Enjoy your now | Simply Marcia


Shortcuts and top tips to a more healthy, mindful, positive and energised you!

Enjoy your now

I don’t know about you, but it hasn’t passed me by that some of the key buzz words of the moment across social media, January edition magazines and the like, include ‘kindness’, ‘gratefulness’, ‘thankfulness’, ‘joy’ and ‘happiness’. And for me, these words are so important in helping remind me of how lucky I am to be, and have, certain things – I’m thinking health, friends, family, a roof over my head, food on the table, bills paid (just about!).

Without getting all deep and philosophical and all that stuff, January really can be a good time for reflection, taking stock of non-materialistic stuff – our wellbeing – and putting some small steps in place to help remind and make us a bit more aware of how we might be able to achieve a bit of that ‘feel-good factor’ – which is mostly felt by doing good things rather than buying good things (mostly!).

To be honest, when I read all the social media posts that have been streaming out over the last week or so, I can’t help but be reminded of my grandparents’ generation. Life for them was tough – in a different way to the stresses and anxieties of our generation of Insta-perfect-somethings, social media onslaughts and missing-out syndromes we all struggle with – but still tough.

From the ways in which my grandparents spoke about their childhoods, married and working lives, the thing that really jumped out at me was the fact that any tough times or obstacles were overshadowed completely by the joys and happiness that they found (throughout their lives in fact) in simple pleasures. They really didn’t let the shit get them down! Their gratitude and thankfulness at seemingly little things was quite incredible, lovely, humbling and inspiring, and used to stop me in my tracks and make me mentally say to myself that I would (try to) be more like them.

Both my grandmothers were the kindest, gentlest but bonkers and fun and strong women. They didn’t seem to feel the need to gossip, put others down or belittle them – maybe they took note of the saying ‘If you’ve got nothing good to say, say nothing at all’? I suspect, however, that it was more to do with their generation – they didn’t have the ‘stuff’ we have today, their lives weren’t massively complicated and life was more fragile yet they had spirit and attitude and got on with stuff. They genuinely were grateful for what they had. Acknowledging this with a ‘thank you’ was second-nature for them.

Bizarrely, we have to remind ourselves to be thankful. But that’s no bad thing of course. I don’t know if you’ve come across these ‘thankful’ or ‘gratitude’ jars? These are great for kids actually. Any old empty, clean jar will do. The idea behind this simple jar is to jot down good things that happen to you and your family throughout the year. Anyone can grab a scrap of paper and add to the jar. This is a great way to instill gratitude in your children and a way to remember to celebrate the little things. Now imagine New Year’s Eve 2017. Gathering your family. Opening the jar. Pouring out all the little slips of paper, full of memories and sharing them just before midnight. Also a great thing to do when you’re feeling a little down.

So, back to those old fashioned values: be kind, don’t gossip or share in negativity, don’t compare yourself to others, be brave and face the occasional fear, plan fun stuff – have an adventure, be thankful and grateful and search for the joy and happiness in the small, simple, pure things in life 🙂

Most importantly, enjoy your ‘now’!

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New Year, new you?

Not that I’m suggesting there’s anything wrong with the current you, it’s just that 2016 is almost over, the clock is ticking down to the New Year and it’s around about now that we traditionally reflect on what’s been and gone and all our achievements to date, and consider all our goals, hopes and aspirations for the coming year … what awaits you?

It can be easy to roll out those generic New Year resolutions, like: I’ll lose weight, get fit, get a new job, earn more money … but maybe it’s about the small steps we can all take – and setting small but achievable goals which in turn lead to small but brilliant successes, satisfying senses of achievement and the motivation and inspiration to keep going.

Instead of thinking then in generic big-change terms, maybe we ought to think about the smaller steps we can take to achieve some of our bigger goals. So, if for example, your bigger goal is to get fit this year, break this down in to smaller achievable and realistic goals such as joining a yoga class once a week, walking to work once a week and maybe finding out about something completely different to really challenge yourself – rock climbing anyone?!

Now is a great time to find out about new and different things to try and do – you’re never too old to try new stuff. I know it’s a cliché but it’s so true – sometimes you need to step outside your comfort zone – nothing crazy but maybe something a bit different.

This happened to me recently – I was offered a super last-minute opportunity to work as a body-double and extra for two overnight shoots on a film set – something I’ve never done before and was potentially going to turn down but instead, supported my lovely partner, I threw caution to the wind and (in the words of Nike) just did it! And wow, what a fun and brilliant and creative experience. I met some lovely, inspirational people – people I’d never normally work with or meet and they were fab – a breath of fresh air – and it gave me an ‘accidental’ confidence boost – my advice, just do it!

Whatever your ‘thing’ is for this year, some top tips I’m going to try and keep hold of myself to take me through 2017:

• Think positive and smile – make it a habit
• Set achievable and realistic goals
• Get back up if you have a setback (don’t berate yourself, ever if you ‘fall off your wagon’)
• Surround yourself with positive, inspirational people
• Stop occasionally. Breathe and take stock
• Have belief in yourself
• Don’t compare yourself to others
• Recognise the joy and pleasure in small and simple things
• Take care of yourself – that means mental and physical health
• Be kind and grateful
• Say ‘thank you’

I’m sure there are others, but for me, these are the important things to try and remember as we head in to 2017 and all it brings …

Happy New Year all – may it bring you happiness, health, peace and joy 🙂 x

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Kind and gentle

Nope, I’m not talking about the latest must-have moisturiser, I’m talking attitude. Yes, sometimes we need to be assertive and ‘on it’ and yes, we’re all frightfully busy, far too busy to take a breather, a step down as it were, but for me, it’s really important to let the other side of me out more often: kindness, generousity of spirit, gentleness.

Today whilst I was waiting for my train, a middle-aged man approached me. He was completely dishevelled looking and I’m not sure if he was quite aware of exactly where he was. He could have seemed quite frightening, in fact every other person he approached immediately ignored him finding their newspaper or phone suddenly super-interesting, or walked away. We only had a brief conversation but actually, what came across to me was that this man was lonely and probably a bit afraid himelf. I gave him approximately a minute and a half of my time before he decided he’d had enough of me, and shuffled off with a (very loud) ‘good day to you’…

Showing another human being genuine compassion and kindness and giving them a bit of your time (even if that’s only 90 seconds on a train platform) isn’t a form of weakness (as Rihanna would lead us to believe ‘all of my kindness is taken for weakness’ – no Rihanna!) instead, it’s no different to the old fashioned ‘doing a good deed’ for someone else kind of thing. By being kind, gentle, compassionate it actually has a positive effect on all concerned and (without wanting to sound all pious and a bit umm ‘my halo is shining brighter than yours’) really can make you feel a little bit sparklier about yourself 🙂