What little moments do you live for?

It’s been such a lovely weekend. Not because we had a special occcaision or a holiday or anything ‘big’ like that. Nothing instagram worthy. This weekend was just a weekend at home, of cooking, cosyness and relaxing with Mr T. Yet sometimes those weekends, the non instagram ones, are the best of all. Filled with the little moments that make life worth living.

Now I have always been an advocate of adventures. I’d feel that long periods of home were boring and that my life had somehow stagnated. However as I have been focusing on rerooting and growing a stronger foundation in my life I began to thing about something Kurt Vonnegut said,

 “Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”

So I decided to put some conscious awareness into just that. 

One of my happiness project goals this year has been to invest time, appreciation and awareness into the little moments that make life worth living. The small things that make each day beautiful. Like taking time to play with my cats, making it important to spend quality time with Mr T beyond the regular Friday date night and enjoying the simple pleasures like trying to make more homemade food. Not to say I am a kitchen goddess in any way shape or form, far from it. I have just been indulging in enjoy it! 

And the benefits of this goal have really surprised me. Not only do I feel more relaxed and re-energised when I take the time to consciously  be aware of the little moments that add value to my life. I truly feel more content, rich and abundant. feel grateful and proud every time I go into my garden and see the fruits of my labor blooming. I appreciate the time spent at home laughing, creating and just being.  I am more aware for example of the hundreds of small things Mr T does and now regularly thank him for his small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness. Time spent at home is less and less brain dead watching Netflix and cabbaging out. It’s quality time. Basically home is a nicer place to be and the more I do this the more of an adventure my life feels right here at home.

I have discovered a simple truth

When we take time to make the little things important our life is better for it.

There are many ways to do this. And it doesn’t take that much effort to refocus your energy in this way. And trust me the benefits are plenty! Here are 3 guidelines that I have used in my happiness project. I hope that they inspire you to find the little moments in life worth living for and improve your quality of life:

Be grateful

You might think you are grateful for your life (or maybe you are in the unfortunate situation where you don’t feel grateful for anything in your life), but what are you grateful for? 

Intentionally notice the things you are grateful for and keep a record of them. I recommend a daily practice of writing 3 things each day you are grateful for. The more you look the more you will find that is good.

Make time for the things you appreciate

Just being grateful for something is not enough. As your become aware of the things you are grateful for you may also notice you don’t prioritise these things in your life. Last year I put a conscious focus into 10 of my friendships that I had neglected. Taking time to Skype with friends far away. Having regular friend dates. It enriched my life. But so does taking the time to invest in a hobby, a passion, walking in nature, cuddling your pet. Whatever makes your life lovely make the time to do it more. Put some time aside in your calendar to spend time doing  something you love or that adds value to your life. 

Prioritise hygge over ‘have to’s’

Living in Denmark has taught me the art of Hygge. Hygge is a Danish word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. Hygge takes effort. Whether its putting a blanket around you as you watch tv or putting flowers on the table and lighting candles for dinner on Wednesday evening just because you can, or prioritising that conversation with you 6 year about Ninjago characters instead of doing the washing up. Hygge makes life better. We often prioritise the ‘have to’s’ over hygge. And yes we have a lot to do and not much time to do it in. But sometimes it is ok to jump over the have tos and have some hygge instead. If you have been feeling like you are on the proverbial treadmill for a few days then you are definitely in need of some hygge. Sod the washing for once and go build a den and some lego with your 6 year old for an evening. You will not only feel better you will have made a lovely memory you will cherish in the years to come. 

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The little moments in life often go unnoticed. Especially these days where the proving how amazing your life is online  culture runs rife. 

Yet in reality it is the little moments that become our fondest memories. 

It is the little moments that make up the fabric of our everyday lives, that grow the strongest roots and without a doubt re-energise us when we most need it.

So the question for you today is simply this,

What little moments do you live for? 

And how are you going to make them important right here and right now?

Let me know in the comments below 

Have a wonderful week 

Emma-Jane xxx

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#lifelessons101 – Creating  Happiness- Designing my Happiness Project – an alternative to the New Year’s Resolution.

You do not finda happy life (1)I have made a decision. 2019 is going to be my magical year of happiness. Not that I was unhappy in 2018 in fact I think right now I feel the happiest now  that I have ever been in my life. However, whilst I am growing an business at a rapid rate, designing a new vegetable garden, writing and trying to publish 2 books, running workshops, acting as a combat trainer and of course have my wonderful Mr T and our relationship to enjoy, I am a tad busy. And when one is a tad busy it is so easy to forget to take care of yourself. And as far as I am concerned self- care is one on of the most important ingredients to a happy (not to mention balanced) life.

So I correct my previous statement. 2019 is going to be my magical year of happiness and Self-care. It sounds so good right. However in order to make this statement a reality whilst being so busy I am going to need a plan. And that I have.

