Expectations are bad, m’kay

Disappointment, it sucks!!  Whose fault is it?  How would you feel if I said it was your own fault. Every time.  Does that suck too? Does it ring true?  Does it sit somewhere in the middle?

If I could I would strike the word “should” from the English language. How often does the word “should” make you feel good?  It can be used nicely, as in, “Wow, you look awesome in that dress, you should wear it more often.”  But most of the times I remember it in my life it’s because someone (might be me or might be someone else) has expectations. “You should have booked”, “You should have told me you’d be late”, “Children should put toys away before they start playing with different ones”, “I should have got up earlier”, “I should have exercised more this week”.  The list goes on and on.

I had this conversation with my 10 year old daughter at a local cafe when we had to wait for a table.  “You should have booked Mummy”, she said. This was said as the waitress was clearing our soon to be table. We’d waited 10 maybe 15 minutes, hardly a life changing delay. “What does it matter that we’ve waited for our table?” I said. “Have we missed out on eating? Is there now a table available for us?” Her reply? “Well, no we haven’t and yes there is.” “How do you think it makes me feel when you tell me I should have done something? Even though we’re still going to sit together at a table and eat together, there’s just been a little wait.”  I questioned.  “Not good I suppose” she said.  Then we sat down and had a lovely brunch.

Expecting to be seated straight away had led my daughter to be disappointed that we had to wait.  A big disappointment?  No. But the process is the same regardless of the magnitude.

I’m very sensitive to the use of language, the difference between should and could, to me, is huge!!   I’d like to see more people swapping could in the place of should.  Should implies expectations, could implies choice.   Must vs can.  Same same.  Expectations vs choice.  Need vs love.  Same again.   This is one I recently really noticed myself.  I love yoga, it lifts me up, lights me up, calms me down, energises me, soothes me, heals me.  But once I told myself I needed to do yoga every day I stopped doing it.  Why?  There was no choice, even though it’s something I love, once I was told I needed to do it (even though it was me telling me!) I didn’t make the time to do it anymore.  I realised this and wrote on my whiteboard, “I love doing yoga every day”. This has such a different feel for me.  It’s a choice, it’s a treat, I want to do things I love, not things I need.

There are, of course, certain expectations that are reasonable.  We expect the sun to rise every day and set every day.  We expect to be loved by our family. We expect Tuesday to be followed by Wednesday.  We expect to be treated as we would treat others.  Ooh, hold on, now we’re getting into disappointment territory.  In an ideal world it is a reasonable expectation, however, not everyone has this expectation. If we choose to treat others as we wish to be treated then we can never be disappointed by our own behaviour. In time, we can choose not to have expectations of others. Or perhaps, choose to spend less time with those people who don’t light us up.  Or make sure when we know we’re going to spend time with these people that we go in with our love bucket full to the brim. Choose to respond rather than react, be the cause of your own behaviour not the effect of someone else’s.

Flexibility is key when preventing disappointment.  Flexibility and gratitude.  When you’re grateful for what has happened it greatly reduces the chance of being disappointed about what hasn’t happened.

Is all of this stuff simple?  Yep!!  Is it always easy to do?  Absolutely not, especially with people you have an emotional charge with. (Believe me I know!). But can we make it easier?  Hell yes!!  Gratitude and flexibility can be practised in teeny tiny ways and in massive ways.  Starting with the teeny tiny ways will result in those ways being easy. Then the medium ways will be a bit easier.  And so on and so on.   Perhaps start with dropping some of the expectations you have on yourself, I’d say that results in a win-win situation.

Imagine if all the people in the world dropped just one expectation from their life, how’s them ripples!?!

Increase your Happiness Every Single Day

Making yourself happy, how important is it you?  Very, very, very important I hope. If not, then I hope it will be very soon.  Like now! Does being happy have to be a major undertaking? Hell no! Should being happy be a major focus in your life? Hell yes! (You won’t often “hear” me use the word “should”; called for in that sentence I believe though) Does a major focus require massive energy and processes and actions? Nope!   How good does that feel? Can lots of little actions and processes done consistently give you massive outcomes? Oh yes, yes they can. Want to hear more about this? Then please read on.  Continue reading Increase your Happiness Every Single Day

7 colourful ways to spread ripples of happiness

I love rainbows, I’ll organise my Skittles in rainbow order, my future books are going to make a rainbow when you line them up and ROYGBIV is my favourite mnemonic. So what better way to list 7 reasons to spread happiness then with the colours of the rainbow and what they can represent 🙂

Red is a colour of love, whether it be love for yourself, your pet, fresh air, your partner, your kids, your neighbour, your family, your friends, the blue sky, dancing, painting, drawing, jigsaw puzzles; I could go on and on and on and on. Enjoying loves is an awesome way to spread ripples of happiness. And it can all be internal, no need to tell your local shopkeeper you love them to spread the love. When your mind is focussed on love you’ll spread love in everything you do.

