How to stay positive in a crazy world

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Anais Nin

I love this quote. I am often asked how I stay so positive. to be honest I think it takes much more effort to be negative, and whilst I sometimes suffer with depression, I am conscious now of when I am slipping into that pit of despair.

The answer to how I stay so positive is that I make it a priority in my life. We all have such a short time on this earth, in this lifetime, why not choose happiness? 

I find the following help me:

  • Spend time with happy people.

We all have our ups and downs in life, but some people just love misery. think about who you spend the most time with, do these people lift you up? Or drag you down to their level of unhappiness? For my own self-preservation I now choose to avoid the latter.

  • Avoid watching the news

I like to think I am abreast of current affairs, and know what it going on in the world. But ask when did the News programme on TV ever give you any good news? Usually it’s a constant stream of doom and gloom, and I don’t want to live in fear, so I avoid it as much as possible.

  • Music

I love a good sing along to my favourite songs in the car. I love to dance around the house, or wherever the mood takes me. Music can take us instantly back to happy memories. I have a playlist of songs that make me feel good.

  • Do something nice for someone else

Practising random acts of kindness can make you feel connected to other people. There are always people a lot worse off than you, no matter how tough times are, there are people who would love what you have. Sometimes just giving someone a compliment can make their day, and that ripple of happiness spreads all around us. Be genuine in your praise, but just telling someone that you like their outfit can make them, and you, feel good.

  • Exercise

I wish I could tell you that I love going to the gym. I don’t. But I love the feeling of having been to a great exercise class, sweating and getting your body moving always feels good (especially when it stops!) But seriously, looking after yourself, including regular exercise, will always lift your mood. Find some sort of activity that you love, swimming, Zumba and yoga are my favourites, but whatever makes you feel good.

  • Get into nature

Get outside, no matter what the weather, and breathe! A brisk walk is always good, even better if you can find some place in nature, even in a city we have lovely parks. 

  • Set yourself a goal

It can be anything you want, this is your goal. But the intention that you put into setting that goal, and then planning how you are going to achieve it will train your mind to focus on the good. And if the goal seems too big, break it down into small, manageable steps. For example ‘I want to declutter my home‘ might feel very overwhelming, but breaking it down into ‘Today I will organise one drawer‘ seems much more achievable, and will give you a sense of satisfaction when it is done.

  • Try to meditate – 2 minutes is enough.

Meditation is beneficial for the body and the mind, it not only improves mindfulness and positive thinking while you are doing it, it has been shown to decrease illness and feelings of purpose in life for up to three months after being practiced daily for a short time. If you are like me, and find this difficult, light a candle and just watch it. Concentrate on your breath. Or get a meditation to listen to, and follow. 

  • Transform negative self talk into positive praise and encouragement

This has been a game changer for me, you know that little inner voice that tells you that ‘you are stupid’, that ‘you always mess up’, ‘things never go right’ for you…Well tell that little voice to shut the f**k up! We would never to speak to our best friend like that, so why do we speak to ourselves in this way? Now, whenever I do I any little thing well, I congratulate myself. 

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” Louise Hay

  • Practice Self Care

Not just bubble baths, although these can help. Make it a priority to look after you. If you are having a tough time, treat yourself like you would a small child. Be kind to yourself. Get enough sleep. Do things for yourself that make you feel good, watch a good film, eat some great food, light a candle and relax.

  • Gratitude

Every night when I get into bed, I think of at least three things that I am grateful for, and I say thank you for them. There is always something good in every day and being grateful and thinking loving thoughts is a lovely way to end the day. Remember how blessed you are .

“I cried because I had no shoes till, I met a man who had no feet” ― Sa’di

Posted in breast cancer, clutter, depression, gratitude, healing, inflammatory breast cancer, Law of attraction, lockdown, No evidence of disease, PMA, Positive Thinking | 2 Comments

2021 – Chinese New Year, Lunar New Moon and a new moon!

Gabby Mottershead

Chinese New Year 2021 – 12th February is the Year of the OX, all about being steady and disciplined, it’s a slower year , think of this year as a time to plough the fields and plant the seeds for the future. These are metaphors of course, if you are not a farmer think about this year as a time to nourish yourself, recharge your energy. Time to fill store cupboards and make sure you have back up of everything.

Get things prepared for the better times ahead.

A good way to prepare for the future is to get clear on what you want, trying to focus on the positive, not on what you don’t want. Keeping the energy clear will help you to focus on planning forward. You can express your future vision, I love vision boards, images and artwork of your ideal life. Mine is made with…

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2021 – Chinese New Year, Lunar New Moon and a new moon!

