Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Rain on a sunshiny day!

When I woke this morning, the sun was shining bright and I got ready for work with a smile on my face and a pep in my step. A short while later, as I opened my back door, about to head off on my journey to work, dark clouds appeared and the sky's opened. I ran to my car trying to avoid the heavy downpour.

As I drove to work, rain battering against my windscreen, I couldn't help but think how all our lives can be compared to this very morning. How often do we wake with the most positive of outlooks for a bright day ahead, but unexpectedly something happens that can change our day completely; perhaps even turn our world upside down? Sometimes, we have absolutely no control over the dark clouds that appear in our lives. They can arrive suddenly or indeed creep up on us ever so slowly. Either way they can at times totally overshadow our positive hopes and dreams for the day(s), weeks or even months ahead...

So how do we keep a positive outlook in times of difficulty and grey skies? Embrace the rain and allow the tears to flow freely; then with a deep breath, dry those tears and wait for the black clouds to pass and the white clouds to emerge. Every day will not be a sunny day, and some may be a mixture of white cloud and grey; sunshine and rain. One thing that is for sure, no matter how long it takes for the sun to return, it will indeed shine again, so never lose hope!

The rain from my early morning drive has since dried up and the sun is breaking through the clouds again as I type. I truly hope the sun is shining bright in your life today, both in the skies and in your heart! Never lose hope and always keep smiling, even on the most difficult of days, as the sun will always shine again ... bringing with it blue skies and hope for a bright day ahead!

Proud member of Irish Parenting Bloggers Group

Friday, 1 April 2016

The dawning of a new chapter ...

After a challenging few months, I can happily say, that this has been an amazing week. Last Christmas, just a few short months ago, was such a difficult time for my family and I. Our beautiful Rebecca was fighting a battle against Epilepsy, having numerous daily seizures, even dropping to the floor whilst opening her presents on Christmas morning. With Rebecca currently seizure free, we truly made the most of the fabulous Spring weather over the Easter break. A trip to the circus, cinema, bowling and of course the playground amongst our activities. Rebecca and Emma had an amazing time, and their excitement and beaming smiles brightened my world again.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Hope from a Butterfly - A Radiant Transformation

Spring time is a time of new beginnings, growth and the hope of sunny days. So one recent sunny Spring morning, I decided it was time to give my blog a little attention and some loving care, and indeed to breathe new life into Hope from a Butterfly. I have always wanted my blog to bring hope to those in need of encouragement, so I needed an image that would be uplifting and optimistic at first glance. With this in mind, I knew exactly who could bring such magic to my blog and give it the inspiriting look I envisioned.

I would like to express a huge heartfelt thank you to Trevor (Bizzy Fizzy) the Digital Alchemist, for designing such a beautiful header for my blog. It truly captures everything Hope from a Butterfly represents. I would strongly recommend you visit Trevor's website and follow his facebook page here, as he not only is a digital magician, but a truly inspiring and uplifting person himself.

I am not only excited about the brand new look to my blog today, I have other interesting and exciting news to tell! I am also delighted to share with you that I have been invited to speak about my blog on Charity Radio with the amazing Danielle Serpico, the Blackbelt Mastermind next Monday 28th March at 9pm. One of the main areas I will be discussing is my reason for starting my blog, which of course was my desire to share my Road to Parenthood story. I wrote my journey to parenting piece in the hope that it would help others facing similar heartache or experiencing infertility issues. If you would like to hear more about my journey to parenthood, my willingness to never lose hope despite life's struggles, and a few other positive mindful Monday tips, then tune in next Monday night. Danielle herself, is an amazing positive, energising and inspiring person and I am so looking forward to being a guest on her show next week. So exciting times are ahead, and this week truly has brought new life to my blog.

Never lose hope and always keep smiling, even on the most difficult of days, as the sun will always shine again ... bringing with it bright new beginnings and amazing opportunities!

Proud member of Irish Parenting Bloggers Group

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Feeding the Mind – Getting the balance right!

