Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE, Spiritual Life, Wellness & Positivity

Spring: How to enjoy a season of renewed hope, new possibilities and a fresh perspective

The promise of a future, that the blooming flowers of Spring, reminds us of!

So here we are, it is officially Springtime. Although Spring doesn’t start until March, I had been noticing little signs of Spring throughout the last part of February with more sunshine, fresh shoots springing up from the ground and buds appearing on plants and trees.

the promise of a future that blooming spring flowers reminds us of. blog post all about spring's message of hope by Helen's Journey www.helensjourney.com

Just look at the photo above, there is such a stark juxtaposition between Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer. We have the hard, cold, solid soil – representing the harsh cold winter we have just got through. Then we see the flowers that were still able to grow and push through this soil with perseverance and determination to push upwards towards the light.

We are those daffodil bulbs that were buried in the cold, harsh winter months – maybe hibernating in the warm or suffering from the Winter blues. Yet, seeing those fresh daffodil shoots appear from empty looking soil, is a reminder that no matter how hard life has got, there is always a renewal of hope for better.

Read more life lessons from spring
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Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE, POEMS

A dose of female empowerment on ‘International Women’s Day’ and to take with you into each new day ahead!

Each year on 8th March is International Women’s Day – the official website explain it “is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.” So to celebrate I’m sharing with you a poem I wrote about the power of a woman and a post giving you a dose of female empowerment that can encourage you any day of the year!

“See the privilege that exists not only with gender or the country of residence, but with race and ethnicity even between the same gender in the same country!”

– Helen’s Journey point of thought
continue reading this dose of female empowerment
Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE

All About ‘World Book Day’ – Snow White and other Book Character Fancy Dress Costume Ideas

All about World Book Day!

Today marks ‘World Book Day’ here in the United Kingdom & Ireland, as we celebrate it each year on the first Thursday of March. It is a day to celebrate all things books – reading, authors, illustrators, book characters, etc. With the aim of encouraging more children to discover more books and the joy and pleasure that can come along with reading.

Primary schools in the UK have a fancy dress policy on World Book Day where all staff dress up in fancy dress as book characters and the children also come into school dressed up as book characters too. I personally feel this dressing up element, also invites children into some of the imaginary worlds that these stories create for these characters to live in.

Read more about world book day & let me know if you like my costumes

Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE, NATURAL LIVING

How to do pancake day, the healthy way! Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Vegan and Non GMO pancakes.

Hi guys, I really wanted to share with you my healthy Pancake Day – which having been gluten-free for the past 14+ years, hasn’t always been the easiest or yummiest thing to do!

I’ve experimented over the years with gluten-free pancake mixes and also pre-made gluten-free pancakes (which I think are tiny and more like scotch pancakes than the thin, larger pancake I associate with pancake day!)

But this year I have this pancake mix shown below, that I’ve tried, tested and given the green light to make my pancake day ‘flippin’ fantastic this year (like what I did there, playing on the action of flipping pancakes in the pan 😉😉)

continue Reading all about these healthy pancakes on the menu
Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE, Wellness & Positivity

A dose of love, advice & perspective for singles on Valentine’s Day!

February: a month for LOVE for singles too, not only Valentine’s Day romantic love for couples only!

February can be a tough month if you are single, simply because Valentine’s Day seems to make everything around us this month seem to be about love, romance and relationships. Yet this post is to reassure singles that February can be a month of love for us too!

I’ve never really been big on valentine’s Day myself, maybe I never got the chance to with such an unromantic ex or because of its origins. However, I’m definitely a lover of romance any day of the year that hasn’t changed no matter how much it is missing from my life. As this will be my second Valentine’s Day since getting out of a long-term toxic relationship, I’m determined to make it still a time of love, by making it a time of self-love regardless of not having a partner to love and spoil you on the big V day.

Read more to discover the 4 greek words for love & how valentines day can still be filled with love without romance

Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE, Wellness & Positivity

The dangers of Tunnel Vision and how to break down the walls to widen your perspective in life

The dangers of having ‘Tunnel Vision’ in life:

Sometimes in life when we feel overwhelmed by it all, we can have tunnel vision because the thing that is overwhelming us, is all we can think about & see ahead… 🚇However, if we looked outside the tunnel we could see the bigger picture!

How ‘Tunnel Vision’ restricts your perspective in life:

Just like in the photo I snapped used on this post; by not having tunnel vision, we also get to see the bigger picture surrounding the tunnel not just the limited views from inside the tunnel.

Continue reading “The dangers of Tunnel Vision and how to break down the walls to widen your perspective in life”

Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE

Handy ways to get prepared, focused and be ready for all that’s ahead in the future: Focus Words, Goal Setting & Promises to yourself!

Set your New Year intentions with Focus Words, Goal Setting and Promises to yourself – as ways to be prepared, focused and ready for the new year ahead…

When a new year begins there is a feel of freshness in the air and an atmosphere of new beginnings. A lot of people still set themselves New Years Resolutions but how many people actually continue these things past January is questionable.

Instead of traditional resolutions, I like to do other things to get my mind focused on the future, to carry with me the lessons learnt from the past and to go forward being clear on my goals and my intentions for the year ahead.

continue more
Posted in ALL BLOGS, CHRISTMAS, POEMS

“CHRISTMAS CHEER” A Christmas Acrostic Poem encapsulating the Christmas Season.

A Christmas Poem encapsulating the beauty of the Christmas Season and all its traditions:

Happy Christmas to all my readers!

I decided to write a poem to try to encapsulate the beautiful atmosphere of Christmas time and all the things that work together to make it a special time of year. So, I chose the word ‘CHRISTMAS CHEER’ to use in an acrostic poem – enjoy…

Continue reading ““CHRISTMAS CHEER” A Christmas Acrostic Poem encapsulating the Christmas Season.”

Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE

Mary Poppins Fancy Dress Costume D.I.Y Tutorial Guide

‘Do It Yourself’ Mary Poppins Fancy Dress Costume Tutorial Guide:

When it came to choosing a costume for the latest fancy dress party I attended, I decided to choose an English favourite; Mary Poppins!

Even you are unfortunate enough not to know who Mary Poppins is, click here for all the info about the movie off IMDb.

Mary Poppins Fancy Dress Costume DIY by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com
As you can see I don’t do superstition about opening umbrella’s indoors.

I already had the basics of the outfit which I’m sure most people would also with it being a white shirt and black skirt. So it turned out to be an easy option and something that’s easy to put together last-minute or when short of time to organise and search for a complicated outfit with lots of things to source out.

Items needed for Mary Poppins DIY Fancy Dress Costume:

  • White skirt
  • Black skirt
  • Black tights
  • Red bow tie
  • White gloves
  • Black hat with white flowers and red berries
  • Long umbrella
  • Mary Poppins magic bag

DIY Mary Poppins Fancy Dress Costume by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com
Why not pin this image to have this costume ready and waiting for your next Fancy Dress Party

DIY Mary Poppins Hat:

  • Black hat
  • White flowers
  • Red berries

The choice is yours if you decide to use plastic flowers and berries, real ones or you could even draw them on as an option. I decided to go down the real route and took some scissors outside and cut myself some white flowers and some berries. The berries were green and purple, so my creative compromise was to use a red permanent marker and colour in the berries to make them look red.

