Stop. Take a moment. Take a moment to yourself. Take a deep breath. Take a deeper breath. Take a moment to savour the taste of that coffee. Take a moment to see the blueness of the sky. Take a moment to feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Stop. Take.
The Guilt associated with taking time out for yourself should be taught a lesson. Tell that Guilt to shush. Tell that Guilt, no. You deserve this. You deserve some time to yourself. The magic of the quiet moment, alone with your thoughts.
I used to be quite afraid of the quiet. I used to be quite afraid of my thoughts. I am slowly realising if I don’t give my thoughts time, time to be understood, then who will. If I can’t offer myself space, space to be understood, then who will. I must master my own mind before I can place reliance on others. Seek happiness from within, peace from within, before looking out.
I haven’t posted for a while. Wondering if my content was useful. But it’s useful to me. Allows me to process my thoughts. Process my ideas. I went for a short walk, alone, yesterday. It allowed my mind to be calm for a moment and gave me back my peace. I would highly recommend it.
I took my moment. Took my moment to appreciate the blue of the sky, the green of the grass, the warmth of the sunset. This outstanding beauty that we don’t always see, because we don’t know what we’re looking for.
This is a wonderful day, I have never seen this one before
Please tell me about the moment you took for yourself today and how it felt…
Vibes do not lie. Your intuition; your gut feeling is considered to be an intrinsic part of your genetic make up. It’s what has helped species survive and thrive. Survival of the fittest.
Your gut instinct is the subconscious vibe that you get when you walk into a room and something doesn’t feel right. The energy is off. It kicks in when you’re walking a particular path and you can feel an imminent sense of danger. When something inside you gives you a stark warning. Don’t walk that path.
Why do we then ignore these instincts and walk that path in any event? What forces you down that road? Is it your need to be liked, your need to feel wanted, your need to feel accepted? Is it your fear of saying no?
Who are you trying to please?
Sometime we are our own worst enemy. We do things under duress. We try to please others and break ourselves. Some people take and take and take from you. Leave you broken. This may make you an Empath.
The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Empathy is a very difficult concept. Putting yourself in the shoes of others. Feeling how others feel. What a rollercoaster. I know some empaths who are so soulful and who I can share such intimate conversations with. I am very grateful to the empaths in my life, although my heart bleeds for them.
I don’t know if I’m an empath. I understand the feelings of others, but I carry a test of reasonableness. I feel for others but don’t break my psyche with it. As I can differentiate between my emotions and their emotions.
But how do Empaths cope with emotions? The mind boggles. How extraordinarily exhausting it must be.
The polar opposite of this would be a psychopath. That word sounds so insulting. So dangerous. Yet surely as with all things there is a broad spectrum of this disorder. And as with all things, there’s a yin and yang.
a mental disorder in which an individual manifests amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience.
There are tests you can undertake to see where in the spectrum you fall. Lockdown has allowed a lot of people to focus on self and introspection. Would you want to know where you are on this spectrum? Does it matter? Will it help your happiness, or others around you?
I am very interested in psychology and behaviour. I like to spend time on introspection and consider who I am, what traits I possess and what I can consciously do to adapt for a better lifestyle. Can I help others? I want to inspire my tribe, so in turn they can be their best selves and inspire others.
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
One thing that has got me to where I am today is to follow my gut instinct, my intuition has guided me through my life. I regret the times I have ignored it, I relish the moments where I have followed it. Your body and your mind are your biggest assets. Do you give them the respect that they deserve? Follow your gut feeling, trust your intuition…it won’t let you down.
Email me if you would like to take the discussion further. Always happy to discuss peoples views, similar or different to my own.
Oh my heart. How grateful I am to kind souls and kind hearts. The school run one morning bought me to tears. I was in awe. I was inspired. I was inexplicably grateful.
After experiencing, intermittently, almost a year of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I witnessed a beautiful act of kindness that I will never forget. A lesson I learnt from my 5 year old daughter when I thought I would be the teacher in our relationship.
The morning school run is laced in meticulous scheduling and structure in order that everyone has a great start to the day. (See blog post on Toxicity). As I walked Bria to her school door, I could see that one of the little girls who is quite a shy child, was struggling that morning, leaving her mum and venturing up the steep staircase to class. It must have been so daunting having to come back to this routine after spending so much time at home, in a safe space with your mummy.
The poor little girl was very distressed and crying not wanting to go into class. My heart reached out to her, yet I didn’t say a word because my little Bria had said her goodbyes to me and skipped away cheerily as per usual.
