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Sunday, 15 January 2017

How to Avoid Self-Sabotage


For thousands of people across the globe, the New Year is a time for goal setting. Whether you believe in resolutions or not, we can’t help but feel slightly inspired to create a few ‘I’d like to do…’, or ‘I will achieve…’ situations for the year ahead.

As you all know, I do love a good list writing session, and jotting down all the possibilities a new year brings would be my perfect Saturday night! I haven’t been as regimented with my resolutions for 2017. My recent illness and battle with depression and anxiety have taken the shine off setting too many challenges. However, the goals I have set for myself are still bold enough to push me out of my comfort zone and keep me focused.

One of my main faults is a tendency for procrastination. The pull of social media can be too much some days, and I will lose an hour or two surfing cute kitty pictures, or watching DIY videos on how to make bath bombs! I will then glance at my ever increasing to-do list and feel guilty.

Even though my procrastination doesn’t do any real harm, it is still an act of self-sabotage, and this is one of my top goals to work on during 2017.

Self-sabotage affects many areas of our lives. It can have an impact on our careers, friendships, and relationships. We can ‘act out’ in a variety of ways including over-indulgence in alcohol, and eating fatty/sweet (comfort) foods. I gave up alcohol three years ago because I realised that I was using it as a crutch. Instead of working on any uncomfortable issues or emotions, I masked them with a bottle of Chardonnay. Instead of developing my social skills, I flung as many mojitos down my neck as possible so that I could be ‘the life and soul of the party’. Unfortunately, alcohol is also a depressant so I would wake up the next morning feeling groggy and nauseous, and then over analyse every moment of the evening to see if I’d said something wrong, offended anyone, made a fool of myself or embarrassed myself or my friends/family. It was a vicious cycle of anxiety, guilt, and self-hatred. So I stopped drinking.

It’s only more recently that I understood the nature of self-sabotage. In truth, it’s just our warped attempt to protect ourselves from harm. I realise that my procrastination is linked to a limiting belief that ‘I’m not good enough.’ The only way I will change my procrastination habit is to recognise that fact and understand that this single belief is what’s driving my self-sabotage.

Can you resonate with this? Do you follow a similar pattern? Maybe you drink a bit more that you should, or rack up a credit card bill on inconsequential items. Are you single and feel like you’re always pushing potential partners away, or maybe you are often overlooked for promotion. All of these situations can occur because you are self-sabotaging.

How can you break the cycle?

I always revert to my obsession with list writing to help me dig a little deeper into my subconscious. Journaling works well but sometimes we need a list rather than a group of sentences.

If I wanted to discover more about my procrastination habits, for example, I would jot down everything associated with that word or theme.

Things like:

Fear

Avoidance

Humiliation

My list is much longer and if I think of anything else I’ll add it. Once complete I can analyse the words I’ve chosen to see if there is a pattern or any revelations.

The three words I’ve shared above cover my ‘I’m not good enough’ scenario quite well. Fear - I’m afraid that people will think I’m an idiot. Avoidance - If I don’t start a project then I can’t finish it and then I’m safe from people seeing it and thinking I’m an idiot. Humiliation – What if I complete a project and share it, and people think I’m an idiot?

I’m sharing this example with you because I am fully aware of where this limiting belief comes from (an ex-husband) and I’m working hard to dispel it. What I want you to do is take a look at your own life and see if you’ve developed any self-sabotaging habits.

Do you believe that you deserve good things in life? Can you follow your dreams and believe they will come true? Answer honestly. If you feel a resistance, think about the words or feelings that are bubbling up and jot them down. These words will help you to discover more about your beliefs.

Learning to avoid self-sabotage comes from an understanding of how you are holding yourself back. You can only change what you know. Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix, but to recognise what is driving your behaviour is a step in the right direction.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Releasing Negative Emotions


I’m only into the second week of the year, and I’ve already steered away from my lovingly constructed blog schedule! However, in my defence, I have a valid reason for needing to throw all my well-laid plans aside and share this story, and that’s because it HURT!

Since the middle of last year, I have had regular acupuncture sessions with a wonderful therapist called Jo, who is insightful, compassionate, and highly skilled. I know without any doubt that the sessions are making a difference, not just physically, but emotionally.

