Balloons…

I thought of this after a conversation with a friend this week, who is unsure where to go next with their life.

When I was a little girl, and I accidentally let go of my balloon, I would cry uncontrollably. It is the ultimate lesson in letting go – I still remember the devastation and feeling of loss as I watched it getting smaller and smaller until it became a shiny pin in the satin blue sky.

My Mum would say not to be sad, as the balloon was happy. Now the balloon was free, and going wherever it wanted; where it was supposed to go.

I think we are all like balloons. Whichever direction we are floating, and however strong the uncontrollable breeze that carries us is, we are going to our rightful destination. Stay strong and believe in your destiny – then make it happen.

Of course, sometimes you will stray from the path, perhaps influenced by cross winds or knocked off course by a storm. But rest assured, you will readjust and find yourself where you are supposed to be. Trust me 🙂

Float and fly like a balloon, bask in the warm sun, and take in the scenery. Everything is going to be okay.

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Try approving of yourself…

“You’ve been criticising yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? I know, as much as the next person, that this is easier said than done. But just try it, for one day. Take it in small steps. Every time you have a negative thought about yourself, recognize it and turn it around. Ask yourself – is the evidence I’m using to berate myself factual? Would it stand up in a court of law? This is excellent advice from my friend Sylvia. You’ll find that chances are, your ‘evidence’ is in actual fact your opinion. If it wouldn’t stand up in a court of law, that evidence is not good enough to justify punishing yourself. Try it!!

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You can make a Difference – Research and Helping Others

It’s difficult to talk about an upsetting past experience which has affected you greatly. I for one appreciate and empathise with anyone who doesn’t feel able to tell others what they have been through, through fear of judgement, stigmas, negativity or alienation. With any mental illness there is always a risk that being surrounded by everything from your past is going to make you feel worse again and bring back some fairly unpleasant memories.

But you don’t have to be ‘hands on’ to help. Of course, I’m passionate about raising awareness of eating disorders and supporting anyone suffering. There are so many ways to do that though – more than just the blog and the books. I’m currently taking part in a study conducted by Manchester University on treating those with Eating Disorders in the NHS. From my own personal experience and that of others, it’s shocking and concerning just how ignorant and misunderstood some ‘professionals’ can be when it comes to EDs. With this issue being particularly close to my heart, a book on the way and on a waiting list for Ambassadorship with B-Eat, I decided to take part in research to make a contribution (however small) to the care and treatment of those going through these issues now and in the future.

Many Universities are running research programmes on this increasingly concerning issue, as more and more people are diagnosed with EDs at an increasingly young age. Participation is anonymous and you are required to fill in a survey beforehand to ensure that you are not still poorly or vulnerable in any way. To know that I may make a difference is really important to me, and it really doesn’t involve much time or effort. If you would like to help others and take part in research, go to http://www.b-eat.co.uk/support-us/get-involved/research/

Give and you shall inevitably receive. Even simply sharing your experiences is invaluable! If you’re able to, you can be part of research and helping others.

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