I have been inspired by the imaginative (and practical) Gretchen Rubin to create a happiness project. Now for those of you who haven’t read her book The Happiness Project  ( and I seriously recommend you do), it is built on the premise that a happiness project is an approach to changing your life. A Happiness Project is made up of three parts.

Part 1: The Preparation Stage

Part 2:  Making Happiness Resolutions

Part 3 : Keeping the resolutions

Basically instead of setting a couple of resolutions for the whole year you break it down into mini resolutions of (what I call) happiness resolutions for a month that are themed.In an extremely busy life it seems to be a practical and simple system. And  I have been itching to try it out since I read the book!

Sooo I want to invite you on this journey with me. As you know on the Re:root blog the #lifelessons101 are always real examples taken from my life and the lessons I learn as I enjoy my journey. So in 2019 I am going to once a month check in and update you all on progress. Now if you are inspired by this idea of focusing life on your own happiness and want to join. Please do! The more the merrier! And to get you started here is how I approached the planning and resolutions stage of my 2019 Happiness Project.

Part 1: The Preparation Stage

Before deciding what I wanted to do to make me feel happier I followed Gretchen’s lead and created a list of commandments that are made up of my absolute Truths. This is like the Pirate Code. The guidelines for which I live my life and the foundation on which to build happiness. So I included for example

  1. Be you
  2. You are not responsible for everything
  3. Treasure the little moments
  4. Baby steps create dreams.

These might not make much sense to you but for me they are the pearls of wisdom that are the most relevant to who I am, where I am in life and most need to remind myself of.

Time to grab markers, pens and paper and set some time aside for your brainstorming phase. I basically brainstorm all of things I would like to do in 2019 that would make me happy. This included both silly and sensible things, goals I wanted to reach and areas of my life I would like to improve and focus.

Part 2:  Making Happiness Resolutions

So now I  grouped these ideas into themes and tried to make sure there was not too many actionable suggestions to each theme. It meant I had to let go of some of my babies. Very important to remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.  So for example One of my themes is Dedicate. The actions I included are:

  • 30 days of Yoga
  • Bullet journalling
  • Follow budget
  • Do morning and evening ritual

Then I looked at the calendar for the year. And made the decision of which themes and actions I could do and when. Again there was some pruning here. With my life it is important to be as realistic as possible. And the end result looked something like this.

Part 3 : Keeping the resolutions

This is supposed to be the hard part. Yet, after all that planning, getting started has been relatively easy. I signed up for the 30 days of Yoga with Adriene and now I have already done 10 days!! (A little proud) I am doing my bullet journal and the habit tracker is based on my happiness project to I am getting to see what is working for rme. I am currently sitting with my accountant as we speak. And I am steadily working towards building a good morning and bedtime routine. Do I do everything every day? No. Well yes to the yoga. However I can feel that by tracking my progress and not trying to do everything at once I am am slowly making baby steps. And yes I do feel happier already!

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So I am going to keep on with my month’s theme of Dedicate and I will see you lovely people at the end of January for the next installment of Creating Happiness 2019.

Keep me informed of your happiness projects for this year and let’s support each other to have a magical happy 2019.

Have a great weekend <3

NEVER underestimate the importance og having fun (1)

 

#Lifelessons101 –  Changing to a positive attitude (inspired by Gretchen Rubin)

Recently I got a wake-up call. And it wasn’t a nice one and kinda scary to admit in public. Ok here goes. I am in reality a pretty negative person. Not in my professional life, where I inspire others to see the bright side of life. Not even my public life, with friends or on social media. But at home behind closed doors, I can be, and regularly am a pessimistic, grumpy stress head. Not a great realisation. However, it is a constructive one as it’s a starting point for change.

I realised this at a recent Lammas workshop where we were talking about sacrifice and the concept that if you want to make something new in your life you have to let something go. (Or sacrifice it, just as the wheat gets cut down to become our bread and brandy) One of this year’s goals for me it to have a healthier, happier relationship with Mr T. Our communication has taken a downwards turn of late so I wanted to improve this. But as the year has gone and stress has been rising if anything my negativity and negative communication with the man I love has got worse. Definitely a glowing neon universal sign that something needs to change.

And of course, that change starts with me. In that workshop, I identified that one of the reasons I was being a snappy cow was because I had too much control and responsibility in our lives and that made me unconsciously resent Mr T (who bless him is sublimely oblivious to this fact). Secondly, I was having trouble letting go of frustrations, little niggling things, like the fact he can’t put the cardboard from a used toilet paper in the bin (WHY??), blind me to all the good and sweet things he does. So letting go was a big key to changing my negativity to positivity. But how? That’s the magic question.

Luckily one of my favourite author’s Gretchen Rubin came to my rescue in her wonderful book “The Happiness Project”. It seems Gretchen had exactly the same issue as me. Always jumping to the negative rather than the positive. In fact, it’s a common issue for many of us. To combat this Gretchen took a whole month to consciously work on her attitude, focusing on the positive rather than the negative. I love this idea, it really spoke to my structured loving mindset. So for the next four weeks, I am going to focus on my attitude.