We talk through so many issues, and Jo has an incredible knack for getting

Sunday, 1 January 2017

How to Ensure You Have a Great Year by Using a Happiness Jar

When I was younger, I would write my New Year Resolution or goals list based on what I wanted to do, be, or have that would make me happy. It took me several decades to understand that happiness comes from within and isn’t a physical object, place, or person.

It’s human nature to want to make our lives better. However, we have an inbuilt security system that resists change. So how do you make improvements to your life without upsetting that inner control freak?

Several years ago I saw a meme on Facebook which suggested starting a gratitude jar. The idea appealed to me, but in the example, you were told to write down something that you were grateful for each day, week, or month. While I approved of the sentiment, I was already adding my thoughts of gratitude to my daily journal. So, I improvised.

Happy Birthday: My Blog is 5 Today! #WeekendBlogShare


Achievements come in all shapes and sizes. They can be related to weight loss, fitness, creativity, habits, friendships, romance, or career. For me, the first day of the year is always a reminder that one of my greatest achievements was starting this blog.

Today, Motivate Me (formally known as Resolution Challenge) is five years old! Now that’s an achievement worth rejoicing.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

A Year in Review #wwwBlogs


A Year in Review

At this time of year, it’s hard not to reflect on the past twelve months. However, it can be too easy to dwell on the negatives and forget about all the positive things that might have happened - births, marriages, new friendships, events, laughter, and love.

Before I shuffle off to enjoy a mince pie or two, I thought it would be nice to round off 2016 by doing a blog post dedicated to a review of my year. As many of my regular readers know, I do love to set goals and challenges, and I equally enjoy sharing the highs and lows with all of you. Why not do your own year in review? Feel free to add a brief summary in the comments below, or jot it in your journal. It’s a fun exercise to try.

Books I’ve Read: 50

Every year I set myself a Goodreads reading challenge. For the past couple of years, I’ve aimed to read 50 books and managed to achieve this. Some of my book blogger friends have read 200+ books this year. I think I’ll stick with my lower target of 50 for 2017! 

Here is a selection of the books I’ve read and enjoyed this year.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Using Numerology to Discover Your Life Purpose #BookReview


Numerology has always fascinated me, and I’ve read as many books on the subject as I could find. I worked out my life path number quite a few years ago (it’s a 3 by the way) and found the description of a three-person to be pretty spot on for me.

When Hay House brought out their ‘Hay House Basics’ series, I jumped at the chance to add their version of Numerology to my growing collection. Numerology: Discover Your Future, Life Purpose and Destiny from your Birth Date and Name by Michelle Buchanan is just one book in a growing catalogue of back to basics mind, body, and spirit books ranging from Angels to the Qabalah, and Astrology to Tarot.

The author, Michelle Buchanan is a numerologist and Certified Law of Attraction Practitioner who studied numerology for more than 20 years. She was formerly the spiritual counselor for Woman’s Day magazine in New Zealand, as well as the resident numerologist for Television New Zealand’s Good Morning. Michelle has a numerology show, Numerology Guidance, on Hay House Radio and provides personal readings, workshops, and seminars to clients all over the world. She is also a talented singer/songwriter and dedicated mother of two based in Auckland, New Zealand. You can find Michelle on her website HERE.

With a difficult couple of years behind me, I’m had periods of feeling out of sorts, and a bit lost. I am still trying to find my way and recapture that passion and drive that has motivated me for so long. Using numerology to discover my life purpose and destiny seemed like a good place to start! Would it show me an alternative route, or confirm that I’m still on my proper path? Armed with a notebook to jot down the relevant dates and corresponding numbers I began.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Top 10 Tips to Get Motivated for Christmas


I’m typing up this post as the rain hammers against the window. My cat is curled up in my ‘in’ tray, and I’ve accumulated several empty mugs as I make coffee after coffee in a bid to stay warm.

Yesterday, I realised we only have a few weeks until Christmas, and I haven’t even started to think about buying gifts, sending cards, or arranging various seasonal events. My regular gym sessions have also dwindled to an ‘hmm, I’ll go tomorrow,' and my healthy eating regime now involves far too many Jaffa cakes (they’re orange, so technically they count as your five a day, don’t they?).

