Why it won’t work

Have you ever faced a seemingly impossible idea, but known with every single part of your body, it’s the right thing to do?

Have you ever been so sure of the path you’ve chosen that when you achieve it, it feels like the whole world conspired together to make it work for you?

Like a satisfying game of Tetris, all the pieces fit perfectly together, simply clicking into place, making you the ultimate champion.

For one year, it felt like I had that.

Every crazy idea just seemed to work out, every ridiculous scheme came together seamlessly.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy. There was plenty of stress, late nights and hard work. I was on this crazy rollercoaster and everything was going right.

The only problem is, it goes the other way too. Sometimes it just feels like the whole world is working against you and nothing will work out.

There’s something I want so much I’m sure of it, but I just can’t get my shit together.

Something feels wrong and no matter how hard I try, or how much I want it, I simply can’t line all the pieces up.

And, as the feeling that everything’s spiralling out of control takes over, I finally realise it’s not the world, it’s me that’s stopping things from working. It’s the pieces on the inside that aren’t alined yet.

I’m a big believer in following your gut, or perhaps it’s intuition. Either way, there’s no denying that when things feel right on the inside, when you’re so sure that what you’re doing is the right thing for you – that’s when everything lines up in the outside world.

So rather than looking first to external forces that seem to trip us up at every turn, it’s time to look inside and ask yourself what’s holding you back?

Mantra this, and change your life

To say I didn’t enjoy school, would be an understatement.

I remember being 15 years old, and trying to make the walk to school last as long as humanly possible.

I started to notice a pattern on the days I dreaded going in. I would find myself repeating in my head over and over again, “It’s going to be a horrible day”. I think I honestly believed that if I prepared myself, it wouldn’t matter if it was a bad day, because I’d already called it.

And of course, it always was.

Then one day I decided to try something different. I started to repeat in my head, over and over again, “today is a great day”.

I remember it feeling so forced, and I’m sure I rolled my eyes with every repetition.

But, I kept doing it, the whole walk to school.

Today is a great day.
Today is a great day.
Today is a great day.

I’m not sure what was more annoying, the fact it worked, or the fact I actually did have a good day. But, none the less things got a little bit brighter.

Ever since then, I’ve used matras to keep me and my mind on the right track.

I repeat a short phrase to myself, over and over again, most often while I’m walking somewhere.

I’ll say anything from “I love myself”, to “I am successful”. And, from time to time I still find myself repeating the words, “today is a great day”.

The trick is to talk in the first person and as if it’s already true. Try not to use any negative words, like not. Because, your brain can’t identify them and only hears the instruction.

So if you say “I am not late” over and over, all your brain hears is “I’m late, I’m late”. And with the power of matras being what it is, you’ll most definitely end up being late.

And that’s it. Just pick something you want and start saying it over and over again.

It doesn’t even matter whether you believe it or not at first. All that matters is that you say it, over and over again.

From brightening your mood to increasing productivity, mantras will change the way you view the world.

What are you waiting for? Give it a go right now.

A lesson in not giving a f*#k

The less f*#ks you give, the happier you’ll be.

As I zipped up my old hoody, I looked down to admire how close in colour it actually was to the washed out, horribly fitting tracky bottoms I had also chosen to wear that evening.

It was clear that a long time ago both these garments were very different colours, but not anymore.

As I headed out into the street, knowing this outfit choice was not my finest, my instincts told me – this is the moment you’ll bump into every ex and their beautiful, well dressed, pristine girlfriends!

I shrugged off that feeling and replaced it with this thought, – the less you give a f*#k, the happier you’ll be.

That sat much better with me in my current state.

Happily, I trotted down the dark street, and collected the beers. I held my head high as I announced my arrival at the pizza shop and then promptly scurried back to the safety of home.

I may look slightly homeless I thought, but I’m definitely happy.

But, what exactly had I stopped giving a f*#k about?

Had I stopped caring about how I felt? Or what other people thought of me? And, could caring about either of these things, really be holding me back in the happiness stakes?

I decided to test it out. The next morning I picked out the smartest outfit I could find – it wasn’t exactly a ball gown, but it was the best I had. I did my hair and slapped some make up on.

It felt good.

Caring about how I looked made me feel happy too, it also seemed to make my boyfriend happy. Clearly officewear was more up his street than hobo chic.

I know it’s pretty obvious that caring what other people think doesn’t get us anywhere. But it’s easy to forget, what we think and feel about ourselves drives almost every emotion we have.

So next time I decide to not give a f#*k, it will be about what other people think, and not how I feel about myself.

 

 

Is being inconsistent with productivity a bad thing?

Move at your own speed.

I can’t seem to keep a consistent pace when it comes to productivity – either I’m on or I’m off. All in, or all out.

When I’m on, shit gets done! Jobs get ticked off, I’m flying.

But, when I’m off, it’s just not happening. And, it’s not like I don’t have things to do. All the drive that got me to this point is gone, and the worst part is I don’t seem to care, not one bit.

Things pile up, deadlines come and go and still I can’t quite get my butt in gear.

