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! (
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: 
Would love to have you share the journey with us! Cheers, Sara x

Dancing Without A Care….

rock and roll

Parenting 4 kids means it’s wonderful to see them discovering new things, learning new things all the time…..but life can feel a little flat or heavy as I feel overwhelmed with obligations, chores and being a good parent, partner, friend and family member.  I keep thinking of what my mindfulness teacher Nique said a couple of times to me which was something like ‘Mindfulness has many aspects, including JOY…’ and although I have been more mindful, I haven’t easily rediscovered joy!

So on the weekend I pledged to try out some new things to see what makes my heart sing, what gets the joy flowing!  Bravely my partner agreed to try out a 1950’s rock and roll dance class.  We were completely intimidated as we walked into the senior citizens hall and realised we were the youngest there by at least 20 years and the least experienced dancers there….


We got started and had so much FUN, I couldn’t stop grinning the whole time!  It was so good to be a total beginner again, laughing at mistakes, my mind FULLY focussed on the next step, and there was something amazing about dancing briefly with lots of people you have never met before….everyone feeling joy and oozing happiness!  It was a complete energy change from feeling tired after a long day at work.    I loved it and the buzz continued into the next day….and I am still grinning at the thought of it!

So it’s lovely to feel my heart sing again, and I am all ready for the next class.  I really feel perhaps my generation missed out by not experiencing the joy of those couple dances my parents & grandparents always went to.  Maybe we could bring it back for our kids?

I’m on the hunt for other new things to try too, any suggestions?