How long since you have thought about it?

The older I get I’ve decided it’s a privilege to age – and I really want to say/hope that I’ve become more wise with age too (it was my birthday this month, I was 35, not sad about it, but just cannot believe it!).  One point I have certainly noted though, is the true value of having a village.

 

This is also resonated in my professional learnings – connection is so crucial to us as humans doing well in life, or as we like to refer to it as ‘Choosing a Marvellous Life’

 

Today’s blog is really just a series of statements on why villages are required to Choose a Marvellous Life.  I’d love to hear your comments on the topic too!

 

We come across so many people in our lives but truly the village are usually the people who seriously, just keep turning up, the ones who make you a priority with no agenda.

I want to include here that villages aren’t always determined by physical location. I’ll give you an example – when someone moves away, yes the type of support they get they from their village might change a little but they are able still absorb the love and warmth of relationship from afar.  No, they might not be able to pop in and look after children or cook a dinner but the emotional support they provide via phone/video call is still valid and appreciated.

 

It also necessary to point out that our needs change and as a result, villages do accordingly too.  I mean, to be honest, if we aren’t changing then we aren’t growing….I’ll leave that one with you….  A real life example of this is when you hear people say they’ve ‘grown out of’ someone – has this ever happened to you?

 

Relationships are at the core of, literally everything we do! An example of this is teachers – they can know curriculum backwards but it’s pointless if they, first, don’t have a relationship with their students to share it with them.  Think about this example for yourself – at school, did you have a favourite teacher and/or subject? Why were they your your favourite? If I was a betting woman I’d, say your favourite subject wasn’t taught by a teacher you didn’t like, just a guess….Am I right?

 

Can you hear my enthusiasm about this topic?  I hope so, it’s pretty important in the big scheme of things!

 

My closing points about villages are really just some quick questions to ask yourself. It’s about the need to truly evaluate who is part of your village. Why do they have such an important place in your village? Is it that they are your family and only want the best for you? Or in your mind are they friends who have been in your life so long that they feel like family? What is it that you get from them? and why is what they bring to your life so important?  If it’s not important, are they truly part of your village?

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What’s your default?

Let me ask you a question – truly, when was the last time you really thought about all the good things you admire about yourself?  Was it this week?  Last month?  Last year?  Or at worst, never, maybe you have never taken the time to notice the positive things about yourself??

Well today, if you do nothing else, I want you to sit down and be truly kind to yourself. And maybe it has to wait until everyone else is in bed for you to have five minutes alone, that’s ok, it won’t take long!

You are going to practice writing a list of (or at least start with one thing) that you wholeheartedly admire about yourself.  You will be kind to yourself in a way you would be to a valued friend, this is the practice of self-compassion.

Let me get things started – I love how determined I am once I set my mind to something. When I was a child, I imagine this was quite punishing for my family, but it has absolutely set me in good stead as an adult.  What’s the first thing on your list?  Maybe you can write five, or more? Do that now.

Ok, good, tell me you have something written, or at least is in your mind – the task for the coming week is to pick one of the things you admire and say this to yourself each day.  Repeat as often as you like.

So, to be fair, it might take more than a week, but there are a couple of good reasons to practice this:

  • we need to regularly practice being kind to ourselves (so when there a threats to our self-esteem, self-compassion, not self-criticism, is our default),
  • Even our minds need reminding how awesome we are sometimes AND
  • when we hear something enough, it changes the way we think about ourselves – and that itself, is really powerful!

Image result for self-compassion

Featured Image Source:  https://www.google.com.au/search?q=self-compassion&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_tarvkq7UAhUHW5QKHfnmChcQ_AUIBigB&biw=1366&bih=662#tbm=isch&q=self+compassion&imgrc=0_pS2RnnksMLBM:

Could you be a Pyjama Angel?

As adults, we have a responsibility to protect our children.  It is like an unwritten rule of adulthood, really, isn’t it?  As is the belief that every child has the right to be loved, cared for and believed in? Nod, if you agree…..  While you are nodding, I want to tell you that:

This Friday is Pyjama Day and it is a fundraiser for the Pyjama Foundation.

