Less hustle and bustle!

I was once asked if I practiced what I preach in regard to what I write on the blog. My answer was that yes I did, as much as possible.
But recently, I don’t think I have practiced what I preach as well as I might. Life has felt out of balance and my body has let me know via headaches and a ‘fuzzy’ head for want of another word!

IMG_4018_2

Weeks ago my Man informed me that I was using the word ‘should’ a lot. Sentences like:
“I should be going for a run.”
“I should be sorting out all the things in the shed.”
“I should catch up with this person.”
“I should not be feeling like this.”
It is such a harsh and unkind word that traps.

IMG_4545

Yesterday I took a long solitary walk along the beach. Spring has thought about appearing in my part of the world and it was beautiful. As I walked I started thinking, “What if I only did the things I needed to do and the things I wanted to do?”

IMG_4540

That whole idea has been incredibly freeing. As I am faced with situations the questions “Do I need to do this? Do I want to do this?” have helped my decision making and somehow given me more space in my mind.

IMG_3871

It seems like a graceful way to live. It has taken away some of the rules that I have harshly put on myself. I am hoping that it will enable me to have more time with less hustle and bustle. I am hoping that it will help me to be a better parent as I live more in the now with my family.
It may mean that there will be less blogging so that I can actually live out the things that I have been reading. Instead of the pressure of trying to put a blog up each Tuesday, it will be “Do I need to share this information? Do I want to share this information?” That will be the test.

IMG_4318

Thanks for your kind ongoing support. I just hope that some of the things I share are an encouragement to you.
Love R x

The beauty of silence.

I am having a weeks break from the study. I have missed the ‘soul’ side. Today I want to share about silence.

We had a weekend where I as a Mum packed too many things into the weekend for our family. I hear my own Mother’s voice telling me ‘You run them ragged!’ Don’t get me wrong, we had a lovely weekend catching up and meeting people, such kind, generous people who looked after us so well, it was so lovely to spend time with different people. But, as we returned home on Sunday afternoon I could feel and hear the family exhale and relax. In the time that followed each person found different things to do and entered into a time of silence and being.

Photo Credit: theraggedrobin.co.uk

Photo Credit: theraggedrobin.co.uk

I know that I struggle to find times of silence. I hear many people commenting about the crazy pace of life, the noise in life, the advertising, paperwork demands, the continual fighting against consumerism, the pressure to be socially active and popular, the opportunities to take part in so many fun exciting activities….it is just too hard to choose.

Photo Credit: techdraw.com

Photo Credit: techdraw.com

It was with a ‘amen brother’ that I read the following information on The Minimalist blog.

IMG_0349

“Meanwhile, silence quietly calls for our attention. Because only in extended periods of solitude, can we rediscover our hearts and the voice of timeless wisdom in our lives.

The benefits of silence and solitude in a noisy world are significant and life-giving. In quiet moments of reflection:

  • We remove the expectation and influence of others.
  • We hear our heart speak clearly.
  • We reflect on our past and chart our future.
  • We find rest and refreshment.
  • We break the cycle of busyness in our lives.
  • We become better equipped to show patience and love to others.

While anyone can experience silence at any time by finding a quiet place to sit for an extended period of time, I have found solitude does not occur naturally in our noise-centered world. It must be intentionally pursued by each of us.

But for it to be pursued, it must first be valued and desired.”

How much do you value silence?
May you find time today for some quiet moments!

IMG_0435

Back to nature

A few weeks ago our family had the absolute pleasure of travelling the Great Ocean Road and spending time in the Otway Ranges. We followed creeks, we saw waterfalls, we saw kangaroos with joeys, we saw amazing birds, we rock hopped across creeks, we stood in awe looking at the rough sea and it felt like we all reconnected!

IMG_2393

IMG_0472

 

IMG_1286

 

IMG_0504

 

I hadn’t written about it yet as it had not seemed relevant. Then today I came across Tsh’s blog. She is travelling the world with her family. Below I have included excerpts as it is so much of what we experienced and what I want to share!

 

IMG_1309

“Our travels have reminded me how much healthier, more fully alive, more the-way-I-should-be I feel when I have plenty of time in the wild. Not just city parks, but woods. Where I can meander off the beaten track but be forced to keep a watchful eye for creepy crawlies. Where water gushes from the earth, not a metal drinking fountain.

My kids do better here too.  It’s as though we’re somehow made for more skin-to-dirt connection than our modern day world allows, as if our bodies want regular reminders of where it’s from.

