I love the privacy of rain

Quote by Helen Dunmore

Have you ever read six words and felt like you’ve read a poem? I adore the simplicity and arrangement of this quote, each time I read it my mind goes on a little detour into my imagination and each time it’s different.

For that reason I don’t plan on writing too much in this post. I’d rather you too evoke your own story; two of my favourites included a girl in the rain dealing lost in sadness with the walls of rain isolating her from the buzzing city around her, where perhaps the sunshine’s? My second is a enjoyable cosy image of watching the rain fall outside whilst sat snuggly inside (with a cup of tea obviously) enjoying the tranquility and rhythm of the rain falling…add a blazing fire for a picturesque scene.

What I would like to share is my love of words, more specifically quotes and how they resonate with us. Aren’t we blessed to live in a world with so many diverse languages, translations and meanings. How wonderful is it that these six words may take you on a completely different journey to my versions.

Feel free to share your versions below or next time you’re at a loss on a long journey and perhaps it’s even raining, let your mind wonder on this little gem of a quote.

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The grass is greener when you water it.

Quote by Neil Barringham

At the end of February we often get a few warm days, enough to shed a layer or two when you go out, enough so you need to find your sunglasses that you abandoned in September in a draw somewhere between the front door and the backdoor (or they could be in the car?) and enough for the Mr to say to me yesterday “I’m going to need to cut the grass again soon”

Grass doesn’t need much to thrive. However in the cold, dark and wet winters of the UK it barely grows at all, we rarely go out there and the grass is stagnant.

In life we often need to make choices every now and then, where do we put our time, love and sunlight? We look at other peoples lawns and often admire them not fully understanding the complexities of what they might be ‘growing’ through, we don’t see the moss patches, or the bald patches covered up by plant pots. A quick glimpse and it’s easy to wrongly see a lawn or someone else’s life in the wrong light.

Sometimes we can love our own lawn but feel the need to buy a new one just because… much like lawn maintenance, humans aren’t as simple as we believe.

Instead we need to mow our own lawns, perhaps put some extra attention of the bits that have been scorched by the sun, add new seeds, water and tend. We have a 160ft garden and it would take an awful lot of time to edge it. However, what we give our time and love to is what will thrive. Our health, relationships and careers all need time, love and attention too. The grass may be greener elsewhere but that’s not your concern. Water your own grass and watch it grow, add sunlight and see it thrive. Most importantly ignore the lawn and spend time with people you love. Mother Nature will sort it out, it’s a lawn – get a life and make that thrive.

Be proud of how hard you are trying

Quote Anon

Whether you set a New Years resolution, you’re generally stepping up the pace in life, or you have a secret mission to achieve a dream then take a moment to be kind to the effort you are putting in.

When my son tries he’s best that’s good enough for me. However, I’ve notice that adults often aren’t so kind to themselves.

Let’s take vegan January or veganuary?? I saw one of my followers on Instagram post a yummy photo of a meal she’d made. In the background was some coleslaw. I went to type ‘that’s not vegan’ when I thought ‘shut up, she’s trying’…instead I wrote how yummy it all looked and that I hope she enjoyed it.

I remember my Mum dieting when I was younger and a couple of days in she would cheat and tell her friends the diet had failed.

Stop

She failed one day, that doesn’t mean the next day couldn’t of been better. I believe that the pure intention of wanting to take action is more than most people achieve, she tried.

Last week I was run down and my cup was empty, as a result the chores in our home have stacked up and my laundry basket resembles Mount Etna. Rather than looking at the mountain of stains with sadness, I took my attention to the things I did achieve; the vacuuming was done, meals were created and we survived, I tried my best. Now back on track, I’ll throw a few more washes on this week and soon the basket will be empty (well, as empty as a family laundry basket can ever be)

If you are trying, give yourself a break. If friends and loved ones around you are trying around you please spread the message that you are proud of them for trying. It’s better than doing nothing and even if they do have a wobble, with your support and encouragement they are more likely to succeed the next time they try.

Effort deserves respect in a five year old world, let’s spread the love a little further and make effort an ageless celebration.

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 🙂

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.

A key to success is to start before you’re ready

Quote by Marie Forleo

I’m not sure I really need to write any more than the quote already states, but then what would be the point in owning this domain?

