Gladdening our heart increases our resilience…

Breathing in the good – Gladdening our heart…Building our resilience…
Joy quote
I’m currently doing Brene Brown’s Art Journalling course on the Gifts of Imperfection! (https://www.ownlifeclasses.com/pages/brene-brown)
 
I totally recommend it – it’s fun and gets the creative juices flowing and covers topics such as courage, joy & gratitude & creativity! All things I need more of in my life!
 
Brene talks about something called ‘foreboding joy’ – and I love the concept! It is where feeling joy & gratitude makes us feel sooo vulnerable that we deflect it, move on or even go straight to a place of fear where we worry about what we will lose.
 
She shares as an example going in to say goodnight to her daughter and melting with love – then immediately being fearful that something bad might happen to her daughter – almost as a protective instinct!
 
This totally makes sense to me – to keep ourselves safe we are on the look out for all possible and perceived dangers – AND we hardly allow ourselves to feel, to breathe in joy! No wonder so many of us are feeling stressed and burnt out.
 
So this past week I’ve been noticing those beautiful joyful moments – that may be really fleeting – singing loudly in the car with my daughter, seeing a turtle while stand up paddle boarding, laughing with the kids, seeing a community of people working together and deliberately pausing and breathing it in and sitting with it!
 
The more I practice mindfulness the more I realise we have a choice as to where to focus our thoughts and mind…and the more I focus on loving kindness and gratitude and joy the better I feel…and the more resilient I am.
 
If overcome with vulnerability then Brene recommends saying out loud I’m feeling vulnerable and I’m grateful for…so we still acknowledge the moment!
 
Tara Brach has a great meditation on her website re: gladdening the heart and it’s about deliberately recalling activities you love to do and happy memories – the art journalling activities are great for that! And in the brain research now they know that dwelling on happy memories releases a hit of the feel good dopamine…so it’s lovely to stop and breathe in a good moment and store it as a happy memory to turn to for a mood boost when you need it!
 
So let me know how you gladden your heart this week – what golden moments, no matter how small or fleeting did you breathe in to your heart? 🙂 
My new Resilient Families Thriving Kids Online Coaching Course starts in August.  You can sign up here: https://mindfulparentingmindfulcoachingonline.thinkific.com/ 
Would love to have you share the journey with us! Cheers, Sara x

Tuning in to our environment…

willy wagtail
Many indigenous cultures claim that it is important to listen to what the wildlife have to say to us… Since working in Central Australia – I’ve always felt an affinity with Willy Wagtails – yesterday as I was the sole person walking on the cold beach a Willy Wagtail came down to feed at the high tide waterline….I’d never seen one that close to the water before….and he wasn’t shy…he would flutter away just a few metres ahead of me and wait as if I was to follow him?
 
My mind was filled with work as I walked but seeing this Willy Wagtail made me pause – and then I remembered to ask ‘Do you have a message for me?” and I listened…and deep within my heart was the message: let go of work, pay attention to these beautiful surroundings and live a little, dance a little, just as this willy wagtail was keen for me to do!
 
It was a beautiful wake up call, and got me out of my headspace and into my heartspace – and I left the beach feeling really grateful to this cheeky bird for the interruption to my thoughts, for the bringing me back to the present moment, for the gratitude that welled up in my heart.
 
So I’m wondering, what is in your environment right now? What can you tune into? And what inner words of wisdom can you hear when you pause?
 
Cheers, Sara 🙂

Random Acts Of Kindness

I was a little blown away by the number of homeless people I saw in Sydney recently 😦 and a little perplexed with how to help… then luckily the Universe provided me with an opportunity. 
 
I was in a 7/11 store stocking up on breakfast supplies and there was a man in the corner taking a long time to decide on what he was going to buy…finally I took notice… and saw that his trousers were covered in mud and his trench coat was worn through with holes.
 
I decided here was my moment so I wandered up to the counter and said ‘can I pay for what he is buying?’ – hoping to do it discreetly and anonymously!   The man at the counter’s eyes lit up and said sure…and I was already feeling better…  But then much to my dismay the man approached the counter and I was fearful about how our meeting would go!  The man at the counter said – ‘she wants to buy you your food’ and I made eye contact with the man in the trench coat…tentatively, not sure of his reaction.
 