As she skipped towards the school stairs, she noticed that her class mate was crying. Without batting an eyelid, without any form of hesitation, Bria took her by the hand and walked with her, up the stairs into the school.
I looked over at the mum clutching the pram who shot me a grateful look and a tilt of the head, as smiles are hidden due to our compulsory mask wearing policies.
I was frozen in my tracks. I was stuck there in that moment in time. I was in awe of my daughter, my 5 year old, my Bria, who embraced compassion without a second thought. No hesitation. Wow. Why aren’t we all like this?
Was it confidence, was it compassion, was it companionship? Where did she learn to be so loving? How did she instinctively know what to do in that moment, without any hesitation.
It bought a tear to my eye and as I turned around to take my commute back home to work, I wanted to savour that moment forever.
A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.
Have I managed to raise a child so loving and compassionate? Am I so lucky to have such a kind soul living with me? Nature vs Nurture. What was at play here?
If I have nurtured this kind soul I am forever grateful. I am blessed to know a few kind souls, the ones who, when you look in their eyes they make you feel at home. At ease. Safe. I know some kind souls that have eyes that look deep into your soul.
The eyes are the window to your soul.
I think this simple act of kindness impacted me more significantly due to the throes of the pandemic where we were forced to isolate and not have any contact with others. Here it appeared that, instinctively, humans need humans. Isolation is so unnatural. We are red blooded mammals who thrive in groups. Networks. Tribes.
What act of kindness will you do today? You could change someone’s world. ⭐️
And then there were 2! I felt a bit more in control this time round. I felt like I had some experience of mummying and kind of knew what to expect. Boy was I wrong.
When my second daughter was born, I felt like we were more of a family unit. With my first daughter, I felt as though we were a couple and we had a baby. Now that we were a family of 4 it felt somewhat more complete. That might sound so harsh and insensitive to my existing family unit but it’s the truth.
My mum always told me, you don’t get two the same. And I thought I knew what that meant because my siblings and I all had very different personalities. But I didn’t know what she meant. I soon came to learn. Chalk and cheese.
Children find everything in nothing; men find nothing in everything.
My Bria is a bright, bubbly, brave and somewhat rambunctious little girl. She is the life and soul of every occasion. The innocence, happiness and purest love pours out of this girl and soaks into your every pore. She is so loving and giving that she inspires others to be loving and giving. I don’t know what good deed I ever did to deserve such a blessing. A social butterfly whose heart breaks when people are sad.
It was so different this time. Bria arrived out of nowhere. I didn’t even have chance to have any pain relief as she was ready to make her entrance into the world. Bria was a summer baby so naturally, Monria and I took a short walk to the park (SPD was quite crippling by this stage). We baked cupcakes and I even had a relaxing bath and a quick nap that day. As the evening drew nearer, I was starting to feel some discomfort, I did not realise this was the start of my journey and I would be giving birth within a couple of hours. This time was a natural delivery rather than an emergency c-section.
I was so unhappy during my pregnancy with Bria because my manager at work was awful to me. I was really poorly with morning sickness for months. I hardly ate anything for the first trimester. Spent my time with my head in a toilet, not much fun at all. My manager, who was also a mum was not accommodating at all, calling me in to work for meetings about absences, questioning and belittling me for how awful I was feeling. Making me feel guilty for letting my team down. Constantly shooting disapproving looks as if my pregnancy was an inconvenience to her. It obviously was. Little did I know my Bria would be my freedom.
During maternity leave this toxicity forced me to look for my dream job as I couldn’t face returning to work. I dreamt of being a lawyer so this is what I did. Bria was my lucky charm, she was so self sufficient from such a small age, allowing me a lot of time to focus on me.
This gave me so much confidence. I wasn’t ‘just’ a mum. I was me. I was the working professional that I had always wanted to be. My mindset was so different. It was empowering. Looking back, I feel guilty for leaving Bria from 9 months old to go back to work. (She was 6 months when I went for my interview and I was still breastfeeding, I never thought I’d get the job, I was terrified). But it worked out. It worked out. It was the best thing for my family. It was a dream come true. My girls don’t have a mum who works somewhere that makes her miserable and feel unvalued. They now have a role model who has a lot of get up and go, and leads from the front.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other, for helping others.
It starts with you. Love yourself. You have to be doing what’s best for you, for then to be able to do what’s best for your children. Your voice becomes their inner voice. Treat them with love and kindness. Treat yourself with love and kindness. You deserve it. You do not need to set yourself on fire, to keep others warm.
