Rise ::2::

have you ever experienced the rain pouring down below you? seeing the showers passing under foot, as you stand above warm and dry…

i have! it was very surreal looking down as the rain fell to earth. the shortest day in the year 2008, the day we climbed up our maunga {mt manaia} and came down engaged…
i share this story as I believe it gives a picture of what it feels like to rise above the raw and rough places we face, when we need some perspective out of the onslaught of the rainy season we might be facing.

when we made the journey up this mountain, it was a strenuous climb and hubby set a fast pace. we arrived on the platform ready for a break. it was a moment to look around at where we had come from, enjoy the breeze and re-energise, take stock of our surrounds.

if we stay down underneath, we can miss the perspective we get when we rise above. rising above the situation means we can find a different viewpoint and look at the specifics more clearly. not feeling the effect of the rain, we can appreciate what’s it like to be there.

recently, hubby and i have had a couple of disappointments but together we have tried to focus on the bigger picture. When you rise, you see the fullness of the journey you are on; taking courage of where you have come from and what might be ahead. it makes more sense when your circumstances don’t.

by francis frangipane
how do you rise? 
take a time out and make some space to think and breathe.
seek out people to encourage you in your journey.
talk to someone who has been there and come through it.
write out your cares and worries. then change them to positive affirmations or promises you can hold to.
be grateful. no matter the situations there are always things that you can be grateful for.
i hope this has encouraged you somehow today. it’s certainly helped me to think about it too.

:: holding on to the good ::

to my fellow chameleons

i have always described myself as a chameleon with the ability to adapt to my environment. mixing a little wild with the quiet; that’s me.

have you heard the term ambivert before? {as in intro-vert and extra-vert, now ambi-vert!}… well, something tells me if you have the same tendencies as me you might be interested…

i came across this article which opened my eyes and confirmed my ideas of living a {chameleon life}, it just make perfect sense for me!

an ambivert is part intro/extravert and all about balance. i love to be busy and around others but also need my {me time}, even more so since becoming a mama. it recharges me. i have thoughts about wanting my life to be more balanced, more peaceful and i think that is the uncomfortable element that takes place in an ambiverts life…

adjusting to those around you is an easy adaptation to life but can feel a bit overwhelming if your introverted side is not taken care of. ambiverts can have the ability to gauge the temperament of the people around them as they contain both introvert and extravert tendencies. this is why we can be chameleon like. also balancing out a group, if there are too many loud ones, you can bring the calm. but if it’s too passive or frustratingly awkward, you can talk til the cows come home {I constantly do this when i am nervous}!

being in the middle can feel like we want to do everything and nothing, simultaneously. i’d have to say we’re a little {figuratively} messy, find it hard to make a decision sometimes most of the time. wanting to be useful and useless at the same time.

trickiness is if you are preparing for a social outing and you want to be all on you own… who’s with me on that wrestling feeling? your introverted inner voice keeps you guarded but the extravert side saying {don’t miss this moment!}.

to finish, an ambiverts life is full of equilibrium and connection. we often keep the balance and like to fit in wherever possible.

so, are you an ambivert too? or is this all a figment of my imagination?
:: holding on to the good ::

rise ::1::

how does it look to rise up? what could i say has changed when it comes to the word i chose here?

i am sharing some thoughts on the word i chose for the 2015 year…

i realise it doesn’t have to be spectacular, it doesn’t have to have a boom and a bang. but all it needs is consistent attention and acceptance.

and courage.

i am choosing to accept who i am, instead of who {i think} others want me to be. and rise, even if it’s slow and steady… i am rising.

i think research shows {but don’t quote me here!} that when any new endeavour is started it is best to start slowly and carefully, to make small significant changes in a way that will assimilate into everyday life. to not hop on and then subsequently fall off the {bandwagon}. i am a classic for going full steam until i lose steam. 
so that’s what i have been mulling over first, as i commit to {rising}. i want to do it in a way that it’s not another thing to put effort into, more an attitude – a choice.
how do you start something new? Full steam or slow and steady?
:: holding on to the good ::

expansion

since moving home and working part time, i dubiously began a garden to see if i could at least keep something alive and maybe feed my family healthy stuff. much to my surprise it has brought so much out of me i had lost and i have totally embraced the new found creativity it has brought me.

hubby and i were talking the other night and he said {i think your garden is a picture of you}. it took me back for a minute as i was surprised at such a revelation but in many ways it’s true. i thought to share with you some personal insights on my garden journey and the metaphorical picture it is painting me.