DIY Mary Poppins Hat for fancy dress costume tutorial by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com

I felt like the outfit came together really well. If I wanted to make it even more fitting to the real thing I could have used an all black umbrella instead of a white and black one and I could have searched for a bag with a pattern closer to the one used in the movie.

However, considering I came runner-up in the costume competition I’m still proud of the job I did, especially the creative effort I put into my hat & the imaginative idea to use a red bow hair slide clipped onto my shirt instead of buying a red bow tie.

Here is how it looked – Do you agree it all pulled together well? Let me know in the comments what you verdict is…

get into character with this DIY Mary Poppins Fancy Dress Costume tutorial blog by Helen's Journey www.helensjourney.com
I did a drama degree so character role play feels like part of my DNA make up 😉

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DIY Mary Poppins Hat for a Fancy Dress Costume by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com
I enjoyed being ‘PRACTICALY PERFECT IN EVERY WAY’ for the night 😉

Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE

Touching Gift Ideas for your Loved Ones

Here are some handy ideas for getting touching Birthday gifts for your friends and loved ones…

There are so many gift ideas out there, sometimes you can feel confused and lost as to what to get your friends and loved ones for their birthday. Well here is a break down of some lovely gift ideas through me sharing with you a list of gifts I had for my Birthday this year, that helped to made it so full of love and effort…

A Notebook is always a good idea!

No matter what age or gender etc you are buying for, a notepad is always a good idea. With so many designs and functions you can get a personalised pads to suit whatever your loved one would use it for. Blog ideas, poems, song lyrics, rap words, drawing sketches, sports plays, dream teams, shopping lists, taking notes in church or school… the possibilities are endless!

The one my Sister got me for my birthday isn’t any old notebook – no, its ‘A Little Book Of Happy Thoughts’ notebook’ by the company ‘East of India’. However , don’t let the name fool you as it is actually noted on the back that it is designed in Great Britain.

She also added onto it a miniature heart reading ‘A SISTER IS A SPECIAL KIND OF FRIEND’ ahhhh she is too cute! I’ve hung it up on my key hooks by my front door, so it can make me smile when I see it hanging up my keys.

notepad gift ideas for loved ones birthday's by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com

Video’s sent from the heart, can touch you just as much as the written word in messages and cards!

My best Friend pulled off a great surprise gift for me this year. She had contacted different people in my life and asked them to make a video message to me for my birthday and asked them what I meant to them. Then at different intervals throughout the day on my birthday she sent me the videos to bring love and smiles to fill out my day.

There were some heartfelt words, sincere friendship and things to make me laugh too. As a person who spends so much time supporting others, being a listening ear and an adviser, it was lovely to hear people’s appreciation for me being these things to them and not taking it for granted but wanting to show their appreciation, respect and love for me because of it.

I’d recommend this video message collage gift for all ages and genders – whatever age we are, we need to sometimes hear the words from others about their feelings towards us. It was a lovely birthday boost and I felt so much love oozing from my mobile as I received them!

Photo fun is a must on Birthdays to capture the celebrations!

What a surprise I had when I turned up at my friend’s house to celebrate my birthday with them. Laid out on the table were lots of accessories on sticks for taking photos to capture fun and laughter. There were sparkles, pouting lips, glasses, moustache, speech bubbles & a fabulous happy Birthday sash for me to wear for the rest of the night.

DIY photo-booth accessories for gift ideas for loved ones birthday's by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com

On the wall was a rainbow glitter wall covering and fairy lights to act as a backdrop for the photos and in a way make a photo-booth area effect. Oh what fun we had switching accessories, doing different poses and laughing. it was a really cool thing for them to do and I really appreciated the effort.

DIY photo-booth backdrop for gift ideas for loved ones birthday's by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com

This is a great DIY gift that will show your loved one the effort you put in for them to have a guaranteed fun birthday. You can do this on a budget too by using cereal boxes for cardboard to make the accessories and twigs or paper-straws for the sticks. Fairy lights  and colourful craft paper or wrapping paper you could get on a budget from Poundland or its US equivalent Dollartree.  Then all you need is smiles, laughter and some good old-fashioned fun!

A gift chosen from the heart because it will touch a heart, is a precious gift indeed!

My friend Candice knows how much I loved my Irish Grandad when he was alive & how I spent my life travelling back and forth mostly to Ireland with him but also America. Ireland holds a special place in my heart not only because it is part of my heritage but because it holds sooooooo many happy memories of quality time I spent with my Grandad at so many different ages throughout my life.

My friend really touched me with this gift of a glistening green shamrock pendant on a silver necklace. It was like it was a representation of all the love she saw between us in our photos and the loving words I always shared about him on my personal social media. I will wear it with a full heart bursting with happy memories! 💚

sentimental gift ideas for loved ones birthday's by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com

Reusable and Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas:

My little brother not only supports me on my journey of switching to natural products & looking for Eco-friendly alternatives, but is on his own journey with using Eco-friendly, natural material, reusable nappies for his bay daughter & many other natural baby products (which makes me so happy to see).

So it’s no surprise he got me a ‘Reusable Food and Sandwich Wrap’ by the company ‘Keep Leaf’ that is also washable. It’s got a 100% cotton outward layer with a really cute pattern of tiny pink, purple and the odd green hearts too. There is a Velcro to keep your food held safely inside, keeping fresh and staying waterproof. Its BPA-free, Lead-free and Phthalate-free – with that many ‘free’s’ you know I’m sold! lol

reusable and eco-friendly gift ideas for your loved ones by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com
Reusable, washable, chemical-free & Eco-friendly food wrap, is a much healthier way to wrap your food!

Another great eco-friendly gift to get a loved one is a reusable hot drinks cup, esp for those people who love to grab a coffee or tea on the go. I have written a blog post all about the different options for reusable hot drink cups, to make the choice easier for you and to get the right one that suits your loved ones needs and personality. CLICK HERE to open the guide up in a new window. ..

Auntie love is a special kind of love:

Off my two nephews I got a soy wax candle in a ‘Awesome Auntie’ Tin – my sister knows how much I treasure being an auntie, so I love anything from them with Auntie written on it.

Getting loved ones items with their title on it (whether its Mom, Dad, Husband, Wife, etc) makes them feel they have an important role and status in your life and can help them feel appreciated and that their role is valued.

Gift Ideas with titles on for your loved ones to make them feel special. gift ideas post on Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com

Every day needs a bit of BLING and a birthday is the perfect excuse to sparkle!

My sister-in-law chose these diamond effect, bling magnets perfectly – not only because she knows I love me some bling, but also because she knows how covered in magnets my fridge is! This is perfect for those people who love a bit of sparkle and what better day to encourage them to shine than on their birthday 😉

bling gift ideas for loved ones that enjoy a sparkle. A gift ideas post by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com

Gifts to touch the hearts of loved ones:

Who doesn’t love an inspirational quote or encouraging words? You can’t go wrong when choosing gifts with words on that you think the person will identify with, enjoy and agree with. I think gifts like these are important especially if you know the person you are buying for needs an uplift ever so often or struggles with their mental health at times. It’s a gift to say ‘I care’ and that you want them to be encouraged every time they look at the gift.

