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Making moments memorable…

This morning while cooking breakfast, I noticed the bubbles forming and bursting on the surface of my porridge; intent upon their job.  I held onto those air trapped moments, soaking them in! It’s difficult to explain the sensation of absolute awareness that I felt, other than it being a feeling of enhanced appreciation and total bliss.  Life was beautiful; just bubbles and me!

How often do you engage fully in the moment?  Can you describe the sensation?

Le grà,

Mindfully Marie xx

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Bullying & Beyond…Perpetuating Social Norms…

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Time and the right conditions not only preserve but bring about something of beauty – Marie Clancy.

 

Today I would like to share T.S’s very emotive, true story from his blog “Crazywriterof6.” As I read T.S’s distressing reality, I felt my body became anxious.  I felt his apprehension and fear.  His sense of loneliness and isolation is palpable.  He says… “Maybe some of you can relate and see that even then, you weren’t alone”. No child should be in dread every day, isolated and living with the fear of bullying!

In my last post I wrote about the difficulty I had in supporting my children, both victims of bullying, because of the pressure on victims to remain silent.  You might like to read it… Big Boys…Don’t Cry!

We now hear in T.S’s own words, his deeply ingrained and debilitating belief as to why he was bullied… “The torture continued. Many moments before this event, many after. I have written some of them out, just to get them out. All this because I was different than the “normal people”, different from what society says I should be. Different because I was overweight”.  I believe he was not different… everybody is different and everybody has the right to be respected for who and how they are.

Please enhance your understanding by reading his story…

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/48424428/posts/20

At a funeral yesterday, one sentence struck me, that sentence was “We could all be better people,” meaning we could all do more to be there for others.

Let’s break down the silence and begin a cross cultural, worldwide conversation about bullying.  Let’s educate ourselves and our children about bullying and let’s tear down out-dated social norms.

Le grà,

Mindfully Marie xx

 

 

 

 

Bullying & Beyond… Whose expectations?

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Time and the right conditions not only preserve but bring about something of beauty – Marie Clancy.

 

Have you ever expected or wished for the easy path?  I know I have on many occasions!

 

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The Path of Life or The Easy Path at The Japanese Garden, Irish National Stud, Kildare and in life!

 

Life is easy if as a parent/teacher your children/students excel at sport, are the high achievers, are highly academic or simply, functioning!

But that’s not always reality and as a parent or teacher you’ve noticed your child/student disengage and opt out of school and fail exams. Your dreams and expectations are fading in front of your eyes.  You’re upset, disappointed maybe even embarrassed.

Your child/student ‘should’ be independent, ‘should’ be academic, ‘should’ be functioning… but they’re not!

They’ve just ruined all your well laid plans and you feel bad!  Now, spare a thought for how bad your child/student feels and that’s before you opened your mouth and added insult to injury.

So now what?

Well now is the perfect time to review YOUR expectations!

If your child/student had just been diagnosed with a major heart complaint, what expectations would you have?  I bet you’d focus on what they can still achieve.  You’d admire them for getting out of bed.  You’d be pleased they pushed through their health limitations and managed to attend school!

So please, also take mental health into consideration and revisit YOUR expectations .  The verbal and non-verbal messages you give your child/student, can be life-defeating when they struggle with mental health issues, bullying or what may even seems like an uncomplicated adolescence.

So if your child/student manages to turn back in for class…

1. Start by acknowledging that there is some issue.

2. Next acknowledge the fact that your child/student is in attendance TODAY.

3. Note the possibility they may not make the grade… but look for the bigger picture.

4. Practice unconditional, non-judgemental love and see the effort they are making, no matter how small.

5.  Acknowledge their presence.

6.  Recognise their engagement. Tell them you see that they have pushed through their health limitations to attend school and mix with their peers rather than self-isolating themselves in their bedroom!

Now you’ve realigned YOUR expectations!  Now you’re telling them they are good enough, exactly as they are!

This approach will help your child/student learn to accept themselves as good enough.  They may even let themselves feel happy!  This very powerful feeling is addictive and soon they will want more.  They will, in their own time, step into the driving seat and begin to empower themselves.

As a parent/teacher, try to understand, what is run of the mill and easy for one child/student, can be very challenging for another child/student.  Placing value on their efforts not their achievements can be a game changer.  (If you can see no effort, review your expectations again.  Maybe just breathing and staying alive is taking all their effort). Love them even more, they need it more!

Watch them as they engage with life on their terms, at the level they are able for, at this precise moment.  Now you’re encouraging them to pass the more important and real test – the test that is not the easy path but the path of life!

Have you ever had your expectations dashed?  Have you realigned your expectations and seen your child/student flourish?

Le grà,

Mindfully Marie xx

 

 

 

Where are you?

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I enjoyed some relaxing leisure time with colleagues and students on our yearly outing recently.   Our trip included time at The Irish National Stud & Japanese Garden.  This display of flags represents all the countries that have completed The Irish National Stud Breeding Course.  Can you spot your flag here?  If you can or if you can’t, please say hello and tell me where you are on the globe?  Better still tell me something interesting about where you live?My geography is improving daily thanks to the little map on WP Stats!

Learn more here…https://irishnationalstud.ie/attraction/japanese-gardens/

Le gra,

Mindfully Marie,

Ireland.

 

An Irish wave… topped off with a hug!