During Maternal Mental Health Week this week I would like to dedicate my Mummying blogs to all the amazing mummies out there. You’re doing great. ❤️
As it’s Maternal Mental Health Week, I’ve decided to share my experience of being a Mum over the next couple of blogs. I have been very blessed by having a fantastic role model, so you wouldn’t think it would be so hard. Yet I didn’t have a clue what I was letting myself in for.
Being a mother is the utmost rewarding job. I call it a job as I work hard at it. And do I get paid? Some say, you get paid with love. Well that is very true, in part.
When my girls were born I think my body was in autopilot. Instinctively you have that animalistic unconditional protective love. Your every molecule of being is entwined with that little innocent baby. You sense their every need, every want and every sigh has a meaning. You just instinctively know. Yet during that time, your hormones also take force and make you question every single action that you take. Or maybe that was just me?
Is the baby too hot? Too cold? Too hungry? Too full? Too sleepy? Too restless? Who knows? You watch them, endlessly wondering how you managed to create such a perfect being. You endeavour to do everything perfectly as with children you do not get a second chance. It’s an all or nothing sort of game. And you do a really good job, yet are fraught with worry that you’re doing it all wrong.
Whatever choice you make in terms of raising your children, is the correct one. You are an individual. Your baby is an individual. You were, at one stage, one being, yet after birth you now have the big responsibility of another human. Plenty of folk will provide their free of charge, ‘invaluable’ advice by telling you the ‘best’ way to raise your little bundle. But they are not biologically connected to your little being in the way that you are. They do not know what’s best. That’s your baby and you should do, as you deem fit. How you choose to feed, to change, to soothe or to comfort your baby is your prerogative.
People who knew me before having kids would have easily said that I’m not very maternal. That’s also how I described myself. When my first little girl was born, she surprised us by coming a month early. This threw me into motherhood well before I was ready.
I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to change a nappy, I didn’t know how to feed a baby, wind a baby, wrap a baby safely in a blanket to sleep. I was terrified. I couldn’t get this wrong. This is a little human. Completely dependant on me. Everyone had opinions. I should use all organic items, I should breastfeed, I should bottle-feed, I should use this brand of nappy, I should use this type of blanket. I should wind her like this. Wow.
I didn’t sleep for 2 weeks after she was born. Constantly on edge and fearful that I wasn’t ticking all the right boxes. I never let her cry, jumping to her every need. I loved her so much that I didn’t know you could feel love like this. It was so overpowering.
I didn’t speak to anyone about how I was feeling. The stigma around not being ok was frightening. Having a child is a blessing so why did I feel so lost and alone. Everyone said it was fine, my feelings were to be expected, I should expect to be emotional as ‘your hormones are everywhere’. Not sleeping for 2 weeks was just the accepted norm apparently. But it’s not. I refused help as I needed to do everything myself. It had to be done perfectly.
My Monria. She gave me hope. She was so lovely. She was the perfect baby. She was the perfect toddler. She loved everything and everyone and that love returned to her tenfold. Perfect. I gave her so much time and attention without a single regret. You only get one chance to raise a child and I wasn’t going to get it wrong.
I am so proud of the little girl she has grown up into. Monria, the gifted little bookworm who is meticulous to a fault, yet inquisitive and conscientious. I love her personality and frequently have to remind myself of this when she is correcting my sentence for the third time. Even though she’s only 9 years old she is wise beyond her age and to keep the balance she can be moody teenager now and then. I accept that. She needs to develop her own personality and I will be here to help her discover who she is and what she wants to do. I will coach and guide her down whichever path she chooses to take. (See blog on Well-being.)
Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.
It’s not for me to dictate her life to her. She has options and choices. She needs to find what makes her happy and I will walk with her side by side proudly being the embarrassing mum I’ve always dreamed of. If I can do as half a good of a job as my mum, I’ll be over the moon.
Do your best. It is enough.
A. Rai (My mum)
During Maternal Mental Health Week this week I would like to dedicate my Mummying blogs to all the amazing mummies out there. You’re doing great. ❤️
Undoubtedly, unequivocally, unquestionably my absolute favourite character trait of all time. Integrity.
In every aspect of my life I truly try to live with integrity. I consider integrity to be a character strength that not enough people have. Or maybe not enough people consider and value. Do you do the right thing even when no one is watching?
the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles
I feel as though integrity is one of the strongest characteristics one can possess. It’s living by being true to yourself and your own beliefs and morals. Being true to yourself is one of the ways we can live without having regrets.