The present I got in the picture below was one of these a touching gifts. The person got it in a cross shape to identify with my Christian faith and they also encapsulated a perspective I share on my Social Media channels and Blog all the time about counting my blessings, acceptance, hope etc. Gifts like this are a great way to show how much you know a person and give it that personalised feeling to it.

gift ideas to touch the hearts of your loved ones by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com

So, there you have it, a list of handy gift ideas you could use to make your loved ones birthday special and full of laughter, smiles and love. These gift ideas will leave the birthday person feeling loved, appreciated, valued and most of all feeling they are worth the effort of finding them the perfect gift just for them!

Why not share in the comments what was the best birthday gift you’ve ever had, to help others in their quest for the perfect gift for their loved one…

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touching gift ideas for your loved ones, blog by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com

Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE

Life Lessons that the Season of Autumn/Fall can bring for us all!

Life lessons the season of Autumn / Fall can bring to all… and how to stay positive through seasonal changes.

Like most things in life, how we experience the change of season and weather, is down to our personal perspective. This post is all about purposely choosing a positive perspective as we transition into a new season…

Believe me, as someone with chronic illness that is worsened in the colder weather I know oh too well the amount of dread the colder weather months can be met with and the effect of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) depression that seasonally comes in the dark Autumn and Winter months.

However, learning to see the beautiful life lessons of the season helped me to embrace the change instead of dreading it – as it can’t be changed through dread or worry so might as well be enjoyed for its positives even though it brings along negatives. ‘Balance’ and ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ come to mind.

“What possible lessons could the Autumn / Fall give me?” I hear you ask.

Let me explain…

The Autumn/Fall trees are about to show us how beautiful changes can be:

The season change is inevitable and can’t be skipped, so instead of dreading the change and worrying about it, lets embrace the change and remind ourselves that change can actually bring new beauty for us to see.

The trees are affected by cold weather too, it makes their leaves lose their green colour and then fall off altogether. Yes the trees can’t change the changes that are to come, so instead they carry off the differences as a beautiful coat change for all to admire.

The trees are about to how us how pretty change can be. Life lessons from the season of autumn aka fall. blog post by Helen's Journey blog

Putting away the old, to make way for the new:

many people have a ‘winter wardrobe’ and a ‘summer wardrobe’ and as the seasons change so does their wardrobe options. As Autumn/Fall draws in, our summer wardrobes are put away for another year, but it also gives you the chance of sorting out some of those clothes that you want to give way to charity or loved ones.

Then as we get our wardrobes for colder weather out we are reminded of items we may have forgotten about and we can look forward to wearing in the colder weather.

Don’t get me wrong I’m a sunshine lover so I’d choose summer sandal weather over cold weather any day! However, I am looking forward to wearing my new winter boots, even though I got them second-hand, they are new to my winter wardrobe and give me items I’m happy to start using.

It can be something as small as getting to wear your soft leather clothes again or a warm scarf you got as a Christmas pressent last year and had forgotten about. These small things with the right sprinkle of gratitude can help bring a smile while we transit through the season change we don’t normally enjoy.

I'm looking forward to the Autumn, fall, winter so I can wear my new winter over the knee boots of Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com

What appears dead & cold, can once again come to life after a season of rejuvenation:

The reminder that even though things appear to have died from the cold Autumn/Fall weather, such as frost and other bad conditions – once conditions are improved, they can once again bloom with life in what we thought were lifeless places. Where there was brown there is the possibility of green life once again. Out of soil that looks barren can spring new life again after a harsh season of weather, once conditions have improved.

So remember Spring and Summer are still yet to come when we can bloom and thrive once again. See Autumn/Fall and Winter as your season of rejuvenation, your time to cocoon before you fly, your time to snuggle up in the warmth counting your blessings and seeing the beauty that Autumn/Fall still have to bring.

Remember in the Autumn/Fall that life can still be breathed into our cold bones!

It reminds me of the Bible Passage Ezekiel 37 ‘The Valley of Dry Bones’ (Click to open in new window to read passage) where God shows his power by breathing life into lifeless dry bones, so they would live again.  Like the House of Israel in this passage we may say “Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.” because the cold can affect our bones and winter hibernation can make us feel cut off to the world.

However, do not forget the lesson of the season and that God can breathe life into us “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live” and we can have a blessed season ahead counting our blessings not just focusing on the cold and dark, but purposely bringing in light and hope and gratitude!

For those who aren’t spiritual to identify with this need for Gods spiritual breath to resuscitate us at times, maybe your breath of fresh air will be brought into the cold season through loved ones, warm log fires, music to lift your spirits and all the small things that make you smile! I encourage you to read my post “Remember the small things in life!” (click to open blog post in new window/tab.)

choosing to look beyond the cold weather to see the beauty in the season of autumn aka fall. post by Helen's Journey blog

A lesson in perseverance through the colder seasons in life, to then bloom in life once again with better times ahead.

Just like the cold can torment greenery, plant life, etc… We can also be tormented by the cold, the depression of winter, the weighing of dark nights, the lack of sunlight etc. Yet, we need to purposely remind ourselves that after torment, can come a life of contentment once again.

How to purposely choose a positive perspective, as we transition into a new season!

So as we enter into the Autumn/Fall season have a smile on your face waiting for the beauty of the trees as they change their coats, the newness of our winter wardrobes, the perseverance as we cocoon for the season knowing we will bloom once again in the change of season to come after Winter…

No matter how cold, dark or bad some days seem – there is always something to be grateful for. Even if it’s just having a roof over your head. Remembering what we are thankful for can help weigh out the negatives of Autumn/Fall with a grateful perspective looking out for those small silver linings to the dark Winter clouds!

Why not comment and let us know your favourite thing for the Autumn/Fall season, to help everyone to adjust and look out for the seasons beauty…

HAVE AN ENJOYABLE AUTUMN/FALL EVERYONE! FROM Helen’s Journey xx

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choosing to look beyond the cold weather to see the beauty in the season of autumn aka fall. post by Helen's Journey blog

Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE

What I’ve learnt from 3 years of growing my hair for charity, to make a wig for a child with cancer

“SHORT HAIR DON’T CARE” to           “LONG HAIR COZ I CARE”

Have you seen the hashtag floating around on social media #shorthairdontcare ?

Well this was always my reality, as I’ve mostly always had short hair, even as a child as I made washing my hair such an ordeal as I hated getting water in my eyes (mix of eczema, sensitive eyes and being a diva) and disliked getting my hair brushed too! I think it was just easier for my mom to let me have the shorter hair I wanted.

Yet for the past 3 years, as I’ve been growing my hair an extra 12 inches in length, for a charity donation my hashtag became #longhairdontcare instead, as I grew my hair the longest it has EVER been in my whole 34 years of life.

