The importance of touch

One of my boys has had a stressful time lately. He has been struggling to feel good about himself and the situation he is in.  It is both a difficult and yet beautiful thing the way it effects the whole family when just one is feeling out of sorts.

IMG_4993

As a Mother there are moments when ‘compassion fatigue’ slips in.  You know, that feeling that you have tried everything and there is not much more to say -but the child is still struggling! The circles are going around and around.

IMG_5021

I read these reassuring words in the book ‘the life-changing magic of tidying up’ by Marie Kondo (pg 73)  that I wanted to share here.May you be encouraged and blessed by the simple reminder:

“…we know that gentle physical contact by a parent, such as holding hands, patting a child on the head, and hugging, has a calming effect on children.”

index

May we give the gift of a hug, a pat and hand holding during this Festive Season – with not just children.

Joy

The idea of joy has been buzzing around in my head a lot lately. In a conversation with my sister, together we realised we had ‘lost’ the joy of the everyday things amongst the business. We realised how easy it is to lose ‘joy’ but also it can be restored.

index

Photo Credit: letthefunbegin.co.uk

I have piles of papers that are to do with my children’s school books, paintings, love notes etc etc…what is to be done with them? As a result I found myself reading an article about decluttering.  Marie Condo has become a Japanse celebrity due to her way of  helping people declutter. It was with some surprise that I discovered her system is based on joy!

“Ms. Kondo’s decluttering theories are unique, and can be reduced to two basic tenets: Discard everything that does not “spark joy,” after thanking the objects that are getting the heave-ho for their service; and do not buy organizing equipment — your home already has all the storage you need.”

The whole article is worth a look ….
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/23/garden/home-organization-advice-from-marie-kondo.html

 

Photo Credit: winsomeaunt.blogspot.com

Photo Credit: winsomeaunt.blogspot.com

This was then followed up by looking at the blog of Joshua Becker who is writing about the joy of minimalism. In a nutshell, more and more research is showing that belongings do not bring lasting joy, in fact they often do the opposite. Some people are now starting to experiment and see what happens when they ‘down size’ and simplify life. Their personal stories tesify to the joy they find in their new lifestyles. Have a look at this link for an example.
http://www.becomingminimalist.com/4-statements/

Photo Credit: wallspaperwide.com

Photo Credit: wallspaperwide.com

Before all this I had read the following in Psychology News

“David Pollay, one of the early leaders in applying the findings from positive psychology, asks us to make 3 simple promises to ourselves every day:

  1. Find joy.
  2. Do what you love.
  3. Make a difference.

One consequence of modern American life is busyness. We are brought up to believe that we can be anything, have anything, do anything if we only work hard enough. Technology and gadgets make everything so much easier and more convenient, so we can squeeze in more and more and more. But between work, taking care of kids, pursuing our passions and dreams, what so often gets squeezed out is our view of what makes life worth living. Time and time again, I have found that following Pollay’s structure brings me back again to the things that matter in life. These are the things that lead to the type of life you want to live.”

Photo Credit: Davidpollay.com

Photo Credit: Davidpollay.com

 

Joy makes such a difference in life. Joy is  an idea that is found in many religions.
As a Christian I find joy is a topic that I cannot blog about without reference to my faith. Joy is a gift, joy is something that is deeper than happiness. Joy can still be there during the hard times, it is knowing that hope is not lost, that there is a ‘bigger’ being than oneself, it is trusting that when things seem out of control there is still control, it is knowing when one messes up, there is forgiveness!

I believe it is this knowledge that then allows one to find joy, do what you love and make a difference.

Photo Credit: epjp.wordpress.com

Photo Credit: epjp.wordpress.com