When we hear the term- ‘being present’ or ‘being in the moment’, you can be forgiven for saying it sounds so cliche.
But mindfulness is not just a word thrown about by certain types of people, it is actually a thing. Something that can be very rewarding if you practice it in your own way. With our uniqueness we develop our own way within what is defined creating our own sense of awareness.
How? you ask.
What is the word actually suggesting?
Lets look at the definition:
1: the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
2: a mental state achieved by focusing on one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations…
I’ve chosen to equated it to moments..
So I could be in the home, working on something, focused to some degree and then I hear the sound of laughter..
I never get tired of hearing the sound of Laughter.
Each of my children laugh differently but with similarities and no matter what I’m doing, when I hear them laugh, I stop and smile and even chuckle a bit as I imagine the expression on their faces – if I’m in a different room.
When my husband is having regular banter with the kids the sound of their collective laughter is everything, in amongst all their chitter chatter, the laughter is pure magic! Pleased by those simple things…. every time.
One of my brothers, when I hear his laughter, he has a particular laugh that requires him to fling his head back, mouth open wide to express the humour in what he has just heard. A big hearty expression of laughter I just love it! It never fails to evoke an inward laugh, even thinking about it now I find myself smiling.
I love laughter, can you tell?
So what has laughter to do with anything? Well nothing to be honest, only that sometimes it’s absolutely necessary for us to just notice what we sometimes fail to see, just the little things, a moment that causes you to inhale or smile. The way a captured moment can be freeze framed a little longer or the ways it makes you feel inside.
Stop to acknowledge that feeling.
Moments are so fleeting, they come and go with the blink of an eye, so take the time to stop and take it all in.
Take a deep breath and just pay attention. Think about how you are feeling in that moment, acknowledge and honour it.
Pay attention to who ever you are with, or the silence you are in, the scenery of a newly discovered or familiar place.
You choose the moment, but here’s the condition: If you are in the company of another person, really look and pay attention to them. Particularly loved ones and especially at this time. Who knows when we will be restricted again from face to face visits and contact. I’m sure loved ones won’t mind you staring at them, I guess it will probably be quite nice to have a moment with you where they actually have your full attention.
I did this a few weeks ago when I went to visit my mother.
My Father was out for the day so I went to give her some company as since lockdown she spent a long time without really seeing us, her kids and grandchildren.
The day was lovely, bright and warm, very warm with the sunshine as beautiful as ever. We sat around the garden table on the patio in their south facing garden backing onto the park as it captured the sun in all its glory. We drank iced cool homemade lemonade. So refreshing and beautifully thirst quenching.. umm lovely.
Their cat, Tiddles basks in the warm summer sun, on her back, just under the plum tree on the grass towards the back of the garden. The sun rays fall through the leaves and Tiddles wags her tail slowly back and forth with squinting eyes, as she sniffs and enjoys the air.
We both notice the different bird sounds and identify the green parakeets that had recently been visiting the nearby trees, singing such a different song from the ones we had grown accustomed to.
A single plane flies overhead at one point, a lot less planes than was the norm, before COVID-19 came to stay. It took my attention for a split second.
Anyway, we talked, we drank and ate a lovely salad surrounded buy clean cream roses, pink hydrangeas and the pop of colours from the other flowers in their garden.
We talked about anything and everything. Her childhood, school days, the kids and putting the world to rights.
As I listened to her stories, I look in her face and notice her remarkable skin, the only lines gracing her lovely face are laughter lines that sit formally above the dimples on both cheeks that appear whenever she smiles.
Mummy is in her late 70’s and she has looked after herself well. I remember thinking, hope I look as good as she does when I am her age! Those genes, yes please!
The brown in the colour of her eyes, shone in the sunlight, almost glistened.
I could see my tiny reflection looking back at me.
She wore her bronze printed sleeveless dress with a tan crochet cardi and sandals on her feet. Tufts of her salt and pepper coloured hair revealed under her headscarf.
I breathe slowly, listening to Mum, taking it all in.
