Coming Back

Toward the end of last year I was busy with family, work, the first year of my counsellor training and tying to live more mind fully. The last post I wrote was about “Exploring Expectations” and how expecting too much of yourself can actually lead you be less mindful, less productive and quite often more disappointed with yourself. I revisited this post today in a bid to understand where my head was at I wrote the piece against where I am now and what has happened / has been done to bring me to this point.

My whole life I have dipped in and out of projects that I thought were a great idea to begin with, learning as much as possible about them, buying every book on the market and watching every tv programme available usually to discover I had set the bar too high – sometimes in terms of academic ability, financial ability, other times in terms of actual real-time leaving me feeling stressed, frustrated and disappointed with myself.

 A few years ago I bought myself a complete works of Jane Austen because I thought that I should read them. I love reading so why would I not love “the classics”. Even my mother, who is probably one of the smartest people I know and will read pretty much anything, told me I was being daft. “Why do you want to read them, I know you and you won’t like them?”, she asked me and I said “Well, I just watched the Jane Austen Book Club and I loved it, so I should read Austen and see what the fuss is about”. My mum looked at me and said “Maybe you should just read the Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler, its her story you like”.

She was, as always, right. I battled my way though Northanger Abbey feeling frustrated but then took my mother’s advice and read her suggestion and enjoy every word from the first to the last. My copy sits on my shelf to this day tatty, and curled as one of my all time favourite reads. My complete works of Austen sits fresh off the press as the day it was printed.

My point being, and I do get there eventually, is that this year I have been forced to reevaluate what does actually make me happy and give me a sense of achievement against what I perceive will. It has been a tough year, as a family we have dealt with serious illness, and two significant losses and these life events have made me realise that you don’t need to be constantly acheiving or doing to be happy, that you don’t need lots of material possessions to be content and that time with friends, family and loved ones is more important than absolutely anything else because you never know when that time will be taken from you.

Someone very special to me has encouraged me to begin writing again when they realised how much I enjoyed it. Its not about subscribers, or likes. For me it is about getting my thoughts that could turn negative when that little mindless bot starts rampaging around my brain destroying everything in its path down on paper and out of my head. I feel really excited to be pushing the publish button on here, not because it is anything of a great work of writing but because it is something I Love To Do.

ground group growth hands

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Brain Nuts – A Mindful Eating Exercise

A simple mindful eating exercise for a Sunday and one that is  great fun to do with the kids (unless you have nut allergies then I wouldn’t recommend it). I like to use walnuts as they are big enough to get a good grip, and there is less chance of your child being able to put it in their mouth with the shell still on.

Each take a walnut (still in its shell) in your hand and close your eyes. Turn the nut over in the palm of your hand feeling the shape and texture of its shell. This is actually really therapeutic so take your time, you can’t ruin the nut inside whilst the shell is intact. Roll it between your palms and move it from hand to hand. Hold it to your ear and give it a shake to hear it rattle.

Carefully crack open the nut and notice how the shell breaks. What does the shell look like now? Can you note the layers that the shell is made up of?

Remove the nut from the shell and place it on a plate.

Wait for your kids to shout BRAIN!

How does the nut look? Take the nut between your fingers and feel its texture, note how different it feels to its hard outer shell.

Place the nut in your mouth and see how long you can go without chewing, noticing the texture, feel and flavour.

Chew away and wait for your kids to shout YUK! (This is why I love the walnut game, more walnuts for me!)


#lovefood #learning