This year I feel has been a year of division and at the same time, reclaiming. It’s been a year of tearing away from people, things, the things that have always divided us along that thin line of love/ the opposite.
It’s been not as brutal as the years preceding but a time of realisation, awareness, and then sometimes, change which has sometimes been sharp, piercing.
Last week Gabby Bernstein popped up in my feed, advising to practice gratitude to change your focus. Then this weekend we popped into a little charity shop we stumbled across which was like a little English gem hidden away in the heart of rural France – stuffed to the rafters with old books, and elderly English people serving a ton of tea and of course! biscuits.
The girls found a vintage doll, a copy of Heidi (one of my favourite books from childhood)! and one of the original Peter Rabbit books, and I stumbled across a daily devotional from The Secret;
day one – today – advises to list one hundred things you’re grateful for.
Right now my energy levels are high, and I’m feeling thankful to be here in France in our petite chateau; I’m thankful for so many things. I didn’t feel I ‘needed’ particularly to focus on gratitude any more than I usually do; I always list three things I’m thankful for as part of my daily journaling practice- but also – I know better than to ignore signs from the Universe! And also – well, prevention is better than cure, right?!
So this is it. 100 Things I’m thankful for. The things igniting my heart, soul, creativity, love right now. Because it’s thanksgiving, because I love reading other’s lists like these, because I felt called to share, because it’s that kind of warm and cosy season, because the Universe tells me so, and because I think, actually, it is indeed uplifting, recharging and refocusing to write this kind of list, rather than purely focusing on our goals / things we want.
The quickest way to get what you want is to want what you already have…
100 THINGS I’M GRATEFUL FOR RIGHT NOW
1. The girls learned to swim in Cyprus. They learned to speak Greek. They learned to dance in rainstorms and walk around mountains and rescue animals and learned what the light of a thousand candles meant. They learned to love and to grow as a child on the island of Aphrodite.
2. The rain falling outside my window – ever the romantic.
3. Signs from the universe
4/5/6. Messages from old/ new/ everlasting friends
7. The horses I can see from here
8. This list
9. Flights booked back to the UK for Christmas
10. The heater in my office.
11. This coffee. It’s horrendous coffee, actually, but it’s warm, and coffee-ish, and so I am thankful.
12. My laptop is still working despite somehow getting damaged during the travelling and looking horrific
13. A mammoth, unexpectedly long writing session this morning
14. That my daughter got us all up at 5.45am. And I survived and actually felt pretty energised.
15. The 1pm nap when my other daughter fell fast asleep on the sofa.
16. Our log fire
17. My new business partner
18. My new business
19. New copywriting clients for my copywriting agency – everyone wanting sparkly new sales pages and website copy, I LOVE this time of year for copywriting!
20. Autumn colours still remaining
21. The air here. I’ve never felt so energised. Cyprus had the most incredible landscapes but France has fresh air untainted by dust and building work.
22. Castles, castles, everywhere!
23. MY NEW BOOK! Coming in THREE DAYS
24. My assistant, Jen. She is awesome, the end.
25. The new routine we have implemented at home which means I get AT LEAST six hours work per day, PLUS get to homeschool the kids for the majority of the day too!
26. That I’ve managed to keep my Montblanc pen for over a year. This is a pen. This is from someone who lost / broke EIGHT phones in one year, to the point where my insurers refused to insure me anymore. I know I could always buy another one, but this one was an anniversary present from Rob and so it’s kinda special
27. That I found this little doll in a nearby charity shop. We just popped in while browsing around a little nearby village, and found a little treasure chest of rooms with a ton of books, and lots of dear old English people that remind me of my Nan, making tea and biscuits and having a tombola. Like England in a box. And the doll was delightful and we named her Heidi.
28. My sweet girl settling down here now. For the first week, littlest one had the worst meltdowns known to humankind.
Please don’t tell me about tantrums if you have never experienced an oppositional defiance meltdown before. I burst into tears it was that bad. And the whole time she kept screaming about how everything in her life had changed and ‘what has happened to my life!’. She is four, which shows incredible awareness and extreme environmental sensitivity.
