It’s that time of year when everyone seems to be busy and getting stressed! I’ve had so many conversations with people who are struggling as they have too much to do – or should that be people with high expectations of themselves and giving themselves too much to do and who are never able to say no - It's the common complaints of I don’t have enough time, I've got to go out again, nothing is organised as it should be etc; in turn to these comments I have been nodding and smiling a relaxed smile as I think just how nice it is not to be in that state of mind! My only upset for Christmas day itself is that unfortunately I don’t think I will have time to ride Jojo, there is nothing like going for a hack on Christmas Day, the roads are so quiet and peaceful – perhaps next year and afterall there are plenty of other days to enjoy some time together.
If you are feeling stressed stop for a moment and still your mind, think about what all the stress is for, what you are trying to achieve, winding yourself up about it won’t change anything so be mindful, stop, relax and breath then carry on having let some of the stress go. I would recommend doing a mindful body scan and grounding as a way to do this, this link here is a very good grounding meditation with a 2 minute description of what grounding means beforehand.
Additionaly you could try seeing a vision in your mind of the Christmas you hope for and the people you will be seeing and envision it going well – the more you do this the more likely it will, act like everything is perfect. If you feel forced to spend time with people who you’d rather not spend time with (as many do) then focus on how you will be making them happy and actually it will be over before you know it and normality can resume, if you will be around people whose energy you do not like ground and protect yourself in a bubble in the morning and take yourself away to a quiet corner for regular breaks, even if that means some long stints hiding in the loo, it will help you keep your sanity and be calm. You could always so no of course and do what you want to do – I will be forever grateful to my family that there is no pressure to spend Christmas with them and so I have had many fun Christmases at a friend’s pub with a few of us chipping in on Christmas dinner but also many with my family because I love seeing them and spending that time with them and so I will miss not seeing them this year.
And as for all the Christmas and New Year parties it is ok to turn down invites and say no, self care is very important and you should listen to your body and mind when they want to stop. Start 2016 feeling vibrant!
I feel this quote is perfect for this time of year:
Thank you to everyone who has been part of my journey in 2015, what an amazing year it has been!
Of course there was the month I spent in hospital, but it’s still been such a fun amazing year I do actually forget some of it was spent in hospital and recovering! Despite feeling dreadful and doing my best not to eat the hospital food it takes a time like that to realise just how lucky you are when friends and family rally around you. I was so taken aback by the love and care I received from all. The staff at the hospital themselves were incredible and they even managed to get me a side room for my final 2 weeks, I really couldn’t fault them especially as they did eventually fix the infection – always a bonus!
One of my highlights was passing my horse healing course and becoming an approved Horses Voice Equine Healer, that was such an accomplishment and I can’t believe where the last 3 years have gone. To be where I am now compared to 3 years ago is crazy. But here I am much wiser, healthier and at peace with who I am and what I can do. I love being able to work with horses, their owners and other animals, being able to connect on another level helping to heal and also bring partnerships together helping them gain a better understanding of each other, it is the best thing in the world.
I was in the depths of depression 3 years ago and I find that hard to believe now, if you find yourself in such a situation please don't ever give up, there is a way through the bleakness it's finding what works for you, try and keep hope alive even if it is the smallest glimmer, a little sparkle flitting inside. Chronic health conditions have never ending consequences throughout our lives which can be hard to live with, but it is possible, I am living proof of that so keep fighting and find your way back to a life you can live and be happy with, that may mean like me changing your expectations but that doesn't mean it will be worse - my expectations changed because of my limitations and it got a million times better!
The other unforgetable highlight of 2015 for me was finding Jojo, I spent my time recovering when out of hospital sat in the fields every evening just watching the herd and interacting with them, getting to know Jojo and asking to be accepted, by the time I got around to riding her we had a nice understanding and mutual respect for one another. Photo of Jojo and her daughter Poppy at the very end of this newsletter.