Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Finding my new comfort zone

Sometimes you really do have to push yourself out of your comfort zone in order to grow.

Learning to live outside of your comfort zone can really help to prepare us for many of the unexpected changes in life – something I’ve struggled with since having kids.

The point of stepping out of our comfort zones is to embrace new experiences and to get to a state where anxiety is managed better whilst not adding to our stress too much.
I did this when I took a big leap of faith when I ditched everything (a career, a home, lots of friends, a great social life) in London to move to Ireland and marry an Irish man I'd only just met on holiday. I decided I would jump off the cliff and build my wings as I went along.

Fast forward 9 years, and I recently took the plunge again. I dived straight into the deep end miles away from my comfort zone when I taught my first antenatal class in front of 3 pregnant woman and partners.

I was terrified. Months of planning and preparation and mindfulness helped me to get through the day without going to pieces, but inside I was hot and shaking with adrenaline and it took a few classes of wine afterwards to come down from that.

My point here is that I could have easily stayed in my bubble and stagnated, but I wanted to finally overcome a fear that I’d had since childhood of speaking in public. Not only did I speak in public but I facilitated a full day of antenatal exercises and information sharing. And my attendees loved it!

I faced the fear and overcame it. So maybe next time it won’t be as terrifying because I’ve already shifted the parameters of my comfort zone to an expanded level.

It scared the life out of me and probably knocked a few years off my life in terms of the stress of preparing for it, but I feel I’m becoming a more-rounded and stronger person because of it.

I’m also feeling quite proud of myself for achieving something I never thought possible – which I really enjoyed telling my kids about, hoping in the back of my mind they would find that inspiring when faced with difficult situations in life.
Now that the dust has settled a bit, I’m able to take in the bigger picture of this new bigger me; someone who has evolved from a shy, quiet-as-a-mouse child to a teacher of women fearful of giving birth.

And it’s taken me 6 weeks to get to the point where I can reflect on this and assimilate it into my psyche.

I'm now starting to feel ready for my next teaching day soon – and at least next time, I’m sure to find it a lot less terrifying. I hope so anyway.



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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Netflix: Dragon's party time

Yet another wet summer's day in Ireland. What is a mother to do with her kids (and two extra friends) when it's lashing outside?

But thanks to a massive parcel that arrived in the post recently, courtesy of the lovely people at Netflix, we have lots of inspiration for party ideas.

The treasure box full of goodies contained loads of paraphernalia for a themed party around the new Netflix original TV show: Dragons: Race to the Edge.

So we studied the map, stuck Netflix flags in our food, coloured in Dragons characters, painted our faces and gorged on popcorn whilst watching the new series.

Here's some pictures from that fun day:

Getting faces painted:

The girls didn't want dragons, only butterflies and hearts:

Lorcan went for FIRE:

The package even contained a fab new tin Dragons lunchbox which will do very nicely for Jago's school lunchbox when he's back to school in Sept. Thanks Netflix.

And here they are chillaxing with the popcorn and the new Dragons TV show.

My work here is done.

And if you haven't come across Dragons TV yet. The new series is a 13-episode season based on the 'How to Train Your Dragon' franchise. It introduces new dragons and takes place in the period between the first two How To Train Your Dragon films. 

It's kind of like the "college years" of the main characters Hiccup, Toothless and their dragon riding Viking friends.

And the verdict? "We loved it!" they all shouted.

Then guess what happened? The sun came out and the fog cleared up and the kids all ran outside to play on the trampoline.

Happy days.

* * * * * * * * * * * *  * * * *  * * * *  

** I am part of Netflix’s Stream Team and I’m enjoying every minute of it **


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