The majority of my time over the last few months has been spent planning, writing and designing resources for Beyond The Crumpled Paper. I have loved doing this – and it needed doing! - but I was so happy to be able to pick up my paintbrushes again!
And my first painting for a while is a small, funky number called 'You don't have to sit on it'. It's inspired by one of my favourite quotes by Joyce Meyer, '“Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.” It is a reminder to us all that we may not be able to control everything that life throws at us, but we can take control over how we deal with it.
I talk about gratitude an awful lot (and will continue to do so) but gratitude is so important in so many ways to help us build up a more resilient mindset. On the good days, an attitude of gratitude can really make your heart sing with joy, and on the bad days, the really bad days, a positive mindset and one of being thankful for the little things, may just be enough to keep you clinging on by your fingertips, stopping yourself being completely overwhelmed by darkness.
Being grateful isn't about thinking everything is wonderful, or burying your head in the sand pretending everything is ok when it clearly isn't - it's about knowing things are rubbish, but reminding yourself to do what you can to deal with them. Be that screaming, asking for help, or simply having an early night – it's about doing the best under the circumstances, not making things worse for yourself.
It is about taking back control, remembering you can get through the tough times and reminding yourself that you can make decisions to help the situation rather than giving in to it.
It's about not sitting on the cactus.