A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.
We are all individuals in this world. Every single one of us have a different variety of character traits. Some traits I try to nurture and some I try to suppress (see blog on Toxicity).
I try to encourage my children to also develop their personalities with character traits that they are proud of. Be true to yourself. I frequently ask them: ‘are you proud of your actions?’ I want them to hold themselves accountable and do more of what they are proud of and less of what they’re not. Seeking external approval shouldn’t always be the first port of call.
I am always honest and take a lot of pride in that. I always strive to be diplomatic if having a difficult conversation because it’s not up to me to impose my will and my judgment on others.
Integrity, honesty, respect and pride are my favourite character traits. I consider these to be the essential characteristics that form a secure and stable foundation for you to then build a secure, stable and successful relationship.
Relationships with family. Relationships with friends. Relationships with colleagues. Have the confidence to be unapologetically you. Carry these character traits and you will attract these character traits. Build your support network around you with these people. Your Tribe.
Yesterday was the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh. Seeing the Queen sat alone during the service epitomised the feeling of isolation that has been felt by all during this past year.
The symbolism of the head of state; the monarch, our Queen sat alone with all eyes on her, was such a powerful image. The symbol of isolation; one that resonates with us all.
The image witnessed by the world showed how no one is immune to heartache. No one is above the law. We are all human. This is our bond. The thread that entwines us all together.
Regardless of anyone’s personal opinion of the Royal family, it is a family, a family like many over the last year, who have lost a key figure. A husband, a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather, a friend. One person can mean so much to many people. The loss is immeasurable but so is the love that’s been left behind.
Remember to be kind and compassionate to all. You do not know what personal battles people are fighting when they face the world with a smile.
Be grateful for all you have and try to practice mindfulness to be present in the moment. There is one thing that is guaranteed in life which is that nothing lasts forever. You can take comfort in this when having a bad day, knowing that it won’t last forever. Conversely you can feel sad when you don’t want a perfect day to come to an end because it won’t last forever.
Time and tide wait for no man.
To embark upon any journey, you must take the first step. Take one step at a time. Take one day at a time. Take your time. Time is the most precious yet limited gift we have been granted.
Toxic traits are damaging. To you and to those around you. There are many toxic traits that take different guises. How can we seek these out and do better?
I try to be an organised person. I like to feel in control. In control of myself and in control of my situation. I have recognised that this may cause me to carry toxic traits, but do not consider myself to be a toxic person. I try to seek out these traits and understand what I’m trying to achieve. And do better. I have no right to control my children, they are individuals. I have no right to control my husband, he is his own person. I can’t control them. I don’t want to control them. I love them for who they are. Not what I want them to be. But how I can achieve the order and structure I desire without taking control?
Manipulation, narcissism, insincerity, and judgment. These traits do not help any relationship. I could consider that my fantastic organisational skills keep my family on track. I ensure the success of everyone by controlling all situations as that’s my strength and I’m only helping them. However just because that’s my way of doing things, it doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. My traits may not suit their personalities.
Collaboration, conversation, and consideration. I don’t think you can live your whole life compromising at every situation. Imagine not living your life on your terms. Relentlessly. I’ve found that my need for schedule after schedule in order not to miss an event makes me happy but it could be creating stress and anxiety in my family. By working together you can establish a way of allowing everyone to have a chance to live their way. Together.
I have seen a lot of people who consider themselves to be puppeteers, who strategically try to control and manipulate the people around them and situations around them to seek their desired end result. You would think they would execute the show exceptionally and be the happiest of people. Nope! They are miserable, exhausted and unfulfilled. Refrain from this.
You can only control yourself, control your circumstances, control your situation. Anything else becomes unhealthy. Free will is exercised; demolishing that puppeteer’s show. Taking control of yourself, control of your circumstances is truly where the freedom lies.
You don’t find happiness, you make happiness.
Free yourself from toxic traits. Free your mind. Free your time. Empower your life seeking to control your happiness from within. Seek your happiness. It’s all about You.
Happiness is when, what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.
As you settle back into work after a lovely long bank holiday weekend, take time to take stock.
Take a break and enjoy a coffee in the sunshine. Or snow as the weather changed vehemently today.
I had the privilege of speaking to an old friend today over a nice coffee. A priceless conversation. After knowing each other for about 30 years we have seen each other grow and change and become the women we are today. It was so fulfilling to chat comfortably with a kind soul about difficult topics.
