“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.” Elbert Hubbard
Some of the most successful people in the world come from backgrounds of poverty, struggle, rejection and failure. Despite their challenges they never gave up and with a little grit, resilience, and persistence they embraced failure and continued to make their dreams come true.
I hope that this post can motivate others to accept failure as merely a chance to learn and to find the strength to never give up.
“When there are things to do, give it everything you’ve got. When there is nothing to do, do nothing.” – Ajahn Brahm
My anxiety can make taking a break impossible. Our family is constantly on the go and although it can be exhausting I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when I go to bed at night and being distracted from my thoughts. When I stop, even if it’s for a brief a moment I can feel my anxiety overwhelm me. I start thinking of things I should be doing or I feel consumed in guilt for not being busy and then I start worrying about things I normally don’t have time to even think about. It’s a mindset that has formed unhealthy habits over the years and I have noticed that even when I do have some “relax time” I often distract myself with my phone or the TV.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
I keep seeing the below picture floating around social media and I can relate to it SO much. The only difference for me would be the ages as I would say the “early twenties” was more the “late teens” for me and the “early thirties” is more my “late twenties.” I have felt such a radical shift in my personal development over the years and I feel happier, lighter and more at peace.
“People take different roads seeking fulfilment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” ― Dalai Lama
When I fell pregnant at 19 I knew that it would come with a huge amount of challenges, but I wasn’t prepared for the brutal amount of judging that would come from complete strangers. For me not only was I a young mum but I also (and still do) look a lot younger than I am which I always felt was more of a curse rather than a blessing because it really exaggerated how young I was. This meant I was immediately judged and experienced nasty comments, head shakes, stares and eye rolls that got under my skin and really killed my spirit for years. The hardest thing about these judgements was that it didn’t just come from strangers but it also came from the doctors, nurses, midwifes and other professionals who were supposed to make you feel comfortable and safe. So many of my interactions with doctors and hospital staff lacked empathy and our conversations were never of excitement but more a lecture about how hard life was going to be.
“Honest self-reflection opens your mind to reprogramming, change, success and freedom.” – Unknown
We’re 6 months into 2018 and I think this is a perfect time to reflect on the year so far! Self-reflection is a powerful tool to make sure that our behaviours, thoughts and actions are still aligned with our values, beliefs and feelings. Quite often we get so caught up in just getting through the day/week/month that we put what’s important to us on the back burner, so we can through what we need to do.
“Most people are thinking about what they don’t want, and they’re wondering why it shows up over and over again.”- John Assaraf
My beautiful bestie introduced me to the Law of Attraction about a year ago and I’ve been intrigued ever since. I am very conscious of what it takes for the Law of Attraction to work but I’ve been stuck in a “one day” or “next week” mind frame about when I’ll start making it work for me.
For anyone who doesn’t know what the Law of Attraction is, here is a basic description. The Law of Attraction uses the power of the mind to translate whatever is in our thoughts and materialise them into reality. Every thought has a feeling attached to it and every feeling has a frequency so just like a magnet you attract what is going on in your mind which works for both positive and negative thoughts.
“Be happy with who you are and what you do, and you can do anything you want.”- Steve Maraboli
I recently reached 300 followers which I’m so thankful for and wanted to share my gratitude with all of the wonderful souls that have supported me.
I thought that this would be a great time to take the opportunity to ask for some feedback. The internet is full with so many incredible self-help and wellness blogs that I sometimes wonder if my blog can really add anything different to the already amazing blogs out there.
Bill Gates said “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” So here I am being completley open to any feedback so I can continue to grow and help others with my writing. I have a couple of questions to help prompt your thinking but any feedback at all is so valuable!
For the people who have followed me for a while I would love to know what post has been your favourite so far?
Is there anything you would like to see more or less of on my blog?
Are there any topics you struggle to find on the internet that you could potentially see on my blog?
Thank you again for reading, I hope my blog continues to give you many smiles and a little sprinkle of positivity in your day ♡
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over, instead of craving control over what you don’t.” Anonymous
I have been working hard on re-framing my thinking about how I react to the things are not in my control. After writing and sharing my tips on how to change your perspective I started to reflect on all the things I DO have control of in everyday life.
In typical “Natalie” style I started writing a list on all the things that are in my control and quickly had a list of 30 simple controllable things in daily life. I truly believe that if we put our energy into the things we CAN control and stop worrying about the unknown we can live a healthier more positive life.