When it’s cold and wet, our motivation to get even the most basic tasks done isn’t as powerful as it was in the warmer months. Looking out of the window this morning I knew I’d be staying in the comfort of my writing cave for the day.  

However, Christmas looms, and if I want to prepare that delicious turkey dinner, eat copious amounts of mince pies, and delight my family with thoughtful gifts, then I need to get organised. So, how am I going to do it when my motivation has shrivelled up in the cold?

I’ve got a few tips to help motivate you at this time of year:

Monday, 14 November 2016

Top 5 Tips for Small Business Networking



Networking is a relatively new thing for me. When I ran my holistic health business, I worked five days and two evenings a week, so any spare time I had I divided between family, friends, and my writing. Attending any of the networking groups in my local area was an impossibility. Once I closed that business and focused on my books and blog content, I discovered a necessity to get out from the home office and speak to another human being.

Working from home, in any capacity, has a host of benefits, from holding a conference call in your pyjamas, to saving hours on a long commute. Many mums are starting small businesses from their kitchen table to enable them to keep childcare costs to a minimum and reap the advantages of being around for their child’s early years.

With the influx of mumpreneurs, the need for friendly and supportive networking groups is more important than ever. Women empower women; it’s a beautiful thing to witness and an even more satisfying thing to do, or indeed, receive.

The groups I attend primarily are targeted

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Re-Balance Your Life by Looking Back #MondayBlogs

It's been a hectic week at Resolution Challenge HQ. As many of you know, the month of November is when I take part in the annual NaNoWriMo contest - National Novel Writing Month. This is my fourth year of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days and so far (6 days in) I'm at just over 13,000 words. It's shaping up to be a good project, and one I hope to share with you all next year once the edits are done.

I'm delighted to have found my mojo again for writing motivational non-fiction, and this is evident in the exciting projects I've got coming up. My mind is bubbling over with ideas, and I’m struggling to get them all written down before my batty brain forgets them. There are several projects in the developmental stages and one in the OMG this might actually happen phase! I’ll keep you posted.

It’s nice to be feeling like my old self again. It’s been a main aim of mine for a while now, to try and

Monday, 24 October 2016

What Does Happiness Mean To You? #MondayBlogs

I was invited to do a talk for a motivational group recently on the theme of ‘Heaven on Earth.' I spent a long time thinking about what that meant to me.

Eventually, I decided that happiness was the one thing that gave me contentment. But sometimes we think that happiness is out of our reach – it’s something to work towards – a goal if you like.

When I’m at home, and I talk about setting goals, I can see my kid’s eyes begin to glaze over. ‘Oh god, she's off on one of her hippie trips again!’

That’s okay; they’re young. Goals aren’t as important to them. For them, happiness is already a huge part of their life; they don’t need to think about setting goals to achieve it.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Mindfulness in 3 Easy Steps #wwwBlogs

When I tell people how much I enjoy mindfulness, I am often met with a slight resistance. Occasionally, people will be positive about the benefits of mindfulness in their lives. However, far too many people believe it to be too difficult, or worse, time-consuming.

I can’t emphasis enough the importance of being in the moment. That means, not stressing about the past, or worrying about what’s in the future. Anxiety increases when we live in a constant turmoil of ‘why did I say that last week?’ or ‘will I be able to make that speech next month?’

Being mindful helps us in so many ways:

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Taking Small Steps Towards Better Health #ThursdayThoughts

If you follow my blog, then you’ll be aware that I’ve struggled with my health over the past couple of years. I remain undiagnosed and, unfortunately, I still suffer from symptoms and pain.
It’s safe to say that I sulked – for a long time – and still have bouts of the blues over this issue, however, as September arrived, I was filled with an overwhelming desire to feel better – even if it was just a little bit.

As you all know, I do love a challenge and what better way to push myself than to sign up for the 90 Day Shape Shift Sustain plan (yes, 90 DAYS!!) developed by the hottie, Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Believe to Achieve at the Wellbeing Festival, Birmingham #MondayBlogs

In 2015 the Mind Body Spirit Wellbeing Festival arrived in Birmingham. For me, this was a huge bonus as I live a mere ten minutes away from the National Exhibition Centre, so there was no early morning train to London, or late evening return loaded down with shopping bags and good intentions. My favourite festival was on my doorstep!

