Time for reflection

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Hi lovelies. Well Christmas is fast approaching and amongst all the joy and celebration I always think the end of the calendar year brings a good time for reflection. Whilst in many ways it’s been a great year for the Cole family and hopefully for yourselves too, there has undoubtably been much trouble and sadness in the world. I think everyone is feeling the strain of recent events as well as a sense of sadness over the atrocities that occurred in Paris and other parts of the world. With all of this, it’s easy to feel a sense of helplessness and fragility. As a highly sensitive person I have certainly been affected by this. To add to these feelings I had some bad news earlier this week. A friend’s husband passed away very suddenly at the beginning of the week. He had been in good health and young. He leaves behind not only his new wife of six months but also two young children under the age of three. The sense of grief this has caused for, not only his family but all of their friends is immense and as we all prepare to rally round to support our friend in the coming months and years the overwhelming sense is one of unfairness. The thing about grief is that time is the best healer. I’m certain our friend and her family will never stop feeling this loss but I can only hope the grief will change every day and eventually become bearable again. One thing this terrible event has brought home to me is how important family and friendship are during times of trouble and particularly the importance of friendship between women. There is something very primal about women coming together to help and support each other and something deeply healing about feminine energy. I guess what makes this all so poignant is the fact that we met these friends only four years ago through anti-natal classes. We shared in the excitement of preparing to welcome our children as well as fear of what may lie ahead! We shared our joy when our little ones were born and we have supported each other through sleepless nights, vomiting children and many conversations about various intimate body parts! Now we all share the sadness and sense of loss with our friend and her beautiful children. Whilst we have all shared many a tearful conversation over the past few days we have become acutely aware of how incredibly lucky we are to have each other and how, whilst we would probably never have become friends if it weren’t for our children, we now firmly believe we will be friends for life and we embark upon the next difficult few months standing together in support.

You may well ask why I’m telling you all this and I do apologise if I’ve brought you down but other than a bit of venting I do also have a point! These tragic events have led me to indulge in a little reflection and whilst hopefully nothing awful has happened to you or anyone you know recently, Christmas may be a good time to stop and gather your thoughts. These events have caused me to take a good look at my life and try to decide what is really important to me and my family. Whilst I believe it is important to follow your dreams, I’ve never seen the sense in working so hard to achieve something that it makes you miserable, just so you can eventually have a “good quality of life” sometime in the future! It is completely possible to live a fulfilling life without monetary wealth and fortune. Some people work so hard to try to achieve this type of wealth that they crash and burn before they can enjoy the fruits of their labour. Whilst it is important to be able to put food on the table and clothes on backs, spiritual wealth and fulfilment is equally if not more important than material possessions. It is for this reason that I have decided to take a little time off from blogging for the remainder of this month. This is so that I can continue my reflection and take time to look after my family and indulge in activities that make me happy, healthy and content. I plan to meditate, practice yoga and Pilates, have Reiki, eat food that nourishes me and read books which inspire and inform me. I’ve taken a step back from Twitter and stopped watching the news temporarily to limit my exposure to negative input. You can still find me on Instagram as I mostly find it positive and inspiring and I will still be posting from time to time on my Fashionably Balanced account. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate it and all of you a happy, healthy and peaceful December and I look forward to returning to the blog in the New Year refreshed and with some wonderful and exciting posts for you.

With love and light

Zoë

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26 thoughts on “Time for reflection

  1. So sorry to hear about your friend Zoe – my thoughts and well wishes this Christmas will be with you and their family.

    I love this blog post as I forget to take advantage of the smaller things in life that, more often than not, make me feel happier than the bigger, more material things. I completely agree that this time of year is for reflection and believe me I’ve done nothing but that this past week!

    Enjoy your time off Zoe, make the best of everyday as I’m sure you do and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year with your gorgeous family.

    All the best,
    Georgia x

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  2. Yet another great article Zoe!

    Deeply sorry for your loss. Time really is a great healer and I hope the sun starts to shine again for you all real soon.

    Wishing you, Brendan and your gorgeous girlie the happiest and healthiest of Christmases.

    Look forward to your return in the New Year.

    God bless,
    Sandra x

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  3. Yet another great article Zoe.

    Deeply sorry to hear of your sad loss. Time really is a great healer, and I hope that in the coming months the sun starts to shine again for you all.

    Wishing you, Brendan, and your gorgeous girlie the happiest and healthiest of Christmases.

    God bless,
    Sandra D x

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  4. Such a wonderful, heartfelt post Zoe; your grief and shock was palpable.
    I lost my Dad suddenly earlier this year and the grief still consumes me some days. But you are certainly taking all the right steps lovely lady. I have been on a “news-diet” for about 6 years and it was the best decision ever. Someone sent me a fabulous audio podcast when my Dad died all about grief. If I find it I will post you the link here. Take care Zoe and please reach out if you need to vent further (I am still venting and dreading this Christmas in many ways 😦 xxx

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    1. Thanks for your comments Vanessa. I’m so sorry for your loss. I think Christmas is a particarly hard time for those who have lost loved ones. Thank you for your kind offer too. I would be very interested in the podcast and any info which I could pass onto my friend. Thanks for your kindness and I wish you a peaceful Christmas. X