Only now, with ‘the big charity chop’ being two weeks away, my reality has now become the opposite of that hashtag. As now it’s more like #longhaircozicare

I know my Mom will have some difficulty working that out so here it is ‘un-hastagged’ (I know that isn’t a proper word Mom, but maybe it should be a modern addition 😉)

# long hair coz I care

what i've learnt from growing my hair for 3 years for charity, to make a wig for a child with cancer. blog post by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com long hair coz i care

How can growing your hair, be done for charity?

Well my chosen charity is called ‘The Little Princess Trust’. They use donated hair to make natural hair wigs for children who have lost their own hair, mostly from cancer treatment but also other illnesses too. They then provide the wig made from your hair, to a child or young person in need, free of charge!

It actually costs £350 – £500 to make one wig! So I’ve set myself the mammoth task of trying to raise the minimum wig making cost – so please if you feel able to sponsor me, any amount is totally appreciated. ❤ Even £1 can help, as when lots of people donate it all adds up! Please click here to sponsor me: Helen’s Growathon BIG HAIRCUT Sponsor Page 

Some may be aware of ‘The Little Princess Trust’ as The Duchess of Cambridge (the UK’s Prince William’s wife) donated her hair to the charity earlier this year (click to read all about it in a new tab here)

Years ago my older brother told us all about this charities work & his decision to grow his own hair for a few years to then donate it.

To watch him do it was humbling. Yes we no doubt teased him along the way, like our family does to each other about everything – but done in loving banter of course. However, we were all so, so proud of him for sticking with it & seeing it through to bless a child less fortunate.

He sums up his experience perfectly on his Instagram post:

A mans heartfelt story of growing his hair long for donating it to make a wig for a child with cancer and dealing with adults calling him names

Why choose to grow your hair for charity?

I suffer with chronic illness that affects my physical ability to do daily life activities – let alone extra physical exertions such as marathons etc that a lot of people do for charity.

For some growing your hair may not sound hard, but when washing and drying your hair already wipes you out so much because of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia pain in your arms flares up from using a hair dryer and brush when drying your hair – having even longer hair to deal with isn’t such a simple task!

So in the second half of 2015 when my older brother announced he was once again going to grow his hair for the same cause, my older sister and myself said this time we would do it with him too.

fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome can make me feel like this after washing and drying such long hair im growing for charity. my donated hair will make a wig for a child with cancer
This Snapchat filter made me laugh, as this is how I feel after washing, de-tangling and drying this long hair due to chronic illness issues – but the effort will be worth it to me, for the child it helps!

It’s a family affair!

I’ve always admired people who did big events for charity. My sister did ‘Race for Life’ to raise money for breast cancer. My younger brother ran the London Marathon when he was 18 to raise money for Christian Aid, he completed the 26.2miles in 3 hours 54 minutes & 19 seconds!

My Uncle, unfortunately sufferers from Leukemia and so last year he and his youngest son did a 26 mile bike ride to raise money for Bloodwise (Blood Cancer Research). This year on Sunday 17th June my Uncle, older Brother (but with his freshly shaven head to keep cool after his big hair cut of 12 inches!) and my Cousin-in-law, all do the 26 mile bike ride once again! Here is the link if you wish to sponsor them or know more about it: BLOODWISE BIKE RIDE

So, to me I saw growing my hair as something I could realistically physically do, without illness making it unbearable or doctors warnings stopping me. I could still achieve an accomplishment and help others in the process. I didn’t think twice about volunteering to join my brother and sister in growing our hair an extra 12 inches and I’m proud of myself for sticking with it right to the end! (well nearly the end, once those scissors touch my hair… eeeek)

long hair coz i care. what ive learnt from growing my hair for 3 years for charity, to make a wig for a child with cancer. blog by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com

Life lessons growing long hair has taught me…

Who knew how much of a different an experience you get in humidity & heat with long hair compared to short?! Being in a public space such as a bar that gets stuffy & sweaty really gave me a clammy neck! Even in cold weather long hair can feel like a scarf all around your neck and face, keeping you warm and cosy (it can tickle sometimes though lol)!

Also, trying to dry your hair with a hair dryer in a hot country even with air-con on was just like a sauna, my brow was literally dripping! My brain was confused like “hold on didn’t you just step out-of the shower, but now I’m sweaty like I want a shower?!” 😥

I learnt things about my hair that I just didn’t know until I grew it past my jaw line. Like discovering my wet hair jaw line down is actually wavy until I brush the curls out. Also, who knew how frustrating and annoying it would be when you brush all your long hair into the perfect ponytail, only for the hair bobble to snap when you go to tie it up in its perfect position! DOH! 😉

I didn’t know hair could get so knotty and tangled! I’d never experienced hairballs or tangled knots in my hair before having such long hair. Finding out about a magical tool people with long hair use for this problem saved me some elbow pain – how marvellous is a ‘tangle teaser’ hair brush! The amount of time, effort and Fibromyalgia pain flares in my arms that this brush spared me, was a long-haired persons blessing! 🤣

For the last two years I have also only washed my hair using all natural shampoo & conditioner – so I learnt about natural hair care during the process of growing it. I feel even better knowing I’m donating chemical free hair too 😊😁

I’ve never really fully appreciated the fact my hair grows quickly and thickly until doing this. Thinking of the child who will end up receiving the wig made from my hair and my effort, has made me appreciate the quality of my hair.

I think I will miss long-haired life and quickly putting my hair up in a messy bun, because another slogan I lived by was #MessyBunGettingStuffDone when you can just get your hair out your face as you mean business with your to-do list!

However, I’ll be very happy to have a cool neck this summer while I think of my long hair keeping a child’s neck warm. Thinking of the smile on their face as they feel hair on their head once again – this will make it all worth it!!!

******POST HAIRCUT UPDATE******

So on Friday 22nd June I got the big chop done by the lovely Chris at the hairdressers I’ve been going to for 12 years, Heads Hair Co in Birmingham, UK (click on name to go to their website).

I streamed my hair cut live on Instagram & you can see pictures on my new hair cut on my Instagram feed. Photos of my charity cut were also featured on a Instagram page dedicated to raising awareness of donating hair to charity, click HERE to view the step by step photos.

After the hair cut I needed a way to express the rollercoaster of emotions it sent me on – I did this the way I know how = creatively! I rewrote the lyrics to the famous ‘Fresh Prince Of Bel Air’ theme tune to re-tell the story of my charity hair cut. It was so much fun writing it & I’ve had so much great feedback from readers enjoying it just as much. Click HERE to read my post hair cut blog:  MY CREATIVE TWIST ON ‘THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR’ THEME TUNE, TO SHARE THIS REWARDING LIFE EXPERIENCE OF DONATING MY HAIR WITH YOU!

I officially raised £670.04 that was sent directly to the charity – so not only did I cover the entire cost of making my own hair into a wig, but I also contributed to covering the costs of another child’s wig being made! THANK YOU to everyone who sponsored me and supported me, it really is appreciated.

My sponsor page is STAYING OPEN meaning people can still sponsor me at any time & the money goes straight to the charity via my just giving page: Helen’s Growathon BIG HAIRCUT Sponsor Page

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3 DAY QUOTE CHALLENGE – DAY 3 OF SHARING A LOVED QUOTE & WHY I CHOSE IT

The power of words!

