Appreciation!

Appreciation

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Just a quick shout out to say thank you to all my existing and new followers. Thank you for taking the time to read, like and follow my blog – I really appreciate your support and encouragement. I have been quite busy at work with very little time to write and/ or read some of your blogs but I always do, whether it may be weeks or months later but I will. I appreciate the time you all have taken to read, like and follow my blog, this encourage me to continue my blogging journey – one that is continually evolving! I also enjoy reading all your blogs and posts, the variety and creativity that I come across when reading other blogs never ceases to amaze me so please keep posting on your amazing blogs! I’ll post more when I have a bit of time to myself and my blog – until then, Peace and blessings! silly_smiley_face_emoji_custom_stickerthank-you-1400x800-c-default

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One step at a time….

 

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quotepictures.net

Previously I wrote a post titled Waiting to exhale. We’ve been watching and helping my  daughter with issues regarding friendships, school and growing up. It’s not pleasant watching your child suffer in any way, and as a parent you wish you could remove the source of suffering for your child. As a parent, when your child suffers – so do you. It is a tough ride, the journey changes you but there is a realisation that even though you wish you could take your child’s pain away, they need to experience it as it is their journey – their learning experience as much as it is yours.

As a parent, you realise that the small wins – such as a good day or week is something to be grateful for. It’s the realisation that you need to take it one step at a time and deal with things as they arise – helping your child to grow, learn and manage life’s hurdles. It is also a life long journey which provides growth as a parent, adult and person. You realise that your child will respond and react dependent on your choices and your reaction as a parent; an adult that your child looks up to. Your child’s guidance is your own behaviour. It becomes paramount then, as a parent, I am conscious of how I behave and how that relates to my child’s behaviour, thoughts and actions. This becomes instrumental in the way my child responds and reacts to life’s challenges.

When speaking about remaining calm, acting with compassion and tolerance – these attributes are ones I must also display. I feel words are meaningless without action. I hope to instill into my daughter, the kind of values and behaviours that we’d like the future generation to display. I’m helping my daughter manage her reactions, focus on positives and acknowledge negative feelings/ thoughts but not letting them control her behaviour/ response. Her father and I are assisting her to become more aware of when and how to manage issues before they become so overwhelming that it is hard for her to see how she can overcome them.

My daughter is an ‘old soul’, her perspective may at times, be much deeper than her friends the same age and often surprises me with her observations and responses but, at the same time she is also a child who is still feeling her way in the world. I’m still waiting to exhale but with each small step in the right direction, it feels we are making progress. When there have been bumps in the road and our progress feels as though it is “two steps forward, one step back” – I’ve come to realise that even one step in the right direction is better than none at all. Our focus at the moment is ‘one foot in front of the other’ so we may continue to Laugh. Love. Live. Peace and blessings!

 

 

 

Faith

 

faith book

I recently read the book above which was written by by Tim Costello. He is a former politician and is now CEO of World Vision and also a pastor. It is not a book I would have picked for myself to read but my daughter was given it for a birthday present and it is not something she is interested in reading quite yet as it is not aimed at her age group.

In this book, Tim writes about his own faith journey – his learnings and likens it to tree rings – as his faith grew, a new ‘ring of faith’ was added to his ‘tree of faith’. I believe everyone’s faith/ spiritual journey is individual and bespoke. I feel there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to faith. This book chronicles Tim Costello’s faith journey and the things he has learned about himself, his faith and is still learning. For me, there are some things that resonate and some that give pause for thought.

There were a few observations that stood out to me, they were his observation of young people – he states they “were attracted to Jesus and what he taught. They loved the product but almost universally had contempt for the retail outlet.” The retail outlet being the ‘Church’.  He goes on to explain some reasons why that might be, some of which I agree. I believe this is something that everyone would have a viewpoint to contribute.

Another one that stood out to me was when he spoke of a hymn he learnt as a child when he was learning piano. Growing up in the 1960’s, he saw many disturbing pictures of Ku Klux Klansmen. He came to learn that as the prelude to the burning of the cross, the crowd would sing “The Old Rugged Cross“. This was the hymn he learnt to play on the piano as a child and now, as an adult states that he has not been able to sing it “without shuddering because of this shadow”. He states “I have come to understand distorted faith can feed a human desire to feel superior; so many of us are intent on justifying why we are better than others. All I can plead is that the most important teaching of the New Testament is that all have sinned and all have fallen short of God’s standards – all. None are better, none are inferior, and none can save themselves without the help of God and the support of a circle of love.”

He also talks about the use of religion as an expression of altruisitc evil. He states “Religious faith can be used to justify truly horrific actions, whereas true spirituality is always unequivocally pro life and pro respect.” He also writes that he feels as humans, we have no right to take away another life in the name of God or anyone/ thing else. He states that only God has the right to take a life. It is something that resonates as we observe the way humans are treating each other and justifying their actions around the world. It is saddening to observe and see that these atrocities are being carried out at times, by young idealistic people who have been convinced their actions will be rewarded. My thought is why should any horrific action rewarded? Why should there be glory attached to killing? History has repeatedly shown that wars, killing, murder and violence have not solved the problems that they were intending to resolve. If anything, they have presented more.