So here is my list of things that the majority of us have total control of in daily life
“I believe your home tells a story about who you are and who you aspire to be. We represent ourselves through the things we own. I don’t believe in trends. I believe in collecting things that you connect with. We should surround ourselves with things we care about, that have meaning.” Nate Berkus
My house is my favourite place in the entire world. I know it may sound closed-minded or maybe a little boring but for me my house is my sanctuary and I love everything about it. Don’t get me wrong I love going on holidays and getting out and about during the weekend but nothing beats that feeling of walking into the house and being hit with the comfort and safety of being back home. If you have browsed through my Instagram page you would probably notice my slight obsession with interior design and I’m often asked why I haven’t pursued a career in it, the honest answer is that my love for interior design is totally selfish as I only like improving my own home.
I may not be able to help with the placement of furniture or what theme you should go with for your house, but I can share some tips on how to make your house feel more like a home.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”- Wayne Dyer
Something we tend to hear a lot of is people complaining that their current situation is permanent. Whether it’s in relation to their health, work, relationship or current location we often feel like “this is it.” It’s funny because we all know how quickly and unexpectedly things can change yet when we are unhappy we default to just give up and wish for something better. Seeing things in a negative mind frame is easy, it’s a habit that we generally build throughout our entire lives so to change takes persistence and practice.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou
May has been challenging to say the least and has been the perfect example of how unpredictable life can be. Instead of focusing on particular things that happened in May I decided to share with the areas in which I felt a lot of growth.
“To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!” – Charlie Chaplin
Today has been a really “off” day for myself and I couldn’t really put my finger on what was bothering me. I sat down with the intention of writing a list of the things that are causing me anxiety and after 30 minutes my blank piece of paper was still blank. I did have a bit of a giggle to myself, here I am having heart palpitations and trying to control my breathing because I was worked up about, well…….nothing! As ridiculous as it sounds it’s a common reality for people who live with anxiety so I thought instead of sitting and dwelling in my current state I would make light of the situation and write a list of 10 daily struggles of an anxious person with a bit of humour added in.
“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.” – Dennis Prager
Integrity is a very personal term and is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” It is something that holds deep meaning and importance in both my husband and I’s life and something I hope to pass on to our children.
Integrity isn’t something we put a lot of thought into until someone questions it and then we find a fire that ignites inside of us that first makes us re-evaluate our principles and reinforce just how valuable they are.
“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.” – Mahatma Gandhi
I recently spent what was the best 10 days of my life in the most beautiful place on earth that I have travelled to so far, Bali. I think what brings me to make this huge statement is the rich culture, the feeling of togetherness in the community and how inspirational it is to watch the Balinese maintain the balance of the spiritual and physical worlds.
Since our visit I have been obsessed with bringing the peaceful, Zen vibe I enjoyed in Bali home with me to Australia and so I thought I would focus this post on the Balinese life concept of ‘Tri Hita Karana’ that has the rough literal translation “three causes of well-being” or “three reasons for prosperity.”
A great man once said, “Be a lotus.” Which means, no matter how ugly, how evil, and how sinful everyone around you might become, do not allow yourself to be stained. A lotus remains beautiful even as it lingers in the filthy waters of the pond. Don’t be contaminated, do not be influenced by worthless means, remain radiant among the shadows of darkness. Be a lotus. It has to start with one, to fill the pond with more.
It quite frequently feels like there is no escape from the sad and troubling news stories from around the world. Often when we log on to social media or turn on the news there are reports of gun violence, acts of terrorism, murders, missing children, or a scary epidemic and it seems as if the world is growing ever more disturbing.
There’s no point in pretending that evil isn’t a reality and that the world will one day make peace with their enemies (although it would be nice) and I do think that we need to keep ourselves informed to a certain extent.
I sometimes worry about the kind of future my children will have as it’s easy to get consumed in all the negative happening in the world and want to shield them from some of the harsh realities, however we need to remember that bad news can teach us valuable lessons and motivate us to change our behaviours to make a difference. On so many occasions we see communities who would normally avoid each other come together in the event of a tragedy and consequently put any racial, gender or sexuality biases aside which proves we can live in peace. So instead of dwelling on the negative it’s important to teach our children that there’s also so much joy that can be had and is happening all around the world right now.
Here are some pointers I like to remind myself of when it comes to keeping updated with the latest world events.
Be informed but don’t obsess – If you do like to be updated with world news I would choose a time of the day to update yourself and then completely disconnect until the next day.
Do something positive to help – If there is a headline that has really captivated you find a way to help, no matter how small your action may be it could have a big impact.