For the first week we were here we had the owner of the house stay with us, which meant we were unable to settle down into a normal routine or spend any real focused time with Summer. OD kids HAVE to have rhythm and consistency and structure to their day – they simply cannot cope without it. So while I expected meltdowns, I don’t think I expected them to be quite so severe.
As soon as we realised what was missing, we quickly brought her old routine and rhythm in; focused time, time spent outside in nature, rest periods, even ‘anchor points’ like blessings over mealtimes. And now she is herself again.
The kind little big hearted sweet girl that I know. I guess this could be a blog in itself but the point is I’m just beyond thankful she is settling in.
She was outside splashing around in her wellies today and she turned to me and said with a big smile on her face Mummy I love France! My heart, raining into the puddles beside her.
29. Jam, on thick slices of bread. Terrible for my body. Good for my soul.
30. Having parkland as a garden. A ton of trees, a flock of sheep from the kitchen, chickens at one end of the garden and horses behind the hedge.
31. Recognising kid’s manifesting powers. A year ago they pinned a spotted pony on their dream board. One year on, they have a spotty pony living in their garden. Awe.
32. This little chateau
33. Acceptance of so many things. Being held in Cyprus for another week, being refused permission to board, having to keep poor cats in a bathroom for a week, but then this. EVERYTHING unfolds as it is meant to. A week before this I’d told Rob I wanted to see the flamingo lake again before I left Cyprus.
34. Cyprus. Aphrodite has released me, for now. But I know, we will be back. I haven’t said any goodbyes, simply because goodbye to me is always For Ever. When the Goddess welcomes us back in, we will return to our island of mountains and ocean side and beautiful drives and olives and sunshine and joy.
35. Yoga. For its ever-presence. Yoga has been with me all over the world. My ever-companion. My strength and flexibility and patience, comes from here. I am a better person with it and a lesser one without it.
36. Where I stand. Where do you stand…?
Right now is not where you will always be, but it is where you have chosen to be for now. I do not live in perfection. I live in my vision of what I asked for, and what I wanted, and what I believed. To get to where I want to be will take me changing what I believe, want, and ask for, all over again. I’m happy to begin here. Begin where you are…
37. The lake a short walk from our house. It has a chateau at the top (of course) and is still and peaceful.
38. My journals. I journaled after the airport trauma. I journaled from that little hotel. I journaled at many thousands of feet high in the sky, squeezed inbetween my kids and loud cats. I journaled the day we arrived. I’m thankful for my journals, holding me together and allowing me to fall apart and putting it all back together again.
39. The edge of belief. I’ve always believed in manifestation but this year the universe has really caught me, time and time again, and all that I have written has come to pass, to the point where I almost can’t quite believe it. But I do, because I’m living it.
But still I wake up and sometimes ask – is this real? Did I live in a million dollar villa in a luxury golf resort in the sun? Do I really live in a chateau in France? Do I really get to spend all day every day doing what I love, and only that, and spending time roaming the globe with my kids / husband?? Is this for real??? But is is. Because I believed it would be. Ask, and you shall receive.
But you have to choose belief, somewhere inbetween.
40. My brother, for rescuing me when I was stuck at the airport. Because that’s what brothers do!
41. My brand new nephew, Leo. I love you Leo. I love you even when I’ve never met you, or even seen your fingers, or breathed in your sweet baby head. I love you simply because we are bonded across oceans and through time and space and linked by memories with your Mama and Papa and big brother. One day I’ll tell you about how crazy your Daddy was as a kid and how I used to drink cocktails with your Mama. But today and every day I know we are connected forever.
42. Time, and space, to write. Time to write is like sitting next to heaven. It’s just me, in and out of the world, where hours could pass and I wouldn’t even notice.
43. Loss. I lost so many things in the move. Things I forgot that were in a drawer. Old photos. A hard drive with my wedding and newborn photos on of our wedding day and the day I gave birth and our anniversary. Books I adored. Once I would have been in bits. Now I’m accepting. Loss is part of the journey and Love is what is here now. I even lost all my underwear minus two pairs. I know! How does that happen?! I’m just hoping the cleaners don’t find them! because that would be weird. And now I’m wearing Rob’s pants most days until we get to the nearest big city. True story.
