The unfed mind devours itself

Quote by Gore Vidal

A new week and time to remind ourselves that our brains need stimulation.

Feed your brain the nutrition of a Watsit, stay in your comfort zone and stop learning new things = brain mush.

Our brain is not only crucial for daily functioning but it’s what we use to make decisions and steer the course of our lives with, with each new turn of the steering wheel we create new neurone pathways and that gives us more options and allows us to flourish. When it comes to the brain, variety is not only the spice of life but the whole plate.

It’s very easy to sit in our comfort zones and as we get older, I suggest much like an old and loved couch, it’s becomes harder to get out of. This post is a moment to reflect on whether you need to do something new, go somewhere different, to take up that course you’ve always wanted to do. Perhaps you are well read and enjoy regular trips to the library, you may have not realised that you always read the same genre, or same couple of authors. This means you are likely to stay roughly in the same word count and in turn you haven’t learnt any new words or expressions for a while. Much like a child learning to speak, the more eloquent we are the further we can use language to express our emotions and to an extent, feel deeper. The same can be said if you tend to watch the same TV programmes, genre of films or visit the same websites regularly.

Part of my job as a behaviour adviser, is going into schools and observing children in classrooms. Boredom isn’t as rare as parents may hope. Whilst the bored mind can also stimulate imagination and innovation – in the majority of classrooms I’ve observed in, this isn’t always the case, it’s more likely that biros will be tapped, twirled, dropped and span. After a while, the bored mind becomes frustrated and antisocial behaviour kicks in, the mind devours itself in chaos.

The other thing a bored mind does is it has too much time, when this happens it fills itself up with fear and ‘what ifs’ – again, great for the imagination but not so much for in being / becoming a mentally well balanced individual.

A diet of fear, leads to a vulnerable existence and anxiety, so every now and then we need to take stock and reassess what our brains are digesting, food wise there are many awesome ‘brain foods’ from blueberries to nuts they can help increase performance. Exercise wise, the brain craves new environments, challenges and goals. However, one element that often gets forgotten is sleep. A good nights sleep allows the brain to process, reassess and much like a computer it turns on more effectively after it’s been reset. We may not grizzle like toddlers when we are tired (I think I do actually?) but it lowers our mood and our performance, which can effect how enjoyable we are finding the task at hand. Don’t devour your own brain, use it and manifest the life you always dreams of.

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf

Quote by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Our front door was always a rotating flow of coming and goings; deliveries coming in, errands flowing out, school routines backwards and forwards, family and friends… it currently stands still, a barrier that keeps us safe as we cocoon inside.

Many (understandable) are fearful of the future and even of the now. However, when I saw this quote it summed up how I felt in this moment. We can’t stop the waves and perhaps we shouldn’t even try – perhaps everything is as its meant to be, however chaotic and alien it may feel. Perhaps this is the break that not only our planet needs, but our minds, bodies and souls need. I read an article that fish have returned to the canals of Italy, that air quality is improving and the ozone layer is fixing itself at a rapid pace.

The word ‘routine’ seems alien, that up until a few weeks a go was essential to our productivity…we pause…we adjust and perhaps if we learn or attempt to surf, to enjoy the tides, to ride high and fall with the flow of the waves…perhaps rather than feel anxious, we can instead feel blessed.

We can’t deny the waves that wash over our planet, we can’t control them and so it makes sense to allow them to wash over us. For me that means enjoying every moment with my family, using technology to face time loved ones further away, living in the now and making do with what we have got, rather than worrying about what we don’t have. I’ve only ever body surfed, but it was a lot of fun and perhaps in the future I’ll take some lessons and learn how to surf for real, until then I’ll watch Moana and take inspiration from lyrics such as…

We read the wind and the sky when the sun is high
We sail the length of the seas on the ocean breeze

At night, we name every star
We know where we are
We know who we are, who we are

Perhaps in this uncertain time, as we take time to pause we will also learn a little more about who we are and develop a deeper sense of purpose, that to me seems like a wave worth riding.

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.

I hope you feel beautiful today

Quote Anon

No advice today, no words of motivation, just a sprinkle of kindness in a grey and overwhelming world.

Perhaps you have used so much dry shampoo for so many days that your actual shampoo has now also dried, may be your nail varnish is chipped and you haven’t been brave enough to look in a full length mirror since Britney sang ‘hit me baby one more time’ … if your children haven’t let you sleep for seven years, if you aren’t even sure whether sleep is an actual thing anymore and it’s a legend that occurred in the late nineties…

If all of these things are true, or perhaps you just feel shit:

    Put the sparkly shoes on even if you aren’t leaving the house today
    Wear the piece of jewellery that doesn’t go with your outfit but makes you feel amazing, who cares if it’s a glittering tiara and you’re popping to the supermarket.
    Grab the item from your wardrobe (or floor) that makes you feel amazing irrelevant of the climate – thong sandles look fabulous in snow.