For every piece of bad news make the effort to find some good news – It’s really easy to find good news stories and even typing into google “Good news” will bring up hundreds of websites and articles that share inspiring stories and uplifting news.
Accept uncertainty – Instead of letting uncertainty break us, paralyse us with fear and fill our heads with doubt we should embrace it. We should instead ride the fear, make changes, keep learning and always keep moving as there are just some things in life that are simple out of our control.
I hope that my children always remember that they can be the light in the darkness and their positive actions no matter how small can make a difference.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“We need to introduce a little balance into your life. Part of this balance means not missing out on some of the marvels of life around you, the fun, some excitement, or other challenges in life.” – Catherine Pulsifer
Ever since I can remember I have really struggled with the post holiday blues! No matter how long I would go on a holiday for I would always find it unusually hard to get back to normality without getting really depressed. I would dread it so much I would regret even going on a holiday in the first place which is totally ridiculous.
So here I am, home after leaving Bali a few days ago which was literally the BEST holiday I have ever had. My family and I jumped straight back into normal routine with work and school and I’m feeling more content than ever.
I thought I would share some tips on what I use to keep the holiday blues to a minimum and hopefully it can help others too. ♡
Welcome to what we got up to for our last few days, as I’m typing this I am about to enjoy our final dinner in Bali so I’m going to make the most of it! We had a really fun couple of days so I hope you enjoy this diary entry
Here is day 6 and 7 of our Bali adventure. The longer we stay here the less I want to leave, I really feel at home here in Bali.
Don’t forget to check out day 1 – 2 , day 3 – 4 and day 5 if you are new to my travel diary.
Here is day 5 of our Bali adventure, i’m starting to get a little sad at how fast it seems to be going but am determined to be present and enjoy every moment we have in Bali.
Don’t forget to check out day 1 – 2 and day 3 – 4 if you are new to my travel diary.
We are now on travel diary number 2 which will feature day 3 and 4. If you missed my first diary entry click here to see what we got up to on day 1 and 2. We are all absolutely loving Bali life and cant wait to share what other adventures we get up to along the way!
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” Dalai Lama
For as long as I can remember I have had an inner demon that enjoys making me feel uneasy about everyday tasks, or can make an exciting day into an anxious day or makes me worry about not having anything to worry about. It was around the age of 17-18 that I remember hitting an all time low and feeling so helpless I called the beyond blue help line and cried to a total stranger about how lost I was feeling. I can’t remember exactly what the advice was she gave me but she did recommend a book for me to read and it was while I was looking for that book that I stumbled across my now favourite book. The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIV, Howard C. Cutler
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain
“Pay It Forward Day” is a global initiative that exists to make a difference by creating a huge ripple of kindness felt across the world. They believe that everyday small acts, when multiplied by millions of people can literally change the world for the better and I could agree more.
“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” Mattie Stepanek
Here in Australia it is a public holiday for ANZAC day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.) Every year, thousands of people join to pay tribute to and remember those who have served to keep us safe and to also share our gratitude to all those that are continuing to serve to protect Australia, its people and its interests. Like with any event in the world there is always some controversy and I totally respect other peoples opinions (when shared kindly) as depending on our circumstances we may have had an entirely different experience at that time to others.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
I have mentioned before that my dream is to one day be able to help people overcome fear and self doubt by setting meaningful goals and then help them in closing the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. I have previously shared my tips on how to draw your future which is a visual way of setting goals so today I thought I would put together some more tips that can be used in combination with visual goal setting or on their own.
“Children learn to smile from their parents.” Shinichi Suzuki
I am a mum of two children, I have a son who is 7 and a daughter who is 5. I started writing this post with the intention to share all of the wonderful things that happen when you become a parent and although there are SO many amazing things that do happen I wouldn’t feel 100% authentic not talking about some of the struggles with some lighthearted humour.
So here is a list of the first 30 things that came to my mind about my experience with parenting so far.
I hope you enjoy and let me know if you can relate to any 😊
Thank you so much to my beautiful blogging friend Anita from Discovering Your Happiness for nominating me to get involved in this “Get to know me tag.” ♡
I love getting to know people and my experience in the WordPress community has been so positive. I have met so many beautiful souls on this journey so I cant wait for you to learn a bit more about me and for me to get to know you a little more.
“Everyone smiles in the same language.” George Carlin
I was inspired to write about this post after watching the commonwealth games that just finished here where I live in beautiful QLD, Australia. I love watching the games not only for the incredible talent these athletes have (gymnastics is my favourite) but also because it’s a time when we get to celebrate people of every gender, socio-economic status, race, orientation or ability in the one place in harmony and peace.
