End of year gratitude

As we come to the end of the year 2018, I have made a list of all the things I am so grateful for this year in particular, all the key life lessons I have learnt this year, which I thought I would share:

– Be grateful for all the little things – these are the things that matter most.
– Be grateful for all that you are, with all your imperfections.
– Be grateful for all the body parts you have been blessed with and take nothing for granted. Everything should be seen as a miracle.
– Be grateful for all that you have experienced in life, even the negative, for this will make you stronger and will have taught you life lessons you can learn from.
– Be grateful for the beauty in the world that surrounds you and use this to make you shine and grow.
– Be grateful for the exciting ways you can learn to enrich your lives and make them more colourful, to bring you more joy, happiness and improve your quality of life.

I am so looking forward to what the next year will bring. I am so grateful to those who have all supported me in one way or another throughout my journey, which has inspired me to grow this past year. I am determined to make a difference to other people’s lives, grow, and make next year shine brighter and be even more positive, peaceful, productive, beautiful and inspiring with lots more love and laughter ???

Let’s make 2019 a fab year!!! ✨

Reflecting back on 2018

Now it’s coming to the end of the year, it’s a great time to self-reflect, to appreciate all the opportunities you have been given to learn from the experiences you have had this year, good or bad, and also, most importantly, the things you can be grateful for.

What are the positives YOU can take from 2018? What can you be grateful for? What things have gone right for you this year and would you love to continue into 2019?

For me, it’s funny, just thinking about how things were a year ago, although I thought I had all the healthy eating stuff sorted out, there was much more to come over the course of the year as I developed a gluten intolerance, and have also cut a lot of dairy out of my diet and keep milk based products to a minimum – I still do love cheese and find that one hard to completely give up! What I eat really affects how I feel, which is why it’s so important to me to eat the right things that fuel my energy and keep my gut healthy.

I have really had to up my game when it comes to self-care this year, as there was still more work to be done with having to constantly manage my chronic pain and low energy… I discovered some great new ways of improving my energy and motivation, and more importantly, my self-belief!!!

I also discovered a spiritual side of me that I never knew existed, and never thought I would find growth mindset as fascinating as I do, something I am so passionate about that would incorporate everything I have learnt for almost 2 years since the beginning of my journey to self-discovery…

All the things I love to do that make me feel good inside, I have realised that I can make other people feel good too by simply sharing it, and there is so much more to learn too.

Nowadays, I am in a constant state of learning, embracing the student mentality and just going back to basics in my mind. I have also really been getting to know my own basic needs, and in doing this, I have grown to understand what other people like me might be lacking in their life, and am really passionate about making a difference in other people’s lives as I have seen first-hand (and felt) the difference in myself over this time, and would love for other people to experience the joy of growing their mindset too as it has been quite a fun ride though you do need to put the work into it every day and be consistent with it. I never realised quite how much I enjoy learning new things until recently, even if it is just little things!

When people talk about what it means to be creative, I have always thought I’m not good at art, but I never realised how much music could influence me as much as it has done, and I can do art, though I would never claim to be an artist, I’m just not good at creating something on paper from scratch, though I have recently discovered musical art which is fun.

I have also developed a love for writing and find it a really great way to express myself in the moments I get to myself to really think about what is whirling inside my head – I love getting things out of my head and onto paper, and then that feeling of looking back at what I wrote and then surprising myself with what I have come up with.

Plus it seems that I am really drawn to teaching, although it hasn’t always been that way… For years, I came up with many reasons for not being able to teach, including my hearing loss, which was a valid reason for me, but now, it just feels like it is something that comes natural to me, learning then implementing what I am learning to then teach others the same thing I have learnt myself, to INSPIRE other people… I never realised how much I am able and love to inspire people. I love that feeling when I know I have inspired people to make change based on something I have taught them – it’s amazing!