my garden has given me confidence — i began the garden with seedlings from my mother-in-law and some plants brought a long the way, i then grew green beans to seedlings and planted those. now i have doubled the size of my garden and are excited at the possibilities.

i look at the environment and anticipate what is needed. it has linked me to the moment, connects me to the weather and different times of the day when i need to check on progress, fix or maintain something.

it has connected me to my past. my father was a phenomenal gardner and agriculturalist. i remember helping in the garden on long summer evenings with my family… picking fresh peas and checking on the watermelons. it was amazing as a child to see it develop in front of me and share our labour of love with the people in our community.

committing to this past time has resulted in expansion and being proud of creating meals with the produce i collect every evening. a favourite part is seeing the new shoots bud and the expectation of ripe juicy vegies.

returning home and planting roots again here, this venture demonstrates in the physical what is developing in my daily walk. new things are coming!

have you been surprised at what a new hobby or venture has brought out in you? what surprised you?

:: holding on to the good ::

expansion

since moving home and working part time, i dubiously began a garden to see if i could at least keep something alive and maybe feed my family healthy stuff. much to my surprise it has brought so much out of me i had lost and i have totally embraced the new found creativity it has brought me.

hubby and i were talking the other night and he said {i think your garden is a picture of you}. it took me back for a minute as i was surprised at such a revelation but in many ways it’s true. i thought to share with you some personal insights on my garden journey and the metaphorical picture it is painting me.

my garden has given me confidence — i began the garden with seedlings from my mother-in-law and some plants brought a long the way, i then grew green beans to seedlings and planted those. now i have doubled the size of my garden and are excited at the possibilities.

i look at the environment and anticipate what is needed. it has linked me to the moment, connects me to the weather and different times of the day when i need to check on progress, fix or maintain something.

it has connected me to my past. my father was a phenomenal gardner and agriculturalist. i remember helping in the garden on long summer evenings with my family… picking fresh peas and checking on the watermelons. it was amazing as a child to see it develop in front of me and share our labour of love with the people in our community.

committing to this past time has resulted in expansion and being proud of creating meals with the produce i collect every evening. a favourite part is seeing the new shoots bud and the expectation of ripe juicy vegies.

returning home and planting roots again here, this venture demonstrates in the physical what is developing in my daily walk. new things are coming!

have you been surprised at what a new hobby or venture has brought out in you? what surprised you?

:: holding on to the good ::

wearing our badges

a wee while ago now, i remember being awarded badges at high school. some read ‘prefect’, ‘whanau (family group) leader’, ‘sport’s captain’. it was an honour to wear these, it displayed your leadership role and responsibilities. it gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment. it was an acknowledgement for hard work and that you had earned that position. wouldn’t it be great if that could continue through life? unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that. there are many ways of receiving acknowledgement but at times the way you receive criticism far outweighs the positive messages.

{ 17 year old me at highschool, oh that skivvie! }

sometimes you just have to pin some badges on your chest that nobody else but you can see. a way of acknowledging what seems to be very ordinary tasks that sometimes take extraordinary strength.

{i got up and faced the day}
{i calmed my breathing down}
{i gave all I had when all I had, felt like nothing}

we have to create an image of pinning them on to build confidence in ourselves. these personal acknowledgements start an important validation process that we can’t ask anyone else to do. it starts with us. our validation only comes from ourselves and Him alone. being aware of the meaningfulness of our days, whether large or a small part of a big picture is a great start to practising gratitude. gratitude for the journey you are on, and where you are going.

so why am i suggesting this? that’s because today is world mental health day.

i would so love to take the {mental} connotation, out of mental health. anxiety and depression issues effect 1 in every 5 adults in nz. that is a huge statistic that has to be talked about and shared. putting it out on here, albeit somewhat in a coy manner has been liberating for me.

the strategy i have shared, is related to {take notice, kia mataara, mohiotanga} from the {five ways to wellbeing} check out this resource here.

if you a battling in a silent space, please know you are not alone. here are some things that might help you out… living with a black dog is the newest video from matthew and andrea johnstone; an moving resource to sit and watch with someone you trust.

