Holding On To Hope: A Finley’s Footprints Project

10904937_10155057728400106_1242458713_nDuring the last week I’ve taken part in a project called “Holding On To Hope” run by Mel Scott of “Finley’s Footprints”.  Mel sadly lost her much loved and much wanted baby Finley when he was born and she runs a charity called “Towards Tomorrow Together”.  She also co-runs “The Butterfly Awards” and I got to know her on Facebook when I was given a memory box to take home when I left the Worcestershire Royal Hospital without Frankie on 30th November 2013.  I’m going to be helping with The Butterfly Awards this year, and Mel came to the Coffee Morning I held for Frankie’s Legacy on his birthday and gave me a beautiful plaque with the word “Hope” on it and a blue butterfly in sequins.  I was so overwhelmed, and so touched by it, and will treasure it forever.

Mel noticed from my Facebook posts that I was feeling overwhelmed with everything that had happened to me in the last year and a half, and said she was running a week long course called “Holding On To Hope”, a 7 day supported project for baby loss parents, and would I like to join it. I said definitely, ANYTHING that helps me make sense of all that has happened and move forward can only be a good thing.  So she added me into the group on Facebook for the project.

I wasn’t sure what to expect especially when I looked at the list of materials required and I thought oh goodness, I’m not a craft or art person, I can’t draw to save my life and although I’m creative in terms of words, campaigns and ideas I’m not a crafty creative person.  I don’t sew, paint, draw or make things in that way, so I was curious about things on the list such as glitter and jars.

Taking part in this project was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time for me.  Every day Mel would post questions and activities for us to do and we would write back our answers in the group, share how we found the activities and share photos of our creations and progress with the project.  I made a few new Facebook friends and we were all connected with one fundamental thing in common – all of us who participated lost a much loved and much wanted baby.

DSCN0262The activities that I enjoyed the most was writing all the unwanted and unneeded things in my life on pieces of paper and burning them into ash while I imagined all the things that no longer served me floating away in the wind, then sprinkling the ash on the wind to symbolise letting go.  I felt freer than I have in a long time because of this exercise.  I also enjoyed creating a wheel of life, a vision board (or in my case, vision wall and space) and a joy jar (or in my case, a joy box).

I have put up pictures and positive quotes around my desk and office along with pictures of things I would like to happen so I can visualise them every day.  As I spent some time every day in my office at home, this seemed like the best option so I could see the pictures every day.  I also didn’t have a jar but I did have a box which I thought was the perfect size and shape for a “joy box”.  The idea of this is that I will write positive things and the good things that have happened on pieces of paper and put them in the box, even all the small things.  On New Year’s Eve this year I will get the box out and read everything I’ve written in it and reflect on everything good that has happened in the year.

The project hasn’t quite finished yet, there are a couple more days to go, but it has really helped me start 2015 positively and was the inspiration behind me re-starting to write this blog again and committing to my other blogging project “365 Days Of Positivity”.

Thank you Mel, it was just what I needed.

DSCN0263

My joy box.

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