Chinese New Year 2021 – 12th February is the  Year of the OX, all about being steady and disciplined, it’s a slower year , think of this year as a time to plough the fields and plant the seeds for the future. These are metaphors of course, if you are not a farmer think about this year as a time to nourish yourself, recharge your energy. Time to fill store cupboards and make sure you have back up of everything.

Get things prepared for the better times ahead.

A good way to prepare for the future is to get clear on what you want, trying to focus on the positive, not on what you don’t want.  Keeping the energy clear will help you to focus on planning forward. You can express your future vision, I love vision boards, images and artwork of your ideal life. Mine is made with photos of what I want to attract into my life and help me to focus on what I want to bring into my life. Think about what you want to create, what is your mantra? What does it look like?

Remove Negative Symbolism

If you look for it symbolism is constantly bombarding us on an everyday basis. From literature, to traffic signage, to movies, we’re always being guided by symbolism. In our homes, it’s enhanced even more, because we are creating these intimate environments that most often represent our fears and challenges. Often, we unwittingly reinforce the challenges in our lives by having their symbols in our space.

I have seen many examples of emotional issues constantly being displayed in people’s homes. Do you have trouble getting clarity? Check if you have stuff all over your surfaces. Do you have self-esteem issues? Check if your mirrors are hung too high, so you can never measure up. Are you chronically single? Assess if you’re loading up your home with single imagery—a single vase, a single chair, a single person in a picture. Do you struggle with life being difficult? You might want to avoid an image like this in your home! :

The Solution: Evaluate what challenges you are facing in life, and try to identify whether they’re symbolically showing up in your space. Remove the symbols, and replace them with items you want to attract. For example, you want a partner, so images of single people in art are not good.

Feng shui is a complex tradition, with numerous components that require quite a bit of study to interpret fully. While you can certainly take baby steps into the world of feng shui on your own, many people find it helpful to consult an expert to really revamp their space. Please feel free to send me a message if you have any questions on this, I would love to hear from you.

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Feng Shui – Creating a home that nurtures and supports you

I hope that you can now see from my previous blogs, how appreciating how connected we are to our homes can affect our mood and well-being. A home should nourish our senses and we can use our homes to create magic. By allowing energy to flow freely through our homes we can improve overall quality of life.

Again- it’s worth repeating, one of the most important guidelines I can share is to keep your home clear of clutter.

When thinking about you home, consider appealing to the five senses: Touch, sight, smell, sound, and taste. Think feel-good textiles, a deliciously scented candle, our favourite music playing, maybe even a white noise machine or a soothing bedtime playlist.

The bedroom

The bedroom is a great place to start with bringing feng shui into your home because this room is where we rest and replenish our energy. Feng shui adjustments in the bedroom can work quickly and effectively here because you spend so many hours here sleeping in your bed.

Ideal bedrooms, to support you to get deep and restorative sleep, are free of anything other than a very large bed. For most of us that is not practical, but think about storage and how you use it. Try and remove any storage and clutter from underneath the bed, so that air and chi can circulate. When you get our of bed, open the windows wide if possible to allow fresh air to some into the room. A solid headboard is good feng shui to ensure you feel secure.  Try to have no electronics in the bedroom, I would not take any devices into my bedroom, to ensure a relaxing night’s sleep. The best mattresses have no metal springs, as these can interfere with your energy. The energy in a bedroom should be soothing and softening.

Making the bed every morning can kickstart an organized mindset, which helps reduce stress and increase motivation, it’s a little slice of self-love. Also opening curtains and windows wide in the morning is a wonderful habit to acquire. This is called letting the outside in. It helps to refresh the energy by allowing natural light and fresh air to filter into your bedroom.

Front Door

The front door is very important in feng shui.  After all, it’s the main portal through which energy enters your home. Think of the chi as a first-time visitor trying to find your home—you want to make sure it’s clearly lit, well-marked, and the address visible. On the inside, you want to make sure you’re not walking directly into a wall—it can metaphorically make you feel like you’re up against a wall every day.

  • Make sure the entry is brightly lit.
  • Keep the area free of clutter.
  • Be sure that the doorbell is functioning properly.

Living Room

When it comes to accessorizing your living room, you want to curate a collection of items that are meaningful to you. Make sure what you choose to put out on display conveys happy ‘energy anchors’. When you see these items, you should feel a smile in your heart or perhaps a sense of accomplishment, curiosity, or adventure. I love my photographs and souvenirs of happy times. On a conscious and subconscious level, our environment is always influencing us. One of the worse things you can do is look at objects every day that you don’t like, maybe they were expensive, or a gift. I would suggest regifting to a charity shop, someone else may love it, and you have helped the charity too.