I decided to leave my phone on silent and chose not to check it, all the while praying I don’t get any urgent calls. For our moment together was to be uninterrupted. Sometime in the past mum had complained that I kept checking my phone. I was seemingly absent without leaving, only there only in body and I’ve had to put the phone away so as not to offend further.
This time was gonna be different, I made sure of that and there was no denying, she appreciated it, just being able to sit together, talk, laugh and be present without the pressures the daily distractions put on us. It made a difference.
In the middle of it all, we spontaneously touch each other’s hand, I hold onto hers and just stroke it. She looks me in the eyes and tells me “I Love You”. I get it. Butterflies tickle inside my belly, she touched my heart and I tell her the same right back. A cherished moment that has become a loving memory that now flashes upon my inward eye and warms my heart.
I am grateful.
I didn’t set out to practice a moment of mindfulness as most people would know it. I just decided I would visit mum with a conscious difference.
The way I would pay attention to that moment, to her, would be different.
I decided to be more ‘present’.
Our lives can get so busy, with distractions coming in every direction. Work, kids, the tech world, information overload. The lockdown exposed this when we were forced to slow down or push the pause button. It changed the game and how we play it.
Note to Self: Life is short and we don’t get a 2nd chance to relive any day that has already passed so sometimes we just need to make that conscious effort to just be in the moment, especially whenever we are with our loved ones or are doing something we really love to do.
Soak it up with all your senses, the sights, the sounds, how we feel.
Look for more opportunities to be present, find them in each day perhaps. I guess we just need to stop once in a while to see them.
As an end note, There will be bad feelings too. Allow yourself to acknowledge them, feel them, but try not to hold onto them. Allow the bad feelings to pass through like visitors, don’t give them permanent residency in your mind.
Remember: Time is but a moment. It quickly passes by and away it flies…
21 Daily Actions to look after ourselves through these uncertain days. As we face this global pandemic together let’s try to maintain positive wellbeing.
Here we are again facing potential changes as we read and hear reports of the rate of infection from COVID-19 on the rise.
At the back of our minds as we approach the winter flu season, it feels like Deja vu, almost a given that we will be going back into some kind of lockdown situation but this time it feels different. Why?
Well for a start we have the benefit of hindsight, we know what lockdown feels like, tastes like, looks like oh yes, the highs and the LOWS.
Subsequent to our first experience where we were navigating through the unknown, the trajectory was being led by the powers that be and we lost control of our freedoms, some more than others.
This time, we are heading into the colder, darker days/months and somehow, it just feels, well should I say in comparison (if Its possible to compare an unprecedented situation) a complete different ball game one that at the moment may feel harder to play.
Don’t get me wrong, whilst the winter months are beautiful in their own right the rich colour palette, cozy nights in, lounge wear, warm fires, blankets and hot drinks; without the freedom to choose where we can go and who we can physically spend time with, changes the dynamics somewhat so much so that nothing feels the same.
Feelings of loneliness, boredom and isolation. Feeling stressed about work and or finances or living with an existing mental health condition(s), this could be an even more challenging time. So now more than ever we need to be kind to ourselves and each other.
Share what we are feeling and be willing to seek the help and support needed.
It’s ok not to feel ok and there are loads of agencies out there to help.
We should also try to cultivate hope and resilience. Tell ourselves hopeful things like: “This is tough, but I can get through it” and then each day for the next 21 days do each of the following :
For ours and each others safety we follow the guidelines. We each do our bit in containing the spread of this unseen that is ravaging our very existence.
Hang on in there! Keep safe and Keep well. 💋
“It’s all about overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”Thrivingdesire
Daily Life has been turned upside down. COVID-19 has left many feeling lost. “Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in every day”..
Positive emotions can build up a buffer against stress and can lead to lasting changes in the brain to help maintain wellbeing. So, set aside time to have fun!
Find time for laughter, to feed your soul doing something you really love.
Try out or learn something new perhaps.