This year, I’m more excited than usual but not for the reasons I mentioned above, no, this year I’m actually taking part in the Wellbeing Festival!

Monday, 5 September 2016

Make Time For What Matters - Now!

Everyone knows how much I love writing lists and goal setting, and it’s commonly known that I enjoy a good New Year resolution or two. The New Year is a great time to work on new beginnings and fresh starts. However, you don’t need to wait until January 1st to make relevant changes to your lifestyle, career, health, or wellbeing.

September, for me, is the perfect month to embrace those new adventures, start a new academic course either online or at night school, or begin a health regime that will keep you mentally and physically fit during the winter. It’s a month of crisp weather, the promise of home grown apples and blackberries, and let’s not forget the oodles of back to school stationery just waiting to be purchased.

For years I put off getting started, not just with my writing projects, but with my health, and wellbeing. I would grumble about my muffin top and back fat but then demolish a cream bun at the local coffee shop. I would tell myself that ‘this year’ was when I’d finally write that book. Year after year I did this until finally, something clicked – I was only letting myself down.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

How to Use One Month to Make Small Changes That Last.

If you’ve just experienced that horrific realisation that you go on holiday in a month and are having those ‘where is the svelte figure I promised myself’ thoughts then panic not.

There’s still time to turn your bad habits around and install a better mind-set so that you can enjoy your holiday and return with a clear focus for the remainder of the year.

Here’s how:

Days 1 – 6

Turn to your trusty journal and note everything down. Write down all the times you reach for the biscuit tin, or smuggle a Mars bar under your t-shirt so the kids don’t spot it. While you’re at it, jot down how you were feeling at the time (angry, upset, etc.) and the time of day. By doing this, it helps to give you an insight into your activities and the behaviour associated with each act/habit.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

What's Your Favourite Inspirational Quote? #wwwBlogs

If you scroll down any social media feed you will find an abundance of memes with a variety of quotes – some are inspirational, some humorous, and some are very thought provoking.

I share quite a few of these on my Resolution Challenge Facebook page. Not because it fits my personal needs – although, some days these affirmations have been spot on! – I share them in the hope that they’ll help someone else.

When I ran my holistic health business, my clients were always at the forefront of my mind. If I read an inspiring article, I would save it as I knew it might resonate with one of my ladies. When I heard about a new meditation class or spiritual workshop, I would forward the details to the people I knew would enjoy these events.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

How to Change Bad Habits

Why change the habit of a lifetime? I have no idea who said that, but it has certainly resonated with me over the years. Why indeed? Our poor brain categorises our actions as habits so that we don’t end up with mental fatigue. Having to make constant decisions depletes our energy and it’s, therefore, a welcome relief if there are habits in place to make that decision making easier.

But what if you really want to change a habit? Maybe it’s a bad habit that makes you feel guilty or sad, or perhaps you want to create a good habit and have it stick as a regular in your life. How on earth do you go about this?

I joined a gym yesterday. Don’t panic; I will NOT be clambering on any rowing machines or sprinting down a treadmill anytime soon. I joined so that I could utilise their swimming pool and abundance of yoga and Pilates classes (the added bonus of a coffee shop swung the deal!). I want to create a good, healthy habit in my daily life and meet like-minded people.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

#BookReview Moon Wisdom by Heather Roan Robbins #Astrology


#BookReview Moon Wisdom by Heather Roan Robbins


Author: Heather Roan Robbins
Category: Mind, Body, Spirit/Astrology

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Review:

For the past couple of years, I have convinced myself that my emotions and overall mood has been linked to the moon cycle. After being diagnosed with severe depression last year I monitor my state of mind on a regular basis and try not to overwhelm myself with too many activities. I noticed that there were certain times of the month when I felt much lower than other times.

I decided to investigate this further and found Heather Roan Robbins’ book, Moon Wisdom, about transforming your life using the moon’s signs and cycles.

Heather explains how the moon sets the tone of the day and that it changes signs every two and a third days. By knowing where the moon is on any given day, you get a snapshot of the mood and general attitude for any particular day.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Turn Stress Into Something Positive #wwwBlogs


We’ve all experienced those days or weeks that wipe us out.

