Friday, December 26, 2014

Start a Gratitude Jar in 2015

If you are on Facebook, you may have seen something that is popping up called ' This is my year'.

Its a great idea to think back to the amazing things and people who have touched your life in the last year. I have made my own version and I would love it if you could join me in this new tradition for 2015.

When we are on your own personal Fertility journey, you live each month from ovulation to pregnancy test and it’s a harrowing one, not just of you but also for your nearest and dearests.  Life almost standstill  and months and even years can seem like a blur of monthly cycles from birthdays to Christmas’s, in an endless carousel.

I know you all think, ‘ hey its alight for you Angela, you aren’t in the same situation as me, waiting and longing for that baby that never comes, but we all suffer from the ‘ Never Enough Syndrome’  
Sometimes I wake up and my first thought is 'I worked too late last night and I didn’t get enough sleep'. I get to the kitchen, open my fridge and realise I don’t have enough veg for my breakfast. I get showered and feel a momentary happiness as the water cleans and cleanses. Then I get to my desk and sigh as I look at my to-do list is as long as my arm and it means another 12am day. Then I go out and I miss the bus….I’m late to my first appointment and the lady I’m seeing is of the same negative thought pattern and I get met with ‘ Angela can changing my diet and having these supplements really help me to get my  baby in my arms?.. as its just me and my husband at the moment and I’m sad to say I don’t think this is enough for me’.
The Never Enough syndrome
As human beings, we spend our lives ‘ being’ something and focusing on the past and future, that we miss the present. We move from one moment to the next moment so fast, that we forget to appreciate the moments where life changes in a whisper; kind words from a stranger on the underground that can make you smile, the fantastic meals that are made for us to ‘cheer us up’ by family members friends and other halves. Or presents around Christmas  to try and help you to remember how life used to be to take your mind off the conveyer belt of ‘ babymaking’  before it all started.  A self-defeating cycle that will always ends with the same conclusion: We are lacking. We never have enough. We  are never enough.
Here’s the answer to the Never Enough Problem: Gratitude.
Gratitude will remind you that you have enough and that you are enough and it can help you to fill the time in between the happy moment when you do get a BFP ( Big Fat Positive)!
I created a Gratitude jar in January 2014. I took some advice from Sarah Holland which I'm really excited to look through on the 31st of December. I’m not sure where she got it from, but its genius!

It’s a fabulous way of reminding us to flip the negative to the positive in all our lives.
I don’t add something every day, but sometimes I do updates several times daily. I write down what I am grateful for and add these "Gratitude Notes" to my own jar that sits behind family photos and my bookcase of favourite books.
Something about being British and Irish decent means you are almost programmed in your DNA to be a little cynical, negative or suspicious – however since starting the gratitude jar something in me has shifted. I no longer feel like I am inadequate from the food I have available in my fridge, to the activities and appointments I have during the day, no matter what sadness I may have in front of me with clients stories.  I am grateful. From the  sunrise and beautiful blue winter sky, to the amazing summer we had, to the fabulous friends and support I have on a daily basis, to a kiss blown to me by a busker in the street! And I record it as I have a brain like a sieve as some of you may know! Sadly the big ones are colour coded! 
I implore you to try it! Appreciate yourself for your strengths and your imperfections as this is what sets you apart as a good human being and an amazing one. This will allow you to find a sense of belonging and to feel more connected to life.
A Gratitude Jar reminds you that life is full of wonderful things to be grateful for and with the jar being either half full or empty you will have the strength and support to overcome anything! Particularly if you are having a crappy day. Best thing for it is to write 3 things down you are grateful for daily if you have a bad day, and if this doesn’t do it.. empty out the jar from the previous scribbles and read all the things you have added so far! I guarantee you will feel better after 20 mins!
Starting it is the easy thing… like anything including being healthy  and eating the right amount of protein and 7-10 veggies a day. It takes practice and setting this up as a routine is the first step which you then need to nurture like fertile ground! And as you do this it will yield an appreciation for life and for yourself.
What I really loved this year that I saw on FB was The Journey of Purpose. A video put together from an inspiring speech Jim Carrey made at Maharishi University. Powerful stuff and I came back to it lots of times last year to remind me to live in the moment, not the past. One quote really got me and its one I am taking forward to 2015 is "As far as I can tell, it's just about letting the universe know what you want, and working toward it, while letting go of how it comes to pass."

Gratitude Jar Ingredients
·         1 jar
·         Paper for writing Gratitude Notes on
·         Gratitude
·         Time