Because even if the skies are grey I promise every time you catch a glimpse of that wardrobe item you will smile.

Davina McCall swears by sexy underwear. It doesn’t matter that nobody is going to see it, you will and you will know.

Just finding that one thing that makes you beam will remind you that you’re beautiful, now excuse me whilst I add some lipstick and remember if nobody else tells you today – you are beautiful.

Queens don’t compete with hoes

Yup, it made me chuckle.

Let’s get a few things straight – competition is for those that need to prove something. Take international sporting events where countries compete to prove who is the best. Olympic athletes train for years to beat someone else, to challenge their physical limitations and I truly admire their skills and dedication.

After sport, competition becomes a little irrelevant. It’s a great self motivator, but beyond testing your own skills it can at times become rather sad. Yes, I’m talking about the boasters of the office, the people who will back stab you for the next rung of the ladder.

This princess was given her title by her first hero – my Dad. The pedestal was exceptionally high and over the years I admit I tussled to keep it. Then a wonderful thing happened – I turned thirty. I stopped giving a sh*t about the competition. I matured (well a little) and I gave myself a promotion. I’m Queen.

The crown fits because it adapts to me. The competition is irrelevant because I don’t serve a king, or one of those draw bridge things you see on Game of Thrones. I am me. I am the ruler of my kingdom, the land is as far as my imagination cares to take me, my mind is my palace. But this isn’t the best bit.

When you love yourself (it can take a lot of work, upkeep and you can’t hire a cleaner to do the dirty work for you) and care less about people that care too much, not only does the competition fade, you win the war. Want even better news?

When there is no competition your own boundaries aren’t compared to others and you thrive, you become limitless. #upgradedcrown

Shall I add the real sparkle of this quote? You see the hoes for what they are and you can see the best in them. They work for their money, they make no apologies and a true Queen will help to raise them up with her.

Nobody can touch your crown if it’s bespoke to you (Think Thor’s hammer but way sparklier) and so this quote needs to be extended according to fridgesays law…

“Queens don’t compete with hoes, or any human or any kind because they are too busy raising them up alongside them”

Sending all the Queens, Kings and haters as much love as they need to work this out and love their own kingdom.

Know your worth and then add tax 

Okay, so this quote from Anon is going straight into my top twenty of self love quotes! (Yes, that’s right people I used an exclaimation mark) 

I recently posted a YouTube post on my facebook wall from Kristina Kuzmic (link here because it’s well worth a look), I love her feisty vibe and so once you’ve taken a peep imagine I too am sitting in a bubble bath of joy with a glass in my hands as tall as the Eifle Tower. (* reality disclaimer: no drink, sat at the top of the stairs hiding from my family so I can write in peace) 

This YouTube clip combined with this quote makes me feel like Beyoncé on stage in her element. It’s absolutely crucial that as role models of the human race we all make ourselves number one. Why? Because this in turn allows us to serve others (loved ones and the odd  stranger who may need a helping hand) way better. When I’ve had some ‘me time’ I literally can take on the world. It allows me to gain a better perspective on the state of the universe and at the same time prevents me from starting arguments / world wars over how towels are folded, toilet seats left up and all those other household triggers. This in turn makes me easier and way more accommodating to live with. 

But there is a second bonus: my health is better as a result of indulging in myself. I’m emotionally stable (*kind of) and physically healthier. So how do I make time…I ask others to help me out. Whether that be an evenings child care / grandparent indulgence, or I ask Mr F to take over while I sit on the stairs and get this written. 

I also don’t priorities housework and chores over myself. I sometimes wake up earlier to do yoga, read or listen to a podcast when helping hands aren’t available, sometimes when I’m not too exhausted from work I stay up a little later. At other times I seize opportunities to walk the dog and leave the house… I promise whatever your situation if you prioritise you can always find five minutes, you could even start with three.

So, I have a few questions… 

  • Do you make time for yourself?
  • How do you make the time?
  • What do you do with the time?

I swear I’m 95 years old and I seem to choose a hot bubbly bath, time to read, time to write, to sit and drink a HOT cup of tea, some yoga or a sneaky GnT… so if my worth is time to write then surely the tax is a gin and tonic 🙂 stay happy and make yourself number one. 

I used to hope you’d bring me flowers…

Quote by the outrageous ‘Anon’
*sorry for the terrible photo quality…reflection / tone, it’s all just wrong.

But the quote speaks volumes to me.

On a personal level my Dad is my first hero. I guess I’ve waited my entire life to find the ‘one’, then when I found my prince he was a miserable git and not exactly the ‘charming’ that my Disney childhood had foreseen…but then Prince C didn’t have a good bicep, an impressive tricep and the banter only a doorman could have. Let’s be honest prince C was a bit of a Ken Barbie doll (and I prefer Action man). Early in our relationship I told him something that was so true in my twenties. Don’t ever buy me cut flowers…they look fabulous and then you sit them in a vase and watch them die – seriously depressing. Then I grew older, used my femine powers and changed my mind. He still stands by my original request and now I’m literally forced to buy myself flowers.