Orange is a colour of joy. Ahh, how refreshing is that, I love the word joy. I never used to like the colour orange (except in a rainbow of course) until my BFFy and I got super close and I found out it’s one of her favourite colours. So now I associate orange with the joy my BFFy brings into my life. How to spread joy? Oh, so many ways. Smile at a stranger. Say thank you to anyone who does anything. Take an extra second to look properly at the gorgeous flower/cute puppy/awesome painting/cool cloud you saw. Filling your own internal joy bucket will always result in ripples of joy spreading in your world.

Yellow is a colour of happiness. Sunflowers, sunshine, Labradors, butter, daffodils, autumn leaves, Spongebob Squarepants, baby chicks, minions, rubber ducks. Please tell me you’re smiling after reading that list! Bright colours improve our mood. I’m not a fan of wearing yellow BUT when I do wear it I always get compliments. Look for yellow things all around, look for happiness, focus on yellow things, focus on happiness.

Green is the colour of Kermit the Frog. Do I need to say more?

Kidding, green is a colour of renewal, regrowth and energy. Spend time in or looking at nature whenever you can. Stuck inside a lot? Get a pot plant or a gorgeous photo of a rainforest/willow tree/pine forest, whichever greenness lights you up. Seriously though, if you’re like me, just share some Kermit memes and you’re smashing out some serious happiness ripples.

Blue is a colour of freedom. Oh yeah!! Freedom rules! Next time you’re outside really look at the sky. Which kind of blue is it in that moment? Which kind of freedom does it represent for you in that moment? What are you going to release from your life to allow more happiness in? More happiness in your life equals more happiness in the world, more ripples spreading, so much yay for that!

Indigo is a colour of intuition. Do what feels good. If closing your eyes in the warmth of the sun for 5 seconds feels good, do it. If you feel like you should go outside for 2 minutes even though the dishwasher needs emptying, do it. If you feel like reading a book even though the pile of washing to be sorted is so big it could have a child hiding in it, do it. Feel good as often as you can, the world will thank you.

Violet is a colour of creativity. Create something. A paper plane, a scrapbook, choc chip cookies, a story, a gorgeous photo, a brightened space in your home, jewellery, a bath mat. Then share it with someone. Feel proud of your creation cos it’s awesome.

I’d love to hear about your rainbow ripples of happiness (and when I’ve finished learning about the technological side of my blog there’ll be a way for you to share them, lol)

How you can brighten your life every single day

pexels-photo-459301.jpegYour life is pretty good, right? But is pretty good good enough? Would you like a little bit more sparkle, shine or brightness in your life? Do you want people to wonder why there’s a twinkle in your eye?

Below I’ve put together a list of ways to put an extra spring in your step, twinkle in your eye, sparkle in your smile.

  • Start your day with something just for you. I like to take 20 deep breaths before I get out of bed. I count up to 10 then down from 10.
  • Smile at yourself every time you pass a mirror. Every time!
  • Really wanna step it up? Say “I love you” to yourself in the mirror.
  • When you have a spare 5 seconds choose something to look at, really look at. Take those 5 seconds as often as you can, just for you.
  • Celebrate any and every nourishing decision you make with your food and drink.
  • Look at the sky. Study the clouds if there are any. Marvel at the expanse of blue if it’s a clear sky.
  • Pull your shoulders back and lift up your chin.
  • Do a form of meditation. Any form. Guided, long, short, silent, music. Any form of mindful inwardness.
  • Cherish your body. Thank it for all it does for you every day. Adore your heart for beating for you.
  • Write down at least 3 things you are grateful for in your life.

Life is wonderful, and we make it wonderful, each and every day.

I’d love to hear how you brighten your life, small and big actions.

See you rippling in the pond


I’m rippling my world,  wanna join me?

Why would my happiness affect you? Why would your happiness affect me? I love being happy and I’m excited to spread my ripples of happiness out to you, I hope my writing helps you spread your ripples out too.

I’m a big believer in changing for a good reason not just because things haven’t changed for a while. I found myself in a rut of settling. Previously things were ok in my world. I have two wonderful girls, a husband who happily provides for my family, four jobs which light me up (five if you include being a writer, which I will soon. Scrap that, I have five jobs! ), I live very close to a gorgeous beach, I’m very close to my family and I felt strong and mainly healthy. Yet, something wasn’t right. I wasn’t sleeping well. Things could definitely have been better between my husband and I. I kept talking to him about what I wasn’t happy about. But things didn’t change. I was losing my energy for life and it was affecting every facet of my world. We saw a counsellor for a long time and some things improved. However, it was when I decided to make changes to myself that things really improved.

It started with small things like memes on Facebook. If they really lit me up I’d share them. Let the ripples begin. Someone else’s ripples had given me ripples and then I passed them on.