And this is how I am going to do it:

Identify how you want to change

To not make this a sweeping declaration (a la Marshell Eriksen) I have made a plan. Firstly I have identified how I want to change :

  • I want to understand my negative reactions and use that to help me turn them into positivity.
  • I want to use positive language
  • I want to feel less angry and frustrated
  • I want to think positively even under stress

Make resolutions

Following the Gretchen recipe, the first step is to make resolutions. The idea is to find specific areas to focus on to reach your goal. So my 4 resolutions for this month are:

  • React positively
  • Use good manners
  • Let go of things that don’t serve me
  • Find my joy

The surreal thing is that as always the universe is listening. And lo and behold the moment I set these resolutions I began to find ways to keep them.

Catch the negativity, analyze it and find a positive way to react

If you find that like me you often react negatively, the first step to change is catching yourself at it. Ask yourself why you re reacting this way and then find a way you can react positively.

As I have been writing I could hear the annoying piercing scream of the hoover my Mr T is using. Immediately my first reaction was one of frustration. The noise is too loud. I can’t concentrate. Why the heck does he have to do this now! Normally I would let this spiral on until my next interaction with Mr T and then this frustration would be thrown at the poor unsuspecting man. However, in the spirit of reacting positively, I didn’t. Instead, I took myself outside away from the noise, caught my breath. And therein remembered that we have some neon green noise cancelling headphones. So now I am sitting here comfortable in the lack of wailing noise and appreciative that my lovely man has cleaned the house and I don’t have to do it. (Note to self: Be grateful and say thank you.)

Use good manners

Now this one is lifted straight from the book. As I read I could really relate to the fact that I don’t always use good manners in the way I speak to people. Well, correction, in the way I speak to Mr T. One of the curses of a coach is that you use a lot of energy helping others to feel good and grow, which can mean you don’t have much energy left. And often I find that manifests in me being rude to  Mr T. Well they do say “We hurt those we love the most” which is stupidity if ever I heard it. I didn’t want to hurt Mr T. I wanted to treat him best of all persons. So I have started to find ways I can use good manners towards him. Assuming less and asking more. Using please and thank you. Not rolling my eyes when he is annoying (one of his pet hates). Doing actions of love. Basically being nice.

If you want the world to feel nicer you can’t expect it to hand it to you on a plate if you aren’t willing to be nice too. Good manners are something we can all work on in every aspect of life. Ultimately it’s about being kind and the world is always better for a little kindness.

Let go of things that don’t serve me

Mr T is frustratingly good at this. In a situation, I recently found hella frustrating and a bad experience, Mr T simply focused on the positive things and found the same situation as a great experience. He let go of the bits that didn’t serve him and kept the bits that did. Oh to be able to do that in the blink of an eye! I seriously struggle with letting things go. Partly because I have an expectation of how things should be. And partly because it niggles inside me. So my work here is two-fold.

Firstly I need to use the five-minute rule. Give myself 5 minutes alone to be cross, frustrated, sad, whatever I feel. Then ask myself “can I do anything now?” If I can then do something. If I can’t I have to let it go. However in order to do that I have to find the positives from the challenge.

Secondly, I have to let go of my expectation of how something should play out and enjoy the moment. So what if a date night ended up being a discussion about our finances. At least we got that sorted. Simply looking for the positive here is going to help. Also letting Mr T know I have an expectation is a great way to make sure disappointment is avoided.

There are many different ways you can work on letting go of that which does not serve you. Ask Google for inspiration. As always Google knows!

Find my joy

When you are stressed it is easy to lash out at our nearest and dearest. It’s normal. But I hate it. I always feel like I am the worst version of myself when I do this. So to release the pressure I want to focus on finding my joy in the stressful times. Whether I need some time alone, to draw, to write, to have a walk, to dance, to laugh. Basically, instead of lashing out I want to find ways to make me feel good.

pollyannaGretchen had a great suggestion for this the Pollyanna week. If you haven’t seen the film or read the book, Pollyanna plays the glad game. Basically, whatever happens to her she finds a reason to be glad. Gretchen took a whole week of being glad. I used to play this game a lot as a child. As an adult, it has transpired into my golden rule, if you can learn from a situation it was a good situation. But to just be glad seems like a much simpler and joyful way.

Instead of expecting others to give us joy in the down times find ways you can lift your own spirits and connect with your joy. In times of stress connect with yourself and ask you what do I need right now? How can I feel my joy?

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In essence, the recipe to turn your negative attitude into a positive one is quite simple:

  • Identify how you want to change
  • Make resolutions
  • Find ways you can make those resolutions a reality
  • Follow your plan

I hope you find this as helpful as I did writing it. How do you guys turn your negativity into a positive attitude? Let me know in the comments below.

Have an amazing weekend <3

I am in charge of how i feel and today i am choosing happiness.jpg