The book surprisingly proved to be an interesting read, providing some thought provoking questions/ points which I feel the answers are still being sought. While I don’t agree with everything the church teaches, my spirituality and faith in the human spirit is restored when I see or hear about random acts of kindness. I feel the future is in our younger generation and am still learning as a parent, that this can sometimes be very hard to do but I remind myself that it is a learning journey. I say to my daughter that every mistake is a lesson learnt – and there have been many! My faith journey is evolving, which I feel is the case with most people. It is a different journey for everyone and there may be some similarities but I feel overall, that it is a leap of faith. Whatever your faith, belief, spirituality, I hope that the learning journey continues and we can move forward together to Laugh, Love, Live! It is a mainly personal and inspiring  journey – I hope that moving forward, there are more messages of tolerance, love, acceptance and compassion. Peace and blessings!

Compassion - Dalai Llama

 

 

 

So long for now…

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Has it only been 2 years?

Sometimes it feels as though it has been much longer,

At other times, it feels as though it was only yesterday.

Today is your birthday, you are remembered by those dear to you,

Your love, memories and laughter are forever in our hearts,

May you find your everlasting peace.

Even though you are gone, you are never far away,

Your physical state of being is no more….but your spirit lives on forevermore.

sailboat-against-a-beautiful-sunset

sailnet.com

 

Easter Sojourn

For the last three years, our family has been fortunate to be able to getaway for Easter to visit family. The last two years has been difficult since my dear Uncle passed away just days before Easter two years ago. I feel drawn to spend the time with my Aunty who is still grieving and is trying to live her life since his passing. Each time we have visited and stayed with my Aunty, I feel my Uncle’s spirit and we have a restful, relaxing time – enjoying each other’s company as well as remembering some happier memories of my Uncle and the times we spent together. It has also been nice to hear more stories of the love and life my Aunt and Uncle shared for 46 years.

This year, our family really appreciated the break and time to get away and relax. We are grateful to my Aunty for allowing us to visit and stay with her. My Aunty is a great cook and enjoys cooking meals, inviting family and friends over for dinner. It is always nice to enjoy and share great food, conversation and laugh together. I feel this provides great comfort for us at this time of year.

We also have two sets of friends who live in Victoria who we try to catch up with each year we have been down. Luckily for us, we have been able to see one couple for the last 3 years. Our other friend, we’ve been able to catch up for one of the years but not the last two. We’ll need to organise something at another time. This year, my Aunt’s friends took us to Mentone . We enjoy visiting new places and my Aunt’s friends shared a little about the history of the area. We visited a beach house gallery where my Aunt has some of her watercolour paintings for sale. We were able to view her artwork alongside the owner’s artwork, other local artists and handmade jewelry. It is nice to see and appreciate creativity.

We were told that the Heidelberg School was coined here where Australian Impressionist artists including Arthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin, Tom Roberts & Charles Conder painted and sketched ‘en plein air’ – ‘in the open air’ of Australia, particularly Melbourne and it’s surrounds.

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We walked along the coast from Mentone to Beaumaris. It was so peaceful and beautiful to see the cliffs, coastline and beaches as we walked. It was also interesting to see the local flora and fauna in the area. We visited a rocky ledge where many fossils are still found today. We were told by my Aunt’s friends that there used to be a forest that went kilometres out to sea but is now mainly rocks and cliffs. There is still petrified wood to be found which are the reminders of the ancient forest that once dwelled there. We enjoyed exploring the rock pools, discovering different forms of sea life.

We also saw a beautiful old building that used to be the Great Southern Hotel which has now been converted into luxury apartments. The original building facade has been renovated keeping it’s original design but newer structures have been added on either side which I feel, takes away from the original beauty. Below are pictures of the original building and the new renovated apartments.

It was a relaxing trip and one we were appreciative to be able to enjoy and share with friends and family. I feel my Uncle’s calming yet mischievous spirit was with us as we relaxed and enjoyed the break. We left feeling relaxed, calm and peaceful and grateful to be able to visit somewhere new. It is a reminder to enjoy life, the simple things and to remember to Laugh, Love, Live! Remembering my Uncle’s life, seeing the love my Aunt still has for him and enjoying time where he lived before his passing is a reminder that he is always with us and our love and memories of my Uncle means he is always with us in spirit. He is forever in our hearts. It was lovely to be away and I felt we could have stayed there longer. However, as the plane headed back to Sydney, flying over the CBD and Sydney Harbour (which is a view I never tire of) – it felt good to be home! Sydney is my Uncle’s favourite city even though he visited, lived and worked in many around the world! Peace and blessings – I hope you also had a relaxing, peaceful and restful Easter.

