Every so often I share a Sunday Silence post, where I write about meditation, gratitude and mindfulness. Sundays are funny days, and I mean funny in the strange kind of way, they are usually quieter than the other bustling days of the week (for me anyway), and because of that, on Sundays I always try to take some time out to meditate and ponder a new week ahead.
I’ve suffered with varying degrees of anxiety for many years now and through the practice of meditation, gratitude and mindfulness, I have learned how to keep it at bay and not become so overwhelmed that I end up having a panic or anxiety attack. Well most of the time anyway. Many people are familiar with these words I’m sure, so many of us suffer from anxiety these days and I know I’m always looking for new ways to deal with it.
As I begin my meditation this evening and clear my mind for a new week ahead, I decided to share the Optimist’s Creed with you all. Many of you may be familiar with it, I came across it for the first time when I read the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I read this to myself every single day and it has helped me in more ways than I can say:
I hope you have some silence this Sunday, and I hope this helps to still your mind in the same way it has helped me.
Many of my regular readers will know that each month I share a positivity post called 50 Things That Make Me Happy. When I first wrote this post three months ago, I never expected it to get the reaction or feedback that it did, and I was totally overwhelmed by all the lovely comments I got from so many people.
While I didn’t write it for that purpose, the reaction itself was incredible, and made me realise how many people find these kinds of posts uplifting, relatable and enjoyable to read.
I suppose I just never really thought about it before, I wrote this post initially because I was going through some big changes and needed to channel as much gratefulness and positivity into my day as possible. But when I think about it, some of my favourite blog posts to read are the one’s about people’s lives; how they live, how they laugh, how they cope in tough times, how they grow, how they mourn, how they have fun, how they move on, how they stay strong. So I suppose it’s not surprising that other people feel the same as I do.
It is comforting in a way to know we all go through similar experiences, we all have good times, we all have bad times, not to mention the crazy times!
I have a tendency to worry and stress, I’ve suffered with varying levels of anxiety over the years, but one thing I’ve learned recently is that writing is the best form of escapism for me. What I’ve also learned is that these positivity posts always bring me back to the good in my life, they make me realise that worrying is a thankless exercise and that once you do the best you can do, and are grateful for all that you have, then good things happen.
It may all sound a bit airy-fairy and if you’re dubious I understand that. But here’s what I say to that: sit and write down fifty things that make you happy and grateful, and see how it makes you feel. It may not dramatically change your circumstances, but I’m pretty sure it will at least make your day feel a little brighter.
Anyway, I’m rambling now, time to get back to the point in hand. Time to write down the 50 Things That Make Me Happy for this month:
The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Getting my nails done
Big sporting events
My new 2016/2017 Bando agenda
Mid-week lie on’s
Charlotte Tilbury’s Wonder Glow
Forest Gump snapchat filter
Choosing my own work hours
Mum / Daughter dates
Car jamming to summer songs
Hugs with my nieces
Breakfasts al fresco
Walks in the park
Getting my hair done
Home cooked meals
Spring cleaning (even though it’s Summer)
So there you go… Some have carried over from my last post given it’s still Summer and the weather is currently glorious, some are different. But either way, I’m grateful for them.
I had a nice relaxed weekend this weekend I’m happy to say. The hubby and I are celebrating three years together today, and although our wedding date is our new anniversary, we still felt like celebrating.
We spent a lovely weekend out walking, lunching, talking and spending time together, and last night went for a gorgeous dinner in one of our favourite restaurants. It was the perfect quiet weekend after a few stressful weeks.
However, the weekend is drawing to a close and I know that this week again, is going to be a tough one. Instead of filling myself with dread, anxiety and worry as I usually do, today I decided to turn to my meditation, to be still with my thoughts and silence the worry away.
For the skeptics among you, I get it, my hubby is one of you, but the power meditation has to help you cope with stress is just incredible. Five or ten quiet minutes, just breathing and being still, has almost the same relaxation effect as a great spa weekend away! And I’m so glad that I have it.
I’m by no means an expert, I am only learning meditation myself, but if there is something troubling you or worrying you, I would definitely recommend giving meditation a try. I’ve suffered with anxiety for years, as many people do, and it has really helped me cope with how I’m feeling and keep myself calm in stressful situations.
I may talk about it in more detail another time, but I wish when I first started suffering with anxiety that I knew more about meditation. I discovered it because of my Dad who practices meditation daily, and never realised the power it has over the body and mind until I began practising it myself. The power of the mind is an incredible thing, and we take it so much for granted.
So on this quiet Sunday I just want to say, if you’re a bit worried or down, or stressed or anxious, maybe give it a go, sit quietly with your eyes closed for a few mintues. It won’t be earth shattering, but it might help, even if just a little.
The Happiness Planner. It may sound strange I know – how can you plan happiness? My hubbie asked me that very question when I told him about this for the first time. But the Happiness Planner does exactly what it says on the tin, it gives you a way to attract happiness into your life. When I came across the Happiness Planner in one of my favourite shops, Moss Cottage, I immediately loved the idea and ordered one straight away.
For those of you who read my earlier post on vision boards and the power of positive thinking, you will know that this is right up my street. Positive thinking has helped me achieve so much over the past few years and I would encourage anyone who’s sceptical to try it out for one month and see what happens.
By focussing on the good and the positive every day, you are attracting positive things into your life. If you imagine yourself having or achieving something and focus every day on having or doing it, you will get it. I’m an ordinary living, breathing example of that. And when I discovered that there was a diary to help you achieve this, I instantly began researching to find out more.
