Sunday, 21 May 2017

Kindness Challenge Week 2 Reflection

This week was all about self-compassion.

Before I begin, I want to say I am on the whole a happy person. I see the glass half full. I love life. So I wasn't too sure what I would learn this week on the subject of self-compassion.  But I read the task and started to listen to my internal voice and how it spoke to me - weird right?  

I tried to think back to when I first heard that voice and I reckon it was there before I went to school so maybe 4 years old or thereabouts.  My inner voice helped me when I was unsure of things and trying to figure them out or a little bit worried about new things - it gave me confidence when I was young.

Somehow that had changed over time and listening to my inner voice during last week made me realise that often it was a rather harsh voice that often criticised me and my actions at times.

So this week, I tried to make my inner voice more like that of a parent to a child - giving encouragement, not dwelling on what had gone wrong but how to make things right in the future, trying to figure out why I might be behaving in certain ways and rather than barking orders or be disappointed cajole and encourage.

In a nutshell, I tired to get my inner voice to be kinder towards me. 
Eureka moment - this is why this task is in the Kindness Challenge!!

I cannot lie - t's been quite strange hearing this new voice inside me! I have felt more like a child at times but I have liked not having angry or disappointed thoughts roll around in my head!  Another big thing I have realised is that my inner voice does NOT give myself a pat on the back - it does not say well done and I think that's rather strange when I say so many things to others to congratulate them on a job well done or good trying!!

It's certainly not easy changing my normal inner voice but I am glad I've had chance to think about the way I behave towards myself and I hope I can continue to not beat myself up as much as I sometimes do.

Please feel free to join in this Challenge yourself - it's never too late to start - just press on the badge in the side bar to go to Niki's site.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Celebrate #12

Welcome along to another Celebrate post where the name of the game is to reflect on the small things in life that have given us pleasure in our busy lives.  Led by Lexa Cain and her co-hosts - Tonja Drecker and LG Keltner - everyone is encouraged to take a minute and give thanks :)

This week, I am celebrating doing something I've never done before!  My Wordless Wednesday post this week gave a glimpse of what I saw and so to reveal I was at the very top of -
an 18th century windmill!
Right in the cap of it where the windmill sails would have been attached.

This windmill is only open to the public twice a year and so Hubby and I took advantage and had an amazing tour and talk led by a guy who actually used to work in a windmill!  There are not many like him left I'd imagine - and he was such a super tour guide being able to answer all our questions. We really hadn't expected to be so blown away by our visit but it really was very interesting and being allowed so high climbing up rickety ladders and under enormous wooden machinery felt very exciting.  Only three of us plus tour guide made it to the very top!  It's truly lovely when something turns out much better than you'd hoped :)

More things to celebrate this week were some good charity shop purchases - things to add to my wardrobe, my vintage sewing collection and gifts for others (it always amazes me the things that still have their tags on that people have never used and are kind enough to donate).

Lastly I want to celebrate passing an Open University course on Understanding Parkinson's for Health and Social Care Staff.  This all came about from meeting another person with this disease last Friday on one of my Nordic walking taster sessions.  After the session, I was invited to come to the next meeting of the local Parkinson's club so that more people with the disease could have a go. Although I knew about different research projects that showed Nordic walking could be beneficial for Parkinson's patients I did not feel I really knew much about the disease itself.  I came across this FREE course on line and worked through the four modules plus the final test to receive my digital badge and found it to be such a worthwhile course and think the more people that know about the progression of Parkinson's and what useful things they can do to help those with it the better.
If you click on the badge above it should take you to the course and you can sign up if you'd like to do it too.

Now I'm looking forward to hearing all about new places you been, new things you've bought or even new things you've learnt so leave a comment below and have a very happy weekend :)

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Wordless Wednesday - Where in the World?

Can you guess where I ended up last weekend?
Answer will be coming in my Celebration post later this week :)

Monday, 15 May 2017

Kindness Challenge Week 2

Last week on the Kindness Challenge (devised and led by Niki) I had a very interesting time discovering much more about myself than I ever thought I would!  So I'm keen to see what this week brings and if you'd like to come on board please feel free to find out more by pressing the button above.

This week we will be looking at Self-Compassion and thinking about the way we are often our most harshest critic.  Once more I'm keen to see what I will learn and maybe how this will make me change certain behaviours I didn't even really notice I had!

