My Mental Realm

I have been looking at my plans for mental renewal by looking at the mental checklist.  I have started working on a few of the areas but others I need to get going with.

I do quite a bit of reading, mostly nonfiction and of the personal development variety.  I also read books related to areas of interest such as nutrition, natural beauty products, mindfulness and meditation and home keeping.  I do read occasional fiction which tends to be of the thriller genre.

As for having a regular writing process, this blog is the start of that.  I have tried keeping various types of journals in the past but I always seem to start worrying about someone finding it and give up and throw it away.  I seem to have a bit of a complex in general about people knowing the real me and whether they will like and accept me or not.  I spent a long time being a people pleaser and now that I have stopped being that way, people have definitely noticed a difference – yet I’m still not quite comfortable with sharing all of me yet!

I clear my mind on a daily basis by meditating.  I’m a beginner and I’m currently on Day 22 using the Headspace app(I have a 1 month free trial voucher code if anyone wants it).  I’m finding it easier each day but I still have days where my mind seems to wander consistently!  I also like the idea of relaxation through music.  I rarely seem to listen to music anymore and this is something I would really like to get back into.

I used to really enjoy doing word puzzles, suduku puzzles and actually jigsaws in general so I would love to start doing this again.   DLP (Daddy’s Little Princess) loves to do jigsaws too so this would be a lovely activity to do together.  I found my old DS the other day and my brain training games so perhaps I’ll give these another go!

My main hobby is crochet.  I taught myself a couple of years ago.  It’s very relaxing but very time consuming.  Whenever I start my crochet, everything else is put on the back burner.  The last blanket I made took six weeks of my free time.  So I love it, but whilst I’m trying to make important changes in my life any big projects are best avoided!  I guess I could make a blanket one granny square at a time.

My six-week project!

I need to explore other hobbies.  The best way to do this is to think about what you loved to do as a child, often we forget about the things which gave us joy back then.  For me, hobbies included drawing, painting, arts and crafts, caring for animals, writing stories, gardening, feng shui, I ching, and singing !  I do very few of these now, so maybe it’s time to incorporate some into my life.

I would like to continue my education informally.  Some subjects which interest me are the arts, psychology and nutrition.  There are a lot of great free resources on line these days so i need to start having a look at what’s available.  I even found an old French Linguophone course I never got round to doing so perhaps I should start by learning a new language.

I need to have more conversations with people.  I am about as introverted as you can get and feel very awkward in social situations and have a certain amount of social anxiety.  So practise, practise, practise to increase confidence.

I have a diary to organise myself but I do not use it to full advantage.  With all the stuff I’m planning to get done I think it would be smart to start off with a decent planning system!

On my list of goals so far I have the following items:

  1. Read books regularly.  Fiction and non fiction. 
  2. Start a regular writing process such as this blog or journaling. 
  3. Follow Headspace Daily Meditation (Day 22! Yay).
  4. Listen to inspirational music.
  5. Challenge my mind.  Puzzles and brain training. 
  6. Spend time doing activities I love.  Crochet, gardening, poetry, aromatherapy, creative pursuits, singing.  Plus the above mentioned.
  7. Study something I’m interested in.  Learn a language.
  8. Have more conversations with people.
  9. Start using a planner or diary more regularly and effectively. 

This should keep me busy for a while!

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My Spiritual Realm

I have been looking at my plans for spiritual renewal by looking at the spiritual checklist.  Again, i have been working on some areas for a while and others not so much.

I see myself as spiritual and do not follow any particular religion but i respect all.  For me, ‘God’ or a ‘higher power’ is manifested within ourselves and is otherwise known as Love, Compassion and Kindness.  I believe once we can be and do these things without condition, this is when we will ‘transcend’, ‘become enlightened’, ‘be in heaven’.