The Happiness Planner was created by Mo Seetubtim, the creator of the blog Brandmentalist. Inspired by the power of positivity and positive thinking, as well as her love of stationery, she created the Happiness Planner to give people a way to focus on what they want, what they love and what makes them happy in a diary format.
There are two versions of the Happiness Planner, a 100 Day Planner which is undated, and a full year planner dated to each specific year. I decided to go with the 100 Day Planner initially to see how I get on, and also secretly because I just love the super cute aqua blue colour! They do come in lots of different colours though if you’re not an aqua person like me.
As I try my best to practice positivity and mindfulness every day, I’m really excited to give this a go. Writing things down really helps you to think about what you want (and don’t want), and keeps your mind focussed.
I plan on starting my diary next week so I’ll keep you posted on how I’m getting on.
It was about five years ago that I discovered the book The Secret for the first time. I had heard several of my friends talking about it, how it changed their perspectives and thoughts, and how it made them more positive in general. Naturally I was intrigued, so I bought the book and have never looked back since. For those of you not familiar with The Secret, this might all sound a bit far-fetched but when you read it, it makes you examine the way you’ve been thinking and acting your whole life.
It has one simple premise – what you give out you get back. In other words, if you’re a positive person – if you think, act, and feel positive, then you can only attract positive things. The more I read, the more it made sense to me, and I became obsessed! I got the audio book to listen to in bed at night, bought the DVD, I bought the follow on book, The Power, then bought the audio book version. But although logically I understood everything the books were advocating, I never really knew how to put it all into practice. That was, until Rhonda Byrne released the third book in The Secret series, The Magic. The Magic is a 28 day step-by-step guide on to how to make your life more positive, and helps you put everything The Secret teaches into practice. As dramatic as it sounds, this book single-handedly changed my life.
Each day you are challenged with undertaking a different task around positivity, and a couple of days in, one of the things it says to do is to create a vision board of everything you want. By putting images of all the things you want in one place and looking at it every day, your mind is focussed on attracting all those things to you.
In January 2013 when I started reading The Magic for the first time, I was just made redundant from my job, I was facing into my fifth year of being single, I was back living at home with my parents, and I didn’t know how to change any of it. After reading about vision boards and the power of positive visualisation however, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. I created a board out of magazine cut outs, quotes and pictures representing all the things I wanted – a new job, finding ‘the one’ and getting engaged by the following year, moving out of home again, and generally becoming happier.
I had my doubts that it would work – how could any of this could possibly happen from looking at pictures?! But within three months I had found an amazing new job, I met a guy, and by the end of the year, that guy had turned out to be the love of my life, and we moved in together. I had a new job, a new home and I was no longer single. Fast forward twelve months to autumn 2014 and I was also engaged. But most importantly of all, I was very happy.
You could say it was just coincidence, but I don’t believe that. I will never again doubt the power of positive thinking and since that year, every January I create a vision board for the year ahead. They vary each year of course, but they always include my favourite quotes and The Secret teachings. Last year my board was all about our wedding and going on a fabulous honeymoon – I even created a second very wedding-specific vision board but I’ll go into that in more detail another time!
Over the past month I’ve been working on my vision board for 2016 and just finished putting it together over the weekend. Now that January is over, I’ve decided to share it with you all and hopefully it’ll inspire you to create one of your own…
My board will be hanging on the wall beside my bed until the 31st December. For 2016 I’m focussing on travel, on working towards buying a new house and making more time for myself. I will look at it first thing every morning and last thing every night, and will visualise all of these things happening for me this year.
If you’re sceptical I understand, I was too. But why not give it a go and see what happens?
Oh and if you already create vision boards then I’d love to see some pics… 🙂
When I first heard about the new Adult Colouring Book craze a few months back, it immediately caught my attention. As someone who has suffered with anxiety and stress a lot over the years, I try to practice meditation and mindfulness as much as possible and it has really helped me cope in times when I become overwhelmed. I’ve always been open to things a little bit out there (much to the amusement of my new hubbie!), so when I came across this, I just had to find out more.
I bought my first colouring book, ‘The Mindfulness Colouring Book’ just after Christmas. It describes itself as ‘Anti-stress art therapy for busy people’. I have never been any good at art or drawing, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to colouring, so why not give it a try I thought… A few days later as I was strolling around the bookshop as I tend to do, the fashion lover inside me spotted another two books, The Liberty Colouring Book & Vintage Colouring book and I just couldn’t resist. Three colouring books and a packet of colouring pencils – I was now ready to give this a go.
I took them out over the weekend and started colouring. At first it felt weird, I was immediately transported back in time to my childhood, but all of a sudden a half an hour had passed without me even realising. I was lost in the patterns on the pages, a world away from reality and it felt amazing. For some reason Carrie Bradshaw’s quote ‘When Big colours…he rarely stays inside the lines’ from the SACT Movie kept popping into my head at the same time too. Where did that even come from?! Isn’t it funny how the mind works? But what I then realised, was for that whole half an hour I had a big smile on my face, utterly content in my ‘lostness’.
If that’s how I felt after such a short time on a quiet Sunday afternoon, how would I feel if this became a part of my daily life I wondered? Good I reckon, maybe even great. From now on I will happily get lost colouring anytime, and I’m already thinking about sitting down this evening with my pencils and having some time-out.
Ps. When Dave came home and saw colouring books on the bed, he started laughing out loud for a good minute or two. He said he thought I was joking when I told him I had bought a colouring book! So I’m determined to get him colouring also and see what he thinks then.