Thursday, 31 December 2015

Building the foundation for a good year ahead!

Today I spent a really great day exploring the lovely town of Bury St. Edmunds with family. It was really bright and crisp weather - a change from the rain we've been having in Cardiff! And I was surprised to see lots of ancient ruins in the town - in the form of an old Abbey. As a history lesson from my uncle taught me - it was a pilgrimage site for Christians back in the day who were needing shelter along the way on their journey - I write this as I am now sheltering from the rain in central London! ☔️ 

I don't normally spend too long discovering the in depth history of a place - however, one thing that I really sensed in this particular place was an atmosphere of peace, happiness and tranquility. The gardens surrounding the Abbey are beautiful and the sun was beaming down on us. There were lots of families enjoying the gardens and the general atmosphere felt really blessed. As I wondered why this was, I began to realise that the ground I was walking on felt blessed. It was one of past worship, prayer and thanksgiving. It really struck me that the peacefulness and the history of the place were not unrelated links. 

As I ponder over the beginning of a New Year, I think about the plans, ambitions and goals that I have made for this year - and there are many! But one thing I really aim to make top priority is a foundation of prayer, worship and thanksgiving. You can't buy the kind of peace and beauty I sensed in the gardens this afternoon. This isn't meant to be a religious plug, but I sensed more than ever today that you can reap the benefits of a lifestyle of worship, thanksgiving and prayer - and you really do reap what you sow. "Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." - Collosians 2:7 (The Bible) Have an amazing New Year celebration this evening, whatever you are doing, and be blessed! πŸ’―

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Top ten tips for beating the blues - The Struggle is Real

So, perhaps you had the picture-perfect postcard Christmas scene that we all witness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and wish we could be a part of (queue Tiny Tim peering in at window image with sad classical music.) However, the chances are - if you are reading this, you didn't. As a good friend recently said to me, "Tis the Season to be angry as f**k". 

So, as a way of putting something positive out into the world as I pass my time on this crisp but grey afternoon in Cardiff when I could have been in Ghana - another story for another time, I have come up with a top ten list of how to beat the post festive (or non existent festive) blues.

1) πŸ˜‡ begin with an attitude of gratefulness. It has been proven that a positive thought is 100 times more powerful than a negative one. Stop looking at what others have that you don't and start being thankful for the good things about your life.

2) πŸ˜† Give more! Whether it be your time, money, clothes, compliments - give something positive away today - I guarantee you will feel more blessed and richer for doing so.

3) 😰 Do some exercise! It releases endorphins - which apparently make you feel good - like when you eat chocolate, except exercise won't make you fat like chocolate πŸ™Œ yay.

4) πŸ’‘ create something new. Whether it be writing, a design, a new list of ideas for the new year, a new blog! Creating something will get your brain focused and energised, not dull and brooding.

5) 🌍 Volunteer! Help someone out. It could be helping with the homeless, the elderly or anything really! There are so many ways to get involved in local projects - and in particular there are lots of local churches that have so many projects helping the community - ask!

6) πŸ‘ have a clear out. Try and create a peaceful and simplified living space - free from clutter and complications. Being more organised will help you to feel more positive and less stressed.

7) πŸ™ pray/ talk to some one you trust. Oh and if you are a believer, worship God! This really helps, in fact this should be number one but if you re-read number one, they kind of go hand in hand anyway.

8) πŸ™‰ listen to some of your favourite music - preferably not sad music as this will draw your emotions back to feeling low. Music is a powerful tool.

9) πŸ’Speak some positive affirmations over your life! Did you know that the words we speak over our lives have power?! Start speaking life, and make this a daily habit - eg. I am grateful for this day and l have everything I need to make a positive difference in mine and other's lives today.

10) FORGIVENESS - This is key. Whatever someone has done to wrong you, try to release them from any bitter harbouring thoughts you have against them. You may have heard, holding on to resentment towards another human being is like drinking poison and expecting them to feel the pain. Let it go - why do you think that song was such a massive hit? - its key to happiness.

I hope this has helped and inspired someone. I'm just going to keep referring myself back to this list and living a life of positivity and thankfulness. I won't say Happy New Year - because its too clichΓ©. I'll say, may you know your life as blessed in the coming year and in the present moment and live in a constant state of thankfulness. πŸ’‘