A Daily Dose of Gratitude:)

When we were conceived and given life on this earth, no one programmed into our brains how to handle the challenges that life throws at us. Some of us were lucky enough to have great role models growing up to help us deal with the ups and downs of life and others have had to muffle through it on their own. In the end, I believe how you handle yourself and situations comes down to our personalities, inner strength and our mental health!

If I took a snap shot of my life I would see many hurdles in my way, but I would see myself dealing with those hurdles in different ways! In my teens I would have melted down and cried, in my twenties I would have felt sorry for myself and then I hit my thirties and something changed! My mind felt different. The challenges were greater than ever but I was dealing with them in a more calm, rational manner with grace and dignity. Did I change? Was it having the kids? I know having massive health scares kicked my butt or maybe I finally grew up lol! My whole attitude to life now is all about being happy and positive. I try so hard everyday to provide that for my family and if the days seem dark at first, I look really hard and there is always a light of goodness shining!

20130904-195809.jpg

Now that I’m in a great place, the best I’ve ever been, I’m always feeling grateful. Grateful for life and the wonderful things that it holds for me and my family. The challenges are still there as they will always be as that is life and they we learn! But even with the challenges that are thrown our way, there will always be something to be grateful for.

A couple of months ago a best girlfriend and I made a pact to text message something everyday to each other that we are grateful for. Two months on and we are still going and loving it! It really keeps you focused on what matters most. Some days are easy and you could think of a dozen things to be grateful for and then other days are a little harder and you have to look at a lot harder, but in the end there is always something to be grateful for!

20130904-195915.jpg

Some of the texts messages I’ve sent have been…

Today I’m grateful for my mother’s beautiful nature:) – she is such a work horse!

Today I’m grateful for my wonderful father who has always been amazing to us kids and his grandkids – I feel so blessed to have him! And am also grateful that my children have a loving and devoted father who love then unconditionally – it makes me happy that my children will be able to look back and have the fond memories of growing up that I have:)

Today I’m grateful that I was able to have a half an hour to myself to eat my lunch and laze on my sun lounge…I’m sure that’s what’s going to see me through to the end of the day lol!

Today I’m grateful for my brave children and risks they take…they make me feel like I can take on the world!!!!!

Today I’m grateful for so much!!!!!

Today I’m grateful for my husband’s hard work and dedication to his job!

With so much hatred and angst going on around the world, it’s so important to not be dragged down by it all. Having a positive attitude and being grateful for what we have is so healthy for us. It contributes to our physical and mental health more than we realise. For as long as I’m privileged enough to breathe oxygen on this earth, I will spend my days showing gratitude and instilling this value into my children. For it’s not what we don’t have defines us, rather – what we do!

20130904-200034.jpg
Everyday I’m grateful for my party of 5!

Advertisements

Establishing a Happier You!

Life is so much more enjoyable when you are happy! To me things flow better, chores get done more efficiently, decisions are made more easily and when life throws a curve ball at you, instead of resisting it and curling up in the fetal position, you have enough mental strength to face it head on! For almost two years now, I’ve been working on a new me – a happier me! Finding out about my heart condition really put things into perspective for me…the mantra I live by now is ‘we only have one chance at life, so it’s up to us to make a good go of it!’

20130714-144718.jpg

I’ve always been a happy person who loves to laugh and have a good time, but over the years, I would let things get to me and get me down. I would stress over the smallest of things and crack up at the kids and lose my patients at very little. For a long time there while I was pregnant and breastfeeding one baby after the other, I was running on empty. Lack of sleep, teaching two days a week, raising three children and running a house became overwhelming! For me the turning point was finding out about my heart. Although not a ‘happy’ situation to be faced with, once I got my head around what I was living with, it changed the way I started looking at life! Instead of wrapping myself up in cotton wool, I’m grateful and happy that I know about my heart and I work hard everyday to keep myself fit and healthy to help my condition!

20130714-150523.jpg

I believe I’ve evolved over time. I’ve grown to appreciate the small things in life. As normal human behaviour has it, we always want what we can’t or don’t have, when really we should be happy with what we’ve got! These days I purely focus on that. I may not have a huge fancy house, drive a BMW or wear designer clothes…I have so much more to be happy about! I have a loving husband, three beautiful children, a devoted family and a number of fabulous friends…not an ounce of money could buy me that!

20130714-152411.jpg

At the end of the day, like anything, being happy is a choice! The first step to being happy is wanting to be. From there it’s up to the individual to do things that make them happy. For me that involves lots of things….
*spending time with my party of 5
*cuddles with my babies
*laughing with my husband and children
*dinner date with my husband
*seeing my babies happy
*spending time with my family
*date with my mum and sisters
*chatting to my mum
*time with my friends and their babies
*running
*keeping fit and eating healthy
*baking and cake decorating
*my nana’s beautiful face
*playing around on instagram apps
*having a tidy house
*getting my hair done
*shopping
*painting my nails
*writing blogs
*knowing I’ve helped someone
*being organised
*the sunshine
*going on holidays…just to name a few:)

20130714-153824.jpg

I feel very blessed everyday for what my life holds. And although we’ve been through some terribly sad times this year and throughout my life, I still try so hard everyday to focus on being happy and appreciating what I have. For me positive thinking and patience comes so much more naturally now and I believe my happiness has contributed to this! I also believe that when you are happy, everyone seems happier around you. When I wake up every morning I’m happy, because I feel blessed that I’ve been granted another day with the beautiful people that I love…and then I go like a crazy women to fill my day with as much as I can….and this makes me happy!

