2014, more or less

wpid-ABM_1388437770.jpgIt’s that time of year again. Here I am, mulling over whether to bother making any New Year’s Resolutions, fuelled by a large box of chocolates. I failed to keep last year’s resolutions (to eat less and exercise more) within just a few days. My waistband is expanding at the same rate that my willpower is shrinking.

New Year’s Resolutions seem to be about Less. Less sugar, less treats, less food in general. Spending less, eating less, wasting less. Less pleasure.

Resolutions that masquerade themselves as More still seem to be about Less. More time running, walking, exercising, more calorie counting, more dieting = Less pleasure (if running was a pleasure for me, it wouldn’t need to be a resolution. Hats off to those of you who love exercise, I am more than slightly envious).

No wonder I fail on an annual basis, and spend at least 360 days kicking myself for being so weak (usually fuelled by a large box of chocolates). I have a funny feeling I’m not alone in this. (Please comment and let me kniw it’s not just me!)

My resolutions are going to be about More. More pleasure, More happiness, More enjoyment, hopefully not just for me but for those around me. Does that sound a bit hedonistic? Us Brits aren’t great at this sort of thing!

  • More meeting up with offline friends. More chatting, more sharing, more hugging
  • More in-depth connections with online friends (yes, you!). More meaningful conversations and shared experiences
  • More mindful thinking, not worrying about yesterday or tomorrow, simply enjoying “now”
  • More mindful moments, taking the time to really notice and enjoy simple pleasures. And sharing these moments, by photo or blog post, to encourage others to enjoy their own moments.
  • More positive thinking. (The more I practice this, the more I notice it is starting to happen automatically).
  • More gratitude. More counting my blessings, and actively looking for even more. Creating a bank of gratitude to get me through the inevitable hard days (inevitable because that’s life, believing anything else would set me up to fail).
  • More honesty. More sharing how I feel, and hoping that my story inspires others to be open and honest with at least one person
  • More belief. Belief in my ability to make this journey, and belief that my journey can help someone else on theirs.

Who fancies joining me? Here’s to More in 2014…

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2014, what a year

wpid-ABM_1386438406.jpg2014 is going to be MY YEAR because…
I’m going to look for wonderful things EVERY day, and the silver lining in every cloud.

In 2014, I am going to do…
Continue to learn mindfulness, and accept life’s challenges instead of battling against them. I’m going to learn to say yes, and learn to trust my inner strength.

In 2014, I am going to feel…
Happy!

In 2014, I am not going to…
Beat myself up about not being good enough, pretty enough, clever enough…

In December 2014, I am going to look back and say…
Wow, what a great year, the year I showed up, gave it a go, and loved it. The year I learnt to love the new me, little by little.

Thank you Kat McNally! #reverb13

Bloggers block?

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My second month of blogging, and already I’m sending myself crazy by going round in circles about the “point” of this blog. Does this sound familiar?

Questions going round and round in my head…

Have I been too personal, opened up too much?

Does my blog lack focus? Should I concentrate on one thing, such as mindfulness? Should I change the name?

Who am I writing this for? For me? For bloggers? Who does my blog appeal to?

The big one – how can I be original? It’s all been said before, by people much more knowledgeable than me. What’s the point?!

In the midst of all this I read a post about how it’s impossible to be original, but only you can write with your voice and experience, and that means that your words might reach someone for the first time. This post was so perfectly timed.

Spooky timing round 2- a blogger (www.wildfreespirit.wordpress.com) commented today on liking my blog name, out of the blue. So the name stays, for now.

Now I just need to stop comparing my little blog to the blogs that have millions of followers ( and have been around a little longer…)

All advice gratefully received!

Smile! The thought hygienist is ready to see you…

This post is part of #reverb13 at http://www.katmcnally

What was the best decision you made in 2013? What were the results? How will you continue the good work in 2014?

Parents Magazine, Girl with cat

I hope that I have finally made a few good decisions this year. I “came out” of the anxiety closet – it was just getting too small and dark in there. I started Silver Linings Project on Facebook and WordPress and have met some amazing people. I also hope it has brought a smile to a few faces along the way.

