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Santa I can explain …… well not really

Santa I can explain …… well not really

On Christmas Day I got a sticker in my cracker, the cracker had a bang in case you were wondering.  It was wonderful.  But back to the sticker, which I immediately stuck on my dress.  It said: Santa I can explain.  I smiled.  Because the truth is, Santa no I cannot explain.  There are some things that I simply can’t explain.  I am pretty sure May 2023 will go down in history as the craziest month of my life.  On the surface, a lot of people thought things were normal.  I was speaking on radio and tv and doing a good job of it.  I was writing.  I was being a Mum.  I was going out and doing things.  But there was most definitely some unravelling going on behind the scenes.  For the first time in my life, I am actually lost for words about that time.  It all feels like a crazy dream.  Like being on another planet and wow it can get pretty damn intense up there.  I guess you have to have been through it.  It’s ok though.  As a person who loves words be that writing, speaking, performing, I want to remind you that sometimes it is ok to not have any.  Sometimes life just gets weird,  So accept the past.  Accept it all, feel it all and be so kind to yourself.

Here are some thoughts when it comes to more joy and hooking up that mojo. 

In a world that can encourage us to focus on the negatives, I think it is so important to appreciate compliments and take note of them.  Perhaps you love it when someone compliments your tattoo because you sat in pain for 5 hours to get it.  Or maybe you like to keep your tattoo private and you prefer someone to notice your great personality or your new shoes.  I had a belter of a compliment a few weeks ago and decided to take my own advice.  I wrote it down, not straight away of course.  I played it cool.  The words were simple:

Jojo, your eyes are so bright and your face is calm.

Wow.  How’s that for a compliment and very specific.  Bright eyes, calm face.  I love it.  It’s a keeper.

I remember in 2018, not long after my book was published, I sat cringing over a line I had written about eyes:

My mojo is back.  People tend to notice these things before we do.  It shows in our eyes.  Wise friends have commented that my eyes light up when I talk.  They sparkle.

Upon reading these words I thought I might throw up, how corny am I? Why did I think it would be a good idea to write this?  I guess because they are true.  Eyes matter.  I get it now.  Because I know what it is like for eyes to go dark.  I get trauma.  And that helps me to be a more compassionate and open minded person.

Bright eyes matter.  I loved the compliment.  I wrote it down.  I am writing it down again here in case you want to use it.  It’s a great mantra to have.  Dear Santa, all I want going forward is for bright eyes and a calm face.  I want to stay me.  I am sorry for slagging my book.  There is nothing wrong with bright eyes that sparkle.  I am all here for it.

I want to encourage you if you have not felt like yourself.  There is always a way back. Sometimes it just takes a bit of time.  Sometimes you may feel like yourself but then a couple of months later you realise that you still had a bit to go.  Again, this is ok.  We all go through challenges that can take that sparkle out of our eyes.  I was asked recently why I wasn’t more angry or bitter about some of the things that have happened to me.  What is the point?  Who would benefit?  We can’t change the past.  I have a crazy amount in my life to be so thankful for.  Yes, I have been thrown a couple of insane challenges.  I guess you have to have gone through it to understand it.  You have to have felt it to your core.  But it’s done now.

If you feel like you have been judged then I want to remind you that everyone has their own triggers.  Perhaps you woke something up in someone that needed to be addressed.  Someone could say the same thing to two different people and they could react so differently depending on where they are at, their own mental health or what kind of head space they are in.  Some people may be able to let things bounce off them and not take anything personally.  Others may be really triggered.  What may be a massive thing to someone may be water off a duck’s back to someone else.  Then sometimes a person who is laid back and lets things slide could go crazy over what seems like a trivial thing.  People are all so different and we need to appreciate that.

Focus on the good.  When training a puppy, many books say that you shouldn’t tell them off when they are bad but instead encourage and reward them when they are good.  I think this is the way we should parent too but wow can it be hard.  Some things may really test your patience like attempting to get the kids out the door for a walk.  Leaving the house can fill me with stress some days.  When they argue I find it soul destroying.  It’s so hard to ignore that but then shower them with praise for all the great things they do.  But even if we can focus on one good thing each day and remember to give the compliment to your family/kids/pets etc then it’s a start.  Gratitude is a habit, I read a quote recently that said it is like glitter for the soul.  I cringed when typing that. But I do kind of get it.

Hold onto what you are good at, do you bash out a decent story voice when reading to the kids? Can you commit to music and sing or dance like it is your last day on the planet? Or commit to a great book and actually finish it? What about the things you love that you are not good at? I love jigsaws but wow it can take me a bit of time.

Romantaise the small stuff.  Get excited about those cosy lights, a beautiful song, making a delicious meal, hugging, the feel of fresh air, a lovely hot bath with some nice oil, coffee shops, playing games, enjoying a film, the smell of a book, a quote that makes you smile.  Embrace it all.

Get a cold plunge for your garden or head out to the water and feel the amazing benefits.  Nature is pure magic.

There are going to be lots of posts across social media over the next few days of all the things that people have achieved this year.  It is natural to feel thankful and look through your highlight reel.  I love looking at some of my favourite images of the year and reflecting.  But it really is ok if simply making it to January 2024 is your biggest accomplishment.  You are a survivor and that is awesome.  As you see in the New Year, I want to remind you that life may get intense, you may be intense like me but so is pure beaming sunshine.  I hope 2024 brings you warmth and lots of moments of joy.

Jojo Fraser is an award-winning mental health researcher, author, podcaster and speaker, dubbed as ‘the Queen of positivity and a kindness advocate.   She is a Tedx speaker and a regular contributor on BBC radio.  Jojo is known for normalising discussions around our mental, emotional and spiritual health, making it accessible and relatable to all.  She has quickly grown a reputation for having a huge impact even on the most sceptical of people.

Connect with her across social @jojofrasermojo

Listen to her Tedx talk about the power of removing our masks.

Contact – mummyjojoblog@gmail.com

Jojo Fraser - scottish presenter and blogger

 

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