Everyone loves a good quote, right?

Well I must say I’ve rather enjoyed this ‘‘3 Day Quote Challenge’ with choosing a new quote to share each day and explaining my reasons for choosing it. I love fun with words, I love sharing and I love encouraging others – the perfect challenge for me 😉

As today 22nd April is World Earth Day’ I felt it appropriate to choose a quote from ‘Mr all things nature’ himself, Sir David Attenborough:

david attenborough quote for world earth day. day 3 of 3 day quote challenge by helen's journey blog www.helensjourney.com

I chose this quote as I feel it hits home the important message of not sitting back thinking that things are not our problem and that we can’t do anything about the state of the world now and for the future – not only for the environment but for ourselves and our loved ones!

As humans some find it easy to turn their backs on things that don’t necessarily concern them or affect them in a big enough way to provoke them to get involved, research or make changes.

We only have to look at the state of the world, pollution, wildlife, tree population etc to see the results of human inaction or incorrect repeated action.

I look at the state of my own UK Government and see them inhumanly deporting people from the ‘Windrush Generation’, taking school meals away from children, making it almost impossible to get disability benefits unless you can’t move at all, room caps on housing benefit, the cut to ESA, the increase of knife crime amongst our youth, failing to give unbiased treatment to certain sectors of society like the poor, old, disabled, non-white etc.

My list could go on and I’m sure you could do the same about where you are from in the world too…

HOWEVER, we do have choices to make daily and decisions to make that can help people, places, animals and most of all our future generations! If we can’t help out of human kindness and a collective love, then let it be solely for selfish reasons such as doing the best for our own children and our own families – that reason is as good as any to make changes!

Sir david attenborough quote for world earth day and day 3 of the 3 day quote challenge by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com
Gotta love Sir David & all his nature programmes – nice memories of watching them with my Dad growing up ❤

I’m going to be nominating 3 others to join in with the Quote Challenge fun. So on Day 3, I nominate:

  1. Haya from the blog Random Thoughts (Thanks for your comments on Day 1 & Day 2’s quotes)
  2.  Original Twitter blogger pal from the beginning of my blogging journey Sunburnt Aloe 
  3. Faizah from Faizah Blogs who blogs all things Mental Health

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you & link to their blog.
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  • Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  • Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

So there you have it my last quote for the ‘3 Day Quote Challenge’ – I’m glad you have enjoyed it as much as I have!

Here are the links to click for reading the other chosen quotes:

DAY 1 OF SHARING A QUOTE I LOVE & WHY I CHOSE IT

DAY 2 OF SHARING A QUOTE TO LIVE BY & REASONS WHY I CHOSE IT

Thanks again Shannon from the blog MSnubutterflies for the nomination.

Have fun reading and sharing quotes everyone 👌👍☺✍

Wondering just what is World Earth Day, come and read my blog post all about it by clicking the blog title below:

‘WORLD EARTH DAY’ – What is it & how can I join in by making changes to my plastic use?

happy world earth day message from Helen's Journey blog quote www.helensjourney.com

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david attenborough quote for world earth day. day 3 of 3 day quote challenge by Helen's Journey Blog www.helensjourney.com

Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE

‘3 Day Quote Challenge’ Day 2 of sharing a quote to live by & reasons why I chose it

3 Day Quote Challenge:

Day 2 of sharing a quote to live by and the reasons why I chose it

So just what is the ‘3 Day Quote Challenge’? I hear you ask… well it’s when each day you choose a quote to share and explain your reasons for choosing it – I’m always up for fun with words! 😉

So here is my quote for Day 2:

encouraging quote for day 2 of the 3 day quote challenge by helen's journey blog www/helensjourney.com
“I know this transition is painful, but you’re not falling apart: you’re just falling into something different, with a new capacity to be beautiful” – Quote by the Author William C. Hannan

 

This quote is really poignant for me as I really am in a season of transition for mind, body & soul;

  • Discovering new things
  • Expanding my knowledge
  • Researching the unknown
  • Questioning all I’ve known
  • Growing as a person
  • Expanding my capacity
  • Confirming who I am
  • Adapting to the new
  • Reaffirming all I stand for
  • Withdrawing <not from you my lovely readers, but from a bad situation/group of people and one of my medications too 😉 >

It’s a much-needed reminder that even if something hurts it doesn’t mean you are injured too badly to carry on.

A reminder that even if you feel broken and that life has fallen to pieces – that all those pieces will still fit together to make a new puzzle, that although different from the old, can still be beautiful! ❤

Each day I’m going to be nominating 3 others to join in with the Quote Challenge fun. So on Day 2, I nominate:

  1. My fabulous re-tweeting friend on Twitter @bloglove2018 from Family By Choice
  2. A fellow Fibromyalgia Fighter, Alisha from The Invisible F
  3. Arora from the blog Journey of Life Continues

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you & link to their blog.
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  • Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  • Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

So there you have it my quote for Day 2 of the ‘3 Day Quote Challenge’ – make sure you check out Day 3’s quote tomorrow 😉 & here is the link to click for reading the other two days chosen quotes:

DAY 1 OF SHARING A QUOTE I LOVE & WHY I CHOSE IT

DAY 3 OF SHARING A QUOTE I LOVE & WHY I CHOSE IT

Thanks again Shannon from the blog MSnubutterflies for the nomination.

Have fun everyone, reading and sharing quotes 👌👍☺✍

Signing off; ~ Helen ~

Enjoy reading my posts and poems? Then don’t miss out when new stuff is posted –Please click here to join my Email Mailing List to receive an email notification when a new blog is posted!

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encouraging quote for day 2 of the 3 day quote challenge by helen's journey blog wwwhelensjourney.com

Posted in ALL BLOGS, Chronic Illness, LIFE

3 day Quote Challenge – Day 1 of sharing a quote I love & why I chose it

3 Day Quote Challenge:

Day 1 of sharing a quote I love and why I chose it

I love a challenge, so being nominated to do a ‘3 Day Quote Challenge’ when each day you choose a quote to share and explain your reasons for choosing it – of course I accepted!

Thank you to Shannon from the blog MSnubutterflies for nominating me for this challenge!

Here is my quote for Day 1:

helens journey quote about appreciating the small things in life you can do, not big things you cant do.
I questioned if choosing a quote from myself was vain, but considering I’m used to putting myself in the limelight, I thought I’d go for it! 😉

 

This is actually a quote from my blog post “WHAT I’VE LEARNT FROM OVER A DECADE WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS! TOP 5 LIFE LESSONS FIBROMYALGIA HAS TAUGHT ME…” (Click on blog title to open the post in a new window)

I love this quote as it’s through changing my focus from what I can’t do due to health conditions, to focusing on what I can still do – that helped me find a more positive outlook, a re-tuned perspective and an appreciation for the small things in life!

I hope to you, whether you have a chronic illness or other limiting factors in life or not, it really is a reminder of life being what you make it no matter what hand your dealt.

