Blog 4 – Reframing into gratitude

So having had a wonderfully productive day, moving my business forward, getting my word count in, keeping the kids alive, I hit the sack early and had little trouble falling asleep. An hour later I was woken up by my daughter, informing me that a mysterious something lay dormant under her bed. I was not a happy camper and proceeded to tell her, not very politely I will admit, to quit the nonsense and return to bed. Miraculously I had little difficulty returning to whatever dreams were occupying my subconscious, ‘can you please rub some more sunblock on my back Lord Hastings, I think I may burn in the afternoon sun, swoon swoon). Bam, the return of the sleepless child. This time all hell broke loose, not intentionally but completely involuntarily. Nanny 911 would, I’m sure have some words for me on sympathetic parenting but at that moment in time, I was not a loving mother but a torture victim suffering from round two of abuse at the hands of a maniacal psycho. Having managed to not drop kick my second child up the main road of the town, I settled her in beside me. I had no interest in wrestling the phantom poltergeist inhabiting the underneath of her bed. If anything managed to survive there then fair play to them.

Much tossing and turning later, she was relegated to the bottom of the bed in the good old-fashioned heads and tails position. So the bed count is now one female adult, one girl child, one senile 19-year-old cat who suffers from dementia and takes to bouts of random howling, and one overactive female psycho cat who tends to randomly do SAS-style assaults on your feet when left uncovered. Note: the tops and tails position of the two sleeping humans meant shitty kitty was getting a night full of action and toe biting. Lord Hastings had well and truly disappeared.

My daughter was by this time sound asleep. I was by this time ready to be committed.

I went to her room and settled into her bed. Shitty Kitty followed. She was taking her life in her paws but I thought so be it, one bite and your history missy.

I rolled over. I did my breathing techniques. I thought I stood a fair chance of dropping off. And then the sweats started. The midnight sweats of a menopausal mammy are really quite a joy!!! They start with the feeling that you are sleeping in a non-air-conditioned one-star motel in the Arizona desert in mid-July. Viscous sticky sweat congeals in every fold of your skin, and I have many many folds. Hot prickly heat instantaneously turns your inner thermostat to nuclear and you have to use every available piece of fabric to waft air anywhere on your body. Often I will be found stripping any item of clothing off my body and laying on the bed gasping for air. This wonderfully fun activity is usually followed by the chills, and not the John Travolta fun kind. I went from the Arizona desert to a night camping on Dollymount strand in October, with no groundsheet and a two tog duvet for warmth. The icy cold fingers of the dead crept over my flesh and their bare knuckles dug into my skin so my shivering carcass grabbed any and all covers for warmth and comfort. And so it goes.

Any lovely sleep-inducing melatonin that had been swimming around my brain had well and truly disappeared and I was left with a brain that said, okeydokey we are all wide awake in America now. Good morning Vietnam, you may as well get up. It was 2.30.

Needless to say, the next morning was not one of joyous felicitations to the day or one where my inner radiant self shone through. I felt like I had just auditioned for the Hangover part 4 but they were going all method and we did it for real. Walking into my not very large and spacious kitchen, I was greeted with many piles of laundry in front of the washing machine. My teen boy child had decided, in his infinite wisdom, to drop his frothing, smelling almost putrid laundry, and go. I stood and reeled, not sure from the sight of it or the smell. I had what I will say was a low moment. I was overwhelmed and pissed off. And I stood there and thought for a moment. And I did some grounding and I did some breathing and I did some ignoring and I did a lot of coffee.

And then I reconstructed what was in front of me. I looked at the pile of washing and I thought to myself, how lucky I was to have a washing machine to do the washing and I didn’t have to tackle the pile of radioactive waste by hand. Then I looked at my little kitchen and thought how lucky I was to have my lovely kitchen to put my washing machine in, and to have my lovely house with its not perfect but perfectly adequate kitchen. And then my son appeared. He told me he loved me, gave me a hug, and informed me we have no milk! Lastly, my daughter arrived down. I had creeping guilt over my not-so-tempered reaction to her bout of insomnia. I apologized, she didn’t care, and we ate breakfast and got on with the day.

Everything is perspective and if you can find the right way to view any situation then you are onto a winner. The difficulty is we forget to take into consideration our emotions and what had been going on for us. We view what’s in front of us and react. That reaction has all the tiredness, all the worry, all the stress of the day, and then we think that that is our life. When it’s only a way of looking at our life. Reframing what’s in front of us really helps in any situation.

“When you change the way you look at things; the things you look at change” Wayne Dyer


Gratitude is closely linked to the Yama’sand Niyama’s, particularly “Aparigraha” (Non-grasping) and “Santosha” (Contentment).

By being aware of our body while tuning into our ‘attitude of gratitude we can really develop this practice.

Take two minutes, pause three times a day.

Find deep and even breaths.

Contemplate the following questions

How am I feeling right now?

Where am I hiding tension in my body?

Is my mind calm, agitated, focussed, or distressed?


Tigers Eye: this stone can bring us back down and learn to look in the mirror and thank the person looking out at us. It helps us appreciate all we have and also aids in protecting what we have

Blue Apatite: This stone helps us cut through the negativity embedded in our subconscious and helps us change our outlook from a negative one to a positive one. It helps those who find it difficult to see good things around them due to bad life experiences. It helps to reshape our outlook and realize that the Universe has our back.

Citrine: This is a stone of light-heartedness and joy. It helps lift our mood and turn a negative feeling into a more joyous one. With this energy, we realize that life is unfolding as it should be and it also helps us embrace the ups and downs of life with a sense of calm and wonder.

Rumi – the Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

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