• Kathryn Hulland

Reflection and Living in Gratitude

Last night Grace did not want to go to sleep, normally I'm guaranteed by 8pm she'll be asleep, but not last night! We stay with her until she falls asleep as this was what she was always used to as a baby and actually it makes for a quicker, more relaxed bed time in the end!

I found myself laying on her floor wishing her to go to sleep and getting frustrated because I was bored and hungry wanting to go and get my dinner! Then the Facebook memory I’d read that morning came to mind, the one that said it was one year ago today I stopped breastfeeding Grace, that meant this bedtime was exactly 2 years ago I fed her to sleep for the last time wondering if I’d be alive to see her grow up. My mindset changed instantly from frustration to overwhelming gratitude that in fact I am here able to put my daughter to bed. I got up and held her tight as a few tears fell, smelling her hair and feeling the warmth of her body. “Mummy, I love you” she said, “I love you too baby girl”. And we stayed like that for a while, but not too long, this is fidget bum Grace afterall.

I started to talk her through a visualisation to which she closed her eyes, she started to get sleepy as she imagined being sat on a beach, dolphins jumping in the sea, unicorns racing on the beach and then joining mermaids, her tale was of course pink she told me. She smiled gently now and then at the descriptions and then just as the body twitches began, a sure sign I could soon sneak out of her room………. MMMEEEEOOOOOWWWWW, in came Poppy! Grace was again wide awake and I just laughed. I do love our Poppy cat, another being I am grateful for arriving in our lives this year, Grace loves her too and Poppy is brilliant at calming Grace down if she’s upset, and also disturbing bedtime it seems.

I gave up, we got up and I went to get my dinner whilst Grace played for another hour, we then sat in my bed talking, snuggling, writing and eventually dosed off together around 11pm! Some days you just have to go with the flow and look at the bigger picture, to me the bigger picture is that my girl is happy, she was smiling and I was there to be with her – nothing else mattered.

2021 has been a year full of ups and downs with more ongoing serious health issues and the loss of both my nans and dog, but it has also been a positive year seeing Grace thrive having started school and to slowly witness myself get stronger. I can offer healing now, something I thought was never going to be possible again. I have to be careful and not overdo it, some days I still can’t move from my bed and I have to pace everything I do but there are improvements and that’s what I focus on, by focussing on them I feel excited for 2022 and just what else will be achieved.

Chronic illness is just that, it’s chronic, there is no recovery and I accept that but there are ways to love life despite it and that’s what I continue to build on.

There is so much to look forward to in 2022, hopefully finally seeing family who I haven’t seen in over 2 years and meeting my niece, doing a course I’ve been wanting to do for 8 years and continuing to build my healing practice and offerings which I absolutely love doing.

These experiences that I have had have a massive input into the reiki healing I offer and the workshops I run, they have taught me alot and I use all the practices myself daily. I've felt alot of raw emotion, physical pain and overwhelming fatigue, I live with illness and the unknown, I have first hand experience of so much which allows me some deeper understanding, my practices feel stronger than ever as a result of this.

I am grateful for my family and friends who continue to support and encourage me, and I am massively grateful for the position I am in with my parents, I know that without them and sharing our lives the way we do my health would be a whole different story, they allow me time to rest by looking after Grace and doing school runs when needed. They drop me off to places when I can’t manage it and cheer me on in what I want to do, because they know it will make me happy. As I continue to gain strength I hope by the end of 2022 this help will be less needed and they may be a bit more free, in the meantime it’s not something I will ever take for granted because I know exactly where I would be without it, stuck in bed!

So goodbye 2021, it’s been yet another rollercoaster but one with plenty of positives to take away as I step in to 2022 and look forward to more happy adventures.

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