You’re under no obligation to be the same person you were yesterday

Quote Anon

This week was national kindness week. My social media feed filled with acts of love, reminders to be kind and the feel good factor were clear to see.

I don’t think you need to be a genius to know that the world would be better if everyone was kinder BUT perhaps the first person you need to be kind to is yourself.

Everyday won’t always be a good day but there is good to find in everyday. Sometimes it’s a little harder to see but I promise it’s always there. Also, if you wasn’t at your best today – there is always hope for a better tomorrow. We can all alter, change and improve.

What we do find easy to do is dwell on all the things we didn’t do, the list of items I forgot when I went to the supermarket or the things I didn’t do at the end of a long day… but if it was a long day, surely that means I achieved many other things? Or it was complex and emotional and so perhaps I needed to go a little slower. Life is complex and as I’ve written many times, a real rollercoaster of unpredictable events; highs, lows and if you’re living big there is usually a loop the loop in there somewhere.

As the quote says, there is no need to be the person you was yesterday. Events may of changed you or you just might of woken up on the wrong side of the bed…sometimes I rather enjoy a good moan, or a duvet day, a gossip or a sulk. As long as it’s temporary a good wallow can be cathartic.

So in the week ahead, allow ‘you’ to be in the moment, speak kindly to yourself and know that in each moment, each high or low…it’s temporary and you’re human. Sometimes the best moments of a ride are the scary parts that you courageously stepped towards.

You’re doing the best that you can and nobody can ask for more than that, not even you.

Worry is a misuse of Imagination

 Quote by Dan Zandra.

I’m not very good at worrying? I get distracted, like a fly or a toddler…it’s not necessarily a bad thing, worry can cause a variety of medical conditions; heart complications, anxiety issues that can lead to depression, even a shorter life expectancy. I also never really understood what people got out of it? For example if you have a telephone bill that you can’t pay…worrying won’t pay the bill? I do have moments where I may worry, particularly when loved ones are ill but I never understood ‘worrying’ until last year when a yr 11 girl in my school asked me to help her with anxiety over her exams.

A little bit of digging made me realise that she used ‘worry’ as her form of fuel, she worried about everything in life and her neurotransmitters responded; it was even how she showed she cared. More importantly it’s how she released the power to push through life and achieve daily tasks. I thought that was pretty cool, so I made her embrace her worry and not become debilitated by it. It worked too, she aced her exams with the right mindset.

This links directly to the second part of this quote – imagination. Rather than worry think about doing something creative. Imagination is the gift we all have that sadly so many adults loose or forget. Mine is sometimes a little too extreme and if I were a balloon i’d float off into the sky. Luckily, I have Mr F to keep me grounded (he is the string in our relationship) for example when we were planning to upgrade our kitchen he suggests a practical solution that is cost effective and I suggest a kitchen made of Lego. (Seriously, next time you’re on Pinterest take a look at the Lego kitchens, you won’t be disappointed), we then compromise with a practical kitchen that has Lego for cupboard handles (please), okay well negotiations are on going…

I really do believe that imagination is the key to the soul, to success and to life. You have to believe it to receive it.  If you can’t imagine yourself doing something or think you aren’t worthy then you’re likely to miss opportunities and live with regrets.

If you are a natural worrier – harness that energy and use it to fuel your imagination, rather than the ‘what ifs’ life may or may not bring, enjoy the tomorrows and embraces the dreams of now, they can be your reality for tomorrow. You may be surprised at how much you can achieve.

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.

I can smell Autumn dancing in the breeze

Quote Anon

This week I’ve been teaching my year seven pupils (aged 11) about developing and sustaining a positive mindset. It was also national mental health awareness day (10th October) and so I thought I’d bring the two together and create a gratitude list for Autumn.

I keep a daily journal in which I write down three things I’m grateful for and three intentions for the day. Personally, I find it helps focus my day and it starts my day in a good vibration.

My favourite season is spring, but that shouldn’t stop an Autumn list from occurring, in fact it’s often more beneficial to dig a little deeper when it comes to gratitude, that said I’m often surprised at how simple pleasures usually are? *Sorry if most of my list is food based.

Autumn gratitude

  • The crunch of the leaves as they fall under my feet
  • Cosy evenings in with pyjamas and hot chocolate
  • The colours of the trees that seem to change daily through Autumn
  • Searching for conkers (seriously it’s like discovering buried treasure)
  • An excuse to wear a cardigan
  • Smell of Crock pot dinners – it’s like coming home to my Mums cooking at the end of a working day, except I did it whilst I was at work!
  • Wearing wellies on walks
  • Homemade soup and fresh bread
  • Cups of tea on the sofa whilst it rains outside
  • Autumn seems slower and so I find more time to read
  • Bonfires (marshmallows on bonfires)
  • Fireworks in our village
  • Watching the stars
  • Empty beach walks wrapped up warm

…your turn, what are you grateful for as we step into Autumn? Comment below.

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.

Focus on the step in front of you and not the whole staircase

Quote Anon

After our daughter passed away we called the hours and days that passed Gracie steps (seriously those feet were tiny) and it worked really well.

So well that ten years later I still apply the philosophy. In the last week as a family we have been bombarded with truth bombs and reminders that as humans we aren’t always in control. I don’t think it matters what the bombs were but that we reacted in truth to each blast.

As a child I thought adults had it worked out, they knew what they were doing. Now, I know that the role models in my life reacted, adjusted and realigned when necessary.

