hello and welcome!
my name is katie - and this is the first thing I am writing on my brand-new (revamped) blog. I write this cross-legged at the computer, and
(can I be really honest? )
- I am here at home while my two kids are in care.
You see, about two months ago, I realised that my post natal depression had gotten worse than I had thought. I was going through the motions, holding space for the feelings of everyone in the family - but not finding time to have many of my own.
And then suddenly, having put my kids into care for a few days a week, there was this emptiness.
If I wasn't a mum, what was I?
Did I even want to be here?
It's been really hard letting go of being a full time mum - and making peace with the idea that leaving my children behind with a team of (kind, loving, professional) strangers won't cause them irreversible damage (more on that later!).
But I've finally committed to honouring my need - to take this time to heal, and I've decided to make this blog a place for me to share my journey.
I'm calling it 'an experiment in happiness'.
You may or may not have kids (in care) - and you may or may not have depression - but I'm betting that we are not so different, you and I.
Do you ever feel inadequate? Do you beat yourself up for making mistakes, or spending too much money, or saying silly things? Do you miss out on opportunities because you are too afraid to try? Do you find yourself wishing you could be someone else? Do you find yourself googling the phrase "I can't do this anymore"?
I do. So, you're not alone. And I really do believe that things are going to get better!
Can I ask you something? Would you join me for my little experiment?
I want to see what happens when we actually take some time to consider what makes us happy and to consider what things we need to tackle and make peace with in order to live in a way that makes us feel happier in ourselves. I want to learn more about the God who made us, and investigate what that means for how then we should live.
and I want to start the experiment right now.
Are you ready?
Take a moment (right now). If there are other things going on, see if you can let them wait, just for a minute.
we're going to do an exercise called checking in.
and all you have to do is close your eyes and ask yourself:
how am I feeling?
Turn your attention inward and notice the sensations in your body. Is there pain? Relief? energy? How is your heart beating (slow or fast)? What emotions or thoughts do you notice?
In this practice, just take time to notice what you are experiencing. There is nothing else to do or fix in this moment.
next, simply ask,
what do I need?
Tune in to how you're feeling, with a sense of curiosity. Without pushing an agenda, wait to see if there is something your body is telling you it needs. Are you thirsty? Is there hunger? Do you need to shower without being interrupted - or go for a walk in a new area? Maybe you'd like to sit and pray in a natural setting, catch up with a friend or loved one, or just take some time to rest.
Did you have an idea of what you needed? see if you can make a plan to do something needful today (sometimes actually doing it is the hard part!)
When I checked in with myself, I realised I was feeling pressure to get lots of things done - to make use of the time I have now in a way that justifies my having it. But what I actually need - is to do something relaxing before I pick up the kids - like visit the library or go for a swim. I'm really going to try to actually do it!
What did you come up with when you checked in with yourself? What do you need to do (today) to take care of yourself?
I'd love to hear in the comments below!