How often have you drove a journey in your car and arrived at your destination without noticing what towns/ villages you have just past? Your mind was elsewhere, wandering back into the past, thinking about what had happened that day, the previous day or indeed the weeks and months that have gone by. Or perhaps you were busy thinking of the future and what has yet to come? I have been guilty of this many, many times, and it is just in recent months and following recent struggles of which I briefly mentioned in my last post A Mother's day message of hope and overcoming challenges that I discovered the art of mindfulness, a state where one focuses their mind on the present moment!  

Mindfulness as a practice dates back to early Buddhism and focuses on moment to moment awareness of present events. Over the last few years there has been a huge growing awareness of mindfulness in the western world and an acknowledgement of its benefits in keeping our minds healthy. Positive mental well being is crucial in a world where we are very much exposed to negativity, depression and self doubt. I myself, although I have always been a hopeful and positive person in general, I also have been a huge planner and an organiser, constantly filling up my diary so much so, I was almost living in the future, as opposed to in the present. Practicing mindfulness therefore, is something that has not come easily to me, if I am honest. Sometimes we need to literally stop, pause and take stock of what is going on around us, what is happening in this very moment in time?

As well as the importance of living in the present, we also must take stock of what we are feeding our mind? Like the rest of our body, that requires food for nourishment, our mind too needs the proper ingredients to bloom, grow and develop. If we want to have a positive mind, an optimistic outlook and feel good about ourselves and those around us, we must feed our minds with positive, grateful and loving thoughts. It sounds simple, but unfortunately in the busy and hectic world that we live in, it is not always quite that easy to achieve. This is where learning the art of being mindful can really help us to become more aware in any given moment. If we actively start to take some time out (it may even only be for one minute a day) we allow ourselves the opportunity to feed our minds with powerful thoughts, that can help keep our minds strong and able to fight any struggle, challenge or negativity, that we may encounter on any given day.

So every day, and where possible every morning, take that minute to yourself. It can be while you brush your teeth, have your shower or even blow dry your hair. It doesn’t have to interfere with your routine and busy lifestyle (although it would be even more beneficial, if you could totally switch off from the outside world, for even just one minute) but for now, if you haven’t already embraced the art of mindfulness, start today. Become present in the moment, and also consciously feed your mind with positive, loving thoughts. It really can turn your day around, and have a huge impact on your mind and on your interactions with those around you. I am only learning of the huge benefits that mindfulness can bring and I hope that you too will join me in embracing the positive impact it can have on our lives and feed your mind with amazing thoughts! Get the balance right, find some “me time” in every day and fill it with loving, affirming and hopeful thoughts.

Never lose hope and always keep smiling, even on the most difficult of days as the sun will always shine again … bringing with it warmful rays of positivity and light! 

Proud member of Irish Parenting Bloggers Group

Sunday, 6 March 2016

A Mother's day message of hope & overcoming challenges!

Those of you who were regular readers on my blog, may have noticed that I have been extremely quiet on here over the last few months and indeed the last year. As I sit here with my beautiful family on this Mothering Sunday, I feel a sense of achievement over what we have overcome. Last Mother's day, I spent the day in A&E on a nebuliser due to a severe chest infection, and I remember so clearly the feeling of disappointment at missing spending the day with my girls. What I did not know, was the months ahead would be some of the toughest and challenging months for myself and my family. As I sit today and reflect, I can't help but feel very proud of how far we have come and I am so pleased to have my family around me to celebrate on this Mother's Day.

My two beautiful daughters!

I do not want this post to be a summary of all that we have overcome, but those who know us, will be familiar with some of those challenges. I would however like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who offered their prayers, thoughts and good wishes for our beautiful Rebecca as she was being prepped for possible brain surgery (which is currently on hold) and fought a battle trying to stabilize her condition of Refractory Focal Onset Epilepsy. I possibly will dedicate a post to Rebecca and her epilepsy at another time but for now I just simply want to say thank you and also to let you all know that she is doing amazingly well.

