Thankful, grateful and blessed

This morning I was writing in my gratitude journal, something I’ve done for nearly 10 years and I realised that in this moment I’m am blessed.

This doesn’t mean life is perfect, nor am I any where near fulfilling my dreams but I do feel content.

Contentment can be our enemy. It’s like a warm bed…we just don’t want to leave it and so we roll over and hide our nose under the covers to stay warm. It can mean we strive for less and settle for ‘now’ and exist rather than live.

However, I’ve recently discovered that whilst I can strive for more I can also acknowledge that being content is a privilege. Through being thankful for what I do have, the worries I don’t have and choosing to see gratitude in all of my blessings doesn’t mean I don’t want more, but it’s a wonderful place to be!

A feeling of contentment is like a warm hot water bottle, it feels soothing to the soul. It acknowledges that in this moment I am enough. That my basic needs are met, that some dreams may have already come to fruition and that there is still room for growth.

The more I thought about feeling contentment, the more I realised that the world looks down on it, doesn’t give it the credit it deserves…everyone is striving for happiness, to feel euphoric and whilst these feelings are fabulous, they are often short lived. Take a trip to a theme park. The best ride may be over in minutes (the euphoria super excited part) but I may feel content for the entire day…from the moment I’m getting dressed, preparing what to pack, the journey to the park…all the way home to my bed when I’m exhausted from the thrills, spills and excess sugar the day had in store. Contentment can last days, perhaps even weeks, happiness is a perspective that may come and go.

At the beginning of this blog I wrote about the ‘comfy enemy’ that contentment can bring…but if we can get off of the sofa, if we can strive for more but also go to sleep at night blissful for what we already have…surely that’s a wonderful life?

Karma isn’t a bitch, it’s a mirror

Wow! You know when you are a collector of something and you have to have it…that’s how I felt about this quote.

I’ve always believed in karma. At times in my life I’ve relied on it being served to others, I’ve also had my fare share of stubbed toes in return for minor errors on my part.

However, I’m also of the belief that what you give out you get back and that the universe has your back. I also believe that good vibes create more good vibes, so the idea that each of us had our own hand held mirror of karma makes total sense. Perhaps next time you use the phrase ‘karma is a bitch’ be mindful that you are just calling that person a female dog.

Reflections can sometimes be hard to look at.We don’t always like what we see, or sometimes our own reflection doesn’t relate to how we thought we looked, the main reason I take so many dresses back to the store…4ft11 me can’t always rock a dress the way it looked in the brochure, on a taller friend, or even how I thought it might look from the hanger.

As humans we are quick to judge others, but often not as fast at owning our personal issues, the mistakes we make, the things we might do differently…it’s much easier to insult others than recognise issues within ourselves and set to work to fix them. If karma is a mirror I recommend you speak kindly to her, treat the mirror well and make her sparkle, after all who doesn’t want a life full of clarity and kindness?

Sometimes the tiniest things shine brightest in our lives.

Quote Anon.

I’m a fan of the small twinkles of joy that I find in my life. I’m hardwired to see them, breath them and appreciate them. It’s true I’m one of the happy, cheerful sorts that you don’t want to meet on a bad day, but you’d be wrong in thinking that this outward joy comes naturally to me. So what keeps me on the sunny side of life?

My thoughts:

I consciously make positive choices asking my internal self ‘Does this feel good?’ or ‘Do I need to let go of this?’

I also read positive literature and online only follow accounts that make me feel good as I scroll, the exception are topics I feel passionately about; like teen mental health, anxiety or sometimes adoption stories – however, again I select accounts that are giving solutions, tools or sharing positive intentions around those issues. We don’t have the TV on in our home, instead we sit down to stream specific films or series – the news is never on. If I need to know, social media has a way of letting me know the big stuff, without the TV on we also don’t have adverts blaring through our home or the constant chatter of day time TV and negative energy.

I do meditate but I admit this is something I’m currently struggling to keep in my routine. Mornings can be manic and evenings I just end up dozing off, however this week I’m going to trial lunch time meditations now the little dude has returned to school. There are many articles on why we should all meditate and so many different ways; guided or not, with or without music, with actions or still….it’s worth exploring what works for you.

