Being kind

Being kind and grateful feature frequently on my blog and I often say how kindness is not a weakness. Today I will quote a few words from ‘Alfie’ by the great Burt Bacharach to ponder:-

‘What’s it all about, Alfie
Is it just for the moment we live
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind
And if only fools are kind, Alfie…’

On speaking about kindness and being grateful with various pastoral colleagues it often seems that to some modern day people it’s uncool to be either…but I am an old-fashioned girl and believe we only get out what we put in and demonstrating kindness in all that we do, considering others… then we are happier ourselves. At the end of the day be grateful for any small achievement, success or happy moment and I promise you will wake up the next day feeling more positive and ready to face the day ahead.

Speaking to a recently bereaved gentleman yesterday; I reminded him to think about the good times and funny moments he had shared with his wife and after our unscheduled encounter he said he felt better and that made me feel grateful for my training too.

To the icecream man who gave me a free icecream this week after a hot afternoon invigilating- thanks for that tiny act of kindness Mr Whippy. You made an old girl very happy.

 

 

Vote for an inspirational woman

I know a lot of my regular followers and I thank you for taking an interest in my various rants and hopefully useful advice and introduction to new charities.

This morning I was pleased to receive some awesome acknowledgements to my post yesterday for the beautiful and amazing Kim Smith. It’s not my blog that is awesome it is Kim! I know she really appreciates any support and good wishes as she continues her daily challenge to cope with her life-changing situation following contracting sepsis.

Obviously her family are really proud of her courage and the positive way she is handling such an unexpected turn of events. I have just seen that it is possible for others to acknowledge her achievements to date and this can be done by voting for her in Milton Keynes Inspirational Awards. Her children sent this message with a link it only takes a minute:-

 

‘On behalf of my beautiful Mum, please all vote Kim Smith to win Inspirational Woman or Inspirational Mother award.’

Please use the link below. 💗

https://www.mkinspirationawards.co.uk/voting

Something to offer

In my time of working with students of all ages and counselling I am constantly reminded that we are of course all different but we all have something good to offer. As students are put under pressure not just by their schools but often parents too I try to re-adjust the balance whenever I get an opportunity to say that we cannot all be academics or A* students but please do not write us off!

Similarly a fellow life coach and I acknowledge on a regular basis that anyone who is dyslexic is not ‘stupid’ as previously labelled as this challenge is in no way an indication of a person’s level of intelligence.  Personally speaking I really enjoy the challenge of helping those who are considered ‘different’ by society and often unkindly judged and misunderstood.

I was encourged as a child to ‘not mock the afflicted’ that may be considered now as non pc but the message behind came from my mentor and one who accepted and saw the good in everyone. If you look for the good in somebody you will find it…some hide it better than others of course. Remember what some perceive as being naughty is infact somebody with a brilliant mind who may be bored and/or has a personal challenge they may be in fear of revealing.

If you come across say somebody with a speech issue such as stammering, be patient, be kind and try to avoid finishing their sentences or words it just makes them more anxious. Bear in mind they may be recovering from a stroke and re-learning to speak all over again.

Let’s celebrate who we are and be more accepting of others around us.

Life changing… help Kim Smith

Regular followers know I help raise awareness for charities and illnesses but today I am going to use my blog for something more personal but deserving.

A childhood friend and his beautiful wife moved to Spain a few years back and were living the dream. Kim caught an infection in November last year and Sepsis set in. This inspirational lady was in a coma for 9 weeks and not expected to survive… one can only imagine what that was like for her family.

Through such great love and support from her family and her own personal strength and determination this amazing woman is now learning to adapt to being a quadruple amputee. As we know the NHS can only provide so much help and funding. Her family have set up a funding page and are trying to raise awareness of the importance of spotting this cruel infection.

If, as me, you are moved by this life changing story please consider visiting the page, reading more about Kim’s story and donating… however small it will be really appreciated. Let’s give this lady the help she needs and deserves to regain her independence and get her the much needed prosthetic limbs.

In Kim’s own words: ‘Please help me raise enough to get hands again and vital equipment I’m going to need.’ Link follows:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kimschance1

We all take our health for granted…if we have our health we are truly lucky.

Exam stress

It is that time of year when students all over the country are revising for their exams and true to form the weather is hot, the pollen count is up just as they need to focus.

As ever, I remind those that are busy cramming to have regular screen breaks, exercise, keep hydrated and enjoy a break away and an ice cream or chocolate bar or two too!

Seriously, keeping up the exercise is vital as it releases all the positive endorphins, reduces stress, clears the head and re-energises to help keep the momentum going. For those so inclined I have always recommended yoga classes and most gym clubs now have yoga lessons available. So pick up your mat and join a class. Relaxation and meditation work wonders I promise.  Keep calm…you know your subjects…you are almost there!