Although we can’t always choose what happens to us, we can often choose how we respond to it. Being kind to yourself when things go wrong by shifting the focus away from ‘beating yourself up’ to some Self kindness speaks volumes. This will give your wellbeing a boost and naturally you will feel better.
Remember “You are what you think” so let’s Keep our self talk positive. Our words become things, they will manifest into the happiness we seek or contribute to the sadness we feel.
gratitude (ˈɡratɪtjuːd) noun: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Oxford English Dictionary
Reasons to be grateful today: (fill in your own blanks)
What made today great?
My acts of kindness:
“Gratitude helps us to see what is there instead of what isn’t.”Thrivingdesire – Keep well, stay Safe… Blessed Love💕
Tried and tested research shows that we can rewrite our brains to capture and hold on to more happy feelings, moments and state of mind just by changing some of our unconscious negative thought habits and adopting some positive ones.
This takes a conscious effort and practice.. So
Start with a 14 Day commitment to yourself to adopt 3 simple habits, picking what suits or sits well with you
Practicing just these few actions daily will help you to find more easily just how much you have to be grateful for.
The aim is to continue after your initial two weeks, to stretch yourself a further 2 weeks and see the transformation in yourself.
Please try and enjoy.
Your feedback will be most welcomed.
Thank you, blessed Love x
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – J.K Rowling
Right now there is so much to be thankful for.
When you look all around you, you will see evidence everyday, reasons to show gratitude and as you try to navigate around the barrage of negative stimuli and the stressful situations that arise from this pandemic we are finding ourselves in, information overload is an understatement.
The fabric of our society has changed in ways 6 months prior we could never fathom. As we find ourselves ‘living new norms’, people are spending far more time at home and sharing more time with their choicest and closest family and friends. Some on the other hand have not been able to.
Shielding and lockdowns, zoom and teams, TikTok, Netflix, mobile phones and TVs have dominated our worlds in unprecedented ways not to mention home schooling and exam results, It’s been relentless, exhausting, a challenge to say the least just to cope with it all; stay on top of it all and keep a calm head.
So what have you been doing to cope with it all and find some kind of piece of mind?
Through the Furloughs, redundancies, companies folding, people trying to get away from it all, the masks and rule changes day by day; week by week…
“THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING TO BE GRATEFUL FOR”
Believe it or not, this is true.
In spite of it all, it has been so important for our wellbeing to make more than the usual effort to focus and find what is good in your lives whenever we can.
Imperative to take ‘Intentional moments out’ for self care and self compassion.
Our feel-good hormones don’t have to be socially distanced from us, so activate them and feel your spirits lifted. Start your day this way: by giving thanks for all the good things. They are there, sometimes you just have to look a little harder to find them. Preempt those that will present themselves each day. This is a sure starter and sets the day up in a positive way.
Feed your Mind, Body and Soul with the things that will Love you back. This is nourishment.
Honour your ME time to reflect in gratitude what makes you feel good you can then radiate that out to others…
Go on, try it, trust me it works!
There has never been a more important time to improve both your physical health and mental wellbeing.
Sometimes we just need to be inspired. Nothing too complexed, just simple steps to feeling happier, more contented and hopeful for the future. There is so much uncertainty right now and in contrast, so much to be thankful for, but..
Living through this pandemic is as though our previous lives as we knew it have been thrown up in the air and evolved into something else without any warning.
So now we find ourselves adapting to ‘new norms’ and navigating the changes as they are thrust upon us presenting its own challenge of simply trying to keep up with it all.
So for me, keeping a level head, eating well (to maintain a good strong immune system), making time for laughter and exercise is the name of the game. So creating conditions where you can at least feel good in spite of all the chaos gives you the perfect excuse to gain a sense of peace and control in a world that now seemingly, feels so out of it.
Im sharing this because I have an itch I need to scratch and whenever I try something that works, I don’t want to keep it to myself. I also think by helping other people, you also help yourself. So, partake. Hold onto what works, leave the rest…
Find your balance, Mind, body and soul and remember:
“There is more happiness in giving…”Acts 20:35
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