Category: Lifestyle (page 1 of 7)

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 Women: Upset to Set-Up – Patricia McPhail

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

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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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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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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Love thy neighbour; a story of nature helping build community

We have all heard the saying ‘love thy neighbour’.  It’s one of those sayings that even if we aren’t religious, we hear in at least once or twice in our lives.

When I think of ‘love thy neighbour’ I have always assumed it means to be kind.  Which, funnily enough, is exactly what today’s post is all about. Continue reading

Grief in the family; It’s Okay to allow others to mourn

When we lose a baby, it’s not just us who experience grief and mourn.  Those around us, our parents, our siblings and any children we already have, also all grieve.

Of course, we know this, but it can be very hard to recall when we are consumed by our own loss and the associated pain.

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The upside of negative emotions; it’s okay to feel sad

There are valuable upsides in allowing ourselves to experience feeling sad and the so-called negative emotions.

Over the past couple of decades, there has been an increased labelling of emotions as positive and negative.  As part of this, sadness has been seen as a negative, and something to be avoided at all costs.  And, happiness is seen as a positive emotion, and one we are all striving to achieve.  But, in order to live balanced, well-adjusted lives, we need to experience both emotions.

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