The Summer of Life

The summer of life. What a beautiful statement to be able to make. Just think about it a bit. Summer is beautiful and warm and refreshing. You can sit outside and just soak up the sun’s rays.

So exactly what do we get in this season of life? The vision of summer conjures up images of people on rivers or canals in some kind of boat. Or maybe you’re not that kind of person. Perhaps you like the beach? Or do you go exploring?

Kevin and I love nothing more than to pick a place on the map and tell the navigation to ignore all motorways. We have discovered beautiful countryside this way. And met some lovely people doing different crafting things.

Summer holidays are also part of the equation of it all. Children have a break during this period and they mostly love it! This is a beautiful time where they are able to grow and explore and learn and develop without the constraints of the classroom.

But what about the summer of life? The one within your heart and soul? It is a time where you get to rejoice at the beauty surrounding you as the plants and trees bear fruit. This is not the time for gathering it all up – it needs to grow to full fruition.

My summer of life is wild and exciting. I am looking forward to the full beauty at the end of the summer and the beginning of autumn where we begin to gather the fruit in and store it up for the season that is coming.

You might wonder how I know this is the season of life that I am in. Well, I will tell you. My winter season has been and gone, the leanness of nothing within is past. Spring entered my soul and I can point to the places where small seeds began to sprout. Now I am starting to know and understand things I never did before. I am beginning to see ideas spring from my mind and learn the beauty of colour and words and shape and form.

Are you also in the summer of your life? What can you see emerging from the seeds that were planted during the springtime? Your life is important and precious and I would love to hear from you.

Mindsets

I have been thinking about mindsets and how we believe things because someone we see as having authority or knowledge has told us something. It is not that we have thought about it ourselves and come up with the idea, we just follow it (sometimes blindly) and never think about it.

Believing something because you KNOW it to be true is different from having a core belief that you don’t question because you think it has always been there or someone told you it was that way and you never had reason to doubt they were right.

Let me give you an example from my life. I had lots of different illnesses and physical issues – one of which was only being able to open my mouth one inch in total. This was impacting the rest of my body and causing many different things to happen. I went to see lots of different doctors and dentists and probably other ones as well but I can’t remember who they were and none of them had the answer.

Because I wasn’t getting an answer, the suggestion was that I had Munchausens and that I needed psychiatric help because my physical problems were all in my mind. I let this become a belief of mine because I was told it by people “in authority” but it wasn’t actually true.

Eventually we discovered that I needed my whole face reconstructed and that would take a lot of surgeries to correct being spaced out over a year. So that blew the whole concept of me having Munchausens out of the water.

You know what? It doesn’t have to be something as big as that mindset needing changing. It could be something really small and almost invisible. But if that changed you would have a life that was fulfilling and rewarding. Not everybody has such a massive mindset change that large, and that’s ok. I needed to know there WAS a physical reason for what I was going through and it wasn’t mental.

Changing your mindset is not something that is done easily or lightly. Sometimes they are beliefs that you have had from when you were a child that you don’t even remember being taught them, or they are ones that have come to you later in life and you just accept them because they seem authoritative.

The first important step you need to take is to look at those beliefs and work out if they are true or not. If they are NOT true, you need to reframe your thoughts and remember to tell yourself the new thought that you want embedded in your brain whenever you see the old thought returning. The good thing is that you CAN rewire your brain to a more positive way of thinking. You don’t need to hold onto the old belief that doesn’t help you in the long run.

So, with that being said, what mindsets do you need to change? Please do leave a comment for me and I will respond as soon as possible.

The best Christmas

This year our Christmas was the best Christmas yet in spite of all of us being poorly. Each of us was sick in different ways. Now you could have looked at it and said this was the worst Christmas ever because we were all ill. But actually it was the opposite.

I was chatting with Kevin and trying to work out in my mind WHY this wasn’t a terrible day. To all outside observers, being woken by a poorly child partway through the night was not the ideal by any stretch of the imagination.

Now I can look back in my life and see times where I was poorly at Christmas time and it was not a pleasant experience. So what made this one different? Well, first of all and most of all I think, I am in a family where we all actually DO love each other and don’t say that we do but act the opposite.

The film My One Christmas Wish was on Christmas 24 and was one of the many I watched and really enjoyed. Again, this was something you could have looked at and said there was no way the woman could have found a family and lots of other people a family either. But she did. She posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a family and got so many responses she threw a party for them all and they ended up meeting and getting another person or family to share Christmas with.

You might wonder why I mention that story. Well, firstly it is a great story in and of itself, and secondly, it celebrated the love we can find within a family at Christmas time. I’m not saying we definitely will – that would be giving you false hope. But what I am saying is that not only is it possible, but the love you share with others at Christmas time can have a ripple effect – like the dropping of a stone in water.

Now I know we are a small family of 3 that celebrate Christmas together, but it is still wonderful that we can. We all love each other and it is love that makes the difference between having a good time or getting hurt and upset. If you all care for and love each other, there will be a dramatic transformation in your life.

So I guess the question now is – what are you going to do to make it happen, not just at Christmas time but life in general? It doesn’t have to just be for Christmas and possibly the new year and then you stop, it can be for always if you decide to do it.

Growth or fixed mindset

I have been thinking about the differences between the two mindsets recently. I often find myself thinking in a fixed mindset way. For example, there are times that I believe things will never change.

This, of course, is a sign that I am thinking in a fixed mindset way and I need to expand it into a growth mindset. When I left England and moved to Scotland, I believed that things could not be worse and I would rather be lonely than continue to stay where I was.

However, God had other plans for me and I met my husband Kevin. My fixed mindset said we wouldn’t have children and here I am with 5 babies in heaven and one on earth. But it still doesn’t mean I have a growth mindset in every area of my life.

This last week has been a bit strange in some ways. I realised that I was not exactly who I believed myself to be and that my character and ability was not being expressed in the way I present my website and Facebook business page.

So things are going to be changed and updated. I will be keeping the name of the business the same but the way things look will be different. Expressing myself in my own unique way without muting my desire for colour and freedom will be taking me on a different path.

The other thing that has struck me is that I have not had a growth mindset in every area of my life and the biggest one is finances. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we assume money will magically grow on trees. You have to do something to bring the money in and work for it. God promises to bless the work of our hands, not that He is an instant money pot. I love knowing this. Such a wonderful truth to understand.

I don’t believe there is anyone who has a growth mindset in every area. We are all a work in progress and need to change things in ourselves and learn to trust our own abilities. In which areas of your life are you limiting yourself with a fixed mindset and which areas do you encourage growth in your life by having a mindset that is open to possibilities? I would love to hear from you.