I also never realised how much I would enjoy just creating a course with all the materials I have absorbed, read, and practiced myself too in real life, to create something incredible that I hope will really make a difference in other people’s lives. Time will tell as I am developing the course, and seeing what kind of shape it will take, and working out how I can manage to fit it all into my hectic life with 3 kids, around all the life admin, chores and childcare!

All very exciting stuff that I am hoping to bring into 2019!!!

Shining your light at Christmas time

Although I don’t celebrate Christmas, there is something special about this time of year with all the colourful, bright lights glowing at night over houses, towns and cities in the month of December leading up to Christmas, and combined with Chanukah aswell, the Jewish festival of lights, which is the festival I celebrated earlier this month, it makes quite a special atmosphere in and around London at this time of year.

However, in the lead up to all the festivities, it can be very overwhelming as our to-do lists get bigger and bigger with all the things we need to get done before the big day, all the food and presents we need to buy, all the chores and tasks we need to get done before the week long break in between Xmas and New Year, so that we can relax and recharge!!!

As a mum, over the past 8 years, especially after having my second child 19 months apart and then my third child 4 years later, I have had to perfect the art of multi-tasking, and although, I have gotten used to it all, it can be very stressful especially when all the kids want my attention at once.

Being pulled in so many directions is hard, I can’t possibly give all my kids all the attention they want all the time, but I can only do my best, and juggle things in the best way I can…. Having so many tasks to do at once does mean that sometimes, especially if I don’t write it down, some things get forgotten and fall off the list whilst the list keeps growing. So it is a real challenge for me (and I’m sure many other mums too) to get those opportunities to declutter the mind, those moments to breathe, as much as I need to, and just being conscious and mindful of when I need to do it to make life easier for myself and to make me a happier, more relaxed person to be around, but I do try and squeeze these moments in when I can. It’s not always easy but I try my best.

Over time, I am becoming more and more conscious of the fact that if I overwhelm myself too much, my mind does get very cluttered and it does affect my mood, so I do have to force this time during my day to breathe (to stay sane!) and to make healthy choices throughout the day where I can to help fuel my energy so I don’t get weak and pass out, which is not a good idea when I know my kids need looking after, and I need to be in a fit state to look after them. Self care has been a huge part of my journey and nourishing myself in the right way so I feel good in myself brings out the best in me so I can function as best as I can during the day.

There is no point in overdoing it then being so run down you can’t enjoy the festive break, so I have compiled a list of key things that will help reduce the overwhelm, and help prepare you for the new year, to help you refocus on what really matters:

– Declutter your mind – breathe and meditate as often as you can!

– Get all your feelings and thoughts out of your head and onto paper eg. a notepad or journal. Expressing yourself without judgement is really therapeutic and helps to clear your head and helps prioritise what’s important.

– Create some kind of routine day (or two even) when you plan and prioritise tasks ahead of time.

– Learn to say “no” to the things you don’t want to do – it’s just not possible to do it all. You will enjoy life more if you do less – less is more!! It can be a headache otherwise squeezing too much in!

– Try and manage people’s expectations on your time and plan some quiet time in your day to reduce the rushing around and stress.

– Choose carefully how many commitments you take on board. It’s so hard when you are faced with lots of new opportunities and you feel you have to take them all up, and along with all of the usual chores and family life admin, it just gets too much, and then it becomes hard to focus.

– Try and think about the things that bring you joy, purpose and fulfilment, and more importantly, make you feel good inside. Doing one thing at a time is a much more calm, valuable and pleasurable experience rather than trying to do a million things at once – when you do lots at once, it is hard to focus on each thing you are trying to do, and you don’t necessarily do all the tasks well though you have done the best you can do.

– Think about all the things you can do to make your life more calm and pleasurable, any colour or light you can add to your life.

During Chanukah, when we light the candles, we make sure we leave the candles lit in a place where it can be seen outside in the street. The idea behind this is that it is not enough just to light up our home, we must also spread light and warmth to the outside world too as well, our neighbours and as far as we can influence and reach.

