Choose to surround yourself

Choose to surround yourself with the people who make you feel good.  That’s pretty much my only message for this week, but I’d love you to read on to find out why I’m sharing this profoundly simple message.

On the weekend, I was lucky enough to spend some time with a dear friend who is leaving the country.  You know those people you meet and you kinda go – ‘where have you been all my life?!’  It has never been fake or forced.  It’s been real, supportive, honest and a friendship which has seen lots of positive changes in both of us.  Whilst I will miss her dearly, knowing she will be on the other side of the world, I know our friendship is bigger than that.  I know it will make the time catching up even more precious than before.

I bring you another story of a dear friend of mine – we not only share our profession but much more than that.  Our friendship brings a feeling of authenticity – complete honesty and certainty that it is legitimate in every way possible.  There is no judgement, negativity or drama.  There is also no toxicity, awkwardness or unspoken expectations.  What I can tell you though is that there is a whole lot of love without conditions, acceptance and appreciation.  As time as gone on, the time we get to spend together has become more and more appreciated.

You see, for me, these are the types of friendships I hold very dear to my heart and that regularly remind me that friends are irreplaceable – everyone deserves a few of those in their lives.  People are actually designed to be social beings and being around people who lift you up is crucial to living a big life.  I say it again, choose to surround yourself with people who make you feel good!!

And trust your instinct to steer clear of the those people who don’t make you feel good, actually, better still, forget them!  Life is waaay to short to let those people take any of your brain space.

Just so we’re clear – people who make us feel good are the ones who ‘fill our cup’ – you know, the ones who we feel instantly better after catching up with them.

Whilst we can’t control who we encounter in our lives, we CAN and SHOULD choose the people who make us feel good and look to surrounding ourselves with them.

Have a great week!

 

Featured image Source:  Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/photos/people-images/”>VisualHunt.com</a&gt;

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Being present

This week the blog is short and its about the value of healthy positive relationships and role models.  The reason it’s short, and I don’t apologise for, is that I have spent the weekend enjoying a mini-break with my three precious boys.

We explored, laughed, ate (and ate some more because that’s what you do on holidays isn’t it?!), kicked the footy, went for a run and had several nerf gun battles….

I think it’s safe to say I wasn’t the winner of any of the nerf battles, however, the boys got one of the things they want and deserve – our time.  I got to spend a little more time with our eldest son when he wanted to come for a run with me for the first time in ages while we were away too.

Whilst we had some great chats while we were running (and walking) it was the unspoken messages that became apparent.

Here are just a couple of my thoughts that I was reminded of on the weekend:

Children need to know what healthy relationships look like as well as what it means to be physically healthy.

Children are sponges – he will remember what we did, not what we said.

The endorphin release after exercising is just as potent for  children as adults – my boy was visibly on a high that was intoxicating to watch!

To top it off and almost as proof that kids are a product of their environment, when we got home I mentioned to my son that I was impressed that he could go as far as we did, I was quickly met with ‘mum, I just believed I could, so I did’ ….well I wonder where he has heard that before?? 😉

One of the most important acts we can carry out for our children is just to be with them – be completely present with them and notice all of the lessons they learn.

 

#importanthealthissuethatistoooftenignored

Ok, so I’m a few days late, I apologise, but last week was the International FASD Awareness Day…. I hope the image gave it away, its a day about raising awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, or FASD.

Community events to mark FASD Awareness Day now take place around the world with communities traditionally pausing at 9.09am, the 9th minute of the 9th hour of the 9th day of the 9th month of the year, representing the 9 months of pregnancy. This time provides us with an opportunity to pause to reflect and consider the choice to have an alcohol free pregnancy and to share this prevention message across the world. 

Still I can hear some people confused and you could be forgiven – it isn’t by any means a ‘trending’ topic, but you know what, in my opinion, it should be.

By definition – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is a term used for a spectrum of conditions caused by fetal alcohol exposure.

By experience, these conditions impact sufferers for a lifetime and cannot be cured.

Alcohol can cause damage to the unborn child at any time during pregnancy and the level of harm is dependent on the amount and frequency of alcohol use which may be moderated by factors such as intergenerational alcohol use, parent age and health of the mother (nutrition, tobacco use) and environmental factors like stress (exposure to violence, poverty).

The primary conditions common to FASD last a lifetime and may include the following which vary from person to person:

  • learning difficulties
  • impulsiveness
  • difficulty relating actions to consequences
  • difficulty with social relationships
  • attention/hyperactivity
  • memory problems
  • developmental delays
  • major organ damage

These conditions have been referred to as an ‘invisible disability’ as they often aren’t diagnosed or are overlooked.  And the number of health services that diagnose and manage these conditions in Australia are by no means adequate.

The main messages I want you to take away is that

  • there are people living in our community, who may or may not be diagnosed, but who are definitely show signs of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
  • No amount of alcohol is recommended as SAFE in pregnancy – the best way to avoid FASD is to NOT DRINK AT ALL WHILST PREGNANT.  And its not just the woman who is responsible – interestingly, studies have shown that the alcohol intake of the male partner can also have an effect on the sperm and therefore fetal development.
  • for more information on this often, though vitally important health topic, I encourage you to head to http://www.nofasd.org.au

And next time you think about encouraging a pregnant woman to ‘just have one drink’ – don’t!!  The effects can be much more long lasting than you once thought.

Be the Change.

Points to ponder from ‘Embrace’ the documentary

Be the change.  Last night I watched ‘Embrace’ the documentary – acknowledging body diversity and highlighting the impact of how much less than positive body image affects people, mostly women.

Taryn Brumfitt does a great job – as she describes, she was ‘compelled’ to know more after her ‘not typical before and after’ photos went viral.  They didn’t go viral because she was a smart woman, a loving wife and capable mother of three, but rather because her photos showed that she was at a better point in her life when she was ‘bigger’ rather than when she was at her thinnest.

I won’t say any more, I don’t want to spoil the show, because you should see it, as should every young person, boys included – positive body image isn’t just about the girls in our society.

Taryn, as part of the Body Image Movement is doing lots of amazing stuff, but I believe as the most important component, she has made it her mission to get ‘Embrace’ the documentary into schools.  This is an area we need to help to create positive change in celebrating body diversity and encourage positive body image.

Here’s my top 5 points for you to ponder:

  1. Society is us – you often hear ‘society’ referred to as something that is out of our control, but is it really?  We are the people who shape the lives of those around us – we are society and if we want to see or make a change in ‘society’, it has to start with us!
  2. We need to love our bodies – Taryn words it well – “…our bodies are not ornaments, they are vehicles for our dreams….’  And this takes practice.  How good would it be if we were measured for doing the things that make you happy, being a good role model, creating something that we are proud of or contributing to ‘society’ rather than what we look like.  This is the message we want to send our young people, especially our girls.
  3. Life is too short to compare your body to someone else’s – especially if it’s the excessively photoshopped model you see on the magazine cover.  The unobtainable image is just that, unobtainable.  And you don’t have to look far to realise how fragile life can be – take some time to stop giving yourself a hard time.
  4. Even ‘the perfect girls’ don’t believe they are perfect – what if you did have ‘your perfect body’ and you were miserable?!! Skinny DOES NOT equal happy.
  5. We choose to make either the positive or negative attitudes contagious – Which one will you choose?  Not only choose, but send as a message to our young people?

Our bodies are our friends and our homes – how about you try being as compassionate to ourselves as we are our dear friends, share stories and the message we are all beautiful, just as we are.

#Ihaveembraced