Day 96: Highly Sensitive Person

Being grateful for realising that it’s ok to be a highly sensitive person:

Lately, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with everything and knew I needed to switch off from the world and retreat into my shell for a few days.

And I’ve been doing some thinking about how and why I got to this point, yet again.

I love how things come into our lives when they’re supposed to, and during these last few difficult days I came across an article about the connection between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and being a sensitive person.

As I delved into this a little further, I discovered there’s a new documentary about being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) titled: “Sensitive – The Untold Story”.

I found another article in the Huffington Post which asks: Do you cry easily? Do you often get accused of over-reacting or being too sensitive? Do you have a high degree of empathy? Do you find that good and bad things affect you more deeply than those around you?

As I answered yes to all of the above, I knew I needed to watch this film.

So I did.

And I have to admit I watched it with tears in my eyes as I realised that some of the things I’ve felt and thought since childhood, others feel and think the same.

Oh, what a relief it is to find out that I’m not alone (in fact, 1 in 5 of us is a HSP). What a relief to realise that I’m not “too sensitive” after all, I am perfectly ok as I am. What a relief to realise that I am simply a highly sensitive person.

And I’m ok with that.

In fact, it’s something to celebrate as there are so many beautiful blessings with being a sensitive person. And I’m going to focus on these from now on.

After all, I can’t change who I am, so why not embrace it.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful for realising that it’s ok to be a highly sensitive person.


ps if you’re interested to see if you are a Highly Sensitive Person too, the force behind the documentary Dr Elaine Aron has devised a self-test, please click here.

Day 95: Kindness trail

Being kind by leaving kindness messages on windows and mirrors around the city:

Time for another Random Act of Kindness me thinks.

I wrote out a kindness message on the back of my new Kindness Cards with the intention of sprinkling some magical kindness around my city on this freezing cold January Tuesday.

The message was simple and true of ALL of us: You are beautiful ~ inside and out.

I set off for my Artist’s Date in the city of brunch and a movie, clutching my Kindness Cards and blu-tack ready for action.

As I was a little short of time and am still slowly building up my energy levels, I decided to leave a trail of Kindness Cards in my wake.

First up was the window of my local connect bus:

local connect bus

Followed by the window of my tram which took me into the city:

tram kindness card

After eating a delicious brunch in my favourite café, I nipped to the bathroom to pop a card on the mirror:

cafe loo mirror kindness card

As I walked through the shopping centre, I stuck a couple on the mirrors in the main public toilets:

shopping centre loo 2 kindness card
shopping centre loo 1 kindness card

After arriving at the cinema and before my screening, I popped one on the bathroom mirror:

kindness card cinema loo 1

And after seeing my film, I stuck my last card to the mirror in the main bathroom.

Kindness card cinema loo 2

And that’s it. My job as Kindness Fairy for today is done! I really hope I’ve made at least one person smile today after seeing one of my kindness messages.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by leaving kindness messages on windows and mirrors around the city

ps if you happened to see one of my kindness messages, thank you so much for visiting my blog! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below…

Day 94: Weekend guest

Being mindful when spending time with my nephew:

This weekend, we have the littlest munchkin – three-year old Thomas – come to stay with us while his mummy and daddy are away on a birthday celebration.  Callum, the other munchkin, went to stay with his other mamma and granddad.

And there are two special highlights from this weekend that I will always treasure:

The first, is singing him to sleep. This is the first time I’ve had this pleasure, and it was such a joy.  A pretty precious moment for me.

He was wide awake when my mum first took him up to bed, so it was no surprise to hear a knock on my bedroom door a few minutes after mum had gone back downstairs.

I took him back to bed and read him the story about a little bear who went BOO! (a brilliant children’s book by David Walliams).

He was still pretty wide awake after that and as it was getting quite late,  I suggested I sing him a lullaby if he lay down and closed his eyes. He readily agreed, snuggled up with his Teddy, and I sang my favourite: Baby Beluga.

baby beluga

A dear Canadian friend introduced me to this delightful song a few years ago, and these beautiful creatures are quite close to my heart after spending hours sitting watching them in Vancouver’s Aquarium.

Anyway, I couldn’t quite remember all the words but sang what I could and made up the rest.

Over and over. And over and over.

Eventually I could sense he’d dropped off.  But as I came back up the stairs after telling my folks he was asleep, he was waiting for me at the top saying: Auntie Helen, you said you’d stay with me.

So I took him back to bed, and kicked off Baby Beluga again.

And again. And again.