I found an awesome online program about emotional eating. I say, I found it but I feel like it found me, I was just in the right space to receive it. At the time I didn’t think I often ate for emotional reasons but I was super interested in learning about emotional responses and strategies to help me feel happier. Long story short, I discovered through this program that many of the times I was eating was for emotional reasons. If I’d asked myself “Are you hungry?”, my answer would have been something along the lines of “I could eat” or “I want to eat” or “I feel like buttery toast” etc etc etc.

The main thing I gained through this amazing program was better sleep. There’s a reason they use sleep deprivation as a form of torture, it messes with your entire being.

Better sleep resulted in more energy. More energy resulted in less emotional eating. Less emotional eating resulted in me being more aware of what was running in my mind, soul and heart. Knowing what was running in my mind, soul and heart gave me more clarity. Clarity gave me peace. Peace gave me confidence. Confidence gave me the courage to start my writing career. Courage brought me here, writing for my own blog, Happiness Ripples, even though I wasn’t totally ready!

Does any of the above “ring true” for you? Where would your ripples start? How far could your ripples go?

We are but a drop in the pond of life. Every drop of happiness can ripple further than we’d ever know. I hope to feel your ripples one of these days.

“See” you in the pond of life sometime soon.

🌈🌈🌈   Find out a bit more about me here: All about Happiness Ripples

I’m joining the challenge!

Hi all,

I’m loving learning about blogging, writing books, fiction, non-fiction and more.  I read a post today that said it’s really important to practise publicly, so here I am. (If you’d like to know more about me and this blog check out my All about Happiness Ripples page.

The title of today’s practise is “Your happiness is different to my happiness and that’s totally ok”

So, what is happiness? I’m going to do a survey to include in one of the many books I plan to write.  I want to ask this question of people of many ages, genders, races, cultures, occupations and any other super cool categories I can think of. Then I want to find out how often they choose to do things that give them happiness. How easy is it to be happy? If they could do more things to be happy, what would they be? Why aren’t they doing them now?

More than likely there will be some graphs with pretty colours (cos pretty colours make me happy), I think there will be some very interesting data.

But I digress, why is it totally ok (at least in my opinion) for your happiness to be different to my happiness? Imagine if the world was filled with people who were only made happy by rainbows (another of my happiness sources), or frogs (yep, another one of mine) or dancing (yep, me again).  Sounds pretty cool to me, but part of finding your own happiness sources is knowing that they’re yours. Knowing that out in the world there are others that share the joy you get from unique things, but also knowing that if you feel like being super unique for a while you can immerse yourself, by yourself, with your happiness sources.   My immersion will look very different to Joe Blogg’s immersion, which will look very different to Jane Smith’s immersion which will look very different to the immersion of Joe Blogg’s grandfather and I could go on and on and on.

Happiness is universal, but how we create our own happiness is personal.  And that’s awesome.

I’ll definitely return to this subject in the future, however, right now I’ve gotta pick up my kids from gymnastics and make dinner.


Immerse yourself in your happiness, whatever your happiness sources are, do it now 🙂

Finding my blogging voice

pexels-photo-669505.jpegI’m an absolute newbie when it comes to blogging.  I’ve just started a course that is teaching me to blog.  I need to find my voice and part of the process was to read a piece of my writing and then use 3 words to describe it.  I realised that most of my writing was in response to things that had happened, that isn’t what I want to base my blogging voice on.  So I wrote something and then reviewed it 🙂  I chose these 3 words to describe it: optimistic, fresh, loving.

And here’s the piece.

Such excitement at grey skies, unusual but not the first time.  Sitting in hot water, outside, with my BFFy while the rain drops on our beaming faces.  That was the imagined. The reality? The sun came out and shone on our beaming faces. We cherished the blue skies, grateful for our time together.  Any time together with my BFFy is cherished. There is never enough BFFy time, it doesn’t matter what we’re doing. I’m so incredibly lucky to have met my BFFy. And I’m incredibly proud to be able to lovingly and honestly say that she feels the same way. Having a friend (and I’m incredibly lucky to have more than one) I can say “I love you” to is such an amazing, incredible, wonderful part of my life. Grateful is an understatement. Joyful comes close. Words will never truly capture the true feeling that this kind of friendship brings. But I’ll enjoy giving it my best shot. To “fail”at reaching such ecstatic heights in my writing will mean that I’m writing joyful, happy, blissful, rippling pieces. I’m super happy with that. Onwards and upwards, heading for the dizzying ecstasy of sharing happiness with the world.  Knowing that my ripple will reach out to my friends and cause ripples for them. Their ripples will cause ripples for their friends. I want the world to be full of overlapping ripples. I want to feel the ripples from others as much as I want them to feel my ripples. I want them to know that they are changing the world too!