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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder.

Homeward bound.

Sitting on a train last weekend, I had a lovely moment.  I’d just spent a weekend in Manchester with my cousin Ana, and I was looking forward to a peaceful journey home to see my husband and children.  As I watched the beautiful English countryside whizz by I slowly felt my heart fill with joy. Ana and I had spent most of the weekend chatting, eating and doing a bit of shopping. We’re close but don’t see each other much, so having nearly 48 hours to catch up was a luxury. It was nice for me to get out of the family routine for the weekend too. I went to bed late, could be relaxed about timings, had no children demanding things of me, didn’t have to tidy up (Ana wouldn’t let me) and slept in till 10 both mornings. We savoured patisserie cakes, Brazilian tapas, cocktails, and a proper English fry up. As a mum, it felt so good to step out of my everyday role, and remember what its like to just be me.
As I travelled home, my thoughts returned to my children and I looked forward to hugging them, hearing how their weekend had gone, and settling back into family life again. I felt lovingly grateful and appreciative of my husband who eagerly took on the job of looking after the kids all weekend. I expect that he should be able to and happy to do that, but before I went I thought grateful thoughts about him doing it. Now I feel my gratitude in my heart. It all reinforces the old cliche….absence makes the heart grow fonder.
I also think it’s about stimulating the brain by experiencing novelty, getting out of the regular routine, and recharging my sense of self. This is especially important for parents I think. Personally I came back feeling renewed, re-energised, reconnected with my cousin and my family, and an all round happier person.      

Health and Fitness Week

I think I need new trainers.

A couple of weeks ago – after the Easter choc-fest – my husband and I started a healthy eating and fitness drive. We’d both picked up some bad snacking habits, were too used to big portions at our evening meal and not doing much exercise. We’re both busy – he works long hours in London, while I work long hours juggling house, family and my own work. Healthy eating and exercise keep getting pushed down the priority list, so now, we decided, was the time to focus on them for a few weeks to kickstart a healthier lifestyle and to establish some better eating and fitness habits.

In 12 days I lost 5lbs and my husband lost…well we don’t know yet because the scales ran out of battery. He  has lost some, and knowing him (he’s strict with what he eats when he’s decided to) he’ll lose more than me.  So what did we do and how did we do it?  Every day this week I will discuss one of the tactics we used to change the way we eat and get fit.

First though, why are we doing it?  Because like everyone we know the benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise but don’t practice what we believe. We wanted to start living with more integrity as well as more energy and vitality and less toxins and weight.  But also, exercise is often cited by positive psychologists as one of the key daily habits that happy people commit to. And who doesn’t want to be happy?

So for us, making exercise a priority and a regular habit is what we were aiming for, while also being more mindful about what we put into our mouths. We had got used to not doing it, and wanted to get used to doing it.


Because You’re Worth It.

Do you ever think you’ll feel better when…you’ve lost weight? written that book? earnt more money? got your dream job?

Ever wondered why you feel like this?

It’s because you don’t feel worthy enough already. Yes, Worthy Enough.  Do you think you are worthy enough already?

When I considered this question recently, my first thought was: ‘Of course I think I’m worthy enough already.’ My confidence and self-esteem goes up and down but generally I’ve always had a decent enough regard for myself.  It didn’t seem that feeling worthy enough was a problem for me.  Not having enough time to get all the things I wanted to get done seemed to be my problem.

I’d been reading ‘The Gifts of Imperfection‘ by Brene Brown and as I read on, I realised that perhaps I didn’t think I was as worthy as I thought I did. I began to ask myself the following questions:

  • If I believe I am worthy enough already why do I feel that my day is only successful if I ‘achieve’ things each day?
  • If I believe I am worthy enough already why do I feel I need to prove to people that I can be a successful businesswoman / coach / writer, not to mention a perfect mum?
  • If I believe I am worthy enough already why do I feel I have ‘failed’ at so many things?
  • If I believe I am worthy enough already why am I constantly striving to change myself?
  • If I believe I am worthy enough already why am I worried about what other people think of me?

Brown claims that the difference between people who live a wholehearted life (i.e. people who are truly happy) and those who don’t is their belief that they are enough, already.  In other words they don’t have to prove anything. Instead they are brave and open and vulnerable and connected and they believe they are worthy. She says:

“Here’s what’s truly at the heart of Wholeheartedness: Worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute. As is.”

Now I might be putting myself out on a limb here but that hit me hard. I realised for probably the first time in my life that perhaps this constant striving to improve myself and my life weren’t admirable qualities with a hint of perfectionism, but actually signs that I don’t think I am worth enough as I am. Do I think I have to change myself to be worthy?   Perhaps the reason that I never have enough time to do all the things I want to get done is because I want to prove too much?

What do you think? Can you relate to this idea?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please comment below. I want to know if it’s just me…

p.s. I know the photo at the top is too dark, but I’m fighting my perfectionist urges to redo it because I have lots of other stuff to do.  I am trying to be brave and allow myself (and my post) to be imperfect.