Mum eventually came and took over as I was flagging, and losing my voice. But I’m happy that at least I did sing him to sleep, even if he was asleep for only a few minutes: I’ll take it.

And today we woke up to a sprinkling of snow. How exciting! We don’t really get much snow here, not as much as some parts of the country, so any we get is a real treat.

And having a nephew here to enjoy it with was a real bonus.

So after brekkie we wrapped up warm with many layers and headed out into the garden. We had snow much fun (get it? snow much fun, snow?) making footprints, brushing the snow off the garden plants and bushes, making a snowman (which he wanted to take home with him later, bless!), and of course, the obligatory snowball fight – which Thomas won, of course.

brushing snow

snow angel

snowball fight


We both came back inside with rosy cheeks and big smiles on our faces, ready for a hot drink to warm us up.

To be honest, I’m not sure who had the best time. Well actually, I do have an inkling…

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful when spending time with my nephew.

Day 93: My happy tree

Being mindful as I follow our tree’s autumn glory:

I started taking daily photos of this beautiful Liquidambar styraciflua (sweet gum) tree in our front garden in October; its final leaves fell on Christmas Eve.

While it wasn’t quite as magnificent as previous years, I’ll let the photo collage tell its beautiful story:

autumn tree

I also wrote this silly little ditty in homage to our lovely tree:

Oh tree you make me happy
As I follow your life-cycle with joy
With abundant fullness throughout the summer
Your maple-like leaves so many and so green
But your brilliant glory days come in autumn
When you really give us such a treat
As your leaves turn from yellow, orange and red
And hold their lavish colour all season long
Then as they fall and gather upon the ground
Baring your branches for the winter months
You become a different work of art
As you stand strong ready to face the elements
Now I patiently await the arrival
Of your first buds of spring to begin your life-cycle once again

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful as I follow our tree’s autumn glory.

Day 92: Banishing winter blues

Being mindful when exploring a local park on my soul stroll:

Needing to banish my January blues and hormonal grumps, I practically forced myself out of the house this morning.

With the perfect winter’s day of crisp blue sky and smiling sunshine, I borrowed dad’s car and went on a mission to find some soothing nature to lift my spirits.

I decided to go and explore a nearby park which I’ve never been to before. The crazy thing is that the edge of the park is probably only a 5 minute drive from the house, but the main entrance and car park is right over the other side of the park. But still, is only around 15 mins drive.

I’ve also felt a little apprehensive about visiting on my own as it’s near a rather unsavoury area, but today I was feeling brave and courageous.

And it was the best decision ever!

Immediately after driving through the park gates, I felt soothed by my surroundings of lush green fields and trees galore.

After parking up, my inner water magnet pulled me towards the fishing lake and I set off down a magical tree-lined pathway, with the glorious sun dappling through the trees:

magical pathway.jpg

As the pathway ended, I crossed the empty football fields, and with the early morning frost crunching underfoot, I spied my shadow and fulfilled my curiosity to see how I’d look with longer legs:

long legs

I reached the two fishing lakes and was heartened to see them filled with ducks and a couple of magnificent swans. As I wandered down to where they were to say hello, they glided over to me to make friends. I gently explained I didn’t have any yummy treats with me today, but promised to bring some swan-friendly fodder with me next time. They seemed ok with that…

swan friends.JPG

Well maybe not so much as they immediately ducked into the water to show me their behinds!

ducking swans.jpg

Enough said!

As I walked around the lake, I was excited to hear some gushing water and went to explore: I found a brilliant waterfall and climbed down the slippery, muddy slope to get a little closer. The sound was music to my soul; hypnotic and deeply soothing:


I continued my journey onwards around the lake, and up alongside the adjoining lake. I inadvertently disturbed two little ducks hiding in the reeds (doing what, I do not know!), and they zoomed across the water in an attempt to escape:

escaping ducks.JPG

As I followed the stream, the path took me into the woodland area to find more peace and tranquility:

peaceful stream

Leaving the woods behind, I began my walk back towards the carpark, pausing to reflect on the magnificence of this tree:

magnificent tree

And taking in the brilliance of this blue sky:

crisp blue sky.JPG

Before heading back home, I enjoyed a cuppa in the park’s clubhouse and vowed that I would return again, very very soon.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful when exploring a local park on my soul stroll.

Day 91: My bedroom, my sanctuary

Being grateful for making my bedroom my sanctuary:

I spend a LOT of time in my bedroom. Well actually, I spend most of my time in my bedroom. Some days, I only leave it to go downstairs for dinner and some days when my CFS is particularly bad, I don’t leave it at all (except for the necessary bathroom visits of course!).

