What lovely advice ...
Monday, 29 February 2016
" Two feet move your body ~ Four feet move your soul " - author unknown
I am fascinated by the benefits animals, especially horses, can bring to our emotional health and mental well being. Animal Assisted Therapy is greatly esteemed to have such positive influences upon someone feeling sad or low in confidence - and stretches even further to offering healing effects to those with more severe mental health struggles - such as clinical depression and anxiety.
Animals naturally live in the moment - focused on what they are doing at the time - with no fear or worry for the future...we can learn a lot about mindfulness from simply being in their presence.
I share many thoughts and experiences on the subject of Animal Assisted Therapy -
you are welcome to take a look
With Love xxx
Friday, 26 February 2016
Sometimes in life ... I think we can become so caught up in getting from A to B and earning a living, providing for our families, getting through the day, negotiating with people, trying to organise ourselves as best we can ... that often we forget to consider our mental and emotional well being along the way.
It is easy to see when someone has physically hurt themselves - however mental pain goes under the radar, and not just to those around us ... but also to ourselves.
Sadly many of us are coping from one to moment to the next, trying to manage our feelings and emotions before they spill over the edge and we are left with a terribly messy situation in our minds.
We are existing and not truly enjoying life and cherishing the little things that really do matter to us - and from this place - our spirits weaken, our happiness ebbs away and we often feel very disconnected from ourselves and what used to feel right ...It's like our minds are trying to let us know that we're off track...
I thought I would share some tips that may just lighten anything heavy on your shoulders ... and hopefully encourage you to take care of your mental and emotional health as you go:
* Simplify *
Sometimes its better to have less & everything be comfortably in your control - than to have more and find the responsibility & pressure is overwhelming you. By simplifying your life, you gain more time ... and more time equals the chance to focus on the things that enrich your life and do not drain your resources.
* Kindness *
Being kind to each other as well as ourselves goes along way to making every day positive and enjoyable. Kindness can be a small gesture, a helping hand, a reassuring word, or just a thoughtful response that can uplift someone needing a boost. A smile, a listening ear, an empathetic answer to a question - anything that can make someone feel better about who they are.
Equally - we so often forget to be kind to ourselves. Our internal dialogue will deflate us, we'll over work and under - nourish our bodies - its important to get balance here - and cherish who we are - for when we are at our best, that's how we can truly benefit another. When we are so full of wellness and positivity, then we'll be strong enough to carry others who may need it too. Save time for quiet moments that allow you to rest. Allow time for friendships that make you feel good just for being you ... and do something everyday that says to your mind 'you matter too' - even if its just a cup of tea with your favourite book!
* Choice *
This is a tough one. Very often, we enter upon the hamster wheel - and find after going round for a bit too long ... we've forgotten how to get off. And that it is actually okay to get off! I speak lyrically here of course but still - we have to remember that we can either stay on the wheel, or choose to get off and find an alternative that won't cause us to suffer vertigo! The getting off can be a challenge...but it brings me to my next tip =
* Courage *
Courage to change things is difficult to discover within ourselves - courage to speak up - courage to fight for what we want/need/don't want - courage to say yes, and courage to say no - but courage is the one step you will take that can lead you down a happy path and not a path that leaves you looking back. If something doesn't feel right or is not bringing you fulfillment - have the courage to change that ... listen quietly to your thoughts & feelings and let them guide you.
* Help *
Asking for help is an act of survival. We all need someone to be there for us at some point, and if we are struggling...its much braver to seek help....than to soldier on when deep down you feel you are breaking - asking for help is unsettling to many... and is not always easy...but it is essential from time to time and allows you to regroup and tackle something. Knowing there is someone there to help you up if you fall is a huge comfort.
* Love *
Love comes in many forms - but we have to save a little for ourselves and very often that involves sharing it with a trusted other - be it person or pet. Animals are the most special companions and provide unconditional love...love is what we all need to feel for something or someone....Love who you are, what you are doing, who you are with and what you are reaching for - and somehow, someway everything falls into place.
I hope this offers some light ... & allows you the chance to take care of your emotions as much as your everyday life ... These tips have come from some very wise friends and are tried and tested : )
" Have courage and be kind"
~ Cinderella ~
Friday, 19 February 2016
When I fondly look back on my teenage years. I am enveloped with such warmth and happiness that I was fortunate enough to opt out of normal education.
Living in the heart of the countryside, surrounded by animals, wildlife and rolling green hills, I felt so at home there - the busy and overwhelming school environment, with crowded corridors, disruptive lessons and social divides, instantly made me shrink inside. I experienced it, and coped as best I could for infants and juniors but senior school was another matter - after a stressful year seven experience I walked into school at the beginning of year 8 for my first term, and a feeling took over me... I just could not stay here any longer.....and I knew somehow there must be a way that meant I didn't have to.
Not many people know that while an education is compulsory - going to school is not!
My nurturing and loving family have always valued the importance of self care...and if somethings is not right....we must change it. Life is too precious to waste when we have a choice to make it better. So, in 2008 I was able to close the chapter on school, and embrace the wonderful world of Home Education. Working with my Mum daily on projects we cared about - English being our favourite subject to delve into - a weight lifted from my shoulders and I could steadily feel myself begin to heal.
Opting out of the normal everyday routines that society expects isn't always easy. I was paralysed with guilt for many years after leaving school - terrified that my decision had been weak and that I had let down my peers and myself - time soon gave me a chance to make sense of this and trust that it was okay to let go and start again. I saw this opportunity for a education at home to be a blessing - not something to feel ashamed about. It was and still continues to be, the most rewarding and wonderful experience of my life so far.
Dealing with criticism from those who simply don't understand that Home Education does not leave you socially isolated or that you can still take exams - can be very tough. I often quietly wondered if people who judged an education out side of school, wished to themselves that they had the courage or situation to enjoy it and do it too. To think outside of the box is daunting and many I know are afraid of what it involves - but it truly is worth it.
The rules are your own, and if you're motivated enough, you hold the reins to your own learning and studying - if you want to curl up with a book in the summer, or head down to the beach to sketch, or ride your ponies, or dog walk, or collect autumn leaves for a collage or write an essay on your favourite Jane Austen novel - you can! It is uplifting and refreshing and as long as you are indeed learning and growing and exploring ways to enlighten and educate your mind - the opportunities are endless!
You can spend the day in a science museum - or watching a history programme - you can visit ancient ruins and stately homes, practice life skills such as budgeting for running a household and paying bills. Cooking and baking...making things....writing....its all there for the taking - and you study it because you want to...not because you have to.
Becoming an adult and going out into the world has greatly stirred up those old feelings I felt when facing school everyday. I am reminded though, just because I am no longer a child or teenager and I must be brave and face the uncertainties of the working world amongst general life business - I must wholeheartedly hang on to what home-education has taught me.
We do not have to live and do as everyone else does if a different path awaits that makes us happy - I would rather have less money and a simpler happy life, than strive for high ideals and big wages which takes me away from home, and the little things that matter, and that which makes me feel calm, centered and strong. We must earn our living of course, but we must value our mental and emotional health while we are doing it - otherwise we lose touch with what it is we are actually working for.
There should be something good in everyday - kindness should be an attitude for all - we should surround ourselves with people that lift us up - and experiences that we radiate from.
Home - education was the most wonderful platform to launch from - and I hope I carry that sense of freedom and happiness with me always - because I truly believe that is how we are supposed to live life - Doing whats right for us, in the best way we can. Xxx