As we become bogged down by work, family life and a hectic social scene, we may begin to forget certain things such as a friend’s birthday or to cancel a hair appointment. Neither of these scenarios are life threatening and certainly shouldn’t tip us over the edge, but when we take too much on, the cracks begin to show.

Stress is a part of who we are. We deal with pressure, deadlines and multi-tasking regularly.

There have been many books and articles written on the benefits of a certain amount of stress in our lives. It can keep us on our toes, motivated to succeed and help us focus on an important task.

However, regardless of whether we believe that stress is good or bad, it can still have a detrimental effect on our health and wellbeing.

When we deal with an excessively stressful situation our body produces adrenaline and cortisol to help us deal with the threat – this is our fight or flight response. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Project You - Learn To Let Go

Project You!

Week 5: Learn to let go.

Last time we looked at how self-love must start on the inside, you can read that post HERE. Today I want to talk about letting go of old emotions.

I’m one of the world’s worst for holding on to things from my past. I’ll admit that I’m getting better with age, and having a background in holistic health has certainly steered me down the right route, however, when our past is still impacting on our present then something needs to be done.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will have spotted the occasional post about my invisible illness and subsequent depression and anxiety. These are ongoing issues that I deal with in a variety of ways. Yesterday, for instance, I had my first EMMETT treatment, and it blew me away.

Today, I have woken up feeling human again – it’s been two years since I felt ‘normal.' A recurring theme that came up during my treatment was the tension in my neck, shoulders, and back (represents support issues). As a single parent to three teenage children, I guess it’s inevitable that I can feel unsupported on a day-to-day basis.

I’m sure many of you can recall a time when you tried to either ‘fix’ a friend or relative instead of sorting out your own health/emotional issues. I’m great in a crisis and can advise anyone on the perfect course of action, but if I need to turn that support around, I’m often unable to help myself.

The illness and depression have taught me to abandon any hope of being in control. It’s a doomed mission! Instead, I choose to be positive no matter what is thrown at me, and do you know what happens when I take this attitude? I started the process of healing.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Annual Blogger Bash 2016 #BloggersBash

I've been blogging for three years now and I love it! I write this blog as well as a book/writing related blog over on Word Press - you can find it HERE.

The blogging and writing community is fabulous, and I’ve made many new friends through sharing, interacting and commenting on the incredible blogs that are out there.

To celebrate the best bloggers around, Sacha Black and her awesome team launched the Annual Blogger Bash back in 2015, and I’ve very pleased to say that it’s returning this year and looks to be bigger and better than before.


The physical event takes place on 11th June 2016 in London and tickets can be found HERE. Regular blog readers who are unable to make the event can follow all the fun and frivolity via Twitter or Facebook.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Project You! Self-Love Starts On The Inside

Project You!


Week 4: Self-love starts on the inside.

Last week we looked at abandoning our to-do list, you can read that post HERE.

Today, I want to talk about self-love. It’s a phrase that many of us struggle with and one that I’ve pondered over many times. Last year I joined a slimming group in the hope of shedding the two stone in weight that crept on during the initial months of my ill health. I thought that by losing the weight, I would start to feel better about myself.

Losing weight and feeling fitter and healthier, slimmer and more energetic is a worthy goal but it doesn’t change the essence of who we are. I look in the mirror and still see the dark circles under my eyes, the stretch marks and ‘laughter lines.' Losing weight won’t change that. I just need to embrace everything as a whole – inside and out.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Project You! Abandon the To-Do List

Project You!

Week 3: Avoid Goal Setting and Abandon the To-Do List

Last week we looked at how to stop feeling guilty, you can read that post HERE.

Today, I want to talk about NOT setting goals. Don’t adjust your monitor; I did just suggest that you avoid goal setting – me, the queen of resolutions!

Over the past year, I’ve had to abandon some challenges due to my health; it was upsetting and unnerving as I saw this as a ‘failure.' As the year rolled by, I began to understand the importance of living without a purpose.

My to-do list was, and still is but in a much smaller scale, a great comfort to me. I love a schedule and a deadline, and I find it helpful to run the household events/tasks using a paper diary and calendar.