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  5. So sorry for your loss Zoe, sending love and best wishes to yours and your friends family. I love this time of year but do find myself thinking even more of those going through difficult times. The new year brings a new job for me. I decided I wanted to do something more rewarding so will be working at a nursery with babies from 3 months😊 I can’t wait! I love all your blogs and find them very inspiring. They also make me spend more money LOL! Am really enjoying my Weleda products at the moment😍. Hope you, Brendan & Aurelia have a wonderful Christmas. Hopefully I might see you next year at Brendan’s show and get to say hi. xxx
    Claire x

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  6. A beautifully written blog as always Zoe, I lost my own husband at aged 26, so I have some idea of what your friend is going through right now, I hope the love and caring wishes of her friends and family carry her through the difficult days and months to follow. I also lost my darling Dad 8 years ago this Christmas and you carry on and manage but when the anniversary comes round again it seems like yesterday, so I agree it is a time of reflection, goodness this doesn’t make very cheery reading for you, sorry, wishing you, Brendan and gorgeous Aurelia a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas and look forward to you returning in the New Year

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    1. Shona I am so terribly sorry for your loss. It’s amazing to think of what hardship people go through in life and at such a young age. It doesn’t seem fair! I hope this Christmas brings you a little peace and healing. Thank you for taking the time to comment and share your story. X

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  7. Hi Zoe,
    What a lovely written blog.
    I do share the loss -I lost my Mum suddenly just before Christmas a few years ago & its a difficult time even now.
    Time helps you move on in baby steps & I also was greatly assisted by bereavement counselling aswell.
    I hope you all find the strength over the next few weeks & try to enjoy the festive season.
    Melanie xxx

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  8. So beautifully written and full of things to reflect on. It has been wonderful to see your blog grow and develop and I am sure it will continue to flourish in 2016. My heart breaks for your friend loss is so hard at any time but always seems worse near the festive period I am sure she will appreciate all the support her circle of friends is able to offer. Enjoy your well deserved down time with the family. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas & Aurelia an amazing 3rd birthday.
    Andrea X

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  9. Hi Zoe I am so very sorry to hear your very sad news. Many many years ago my best friend suddenly lost her husband at a very young age and left her with two little girls under the age of four. At the time it was heartbreaking for everyone but life has a funny way of giving your strength and hope to carry on and we all do. You just have to appreciate all that you have now and be thankful for every day. I hope you, Brendan and Aurelia have s wonderful family Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. Look forward to hearing from you again soon. Lots of love Daphne x

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    1. Thanks so much Daphne for taking the time to comment and for your kind words. Sorry to hear of your friends loss. It’s just heartbreaking isn’t it? Hope they are all doing well now. Have a wonderful Christmas. X

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  10. So very sorry to hear about your friend’s husband Zoe. A beautifully written blog as usual. There is certainly a lot of unhappiness going on in the world and we must appreciate all the good things we have, especially our families and loved ones.
    I will miss reading your blogs, but I wish you and your family a happy and peaceful Christmas. Take care.Xx

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  11. Hi Zoe
    What a beautifully and heartfelt written post. I feel very saddened to hear of the death of your young friend, heartbreaking for his wife and young children. I am sure this lady will gain great strength from your support and friendship.
    How lovely that you met at ante natal classes someone in complete tune with yourself, sharing your fears and expectations and eventual joy and now the children growing up together.
    Christmas is always a time of reflection, I lost my Mum many years ago, time is a healer of grief, my Dad is almost 89, but sadly has been suffering advanced dementia, for 5 years,in a strange way I feel I am grieving for the Dad I have lost, yet he is still with us. At times I feel guilty of the feeling of unfairness of the path this has led my feelings down. As you mentioned the media brings us daily to the troubles and stirifes of around the world and there are so many, I find I have to take time out of daily news etc, I am sensitive, so I sometimes need a little space on my own to find a way to heal….so I can well understand your feelings Zoe.
    It is the closeness of your immediate family that bring you joy, happiness and make you feel fulfilled. Each new day is a gift for which we are grateful and try to take each one a day at a time.
    It is especially hard with the festive season upon us to deal with sad times, but I am sure Zoe if you take time out, be kind to yourself, you will gain the strength you need to support your friend completely.
    I wish you Brendan and Aureila a joyous Christmas and A Happy and Healthy New Year.
    We have our tickets for A Night to Remember in March….so looking forward to it, we have been every year and thoroughly enjoyed every minute !
    I will miss your well written and informative posts Zoe….but look forward to your return in the new year.
    Take care of yourself,
    Love Gillian X

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  12. May I recommended reading ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle, this has helped me through a very difficult time and certainly helps with strategies to limit negativity thinking.

    I am sorry for you and your friend’s loss.

    Xx

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  13. I’m so sorry to read such sad news. I have taken a step back from the news as well-I like to be informed but the endless horror wears you down. I am sticking to Strictly and youtube videos of kittens for a while! Love to you and your beautiful family and very best wishes for 2016. Ruth x

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  14. Fantastic reading as ever Zoe. It’s Advent & a time of reflection. My friend lost her new born baby this year never easy losing someone whatever age – from someone who is only a few minutes old to someone who is perhaps in their 80’s or 90’s. Good on you to try and channel the positives in life especially with all that’s going on. I’m sure you’re a great support to your friend at the time they need you the most. Stay strong and lots of hugs to you❤️ Looking forward to reading your new year blog xx

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    1. Thank you for your comments Lorraine. I’m so sorry to hear of your friends loss. That sounds unbearable. Yes you are right. Any loss is incredibly hard to deal with. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year. X

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