It really got me thinking about how much focus we tend to put on the things that divide us rather than what binds us and are quick to judge without even talking to someone. We have so much we can learn from others but because of fear we don’t even ask.
Check out this video (It only goes for 3 minutes) which has such an important message and the power to change the way we see others and find something in common with people we assume we wouldn’t.
I have shared this with family, friends my team in work and now everyone here as it’s a message we need spread. It’s amazing how asking a few simple questions can make you realise we’re all more a like than we seem but also remembering that our differences are what makes us unique and the world would be so boring if we were all the same.
In diversity there is beauty and there is strength and it’s really the one true thing we all have in common.
“The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.”- James Allen
I recently shared 5 benefits of staying calm in preparation to share this post which will give you some advice on how to bring some more calm into your life. If you haven’t already read that post click here as its important to know why bringing more calm into your life will benefit you so you have the motivation to implement some of the tips below.
“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” -Doris Day
I’m here to share my rocky journey of keeping a gratitude journal and the best solution I found to keep it consistent. I have read so many books, articles and blogs about why we should keep a gratitude journal and there are even scientific studies that have proven that keeping a gratitude journal is beneficial for health and well-being. Just like I sometimes forget to eat the daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables I often forget to write in my journal too, but I truly believe it is just as important. At the start of the year I stumbled across the perfect gratitude journal, it was simple, clean and even prompted you to write down a daily affirmation which is something else I wanted to incorporate into my daily routine. When I went on the website to order it I discovered they had an app version which was perfect as I’m a little embarrassed but not afraid to admit that if there is something I am VERY consisted with in life its checking my phone, so this was perfect, and I’ve never looked back! The APP is called “The 5 minute journal” and one of the the most valuable features for me is being able to set an alarm to remind yourself to do your daily entry.
If you are new to keeping a gratitude journal or are just lacking some inspiration to know what to write, I have shared below a quick overview of the questions you’ll find in the journal and some tips on how to answer them.
☼ MORNING ☼ (Focus on the good and set your intentions)
I am grateful for…. – Whether it’s a good night’s sleep, a sunny day, your children’s smile or your comfortable bed there is always something to be grateful for.
What would make today great…..– This is my favourite part to fill in as it really gives my day focus. I use my goals as inspiration for this part so for example, if it is a working day I might write “Have a catch up with my manager to plan our targets for the week” or “Do 5 coaching sessions today” or “Go and eat lunch outside.” On a weekend they may be “Take our children to the park” or “Wash the car.”
Daily affirmation, I am…….– Depending on how I am feeling or what I have planned in the day will inspire my daily affirmation.For example it is my day off today and I don’t have any plans so my affirmation is simply “I am going to embrace the rhythm of the day.“
☽ NIGHT ☾ (Reflect and empower)
3 Amazing things that happened today…..- I’ll be totally honest as this can be SO easy if your day has gone to plan or it can be SO difficult if you have had a really rough time. If I have had a rough day I think about what could have made my day worse and that really opens up a whole new perspective on the day and I start finding all the amazing things that did happen.
How could I have made today even better……- This isn’t about dwelling on the things you did wrong it’s about taking ownership of the choices you did or didn’t make that you can do differently to give yourself a better outcome. If I felt rushed in the morning I might write “Set my alarm earlier to give myself more time to get ready.” or if I snacked on junk food I would write “Prep my healthy snacks before I go to work.” Whatever it may be, it is an opportunity to empower our minds to take control and remind ourselves that everything we do is a choice.
Even if you don’t use the app or buy the physical journal I have recommended you can still use the above prompts to start and end your day. It only takes a couple of minutes but with some consistency it will transform your life forever.
“For there is no friend like a sister in calm or stormy weather; To cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands” – Christina Rossetti
Some of my most vivid unpleasant memories I have of my life include some sort of irrational violence or unreasonable reactions caused by anger, stress or pain. I initially started to write this post with the intention to share some tips on how to be more calm but thought its probably better to share the benefits of calmness first to really motivate others to implement the tips into their everyday life.
So here are 5 benefits as to why calm is so beneficial to yourself and others around you.
“The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.” – Charles Schwab
A HUGE thank you to Anita from Discovering Your Happiness for nominating me for this award. Anita has the most beautiful soul and continuously supports my blogging journey. Thanks again Anita!
The Versatile Blogger Award was created to feature and recognise blogs that have unique content, high quality of writing, and fantastic photos. As the webpage about the Versatile Blogger Award says: Honour those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.