I have a good idea of what my values are such as the ones mentioned above (kindness, compassion etc) but I have not yet sat down and written it down. I also don’t think I live by them as much as i should. I don’t always take the time to stop and think before I do things or make decisions.  Also some values are really difficult to integrate into your life, for example integrity.  I work in a very female dominated environment and it can be quite bitchy. As much as I try to stay out of the gossip circles, sometimes you inevitably get drawn in.  I would love for that to stop happening and I would love to have the courage to stand up for the person not present who is being talked about.  So I need to sit down and look at each value individually and look at how to incorporate it and see what needs changing.

Again, i have a rough idea about how I would like my life to turn out (at least at this present moment!). But I have not yet sat down to write a mission statement.  An area that I’m completely lost with is my career.  I just don’t know what I want to do (I’m 35!).  I love what I do now but I have this niggling feeling that it is not what I’m supposed to be doing!  I never had an idea as a youngster about what i wanted to be when I grew up, so I’ve just tried out a lot of different things.  I’ve been in my current job for ten years and I enjoy it but I’m there because it’s convenient and comfortable if I’m honest with myself.

I find daily renewal through meditation.  I am currently on Day 20 of Headspace and I am thoroughly enjoying it so far (I have a 1 month free trial voucher code if anyone is interested).  I would also like to study something that interests me probably informally rather than formally.  I have no idea what though so I need to have a think about that.  I would also like to start some kind of reflective journal.  I have started many journals and I always get frightened that someone will find it and read it so I end up stopping and disposing of it.  I guess I could have a password protected computer journal!  Also, my blog will be quite reflective in many ways.

My place for spiritual renewal is in nature so I need to find somewhere I can go local to me and make regular time in my scheedule to be there.

I work with adults with profound, multiple learning disabilities so I spend most of my days doing service for others which is very rewarding and humbling.  This is paid work so it would be nice to have something else I do without any kind of return.  I’m really interested in random acts of kindness so would like to do more in this area.  I would also like to encourage my children to do something like this and I have found some great resources on Random Acts of Kindness.

On my list of goals so far I have the following items:

  1. Plan and live life according to my values.  (Obviously this can be broken down into numerous goals with a bit of thought.)
  2. Create a mission statement.
  3. Follow Headspace daily meditation. (Day 20! Yay!)
  4. Study something that interests me.  Take a look at OU free courses and Khan Academy etc.)
  5. Start a writing process, journaling, blog. (Underway!)
  6. Spend regular time in nature.  Look into local walks, woodland etc.
  7. Find ways to serve others including work, home and school.  Random acts of kindness.
  8. Start a gratitude journal.

There is quite a lot to do for this one but i have to remember it is all about the journey, not the destination!

My Physical Realm

I have been looking at my plans for physical renewal by working through the physical checklist.  I have been working on certain areas for sometime, whilst other plans are still in my head.  I thought I would write this post just to give you a bit of a heads up as to where I  currently stand.

I try to stay as informed as I can on current health and fitness information.  I tend to find that I flit between trying different things.  For example, in the last year or so I have tried the Paleo diet, being vegetarian, being vegan, and nutribullet smoothies.  Out of all these things I found that being vegan (including nutribullet smoothies) made me feel the best and I really enjoyed it.  Unfortunately I was unable to sustain this one as the rest of my family did not want to do it and it became very expensive to be cooking different meals for different people.

My diet currently is not bad, I still eat very little meat but I’m more on the healthy fats and no sugar trend at the moment.  So, I’m all about The Body Coach and Lucy Bee right now (well at least food wise as The Body Coach exercises are a little too high impact for me.  Currently most problems in my life can be solved by using coconut oil!  dry ends?  Use coconut oil!  Whiter teeth?  Use coconut oil!  Stubborn eye make-up?  use coconut oil!  World peace?  use coconut oil!…

To be absolutely honest with you, I do not do any exercise.  Well, I do and I don’t!  I do not drive so I have to walk absolutely everywhere, so that’s my exercise.  So, obviously this is an area in need of improvement.  My goals here are to find a low-impact cardio activity I can do.  The other thing which I have always wanted to do is yoga so I will be looking for a good beginners book or dvd which I can use.