‘Really?’ he said, ‘What’s your name?’ and wanted to shake my hand…we introduced ourselves – and it was the warmest interaction I had had with anyone that trip to Sydney….  He finished by saying ‘ Next time your in town I’ll buy you something’ and walked off with a smile…and the interaction left me with tears in my eyes and a feeling of warmth that is hard to explain….his gift to me was so much more than the food I bought.
 
Random acts of kindness and helping others – get us out of our own headspace and into a space of feeling a bit better about the world…   And yet it can be hard for us to find the time or to know how to do it or to feel comfortable doing it?
 
A little while ago our family had a kindness coin from school and it would anonymously appear on your pillow if someone in the family wanted to acknowledge your kindness – a lovely gesture – I might endeavour to bring it back!
 
One of the most amazingly beautiful random acts of kindness I read about was the lady who paid the parking fine for a stranger – when she saw they had been fined in a hospital carpark – she left a note to say ‘I’m sure with whatever you are going through you do not need this stress’ – how lovely and thoughtful!
 
So I’m just wondering what your random act of kindness will be this week? 🙂 Sara

Imperfect, Good Enough, Parenting Manifesto

 It’s OK for me to make mistakes, to reflect on what didn’t work, to apologise and to make things right again.
It’s OK for me to still be learning and growing and to at times not know the best way to act or respond.
It’s OK for me to love my children fiercely and still do things for myself knowing I need to feed my soul and my children need to learn independence.
It’s OK for me to rest and keep things simple and connect with my kids while I have a messy house and I’m disorganised at times.


It’s OK to not be good at things like cooking or vege gardening or hosting birthday parties or kicking the footy and instead focus on things I am good at and what I enjoy dong with my kids.
It’s OK to admit that you are imperfect and you are struggling to other parents.
It is OK to be as kind and as gentle to myself as I aim to be to my kids.

It’s OK to choose to stay at home or return to work. It’s OK to do what makes me happy and fulfilled so I can be then be present and available to my kids when I am with them.
It’s OK to focus on being the best I can be in that moment, that hour, that day, even if at the time it is far from perfect.
It’s OK to have mixed feelings about this parenting role as I know underneath it all I love my children, I’m continuing to grow, I am doing the best I can and I am showing up each day to look after me and my family.

What do you think? Anything to add?

What would your manifesto look like if you gave yourself permission to be imperfect?

Making Mistakes Positive Discipline

(A Positive Discipline Tool Card that I use ALOT in my life & in my workshops / parent coaching!)

(inspired by Julie Patterson’s Imperfect Manifesto http://juliepaterson.com.au/…/imperfect-manifesto-japanese…/)

A Mindful Approach To Time

The Big Leap.png
I have just finished reading The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks – fascinating book ….but the chapter that resonated with me most was the one on Time!
At first it didn’t ring true to me…but boy has it made a huge difference to my week!
He talks about how when we talk about time as if we don’t have enough of it….’I’m out of time, there’s never enough time, I’m running late, he’s late, this will never get done’ …we are frantic, stressed, and we are never enjoying the moment and we never seeem to have enough time.
When we stop doing that and actually say to ourselves -‘ there is ENOUGH time, there is always enough time’…somehow we slow down, enjoy the moment, stop worrying about what we will /won’t get done….and it has the effect of feeling like time slows!
Time is time – it doesn’t change , but Hendrick’s pemise is that when we are enjoying ourselves it is as if time slows…the quality of the moment is better whereas when we are frantic – time speeds by and things don’t get done, and there is no quality to the moment…..so by being mindful, by slowing down and reassuring ourselves there IS time – we enjoy what is here – we affect the quality of time – it feels as if it slows!  And we get things done – one step at a time.
Not sure this is making sense – you’ll have to read the book! 🙂
It worked for me quite a few times last week – and today –  when I catch myself racing ahead and planning / worrying about the day – I can say to myself ‘ there is ENOUGH time’ and bring myself back the present moment – and so far there has been enough time….while I have also been less stressed and have enjoyed the moment more! 🙂
Maybe worth trying?? 🙂
May you have all the time you need this week x Sara