“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. ” – M. Scott Peck
I recently wrote a post explaining “why I do what I do” but if you had asked me that question this time last year I would have completely blanked. It’s taken me 27 years to get to the point that I am at today and I couldn’t be happier. I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I had got to where I am now quicker, but it is all my life experience that lead me to the path I am on now.
Below are some simple tips that helped me feel a little less lost and a little more confident that things would eventually fall into place.
“You’re not just creating your own happiness, you’re showing other people it’s possible.” Unkown
A couple of days ago I reached over 100+ followers which is an incredible achievement considering I didn’t think anyone apart from friends and family would read it so I want to say a huge Thankyou, Diolch, Gracias, Merci, Dhanyavadamulu, Dank u, Tack, Dankie, Kiitos, Arigatô, Terima Kasih, Takk, Grazie (I tried my best to say thank you in the languages of all those who have visited my blog from different countries) to every single person who has commented, liked, shared or followed Searching For My Inner Zen.
I thought this would be a great opportunity to share with you my “about me” for anyone who hasn’t already read it as I think its important to share with everyone why I write and share my thoughts with others all around the world.
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” – Art Turock
I was looking through my note book yesterday and noticed that I had written down the word “DEFAULT” twice in a few days. I was in totally different situations and environments each time I wrote that word, but I remember the context being very similar.
The first time I wrote it I was in a coaching session learning about communication. The coach was teaching us that to become masters at communication we need step outside our own default to match other people’s default as it enables us to better build rapport and establish trust. The second time was during a conference I attended for work and had the pleasure of listening to an incredible motivational speech about obstacles giving us the opportunity to step out of our default and enable us to grow.
They say that words are the most powerful force available to humanity and I couldn’t agree more. This word has resonated with me more than I could ever have imagined. Default has suddenly challenged my thoughts, my now and my future as I don’t want to simply float through life and wait for things to come to me. I want to embrace change, face my fears, overcome obstacles and fulfil my purpose in life.
If you’re sick in living in default I would recommend asking yourself these 3 questions..
What is your passion?
What are your values?
What matters most to you?
Once you are clear of your answers make a plan to get to where you want to be as now you have something incredibly powerful; you have found your “why” and this is what drives motivation and activates commitment.
Please share with me your “why” as I love getting to know my readers!
“In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.” Les Brown
I am SO incredibly excited to be sharing this post tonight because as you have probably guessed I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award!! This is a pretty big deal for me, not only because of the recognition that my blog is making people happy but also because I was nominated by the beautiful Anita from discovering your happiness who was the very first blogger I had ever followed and inspires me daily. Thank you so much Anita!
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln
When I turned 18 I was probably the most lost I have ever felt in life. I was confused, anxious, lonely and desperate for some guidance and acceptance as I felt like I was constantly failing. It wasnt until I met my now husband just before I turned 19 that things started falling into place for me and a lot of that was because I spoke to my doctor and discovered that I was suffering from depression. Everything happens for a reason and im positive that I wouldnt be where I am today if things didn’t happen the way they did but there are some things I wish I had known back then to make it a less painful time.
I really hope these tips can help others and it’ll definitely be something I will share with my own children as they grow.
“To accomplish great things we must first dream, then visualize, then plan… believe… act!” – Alfred A.Montapert
I watched a TED talk a couple of weeks ago by the amazing Patti Dobrowolski about drawing your future and it had me so inspired that today I gave it a go. I have been really interested in visual goal setting ever since I started reading more about the law of attraction and already have a vision board but thought this could be a great addition.
The power of visualisation is incredible. If you can make a habit to mentally visualise an image of what you want or who you want to be your mind will subconsciously start making your dreams a realty. Visualisation also creates an optimistic, positive mindset as you focus on the things you DO want rather than what you don’t and this in itself helps keep you motivated. Adding drawing as a visualisation technique activates the creative right-side of your brain which will help you see new possibilities.
I downloaded a copy of the free template from Patti’s website and also printed the icon guide for some inspiration for what to draw.
Here are some tips that really helped me put this together.
When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past. – Author Unknown
Does anyone else get the Sunday blues? Well it turns out there’s actually a word for it which is “Smonday” and is described as “The moment when Sunday stops feeling like Sunday and the anxiety of Monday kicks in.” So many people I talk to experience this and I was really startled when my 7-year-old son started getting upset on Sunday nights because he was sad the weekend was over. If I’m honest the reason he would also feel the symptoms of “Smonday” is probably because my husband and I show them so it’s a habit we needed to change.