My best decision has to have been deciding to see a counsellor. I am lucky to have a counsellor that gets me, and I trust her. She challenges my thoughts, sometimes in a very subtle way, sometimes just a smile and/or a quizzical eyebrow is enough. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes I cry, but little by little she is working her magic, and I hope to gradually share that with you on here

I thought counselling would be hard, challenging, and painful. I am sure that it can be. However, my counsellor has been so gentle that at first I admit I wondered what I was paying for, other than a lovely chat! My insightful other half told me to trust in the process, and so I did, and I’m so very glad I did.

We spend so much time, money and energy on how our bodies look, but neglect our thoughts until they get out of control. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if from an early age we were taught to be positive, to be mindful? Why do we only work on our minds when they go wrong? I would love to see a counsellor forever, not because I can’t see an end to my anxiety, but because she helps me keep my thoughts in check, she reminds me when old thought patterns creep back. It would be a bit like a mind check up, like going to the dental hygienist but so much nicer! Why do we rate our teeth as more important than our brains?

It’s a funny old world.

Festive photo challenge, day one

Please feel free to join in, the more the merrier!

I started running photo challenges on my Facebook page, and we thought we’d do a short fun challenge in the run up to Christmas.

It’s not about the quality of your photo, it’s about looking out for things that make you smile and then sharing them. It will be lovely too see different versions of Christmas. What will yours look like?

To share your ohotos, pop over to Facebook, or reply here. You can also share via instagram with #12daysslp (slp stands for silver linings project). The #is a slight amend to the pic below, it turns out #12days is already very popular, doh! I’m learning as we go….

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Not now, I’m blogging!

#reverb13

The phrase “It takes a village” is often bandied about, in reference to child-rearing, running a business, just about everything. But if you’re anything like me, you may not be a natural born collaborator.

In 2014, how could you explore what community means to you?

Community – I love that word. As a new blogger, I feel a bit like the new girl in town, discovering so many wonderful people and places I never knew existed. I’ll admit it, this new girl gets a bit overwhelmed sometimes – how can I keep track of so many great blog posts, I want to follow, read and comment on everything!
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While busy exploring the blogosphere, I have started to realise that the time spent online has been spent at the expense of the real world community. Here I am, blogging about living mindfully, enjoying the moment, while doing exactly the opposite! (Am usually found swearing at the WordPress app!).

So, my goal for 2014, to find balance in spending my time in both communities. Any suggestions welcome, how do you guys find the time?!

There’s gold in that there mud

#reverb13

I’m a big fan of muddy experiences. They become our greatest teachers when we’re wise enough to exfoliate with them; roll around in the deep until we finally feel ready to get clean.

Today, identify something muddy that kept recurring for you throughout 2013, and then ask yourself this: What’s the clear truth underneath this damn mud if I finally wash myself clean?

click for image source
click image for source

My mind is a muddy mixture of thoughts that go round in my head. This time last year my thought process was relatively simple, it was a straight no. No, I can’t do that because I’m petrified. It was a thick black impenetrable mud.

This year there’s a more murky mixture of thoughts. I have recently been trying to work out how to seperate my thoughts from the Anxiety Monster’s thoughts. For example, there is an event coming up that I don’t want to attend. I have to work out if I really don’t want to attend, or if these are the whisperings of that little gremlin again. If I tell myself that I don’t want to attend because it’s not my cup of tea, how can I trust that I’m not reverting back to my old habit of avoiding situations I’m afraid of?

Thankfully I have a wonderful counsellor who helps me wade through all this mud, wellies and all! She recommended I listen to my first thought or reaction, and stick with that one. So, the event in mind started off as “I’m not sure I can be bothered with the hassle, I’d rather stay in” – and so that is what I shall do. PJs, tub of ice cream, bliss. Another event coming up started with excitement, and now the anxious thoughts are creeping in – and so I shall put the anxious thoughts aside and go and enjoy myself.

Sounds so simple doesn’t it? Hopefully it is. Hopefully learning which thoughts are mine and which are rantings of the gremlin, I can learn to be true to myself. That’s the gold underneath all that mud.

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