For several years I ran a project for GCSE pupils at my school, they were at risk of not getting the grades the government desires. It was based on the seven principles of success, each fortnight I’d do a mini assembly based on one of the principles for them, set them a task and they would collect signatures in their booklets for completing the task – extra certificates etc along the way.

Guess what. It worked. Guess why? They didn’t over think the mountain in front of them…in small challenges, in small achievable time frames, they blossomed. I took the project over from one of my managers who left during the projects first year. Each pupil also had a mentor to cheer them on, plus me as head cheerleader.

I think if you look at a mountain it seems unachievable, I’m thinking of the mountain of washing permanently in my home but load by load, sock by sock it gets done.

However, this post isn’t about taking small steps – it about not thinking and taking ONE step. Anxiety is prevalent in our society, we are creating children that are even more anxious, lack resilience and have spent most of their life, if not all of it bubble wrapped – I totally get why but to succeed there has to be some action, motion and movement towards the end goal.

When I look back on the years gone by, I don’t want to not have tried to achieve my dreams. However, dreams (well mine anyway) are often huge task, big lifestyle changes and they feel so distant I often don’t know where to start, if I’m honest I’ll never be ready to take huge leaps but I can do something.

I probably keep my own motion going by breaking down larger goal into smaller tasks, so below I’ve listed a few small things that have worked for me.

  • Eat healthier – swap white to brown rice
  • Exercise more – find a five minute YouTube exercise class and just do it
  • Read more – swap the apps on my phone for a 15minute reading session
  • Bake more – add the ingredients to my next shop

What actions have you found have helped you climb your mountain?

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.

You are the sunshine that makes my day

This quote, like many seems to be the work of the very busy Anon.

Regular readers will know I live in the UK; the biggest give aways are how I spell ‘Mum’ and my British need to write about the weather, use weather related similes and metaphors (when Disney is out of stock) and generally to cloud my writing with lightening bolts of weather related vocabulary…see what I did there 🙂

Its therefore no shock that this quote caught my eye and caused a sunbeam to shine within me. I have written as have most other bloggers about my love for my blog and also how sometimes social media doesn’t always give you the entire truth. I have to say that it isn’t exactly truthful in my corner of the internet, as I choose not to share everything. The downside is this doesn’t give a 360 degree perspective. The fabulous side is I keep some privacy and don’t chose to share the negative. As a person who believes that you manifest what you are in alignment with and is 97% positive I don’t wish to ramble about the negatives of life on a regular basis.

When it comes to Instagram (please join me @fridgesays) I post a photo most days and recently have been posting things that make me happy. Sometimes its an object I’ve owned for years; like a glass snail I picked from my Grandads house after he past away. It now sits on our bedroom window sill and we actually coordinated the entire rooms colour scheme around it.

The recent political election was heavily influenced by young voters and social media. It’s a new way of expressing ourselves. I don’t believe everything I see, hear or read and I apply the same in the virtual world. I choose to follow yummy mummies who are ultra glam and who’s photos reflect things that make my Instagram feed light up like a rainbow, I use it to make myself laugh, feel good and often take inspiration from people’s feeds. Recently my friend @hilaryhobanphillips (seriously follow her, her feed and work is beautiful) introduced me to a crazy colourful feed from @1000wave – when I grow old I want to look as bright and bouncy as this diva! Just looking at her feed allows me to smile and causes sun beams to flow.

People around us can heavily impact our emotions, both sun beams and thunder storms are frequent in my house, but a quick swipe through Instagram often makes me feel better. I also often record little things my son has done, seen or said, this makes for a fabulous visual memory box of joy. Showing gratitude to those around me also makes me feel awesome and let’s not forget the mighty joy of Pinterest as we create boards of wonder. I don’t bake a cake without double tapping and there’s a board for any home improvement or crazy creative task! Yay 🙂

Social media often gets a bad reputation and although I realise there is a dangerous, unconnected and sinister side to the internet, it’s also pretty amazing. So how do you use social media to enhance your sunny days? More importantly who’s IG feeds are your favourite?

*written sitting in the sun in my garden sipping a strawberry cider – win!