Reading: I finished A Year of Living Simply and have moved on to a new book! Yay! For a while I thought that I’d be exiting the month of January having only completed a single book, which is extremely uncharacteristic of me! I started Away With the Penguins on Wednesday night and I really enjoyed the story. The main character Veronica reminded me a little of my late grandmother in the first few pages and I felt instantly connected to the book.
Listening: I’ve been listening to the Where is My Mind podcast by Niall Breslin aka Bressie. He started this podcast to educate and inform people about mindfulness and learning to slow down in life. I listened to the first season of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, where Bressie refreshed my mind on meditation techniques, but when Season 2 was announced I couldn’t find it! During the week I saw on a website that it’s available on Spotify, and so I went straight to my app to listen to it. Season 2 is all about learning to live more mindfully, to get back to basics, and appreciate the little things that we have around us, even in spite of the shit-show that is Covid-19. I’m so happy I found this again because I really felt like I needed some kind of a mindfulness boost. I need to recalibrate and bring more positive energy into my world. I’ve not been feeling great recently and I really, really want to get out of this rut that I’m feeling stuck in.
“Where is my Mind? is a podcast about how we can navigate the manic, always-on, and head-melting world we live in.”
Produced by Niall Breslin and Ciara O’Connor Walsh.
Image source: Spotify
Watching: I’ve been watching Cheat on Netflix. It’s a four part thriller that you can’t help but get sucked in to! The plot follows college lecturer Leah and her student Rose. There’s something about Rose that Leah can’t put her finger on. When she suspects that Rose cheats on a paper, Leah’s conversation with her student starts a series of events that will leave you wondering how low people can go.
I’ve also finished Schitt’s Creek which was bittersweet! I’ll definitely be rewatching this one!
– We moved a TV into our bedroom so I can rest more in bed during the day; watching TV in bed is such a lovely luxury!
– Breakfast in bed, another sweet treat!
– Writing my January Favourites post because it made me realise that even though I had been feeling very down this month, I was actually focusing on positivity more than I had realised.
– Getting more things ready for the baby
– Zoom dates with friends; we’ve had a few this week and it’s nice to catch up with people
– Listening to the rain outside when I’m drifting off to sleep
– Feeling more positive and optimistic than I have in a long time
– How the Universe is guiding me towards things that will help me to improve my mindset. I’ve found some blog posts (such as My Daily Spiritual Practice over at A Sip of Simplicity) and some podcasts and books recommended to me by friends. It just feels like everything is starting to go in the right direction.
– Returning to gratitude journaling; it makes such a huge difference
– That we only have two weeks to go until Midterm Break!
Working On: This week I’ve been focusing on my gratitude journaling. For anyone who isn’t familiar with it, gratitude journaling is when you take time each day to sit down and write a list of things that you’re grateful for. They can be things that you already have in your life, or things that you’re giving ‘forward thanks’ for, or thanks for in advance in anticipation of receiving them. It’s such a simple practice, and for a lot of people the idea of it is quite silly. However, it makes a serious difference. Whatever we focus on, we bring more of into our lives. Therefore, if you’re focusing on the things that you have, and things that make you feel thankful and happy, your focus will move to things that make you feel this way. Like attracts life. Goodness begets goodness. Beauty finds beauty.
For my gratitude journaling, I got a notebook that made me smile. It’s nothing fancy, just an A4 jotter than came in a multipack that I had bought at the start of the school year. I chose the one with the yellow cover because yellow is my happy cover! For a week, I’m writing ten things in my notebook each morning, and ten more things at night before I go to sleep. After a week you can reduce it down to just one entry of ten things. Doing both sets at the start just gets your brain focused. When writing into a gratitude journal I always write it in this format: I am grateful for/that _________ because ______________. By giving thanks in this way, I make myself focus on why I’m grateful. It means that the exercise doesn’t become a simple activity of listing 10 things, but a meaningful experience where I genuinely feel gratitude and raise my vibration.
Before I end this post, I’d love to share a Ted Talk with you that I go back to time and time again. It is a really beautiful video by Louis Schwartzberg. I recommend it to anyone who needs a bit of a boost so if you’re interested, grab a cuppa, press play, and take six minutes out of your day to immerse yourself in this really beautiful video; you’ll be glad you did.