Gratitude

Nature speaking

Every now and again, something stops me in my tracks and I take a moment to observe the world. Or rather our world, our planet – earth.

 

It never ceases to amaze me what the earth provides for us; everything single items we possess, every morsel we eat, all that we wear, the places in which we live, the air we breath. Every single thing that we come into contact with, comes from this amazing planet.

And, it is not just what earth provides us now but the amazing fact that we are created from the elements of the earth, we too constitute water, air, heat, minerals etc.

We are made of, live upon, and utilise all that earth offers us.  We have the intelligence to be able to mine, meld, mould and transform all the resources around us for the benefit and profit of ourselves and others.

All that we are comes from the earth, all that we have comes from the earth, and in the blink of an eye we will return to it, not just as an individual but also as a species. We come and we will go and yet the earth will continue far beyond our comprehension as it has already done for billions of years, with or without us.

Thank you earth, where we would we be without you!!

 

2016 – Contentment & Creativity

I begin each year not with a resolution but a theme or two to focus on throughout the year.  But where do I want focus my attention in 2016?  There are just so many positive themes to choose from.

As 2015, and my year of gratitude comes to an end I have been continually surprised by what an amazing theme gratitude has been, as whatever happened I could always find something for which I was grateful and appreciative, which has helped me to focus on the positive during a difficult year.

One thing that I found, which arose from being grateful, was contentment. Contentment which I so easily overlook in my search for whatever is happening next. The one thing that illness gave me was the opportunity to be more reflective about my life and the wonderful people in it.

To me contentment is more subtle than gratitude. Gratitude is something that I can think about and then write into a diary or journal. But contentment is more elusive as it is a way of being. So I feel that my year of contentment will require the application of a bit more awareness, than normal 🙂

So, some of the things I am looking at doing are:

  1. Continuing with my daily gratitude diary.
  2. Creating space by not over committing myself – which is a habit of mine, then I wonder why I am stressed and tired.
  3. Thinking before I buy – do I really need it?  I can always leave it in the online basket for a week or two and see if I still want it!
  4. Taking time to be present, through meditation, Tai Chi and walking.
  5. Reminding myself when the going gets tough to Breath and Smile 🙂

As for the theme of Creativity, well that has spontaneously arisen from a combination of things that I enjoy and want to engage in more wholeheartedly, like:

  1. Spending more time sewing, I want to see if I can design and make one new item every month – cushion, skirt, bag or dress.
  2. Cooking, I am going to try one new recipe each week – I am fully aware that I may end up eating a lot of soup!! but seeing that I was kindly given 3 cookery books for Christmas there is no excuse really.
  3. My hurricane lamp project, each month creating a new theme.
  4. Writing this blog in an attempt to articulate my thoughts a little better and to create some pages with information about the pancreas, it’s function and the diseases that effect it.

So 2016, I am fired up and ready to roll, bring it on.

Cushions
A few of my previous projects 🙂

 

 

 

2015 gratitude and compliments

At the end of 2014 I decided that instead if having a New Years resolution I would have a theme to focus on, and for 2015 that theme would be gratitude. It was a theme that has proved to be somewhat challenging especially as on the 2nd January I was dignosed with a rare tumour (IPMN) in my pancreas. So literally 40 hours into 2015 I was thinking why me, and gratitude was the furthest thing from my mind.

Whilst my tumour didn’t seem something to be grateful for, I soon realised without having an astute consultant and the latest diagnostic technology it wouldn’t have been diagnosed at all! And that was definately something to be grateful for as without an early diagnosis the outcome could have been very different.

So as the year unfolded, it was by trying to find ways of being grateful despite pain, uncertainty, surgery and depression that helped to keep me positively focused and began to give me a wider perspective on life.

The initial biopsy proved inconclusive so I wouldn’t know if the tumour was malignant or benign until after surgery. Surgery wasn’t optional as IPMN tend to progress from benign to malignant, so it was all about timing. During this period of uncertainty I spent a lot of time thinking about life, illness and death, not the most cheery of times it does have to be said!  But it gave me time to realised how easy it is for me to live lost in the activity of day to day life without appreciation and gratitude for life itself and all the opportunities it offers.

My next major hurdle was the surgery itself, which had to be done in a specialist hospital as the pancreas is a difficult organ to operate on, and I was incredibly fortunate to be living 40 minutes from just such a hospital. Which was so new, that the futuristic ICU resembled the inside of a space ship, bearing in mind that I was on morphine when I saw it!!! I soon appreciated how lucky I was to be living in a country with an amazing health care system, well qualified medical personnel and access to pain relief!

I up-cycled (I just love that word) an old notebook into a gratitude diary to ensure that I wrote at least one different thing each day that I was grateful for. Which ranged from; finding a delicious new ground coffee; expressing my gratitude by sending compliments instead of complaints to the various NHS hospitals who took care of me; to being grateful that my wonderful sister didn’t make me laugh when she took care of me (as sneezing, coughing and laughing really really hurt after abdominal surgery!)

I am grateful that I found forums which helped me to realise that I wasn’t alone, there were others going through the same uncertainty, the same surgery, the same pain, the same frustrations and we could share our experiences.

As we near the end of 2015, I find myself more appreciative of all that I have in my life including the most amazing family and friends. Also I am making a concertive effort not to overcommit myself and instead allowing myself more time to experience those individual moments and people that bring a smile to my face and warmth into my heart.

As for 2016, the themes that I have shortlisted so far are laughter, contentment and simplicity so if you have any other suggestions for my 2016 theme, I look forward to hearing from you 🙂