It also brings to mind the quote “When life gives you lemonsmake lemonade” or is that cheating throwing another quote into the mix? Always the rebel hey 😉

Each day I’m going to be nominating 3 others to join in with the Quote Challenge fun. So Day 1 I nominate:

The lovely Sophie from Something So True

Wendy over at My Organic Life Journey

Rebbecca from Becks In The City

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you & link to their blog.
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  • Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  • Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

So there you have it my quote for Day 1 of the ‘3 Day Quote Challenge’  – don’t forget to read the other 2 😉

Click here to read Day 2’s quote & reason: Day 2

Click here to read Day 3’s quote & reason: Day 3

Have fun everyone, reading and sharing quotes 👌👍☺✍

Signing off; ~ Helen ~

Enjoy reading my posts and poems? Then don’t miss out when new stuff is posted –Please click here to join my Email Mailing List to receive an email notification when a new blog is posted!

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helens journey quote about appreciating the small things in life you can do, not big things you cant do. day 1 of 3 day quote challenge

Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE, POEMS

“We are Woman!” A poem & a celebratory post about the power of a woman (Esp the single & childless woman)!

This week marked ‘International Women’s Day’ & ‘Mother’s Day’ ~ Day’s for celebrating all things woman!

A lot of people concentrate on the wonderful job we have of carrying human life form inside us, being a mother, a life giver, a wife, a homemaker etc. However, if you are single and childless do not feel any less of a woman or feel uncelebrated, unrecognised or insignificant!  These days ARE for you too!!

I decided to write a poem to encourage those of us who are single and childless to still embrace days we feel highlight our ‘don’t have’s’ and instead celebrate all that we do have – after all we still have the power of being a woman! 😉

“We are woman.

We are love, we are care, we are nurture, we are encouragement, we are strength, we are kindness.

We are inclusive, captivating, patient and able.

We are the wiping away of tears from our own unfulfilled yearnings of motherhood, as we look after and parent the offspring of others.

We are capable of not wanting our own children but still loving children and spending time with them in enjoyment and care.

We have that capacity to love beyond surnames, bond beyond family ties, join beyond blood bonds, unite beyond differences.

We are time givers, hug givers, love givers, caregivers, advice givers.

We smile with strength through our sorrows.

Showing our scars, these war wounds are our beauty marks.

 We are Woman”

~ Poem By Helen’s Journey

Single? Childless?

How these things can’t take away your ability of being a loyal partner or your maternal instincts to look after a child:

A woman who is able to love, nurture, care for and be there for a child that isn’t her own biological offspring – is still fulfilling the motherly role. Maybe you are an aunt, a sister, godmother or without an official title attached; simply a maternal caregiver to a child.

That ability isn’t because you carried the child inside you for 9 months or isn’t because of the bond created as you gave birth to them and held them close. Instead, that ability to look after a child like they are your own comes from being a woman, that built-in maternal capacity to nurture and look after others.

It is in the power of ‘Womanhood’ not just of ‘Motherhood’!

As child-less women we can still be an amazing parent – only it isn’t to our own biological children.

over 30. single. childless. we are to be celebrated too on mothers day! blog by www.helensjourney.com

As single women we still get to be that amazing partner you would be as a wife – only it isn’t within a marriage, it can be in any of the other relationships you do have in your life:

  • with a best friend,
  • your siblings,
  • a friendship group,
  • work colleagues,
  • your boss,
  • your church life group that meets up each week or once a month,
  • the support group you’re a part of,
  • at the place where you volunteer with a group of people needing a supportive relationship in their life as its lacking.

The list could carry on, but I’m sure it’s got you thinking of your own lives and the relationships you have built up personally.

If you’re thinking you don’t really have anyone close, don’t worry – as you have every day of your future to change that. Even smiling at strangers is handing out that natural nurturing and care giving gene within.

We don’t need the title ‘wife’ to be able to maintain lasting partnerships!

We have the capability of building strong, loyal, reliable relationships where you stick together, helping and supporting each other through life. Making nice memories sharing in life moments together along the way.

No it isn’t a romantic relationship as in a marriage. But that doesn’t mean we can not exercise the qualities of a wife before or if ever, we actually become a wife.

The point is, a single, childless woman can still emulate all of those maternal and wife like qualities before she gets those official titles or even if she never does.

I know if I never have my own children here on earth with me, that although not the same, I still got to experience glimpses of motherhood through my involvement and relationships with my nephews (and my ‘soon to arrive’ niece in the future), God children, children in my wider family and children of friends. Not forgetting all the children I have taught in drama sessions, after school clubs, activity days etc.

I love to love, to care, to educate, to encourage, to engage and to nurture. I couldn’t wait for the official title of ‘mother’ to be a maternal woman, because it was already a part of who I am. I can’t wait until I get the title ‘wife’ before I commit to a partnership with loyalty, time and care – because I’d of missed out on so many beautiful non-romantic relationships I have in my life, esp my loyal partnership with my best mate.

CHILDLESS WOMAN BLOG AT WWW.HELENSJOURNEY.COM for the childless and motherless on mothers day

Blood only gives you the title ‘Mother’, it doesn’t make you motherly – your actions do that:

One of my Aunties who doesn’t have her own children, showed me what it was to mother a child who wasn’t your biological child. As growing up she looked after us, invested time in us, listened to us, played with us, educated us and gave us enjoyable life experiences together going on day trips etc. she made the choice to grow and nurture those maternal instincts with us and we all loved her even more for it!

I also call some Mothers of my longtime friends, not only by their name but with Mommy in there too: eg: ‘Mommy Sonia’. Why? Because for over 20 years these strong women had me in their homes like I was their child, yes that includes telling me off if needed! lol.

In return ‘Mommy Sonia’ introduces me as her ‘other daughter’ and my Mom introduces her daughter as her own too – we’re family like that without the shared blood or genes and that is the whole point I’m making in this post.

Even Jesus did this as an example to set for today, He was dying so he told his best mates to now look after his Mom like she was their own mother and told his Mom his best mates were now her children – It’s special to still do this today in our own lives, if we are childless or motherless, to adopt our own families in life!

John 19 verse 25 – 27 (NIV translation)

“When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 
and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”

So for us women who don’t have children for whatever reasons in life – Mother’s Day is still for us, and a celebration of the strength we have to give motherly love and care to children who aren’t our own.

Happy Mothers Day to all the women out there in whatever role they have in parenting or nurturing children ❤

Is today a hard day for you as you are a ‘Mother of an Angel’ or ‘Daughter to an Angel’? I encourage you to read this affirmation blog post I did to remind every one of how AMAZING they are (Click on blog title below to go to the post):

“YOU ARE…” A SELF-LOVE AFFIRMATION TO REMIND US HOW AMAZING WE ARE AND A BLOG POST TO ENCOURAGE SPEAKING POSITIVELY ABOUT OURSELVES!

thinking of you on mothers day by helen's journey. A blog about being childless on mothers day

Want to read some more of my poetry?

Here are some other poems I have shared (Click on the poem titles below to open them in another window):

“Never Judge A Book By Its Cover”  – A poem I wrote when I felt that I was being judged and treated unfairly.