depression.org.nz – an online journal on this website walks you through identifying where you are at and how to get help. it is never a shameful thing to find a way through.
reach out. we can all feel like we are in a battle and an important thing to do is to call on reinforcements. your trusted ones can be a great support. 
please contact me at graciousgoodnessblog @ gmail.com
kia kaha {stand strong} my friends
:: holding on to the good ::

wearing our badges

a wee while ago now, i remember being awarded badges at high school. some read ‘prefect’, ‘whanau (family group) leader’, ‘sport’s captain’. it was an honour to wear these, it displayed your leadership role and responsibilities. it gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment. it was an acknowledgement for hard work and that you had earned that position. wouldn’t it be great if that could continue through life? unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that. there are many ways of receiving acknowledgement but at times the way you receive criticism far outweighs the positive messages…

{ 17 year old me at highschool, oh that skivvie! }

sometimes you just have to pin some badges on your chest that nobody else but you can see. a way of acknowledging what seems to be very ordinary tasks that sometimes take extraordinary strength.

{i got up and faced the day}
{i calmed my breathing down}
{i gave all I had when all I had, felt like nothing}

we have to create an image of pinning them on to build confidence in ourselves. these personal acknowledgements start an important validation process that we can’t ask anyone else to do. it starts with us. our validation only comes from ourselves and Him alone. being aware of the meaningfulness of our days, whether large or a small part of a big picture is a great start to practising gratitude. gratitude for the journey you are on, and where you are going.

so why am i suggesting this? that’s because today is world mental health day.

i would so love to take the {mental} connotation, out of mental health. anxiety and depression issues effect 1 in every 5 adults in nz. that is a huge statistic that has to be talked about and shared. putting it out on here, albeit somewhat in a coy manner has been liberating for me.

the strategy i have shared, is related to {take notice, kia mataara, mohiotanga} from the {five ways to wellbeing} check out this resource here.

if you a battling in a silent space, please know you are not alone. here are some things that might help you out… living with a black dog is the newest video from matthew and andrea johnstone; an moving resource to sit and watch with someone you trust.

depression.org.nz – an online journal on this website walks you through identifying where you are at and how to get help. it is never a shameful thing to find a way through.
reach out. we can all feel like we are in a battle and an important thing to do is to call on reinforcements. your trusted ones can be a great support. 
please contact me at graciousgoodnessblog @ gmail.com
kia kaha {stand strong} my friends
:: holding on to the good ::

It’s OK when it’s not OK

In the last year, I found myself in the depths of brokenness. A family defragmented as a consequence of decisions we had nothing to do with and because of it, the echoes of questions unanswered and disregarded. Abandonment and confusion…


Learn this lesson well my friend

There’s a time to rejoice and lament
Every season will find an end
All will fade and be made new again
– Josh Garrels

Sitting warm, sleepy eyed as the single-cabbed ute headed south; weaving it’s way through the central roads of the North Island. My father yarning away; telling tall stories about things I don’t remember but the feeling of contentment and joy hold strong. Knowing our journey was to be with family, I felt special and maybe somewhat excited, even if it was a sad reason for our gathering. He had chosen me to go with him… I always savoured these times, holding onto the embellished words he would share, his words lifting me up and making me feel special…

My father was always someone who could make me forget about the dumb stuff and laugh and dream. My father is a true dreamer. He could always brush off reality and make it seem OK but the reality was this year would change a lot things.

And sometimes life is not OK.

Enveloped in shame, there are times when I have sat in my office and thought, “I am such a fraud, nobody can know – I have to hold it together.” but still carrying around what feels like a poisoned soul. Shame has become a familiar feeling and through this I have discovered that shame is inherited; someone always gives it to you. Shame likes to be out of sight and not be talked about. Shame hates it when we bring things into the open and talk about it. When the truth is exposed, it shrivels up. Shame likes to be that little voice that points the finger and says “How dare you!”, ” I knew you were always like that”, “See, everyone knows”, “You are a disgrace.”

A deep grief has been flowing from me. Flowing through the cracks of my identity and dreams; grieving what has gone and what could have been.  Grieving someone who has gone from my life but who is very much alive.

As I figure out and wrestle with some very painful truths, I have discovered and accepted that it’s OK, when it’s not OK. 

To be authentically broken.

