the power of reflection

I often get told that I am a very calm person. So often of late, that I thought, perhaps I should write about it. Firstly though I just want one thing clear, I am not always calm. I have totally lost my cool with the boys, I have bad days, I have bad nights and I feel permanently sleep deprived and often wonder if I will ever be able to “sleep-in” without interruption ever again.

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You know those people who you see… they might be friends, acquaintances or strangers, and they look physically impressive? And we take one look at them and think wow I wish I looked like that and we go for a jog once for 2 kilometers and are then perplexed that we haven’t achieved a result? Well that’s because those people ACTUALLY WORK REALLY HARD. I am NOT one of these people but I do think that overtime I have become brain-fit for lack of a better term, and there is always room for improvement.

I don’t believe I learnt the profession of being a Psychologist just from four years of study at University. I have learnt it from studying people, every single day. I am fascinated by human interaction. I am very interested in how people behave, speak and use body language to convey messages. I am also incredibly interested by what people don’t do. I listen and observe. I take all of this information and I reflect. I reflect on my own behaviour, my beliefs, my actions and I adjust, acknowledge, maintain or improve.  Which leads me to my main point. The power of reflection. I use positive affirmations a lot in my practice because I believe that if you don’t have positive beliefs that outweigh the negatives then you need a reminder and a tool. But it’s not just about reading them and hoping “yay I feel great”. It’s deeper than that. It’s about reflecting on their meaning, pausing and applying it to a past belief, current belief or how you want your future to unfold. That’s a bit philosophical and you are probably wondering how that all makes me calm. Well it doesn’t. It’s not just one thing. I suppose I am trying to say that it takes practice, just like it does for people who have achieved physical well-being. And, it’s a way of being that I have come to establish over time. Also, I will never claim to know everything and regularly seek advice from people wiser and more knowledgeable than myself. I am always, always open-minded to new and different ways of doing things even if there is not a lot of evidence to support it. It means that I am not closed. I see possibilities, I give things and people chances and above all I keep learning because it’s learning and reflecting on experiences, that helps us grow. I do all of this to improve my mental well-being and so I suppose, it is how I remain generally, calm.

 

Finding quiet time when you feel like a walking jungle

OK, firstly the title explained. I often feel like I have to carry so many things when I leave the house, food, water bottles, wipes, nappy, hats, sunscreen, wallet, phone, keys, a plethora of toys, softies, shoes (as some little people don’t like to leave the house with them on). In fact, slight tangent here. Pre-mum, I judged. Yes, believe it. I would look at mums and think, put some shoes on that child the floor must be filthy. I am now that mum, with shoeless children, because as we know sometimes it truly isn’t worth creating a tornado when instead you can have a shoeless, calm blue ocean. Anyway so back to carrying Noah’s Ark plus Kitchen sink on exit of the house with either one or two children being held, hence the reference to feeling like a jungle with monkeys (I mean children), swinging off you. No wonder I have a permanently sore neck and left hip, just saying.

HappinessSo, in case you are like me and have zero opportunity to take 6 months off life and sit on the side of a mountain, to contemplate, meditate and take in the goodness and greatness of the world – because you have 4 people (sorry 5, forgot my actual self) to look after on a 24/7 basis, of course for me that is two boys, husband and dog….then, this is the book for you!

Last year my focus, when I remembered to practice it, was on feeling grateful. I have shared this with a few close friends and I do believe it is possibly one of the most important skills to attempt to acquire in life, well so I have read 🙂

This year, I am also taking this through with me but am also attempting to take those mindful moments and am using it in my psychological practice as well as day-to-day, for myself and my children. Basically because since becoming a mother I have seen the really not cool side of myself, and I really, really don’t like it. I realised recently that in the past year my stress had built up because I either felt I had no time, or simply I was unable to make time, to take 10 minutes often and quiet the mind. Its hard dammit! when you have little people hanging off you like you are a walking jungle and they are the monkeys, chores, and food prep, nap times (or lack of naps, enter sleep deprivation), school, work, blah blah..the list goes on. Life isn’t getting slower. It feels as though time is going faster and the things we do makes us busy, busy, busy. And in our heavily technological lives it is so important, more than ever, to take a breather and literally stop, and smell the roses.

So here it is. I haven’t finished it but if you are looking for something to help with finding your “inner-zen”, it’s definitely worth a read and for a mere $10 (the cost of two take away coffees).

Go out and get yourself a copy.

Dear Mums, you are doing a great job

To the just newborn mums. You are amazing. You just delivered the most precious gift on earth. You don’t have a magical book to tell you what to do, you just do it. You fumble with almost everything, you navigate through the first days of feeding, you feel like you have no idea what you are doing but you do it. You cry, you laugh and you pray you will get through it. And you do. You are doing a great job. To the first time mum. You are amazing. You are doing everything for the first time. You try things and you get it right. You try things and they don’t work. But, it’s OK. You sing nursery rhymes that are drawn on from the deep recesses of your brain, that you forgot were there but somehow appear when you need them the most. You make up your own songs when you are desperate. You rock, you sway. You suddenly take the long way home, because your babe is sleeping. You don’t sleep. But, you keep on going. You take an hour to leave the house and you carry more than one bag. You forget. You have baby spew on your top but you don’t know that until you are already at the shops. Your washing has doubled, you haven’t vacuumed and you have forgotten the iron exists. But it’s OK. You are doing great job. To the second time mums. You are amazing. You have just delivered another precious gift to the planet, and, to your family. You enjoy moments that you missed the first time in your sleep deprived haze. But, you are busy. You are incredibly busy, raising your little family. And, just because you have done it before, doesn’t mean you know everything. You fumble, you sing nursery rhymes, you sway, you rock. You run to toilets, one child hanging off each arm. You have food on your clothes. Your washing is endless. You haven’t mopped. It’s toast for dinner. But, it’s OK. It’s really OK and you are doing a great job.

Dear Mums, you are all doing a great job.