My sleep routine could do with an overhaul.  I have been sleeping on our (very comfy) sofa for just over a year now for various reasons including my partner’s (very loud) snoring and also my son developed a sleeping routine that involved bed-hopping in and out of different rooms during the night (it is very difficult to get him out of this due to his Autism).  I sleep well enough but I have become accustomed to sleeping on the sofa so much so that even when my partner is working away for a few days I still sleep there even though I could easily be in the bedroom.

Looking at rest and relaxation, one thing that I have always wanted to learn was meditation and mindfulness.  I have been reading various books and am currently using the Headspace app where I have just completed Day 17.  (I have a voucher code for a 1 month free trial if anyone is interested?)  I am finding this very useful in various areas of my life including dealing with the children’s misbehaviour and acting rather than reacting to difficult situations.  I just feel calmer overall.  I would really love to teach the children in the future.  We already do breathing exercises which really helps when tempers flare and is particular useful for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

On my list of goals so far I have the following items:

  1. Start eating healthier and choose one new recipe a week to try.  (Today I made Coconut Granola).
  2. Find a beginners Yoga book or dvd.
  3. Look into supplement information.  (current info about Vit D).
  4. Research low impact cardio activities.
  5. Take a look at sleep routine.
  6. Follow Headspace daily meditation (Day 17 yay!).
  7. Cut down junk food to once a week (1 breakfast, lunch, and dinner allowed).
  8. Have a clean and tidy home. (I started Flylady today!  My sink is shining!  I also declutter Marie Kondo style!)
  9. Have an area at home just for me (crochet blankets, fresh flowers, music, aromatherapy, plants).
  10. Spend less and live minimally.

So, that is a lot to be getting on with.  It’s only one of the four sections!

 

Beginnings

In 2010 I returned to work after maternity leave following my first born.  I could not have been more happy to be returning to work and felt like I could get my life back on track.  My pregnancy and maternity leave had been a very difficult period of time and I felt very disappointed and guilty that I had not enjoyed the experience as i should of done or was expected to.  I had been in a very difficult relationship with a man who was struggling with alcohol dependancy, we were in a lot of debt and the stress got to me.  I suffered with post natel depression which if I’m honest with myself lasted roughly three and a half years in total.  I also had my second child during this period.  I was under a lot of pressure and had no idea how to help myself.  My pride stopped me from asking for help from others and the thought of admitting i couldn’t cope was too much to bare.

So I returned to work and got stuck in to my responsibilities.  I performed very well and was placed on a programme for very talented employees who go above and beyond in their job.  On this programme I was introduced to the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.   This book changed my world and started my journey of personal development.  

My life became much improved after I was able to deal with my own issues and let go of the things i couldn’t change in other people.  I got through my PND and I am now happy in my relationship and have been able to support my partner and we have come out the other side stronger than ever.  I’m not saying that everything is perfect, but we take things one day at a time.  There is always room for improvement in any relationship and as you can see I am not a quitter!

I have two wonderful children.  Daddy’s Little Princess (DLP) is 6 and Mummy’s Little Soldier (MLP) is 5.  MLP was diagnosed with Autism this earlier this year, so this is another adventure we are experiencing as a family.

I have found that I can keep my self flowing nicely along by making sure that four areas of my life are in balance.  These are my four motivations.

My Physical Self

My Spiritual Self

My Mental Self

My Social/Emotional Self 

On each of these pages you will find a checklist where you can assess how you are doing and see where you can make improvements.  It is very helpful when you’re not sure where to start.

Although I have been through some difficult times, this blog is not intended as a space to be negative and such stories will only be included briefly for context.  I want this blog to be positive and uplifting and proof that if we put in the effort we really can get through difficult times and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

This blog will be about my journey, my life and how I am attempting to become a better, stronger person, partner, and mother.  I have decided to record this journey to help me stay on track and to have some accountability.  

I would love to hear about other people’s journeys.  So please share your experiences with me or join me on mine.  I certainly could use all the help I can get.  I think we all can!