“Making friends with Grief”      – A poem I wrote in ode to my Grandad on the anniversary of his passing.

Why not come & follow my blogging footsteps on other Social Media Platforms too! (Click on names to open up each profile):

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we are woman poem and celebratory post about the power of a woman, esp the single childless woman on mothers day by www.helensjourney.com

Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE

Deaths reminder to treasure loved ones & work towards the legacy you’ll leave behind…

Today’s reflection is one of importance, to TREASURING YOUR LOVED ONES and work towards YOUR LEGACY that you will leave behind!

I am remembering all the lessons of my Christmas Reflections Collection:

  • Be present in the now moments with loved ones.
  • Remind yourself no matter how stressful life gets you have the ability to stay stable and stand tall even when so many things are trying to make you fall down.
  • Also the fragile nature of life and the ability to make new traditions as well as honouring the old.
  • Remember the small stuff in life that have the ability to bring so much more joy than the big.
  • The ability to stay calm and not give in to stress (no matter how tangled the christmas tree lights are)

This blog is a gentle prompt to enjoy time with your loved ones, making precious memories and treasuring having them in your life. Hold them dear & be grateful for all the blessings they bring or challenges they bring – as they both make an impact on your life.

Generally treasure the people you spend most time with and all those that make contact with you just to say “Hello, how are you?”

A couple of days ago, I attended the sad event of my uncle’s funeral. It really touched me the amount of people who came out in love for him. They had the crematorium full to the brim with people even standing in all the aisles & even out into the entrance hall as there wasn’t enough seats or standing space for the many whom came to pay their respects.

The eulogies from his younger brother & his friends were a tribute to the man he was, as a family member, husband and as a friend. Oh how loved he was & how missed he will be!

As they spoke of his warm smile, his football banter, his friendship, his older brother love, his strength through illness, his private character being open in loyalty and other honourable things about him as a man ~ it was all a reminder that it’s how you make others feel that they remember, how you look at them, how you interact with them & the care that you show them.

life lessons of loss and building your legacy
Ask yourself, What legacy are you leaving behind?

As well as working towards our careers, our health, our fitness, our businesses, etc – we need to remember to work at our relationships, put work into our interactions with others and pay attention to how we are making others feel. After all when we are gone these are the things that people will remember us for!

What better 2018 goal can we set for ourselves than to work on the legacy we leave behind, the love and care we leave behind in loved ones hearts and the moments and memories that will be shared about us after our departure from this life.

I wrote a poem regarding how we treat others with gentle reminders – for how we go about daily life does affect others. I’d love for you to read it here: NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER (click title to go to poem.)

~ This blog post was written in fond memory of my Uncle Terry; Terence McMahon who put up a brave, private, humble and courageous fight against cancer till the end. RIP. ~ 

Listed below are my Christmas Reflections Collection which are actually relevant to be read any time of the year to reflect upon life, our behaviours, attitudes and perspectives. Read them below by clicking on the titles in blue of the individual reflection you’d like to read:

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Posted in ALL BLOGS, LIFE

Be ORGANISED & FOCUSED in life, with these TOP 3 ITEMS to keep you on track!

Stay ORGANISED & FOCUSED daily, with these top 3 items to keep you on track!

As I type this post another new year is fast approaching. My thoughts go towards a sense of preparation and planning, as most people do at this time of year when we start setting ourselves New Year Resolutions and goals for the new year ahead.

However, if you have an over active and creative mind like mine, your thoughts can run away with themselves and you end up feeling confused, overwhelmed and like you can’t even remember everything that you just spent ages thinking about as there is just too much of it! *AND BREATHE!*

So the best way I find to get the lists and ideas out of my brain is to write them down and log them in some way. To do this, as I am in my season of preparation for the future, I have got 3 items to help get me organised and focused:

  1. A Calendar 
  2. A Daily Planner 
  3. A Journal 

step into the new year organised and focussed with these top 3 items to keep you on track
Top 3 items to keep you on track in 2018

This year my calendar is so cute, at the bottom of each month’s calendar page is an encouraging sentence, which I think is a lovely touch. However, It doesn’t have individual spaces by each date to be able to write information in regarding that date. So instead of trying to squeeze everything into a small space by each date like in previous years, I have decided to split up my 2018 organisation needs 3 ways, using 3 different items:

 

Item 1: How using a calendar can keep you on track

A Calendar with dates only, as a way for me to keep track of where I am each week, month and where in the overall year I am. I have chosen to place this on my notice board in my kitchen, this is because it can also be used when I’m trying to keep track of food in my fridge regarding best before dates and which days I need to use certain things up before others etc. This then ties into my New Years Resolution of ‘reducing my food waste compared to last year‘.

stay organised with a calendar for the new year by helens journey
Super cute Calendar with an encouraging sentence at the bottom of each months page. Purchased from the shop ‘Poundland’ in England, UK (yes a beaut bargain for £1!) But for USA I’ve seen some really cute ones in Dollartree too!

 

Item 2: How a weekly planner makes each weeks tasks feel manageable

A Weekly Planner where I do have the Diary option with individual spaces for each day of the week to write in events, appointments, birthdays etc. It also has Monthly Planning Spreads, which gives me a months overview to be able to do a schedule for my writing and also a pre planned blog schedule ahead of time. This item will not only let me know when I am in terms of daily life activities but it will help me organise me in terms of my blog. I need this, as I have such a long list of ideas for future blog posts in my head but the ideas can get lost if I don’t write them down and the struggle of not knowing which to write next, as there seems a never-ending list that isn’t prioritised in my head. Yet, writing it down and looking at the month/s ahead and penciling in a blog schedule will make me feel super organised but also super focused!

Stay organised with a weekly planner diary in 2018 by helens journey
A Christian Weekly Planner with a different Bible verse at the top of each weekly spread. This was purchased in the shop ‘Ross’ in the USA.

 

Item 3: How using a journal can help keep you accountable as the weeks travel by

Using a Journal is a way to focus on your goals, aspirations, achievements and stay accountable to yourself throughout the year. The journal I have for 2018 was a present off my lovely sister, it is a THRIVE JOURNAL. It is called this as you go through a series of exercises in the book to make you examine your life, set your intentions, write down goals, keep track of daily activities/ feelings and encourage’s you to really thrive in all aspects of your life.

using a journal to stay organised in 2018
Thrive Journal off Amazon online shopping website.

 

So, my advice for starting a new period in your life in an organised and focussed manner is to get yourself the specific items that will help you write down all those ideas, feelings, goals, things to do, etc.

Your personal calendar may need to have boxes to write in for events etc. Then your diary may only be for you to keep track of your feelings or pain each day rather than events on the calendar.

Then, for your journal there are so many different types and designs out there, maybe you want a specific size, colour or message on the front. Those things are personal to each person, but the function is universal. The journal is a place to stay accountable to yourself in terms of achievements, goals, progress, wishes or prayers.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENT:

At the end of the year it will be interesting to then look back through these items to see the different things you wrote at different points in the year and see what lessons you can draw from them to then take into the coming year ahead. It’s all a cycle, but we have a choice whether we go through the cycle organised and focused, or being all over the place and confused or stressed.

