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๐‚๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฌ โšพ๏ธ
A couple of curve balls have been thrown at us this weekend.

And ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต'๐˜ด how life is sometimes. We make plans and are required to pivot and make new ones.

Something that always helps during these times for me is practicing gratitude for small things within my day.
It keeps me intentionally scouting for the 'blessings or goods.'

What keeps this practice fresh and meaningful for me is making sure it is ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค to each day.

Three things I am grateful for today are: ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ.

What are some small things you feel grateful for today?๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ

๐Ÿ“ธ Feat. a sweaty forehead and an unimpressed Kobe that we have stopped to take a moment ๐Ÿ˜†

'๐“๐ก๐ž๐š ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ƒ๐ข๐ณ๐ณ๐ฒ ๐–๐š๐ ๐ ๐ฅ๐ž'
It can be so difficult to talk to children about loss.

Special books like '๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜‹๐˜ช๐˜ป๐˜ป๐˜บ ๐˜ž๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜จ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ' are such fantastic tools to aid in these difficult discussions and help normalise the grief experience at an age appropriate level.

@cloe_willetts beautifully captures many of the key sentiments surrounding loss in a gentle and authentic way. The illustrations are stunning (as you can see) and the characters themselves, absolutely adorable.

One of my favourite parts of the book reads...

'...In the golden hour sunlight
that streams on your face,
or the clouds that form shapes
up high in space.

I'll be the star glowing biggest
and brightest at dark,
A pohutakawa flower blooming
from branches of bark...'

You can check out more about the books here๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ

'Hope waits for us in the dark, in the light, and everywhere in between.' โœจ๏ธ ...

๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐š๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž
Last Saturday morning I had the privilege of presenting and sharing to some very special people from our 'helper professions.'

It is always difficult discerning what to share and how best to share it in a way that hits the mark and adds value to those in attendance.

Do you know what I rumble with the ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต though?

Striking the balance between acknowledging the hard ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ honouring the hope.

It is so important to me that the hope is shared, but not at the expense of romanticizing or glazing over the hard.
Just as the hard must be acknowledged, but not in the absence of hope.

To authentically and genuinely honour 'hard seasons,' we need to share it all.
The beauty ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ the ugly.
The hope ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ the hard.

It was a privilege to serve and an honour to bear witness to other's journeys.
And the cherry on top? Getting to see one of my exceptional ex-students shining in their chosen profession.

A very full heart indeed ๐Ÿค

๐Œ๐ฎ๐Œ ๐๐จ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ฒ

At the beginning of last year I watched this incredible documentary, '๐™ˆ๐™ช๐™ˆ: ๐™ˆ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™๐™š๐™ง๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ˆ๐™ž๐™จ๐™˜๐™–๐™ง๐™ง๐™ž๐™–๐™œ๐™š' and it has recently become available to stream on Netflix.

@tahynamacmanus courageously and vulnerably shares her experiences of miscarriage alongside a number of other couples.

I was deeply moved by her authentic, honest, and raw account of her journey, not to mention her excruciating vulnerability. It is heartbreakingly beautifulโœจ

So many of the experiences shared strongly resonated with my own, and many of the pertinent themes addressed and discussed so eloquently in MuM align with those within YSiW.

There were many stand out moments for me, but if I had to pick one it would be when Tahyna encourages, '๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ด.'

Thank you @tahynamacmanus for so vulnerably continuing the conversation, while saving space for others. This will continue to touch, support, and inspire many for years to come ๐Ÿคโœจ

Slowing up. Taking a moment after a special day presenting alongside some incredibly courageous speakers in service of the 'helper professions.' What a privilage โœจ๏ธ ...

๐‡๐จ๐ฉ๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ nฬทoฬทtฬท ๐š ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฒ

I have come across this message in a number of different places and platforms.

'๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ข ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜บ.'

I believe it is intended to imply that strategy requires action, and hoping is not this.

I disagree.

Hope ๐™ž๐™จ a strategy - an extremely good one at that.

Sure it needs some action, or perhaps even intention, but let's not underestimate the powerful nature of hope.

'Hoping' can make tough and unthinkable hardships bearable.

On hearing our baby's heart had stopped, hope acted as a buffer protecting, then gradually releasing me towards the harsh realities of baby loss.
During this time, hope temporarily weaved it's gentle stitches to hold the pieces of my heart together.

Vietnamese peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh said, '๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ. ๐˜๐˜ง ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ, ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฑ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ.'

Perhaps it is not until we've experienced a moment where it appears lost, that we understand hope's true power and potential in our lives.

Hope ๐™„๐™Ž a strategy.

๐Ÿ“ธ A photo I took after a special walk with friends early one cold Christchurch morning