“Right now I want a word that describes the feeling that you get– a cold sick feeling, deep down inside–when you know something is happening that will change you, 
and you don’t want it to, but you can’t stop it. And you know, for the first time, for the very first time,
 that there will now be a before and an after, a was and a will be
And you will never again quite be the same person you were.”
– Jennifer Donnelly, A Northern Light

As you read this, I invite you to acknowledge with me that sometimes we have to be honest with ourselves and each other. My blog has been a collection of posts that archives life and real milestones of truly magnificent memories; like the birth of my beautiful son – my joy amongst the anguish – But I strive for authenticity, it’s important to me and because of that, I need to share and document this here. I was challenged by this recent post from a person I really admire. It started a theme where I have read a few similar messages which nudged me to a place where I want to be honest and not just share the polished parts here.

I think that is why I am so drawn to stained-glass windows. Travelling through Europe in 2012, Hubby and I feasted on the ancient ruins, and remarkable structures of the past. We visited so many cathedrals and basilicas that we reached saturation point. I remember a lot about that trip, but the most vivid pictures I have in my mind is the beauty and brilliance of those windows.

I stood in awe, and remarked of the months or years that would have taken to create these; the blood, sweat and tears. Masterpieces of imperfection; pieces fitted together to create something so intricate and stunning. Especially when seen with light shining through them, illuminating the colours and shapes that fit together in an intricate mosaic.

I see our lives are like these windows, our broken pieces being placed and fitted together by the master designer. The pictures are not finished, they are taking shape and it is assured that there will be pieces added along the way. But when we take time to look at it, it is beautiful.

And it’s OK X

It’s OK when it’s not OK

Learn this lesson well my friend
There’s a time to rejoice and lament
Every season will find an end
All will fade and be made new again
– Josh Garrels

Sitting warm, sleepy eyed as the single-cabbed ute headed south; weaving it’s way through the central roads of the North Island. My father yarning away; telling tall stories about things I don’t remember but the feeling of contentment and joy hold strong. Knowing our journey was to be with family, I felt special and maybe somewhat excited, even if it was a sad reason for our gathering. He had chosen me to go with him… I always savoured these times, holding onto the embellished words he would share, his words lifting me up and making me feel special…

My father was always someone who could make me forget about the dumb stuff and laugh and dream. My father is a true dreamer. He could always brush off reality and make it seem OK but the reality was this year would change a lot things.

And sometimes life is not OK.


In the last year, I found myself in the depths of brokenness. A family defragmented as a consequence of decisions we had nothing to do with and because of it, the echoes of questions unanswered and disregarded. Abandonment and confusion.

Enveloped in shame, there are times when I have sat in my office and thought, “I am such a fraud, nobody can know – I have to hold it together.” but still carrying around what feels like a poisoned soul. Shame has become a familiar feeling and through this I have discovered that shame is inherited; someone always gives it to you. Shame likes to be out of sight and not be talked about. Shame hates it when we bring things into the open and talk about it. When the truth is exposed, it shrivels up. Shame likes to be that little voice that points the finger and says “How dare you!”, ” I knew you were always like that”, “See, everyone knows”, “You are a disgrace.”

A deep grief has been flowing from me. Flowing through the cracks of my identity and dreams; grieving what has gone and what could have been.  Grieving someone who has gone from my life but who is very much alive.

As I figure out and wrestle with some very painful truths, I have discovered and accepted that it’s OK, when it’s not OK. 

To be authentically broken.

“Right now I want a word that describes the feeling that you get– a cold sick feeling, deep down inside–when you know something is happening that will change you, 
and you don’t want it to, but you can’t stop it. And you know, for the first time, for the very first time,
 that there will now be a before and an after, a was and a will be
And you will never again quite be the same person you were.”
– Jennifer Donnelly, A Northern Light

As you read this, I invite you to acknowledge with me that sometimes we have to be honest with ourselves and each other. My blog has been a collection of posts that archives life and real milestones of truly magnificent memories; like the birth of my beautiful son – my joy amongst the anguish – But I strive for authenticity, it’s important to me and because of that, I need to share and document this here. I was challenged by this recent post from a person I really admire. It started a theme where I have read a few similar messages which nudged me to a place where I want to be honest and not just share the polished parts here.

I think that is why I am so drawn to stained-glass windows. Travelling through Europe in 2012, Hubby and I feasted on the ancient ruins, and remarkable structures of the past. We visited so many cathedrals and basilicas that we reached saturation point. I remember a lot about that trip, but the most vivid pictures I have in my mind is the beauty and brilliance of those windows.