There is in fact quite a lot of spiritual meaning behind the Chanukah lights, more than just a reminder of the ancient miracle of the oil lasting for 8 days in the temple…. This festival is there to remind all of us to look to the light in our everyday lives, to the miracles that surround us.

The Christmas lights are also there also to act as a reminder to us all to look towards the light, to the good in this world and provide light to one another.

Personally, I think that this shouldn’t just be something we do just for a short period though, that this is something we should really incorporate into and be mindful of in our everyday lives, to find the light, the sunshine in our hearts, that can brighten up our lives and make us feel more joy and contentment, and not get lost in the stress and noise inside our heads, overwhelm ourselves in our everyday lives and miss out on miracles!

GROWTH MINDSET : how it can impact our own intelligence and confidence

Welcome to my new blog – I hope that I can brighten up your day and inspire you in some way.

I would like to share my thoughts with you on the importance of growing your mindset to help build your confidence based on the following article I read called “Praising for Effort, Not Intelligence” by Carol Dweck, Stanford psychology professor. I found the article fascinating.

Carol Dweck says that “intellectual development is not the natural unfolding of intelligence, but rather the formation of new connections brought about through effort and learning.” And also that “Research shows that educators cannot hand students confidence on a silver platter by praising their intelligence. Instead, we can help them gain the tools they need to maintain their confidence by keeping them focused on the process of achievement”.

The brain really is like a muscle, as Carol Dweck says – the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Every time you try hard and learn something new, your brain forms new connections that, over time, make you smarter and more confident too!!! “The brain has more plasticity over time than we EVER imagined; that fundamental aspects of intelligence can be enhanced through learning; and that dedication and persistence in the face of obstacles are KEY ingredients in outstanding achievement.”

It really is important that we make a conscious effort to invest in ourselves, and also to use the tools available as early as possible to help grow our kids’ mindset (not also forgetting ourselves too as parents), to help them grow in confidence and to improve their self-esteem.

Life isn’t just about being intelligent – everyone is different, we all have different abilities, and we just need to find out what those things are that really make us tick and glow, as happiness is also a key factor too. Though we all want our kids to do well, we MUST bear this in consideration, and look at the bigger picture, from one human being to another. What doesn’t work for one child may work for another, so we do need to be open and flexible as much as possible. And learn from our mistakes, or try again in a different way, and adopt new learning strategies that might work better.

Our life is really like one giant puzzle and day-by-day, if we put in the hard work, we HAVE the ability to make new connections, join up the puzzle pieces or add a new piece to the puzzle as we learn something new about ourselves. It’s ALWAYS the small pieces that make the bigger picture.

Also, celebrating the big AND the little achievements is really important. The effort people put into their achievement is a really important part of having a growth mindset, to recognise, acknowledge and reward effort, and not labelling them in a set way making them scared of failing, and then they won’t attempt to do certain things as they might fail, and then they will likely miss out on opportunities they never knew they had. This is the AMAZING part of growing your mindset!!!

It is fascinating, because some people, children and adults alike can label themselves a certain way due to possibly a disability they have, or something they have been told they are by possibly a teacher or their parents or family, or an experience they have had, that has defined their character and how they behave for the rest of their lives, unless they choose to make some kind of change.

Effort must be seen as a positive thing. Personally, I have to say myself, one thing I have always been, is a really hard worker… I remember getting a lot of praise at school particularly for the effort I put into my schoolwork. The hours on end I would spend studying for exams all throughout school and university, which I never liked as I hated performing under the pressure of exams. I much preferred coursework and working in my own time. Although I wasn’t the most academic and was fairly average in most subjects at school, I did do really well in languages, French, Spanish & Latin, my strongest subjects, and I always worked hard and tried my best. It was more of a struggle for me with hearing loss, but I pushed through it somehow despite the challenges working against me.

This probably explains why I generally don’t give up easily, and that even through the darkness, the struggles and challenges of life, it IS possible to find your way through towards the light again, which is a lovely feeling and feels like every step I make in life now is a real achievement that benefits me and all those around me too. And you can experience this too…