It’s all about perception

I love going to my cousins house…to see her of course, but also for her mirrors. I know, call me vain! But her building and her home have some fantastic mirrors that have the power to make you feel really good about yourself. I remember eyeing my blooming belly in my 3rd trimester (I stayed with her for 6 weeks) in the mirror by her front door. And now every time I walk in, I give myself a once over and smile.

Before you judge how vain I can be, let me finish. I also love these mirrors because it is a constant reminder of perception. I’m looking at the same person in my room and in her home and yet this person looks different. Her mirror makes me *feel* better about myself…and yet I’m the same. So imagine if we can train our minds to see ourselves and situations differently. Wouldn’t that change our perception of things?

I guess you could call it optimism, seeing the glass as half full and all that. But I see it as more than that. I think perception is not just how you see something but how you accept it. We all go through our lives facing challenges. Even the rich and famous have their set of issues. But if we were to face our issues head on and accept them (rather than play the victim), perhaps how things appear would change as well.

Food for thought huh?! Happy Monday 🙂

20140128-224406

This girl CAN and so can you

It’s no secret that I love ads. I know I know, ads make us mindless consumers buying things we don’t really need by working at a subconscious level. And while I too often fall into the trap, the one’s I actually love are the one’s that pull at the heart strings. The ads that motivate us to do better and feel better. Ads that you finish watching with either a smile on your face or adrenaline running through your veins, or both.

In December I shared my favourite Christmas ads and today I came across this one:

“I kick balls…deal with it!” Love it!

Now ladies, if this ad doesn’t motivate you to get moving, I don’t know what will. I couldn’t even sit still watching it.

It made me want to put on my trainers and go running…but let’s not kid ourselves, it’s almost 10pm, it’s raining and its bloody freezing. But I will…maybe not tonight, but tomorrow. I’ve been going to the gym since I was 16 and it bores me to tears now. So my resolution goal for 2015 is to do other activities that get me moving. Walking, running, cycling, yoga…anything but the gym! I’ve signed up to start yoga at Fierce Grace and I’m really looking forward to it.

What exercise do you enjoy? And what motivates you?

Happy New Year

I know I know, it’s already the 5th day of the New Year…but in my defence, it is really the first “proper” working day of 2015.

I took a bit of a blogging break at the end of December as S and I jetted off to Dubai to spend the holidays with my brother. We had no Wi fi there and so the only posts that went up were our weekly ones which I scheduled.

Dubai was amazing (I’ll do a separate post about that) but after 2 weeks away, I was glad to be home. S has come back more confident and his speech has dramatically improved. I truly believe that travelling does wonders for children. Back in May last year, just before we took our summer trip, I was actually concerned about his speech but after a long holiday and time spent with my extended family and my nieces, his speech came along amazingly. And now I felt the same after Dubai. Maybe it’s the eastern environment, as we walked around the mall below our hotel, he would stop to talk to everyone and they’d happily oblige and chat back to him. His vocabulary has improved vastly and he can speak using 8-9 word sentences!

As the New Year approached, I was thinking about my goals for 2015. 2014, while fun and full of memories I cherish, was also a difficult year with many challenges. While I’m glad to see the back of it, I’m also grateful for the experience to learn and grow and to put old matters to rest.

I was reading a post over on Amie’s blog about choosing a word for the year ahead rather than making a list of resolutions. She’d read it on Dorkymums blog who’d got it from Susannah Conway.
Don’t you just love the way the blogosphere works!!

When I first read it, lot’s of different words flew at me. But I’ve signed up to Susannah’s 5 day email class to really find my word. Something that will fit my year ahead. A word that will inspire me and motivate me and carry me through the year.

I’ll share it with you all this weekend.

Happy 2015 🙂

R.I.P. Stephen Sutton

Earlier this week, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Stephen passed away. But this was not just any Stephen, it was Stephen Sutton of stephensstory.co.uk

If you live in the UK, you most likely would have heard about Stephen in the last year. Stephen was diagnosed with an incurable, terminal cancer when he was just 15 years old. But rather than sit back and feel defeated by life, he drafted a “bucket list” of everything he wanted to achieve while he was still alive. Some of them included, raising £10,000 for cancer research, go to a football match at Wembley Stadium, skydive, go busking, get a tattoo, write a book, etc. You can view the full list here.

Stephen-Sutton

Not only did Stephen raise £10,000 but as word of his bucket list and his story spread, he raised £3,869,311.97 The aim of his website was to spread positivity and motivation. “I may have cancer, but cancer doesn’t have me!” was what he lived by.

Stephen-Sutton

He was exceptional student who refused to let cancer beat him and control him. He grabbed life with open arms and truly “lived” the rest of his life.

It got me thinking about the life I lead and what I want to achieve. Also what I’d like to be remembered for when I no longer exist as Natasha. Stephen will always be remembered for his genuine desire to help people and sharing his positivity even when enduring such pain and suffering. I think that’s a pretty great way to be remembered and although he’s no longer here, his story will live on.

What would you like to be remembered for?

Are praise and reward only creating recognition seekers?

I came across this article a few days ago and thought I’d share to see what you guys thought. The main gist of it are the negative effects praise can have on our children. According to the author, the praise and reward system comes down to wanting control over our children. By rewarding, we get them to do what we want. But very often although this may have short term benefits, in the long run it does the child no good as it takes the real reason for doing what they’re doing away. They then do it for the reward, not because they want to.

1

Here are some quotes from the article:

“Praise cannot create a personal commitment to “good” behavior or performance. It only creates a commitment to seeking praise.”

“Praise is a reminder that the praiser has power over them. It diminishes the child’s sense of autonomy, and, like a little pat on the head, it keeps them small.”

“Children, just like adults, naturally recoil from being controlled. We all want to grow toward self-determination. Praise can therefore create resistance, since it impinges on a child’s developing sense of autonomy.”

“When children are bribed with rewards for “good” behaviour, they soon learn how to manipulate us by acting the part that is expected of them.”

“Instead of lavishing children with congratulations, it’s better if they focus internally on the pleasure they derive from accomplishment. Children are naturally thirsty to achieve, learn and conquer.”

And the line that really did it for me:

“Children can certainly be made to do what they don’t want or love, by offering them approval, praise or other rewards. But this does not make them happy. Happiness can only be derived from doing what is intrinsically rewarding to us, and this does not require others’ applause. Do we want kids to become reward-addicts, crowd-pleasers, and recognition-seekers, or do we want them to be self-motivated, faithful to themselves, following their own interests? If the latter is true, then the way is not to praise them but to appreciate them.”

You can read the entire article here.

As a mother, I very instinctively find myself praising S. “Good boy” when he does something new or something I’ve asked him to do comes very naturally. But this article was a real eye opener. I’ll still be praising him but I’ll be watching my motives and trying to appreciate his own natural curiosity more.

1291302_318931631587096_850151914_n