Below are 5 really simple tips that I have found make our Sunday’s less stressful and more enjoyable. Considering that on average we only have 4000 Sundays to live in our life why would you want to waste it feeling sad about the unknown?
Prepare for your Monday on Friday – It’s easy to get caught up with the excitement of the long-awaited weekend and wanting it to start as quick as possible but if we invest a little more time into doing things that will make your Monday that little bit easier you won’t have a huge workload hanging over your head on Sunday. This can be as simple as leaving a “to do” list on your desk at work so you are clear on what needs to be done
Weekday organisation – Don’t leave all your chores for the weekend. I always make sure that I do at least one load of washing a day and spot clean around the house so when the weekend does arrive I’m not spending the entire time cleaning.
Get outside – Whether you catch up with family or friends, check out that market you have never been to or even just walking to your local park, getting out of the house can do wonders. Its proven that having a change of pace and environment does wonders for your physical and mental health.
Schedule some weekday fun – My husband and I did this because we felt like we were stuck in a rut during the week and wanted to mix things up a bit. We find even going out for dinner on a Wednesday, or visiting some family and friends really breaks the week up and means you’re not relying on the weekend to have fun.
Find your why – Okay so this may not be something you can do overnight but I’m adamant that once you find your purpose in life it makes waking up every day that little bit easier as you are able to focus your energy on the things that matter the most.
I hope you find these tips useful and please feel free to share any tips you find helpful below!
I am SO overwhelmed and incredibly grateful to be nominated for The Kind Blogger award by Danielle from The Preemie-Mummy. This is special to me because the award (which Danielle created by the way) means my blog is doing exactly what I had hoped it would, which is to create a little inspiration and positivity in people lives all around the world. Danielle wrote a description of two types of bloggers she has discovered and I want to share with everyone her description of the type of blogger I have always inspired to be and that Danielle is.
“There are those who do it simply because they love it – they love writing posts, reading other people’s posts and are just happy and grateful to have readers who are interested in what they have to say.”
Thank you Danielle not only for the nomination but for creating this beautiful way of recognising the amazing people around us.
Be mindful of your self-talk. It’s a conversation with the universe. – David James
As I am going through my journey of becoming my best self I have found such an incredible amount of valuable practices, advice, wisdom and lessons to help me along the way. There is no denying that there is a cycle of thoughts, words, actions and attitude that impact everyday experiences. My latest challenge is what I say to myself and yes, I talk to myself a lot lol! I was so disappointed when I realised that the little voice in my head was the biggest negative Nancy I had ever met so I needed to take immediate action to turn her into a positive Polly.
Studies have shown that humans have anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day but according to some research, as many as 80% of our thoughts are negative. This research really saddened me and got me thinking about my children’s future because self-talk patterns develop from the day you learn to talk and I want nothing more than for my children to be happy. I hope that by changing my own self-talk patterns it will create a positive habit for my children too.
Here are 3 quick tips to start your process
Mindfulness- Become aware of what you say to yourself throughout the day. We often start the day thinking about the things we don’t want to do or can’t do during the day which has a huge impact on the experiences we encounter. Set little reminders on your phone or sticky notes around the house to remind yourself to be aware of your thoughts so you can identify where you need change.
Find your trigger words- For me I have noticed I say, “I can’t” and “I won’t” way too much so I constantly have this on my radar. When I catch myself saying these phrases I replace them with “How can I” or “I choose” as it empowers me to open my mind and take control instead of giving up. For example, I caught myself saying “I can’t get all my studying done this month” so replaced it with “How can I get all my study done this month?” “I can’t” prevented me from thinking of ways around my situation where as “How can I” prompted me to find a solution to my problem. I now have a plan in place so I can get my study done and I feel far more positive and at ease.
Positive affirmations- Okay so you may roll your eyes at this one as there are probably a million books or cards out there with positive affirmations that people claim will change your life but guess what? Its true! If you create a habit to repeat a positive affirmation everyday that are focused on a goal or outcome your subconscious mind will create situations to make it happen. I have been repeating “My thoughts are under my control” as many times as I can throughout the day and I have noticed a positive change in being able to better control the frequency and severity of my anxiety.
Do you have a negative Nancy or a positive Polly floating around in your head? Dont feel defeated if negative Nancy is dominating at the moment as you CAN change by making some simple changes and I believe everyone has a positive Polly in there somewhere.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia
I’ve had “one of those days” today. You know those days when you feel exhausted but you don’t really know why and it only takes the slightest thing to irritate you? I was doing a quick dash to the shops to grab the one ingredient I was missing for dinner when someone stopped me and complimented my hair. I was a little bit confused as my hair was what I would consider a total mess but the kind comment made me smile none the less. It really got me thinking about compliments and how powerful they can be so thought I would dig a little deeper as to why we should do it more often and this is what I came up with.