Life is made of decades broken down in to days, hours, minutes and seconds. I don’t think you can plan for each of these but I do think you can pop on your Gracie shoes and dance.

The stairs to achieving a goal are usual a uncertain spiral (I survived the ones above in thin stilettos) and so at times we need to listen to our inner voices and sit down and rest, at others we shuffle cautiously clinging to the rail and if I’m honest I’ve been known to take a big breath and jump from the top hoping to be caught at the bottom…this leap is not recommended for stiletto wearers.

However, I think as individuals we spend too much time at the bottom of the stairs listing reasons why we can’t climb them, perhaps you create a goal and loiter on the bottom two steps hoping momentum will elevate you to the top? Or maybe you hide from the stairs and take the lift.

In this post I’m asking you to set a goal and pop your Gracie shoes on. One step at a time, because moving forward no matter how slow is just that, progress.

Remember growing might feel like breaking at first.

Quote Anon but super wise

I love to light a candle, snuggle with fluffy socks and pinch the Mr’s hoodie but comfort only brings contentment for a short period of time, stay too long and the candle goes out. Nothing changes, the years pass and life stagnates.

I’m a huge advocate for self development and self care, as a full time teacher and Mummy, daughter, friend and partner – I can’t be at my best unless I first address my own health, wellbeing and happiness. My family are seriously awesome people, the children in my classes have the potential to make our world a better place, my son has only got one Mummy…to do this I need time out and I need time for me. I take note of when I’m tired and I go to bed early, I rise early and make time to exercise. Self care is the key to being the best I can be. It’s my vision that all humans embrace self love, to embrace busy days and balance them with bubble baths…so I’m being brave and currently am developing a self care YouTube channel. There I’ve typed it – I’ve told the universe.

It scares the shizzle out of me. Currently the Mr and I are learning to edit, focus, upload and do a thousand things that are beyond our comfort zones, there are no candles and hoodies to hide behind. If I want to push the vision of self care then I need to abandon my comfort zone. I know the first few episodes are likely to make me cringe, that our skill set is only just in its infancy but for me to grow I need to make this jump from words on a page to movement on a screen. At the moment I feel like I’m broken.

Broken is temporary. I’m a seed. A tiny seed with a huge vision of an oak tree. It’s my vision and the support of my partner that I know I won’t stay a seed, moments are temporary. At the moment I’m submerged in doubt and soil, getting ready to grow I know one thing to be true. I would rather of tried and failed than stayed a seed in a closed packet of potential.

Are you sitting in your comfortable packet? Perhaps it’s time to break the seal on your next goal?

*feel free to message me any tips or advice on our new adventure, your support would mean the world.

The words you speak become the house you live in

Quote by Hafiz.

It’s natural to furnish your home with delightful trinkets and buy a bed to sleep in. You then purchase bedding, cushions…the list is endless. As the years go by loved ones treat you to gifts and the house you bought in a state of empty becomes full, it becomes a home….a cluttered home but I’m working on it. We stamped our identity on each wall with the paint colours of our choosing, as expected quotes frequent the walls, photos of memories gather across the shelves and in time the space around you reflects who you are as a group. In our bedroom my clothes hang in there given spaces, each item has a home and all looks tranquil, it reflects my mood and attitude towards sleep, life and….hang on?…if you gaze to the left, clothes are thrown on the floor, dirty and clean collide in a mountain of mens fashion and ‘our’ bedroom reflects us. Two people who see the world through their perspective, the Mr’s perspective is chaotic and I’ve learnt to not look left when walking in the room.

When I get home from work I can tell how my other half’s day has gone by the state of our living room – if the cushions are puffed and the floor clear it was a busy, productive day. If my sons toys cover every inch of the carpet, the Mr’s day has been one of chaos, the toys my son played with before school have merged with the after school activities. Bowls, cups and plates collect in clutter free corners and I will find Daddy upstairs, clinging to a cup of tea, hidden behind a computer screen with the door ajar, on the edge and ready to hand the baton of childcare and adult responsibility to me for five minutes of peace.

Just like our homes, our brains are places full of ideas, whizzing and connecting – pulsating neurones connecting pathways we didn’t know we had. When we are calm, breathing deeply and taking care of ourselves – thoughts are linear, often clear and we speak with clarity and act with intention, we often think before we react and our brain is a state of serentity. If like my living room – toys erupt, the television blares and chaos can be seen, it’s all the likely result that our brains are overloaded. If our brain was a computer we have thousands of tabs open, all needing our attention. The volume is loud, turned on full. There is noise, interference and for our brains (and our living spaces) chaos…unfinished jobs, quick tempers and hot mouths.

Todays quote is simple. Create a space inside you that you would like to live in, because frankly that’s exactly where you do live. Your first address is under your skull. It’s natural that sometimes in moments of tragedy or stress your brain becomes cluttered but don’t let it become your default setting. No matter what the day has been like, we always clear the living room. The toys go away, candles are lit and the space resets itself (usually for another day of play), make sure your brain has this option too, for me a ten minute morning meditation means I unwind from sleep and step into my day with the brakes fully applied. I am in control rather than the whizzing motions of task and lists that need completing. I’m a self care guru and will either make time to do yoga each day or if the day is busy I will pop the kettle on and sit down with a cup of tea. Whether you have an hour to exercise or five minutes to sit down, or two minutes to breath deeply make the time and create the space your head needs. The bonus is you might also end up with tidier home too.

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.