I stood in awe, and remarked of the months or years that would have taken to create these; the blood, sweat and tears. Masterpieces of imperfection; pieces fitted together to create something so intricate and stunning. Especially when seen with light shining through them, illuminating the colours and shapes that fit together in an intricate mosaic.

I see our lives are like these windows, our broken pieces being placed and fitted together by the master designer. The pictures are not finished, they are taking shape and it is assured that there will be pieces added along the way. But when we take time to look at it, it is beautiful.

And it’s OK X

I am an ENFJ

Extroverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging
I had to do this test twice (firstly, alone and then I insisted persuaded Hubby to do it with me and asked his opinion on many) and I got EXACTLY the same result. Say wah?

So some of the aspects of my personality stand out in this profile and some I am not sure of… Maybe I don’t see them but they are there?



This test analyses responses to the following:
  • How you focus your attention or get your energy (extraversion)
  • How you perceive or take in information (intuition)
  • How you prefer to make decisions (feeling)
  • How you orient yourself to the external world (judgment)
I felt quite shocked with some of these statements about ENFJs… I am definitely an extravert at times but then I can crave time by myself, needing to recharge and rest. And I don’t know if I like the idea of using judgement, so would like to pursue this further.
‘Representing approximately 2 percent of all people, ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability.’
I think this is true of me and may come out more as I can be over-responsible in situations (probably being a first and one daughter)
‘ENFJ personalities are very intuitive. They find it easy to sense other people’s motives and find connections between seemingly unrelated events. ENFJs also tend to be quite good at analyzing their own feelings and questioning them if necessary.

On the other hand, such intuitiveness and sensitivity can also cause significant difficulties for people with this personality type – they may be too altruistic and empathic, getting too involved in other people’s problems, and then finding it difficult to detach and stop worrying. In extreme cases, this can even affect the ENFJs’ perception of themselves.’

Oh my. This is very true! I sometimes wish I didn’t notice the minute interactions of others, and the way in which I sense body language and tone. I think this can affect me a lot when I go out and interact in my home of residence… I get affected a lot by people’s responses to me and then I think I have to own them too!

‘One ENFJ colleague always welcomes me into his office regardless of his own circumstances. If another person comes to the door, he allows them to interrupt our conversation with their need. While discussing that need, the phone rings and he stops to answer it. Others drop in with a ‘quick question.’ I finally get up, go to my office and use the call waiting feature on the telephone. When he hangs up, I have his undivided attention!’

This is me to a tee! I constantly offer help and want to be there for others, but find myself dropping things or  what is happening at the time to focus on what has cropped up or gains my attention… This is not intentional and I really want to try and improve this about myself.  

Some strengths:

  • Altruistic. ENFJs are warm and selfless, always willing to help other people. They are idealists, motivated by the idea of doing something good for the world.
  • Skilled imitators. ENFJs find it very easy to notice what drives, motivates and worries other people, and are instinctively able to adjust their own manners and arguments accordingly.
  • Tolerant. People with this personality type tend to be open-minded and accepting, willing to consider competing ideas as long as they do not contradict their inner principles. ENFJs can easily get along with most other types.

Some weaknesses:

  • Very idealistic. People with this personality type can often be too idealistic or even naïve, believing that everyone is good natured and cares about principles that are important to the ENFJ.
  • Vulnerable to criticism. ENFJ personalities have a strong inner core of principles and values, and they can get very hurt if someone criticizes them. ENFJs may also have difficulties reacting calmly to general criticism and negativity.
  • May find it difficult to make tough decisions. Due to their altruism and sensitivity, ENFJs are likely to struggle with decisions involving hard choices – they may waver between different options, unable to stop thinking about all the possible consequences.
  • Highly fluctuating self-esteem. ENFJs’ self-esteem depends on whether they are able to live up to their ideals and fulfill their goals, while at the same time making sure that everyone around them is happy. If the ENFJ’s ideas are being constantly criticized or they are unable to help people close to them, their self-confidence is likely to plummet.

How fascinating?! Blogging about this at this time in my life – married, mama, job that challenges and excites me, being continually stretched, living overseas etc, makes me reflect on how ‘pure’ my personality is right now. I have changed a lot since I was a teenager going into university years… Is my personality now a product of my job title, role as a wife/mum? Has my personality changed in relation to my Hubby’s strengths/weaknesses? 

Blogtember prompt: Take this short personality test and respond to your results.

Why don’t you try it out and share in the comments below what you got? I would be really interested to hear what you think!