It can feel very hard to be grateful when we are experiencing unwanted change, loss or undergoing a major life transition. Feeling thankful can be almost impossible when we feel overwhelmed, stressed and grief-stricken. The very idea of gratitude at this time can be abhorrent and feel completely inappropriate.
Yet expressing gratitude for what we have, and acknowledging the gifts in our life, is the best way I know to lift our mood and improve how we feel.
There are times in our life when taking action can feel hard. When we are experiencing a life-changing transition, or are feeling overwhelmed and stuck, contemplating our future self can help. When we decide to do something for our future self, our motivation is higher, procrastination is lessened and we tend to step into action.
Whether we have experienced a transition, grief, or significant change in our lives, there come times when we feel the need to change direction. Changing direction can be a choice we consciously make, or something that is decided for us. Sometimes circumstances dictate that a change of direction is the only way to move forward.
It’s okay to change direction.
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…)
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!?
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.
As women, whether we are working or not, mothers or not, grieving or not, we can often find ourselves with a sense of overwhelm. Generally, our society expects us to be wonder-women; to do everything with style and grace, and of course, with a smile.
But so often this sense of expectation leads to overwhelm, burnout and resentment.
What if it was Okay for us to simply say no?
When we change our habits and routines, or take a break and leave town, almost magically, the way we experience time feels different too. It feels slower, and more memorable. We recall in more detail what we did, who we saw, what we ate; our lives feel more interesting.
Knowing this, and using this to our advantage can assist with coping when we have experienced loss.
Trusting our instincts, or listening to our intuition, is something we women are supposedly good at. But, it can take life experience and practice to really learn what that really means. Learning to trust our instincts can take time.
It’s Okay to be you.
I know, this seems pretty obvious! But we can all do with a reminder from time to time. It’s safe to be yourself, and you are needed. You are a role model.