Have you found out anything new either about yourself or others this week?  Are you setting out on a journey you're not quite sure where it will lead you?  Leave a comment below because you know I'd love to know!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Week 1 Self-Love Reflection

Click on picture above to go to website of Doe Zantamata

I am going to be very honest in this post. When I first thought about self-love I did indeed equate it with ego. As a mum and a teacher, I'm used to putting my needs behind others and I have no problem with this. So when I came across this quote, I was thankful that it gave me the inner peace to work on this week's in the Kindness Challenge (hosted by Niki - The Richness of a Simple Life - click on the button in the sidebar to be taken there).

So I took a good, long look at myself.  Now, I have always struggled with my appearance.  As someone not very tall, I think I look dumpy. I have a bust, I have hips and I have always wanted instead to have a sylph-like figure. 

So for this week's Challenge I decided that I would stop comparing my body shape unfavourably to others and be kind to myself in this way.  I would focus on how my cats "see" me - as in, they couldn't care less about my body shape - it is immaterial to them - they have no understanding of whether a person is fat or thin.  My self-love was therefore to think "my body shape does not define the person I am".  

This week's Challenge prompt was to realise "there's nothing you need to do to earn or deserve love from yourself or others" so I chose to think abut this every time I went in the kitchen and saw myself in our reflective kettle.  The kitchen is where I have most of my "battles" - "food = fat"  "this food is bad for me but I want it" etc etc so I tried to stop beating myself up over it and be kind to myself in this way.

I also came across this quote half way through the week and it made me think about how I treat myself compared to how I treat others and of course I would NEVER say anything unkind or mean to a friend.  I would support them, I would care about them and I would be there for them.  So why couldn't I do this for the person looking back in the mirror?
This definitely spoke to me - I've always a bit of a rebel!

So what did I learn this week?

Well I think I learnt to accept myself physically a little more and be kinder towards my self-image. I'm supporting myself more rather than giving myself a good talking to! And actually this week it's been a whole heap easier to stay away from temptation.  I've bought the more expensive fruit and veg that I'd buy for others but wouldn't normally buy for myself.  I've left food on my plate if I didn't want it. I also said No a few times this week which is never easy for me but also gave me a little more space in my life so I didn't feel so exhausted running about everywhere and then grabbing something quick to eat which often isn't the best thing for me.

I'm not saying it's been easy this week but then it never is when you're learning new things but I'm definitely going to keep continuing in this vein.

My final quote comes from Dr. Wayne Dyer who said:

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone else has viewed their week and the shape self-love has taken for them.  Please feel free to join in the Challenge yourself - you never know what you might learn?

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Celebrate #11

It's another chance to
with your host Lexa Cain and her co-hosts - Tonja Drecker and L G Keltner

I was wanting to share some photographs but unfortunately technology is being frustrating this week and I can't seem to download form my phone or even send them via an email!  You'll just have to use your imaginations!!

First off I am celebrating having been a useful assistant on the cake stall last weekend - ALL cakes were sold in record time. All profits going to our local church so all for a good cause :)  There was NO photo of all the cakes and NONE of me eating them!!

Secondly, I am celebrating having got a chance to see the amazing Roman dig going on in the centre of my city.  Hubby and I tried to go at the weekend (which was the ONLY time they were going to allow visitors onto the site) but the queues were enormous so didn't spend time waiting in line. Luckily due to the amount of people who wanted to see it but couldn't get in they decided they would do lunch time openings too (12 - 2 pm) so I tried on Tuesday (but still huge queue) and then on Wednesday got there early and after one and a half hours in the queue got in.  Obviously, Hubby couldn't accompany me but a friend from Craft Group had also tried with her husband to go at the weekend so jumped at the chance to see them with me.  It was a lovely sunny day and I did take lots of photos.  Really worthwhile going as a once in a lifetime chance to see something that soon will be underneath a new shopping and hotel complex!  (There should have been two photos of the site and the mosaic they have uncovered here).

Thirdly, celebrating a new local walk that a lady on my Monday "normal" walk told me about and we decided as a group to try it out.  It was lovely walking through the arboretum and then a short way down one of the country roads on a pavement and into the gardens of an old estate where the grand house was knocked down about 80 years ago because they couldn't pay death duties!  It was a beautiful walk on a beautiful day around an old lake and passing horses in the shade of a huge tree looking up to the church on the hill (this is where a photo should have been!) and the weather couldn't have been better.  We all thoroughly enjoyed it and then on Wednesday I had the pleasure of taking my Nordic walking group around there as well and they were thoroughly impressed too :)  That's what I really like about walking - it gives people the chance to talk and pass on information or none of us would ever have known about it being accessible to the public.

Hoping everyone else has had a lovely week with those new things to celebrate that really don't cost the earth :)