What is it I’m waiting for? How can I shake this feeling?

Was my last stint too much? Was the final push a push too far?

Being able to put everything you’ve got into making stuff happen is a great asset, but when it comes at the cost of the next few weeks, I can’t help but ask myself,

Is it worth it? Am I happy? 

Just because you’re feeling a little flat right now, doesn’t mean you’re not happy. All you have to do is look over your shoulder at all the things you’ve just achieved.

Flat out and then rest, doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

The trick is not giving yourself a hard time when you rest. Recognising it as down time and saying to yourself ‘look at what you just achieved, enjoy this time now, it’s yours.’

And when you’re ready, have faith in the knowledge you’ll be back in the game in no time, wondering how you ever sat still for so long.

Is there room for both of us to love me?

I lost myself.

If my Dad was here right now, he’d say that was careless of you.

And the honest truth is, it was. It was no ones fault but mine. I stopped thinking about the things I need to do to keep me, me, and expected someone else to fulfil them instead.

I got lost in what we need, what they need, what you need. And the only person to blame is me. No one else is responsible for my state of mind, but me.

Before you, I spent so long on me, finding me, loving me, exploring me – it really was all about me. And it felt so good.

But, in reality that was all simply preperation for meeting you.

I wanted to love myself so someone else could love me the same way.

I love myself
I love myself
I love myself

And then, from this shiny place of love and confidence I was the most attractive I’ve ever been. It’s true what they say, the best way to find love, is to love yourself unconditionally.

But the self love quotes on Facebook seem to have missed out the next crucial step.

What happens after we find love, do we instantly give up on our self-love? Are we not capable of loving ourselves and someone else at the same time or is it that we blindly hand over the baton of love to the new partner and expect them to fulfill the role we once had played?

And so, somewhere between falling in love and everyday life I lost myself. I stopped doing the things I’d carved out to make me feel strong and independent. I stopped taking care of myself. I lost myself.

So now, it’s back to the beginning. The love I have for you is no different from the love I have for me, they both need time and affection to grow, and if I neglect one, the other will undoubtedly suffer.

 

Why it pays to not follow the crowd

All I ever wanted, for as long as I can remember, was to have a family. I wanted all that traditional stuff, to marry someone I loved beyond question, have a beautiful home and start a family.

I also want to live on a boat and sail around the world or live in Mongolia and experience a totally different way of life. I dreamed of writing every day and contributing to the world, in my own way.

However, my desire to have the one thing society told me I ‘should’ want seemed to endlessly clash with my drive to follow my dreams and experience the world.

I want to feel at home and at the same time be free – as far away from routine as possible.

Ok, I know when you have kids you need some sort of stability, and adventurers need to be funded. But why should I give up when my dreams seem to contradict each other? And who is it that said they can’t go together?

It seems to me, we allow certain rules to dictate the way we live our lives – whether we agree with them or not. We blindly follow, unquestioning, even taking comfort in the constraints they offer.

But it hasn’t always been like that.

As children, we dare to dream. We conjure up wondering plans where we can do and be everything and anything our imagination allows.

Would it be so bad to step off the well trodden path of adulthood just for a minute?

I’m not saying go against the flow for the sake of it.

But when you get that urge, the drive to do something different, the kind of feeling that just won’t go away, and the world is telling you you can’t – well, maybe just once take that “can’t” as a suggestion, and follow your heart. Go against the grain, forget about the obvious route, create your own path, and jump!

Just jump.

Because let’s face it, nothing great was ever achieved by following the rules and fitting in.

 

Searching for happiness

I’ve always been in search of happiness.

Whenever I could make a wish when I was a child, I would only ever wish for one thing – to be happy.

Sometimes i’d wish it for myself and other times id wish for my two big sisters, but always for the same thing – to be happy.

Despite my early focus on happiness I would find myself from time to time in such deep sadness, even as a young child I just couldn’t shake it off.

I joined gyms, learnt to meditated, breathed deeply, found yoga, did workshops. But sooner or later the sadness would catch me up again. Like a dark cloud lurking round the next corner.

A few months before my 30th birthday, I was desperate. There was nothing about my life I felt proud of, it felt like it was falling apart. I was torn between two countries with no career to speak of and nothing I was passionate about. I was lost.

All I knew was I wanted to  be happy.

I had so much faith in the fact that if I felt happy in myself, truly happy, then everything else would fit into place.

I started to look again. I looked into anything and everything. If it promised happiness I was in!

There were more self help books, I even read ‘Men are from Mars women are from Venus’, which in a 1980’s sexist kind of a way was surprisingly helpful. I signed up for online courses and went to a meditation retreat – with a 24 hour vow of silence.

Nothing really made that much of a dent – but by focusing on what I enjoyed things slowly started to shift.

The one thing that changed everything, was stopping. Stopping and truly accept myself, the inside and the out.

Standing naked in front of the mirror and saying ‘I love myself’ over and over again.

As soon as I mastered that everything else fitted into place. I stopped trying to please everyone else and in that moment I was happy.