*note to him or anyone: I love being bought flowers.

I guess however this quote goes a little deeper, it’s not about flowers but making your own happiness. Under fridge philosophy (yeah that’s a thing now) I have to agree. Happiness is like a contagious snotty cold, but with less snot and a more powerful energy source than Dyson could invent. When I’m happy the world moves with me and even in darkness only knocks me slightly from my path. Along this path I attract positive energy and this only increased my super power. The choice to be happy.

If I could tell my teenage self one thing, it would be ‘that you choose to be happy’, my friends, family or the lastest NAF NAF tshirt can’t help you either, however in a positive moment family and friends can enhance your flight, and its a precious journey that is sacred.

Growing your own flowers to me is also about sowing the seeds of dreams and goals and seeing them to fruition. I don’t need a charming prince to ‘get me’ a castle, nor do i need him to make me happy. I do need my own goals (the soil), some action and motivation from within (the seeds) and then the positive motion to fuel my growth (water and sun), sure every now and then a slug will come and take a bite out of my dreams, redirect me or even reduce me to a sluggish mess…but it is also me that will get back up and rock my new snail trail sparkle.

So this week no matter what life throws at you. Choose happiness and for god sake buy yourself some flowers and don’t ever feel guilty.

You are amazing

 Another cracker from Anon.

This is the kind of quote that makes my mind smile and my inner giggle cackle. It’s uplifting, it has meaning and it reminds me that I’m important too, and obviously so are you.

I was raised on a rather pretty pedestal called ‘only child’ and this has given me enough confidence to know I was loved, adored and important. It also means that in my immediate family’s eyes anything I did, participated in or created was recognised as ‘amazing’. I’m a big fan of being an only child for this very reason, but also for many other reasons. However, I obviously haven’t a clue of the positives that siblings have, and indeed have at times struggled to understand the bond of brother and sister. It’s a mystery that still at times mystifies me as an adult.

Today id like to share with you a conversation with a little (she’s so tiny) year 7 pupil. She is weak in ability and her resilience is non existent, her ability to wiggle off of her chair or be anywhere in the room except at her desk is beyond the talents of Olympic athletes – that isn’t helpful when you need her sat at her desk though…

In the last few lessons we have been (for this very reason) looking at resilience as a class and sharing good practice. This has resulted in some poster work that they are pretty proud of.

Tiny chick was part of a show case last week and as a result was asked to sing and produce some movement material that was shown to parents. Moments before the show began tiny chick cried – she hadn’t sung in front of an audience before and stage fright was taking over, more than this she said “if I don’t do it Miss, I won’t be able to write about it on my poster”, having an inner chuckle to myself I reminded her that she was indeed correct and that resilience was often hard in the beginning, she dried her eyes and of course sung her little heart out.

Today she wrote up her stage experience on her poster using vocabulary such as ‘proud’ ‘won a battle’ and I had a magical moment…as her teacher I was able to remind her that she was amazing. Her smile was the greatest reward I will ever need.

What a gift – to be able to remind somebody else how amazing they are. So this is my task for you, tell 5 people today that they are amazing. I promise you, its a wonderful blessing and one that makes you feel a little more sparkly too.

Oh and did I tell you…? You’re amazing 🙂

Be a flamingo

 Another ‘Anon’
Growing up on the outskirts of SE London I saw my fair share of pigeons. They breed at a rapid rate and made walking under the bridge to school a tense situation – Mum would literally march me through and then check my coat for any ‘accidents’ once we were on the other side. Usually muttering to one of her Mum friends how disgusting it was…

Now flamingos – they are a whole new level of awesome. They are the yoga gurus of the bird world, they are pink – Like seriously why isn’t there a Disney flamingo princess? They make rainy days at the UK zoo seem like the Carribean and did I mention they are pink?

Living on the south coast we often pop in to Brighton for shopping trips and unique food or quirky places to visit…walking down the high street can sometimes Look like a rainbow just threw up, any colour, any style and any look is acceptable. In Brighton if you want to wear a onesie, that’s ok. If you want to wear a costume or at times nothing (although illegal) it seems to happen. Brighton is a fashion mix match and my little flamingo paradise. A hub of cultural diversity and an expanse of economics it has it all, except parking spaces / it lacks this, and maybe to an extent so does the flamingo when attempting to camouflage…unless it’s near an ice cream van 🙂

I think both birds have their strong points, but perhaps we sometimes are too pigeon and not flamingo enough. What are you going to do today to harness your inner flamingo? (Don’t worry you don’t have to wear pink)