Change your home with the seasons. I love the idea of bringing different seasons into your home, I don’t mean completely redecorating, just think about changing a few pieces of  artwork or decorative items, and putting last season’s into storage (we don’t want to increase clutter!) I’m not suggesting changing every room, unless you have the time and the budget to do that. Pinterest is full of cheap and cheerful ideas to add a little seasonal interest to your home.  I like to make small changes in my hallway, fireplace mantelpiece, cushions on the sofa, and table settings. You can do whatever works for you of course. Spring could bring daffodils, some brighter colours, yellows and pinks, spring flowers, (could be real, or images of). Summer, bowls of shells, or vases of seasonal flowers. Autumn looks I love are inspired by pumpkins, so many real and fake pumpkins now, that you can have fun with. Door wreaths can look impressive and are easy to change with the seasons too. In winter I love to decorate the house with fairy lights, big candles, furry cushions and cosy throws. A bowl of pinecones is also a lovely way to bring natural elements into your home.

And of course, keep on top of the clutter…..

Thanks for reading, next I will be giving my thoughts on the Chinese New Year – will it be a good one?

Posted in clutter, feng shui, inflammatory breast cancer, manchester, marie kondo | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Feng Shui – Top tips for Working from Home

Many people choose to work from home, and many more have been forced to work from home due to the pandemic. It is so important that you have a designated work area, ideally that does not impose on your home or family life.

I have seen people working in their bedrooms, or kitchens, which is not ideal, but you can counteract this by some simple steps. If you work like this, at the end of the working day it is doubly important to close your computer, clear your work area, so that visually you are not constantly distracted by work, when you should be relaxing. If you have a computer in your bedroom, you should switch it off before going to sleep, and put all work papers away out of sight.

If you are lucky enough to have a space designated as a home office, think about the layout. Can you look at a pleasant view? I am lucky enough to have a desk facing a window. Do you have everything you need organised effectively? Can you put everything away at the end of the day, so that you start the next day with a clear desk? Can you empty your bin every day?

Plants play an important role in curating good feng shui in any living room because they add life force energy into the space. This is particularly important if you work with computers, plants can eliminate and absorb electromagnetic radiation. Plants can help to purify the air and give the room a splash of colour and texture. Common plants with positive vibes include English ivy, peace lily, mother in laws tongue (also known as a snake plant) rubber tree, bamboo and all succulents.

I also like to have an oil diffuser in my home office, I find citrus oils, lemon, grapefruit or sweet orange, give me more mental clarity and help with concentration. A scented candle would be just as effective.

And again keep on top of that pesky clutter!

Thanks for reading – next I will be sharing my views on simple ways to create a nurturing home.

Posted in breast cancer, cancer, chemotherapy, clutter, depression, feng shui, gratitude, healing, inflammatory breast cancer, Law of attraction, manchester, marie kondo | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Feng Shui

I have loved Feng Shui for many years and have studied and been accredited as a Feng Shui consultant. I was fascinated by this ancient Chinese philosophy that helps people find balance in the way they live their lives. By following some principles, we can all create a home that supports and nurtures us, something we all need now.

I want to share some topics over the next few days that I hope you will find interesting and useful.

  1. General Feng Shui principles
  2. Working from home – how to create a productive environment.
  3. How to create a nurturing home to help your wellbeing.
  4. Chinese New Year 2021 – What will it bring?
  1. General Feng Shui principles

I love appreciating how connected we are to our homes—which can in turn, can affect our mood and well-being.

The key is chi (pronounced “chee”), or the energy that connects all living things. Quantum physics tells us that all things are made of energy. We are made of energy, our things including our homes all have a vibration. You may have experienced searching for a new home, many homes look great on paper, the photos look appealing, but when you visit something just doesn’t ‘feel right’. Or you may have felt what it’s like to walk into an empty room and feeling a shiver, or ‘bad vibes’, that is you picking up on the energy in the room.

We can use our understanding of simple design principles to allow energy to flow freely through our homes, improving  overall quality of life.

One of the most important guidelines I can share is to keep your home clear of clutter.

Clutter carries it’s own stagnant energy and can be an energetic anchor that stops the best things from unfolding in our lives. An excessive amount of clutter stops us from having clarity of thought and can weigh us down emotionally. Feng shui is not about having a perfectly styled home, or a soulless minimalistic space, it’s more about creating a happy and healthy environment. 

The Solution: If you can ditch the clutter, and get good systems in place for everything in your life, from paying bills, to recycling, to dealing with laundry, to having a designated spot for your keys. You’ll feel lighter, less frazzled, and more efficient. Decluttering can be difficult but always makes me feel better, start small, clean out one drawer, discard anything that does not feel good, or ‘spark joy’ to quote Marie Kondo. I love to watch her, and I would recommend her series on Netflix  to appreciate the effect of decluttering.