Our sanity benefits. Our entire person—relational, spiritual, physical, mental—breathes a thank you when we consciously make space in our days for quiet (and rowdy) time in the woods.

So I have a practical question for you, partly because we can’t help but on a trip like this muse over what our life needs more of when we return: how do you carve out time in nature—real nature—in the midst of your everyday life? Not just playgrounds with plastic slides, but the dirty (in the best sense) forests, mountains, lakes, and oceans? (And emphasis on the everyday bit—not just summer vacations or semi-annual camping trips.)

What practical things do you employ to make sure the natural side of you is satisfied?

I’m genuinely curious. Because I know it’s hard unless you live right in the thick of it. Yet I’ve decided it’s essential.”

"Wilderness is not a luxury  but a necessity of the human spirit,  as vital to our lives as  water and good bread." -Edward Abbey

I went fishing!

Fishing has never been high on my list of things to do. Somehow I have a child who loves it! It amuses me when I see in my children a passion for something that seems random to the family culture. (Although his Grandfather was a keen fisherman in his youth.)

On this particular day it eventuated quite spontaneously to go fishing with the lovely visiting family next door.

There were 5 children and 3 adults. The day was very cloudy, balmy, incredibly still and occasionally light rain would fall. The water was clear and we could see the fish teasing us in the water. We had one knowledgeable adult amongst us who patiently got the children set up, rescued the fish off the hooks and was such a calming coordinator of the expedition. There were enough small fish caught to keep the kids happy, not to mention the crabs and a lot of re-baiting as we feed many other fish as well.

IMG_2057

What amazed me was the peacefulness of the day, but it was not there straight away. There was the high excitement at the beginning and then we all settled into the moment. I could feel my body slowly relaxing and it was like layers of stress peeled off.  I could see the kids  finding a space in this new world. As I sat back and surveyed, there was such stillness amongst the activity. Sometimes the kids would be by themselves just watching the water and their line, sometimes there would be voices asking for help or sometimes shrieks when a fish was hooked. But each person was just being, by themselves and yet we were so together.

IMG_2055

It seems that we are living in a time where there is an epidemic of  burnout. Not just for adults but also for children. The term ‘ill-being’ can be used as compared to ‘well-being.’  It can be difficult for adults to find the time to look after themselves. Just finding the time to get the required sleep, healthy food, fun, enjoyment and down time seems to have become a challenge. And, as adults we need to be teaching kids how important these elements of life are.

There is so much vying for our attention that it is easy to ‘focus on the superficialities  rather than what has meaning in our lives. A result of this is people may be more withdrawn, less empathic and isolated. We are becoming more and more distracted in this age of distraction. We need to take a moment and think.’ (Marsha Snyder MD Positive Health: Creating a healthy flourishing life)

IMG_0313

PERMA is an acronym that I have mentioned before. It is what Dr Seligman sites as being needed to lead a flourishing life.
Positive Emotion – Engagement – Relationships – Meaning – Achievement

We didn’t take any fish home (the up side of that was there was no cleaning of fish), but we did take home adults and children who were more relaxed, connected and thankful.

So, bring on the fishing I say!

 

 

Take a moment to notice…

‘Savouring’ is a Positive Psycology term that involves being in the moment, not rushing or thinking ahead but appreciating the positive things that are happening around you and even to you.

index

Photo Credit: vibrantwomen.com.au

Last week in the school yard I happened to see a Mum give her child a kiss. From where I observed it was for no reason, just a sharing of love.  It was a moment that brought back so many beautiful memories and I did let my mind reflect on this act. What a privilege to be part of that moment as a spectator. It was a lovely small act. I ‘savoured’.

images

Photocredit: healthyliving.msn.com

Two of my boys are starting new schools next year. The uniforms were purchased yesterday and tried on again as soon as they got home. It was such a pleasure to be in the moment and sharing their excitement and joy as they anticipate a new year. This is quite a big thing in our family. We ‘savoured’.

“Noticing and savouring life’s small and big positive occurrences is a powerful tool for increasing one’s overall well-being.”
(Positive Psychology in a Nutshell  I Boniwell pg 136)

IMG_1360

As this Christmas season continues, as the school year ends and parties and celebrations happen, may you and your children find the time to ‘savour’ some moments. May you have the mindfulness to stop, enjoy, notice, appreciate and maybe even share the ‘golden moments’ whether they be ‘big’ or ‘small’.

images

Photo credit: brainworksrehab.com

I would love to hear about some of your ‘savouring’.