20130714-154653.jpg

Smile and be happy…we have so much to be happy about!

20130714-155040.jpg
Happiness breeds happiness….

The Power of the Mind!

I often refer to the saying “it’s mind over matter” as I believe this statement is so true! The mind is such a powerful thing that works over time, day in and day out. It has the capability to work even while we are sleeping. It thinks all day long about anything and everything, yet if we aren’t really on the same page as what our minds think, then things we really want to happen won’t be achieved!

It’s so easy to think I want this and I want that, but it takes strength, determination and dedication of our minds to accomplish what we want. I’m up to the 8th month of obtaining the old me, through healthy eating and exercising, but without my mind being in the place it is right now, I would have achieved very little. Prior to having my 3 beautiful children, I was always so fit and healthy and my mind was in that fit and healthy space for most of my life! Then somewhere along the way while having 3 children in 5 years, my mind was busy focussing on other things and lost its way on that path, but I never stopped thinking about the past and how I use to be!

My mind set after having kids has always been once I’ve had all my children then I’ll work on getting myself back to the old me! My last baby Mia, was 8 months old before the penny dropped and my mind set suddenly changed and it changed for the better! I now crave healthy food and the time to go for my run! I crave challenging myself and improving on my PBs for each distance that I run. There are days where I could eat everything in sight and there are days when I don’t feel like dragging myself out of bed to go for a run, but then my state of mind kicks in and takes over! It hasn’t been easy and I’ve had to work really hard at training my mind back to the way it use to be, but I feel it’s back to where it was and even better!

Now my mind is in a good place, I feel like I have the strength to take on anything. When I go for a run I may not always feel fantastic but I keep thinking as long as I keep going and not stop until I’m finished, I’m happy with that! When I wake up in the morning and it’s less than 10 degrees, I dress in more layers than normal and push past the coldness and go for my run. When I’m running and know I’m close to beating a PB, I push that little bit harder to achieve that! When I wake up and not feel flash I go for a walk instead of a run as walking is still being active! When I feel like eating a loaf of bread or a tub of ice-cream, I think about all the new clothes I’ve been able to buy and fit into and I gladly cut up my tossed salad and fruit! And when I do want to treat myself with a milkshake or muffin I do, because I know my mind has the strength to go back to its healthy ways after the treat!

A healthy mind set not only helps with my healthy eating and exercising but everyday stuff too. I’m only human and I’m not here to say I’m now perfect in every way, I’m the first to admit I make mistakes. Compared to where my mind set was 8 months ago to now, things around the house and the ability to be able to cope with the demands of being a mum to 3 kids under 6, seems so much easier! I now bounce out of bed instead of falling out and then struggle to get to my feet. When I have those moments of not feeling like doing the groceries, housework or cleaning out the linen cupboard that I said I was going to do for five years, I now just do it! And even though I still have many sleepless nights, I have the strength to get through the day without feeling like I’m drowning!

A classic example of the mind being powerful happened yesterday morning…..
I had 8 hours uninterrupted sleep (that hardly ever happens) and then stayed in bed chilling for over an hour. The weather looked a bit dodgy outside but hadn’t started raining yet. I run every Saturday morning and due to having more time up my sleeve I usually run at least 5km, but because of the weather I thought I’d only run 4km. Before I left I felt different, awesome different and I had it in my head that I was going to run a PB. From the second I started running, I knew I had it in me to achieve my 4km in 20 mins that I’d already come so close to a couple of times in the past month. I got to the first kilometer 4.33 (PB) then the second, 9.57 (PB) and when I was 15.25 mins (PB) at the 3rd kilometer my 4km in 20 minute goal was well in sight! I ended up reaching my 4km destination in 19.55 mins even better than I hoped! There were a couple of times where I thought “mmmm maybe not today” but I kept telling myself I can do this and that I did! And the prize at the end….self satisfaction! It’s also nice to get home to my very own fan club who greet me with cuddles and “did you have a good run mum!”:)

No one has the ability to change someone’s mind for them, encourage yes, but it’s up to the individual to control how one’s mind thinks and it takes time for this to happen. The first step is recognising what you want and then from there steps are put in place to achieve that. Those steps can be two forward and three back at first, but in time those steps become easier and easier to the point of it being a natural part of day to day life…..and this is where I’m at now and I couldn’t be happier!

20120528-205237.jpg