What I do want to capture in this post, is that no matter what the challenge or the struggle is that may present itself to you,(and lets be honest we are all faced with challenges on a daily basis, albeit on some days they are greater than others) that we must never lose sight of the hope that a brighter day will come. This is something that even I struggled with at times over the last year, and it is a difficult thing to keep in mind when one is in a crisis driven and highly emotive and stressful state. But even on the darkest and most challenging days, I tried my best to always remain hopeful. Hopeful that today would be a little easier than the last, and if it wasn't, I would try to not dwell on that fact, but trust that a brighter day would arrive. I also surrounded myself (physically where possible, but also through the gift of texts and social media) with the most amazing like minded positive people. I genuinely couldn't even attempt to name the amount of people that gave me strength, sent me healing, and most of all kept my hopes high throughout. It really is true that negativity will always attract negativity just as positivity will attract positivity. The old saying "A problem shared is a problem halved" also comes to mind. I do know that sometimes it is difficult to share our worries, especially when they are very personal to us, but if you can find even one person to trust, it really does make a world of difference when you open up and are no longer carrying worries on your own.

So I would like to dedicate this post to all Mothers everywhere; women who constantly worry about their children on a daily basis (both in childhood and when their children become adults themselves) but also to every person who is struggling at the moment. No matter what that struggle is, please never feel alone, reach out to someone and trust that no matter how difficult things may become, that a brighter day will come again ... Never lose hope and always keep smiling, even on the most difficult of days as the sun will always shine again ... the mantra of one very proud mother, basked in "sunshine" this afternoon xx

Taken on the journey home with Rebecca from Temple Street Hospital, 7th January 2016

Proud member of Irish Parenting Bloggers Group

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Hope from a Butterfly's First Birthday!

Today my blog ‘Hope from a Butterfly’ celebrates its first birthday. When I sat down to write my first ever blog post on this day one year ago, I never quite realised how much such a simple act as starting a blog could actually change my life.

I not only have fallen in love with writing once more, a passion I thoroughly enjoyed in my younger years but my introduction to the blogging world has been inspiring on so many levels. From reading the stories of others, sharing my own experiences and finally yet most importantly, the introduction of so many new people into my life, blogging has truly enhanced my life, my mindset and my way of thinking in general!

I truly hope as I enter into my second year of blogging, that my journey into the world of writing will continue to blossom. I also hope, that my writing will continue to offer inspiration to others … “Never lose hope, and always keep smiling, even on the most difficult of days, as the sun will always shine again.”

A huge thank you to each and every one of you for your support over the last year, I hope you continue to enjoy reading my blog and most importantly that you never lose hope xx


Proud member of Irish Parenting Bloggers Group

Friday, 2 October 2015

“Believe in yourself”

In a recent trip to the playground, my four year old asked me to try out the zip line! For those that know me, know that such outdoor pursuit type activities are not my forte and I have from a young age avoided them where possible. However as Rebecca encouraged me to give the zip line a go, I felt inspired to at least give it a try. I was however extremely nervous as I climbed on at the top, not lifting my feet off the ground and clinging on to the rope like my life depended on it. Seeing how nervous I was, Rebecca called out to me as she watched from the side saying “Believe in yourself Mammy”. She said it with such conviction, in an attempt to encourage me to face my fear. I simply smiled and raised my feet off the ground. As I sped down the zip line, all I could hear were excited giggles from Rebecca. She ran to me when I reached the bottom, with the biggest smile from ear to ear. Now I haven’t discovered a new love for outdoor pursuits, nor did I even repeat my zip line experience, but I did show my little girl that even us adults have fears and that it is important that we do believe in ourselves.

When I chatted to Rebecca later that evening, I asked her where she had heard the expression “Believe in yourself” before? To which she replied, “From you Mammy”. She went on to explain that I had in fact said it to her earlier that afternoon when she became nervous crossing a balance bridge in that same playground. At that moment, I did recall using the phrase. It was quite heart warming, that not only had my words of encouragement helped Rebecca to safely and confidently walk across the bridge but that she was able to return the words of encouragement to me moments later.

Never underestimate two things, firstly how much our children learn from us every day. They are constantly absorbing our every word and action and they will more than likely be returned to you when you least expect them. Secondly, never stop believing in yourself. Every day brings new challenges, and as adults we sometimes tend to shy away from them as they are out of our comfort zone. We can learn a lot from our children. Believe in yourself, face new challenges and learn from every experience that life provides.  

Never lose hope and always keep smiling, even on the most difficult of days, as the sun will always shine again …bringing new challenges and adventures, that require us to believe in ourselves!

Little Hearts, Big LoveProud member of Irish Parenting Bloggers Group