It’s free – Seriously though, a compliment costs absolutely nothing but has the power to impact someone’s day so much more than any other gift you could buy.
It’ll create a snowball effect – When you give a compliment to someone they are more likely to compliment someone else or even give you a compliment back. The happy feeling you gave to one person then spreads affecting people everywhere.
Its selfless– Complimenting someone shows that you are paying attention to more than just what’s going on in your own world. It’s also a sign of genuine kindness and is a great demonstration of the person you are, especially if it’s the first time you have met.
You’ll see more good than bad – Once you have gotten into the habit of giving genuine compliments you will start to notice more of the positive qualities in people rather than the negative.
It can change someone’s life– Yep! We have all heard a story about how someones kind words have transformed another’s life. Your acknowledgement of someone’s efforts, actions or appearance can be the motivation they need to keep going.
So go out there, give someone a compliment but make sure its sincere. You don’t just get that warm happy feeling by receiving a compliment, you get it from giving one too.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”—Maya Angelou
I bet that if your bag got stolen you would never think that you would get everything back? Well neither did I and I’m also one of those naive people who thought “It’ll never happen to me” so when I had my bag stolen on Monday it was a complete shock and I started preparing for the worst.
Now I did not want this to be a sympathy post as what happened after this made the entire experience worth it and that’s why I decided to share.
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” – John W. Whitehead
I have seen quite a few of these sort of questionnaires getting around social media and I love reading the responses of other people’s children, not only can it be hilarious but also very insightful. I sat down with my 7 year old son and 5 year old daughter at different times and asked them the below questions. I was actually really surprised by some of their responses and it was super precious to learn a little more about them as well as share some giggles with them.
“Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands-off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.” – Melody Beattie
Resentment is a mixture of toxic emotions formed by anger, hatred and disappointment and is incredibly destructive. What inspired me to write this blog was the realisation that I am surrounded by multiple people who are so consumed with bitterness it has changed the person they used to be.
I have seen exactly what resentment does to people and how it impacts their quality of life. In the words of Malachy McCourt, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” While you’re latching on to the negative thoughts and emotions you are damaging the relationship with yourself with the people who care for you the most.
I don’t want to seem like a martyr in this blog because I myself have identified that I am resentful for things that have happened in my past too which makes sense as to why in certain situations my anxiety and depression can dramatically spike.
Forgiveness is the answer to letting go of resentment and now I have identified this in my life I can start making a conscious effort to do exactly that, forgive. Maybe if I am able to admit this I’ll inspire others to do the same so we can live in peace and happiness and repair any damage that has been done to ourselves and others.
“Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do.” – Jean de la Bruyere
If there is one thing I have always been certain about in life, it is that I wanted to be a mum. It may have happened a lot sooner than I had planned but it was meant to be and has been an incredible journey so far. I love listening to the things my children have to say, the way they see the world is so simplistic and not yet tainted by ego or judgements. I still have a lot to learn but so far these are the five lessons that I value the most.
The beauty in the small things – Our son notices the tiny details of everything he sees. His inquisitive nature means slowing down at any construction site we go past as he is in awe with how things work. Our daughter is very similar but she will hear the birds singing before anyone else and she will ALWAYS stop to smell the flowers. It’s so sad how blind we become to the environment around us as an adult and it results in us missing the small yet most beautiful things.
To slow down – As an adult we get stuck in the rut of rushing to get things done, even something as simple as reading a book is a whole different experience with children. When I read a book with my children they will ask questions after every sentence, they’ll analyse the pictures to help make sense of the words and once its finished its almost a guarantee they’ll want to read it again. These are the best times to practice being present and treasure it while you can.
Experiences have more value than things – Whether it’s as big as going on a holiday or a little as going on a bike ride its guaranteed that you’ll hear children talking more about the things they have done rather than the things they have been given, a valuable lessons for the whole family.
The power of laughter – There is something about hearing a child laugh that brings so much joy to our lives. The best thing about this, is that it doesn’t take much to make you laugh even if it is just pulling a silly face or hearing a lame joke. If us adults had more of a light-hearted attitude to everyday things maybe we could learn to still smile even when things aren’t perfect.
