that provides an easy to follow starting point)
  • EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Matrix reimprinting
  • Lightning Process (not quite as cool as it sounds, but almost)
  • NLP (Neur0 Linguistic Programming)
  • Yoga

And the simple stuff from taking a walk, going to the gym, along drive or putting on your favourite tracks

I’d love to hear any of your suggestions; fill free to leave any below