I will be doing my bit in starting invigilating next week and sign off wishing all students the best of luck for the coming weeks.

Dementia awareness

I am pleased to see so much media coverage recently about dementia awareness and the importance of support for the carers and family. This is a very cruel disease often stripping a loved one away beyond recognition.

Families who are bewildered by the challenge and naturally untrained to deal with the personality change in their loved ones are often left to struggle. Please, please seek help, look towards The Alzheimer’s and Dementia charities for valuable information and support.

Today we hear Barbara Windsor’s own personal fight has become public and fans will wish her and her husband well. It is a brave step but one which will raise the profile and highlight the ever increasing cases in the UK. I heard today one case is diagnosed every four minutes and of course many cases remain undiagnosed as patients put symptoms down to just the ageing process.

Here’s to all the carers out there today that give of themselves so tirelessly and devoted to those they love. It is important that partners/carers have respite and time to continue pursuits they enjoy too though many feel guilty if they do… unwarrantedly.

Struggling with dementia

Yet again I feel compelled to rant about the lack of support for families with a loved one facing the challenge of dementia. It is like a form of bereavement as partners and children see their loved one seem to disappear beyond recognition.

As a carer it is so very difficult to have any resbite and so often the carer becomes ill and emotionally drained. After all they are not trained experts but are sent away from a doctor’s surgery with very little knowledge or information on how to communicate with somebody who is living in a very scary if not frustrating world. Too often dementia patients are taking to day centres where they may not actuualy want to be, it can be intimidating and perhaps one-to-one interaction would suit them better so seek help from a professional locally to you.

For those that are struggling please seek help and remember the Alzheimer’s Society have great information available and all free. If you are looking for a new charity/cause to support then please put this illness on your list.

Celebration of Life

I have just returned from a funeral and we all take what ‘fits well’ for us from the minister’s address. What was particularly nice today was the minister knew the deceased and her family well and it was personal. What I really liked was how he reminded the bereaved that the community were there for them, and in this case it really was true. We were all there to celebrate a life and were united in that.

As I always say in life we only get out what we are prepared to put in and when people give of themselves to others it is no hardship for that kindness to be returned. During the day’s events I had some interesting discussions with various attendees; both friends and family members who openly shared their feelings about loved ones they had lost.

I had a great chat with a lovely elderly lady and we agreed how comforting it is when nice things are said…but more importantly we discussed how it is also true of telling those we love them and appreciate them when they are alive.

I often post saying tell those you love today and every day. Live your life well and as I said to one lady have that second ice-cream..especially on a hot day like today.

Finding time…

A great mentor of mine always maintained that ”we will always find time to do the things we like or want to do.‘ I guess, to a certain extent, that is true but at times ‘other stuff’ prevents us from getting on and doing things we like at the risk of neglecting what others may perceive as more important.

I had an interesting chat with a friend today on how we both avoid being judgemental on how others spend and live their lives but sometimes we will be criticised by those that we would rather support us. Unrequested advice can be very annoying and to some upsetting. We all have that friend or family member that wants to tell us what they think we should be doing but above all else we must remain true to ourself.

It would be a boring world if we were all the same..and life would be a dessert without a little rain. I will also spout more words of wisdom from said same mentor ‘that people are only important if you allow them to be.’

Realistically we can only just try to live our lives the best we can and hopefully without hurting anyone around us. Anyway who has the right to say what is and isn’t normal eh? In my experience of helping coach others; most people are just too hard on themselves. Once we learn to accept our limitations and love ourselves the rest will fall into place with time, patience and perhaps self-development and self-belief.

For the rest of the day remember what it is YOU like to do and just do it!

 

Getting ready…for exams

When I started my psychology course in the Autumn I chatted with my tutor saying how I had been putting off  beginning my course for one reason or another. After sharing for a while I soon realised that this was not the case as my work and life experiences had been preparing me to a certain degree to be in the right frame of mind, and, be better equipped to respond to what would be required of me.

I had great momentum going throughout the course returning each lesson promptly and starting reading and research for the next whilst my tutors marked my latest offerings. Then…suddenly the past few months when I should have been starting my exam I seem to have been distracted and whilst there is no time restraint (aside of those I impose) I feel I am starting it later than I intended.

The sunshine of the past few days and the welcoming blue sky brings us all out of the winter blues which I know a lot of my colleagues have found to be never-ending this year. I am now sitting in the garden re-visiting one of my reflective reading books and ready to resume my studies and face my exam. Maybe it is partly down to the fact that I will be invigilating exams the coming months and the student in me is coming back.

I am mindful that as I write my blog students all over the country are also starting to revise for exams. I will of course start to post blogs about exam stress…or should I say how to avoid it very shortly but for now here are a few quotes from ‘The things you can see only when you slow down’ by Haemin Sumin.

‘Wear confidence, It is the height of fashion’

and

‘Love, not righteous words, can change people’s lives’