I’ve spent most of the weekend in here after overdoing it on my mum’s birthday (which was worth it to be able to make her day so special), and in fact, I’ve spent most of the last six weeks in here, following my big relapse and then my festive tonsillitis and heavy cold.

I’m back in my old childhood bedroom while I’m living back with my parents as I recover from CFS. But it’s changed a lot since then – new additions include fitted wardrobes, lilac walls and carpet, and a yummy double bed.

I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to transform it into my own little sanctuary.

I find it calming, peaceful and safe; like a comforting embrace, and full of beautiful positive energy, with things to lift my spirits and fill my heart.

I am such an outdoor girl and when I lived in Sydney, if I was resting at home I’d usually be on the outdoor sofa on my verandah . So I find being cooped up really tough, but it is what it is and as long as I can get out for a gentle soul stroll or artist’s date now and again, I can manage. And knowing that this too shall pass.

I love my sacred spiritual space I’ve created: my altar. With my beautiful Buddha, oodles of candles, my precious singing bowl and chimes, spiritual carvings from my travels in India and Peru, and other bits and bobs that feed my soul.

photo 2

I love my window as it’s the place that holds my gaze the most. I love to look out at the ever-changing sky, especially to witness the majestic sunrises at certain times of the year, to watch the life-cycle of my magnificent trees as they change through the seasons, and to try and spot the birds who are singing their tuneful birdsong.

On my windowsill of inspiration, I’ve placed my Love Notes by Kris Carr and Doreen Virtue’s Angel Cards, treasured greeting cards from kind, thoughtful friends, my fave cartoon to remind me that ‘Every single day you make a choice’, and of course some flowers.


Bright, colourful flowers make me so happy, and wherever I live, I always try to have fresh flowers around. Here I have a couple of giant orange faux gerbras, but I also try to have fresh flowers in my room. Today, it’s a bright burst of colourful roses.


Dotted around my room, I’ve put up photos of sunrises and sunsets I’ve taken around the world, a huge beautiful close up of a Buddha face that makes me feel instantly calm and at peace, and various others that make me smile, including artwork by my young nephews.

I’ve also stuck up some of my favourite affirmations to help inspire and motivate me. They remind me that everything is ok, to live in the moment, ride the waves of my life, and let my light shine. I occasionally replace some of the affirmations with those that are more relevant to what I need to hear at this moment in time.

Looking around my bedroom as I write, I’m so very grateful for every little detail. Each one tells a story, contains treasured memories, or inspires or motivates me. All make me happy.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful for making my bedroom my sanctuary.

Day 90: Going with the flow

Being mindful of going with the flow of life’s ups and downs:

I spent most of the Christmas period feeling absolute rubbish and pretty miserable with tonsillitis and a heavy cold and cough. Not surprisingly I’ve been feeling rather cooped up and am desperate to get out for some much needed fresh air.

As I am always drawn to water, my favourite soul stroll route takes me alongside a lovely zig-zagging brook not far from my home.

And so I set off today just as the sun was popping out to say hello.

I love that I can now walk right alongside the water. A few weeks ago I was delighted to see that the brook had been cleaned up, the rubbish cleared out of the brook’s bed, and the grass along the bank cut right down. WooHooo!


After all the rain we’ve been having recently, I found today’s brook fast flowing and babbling at its beautifully sounding best. I find its melodic song incredibly soothing to my soul as it gently washes away my woes and lifts my heart and my spirits.

babbling brook

As I walked alongside the water, I had a sudden realisation that I always walk upstream, against the flow of the water. This made me think about how I often find myself fighting against what’s happening in my life: the CFS in particular, but it can apply to anything really, and often does!

One of my favourite metaphors compares life’s ups and downs to the ocean: sometimes it’s calm and peaceful, and other times rough and choppy. And fighting against can be exhausting and a bit pointless really. If you relax and go with the flow, all will be well. In fact, one of my favourite mantras I have pinned up in my room is: May I ride the waves of my life.

It’s so easy to forget this and I catch myself fighting against what’s happening in my life, fighting the waves, and trying to swim against them. When instead it really is so much easier to accept what’s happening and to go with the flow, to surrender and let the waves take me to wherever I’m meant to be. And trusting that all will be well.

On today’s soul stroll, as I reached the bridge where I usually leave the brook and continue on my walk, I crossed the brook and walked back along the other side, this time following the direction of the flow of water.

My spirits lifted and my heart did a little happy dance as I acknowledged that I have the power to choose to ride the waves of my life.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful of going with the flow of life’s ups and downs.