Since 2004 the Pyjama Foundation has been all about positively impacting the lives of children in care.  The Foundation largely achieves this through a volunteer staffed, learning based mentoring arrangement, called The Love of Learning Program©.

Here’s what the Pyjama Foundation says about it:

The Love of Learning Program© was developed by The Pyjama Foundation to empower children in foster care with learning, life skills and confidence to change the direction of their lives.

The Love of Learning Program©, sees meticulously screened, trained and matched volunteers (aka Pyjama Angels) visit the same foster child for 1.5 hours each week.  Some of these relationships have spanned many years, bringing that feeling of being cared for and believed in for those children in care all the while, improving their literacy and numeracy! Double win.  This amazing program can only continue with the support of funding – enter Pyjama Day!

If you go to this link, you can see a clip of a young girl who was lucky enough to secure a Pyjama Angel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=16&v=3Tw3l7YajH0

Just two other points to note:

  • Foster carers – day after day, they tirelessly give their time and love and care.  The gifts that the carers also bring to children in care are remarkable.  A massive shout-out and thank you to every single foster carer!
  • There are approximately 43000 children in care in Australia (as per Pyjama Foundation’s website) – could you think about donating some time to this vulnerable group to become a Pyjama Angel or some money to make a donation??  If you were interested in finding out more, simply, go to http://www.thepyjamafoundation.com

While most of us take for granted our circle of security, there are so many children in care who need help to learn life skills and gain confidence.

It might be too late to do much advertising for Pyjama Day this Friday, but you could still get involved!!

  1. Go to http://www.thepyjamafoundation.com/nationalpyjamaday/ for all the details of registering your event.  (You can even do it on another day if you prefer to get more people on board!)
  2. Get your workplace to wear their night attire and bring a donation to the cause.
  3. After the day, count up your generous donations and go to https://donation.giveeasy.org/the-pyjama-foundation to put in your details of the donation – every little bit counts to help our children in care.

Thanks!

The Bus Ride

To follow on from my post last week’s about strong women on International Women’s Day, I think today I will write more about the invaluable support friends bring to our lives.  Yep, that’s what I will do – spend a whole blog writing about the support of friends in wellness, weight management and just life in general.

And not just any friends, the type of friends in the words of Oprah Winfrey ‘…who would take the bus with you when your limo breaks down…..’  It is my sincere hope that everyone has some of these friends.  You know the ones who it is totally acceptable for them to tell you all the details of why they don’t like your outfit or the ones who are more than ok with coming around to your house to have a nap.  They are the ones.

When it comes to wellness, these friends know they hold incredible power to you guiding on the road to thriving.  They would go out with you when you were having ‘me’ time or stay home with your children (or dog) while you went and had that said ‘me’ time.  Other things they might do is notice when you are doing it tough and actually do something about it, not wait until you lose your s#%t before they take action to help you.

While some of the supports might be the same as wellness, weight loss and gaining  health can also be ably assisted by friends.  They might question if you really need that second piece of cake, or they might gently (!) persuade you to go for a walk or a quick fun run with them – even if your idea of fun is different to theirs!  Regardless of the differences, true friends wholeheartedly want to see you succeed.  And how good is that feeling that someone has your back?!

The friends who you know, without question, want you to succeed are the ones you choose to do life with.  At risk of sounding old, I can absolutely say the value of dear friends is amplified as you get busier, and older!!  These are the friends who you make time for and they make time for you.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ‘phoned a friend’ to share when I was having a bad time.  I didn’t want them to provide solutions, I just knew they wouldn’t question my position and would 100% support me.

The love of a dear friend can be what you need most, even when you don’t know you do.  Or their support might just be the difference between you moving forward or you staying exactly where you are.  Or just that their support kindly points out the funny side of a situation, even if it wasn’t even remotely close to your humour radar!

I’ll finish with a disclaimer – having friends won’t make you immune to tough times, but it will definately make the bus trip of life much more delightful, gratifying and treasured!