It felt empowering. We live many miles apart and are on very different paths although our old souls are aligned. We care about well-being and compassion to others. We are as strong as we are weak. It’s so empowering to connect with someone so deeply over the telephone. A definite meeting of minds. Priceless.
Effortlessly discussing challenging topics. It was so refreshing. Take time to have discussions with people around you. Listen with compassion. Agree to disagree. Appreciate other perspectives. It’s very empowering. You don’t have to be right. You don’t have to be wrong. Appreciate the alternate perspective. Open your mind. I am proud to advocate life long learning.
An absolutely marvellous read. This book can be read in so many ways. From front to back, from back to front, or as some people have done, turn a page a day.
I enjoy doing a lucky dip and flicking to a random page to see: what inspiration I can take for that day; what inspiration I can provide for that day; what inspiration I need for that day.
Charley Mackesy has collated and told such a beautiful story. As I turned the pages, over a delicious coffee, not knowing what to expect, I was stopped in my tracks. Overwhelmed at some of the feeling he has captured on the pages of this creation.
I am so glad I bought the hardback version of this book as I doubt the Kindle version would have done it justice. This book triggers some thought provoking conversations.
The delight of good weather on a bank holiday is second to none. The blue sky, the cool breeze, the bright sun.
Today we took a trip to Dovedale in the Peak District. It was the second time we’ve visited and this day was more glorious than the last. The rolling hills formed a marvellous scenic backdrop, until we began the ascent and before we knew it, the marvellous scenic backdrop became our literal uphill challenge.
The burbling flow of the river was serene. Effortlessly flowing unreservedly on its course. It bought tranquility, reflecting the sun ensuring that everything sparkled. Beautiful. It reminded me of my backdrop in my Calm app, one that I try to use to practice meditation rather unsuccessfully. It felt so powerful to hear it naturally and not synthetically. Unnerving. Feeling the sun effortlessly warm my face and hearing the river flow, as such luxuries had only been a possibility from my desk during the lockdown. I didn’t know how to feel…I told myself to enjoy it.
Our ascent was empowering and relentless, the girls excited to reach the top, my anxiety raging as they climbed higher and higher out of reach. I am in constant awe of the innocence and naivety of children. Fearless to any dangers, confident in their own abilities. Inspiring. Not a fan of heights yet very much a fan of beautiful views and a fan of achieving a sense of satisfaction. We reached the summit. The clear, calm day juxtaposing my racing mind and pacing heart as we sat together at the top of the world for those moments. Views for miles, stunning sunshine, togetherness.
Worth every moment.
One step at a time. That’s all it takes. To achieve what you want to achieve. Take a deep breath, smile and take that step. This is what I learn from my ramblings. To be mindful. I have a mind full of anxiety and a heart full of love. I want to turn down the busy noise of the mind and see things through my heart.
Slowly but surely, alongside working and mummying and wifeing, I have completed my Psychological First Aid course!
It is so amazing to have completed that course to identify people who may need some sort of support during these difficult times.
My next challenge is how to apply it? I feel really strongly about children’s well-being as some adults can be self-centred and children are impacted by that. I’ve seen quotes around how it’s easier to raise strong children than it is to fix broken adults and I think I’m an advocate for this.
What do you think? How do you feel about this?
In this pandemic us adults have suffered but the children have lost a part of their lives that they will not get back.
Growing up is hard. We should listen to children, we should support them.
Children should be seen and not heard.
Phrase, Victorian England
Children should not only be seen, children should also be heard. Children are our future and their voices should be heard the loudest.
Don’t make children into who you want them to be, let children be themselves. Nurture and encourage their natural talents. They ARE individuals. They can achieve anything. Innovation is within them. Let them be.
Some people, when having children proudly profess ‘I want my child to grow up to be a doctor’, ‘I want my child to be a lawyer’, ‘I want my child to be a teacher’. Should we be putting our wants onto our children? No. They are individuals with unique personalities and talents. Childhood should be about learning and finding out who we are and what we like to do. Why do we save that for our mid-life crises’? We have the support of our parents as a child, and our parents should be guiding and nurturing our talents and our wants and needs. I believe that this raises confident, happy and inquisitive children.
Please take the time to join and complete this course. Link below…👇🏽
The difficult thing is; we do not know what we do not know. Feed your mind.
My girls are very inquisitive and I am so proud of that as I try to explain the world to them and allow them to question what they see and feel so they can form their own opinions. Meaningful conversations and time well spent does not cost anything.