Monday, 14 September 2020

LIFSTYLE // The Only News Feed You Need To Be Filling; GRATEFUL App

How 'Grateful App' is changing the way I think about my day and document it.

This isn't an advert but I am encouraging you to buy a product.

Over the summer I listened to some very insightful podcasts and audio books from the likes of Georgie Crawford, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and BrenĂ© Brown. One very strong theme throughout was gratitude. Now we have long practised daily gratitude with the children during our bedtime prayers where we take turns to say what we are thankful for each day. We would recognise special things, but more often then not it becomes a repetitive list of daily happenings; seeing my friends, seeing my family, nice food to eat, etc. In a way you recognise how similar days become instead of really focusing on a certain moment with a friend, we naturally generalise it for ease. 

There is no problem with this within our family prayers, in a way it is the habit of being thankful that is the core component that we want to instil in our children. That said, we as people really do need to learn to focus on the little things to help us truly appreciate moments that happen in our day to day.

We all know how busy life can be but this summer we should have all been able to recognise how simple we can make it for ourselves. Even as our diaries begin to fill back up, it is important to keep ourselves grounded in what should have been our learning this summer; the simple joy of life.

I have put some big changes into practice in my thoughts for recognising each day and its activities. One of them is trying not to think about what's coming; what the future may hold. The second is really living in the day; filling my time well. The third is focusing on myself to help me recognise 3 main things; love, patience and kindness.

These practices are at my forefront to living well right now. As we hit this Indian summer weather and as each day starts with a sunny sky it seems right to be living consciously of whatever I put in, I will get out. The above speakers all mention, multiple times, how important living a grateful life is. I obviously sat and agreed with them as I listened thinking about our current own practices; but all the women more consciously wrote down their gratitude or really pondered on it more than I had ever being doing. On August 8th I downloaded an app called GRATEFUL, paid for unlimited access and started documenting the things I was grateful for each day. This app can really be tailor made to you. There are settings you can change to have different prompts each day to encourage you to write but I have mine set simply on "What I'm Grateful For". It is one of the only app notifications I have set to 'ON' to help me stop and focus each evening and write on. The way it displays is a long list, just like a Facebook news feed but it is only filled with your daily entries. What's even better is you can attach a photo to each day so as far as scrolling goes you are reminded of the most wonderful small moments that can easily have been forgotten about. 

This app not only lets me recall my day, even if it is one where I have felt down, there is always something to still be grateful for but it is a constant reminder of living day by day and that is a reminder I need. 

I have included some photos of my news feed to help you see what it looks like but I must encourage you to buy it for yourselves. It is a timely reminder that life can be good, should be lived well, and should be lived presently. 

I just wanted to add that you can also download your news feed to save and print, so each month you can have a paper version too. 



Tuesday, 8 September 2020

LIFESTYLE// September Always Feels Like A Fresh Start

I can't ever get away from the fact that September means change......

I think I write this post every year in a roundabout way. I have it so instilled in me that September is the start of a new year. I often feel that, truly, it is and it is through September and October that the outdoors seem to shed its skin and I have always felt that it is great time to start something new. These reflective signs in the outdoors have always led me to believe that much like the trees who are going into a period of self-preservation, it is time for us to reflect on what we want out of life while we enter into a period of great change. 

September has always felt new because I used to put a lot of emphasis on who I wanted to be each school year. It wasn't about changing but it was always about going into something hoping to make it through the year and feel good about it all. When you have been in education from age 4 - 21, it really is quite instilled in you; the "new year" - and that has always stuck with me. As I have grown up September was always the most exciting because I simply loved the arrival of Autumn. I am more religious than spiritual but autumn's arrival does something to me, I feel more connected to the earth in some way, like autumn is just my time. 

One thing I never do is long for something to come, live each day as it is, friends, don't wish time away, but as I sit here looking out onto a grey September 7th I can't help but wonder; What's to come?

Having let the kids go back into the school system having been 'locked down' since March, and also ending my much loved job in content creation for Charlotte (It just wasn't possible to continue) I have lightly been toying with the thought, what should I do now? I say lightly because I can just jump back into my own brand and see if I can work off advertising again via this blog and my social channels. But there is also a desire within me to do something more. This obviously can just be along side what I do here but Rob has job security right now and with not knowing how the whole school situation might pan out, I have to be honest and say I feel a bit like I can't start anything properly right now. And by right now I mean just that. I am not looking to the future, or making a plan. I think like many people, I am just going to see how it goes and every week we are in school is a blessing that maybe there is some control on this disease which has brought the world to its knees.

I have got some plans though, with having the kids around for so long we didn't get round to the usual house "fixer-upper" plans we had this summer. Never a problem though; I have free time now! Pretty much the entire house needs a fresh coat of white paint and we have the creation of two new children's bedrooms which obviously is very much a talking point these days. I have loved the kids sharing but now it is time to give them their own spaces. I also want to Depop my whole wardrobe, well pretty much anyway. I really don't want to live owning stuff I never wear or use. I will be trying to use second hand selling sites a lot this season. I also am trying to educate myself a bit more, not by reading but by listening. I am a big audiobook lover and having never truly found enjoyment from reading this is currently changing my life. I will try and review what I listen to.

So even when I think there isn't a job for me anymore I already have a list, and know that even though these jobs aren't my life's purpose, they need to be done and I may find a small income from them so whilst the new season settles in, and changes to what became our normal are made, I am just simply going to be here, carrying on, until the next door opens and opportunity comes my way. It always does; you just have to have your eyes truly open to see it coming!

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