However, how often have you looked at your to-do list and felt defeated? Not because you haven’t managed to tick off all the tasks but because you find those particular duties hold no meaning. It’s just ‘stuff to do’ instead of activities that drive your real goals forward.

Friday, 1 April 2016

What a Difference a Year Makes

One year ago, my life changed direction. I was fighting with a health issue that not only depleted my energy but caused me pain, anguish, and fear.  To this day, I remain undiagnosed, left with the doctor’s parting remark, ‘we’ll probably never know what it is or why it happened.’ I translated this to mean ‘just get on with it.’

So I did! I chose to take control of my life and health - it was the hardest decision to make but in hindsight, it was the right one. After seven years of hard work, I closed Body & Soul Holistics, my holistic health spa. A small business that had evolved and flourished until I had an eight-month waiting list for ladies wanting treatments.

My clients were incredible and supported my decision, having watched my health deteriorate before their eyes. They were also wise and intuitive about where my life would take me.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Project You! Don't Feel So Guilty

Project You!

Week 2: Don’t Feel So Guilty

Last week we looked at how to stop trying to please everyone else and to take time out for yourself, you can read that post HERE.

Today, I want to talk about guilt. We all carry a certain amount of guilt around with us. It’s healthy to feel a small portion of responsibility or remorse. Telling your kids you can’t afford an ice-cream (because you’re secretly saving for a spa weekend) comes with only a small sliver of shame.

But what about the guilty pleasures? No, I’m not talking about Johnny Depp (for once!), I’m referring to the duvet day you dream about, or that unscheduled pit stop in life when you binge watch all eight Harry Potter films.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Project You! Stop Trying to Please Everyone

Project You!

Week 1: Stop Trying To Please Everyone

My children break up for the school Easter holidays today, and they bounced out of the door this morning with a definite spring in their step (no pun intended!)

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have stocked the cupboards with Easter chocolate and hot cross buns, and there will be a vase of beautiful daffodils taking pride of place on the kitchen table.  Two weeks of family time is something to look forward to, and I intend to use this holiday to mix my own goals with special treats for the kids.

Does that sound horrifying?  Should I spend the next two weeks entertaining my three teenagers, doing double shifts on the cleaning because they are at home and, therefore, making more of a mess?  Maybe I should be slaving over a hot stove to prepare the Easter lunch, or perhaps rushing across the Midlands delivering eggs to my friends and family.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

My Open Letter to Depression

Dear Depression,

You have been in my life for far longer than I ever realised, skulking about in the shadows like a malevolent troll.  You slowly depleted my confidence and wiped the smile from my face, and yet all the time I thought I was to blame.  I believed that I was too weak, too boring, and too insignificant and I almost let you win.

You made me feel so lonely that I believed there was an invisible wall around me.  I began to feel discouraged by everything the future had to offer.  You got to me in so many ways; emotionally, physically and spiritually.  I could no longer find comfort in the things that once helped boost my wellbeing.  You cut me off from the beautiful world and laughed as I floundered in the choking fear that tried to drown me.

Maybe it was you that contributed to the physical pains I endure every day.  My muscles scream with every movement.  I ache all the time, I can’t sleep and I embark on moments on self-destruction with my diet, but I think you feed on these debilitating feelings.  You thrive on negative energy and found an inviting home in my suffering.

Monday, 29 February 2016

10 Things That Being a Mum Has Taught Me #MondayBlogs

10 Things That Being a Mum Has Taught Me. 

On Sunday 6th March we celebrate Mother’s Day in the UK.  This is a special day to share, spoil, or remember our mothers.

When I was in my twenties, I was told I had a very slim chance of ever being a mum.  This news was utterly devastating to me as all I ever wanted was to have children of my own.  I believe it shaped my decision to marry an unsuitable man who already had children from a previous relationship. 

Fortunately, I did conceive, and although the doctors told me they didn’t believe I would go full term, my son ended up being two days late.  I then went on to have another two children and would have happily added to my brood had that unsuitable man been more…suitable!

Believing that motherhood would never be mine I was totally overwhelmed when I did finally hold my son for the first time.  That tiny bundle of happiness will be eighteen this year and that terrifies me more than the thought of giving birth. 

So what have I learnt over the years?  Here is my top ten: