So I have this thing for gratitude, as I may have mentioned before. I have been working to encourage my mind, through a daily gratitude diary, to make a habit out of finding things to be grateful for.
It has been very good for me, and as with everything beneficial, I wanted to share it.
Continue reading “The Window of Thanks”
Oh my days. I did not realise that I have not danced for more than a year! We just had a staff zoom meeting, which was really positive. Because my love is fast asleep after his night shift, I have taken my meeting as quietly as possible in the living room, with headphones on. After the meeting, since it was so happy and productive, I found I was smiling. To keep that positive feeling while tackling the many tasks discussed, I thought I’d put a happy tune on to accompany my work.
Continue reading “Day something or other: Dance!!”
My research is proving to be more and more fun! In my alphabetical adventure this one is next. I don’t need to list my sources of hilarity this week, as there are a million entries for ‘comedy’ on youtube that you can access at anytime, which I recommend doing because as we all know, laughing makes you feel better. After an hour or so of any of my heroes of hilarity like Sarah Millican, Eddie Izzard, or James Acaster, I can actually feel the difference in my relaxed muscles, improved breathing and general lightness about my shoulders.
Continue reading “Day 15: Laughter”
This one is so lovely. And easy. And makes me so happy.
I read about the benefits of gratitude ages ago, so I started writing my thank yous at the end of each day. The idea is to find at least five new things to be grateful for each day, and either write them down or say them out loud. Even on the shittiest days I found there was always something to be grateful for, even it was ‘Thank you that we have a soundproof ladies room at work so I can have a proper cry before the policy meeting,’ – not resoundingly joyous, but still something. I found that on the worst days I would try harder to find positives so I got quite good at finding little snippets of good in amongst the bad, and I found that really comforting. It’s like when we were kids we were told before we could say something mean about someone we had to first say ten nice things, after which that one hurtful thing would sort of lose its power.
Continue reading “Day 11: Gratitude”
Today’s shivery suggestion is brought to you by my very happy, healthy and confident little brother. In a family zoom call recently he talked about how great he was feeling since he completed his three day fast a couple of weeks ago. We were fascinated by his experience, as he described the physical and mental benefits of a complete cleanse and reset. While not at all tempted to follow that example, the conversation went on to the similar benefits of cold showers, which everyone sort of nodded in agreement to. I didn’t realise the extent to which immersion in freezing water was of recognised benefit to health, and looked it up.
Continue reading “Day Six: Cold Showers”
I started writing affirmations months ago at the start of Lockdown. Having read Hal Elrods’s Miracle Morning, in which affirmations serve as one of his recommended daily practices, I made a list of lots of positive things I wanted to affirm.
‘I am strong. I am creative. I exercise every day.’ and so on.
I took heed of Hal’s advice that they be positive, present tense and possible, and I wrote out several lists of goals and dreams as if I were already living them.
Continue reading “Day Two: Affirmations”
Last night we had our follow up session with Cara to see how we are all getting on, six weeks after finishing the course to Untether Our Voices. I had planned to arrive at this October session with a proud announcement of my first draft of my story I’ve been working on for years, but instead I watched my face in the zoom screen grinning from ear to ear as I explained that writing it was triggering such a bizarre and fascinating world of anxiety that I would be pausing the big writing project and taking some time to look after myself. They all smiled and nodded in approval at this necessary part of the story telling process which added to my huge relief to be able to just let go. How lovely.
Continue reading “Tether that voice back up for a bit”
I’ve been thinking that I’d address this issue one day in the future, but after a chat with my mum just now in which she asked me if I really am OK without children, I think that day is now.
Four years ago, after a string of unsuccessful relationships, and nowhere near my prescribed ideal of having a family, I decided that by the end of the year (my 38th) I would find the father of my two yet to be born children. I needed two, of course, as that was natural and pragmatic, and I needed to start soon because I was nearly forty. My friends gave me advice and support, excited for my imminent motherhood. In April, a lovely man who I met at a community theatre fundraiser – I did the flowers, he was one of the actors – asked me out. By June I was in love. We had the talk about a possible future together which was when we realised I wanted kids and he didn’t. We broke up, I cried for really many more weeks than I expected, and I tried to find the next possible father of my children.
Continue reading “On not having Children”
At the end of my meditation, I like to imagine a lovely bright light from the universe filling my body. It’s a nice visual process of mentally cleaning out and strengthening myself for the day.
Today when I imagined this, it sort of surrounded me with an aura of white light, and formed the shape of a droplet around me, sitting crosslegged on the sofa. And it reminded me of what Chidi says in The Good Place, about being drops of water in a wave. We exist for a short time as our own unique droplet, and then we merge back into the sea. And I saw myself as a tiny drop of rain falling out of the sky. Next to millions of others in this particular rainstorm. And it is as if we have this few minutes after we’re formed in the cloud, to fall out of the sky, experience the magic and beauty of life, hurtling through the air along with the others, before we meet the ground, sea, tree, car park where all the other drops have gathered and we merge and flow into our next manifestation.
And how ridiculous is it that we spend our fleeting flight bickering, comparing, being jealous of, scared of, feeling judged by or misunderstood by the other drops. Who cares?! Just enjoy this short time, make the most of it, fly with drops who make you happy and stop trying to change those who don’t.
Because none of it really matters anyway, we’ll just all merge back in a puddle, in a water system, in the sea.
It was 1999, I was 21, I was wearing some sort of embroidered hat, ripped jeans and muddy trainers as I stood in a crowd of several thousand people on a warm June night at Glastonbury. My brother and his friends had some other camp-fire based priorities so I was on my own for the headline act, Skunk Anansie. Being from a very religious family, I had been discouraged from listening to ‘satanic’ music, and my musical expression had mostly been singing along quietly to REM on my disc-man, or belting out the far more acceptable holy songs at Sunday Service.
Continue reading “‘I’d do anything to belong, to be strong, to say there’s nothing wrong’”