I hope you join me in using these TOP 3 ITEMS to step into the New Year ahead with a plan, a list of goals, a focused mind, a prioritised to-do list and with an organised life, mind and calendar 😉

PhotoGrid_1514669291917
It’s not too late to get your own! Have a look online or in shops for the type of Calendar, Planner and Journal that is suitable for your needs. Then you can step into the New Year being super organised, having a fully focused mind and knowing exactly what direction you are going in…

 

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Remembering the REASON for the SEASON! A short Christmas Day Reflection

“Remembering the ‘Reason for the Season’!”

The big day is finally here; CHRISTMAS DAY 2017! Today’s chosen image is 1 from my childhood Church:

reason for the season christmas reflection

As you can see I perfectly positioned the camera to get the altar & cross wall hanging in the photo along with the Christmas Tree. For me, it is the perfect reminder of the reason we even celebrate Christmas! Although not the official date of Jesus’ birth (Yeshua (ישוע) in original Hebrew text) and also pagan origins of using evergreen fir trees that aren’t linked to this – it is what Christmas Time and the symbol of a Christmas Tree has meant for the generations of people alive today.

As I look at it, I see the Christmas tree representing the commercial side of Christmas, the presents, the tv toy commercials etc. Yet, I also see it as a communal point:

  • Where people gather around, as well as presents.
  • Families going out and choosing their tree together.
  • A group of people all decorating a tree together as a joint experience.
  • Children gathered underneath the tree on Christmas morning ripping open their presents.

Then in stark contrast in the distance you will see the beautiful and majestic altar and cross wall hanging. The cross representing the reason we even celebrate Christmas today – as Christmas is the start of the story with Jesus being born and the cross where he died representing the very act in which he was born to do.

I see the two being placed close together as a reminder to still put Jesus into Christmas;

  • The many children dressing up and reenacting the nativity story in their school plays.
  • Saying or writing CHRISTmas not Xmas which was designed to cross Christ out of Christmas, which is ironic as in the end it’s all about a cross anyways lol.
  • Choosing Christian Christmas Cards that have pictures of the nativity story on such as  the stable, wise men, shepherds, angels, the star, pregnant mary on the donkey etc.
  • Going to Church on Christmas morning or midnight Mass on Christmas Eve night.

Even if you don’t identify as being a Christian, remembering the reason for the season is for you also. For, if you believe it’s only a story then what an inspiring story to acknowledge and remember!

  • It is full of hope, wonder and amazement.
  • It has got community spirit from the shepherds.
  • Astrology and present giving from the wise men.
  • Spiritual support from angels and the spiritual realm.
  • A love so strong that Joseph sticks around to marry and look after Mary even though she’s pregnant & he didn’t take part in physically making it with Mary.
  • Strangers helping strangers in need out with stay in a free stable.
  • The hopes and dreams of all this baby would grow up to be and the responsibility on his shoulders from birth because of his fate to come….

What a story to remember this Christmas time! So please join me in remembering THE REASON FOR THE SEASON! ❤

Click here for the whole CHRISTMAS REFLECTIONS COLLECTION to have a quick read of them & they are all relevant to make this the BEST CHRISTMAS DAY ever, with perspective, clarity and a joyful heart

Or see below for a list of all my short reflections & click on the title you’d like to read:

 “DON’T GET YOUR TINSEL IN A TANGLE

PRESENCE over PRESENTS

 “LIFE is FRAGILE like a Christmas Ornament”

“Trying to stay STABLE while we celebrate the Stable”

“Even Sand can STAND, when it is designed to fall!”

“Remember the small stuff”

“Keep OLD Traditions but don’t forget to make NEW ones!” 

Each days chosen Christmas photograph will also be shared on my INSTAGRAM  and my PINTEREST accounts too, so click the links and keep up to date with my Christmas Picture CHEER 😉 

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“Keep OLD Traditions but don’t forget to make NEW ones!” Day 10 of 12 Days of CHRISTMAS REFLECTIONS with HELEN’S JOURNEY 

Welcome to another of my ‘Christmas Reflections’, inspired by my own Christmas Photographs.

So today’s countdown is 2 days until we wake up on Christmas Morning. Yes only this weekend to go! This excitement is a lift for some who sail high on the Christmas Spirit, yet a drag for others who have so much to do they wish it was two weeks left before the big day not two days!

However it makes you feel, I invite you to join me each day this Christmas season, as I share daily Christmas Reflections and of course one of my accompanying Christmas Photos that helped inspire the reflections! (I just love taking photos & sharing pictures lol)

Today’s image brings the Christmas reflection of keeping old traditions but not forgetting to make new ones! As it shows my old angel and my new one:

old traditions v new traditions by helens journey
Now we all have our own Christmas Traditions when the Christmas season is here once again. Whether it’s the decorations, whats on the dinner menu, or whose job it is to wake the grandparents up from their naps as we are impatiently waiting for them to wake up so we can open up our presents 😉

Even when it comes to our Christmas Trees; there are some that cant wait to get it up and put it up before December even arrives, while others stick to the tradition of putting the tree up 12 days before Christmas. Then there is the traditions of who decorates it and how, if you stick to a colour scheme and specific design or just put things on however and wherever you feel like it.

One of the biggies in our house growing up was whose homemade angel was going to go on the top of the tree and who would put it up there as the last decoration to go on.

Now I made mine when I was 5 years old, as I’m sure you can tell by looking at it, so it sure took a battering over the next 25 years as it continued to take its turn on top of the tree. It is now retired from tree topping duty and is in my memory box resting its wings.

christmas angel made by helens journey aged 5

However, now living separately from my family home, the big decision was: Would I rigidly stick to tradition and place my very aged angel on top of my own tree?

While the angel rotation tradition was enjoyable and that is what I fondly think of when I look at my angel, I had to make the decision to start a new tradition and replace it with a modern angel and certainly a much younger model 😉

As you can see from the picture of the angel I made when I was 5, the years have taken its toll on it and the aging process like for ourselves defiantly shows – with malting hair and a hunched over back.

Well if you’re bending over backwards to stick to old traditions that have you breaking your back to do them the old way, even though they stress you out as the old ways just aren’t practical anymore – then maybe its time to replace them with new traditions?! Sometimes change is the best way forward… “Out with the OLD and in with the NEW!”

Please join me for tomorrows CHRISTMAS REFLECTION

Each days chosen Christmas picture will also be shared on my INSTAGRAM  and my PINTEREST accounts too, so click the links and keep up to date with my Christmas Picture CHEER 😉 

Dont worry if you missed earlier reflections as you can click on them below to have a quick read of them: 

Day 1: “DON’T GET YOUR TINSEL IN A TANGLE

Day 2: “PRESENCE over PRESENTS

Day 3: “LIFE is FRAGILE like a Christmas Ornament”

Day 4:“Even Sand can STAND, when it is designed to fall!”

Day 6:“Trying to stay STABLE, while we celebrate the Stable” 

Day 7:“Remember the small stuff”

pinterest keep old traditions and make new ones by helens journey