Magnetised by positive people:

We can’t always avoid people that have low energy or perhaps drain us, in the work place you may not get to decide who you work with and its unlikely that you’re already thinking of a certain someone that drains you faster than the bathroom plug can be emptied. However, in your personal life you can, or you can minimise interactions with people who dont raise you up.

Another way around this, is balancing your time with personalities who both drain and radiate for you at the same time or near each other. I also sometimes will make sure I have time to myself to ‘fill up my cup’ before I enter a situation that I know may be highly stressful, although I realise that this isn’t always possible.

Actively search for the tiny moments of sparkle in your day:

Don’t just notice them, highlight them. Keep track of them in a gratitude diary, or a note in your phone, share them with others or just relish them a little longer than you might normally.

To get you started here are a few of mine from where I’m seated in this moment:

  • The sun is shining through the windows and its hitting my prisms that hang and casting rainbows everywhere.
  • My cup is over half full…no seriously, I just filled glass with water (hydrations lifts moods too)
  • My dog is laying across my feet – bonus that she’s keeping them warm
  • I hoovered this morning so my carpet looks clear (no toys in site!)

Once you begin this Polly-Anna approach to looking for the light in life, much like any habit you’ll magnetise to more of the joy life offers. Whilst its not always easy to see, I promise you there is always something good to appreciate. Basic maths tells us that we can’t get a negative number from two or more positive numbers. I suggest that you can lead a more hopeful, sparkly and joyful existence if you choose to focus on the tiny moments life offers us.

When life gives you Monday, dip it in glitter and sparkle all day

Quote by Ella Woodward

Recently I wrote about a Plot twist that life provided, however new roads are often unpredictable and direction can change in a heart beat, in our case is was due to a lack of a heart beat. * Trigger warning: this post contains my experience of a silent miscarriage.

Several weeks a go myself and the Mr went for our thirteen week scan. As I looked at the screen to our perfectly formed little foetus the Sonographer explained that a lack of growth (baby was only measuring ten weeks) and without a heart beat meant I was experiencing a silent miscarriage. Within seconds my world as I knew it, my hopes for our future family and my past experiences came to haunt me. It was like a unexpected tsunami consumed us. We didn’t have time to grab loved ones, reach for safety or batten down the hatches, we were exposed and out at sea with no warning.

Unlike a conventional miscarriage (if such a thing exists) a silent miscarriage meant I didn’t have any signs or symptoms. My bump was growing, my body thought I was pregnant, but our little munchkin was still.

The Mr carried me home in fragmented pieces, I was broken.

Days became weeks and nothing physically changed. Life felt like somebody else had set it on pause. I’m a tiny package so there was no way I could of hide my bump from people around us, the nurse gave us three horrendous options and while I waited for my surgery date I had another scan to double check for any changes.

This scan gave me so much serenity and peace. The first scan felt like a tsunami; it was fast, destructive and unpredictable…the second scan erased any future fears of being scanned. It was the calm after the storm. Sadly, nothing had changed, baby was still measuring ten weeks and was snug in my first class accommodation but I had time to ask the millions of questions my brain had created in the previous weeks, erase any worries and come to terms with my bodies situation.

Then, Mother Nature woke up (perhaps she takes a break over the Halloween period?) and one night I began to feel cramps, these became painful contractions and a tornado whirled inside me. I was mentally exhausted and it’s hard to let go of your baby when you know the ending isn’t happy ever after. But I did it. We did it. We had prepared for a holistic/natural approach should it occur and we battled the storm.

So what did I learn? That my body is smart and powerful. That it’s a place where miracles are born and that I underestimated its talents. Modern medicine has its place, but during my two previous pregnancies I was told by doctors my baby was a healthy seven and a half pounds…both babies arrived at five pounds nine ounces. However, at ten weeks my body knew that there was a chromosomal issue with this baby. So it stopped it. It turned out the light for us. For it…I realise that the process of a miscarriage is different for everyone but I felt empowered that my body took control, that it slowed everything down and gave me time to let go naturally. That I got to keep that bump for a little bit longer, that I once again was supported by my awesome loved ones…that I am loved.