44. Finding pink hair dye spray in a supermarket and dying the girl’s hair in the aisle. So much happiness in that one quick spritz of pink!
45. A shower I don’t have to wait an hour for to heat up. It’s like, a miracle.
46. Joy. I thought I would feel such sadness at leaving Cyprus. That saying of how once you’ve lived in many countries you’ll always have a heart divided. I don’t. Because I know I can go back and live in any of them at any point. That makes me feel nothing but joy, and I feel nothing but warmth when I look at our photos from Cyprus. Even if it’s freezing when I look out of the window.
47. God. I’ll be honest. I’ve had a strengthening journey with my faith this year, but I’ve kept it quiet because it no longer seems to fit under a particular label or wrapper. I’ve never once stepped foot away from believing in God, but my understanding of what God is has changed slightly.
I no longer see this dominant masculine Man figure, who punishes and hates and excludes, the doctrine and dogma.
I just feel and experience pure Love. Available energy. Lightness of being. The feeling of being held. Knowing I am working WITH a great creative force. For all that has broken down in my understanding. For all the visions made anew. For all of the gifts. For all of that. I am eternally thankful.
48. Opportunity. There is so much opportunity out there. You have to decide on it, step into it, reach into it, hold it close. But it’s there. It exists. I’ve had incredible opportunity at the end of this year. It’s like fireworks of recognition and acknowledgement.
49. Another year of business wisdom – read this post if you haven’t already! Every year I break open into new understanding and incredible learning, which I’m beyond thankful for. Even though sometimes I have wished I could just shut the lid of this weird Pandora’s box of doing business online, I haven’t ever meant it.
Being able to create a business / es out of thin air, having opportunity to learn and grow with some of the world’s top entrepreneurs in their mastermind programs and groups, being surrounded by supportive networks and communities – what an INCREDIBLE time to be in business!!
EVERYTHING you need to understand how to build and grow a successful business and lifestyle, to change and transform your entire life, is right there at your fingertips! EVERYTHING IS THERE, so if you haven’t got it yet then you’re not looking hard enough at what you need to be doing and / or you’re ignoring what needs to be done for whatever reason. This is the Golden Era of business and entrepreneurship, seriously, and ANYONE can make it.
50. The smell of my husband cooking dinner downstairs.
51. The antiques in this house. I love this house has a history. I love it was a family home. I love that it has always had child energy running through it. I wondered briefly when I first moved in if it was haunted, but if it is then it could only ever be a kind spirit staying here.
52. Having my tarot cards read earlier this year. They said they saw me safely sat behind a castle door. That was way before I journaled on living in a chateau. I found the notes from my reading as I was moving house to live here. Magical
53. Precious times with friends this year. We’ve had friends to stay in Cyprus, friends over for dinner here in France. I’ve had more beautiful and uplifting conversations with my friends who are scattered around the world as we went through troubles and good times. I’ve felt more connected to my friends than before. We’ve had dinners in the sunshine, dinners in the evening, we’ve walked through valleys and celebrated and I’ve made yogi friends and hair-healing-spiritual friends and new friends and really, this year, I’ve felt a lot of love.
Surround yourself with love and how can you fail to have love? We ARE love.
54. Being ok with endings. Things end. Things change. That’s not a hardship, that’s life and there is beauty and light and healing in every darkness. So I’m ending this list
because one thing I’m thankful for is always being able to end things when I decide it is so. So often we stay in situations where we feel powerless, where we feel we HAVE to continue, where we might dare to let others down if we dare change direction or change things up. The universe has a funny way of ending things for you when that happens and it’s a far bigger shock than if you took the gentle route of following the callings of your soul in the first place.
It’s not about quitting, because how can you quit the journey of You, the journey of Becoming?
It’s all eternal, all everlasting, all exactly how it is supposed to be, and so this is my gratitude list, because it’s full now, and this is where I should end, with a full heart and gratefulness and warmed with french food and happy memories and excitement at all that is to come, but above all at knowing instinctively now when things are done and over, they are done and over,
There can be no shame in ending things that are already as complete and full as they are.
From my grateful heart to yours