General Feng Shui principles

  • A place for everything and everything in it’s place.
  • ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. – William Morris
  • Unfinished things or broken things can drain your energy, finish them, fix them or get rid of them!

Quick ways to shake up the energy in your home: – have a shower, vacuum, do some cleaning,  open the windows wide to let fresh air in, burn candles, make some noise! Dance, play loud music, laugh, clap or sing, all great ways to raise the energy in a room.

Posted in breast cancer, clutter, depression, detox, feng shui, gratitude, healing, inflammatory breast cancer, Law of attraction, manchester, marie kondo, netflix, No evidence of disease | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just another day above ground, all is well

16th January, 2008 2.10pm, a doctor leans his head to one side, looks at me and says ‘I’m sorry it’s cancer’. And in that moment, and with those few words, my life is changed forever.

For many years following my illness, and subsequent seemingly never ending medical treatments for Stage 3 Inflammatory Breast Cancer, gruelling physical and emotional challenges, I anxiously awaited the 16th January, as every cancer patient knows reaching the magical 5 years survival is a key date. And after 10 years, the risk of recurrence which looms ever present,  is greatly reduced if not eliminated.

No Evidence Of Disease (NED), is the best I will get with IBC, but I’ll take that.

So I am spending this anniversary on a day of self love and self care, something I advocate and write about and know that many people, women especially, struggle with.

So a hair cut and colour for me, after I remind myself that having ‘old woman’s hair’ , thin and sparse, is a minor annoyance, and to stop feeling so sorry for myself.

Then off to a ‘luxury foot treatment’ ,  my feet another constant reminder; peripheral neuropathy and constant pain are my lingering companions. A side effect of chemotherapy that is another minor annoyance.

But I am still here, maybe older, but I need to remind myself that is a privilege denied to many. Time now to look forward, not back, it was bloody awful, but God willing it is in the past. I have learnt so much in these 11 years, about treatment, chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy, anxiety, depression, fatigue and struggles at work. I have been badly let down by people I thought were my friends. But my heart has also been filled with the love, good humour and generosity of so many people. I have also learnt about nutrition, reiki, Healing Codes,  the therapeutic power of thought, of love and of singing. I have been to the amazing Penny Brohn centre and learnt about the mind, body soul connection, and the importance of managing stress. I learned more about the immune system and how it works to detect and destroy cancer cells in your body, and they helped me put a plan in place to strengthen my health and build up resilience.I have learnt that self confidence is something that anyone can achieve, with some work and focus, I studied this so much that I wrote a little book about it, which I self published.

I have learnt that when I thought it wasn’t possible to love my family any more, three grandchildren have come along in quick succession. They have given me the wonderful gift of watching them grow up and their love fills my heart.

I have learnt that I am not perfect, but that’s OK. I’m doing my best, and trying to help others too.

And I have learnt to look forward, for there is so much to look forward to.

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I am so grateful, to my husband, family and friends for their constant love and support. And to you dear reader, thank you for reading.

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Time for change

Well, this is scary. As a person who has suffered with insecurities and depression, I always make an effort for my social media posts to be positive, even if I’m having a bad day. I am well aware that my petty problems are nothing compared to some poor people’s struggles. I am so grateful to be an inflammatory breast cancer survivor, almost 10 years now. I keep telling myself that a day above ground is always a good day. I am lucky to have wonderful family and friends. But I still grieve for the person that I used to be. My body and hair will never be what they once were, but I know I’m not alone there.

I have worked really hard over the last 10 years to do everything I could to enjoy every day. I didn’t recover from an aggressive cancer to be bloody miserable. But life gets in the way, and my old career of finance  management kept calling me back, especially when funds were tight and I needed cash for my next holiday.

But last week I suffered a panic attack in work. I’ll spare you the details but a queue of people at my desk, an ever growing email list and a demanding work schedule just pushed me over the edge.

A few days at home has given me time for reflection, I need to put into practice what I know. I’ve done many personal development courses, and studied Nutritional Healing, and met some amazing people. And still my life, and body, is not what I want.

Time for change.

After a few false starts I have started a detox programme, really simple, drink a herbal tea which cleanses by eliminating toxins and boosting the immune systems with organic herbs and medicinal mushrooms. A great side effect is weight loss. Winner Winner. Can I do it?

Wish me well x

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in breast cancer, depression, detox, gratitude, inflammatory breast cancer, manchester, weight loss | 2 Comments

Dinos ‘Don’t Quite’ Soar at Jurassic Kingdom …

Source: Dinos ‘Don’t Quite’ Soar at Jurassic Kingdom …

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Rio Ferdinand’s Mother, Janice St Fort, Dies Following Cancer Battle

Such sad news, thinking of Rio Ferdinand and his beautiful children, truly heartbreaking, just two years after his wife died. IFHC

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