I learnt that this was only part of our journey, that we will grow from it, reflect on the experience and that it doesn’t have to consume or destroy us.

When you look in the mirror and criticise your size, your shape or the spot that temporarily sits on your face, take a second to look again. You may just see a glimpse of an amazing human who is full of life, who is imperfectly perfect, who is stronger than she/he thinks, who can battle storms and who’s body is full of unappreciative talents. We are all blessed much more than we realise.

*if you’ve been through / are going through a similar issue and need support please see your GP, or contact a charity such as Sands UK (0808 164 3332).

Be happy, it drives people crazy.

Anon

Despite the fact it’s still November consumerism seems to be taking hold of the nation/globe following Black Friday…the Friday sale that lasts a fortnight. Christmas chatter has taken over many blog posts and is the topic of conversation in our staffroom. Panic sweeps the nation. And I stay firm. I will not get swept into a frenzy on what I’m doing, got to do or who I haven’t bought for (the answer is nobody yet). There is plenty of time. However, I adore Christmas and refuse for it to become a burden. I stand firm in a smile. When asked how I feel about ‘all the catering’ I reply with a smile and say it’s an honour to have family to feed. I am not a saint but I know one thing to be true. Being happy really does drive other people  nuts. “Ohhh I don’t know how you can be so relaxed, I ordered the Turkey in June” hehe…yup and I was busy enjoying the start of summer.

It also means that for the people I dislike, hate and wish would disappear I increase my sparkle, smiles and graces – why? Because it pisses them off and reflects the stress and chaos back at them. I will not absorb negativity from them. It’s my super power and a skill that you should consider as a New Years resolution – forget weight loss, make 2018 the year you choose to be happy.

I choose happy because it makes me happy, it makes others happy and it’s contagious.

Christmas Day will come and go whether I stress or not. The dust will gather again from the moment I flick the duster, the bills will get paid and all those tasks on the ‘to do list’ will eventually be over taken with other tasks and thousands of other ‘to do lists’ but for now I am blissfully happy drinking a hot cup of tea after an intense yoga session, and for now and for always ‘I choose happy’ (and tea) (same thing)

Have you ever picked positivity as a power to piss others off?

Do the universe a favour and don’t hide your magic

This quote is from Yung Pueblo, a wonderful young writer and creative energy.

Fine, I picked the quote because it has the word magic in it, but it also spoke to me and reflected a journey I am constantly in. Recently in the UK we have announced GCSE results, as a teacher its my job to analyse the results my pupils got, celebrate the good and recreate it, critically analyse the negative and make sure the next cohort do better.

I had two pupils in my class that were capable of getting a B grade, but they got a D. I wasn’t surprised as they had both disengaged at various parts of the course / school life. This was their choice. They didn’t take up offers of revision sessions before or after school, they didn’t come to Saturday revision classes, they didn’t answer questions in class and on the surface I believe they received the grade that reflected their effort.

However, in doing so they didn’t show the universe what they were capable of. They didn’t sparkle, or shine. In front of them stood and opportunity and they let it slip. Does it matter? Probably not, not in the grand scheme of things. I’m sure they will reflect on the course and find blame on myself as a teacher, on others that distracted them, ill health, boyfriend/relationship issues or something, somewhere…but will they ever realise it was actually down to them not being prepared to show the universe they had extra sparkle?

Despite my career path I loathe examinations. That aside, it made me polish my wand. Reflect and learn. At first, it made me look at my other classes, recognise similar patterns and in the last few weeks I have moved seating plans, made phone calls home, set bespoke pieces of homework and then I applied this thought process to me. To today and what I did, or didn’t do yesterday. Exams are a unique way to pigeon hole a success at a given time, but actually each of us choose to shine and some of us are living much like our mobile phones, with low battery. 

What can I improve on tomorrow that I didn’t do well today? What would make me 2% better, kinder, happier, healthier…the list could go on. I really believe the list should go on. We never nail life, we should be nailing aspects each and every day. Make today better than yesterday and show the universe so much sparkle it will wish it had sunglasses. Have an awesome tomorrow 🙂