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Beautiful County Waterford coastline!

 

You can’t beat the sight or sound of a wave, or many waves to wash over you and sooth your spirit.   A friendly wave from across the street or from a friend as they drive past also lifts my spirit.  Top it off with a hug and you’re onto a winner.

Do waves and hugs improve your day?

Le grà,

Mindfully Marie.

Inspired by Calmkate’s Friday Fun – Waves @ aroused blog

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/96548416/posts/8403

 

Connected or corrected…

Today a father and his little son were walking along a quiet street approaching a corner.  The little boy, about three years old, made a dash away from his father towards the corner of the street.  We were driving towards the same corner.  My husband had already anticipated the possibilities and slowed down, well below the speed limit.

I saw the father of the little boy suddenly react. He ran a few steps and grabbed his son by the arm, just at the edge of the path.  He aggressively jerked his son’s little arm a number of times, loudly chastising him as we drove past.  I thought about how many times I had near misses when my children were young and I could hear my heart beating loudly in my ears.

This child had done something wrong, but he is a child and still learning.  The mistake he made could have meant he was seriously injured or even worse, had he actually dashed off the street and onto the road in front of our car.

I thought about who needs to be corrected here.  Nobody trains us to be parents.  After fourteen years in school we leave without any training or qualification in childcare.  But when a parent walks along a quiet street with a three year old child, and pays more attention to their phone screen than to their child, then it’s not the child that needs to be corrected!

So, if you have a near one with your child, think about who needs to learn from the experience and if you’re ready to jump in and chastise your child, think about what message you are giving them…

Instead, I encourage you to calm yourself. Kneel down to their height, hug them to you, tell them you love them.  Then look them in the eye and tell them about the fright you got, talk about the rules of the road and about the danger of dashing off the path onto the road and then sit back and think…

Thank your lucky stars that you are still a parent…

and that you still have time to enhance your parenting skills…

because no matter how much attention you give your phone screen…

Google, Ecosia or any other search will not take away the heartbreak or show you how to bring your little son back to life.

Le grà,

Mindfully Marie xx

 

 

Just One Minute Monday…Trust!

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Even the morning sun takes time to reach everything!

 

Just trust that the things you don’t reach on today are not necessarily vital things and that the people you don’t reach on today will understand and continue to appreciate you just as you are.

Much love,

Marie xx

My wish for you today…

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My wish for you today… is that you, like me, find the greatest adventures in the simple things, like having a car picnic or watching the wind scattering leaves like confetti, across your lawn!

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In what simple things do you find the greatest adventure?

Much love,

Marie xx

Inclusive

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My “Cooperative Problem Solving” group. Feeling included was what made me look forward to every minute of this class and Theo Joosten (ICASSI Co-chair), was the type of facilitator who knew the value of creating an air of inclusion.

Inclusive…
‘an intention or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who are handicapped or learning-disabled, or racial and sexual minorities.’

Have you ever booked a holiday or a mini-break and been very aware of what’s included in the package? Well, I know anytime I’m lucky enough to plan a holiday, I pay a lot of attention to what’s included as part of the deal!

If I’m booking two nights away for example, I like to have breakfast included on both mornings and it’s a bonus if dinner on the first night is included at a nominal cost.

It’s also encouraging if access to a gym or leisure centre is included at no extra cost as part of the package deal, although any of you who know a little about me will have guessed I’ll probably admire the gym from afar and spend more time relaxing in the sauna than strutting my stuff in the pool! But even so, it’s probably fair to say that inclusivity is important to me!

And maybe that’s why inclusitivity is important in other areas of my life. I’m always aware at any meeting or event of the importance of reaching out and helping others feel included. Just like I did at my recent ICASSI in Bonn. You might like to read about my ICASSI experience here Perfectly Imperfect

I seem to have a radar that helps me spot people who are just a little outside their comfort zone and I enjoy helping them feel at ease.

Years ago, for example, I was involved in setting up a local women’s club and a young mother, a non-national joined us. Most people there made polite conversation with this newly settled person to our rural community but none made a point of actively including her. As a result I tried a little harder to include her and I enjoyed getting to know this lady and watching her settle in and make friends as time went on.

Maybe it’s because I find people fascinating, or maybe it’s because I grew up in a three generational home where my Nana also loved being around people and included me in her frequent visits to neighbours and friends in our locality.

Or maybe it’s because I best describe myself as an introverted extrovert…yes, if you didn’t already know it, you can be both!

So, I like my own company and quiet time but I love people, I love being around people, I love getting to know people and I love people feeling included and being inclusive. This is probably because I hate walking into a social situation on my own. I’ve had to push through that feeling at ICASSI recently (as you can read above) and it’s encouraging to have overcome that challenge. But knowing how it feels for an introvert to face a gathering… of more than one person!… is important, as it gives me insight into what it’s like for anyone who finds themselves on the fringes of any social situations. I know, like me, they probably find it a bit intimidating at first until they find their feet!

So next time you consider a hotel break or wonder what’s included in that all inclusive package deal, spare a thought for inclusitivity in other areas of your life and spread a little of your warmth and social inclusion further afield!

Thanks for your company and for including me in your day! In what ways do you like to be included?  Have you ever felt excluded?  How did it make you feel? Have you ever gone out of your way to include or exclude others?

Much love,

Marie xx

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