A for accomplishment

My legs are aching and my family think it is so funny every time I sit down, as it is down very slowly with a grimace on the face!
You see, a few days ago I walked up to the top of our local mountain – Mt Lofty (people who have ‘real’ mountains would laugh and call it a hill). I have been wanting to do it for a long time and decided on the spur of the moment that ‘today was the day.’

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It was a beautiful day and I had a few teenage kids with me, who were kind enough to wait for the ‘old lady’ as I sucked in air trying to keep up with their cracking pace. The last 800 metres seemed to go forever! Coming down was fun, but surprisingly tough on the legs too!
At the end, I was surprised how good it felt to know I had done it and even the sore muscles since have strangely been a nice reminder of my accomplishment.

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PERMA is an acronym that I have discussed before – each letter represents what is needed for one to flourish.

Positive Emotion
Engagement
Relationships
Meaning
Accomplishment
I think in my life I had forgotten about the A for accomplishment. I know that I do not like being out of my comfort zone and because of that, I wonder if I do not accomplish as many things, or take what I would term ‘adventure risks’?

Today may I encourage you and your kids to try something new or do something that you challenge you have been thinking about for awhile. The feeling of accomplishment at the end is a good thing for the mind and body.

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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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Photo Credit: depositphotos.com

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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Photo Credit: mashable.com

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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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.

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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.

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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)

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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!

 

 

Not the downward spiral…

The negative downward spiral is something I have been well acquainted with in the classroom and even at different times with my own children.  In fact last night my 10 year old was lying on the floor bemoaning the fact that nothing ever goes right, that he never gets to do anything and that basically life is not fair!  For him a good nights sleep changed that point of view, but in that moment of time he was in a downward spiral.  Sadly there are some kids where a sleep does not change it, the feelings stay negative and the downward spiral can begin.

These kids need to experience positive emotions (PERMA  – The P stands for positive emotions).

For more on Perma https://asunshinyday.net/2013/07/14/well-being/

“When you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment, and love, you will see more possibilities in your life.”

“Positive emotions provide an enhanced ability to build skills and develop resources .”

“Positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open your mind up to more options.”

http://jamesclear.com/positive-thinking

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photo credit: bruceelkin.hubpages.com

The challenge we all have is how to build positive emotions into our lives and those around us – our kids and the kids in our classes.

Recently I read a magazine article while waiting at the Doctors where the writer decided to get out of a rut and do something different each day.  Some things were as small as changing the normal breakfast, to eating food not normally ordered (and being ok if they didn’t like it), to spontaneously dropping in to watch a 3D movie. These changes in routine actually increased the amount of positive emotion experienced.

With kids in the classroom where we can see the downward spiral, it is a challenge to help them and to help them see that it does not have to be like that.  There is no easy answer, but sometimes as a parent and teacher being aware of what a difference positive emotions can makes encourages us to focus on them and to try to make a difference.

I would love to hear any stories or ideas of things that help move one out of the negative spiral.

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photo credit: psmag.com