Waiting to exhale

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Image credit: sciencenews.org

My posting has been a bit scattered as I’ve been preoccupied over the last five to six months working to improve my daughter’s health and well-being. I have mentioned to my friends that when our children are happy, then we are happy. The same is true when it is the opposite! This has been the case regarding my daughter for the last 5-6 months. Her father and I have been trying to find the source of the issue so that we can work on a resolution but it has come with much frustration (and tears!). We have not been able to locate the source of her unhappiness until just recently and it breaks my heart.

My daughter is in her last year of primary school – her friends are ones she has had since Kindergarten or even pre-school. This year is also a confusing year due to hormones and the body changing – puberty/ pre-puberty. As a result, the girls are changing as well as their behaviours. I’ve been observing my daughter and her friends over the years – they are all lovely girls but lately some of their behaviours have not always been so lovely. This has caused my daughter to be very unhappy – to the point of losing her appetite which is a great concern for her father and I. My daughter is petite, she always has been and cannot afford not to eat – she is very active so needs her nutrition for energy.

I am saddened by what is happening and that it is affecting my daughter in such a detrimental way. I do not accept the ‘girls will be girls’ or ‘boys will be boys’ mentality because you cannot stereotype and assume the behaviour that every girl or boy is explained by this statement. I feel this is what evolves and becomes an issue in high school and adulthood especially in the workplace. It is something that I feel needs to be addressed when our children are young to prevent these behaviours occurring as they get older. We advocate that women should support and encourage each other in the workplace but yet it is not happening in the school yards. The saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ is very true in advocating the type of behaviours in our children that we would like to see in adulthood.

I have explained to my daughter that I hope that her and her friends support and encourage each other as they get older as this is very important. Her father and I have also explained that if a girl is not being nice to another friend, then it is sad for that particular child. We’ve also explained she does not need to feel she should display the same behaviours if she does not agree. We’ve explained that friendships can change and that is okay, she may feel saddened by this and that is okay too. We’ve also said that things make her too upset, she can advise her friends so they are aware of how it makes her feel. We’ve suggested to bring a book to read quietly on her own or her sketch book to draw as she enjoys art. This way she can remove herself from the situation and ensure her well-being is not affected.

This situation is new to my daughter and I am saddened that she has to become accustomed to it but as her father and I explained to her, she needs to make sure she takes care of herself. She needs to ensure she isn’t affected detrimentally by what is happening outside her control. My daughter is very loyal to her friends and doesn’t like what is happening. She also doesn’t want to be a part of the drama unfolding. She knows what she likes and doesn’t like and I feel she is conflicted as they are all her friends. It is a learning phase for her and also for us as parents.

I feel it is important for us as parents to display the behaviours that we would like our children to display. As their first role models, their behaviour is learnt from us. However, it’s not always easy! As parents, we are also human and often emotions can get the better of us and we may display frustration or behaviours that we are not proud of either – it’s a learning curve for us all!

As a parent though, it is heartbreaking to watch your usually happy, cheerful child become sullen, upset and not enjoy things they used to – whether it be food, activities, outings, family gatherings, etc. As her parents, we hope we have caught it early enough and can maintain the open communication with our daughter to ensure we can help provide strategies so she is able to cope with what is happening around her. It’s early days and we are starting to see an improvement but we are still waiting to exhale!

I hope that no child is affected detrimentally by the behaviour of others, as a parent it is not something you wish on anyone. I hope by sharing this experience, it helps us to continue to Laugh. Love. Live! We are working through this one step at a time and waiting to get to the other side – maybe a little scarred but hopefully stronger as a result. As the Dalai Lama said; Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace. Wise words from a wise man and it is something that I am yet to master especially in regard to family! Peace and blessings!

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Gratitude Moment!

A-Moment-of-Gratitude

Recently I had a need for a Graphic Designer, in my line of work I have worked with and have access to Graphic Designers but this was not related to a work client. This piece of work was where I would be the client. I reached out to a good friend who is a successful Marketing Director to ask advice. He advised what information I needed to provide to the graphic designer so they would know what I needed and what applications I would need it for.

I have a cousin who would know someone or even he could do the work but wanted to see if I could use someone closer at hand as he is based in the UK. I reached out to my sister who lives interstate to see if she knew anyone who would be willing to take on the work and provide some quotes. I wrote an email with all the details required to assist with the work involved and the applications for the work.

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edu.academia.co.uk

 

My sister reached out to one of two friends by forwarding my email, this friend was not interested in taking on my request so I asked if she could try with her other friend. He was such a delight to deal with and made the process so easy! He asked that I pay it forward and I feel this post is one of the ways I can do so. I have previously written about paying it forward and being grateful – I’m a firm believer that the energy you put out, will be the same energy you receive. I am very grateful to my sister and her friend for their assistance and if you are ever in the need of a Graphic/ Web Designer, please look him up. A link to his website is below:

http://www.syntrixsolutions.com.au

Please feel free to recommend or contact Steve if you or someone you know require his services. Steve has done a great job for the piece of work I required and highly recommend him. His assistance is greatly appreciated! Continue to Laugh, Love, Live and share the love! Peace and Blessings!