To be a better person – Before children you live your life how you want with little thought to anyone else. Then when you have children you have these little people who idolise you and copy everything you do. This in itself has taught me SO much, I know that if I expect my children to make good choices that I need to make them too. I want to be a good example to my children so that they have a positive impact in our forever changing world.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
The quote above is from one of the most amazing speeches I’ve seen on YouTube given by Steve Jobs to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005. I watched it multiple times this week and the timing was perfect as yesterday was Australia day which also marks the anniversary of me becoming an Australian citizen and a day I always like to reflect on how much my life has changed.
I was born in Cardiff, Wales and spent 15 years of my life there. When I was 11 my parents took me out of school for 3 months and we travelled around Australia with a stop off in Hong Kong which gave me life experience you could never learn in a school. We all fell in love with the State Queensland and just after my 15th Birthday my parent’s dreams became reality and we moved to Australia leaving behind our family, friends and life as we knew it.
I have had some of my darkness days in Australia, but I’ve also had some of my best and for a long time my life had been a graph of dots scattered randomly with no meaning or purpose. Finally, at 27 years old and looking back at those dots it has clicked as to how they all connect, and I understand that if it wasn’t for all of the ups and downs I’ve endured over the years I wouldn’t be on the path I am today.
Now I know that Australia day is quite a controversial day to some with all of the politics and protests, but I like to keep it pretty simple. I see Australia day as a time to express my gratitude for the country I live in. I am so incredibly thankful that my husband and I can raise our children in such a beautiful country that has so many opportunities for them as they grow . I am grateful to my mum and dad for making the bold and brave decision to move our family here with little support. Lastly, I am blessed to have met the most genuine friends that I have over the years and its those friendships that make Australia feel like home. Now that is something worth celebrating!
They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel. – Carl W. Buehner
Tomorrow my youngest will be starting school and just like many other parents I’ve got a whole lot of mixed emotions going on. I often hear of people struggle with the loneliness of their youngest child growing up and of course that’s a huge part of what I’m feeling today but the feeling that has been overwhelming me the most is guilt.
Whenever your child reaches any milestone you tend to reminisce about all the memories you have of them before they got to where they are today and of course the usual question of “where did the time go?” always comes up. Now when I did this with my son 3 years ago on his first day of school I would always reassure myself that although one baby had grown up I still had my little girl who was still dependant on me and wasn’t going to school anytime soon. I remember thinking that I would try to make the most of every second of her being so little so when this day came along I would be ready for it. Well I was wrong, and I let my work consume me which didn’t leave a lot of time for me to absorb those precious years before big school and that’s time I can never get back. I think this is why I’m consumed with guilt on top of all the other emotions I had when my son started school and it’s hard to move past.
Lucky for me I have one of the best friends you could possibly ask for and a while ago now she shared with me some advice her mum gave her and its always stuck with me. Her mum said that the most important years to be there for your children are the tween/teen years as this is when they really start to be confronted with a whole lot of changes, not just with their body but with their relationships, school, independence and responsibilities. It’s during this time that being more present and building trust with your children can have more of an impact on the rest of their lives than whether you were there for them to witness their first step or not.
I don’t want to be feeling this same way when my children graduate from high school so although I may have missed some of their milestones in the early years I have made a promise that I’ll be there for them in their adolescent years when they need me the most.
Good luck to any of the other parents reading who are going through the same thing!
“When your attention moves into the Now, there is an alertness. It is as if you were waking up from a dream, the dream of thought, the dream of past and future. Such clarity, such simplicity. No room for problem-making. Just this moment as it is.” – Eckhart Tolle
On a recent holiday to the Whitsundays I was reminded of a meditation podcast Meditation Oasis I used to religiously listen to. It was almost 8 years ago that I introduced my now husband to the podcast which coincidentally happened to be in the exact same place my sister in law had organised accommodation for our family getaway at Christmas. It bought back a flood of memories of us enjoying the podcast together, before children, before the financial stress of having a mortgage and before starting our business. I’m not sure when I stopped listening to the podcast, maybe it was after my son was born a year later or when I went back to working full time but its something that I probably need more than ever before.
The thing I love most about meditation oasis is that each podcast can go for anywhere as long as 30+ minutes to as quick as 4 minutes, the guided meditation podcasts are perfect for beginners and incredibly relaxing. I’m not going to let any excuses stop me from taking a couple of minutes out of my day to meditate.
A special shout out to my amazing sister in law who booked our accommodation (even if it was just a coincidence) as I don’t know when I would have stumbled across these podcasts again.
It was these podcasts that helped inspire my journey of finding my inner zen and I highly recommend that if you’re wanting to introduce meditation as part of your daily routine to give these podcasts a go!