Empty your bags: create space to fill your life with joy

In our lives, whether we are parents or not, grieving or not, experiencing change or not, we all have times when our ‘bags’ feel full.   Our head is full to overwhelm and we feel restricted by demands and expectations.

What if we simply emptied our bags?

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It’s Okay to get off the bus; you can choose to engage or not

A few short months after the loss of our baby boy, my eldest son and I were taking a bus trip into town.  It was an exciting time for him, as he loved taking the bus anywhere as it was such a novelty!

We were seated near the front of the bus, and he was busy talking to me about all the buildings, cars, trucks, other buses and the other things he could see.  He was pure 2-year-old enthusiasm; happy, joyful and excited!  I was enjoying his enthusiasm despite feeling bus-sick (yes, I am an adult who still gets motion sick…)

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Live your ending now: living life with purpose

As a parent who has lost a child, I am acutely aware of how quickly life can change or end.  In an instant, our whole world can be turned upside down.   Life is short, and precious.

Regardless of whether you have lost someone or not, we all want to make the most of our life.  We want to look back without regret.  We want to live our life fully; to appreciate it and not feel we are constantly ‘waiting’ until we can live that life.

But how do we honour that feeling?  How do we ensure our life has purpose?  What spurs us into action?   How do we bring joy back into the everyday?

Truthfully, the biggest motivator for me is contemplating my ending. Continue reading

Embrace the moment: It’s okay to be mindful

Being mindful is like the new black.  Being in the moment. Mindfulness.

Everyone talks about it and we all apparently *should* aspire to have moments of it in our days.  It’s been shown to improve our well-being and improve our productivity, efficiency and overall happiness.  For all people that sounds pretty good, but as busy mothers, it sounds amazing, right!?

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Interviews with Inspiring Mothers: Upset to Set-Up – Patricia McPhail

Welcome to the ‘Upset to Set-Up’ Series: Interviews with Inspiring Mothers

This occasional interview series shines a spotlight on inspiring women and shares their stories of resilience in the face of upset.  Here we interview women who have overcome significant tragedy, loss or upset and used that experience to set themselves up in a new and different way.  They have turned their upset into a set-up.  Each guest generously shares what they have been through to find the joy in life.

Patricia McPhail

joyhopelove.com

Patricia McPhail. Photo: Emily McPhail

Today we meet Patricia McPhail, Founder of HopeforOllie.  HopeforOllie designs and sells handmade children’s clothing and accessories for 0-10 year olds.

Patricia created HopeforOllie in 2010 after her son Oliver was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) at 10 weeks of age.  DMD is a fatal genetic condition which causes muscles to weaken and break down, leading to progressive difficulty with walking and general mobility.  Currently there is no cure for DMD, and suffers have a 20 to 25 year life expectancy.   Patricia is a mother who wants to make a difference to the lives of all DMD boys and their families by raising funds for clinical research into a cure.

I loved this interview, and I am sure you will too. Patricia is an absolutely inspiring woman.

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Self Care for Mothers: learn to put yourself first

As a mother, taking time for some self-care and a little bit of quiet, is an act of rebellion.  In a world that values busy-ness, taking time out to look after yourself can be a very rebellious act indeed!  But it is a vital one too.  At this time of year particularly, we can be overly aware of the expectations on us as mothers.

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Focus your attention elsewhere; It’s okay to admire

It’s okay to admire people, places and things.

When we are feeling down, sad or grief-stricken, it can be very hard to see the positive in life. Our focus is on ourselves, our feelings of sorrow or loss, and even if we desire to feel happy, we may not be able to summon those feelings.

But, when we focus our attention elsewhere, we take ourselves out of our sorrow (and out of our own head), we lift our emotional state.  And a simple way to do this is via admiration.

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Inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere

After sharing a few weeks ago about my experience blogging each week for a year, a number of people asked me where I got my inspiration from, and what approach did I take to find inspiration.

And so, in the interests of sharing my experience, this week’s post is all about inspiration, where I find it and how I utilise it.

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Moving home: when change involves saying goodbye again

Our home is a place where ideally, we feel most ourselves. It is a place of shelter and sanctuary that offers security and comfort.  Our homes also hold many of our most valuable  things; our loved ones, treasured heirlooms and possessions, as well as precious memories.

We are currently in the process of preparing to move house, and as a result I am feeling like Marie Kondo on speed!  I’m touching every single item in my home and asking not only does this spark joy, but is it useful, do we need it, do we love it and will we need it in our new abode.  That is a lot of questions to be running through your head, let me tell you!

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A year of blogging; my four big learnings

This week it has been a year since I started blogging.  I have posted every week, except the week of Christmas, where I gave myself some time off to spend with my family.

Posting on this frequency and regularity has taught me a few things I’d like to share with you in this post today, to mark the anniversary of this website and my blogging experience.

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