A 2 year anniversay with a top 5 list!

It is 2 years today that I started this blog. A big thank you to those who have supported me, (especially my family who I love so dearly) encouraged me and engaged with me in some way during this time. It has been a humbling experience to share, learn and try to live out what I read.

As I reflected on my own personal learning it was interesting what things have stayed with me. Here is a quick list of  5 of things that quickly came to mind when I thought about the ideas that have made a difference for me:

1. Being grateful is so important. After a hectic day or when I am feeling a bit negative, I really find it so good to think of 3 things I am grateful for and why. Also, I find I want to express thanks to those around me, such a great thing to do!

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2. Living simply. There is so much research that shows that things do not make up happy. Each time I read about de-cluttering it makes me want to. The whole minimalist approach has really impacted me. It may not always show, but it is there. Big is not always better. More is not always better. Our whole life in many ways is a life of humility and serving. I am learning more of that each day.

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3. Mindfulness. The importance of being in the moment and noticing what is happening around me is something that I am working on. I am aware that I need to do this better. When I do it, it makes such a difference. I love noticing things in nature, the clouds, the birds, my kids….the list could go on!

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4. The small moments make up life. Tonight I just loved sitting for a moment with a cup of tea chatting to one of my boys, watching as he lit the fire and listening to the loud crackle of really dry sticks as the fire started. I have found that being appreciative of the small things and moments is a wonderful thing.

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5. A growth mindset. Tonight as I drove my daughter home from band practice she was talking about the challenges she faces, being the youngest member in a band of experienced musicians. As I listened she talked about her chord chart knowledge and what she thought was a lack of it, but then mid-sentence she corrected herself and added that magic word – yet! “I cannot do it easily, yet.” It stood out to me that she thrives on the challenge. What a way to think! That is a growth mindset and I know that I am getting better at growing!

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The list could go on, but for tonight on my 2 year anniversary, that is it. Except to say, that most importantly all this is undergirded with great thankfulness to a loving, kind, gentle God. He keeps teaching me and forgiving me and being gracious to me as I live each day that He gives.

Blessings and thanks.
R x

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the practice of being positive

Sometimes people ask me if my readings and blogging make a difference to how I think and do things. Without hesitation my answer is ‘yes’.

I have found that spending time reading challenges me with the practical aspects of what it takes to lead a flourishing life. The blogging and putting the research into words then helps to remind me again. I do hope that for you, the reader, it also provides encouragement to do the same. As I have implemented different things it has really made a difference.

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Over the next 8 days we are off on a camping trip – for those of you familiar with my part of the world, we are off to Mambray Creek, Roxby Downs, William Creek, Coober Pedy.  Probably not top on my list of things to do considering it is winter and my husband is sure I am cold blooded like a reptile. I get cold so easily and it makes me feel grumpy!

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Thus, whilst having a break from blogging I am sure my family and I will not be having a break from implementing many of the practical things we have been learning and digesting! Things like:

*Thinking of 3 things we are grateful for each day
*Doing at least 1 act of kindness each day
*Taking time to be in the moment and having time to love and care for each other.
*Having a growth mindset when in situations that are challenging.
*Exercising together and having fun.
*Showing grit when we want to curl up.
*Remembering PERMA – Positive emotions, Engagement in a task, Relationships are important, having belief in something bigger than myself (Meaning) and a sense of Accomplishment..these aspects of living contribute to a flourishing life.

Bring it on!
Enjoy your next week and may you too have time to implement and try some of these things.  I’ll let you know how it goes. R x

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What mindset are you?

I have just finished reading Chapter 1 of “Mindset” by Dr Carol S. Dweck. Dweck is a psychologist who researched what kids did when they failed! She would give them a series of puzzles to solve and watched and probed their thinking and feelings as the puzzles got progressively harder.

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What do you do when presented with a difficult problem?

Dweck found that there were some kids who said things like “I love a challenge”.
“What’s wrong with them? I wondered. I always thought you coped with failure or you didn’t cope with failure….I was determined to understand the kind of mindset that could turn a failure into a gift….What did they know? They knew that human qualities, such as intellectual skills, could be cultivated through effort. And that’s what they were doing – getting smarter. Not only weren’t they discouraged by failure, they didn’t even think they were failing.  They thought they were learning.”

“I on the other hand thought human qualities were carved in stone.  You were smart or you weren’t and failure meant you weren’t.”(page 4)

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From 20 years of research Dweck then put forward 2 different mindsets.
*The fixed mindset believes your qualities are carved in stone.

*The growth mindset is based on the belief that your qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.

Which mindset you dominately use effects greatly your attitude towards challenging situations and in many ways the way you live your life.

As a example of how the mindset effects us, Dweck used the situation of a student getting a poor result for an exam followed by walking out to find a parking ticket on the car, followed by calling a friend to have a whinge and the friend is quite distance.
A person with a fixed mindset blames themselves and life is unfair and I’m no good and my friend now hates me.
Whereas a person with a growth mindset decides they could have worked harder in class and yes it was a bad place to park the car and something must be up with my friend.

People with a growth mindset, when things are difficult are able to take risks, confront the challenges and keep working at them. (page 9)

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As a sit typing this and thinking about the first chapter I have read, and keenly waiting for the time to keep reading the book, I realise that I am perhaps a fixed mindset person. There have been different ideas I have for a parenting workshop, using the information I have researched and used on this blog and yet it all seems too hard and doors have not easily opened and anyway the blog isn’t growing like I thought etc etc. To turn this thinking into a growth mindset, it all looks different. I need to give it a go. What changes can I make? Am I afraid of taking a risk and ‘just doing it’?

But, this is not all about me. What does a fixed or growth mindset mean for kids. What about the kids I saw in class this morning? Surely a growth mindset for a kid and a belief in a growth mindset from a teacher can make a huge difference?
As my own kids return home today I can see some interesting conversations – a lot of food for thought and I’m sure there will be a lot more as I continue on in the book.

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